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View Full Version : Lesser Gnoll! (3.5e LA +0 Race) PEACH



Blueiji
2013-07-29, 05:25 PM
A little preface.
I'm a big fan of Gnolls. There's just something really appealing about vicious, depraved, horrifying hyena-men that want to eat you and your kin. :smallbiggrin:

However, I don't like level-adjustments. Or racial hit-dice. Not fun stuff.

So too fix that, I decided to make a 0 level adjustment version of the Gnoll. I'm not the most experience home-brewer, so any PEACHing or suggestions you could give me would be much appreciated.

With further ado, I give you . . .
The Lesser Gnoll


http://i41.tinypic.com/vzuasn.jpg

A lesser gnoll giggles viciously as it closes in on its prey.

Gnoll characters possess the following racial traits.

+2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Lesser Gnolls have powerful muscles honed by years of inter-pack competition. However, they also suffer due to their unsettling appearance and lack of social grace.
Medium size.
A lesser gnoll's base land speed is 30 ft.
Darkvision out to 60 feet.
Humanoid type (Gnoll subtype).
Lesser Gnolls get a single bonus [Fighter] feat that they qualify for. The Lesser Gnolls vicious and competitive pack-society promotes the study of warfare in all its members.
Lesser Gnolls gain a +2 racial bonus on Survival and Listen checks, due to their hunter lifestyle.
Lesser Gnolls gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks, due to the unsettling nature of their vicious cackling.
Gnoll Blood: For all effects related to race, a Lesser Gnoll is considered a Gnoll.
Lesser Gnolls do not automatically know how to read and write. A Lesser Gnoll may spend 2 skill points to gain the ability to read and write all languages he is able to speak.
Lesser Gnolls automatically know Gnoll and Common.
A Lesser Gnoll's favored class is Ranger.


New Gnoll Feats!

Pack-Mentality. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll.

Benefit.
You have learned to fight as a pack and have become more adept at working together in both in and out of combat situations. When using the Aid Another ability you may add your wisdom modifier to the bonus you give to the character you aid.

You also gain a +1 to hit and damage when adjacent to an ally, even if that ally does not threaten the opponent you are attacking. You do not count as
your own ally for the purpose of this ability.

Normal.
When using the Aid Another action you confer only a +2 bonus to your ally.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Pack-Mentality as one if it would be beneficial.
Hunter's Instinct. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll.

Benefit.
You have trained your snout-like nose to more efficiently sense your prey. You gain the Scent ability with a 30 ft. radius.

In addition, you always treat Survival, Listen, and Spot as class skills.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Hunter's Instinct as one if it would be beneficial.
Ceaseless Cackle [Racial] - Written and contributed by the brilliant Temotei. Much thanks!
Prerequisite.
Gnoll.

Benefit.
When you laugh, it's almost impossible to stop you. As a swift action, you can start laughing, cackling like a hyena. Any foe within 30 feet that can hear you is sickened. A successful DC 10 + 1/2 Hit Dice + your Wisdom modifier Will save negates this condition. You continue to laugh for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier and any foe who comes within 30 feet of you during this time is sickened unless it succeeds on its Will save. You can do this once per day. For every three Hit Dice you gain beyond the first, you can begin a ceaseless cackle once more per day.

Normal.
Your heinous giggle is creepy, but not nearly as potent in combat.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Ceaseless Cackle as one if it would be beneficial.
Gnoll Ferocity. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll.

Benefit.
Your natural ferocity grows in strength. You gain two natural claw attacks that do 1d6 slashing damage each, as well as a natural bite attack that deals 1d8 piercing damage. This damage increases or increases accordingly if the Gnoll's size changes.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Gnoll Ferocity as one if it would be beneficial.
Improved Gnoll Ferocity. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll. Character level 6th or higher. Must have the Gnoll Ferocity feat.

Benefit.
You become even more ferocious, learning to efficiently chase and maul your foes. Your land speed increases by 10 ft. You also gain the ability to Pounce, allowing you to make a full-attack at the end of a charge. However, if you Pounce then you may only attack with natural attacks during your full-attack.

