Hunched and feral, this furred, hyena-headed humanoid stands slightly taller than the average human.
Gnoll CR 1
The stats given for the gnoll indicate that it has a shield bonus to its AC, as well as listing a heavy wooden shield in the Treasure line. However, the attack line states that it is wielding a spear two-handed in melee. It is completely reasonable that gnolls use a wide variety of weapons, so here are two alternative stat block entries which allow for both situations (wielding a heavy shield or wielding a spear two-handed.) The entries below should replace those given in the original stat block at left (depending on which you choose to use).
Wielding Battleaxe plus Heavy Wooden Shield
AC As shown at left
Melee battleaxe +3 (1d8+2/x3)
Ranged longbow +1 (1d8/x3)
Wielding Spear Two-Handed:
Environment warm plains or desert
Organization solitary, pair, hunting party (2–5 gnolls and 1–2 hyenas), band (10–100 adults plus 50% noncombatant children, 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults, 1 leader of 4th–6th level, and 5–8 hyenas), or tribe (20–200 plus 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults, 1 or 2 lieutenants of 4th or 5th level, 1 leader of 6th–8th level, 7–12 hyenas, and 4–7 hyaenodons)
Treasure NPC Gear (leather armor, heavy wooden shield, battleaxe, longbow with 20 arrows, other treasure)
Gnolls are a race of hulking, humanoids that resemble hyenas in more than mere appearance; they show a striking affinity with the scavenging animals, to the point of keeping them as pets, and reflect many of the lesser creatures’ behaviors.
Gnolls are capable hunters, but are far happier to scavenge or steal a kill than to go out and track down prey. This laziness impels them to acquire slaves of whatever type is available, whom they force to dig warrens, gather supplies and water, and even hunt for their gnoll masters.
Creatures other than hyenas and other gnolls are either meat or slaves, depending upon the temperament of the tribe. Even a dead or fallen comrade is a fresh meal for a gnoll, who might honor a distinguished tribe member with a brief prayer, or thoroughly cook one that has died of a wasting disease, but otherwise view a dead gnoll as little different from any other creature. The more “civilized” gnolls do not eat their prisoners, but instead keep them as slaves, either to defend or improve their lair or to trade with other tribes or slaver bands.
Gnolls relish combat, but only when they have the obvious advantage of numbers. In other situations, they prefer to avoid combat except as a means of winning a kill from another hunter, or as a clever ambush to bring down a large meal. These hyena-men see no value in courage or valor, instead preferring to flee once it becomes clear that victory is not possible, noting that it is better to run with tail tucked away than to lose one’s tail entirely.
During combat, gnolls use a strange mixture of pack tactics and individual standoffs. If a gnoll feels that it is winning, it attempts to take down a weaker being rather than aiding its fellows. If the gnolls are struggling, they gang up on a powerful leader and try to take that creature down, in the hopes of forcing its allies to flee.
Gnoll leaders are typically rangers, although clerics are highly regarded as well. Most gnolls find arcane magic difficult to master, and as a result it is relatively rare to see a gnoll bard, sorcerer, or wizard.
Flind (CR 2) Flinds are as gnolls but have 4 Hit Dice, use the elite array for their ability scores, and are proficient in the flindbar. A flindbar consists of two iron bars, approximately 18 inches long, connected by a short piece of chain (or, in some cases, connected to one another directly with loops at the ends). A flindbar is a one-handed exotic melee weapon that deals 1d8 points of damage as a Medium weapon, 1d6 as a Small weapon. While using a flindbar, you get a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy, including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails. Flinds are automatically proficient with flindbars and, thanks to their familiarity with similar weapons, treat nunchaku as martial weapons.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can learn more about a Gnoll. When a character makes a successful skill check, the following lore is revealed, including the information from lower DCs.
|11||This muscular hyena-headed humanoid is a gnoll, an evil race of creatures that typically prefer intelligent beings for food because they scream more. Gnolls usually only speak their own language. This result also reveals all humanoid traits.|
|16||Gnolls are nocturnal carnivores, driven by hunger and little else. They dislike giants and most humanoids, but will sometimes make alliances with such creatures so long as it means a plentiful supply of food.|
|21||Gnolls prefer combat where they can rely on their physical strength and sheer numbers of fellow attackers to overpower those they fight with ease. They have little discipline in a fight, but typically choose clever ambush locations to give them the upper hand in the first few seconds of combat.|
|26||Gnolls tend to form loose tribes that are ruled by their strongest member, who uses fear, intimidation and strength to remain in power.|
Classic Monsters Revisited. Copyright 2008, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Wolfgang Baur, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, James Jacobs, Nicolas Logue, Mike McArtor, James L. Sutter, Greg A. Vaughan, Jeremy Walker.
WOTC Community Forums – Monsters and Races – Monster Lore Compendium. Copyright 2007-2008, Author: Evandar_TAybara