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Old 06-03-2015, 09:54 AM
Shaman Shaman is offline

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Ogre Manuel of Monsters - 2003

The humanoid stands as tall as a night elf and has a furry, greenish-brown pelt. Its head is like a hyena’s, with yellow fangs and bloodshot eyes.

Description
Gnolls are hyena-like humanoids standing about 7 feet tall. Gnolls of the same tribe tend to share a similar appearance, with either a reddish-brown, black, palish-gray or a yellow mane. Eyes range in color from pale blue to bloodshot-red and are typically small and close-set in the head. In wet conditions, they give off a distinctive musky odor.

As carnivores, gnolls consider all creatures as food, including members of their own race. Hunger, not gold or magic, is what motivates them. They have no love for other races, preferring to eat rather than work with them. Any alliances made will last only as long as the gnolls are well fed or are cowed with displays of force.

Gnolls, being lazy and feral, have little natural industry. They are capable of limited crafting, but no metal work. They do not mine or farm, relying instead on a nomadic existence and hunting.



Gnoll Society
Gnoll society is organized entirely around might. The strongest and deadliest gnolls ascend in the tribal order to become the leaders, while the weaker gnolls soon become food for the rest. This lifestyle means the average gnoll tribe is always in astate of tension- the slightest sign of weakness in those leading can cause the tribe to turn upon itself in a frenzy of violence. It also prevents the gnolls from organizing for very long into anything more than a tribe.

Gnoll society displays a limited specialization. Brutes are the largest and nastiest gnolls, made stronger by their privileged position in the food chain. Gnoll assassins are noted for their intelligence and use complex weapons such as bows and poisons. Gnoll poachers act as scouts and hunters for the gnoll tribes and use weapons taken from prey. Gnoll wardens have developed a magical connection with nature and use their powers to keep the other gnolls in line.


Combat
Gnolls prefer using bludgeoning weapons, in part because they are easy to create but also break open bones more easily - they consider bone marrow a delicacy. They wear scraps of hide as armor, though some tougher gnolls will don armor taken from their prey.

Gnolls have a limited concept of tactics. If they outnumber an opponent, they will attack; if outnumbered, they will flee. Pack tactics are the order of the day, with multiple gnolls swarming to attack single opponents. They like to attack from ambush, if possible, and are crafty enough to use darkness or terrain to their advantage. They are not courageous and flee if a battle turns against them.


Gnoll Assassin
Gnoll assassins are generally smaller than other gnolls, reaching only around 6 1/2 feet tall. They tend to have darker fur colors and wear black and dark brown leather.

Gnoll assassins are the tacticians of gnoll society. They prefer to fight from the rear, acting as support troops. They use poisons on their arrow tips, favoring that of spiders


Gnoll Brute
The humanoid is tall - standing almost 8 feet high - and has a lean but powerful build. Its hyena-like head has a blunt snout and large yellow teeth. Scraps of armor cover its thick yellow-green fur, and a wicked looking flail is held in one large fist.

Gnoll brutes are the cream of gnoll society, usually reaching just under 8 feet in height. They wear the best armor and use shields plucked from the bodies of their victims. Gnoll brutes expect deference from those around them and have no concept of fear. They take the pick of the food and loot and leave the rest behind for others to fight over.

The idea of subtlety is lost on a gnoll brute. A brute will charge into combat with the nearest opponent and pound away until it falls down. Gnoll brutes do
not hold to notions of single combat or honor and will generally team up and surround a single foe until it is dead.


Gnoll Poacher
The hyena-headed humanoid is very wiry. Its dappled green-brown pelt helps it blend in with the foliage as it creeps forward with a light crossbow held at the ready.

Gnoll poachers are the light scouts of gnoll society and are responsible for finding appropriate targets for raids. They tend to be thin, small, and picked on by the other gnolls. This treatment makes them some of the meanest gnolls, and they are most prone to playing with their victims. They will always defer to other gnolls, but are known to get revenge if wronged.

Gnoll poachers like to strike from cover and ambush and will flee a stand-up fight. They prefer to leave hand-to-hand combat to the brutes when possible. Poachers are very practiced at singling out a target on which to combine their fire, usually the unarmed one in the back trying to cast a spell.


Gnoll Warden
The hyena-faced humanoid has a gleam of wicked intelligence in its close-set eyes. Its whitish-gray fur pokes out through the many holes of the old leather robe it wears.

Gnoll wardens are the mystics of gnoll society, born attuned with the power of nature and able to tap into it for magical effects. They are both feared and envied in gnoll society. They exist outside the normal power structure and can operate with a kind of immunity - though they remain subject to the influence of gnoll brutes. Wardens tend to be marked as different by the shade of their fur, which is often a strange colour such as white or purple.

Gnoll wardens rely on their mystic abilities in combat to give them an edge. They avoid melee when possible, but are not afraid to mix it up and break bones if necessary. The nature of their magical connection makes wearing armor impossible, but also allows the gnoll warden to perform a number of magical effects.
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