Yes, I realize that the ability to Pounce is very powerful. But it's also a vital ability to have on any sort of martial character and I'm sick of seeing every single melee character dip a level of Spirit-totem Barbarian.
Normal.
You may not make a full-attack at the end of a charge.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Improved Gnoll Ferocity as one if it would be beneficial.
Peerless Gnoll Ferocity. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll. Character level 12th. Must have the Gnoll Ferocity and the Improved Gnoll Ferocity feats.

Benefit.
Your ferocity is virtually unparalleled. You have been known to latch onto your prey, viciously clawing at them until they fall. Your natural attacks from all [racial] feats increase in damage as if you were one size larger, you may also make rend attacks with your two hind claws if both foreclaws connect.

In addition, if an opponent takes damage from your rend effect it takes an additional 1 damage on each subsequent turn, from loss of blood. This effect continues until it receives medical attention or is subject to a [healing] effect. Creatures immune to blood loss are immune to this extra damage.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Peerless Gnoll Ferocity as one if it would be beneficial.
Primordial Ferocity. [Racial]
Prerequisite.
Gnoll. Character level 18th or higher. Must have the Gnoll Ferocity, Improved Gnoll Ferocity, and Peerless Gnoll Ferocity feats.

Benefit.
Your utter savagery, brutality, and viciousness has caused you to regress towards an almost animal-like state. Your mind is so foreign to civilised folk that you gain the effects of the Mind Blank spell, rendering you immune to mind-affecting abilities.

You also gain the Wild Empathy ability as a Druid of your level, however you treat the key ability score of your wild empathy check as be wisdom rather than charisma.

Your darkvision range doubles, bringing it to a distance of 120 ft. If you have the scent ability it's area also doubles.

Finally, all your natural attacks increase in damage as if you were a size larger than you actually are.

Special.
Despite not being a [Fighter] feat, Gnolls may treat Primordial Ferocity as one if it would be beneficial.

- - -

Conclusion.
I wish to note that the Lesser Gnoll is supposed to be a powerful race, at least on par with the likes of the Human, Whisper Gnome (http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/ex/20040807a&page=3), or Strongfoot halfling. So if this race seems overpowered compared to something like half-orcs or half-elves, that's not a problem.

Many thanks to Gnorman and his excellent Malamundas (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=141597) project, from which I drew many of the abilites used for my gnoll feats.

Cheiromancer
2013-07-29, 06:03 PM
A couple of things.

I love the feats! But why you don't just declare them to be fighter bonus feats? You might also make an ACF for Gnoll Rangers to let them pick gnoll-only feats instead of combat styles.

I agree with you about the Spirit-totem Barbarian dip. But isn't 6th level kind of late to get it? Again I think I'd go with a Ranger ACF. Give up your animal companion to get the +10 speed and pouncing ability.

You have an extra apostrophe in the caption "it closes in on its prey." When used as a possessive it is like "his", not "he's".

The -2 penalty with manufactured weapons really seems odd. Usually the lesser version of a savage race is more civilized. Having them be less able to use tools seems something that a feral version of a race would have.

Maybe give them more skill penalties? Make them illiterate like a barbarian? (They retain illiteracy until they spend 2 skill points or else take a level in a class that doesn't have a good BAB.)

Blueiji
2013-07-29, 06:46 PM
I love the feats! But why you don't just declare them to be fighter bonus feats? You might also make an ACF for Gnoll Rangers to let them pick gnoll-only feats instead of combat styles.

I originally had them as fighter bonus feats, but then it occurred to me that they don't exactly feel like fighter bonus feats, more like "combat feats that gnolls would get". I'm not sure if that makes sense. I'll probably change it.


I agree with you about the Spirit-totem Barbarian dip. But isn't 6th level kind of late to get it? Again I think I'd go with a Ranger ACF. Give up your animal companion to get the +10 speed and pouncing ability.

Most melee characters don't actually get use out of pounce until 6th level, when they get their first iterative attack. I didn't want Gnolls to be pouncing from level one when nobody else can.


You have an extra apostrophe in the caption "it closes in on its prey." When used as a possessive it is like "his", not "he's".

