Gnolls are humanoids who resemble dingoes or hyenas, with yellow and brown striped, spotted, or ringed fur, a pointed snout, sharp teeth, and large ears. Their voices are often high pitched and barky. They have long legs, a fairly lean body, and are generally quick on their feet.

Ancestral Traits

Most gnolls share certain traits due to this ancestry.

Age. Gnolls mature more quickly than humans, reaching adulthood by age 10 and living until roughly age 50.

Size. Gnolls are about the same size as humans, though often leaner. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base speed is 30 feet.

Senses. Darkvision. The nocturnal ancestry of gnolls provide them superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

Keen Hearing. Gnolls benefit from their sizeable ears. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.

Bite. Gnolls also retain the strong jaws and sharp canine teeth of hyenas or wild dogs, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. On a hit, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier.

Cultural Traits

Gnoll communities tend to settle in open grasslands, where they have easy access to the large game they prefer to hunt, and room for their competitions. These two elements play a central role in their culture, with the matriarch overseeing them both. She sends the hunting parties out and she adjudicates the contests the members of gnoll communities engage in when they are not out on the hunt. In both the hunt and the contest, gnoll society celebrates live and vitality, embracing their strength and the thrill and joy of these challenges.

Perhaps this focus on the vital present explains the attitude gnolls take toward the dead. According to the practices of most gnoll communities, when someone dies, either a foe or their kin, the bodies the creatures leave behind are nothing but meat. Being resourceful hunters who sometimes scavenge recently dead game, gnolls do not allow the dead to go to waste.

This practice sometimes disturbs people from other cultures, unfortunately. Regardless, those who are raised in gnoll culture share the following traits.

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength increases by 2 and your Wisdom by 1.

Alignment. Gnoll culture tends to be chaotic, focusing on the vagaries of the hunt and the excitement of the contest.

Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Gnoll, a distinctive language of barks and yips.

Gnoll Weapon Training. Gnoll communities train their young in weapons for hunting, but they work well for self-defense too. You are proficient in the longbow, scimitar, spear, and flail.

Rampage. Gnoll communities train in a particular kind of quick and brutal combat. When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack on you turn, you can take a bonus action to move up to half your speed and make another melee attack.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

More Ancestries & Cultures, Copyright 2020, Arcanist Press LLP.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page