It shall be fixed, thanks for tipping me off. I'm actually surprised you didn't find more errors.


The -2 penalty with manufactured weapons really seems odd. Usually the lesser version of a savage race is more civilized. Having them be less able to use tools seems something that a feral version of a race would have. Maybe give them more skill penalties? Make them illiterate like a barbarian? (They retain illiteracy until they spend 2 skill points or else take a level in a class that doesn't have a good BAB.)

I guess I just wanted to give them some sort of disadvantage, considering all the other strengths of the race. I like the idea of making them illiterate though, I'll change the penalty to that.

- - -

Thanks for the PEACH, it really helps me improve my work and I greatly appreciate it. :smallsmile:

EDIT: Also, I think I'm going to take you up on your idea to make racial substitution levels for this race. I'm currently considering racial substitution levels for ranger, totemist, and cleric.

Blueiji
2013-07-30, 02:25 AM
Update. Edited the prerequisites on the Primordial Ferocity to make it easier to qualify for. Also rearranged the order of the feats.

Cheiromancer
2013-07-30, 06:57 AM
With all these juicy feats, the gnoll characters are going to want to take fighter levels. I wonder if levels of a Paragon class might be a good way to get a feat or two. A few minor benefits could be put in as well. The features that are currently feats might also be granted through a prestige class.

As is, I think your feats might be too good. Primordial Ferocity, for instance. The mind blank ability is, I believe, appropriate for the level (I'd put it at character level 15, myself), but you throw in three other significant benefits besides. And it's (effectively) a fighter bonus feat, which makes it easy to pick up.

The fact that Primordial Ferocity has three prerequisite feats don't really balance it. If the prerequisite feats were Toughness, Great Fortitude and Dodge then it would be a different story, but all the Gnoll Ferocity feats give great benefits. I really think that these abilities would fit better in a prestige class.

[edit] I miscalculated the character level for a continuous mind blank effect. I'd peg it at character level 17. Which means folks would likely take it at level 18.

Temotei
2013-07-30, 02:02 PM
Alternatively, you could just have the feats be racial feats and give them a bonus racial feat chosen from that list rather than a bonus fighter feat.

~Corvus~
2013-07-30, 07:56 PM
I think the idea is to give the gnolls bonus fighter feats, but also make the Gnoll feats available if so desired. Very cool!

A -2 Int penalty is more balanced than -2 Cha, if only from a balance standpoint that Charisma is most frequently the best melee dump stat: furthermore, it makes even less of an impact upon a lesser Gnoll whose racial bonus to Intimidate more than makes up for its stat hit. The charisma hit is only an issue if the race wants to play a Cleric, and only barely.

Blueiji
2013-07-30, 10:19 PM
With all these juicy feats, the gnoll characters are going to want to take fighter levels. I wonder if levels of a Paragon class might be a good way to get a feat or two. A few minor benefits could be put in as well. The features that are currently feats might also be granted through a prestige class.

I agree with you wholeheartedly, Gnolls could really use some support if they want to get their paws (punny!) on all these feats. I think I'll handle this via racial substitution levels like the ones in the Races of ___ series though.


The fact that Primordial Ferocity has three prerequisite feats don't really balance it. If the prerequisite feats were Toughness, Great Fortitude and Dodge then it would be a different story, but all the Gnoll Ferocity feats give great benefits. I really think that these abilities would fit better in a prestige class.

Unless you're a fighter or a human you'll only be getting about 7 feats over your whole career. Obtaining Primordial Ferocity currently requires more than half or those feats, plus martial characters need all the help they can get.


I miscalculated the character level for a continuous mind blank effect. I'd peg it at character level 17. Which means folks would likely take it at level 18.

Well the feat requires at least character level 18th anyway, so that seems to work out fine.


Alternatively, you could just have the feats be racial feats and give them a bonus racial feat chosen from that list rather than a bonus fighter feat.

I really like this idea, but I'd like Gnolls to be able to pick generic [Fighter] feats rather than only the gnoll feats. I'll try to find a way to implement this suggestion without limiting freedom of feat choice.


I think the idea is to give the gnolls bonus fighter feats, but also make the Gnoll feats available if so desired.

In the "special" section of each of the gnoll feats it states that they are treated as [fighter] feats, so a Gnoll actually can take them at first level.


A -2 Int penalty is more balanced than -2 Cha, if only from a balance standpoint that Charisma is most frequently the best melee dump stat: furthermore, it makes even less of an impact upon a lesser Gnoll whose racial bonus to Intimidate more than makes up for its stat hit. The charisma hit is only an issue if the race wants to play a Cleric, and only barely.

I think of Gnolls as a race with a really wide breadth of skills. A Gnollish hunter would want hide, move silently, survival, listen, spot, knowledge (nature). Not to mention physical skills such as jump, climb, swim, or tumble. Because of this I didn't want to given them an INT penalty, as they need as many skill points as possible.

Perhaps I could move the positive bonus elsewhere? A DEX or CON bonus would be less potent but still fitting fluff-wise.

~Corvus~
2013-07-31, 02:32 AM
Con bonus and Cha hit works. I would also bite on the Neanderthal stat bonuses: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex -2 Cha. Seeing that Gnolls get +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int -2 Cha I think Str makes the most sense to give a plus to.

Blueiji
2013-07-31, 04:37 PM
Con bonus and Cha hit works. I would also bite on the Neanderthal stat bonuses: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Dex -2 Cha. Seeing that Gnolls get +4 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int -2 Cha I think Str makes the most sense to give a plus to.

If I gave them a STR bonus in addition to their CON bonus what do your recommend I give a penalty to?

~Corvus~
2013-07-31, 07:04 PM
If I gave them a STR bonus in addition to their CON bonus what do your recommend I give a penalty to?

As I just stated, my recommendations are -2 Dex and -2 Cha to balance out Str and Con. The idea here is that a penalty to both a mental and a physical stat is more meaningful than a marginal penalty to just a mental stat. These stats are similar to the Neanderthal (Frostburn pg 40), which gets, again, +2 Str and Con and -2 to Dex and Cha.

Blueiji
2013-07-31, 07:14 PM
As I just stated, my recommendations are -2 Dex and -2 Cha to balance out Str and Con. The idea here is that a penalty to both a mental and a physical stat is more meaningful than a marginal penalty to just a mental stat. These stats are similar to the Neanderthal (Frostburn pg 40), which gets, again, +2 Str and Con and -2 to Dex and Cha.

Oh I see, I'm just not sure I can get behind a dexterity penalty. There favored class is Ranger after all, and both two-weapon fighting and archery depend on good dexterity scores to qualify for feats.

I think I'll leave it at one penalty and one bonus.

Maybe there could be a subrace (such as Arctic Gnolls) that have a dexterity penalty in exchange for a strength bonus.

~Corvus~
2013-07-31, 07:46 PM
This well-constructed and excellently re-worked race already has a considerable list of boons as far as skill bonuses, feat support, and potential paths. The standard Gnolls get an Int hit, so if you aren't willing to hit Int, I'd strongly suggest giving it +2 Con and -2 Cha. As those scores stand, the Gnoll gains considerable benefit at a marginal cost.

For other non-LA races that have +2 Strength, look here..
Half-Orcs get the most screwed at +2 Con, +2 Str, -2 Int -2 Cha.
Earth Dwarves get +2 Str, +2 Con and -2 Dex -2 Cha.
Wood Elves get +2 Str, +2 Dex and -2 Int, -2 Con.
Ah, my apologies! The Neanderthal is +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Int and -2 Dex.
Various Shifter sub-races effectively get +2 Str, +2 Dex and -2 Int, -2 Cha
Feral-Kind Cyclops get +2 Con +2 Str -2 Dex -2 Int
Darfellans get +2 Str -2 Dex

You're going to have to give up something for that Str bonus if you want it. If not Dex or Int, you'll need to take out of Wis or Con, but something tells me Con is a no-no? :smalltongue:

Temotei
2013-07-31, 08:17 PM
You're going to have to give up something for that Str bonus if you want it. If not Dex or Int, you'll need to take out of Wis or Con, but something tells me Con is a no-no? :smalltongue:

He already said he's leaving it at one bonus, though. :smallconfused:

Also, half-orcs get +2 Strength, not +2 Constitution.

~Corvus~
2013-08-01, 05:10 AM
Hah caught me there Herp derp

Temotei
2013-08-01, 11:04 AM
Hah caught me there Herp derp

Hehe. :smallbiggrin:

I've got something. Not something particularly good, probably, but something. :smalltongue: Feel free to change it as much as you like.

Ceaseless Cackle [Racial]
You laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh...
Prerequisites: Gnoll.
Benefit: When you laugh, it's almost impossible to stop you. As a swift action, you can start laughing, cackling like a hyena. Any foe within 30 feet that can hear you is sickened. A successful DC 10 + 1/2 Hit Dice + your Wisdom modifier Will save negates this condition. You continue to laugh for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier and any foe who comes within 30 feet of you during this time is sickened unless it succeeds on its Will save. You can do this once per day. For every three Hit Dice you gain beyond the first, you can begin a ceaseless cackle once more per day.
Special: Gnolls and lesser gnolls may treat Ceaseless Cackle as a fighter feat if it would be beneficial.

Cheiromancer
2013-08-01, 12:12 PM
Gnolls and lesser gnolls may treat [this feat] as a fighter feat if it would be beneficial.

I don't remember why these feats are not simply fighter bonus feats. They all have Gnoll in the prerequisites, don't they? And while I'm at it, can't we just say once and for all that lesser gnolls count as gnolls for the purpose of feats? Or is this not the case? (Favored enemies and such?)

Temotei
2013-08-01, 12:14 PM
I don't remember why these feats are not simply fighter bonus feats. They all have Gnoll in the prerequisites, don't they? And while I'm at it, can't we just say once and for all that lesser gnolls count as gnolls for the purpose of feats? Or is this not the case? (Favored enemies and such?)

I'd just give them gnoll blood (as per the orc blood and elven blood half-orcs and half-elves get, respectively). That's a sound plan.

Blueiji
2013-08-02, 02:26 AM
Hehe. :smallbiggrin:

I've got something. Not something particularly good, probably, but something. :smalltongue: Feel free to change it as much as you like.

Ceaseless Cackle [Racial]
You laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh and laugh...
Prerequisites: Gnoll.
Benefit: When you laugh, it's almost impossible to stop you. As a swift action, you can start laughing, cackling like a hyena. Any foe within 30 feet that can hear you is sickened. A successful DC 10 + 1/2 Hit Dice + your Wisdom modifier Will save negates this condition. You continue to laugh for a number of rounds equal to 3 + your Constitution modifier and any foe who comes within 30 feet of you during this time is sickened unless it succeeds on its Will save. You can do this once per day. For every three Hit Dice you gain beyond the first, you can begin a ceaseless cackle once more per day.
Special: Gnolls and lesser gnolls may treat Ceaseless Cackle as a fighter feat if it would be beneficial.

I absolutely LOVE this. I'm going to add it to the opening post with a note that you wrote it.


I don't remember why these feats are not simply fighter bonus feats. They all have Gnoll in the prerequisites, don't they? And while I'm at it, can't we just say once and for all that lesser gnolls count as gnolls for the purpose of feats? Or is this not the case? (Favored enemies and such?)

My reasoning is that although many Gnoll fighters will learn these feats they're not inherently [Fighter] feats, they just don't have the right feel. This probably sounds ridiculous, and if it bothers enough people I'll change it.


I'd just give them gnoll blood (as per the orc blood and elven blood half-orcs and half-elves get, respectively). That's a sound plan.

Good plan, I shall implement it immediately.

Temotei
2013-08-02, 01:52 PM
I absolutely LOVE this. I'm going to add it to the opening post with a note that you wrote it.

Glad you like it. I also like the "Normal: ..." addition. :smalltongue:

Blueiji
2013-08-02, 10:53 PM
Glad you like it. I also like the "Normal: ..." addition. :smalltongue:

I'm glad you dig it. :smallsmile: