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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    sandmote's Avatar

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    Post Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    This page on the Homebrewery

    These are not based on the demonic style of gnoll from the 5e books. Rather, I took influence from actual hyenas, creating a subrace for each crushing hyena, and a separate race off aardwolves. I did keep rampage and the bite for the gnoll race. My estimate from Detect Balance is 28 for all of them.

    Edits: caught I'd given the aardgnolls spellcasting twice. reduce my detect balance for them to 26, unless I add something to replace the removed second cantrip later.



    Gnolls
    Living in small families or larger packs, gnolls travel the wilderness hunting for prey and trading for the waste of villages they happen across. Gnolls have strong jaws and a strong gut, and will happily eat the parts of an animal those around them can't stomach.

    In villages and cities, gnolls typically work the grimiest jobs available, as they can happily ignore the smells and fumes dealt with by tanners, butchers, and gong farmers.

    However, those unfamiliar with gnolls are often horrified by their mangy appearance, poor smell, and bestial language. Many stereotypes exist of gnolls being disease ridden, cannibalistic, and practitioners of vile forms of magic. One particularly common myth is that gnolls were created from and are driven by demonic influence.

    Ability Score Increase.
    Your Constitution score increases by 2.

    Age
    Gnolls reach adulthood at age 10 and live up to 40 years.

    Bite
    Your fanged maw is a natural weapon, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with it, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.

    Darkvision.
    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.

    Easy Eater
    Gnolls typically eat the scraps of other races, including things too old, tough, or putrid for others to consider edible. You have advantage on saving throws against disease.

    Languages
    You can read, speak, and write Common and Gnoll. Gnoll is a guttural language, filled with whoops, grunts, growls, whines, and laughing sounds. Gnoll uses the same script as common, and is mostly used for practical purposes like marking property and land.

    Necrophage
    As part of a short rest, you can harvest edible scraps from a slain beast, giant, humanoid, or monstrosity of size Small or larger to create one day's worth of food for yourself, without needing to touch any body parts other humanoids consider edible. To use this trait, you need a blade, such as a dagger, or appropriate artisan's tools, such as cook's utensils.

    If a creature other than a gnoll or hyena attempts to eat such a meal, they must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 20 minus your proficiency bonus with cook's utensils. On a successful save the creature eats the meal with no ill effects. On a failed save, the creature becomes sick, gaining one level of exhaustion and vomits, losing the effects of any food eaten within the last hour.

    Size.
    Gnolls are between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. Your size is Medium. Spotted gnolls tend on the larger size of this, while brown gnolls tend slightly smaller than striped gnolls.

    Speed.
    Your base walking speed is 30 feet.

    Rampage.
    When you reduce a creature to 0 hit points with a melee attack on your turn, you can take a bonus action to move up to half your speed and make a bite attack.

    Spotted Gnoll
    Spotted gnolls are the most active hunters among gnolls, and form massive clans that allow them to deal with threats other gnolls would be forced to flee from. Their pelts rnage from a golden color to a light brown, and most have black spots over their backs and shoulders.

    Ability Score Increase.
    Your Intelligence score increases by 1.

    Strong Mockery
    Spotted Gnolls tend to break out in laughter in serious negotiations, which make your allies look good in comparison. When a creature you can see within 30 feet makes a spoken Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion (Charisma) roll directed at a second creature, you can choose to add 1d6 to the result. However, your interference causes you to have disadvantage on Charisma based rolls directed at the creature you did not benefit on the interaction for 1 minute after using this feature.

    Active Hunter
    Spotted Hunters supplement their scavenging with active hunting, and train for this purpose. You can cast the Hunter's Mark spell once with this trait, requiring no material components, and you regain the ability to cast it this way when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for this spell.

    Brown Gnoll
    Rarely chasing down live prey, brown gnolls are nonetheless skilled at close quarters fighting. They are known for their particularly long fur and dark brown pelts. Brown gnolls often live in deserts, allowing the harsh conditions to bring down large creatures they can feast on.

    Ability Score Increase.
    Your Strength score increases by 1.

    Keen Smell.
    You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

    Grasping Jaws
    Whenever you attempt to grapple a creature or escape a grapple you are considered proficient in the Athletics skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus. You can also attempt grapple checks using your jaws.

    Striped Gnoll
    Striped gnolls typically live in smallish clans and supplement their generally weak hunting skills by working with a variety of other creatures. Keeping close track of their home territories they build deeps and elaborate dens to house themselves and their menagerie of hunting companions.

    Ability Score Increase.
    Your Charisma score increases by 1.

    Speak with Predators.
    Striped gnolls are used to working with non-gnolls to hunt, often teaming up with wolves and other local beasts to drive prey and share the spoils. Through sounds and gestures, you may communicate simple ideas with large or smaller beasts that prey or scavenge.

    Lone Survivor
    Striped Gnolls in particular live out in wild and unsettled terrain. You gain proficiency in the Survival skill.

    Feign Death
    When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can automatically became stable as you fall unconscious. While you remain prone in this manner, each creature that observes you must make an Insight (Wisdom) check contested by your Deception (Charisma) roll to determine that you are not dead. At the start of your next turn, and each turn thereafter, you can choose to end the ruse and regain one hit point, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions on the turn you do so.

    Once you have used this feature you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

    Aardgnoll
    Closely Related to gnolls, aardgnolls nonetheless have a fundamentally different form from what most think of as gnolls. Lacking the powerful jaws and strong stomach of gnolls, aardgnolls generally avoid settled areas entirely and do not eat the wide variety of foods gnolls will happily devour. Instead, aardgnolls feast almost entirely on insects, happily harvesting from hives and raising giant insects for food. Due to this pastoral lifestyle aardgnolls are raised with a strong sense of respect for the natural world, protecting natural areas and leaving enough insects from a nest that the nest can recover for another meal.

    Aardgnolls are much smaller than gnolls and have a pelt with thick stripes of black and tan. They also have a large mane standing up over their heads, which makes them appear larger than most races of similar weight.

    Ability Score Increase.
    Your Wisdom score increases by 2, and your Dexterity score increases by 1.

    Age
    Aardgnolls reach adulthood at age 10 and live up to 40 years.

    Darkvision.
    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.

    Natural Forager
    You learn one druid cantrip of your choice. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Goodberry spell once with this trait, requiring no material components, although you produce grubs instead of berries. You regain the ability to cast this when you finish a long rest. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

    Insect Resistance.
    Aardgnolls eat massive amounts of insects, many of which are moderately poisonous. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

    Self Reliance
    Living in the wilderness requires producing for yourself what most poeple simply purchase. You have proficiency with one set of artisan's tools of your choice.

    Size
    Aardgnolls average about 3 feet tall, but usually also have a mane around half a foot tall. Aardgnolls and weigh about 40 pounds. Your size is small.

    Speed
    Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
    Last edited by sandmote; 2020-04-24 at 10:57 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    This is cool and I like how much detail you've included to set your versions apart from 5e's standard Gnolls.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    Strong Mockery
    Spotted Gnolls tend to break out in laughter in serious negotiations. When you make a spoken Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion (Charisma) roll, you can choose to add 1d6 to the result. You can use this feature after you know the results of the roll but before you know the outcome. However, you cannot use this feature the next time you make such a roll and must subtract 1d4 from the result.
    Can you explain what you're trying to convey with this ability? I'm not sure I understand what this is supposed to represent. Mechanically, I think adding to the roll works fine, but the subtraction to a later roll feels a little clunky, especially because the next such roll could occur at a much later time, obligating a player to remember it for however long that may be.


    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post

    Feign Death
    When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can automatically became stable as you fall unconscious. While you remain prone in this manner, each creature that observes you must make an Insight (Wisdom) check contested by your Deception (Charisma) roll to determine that you are not dead. At the start of your next turn, and each turn thereafter, you can regain one hit point and stand up, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions on the turn you do so.
    The part of your quote that I've italicized could be read to mean that if you don't do anything, you can continually regain one hit point at the start of your turn, potentially healing yourself to full hit points over a long period of time. I take it this isn't intended?

  3. - Top - End - #3
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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    I came here hoping but not really expecting "aardnolls" to be aardvark people. I'm so delighted to be wrong. Now I need to find a picture...

    STaRS (and STaRS Lite)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    Grod's Law: You cannot and should not balance bad mechanics by making them annoying to use
    Giants and Graveyards: My collected 3.5 class fixes and more.

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    Post Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    This is cool and I like how much detail you've included to set your versions apart from 5e's standard Gnolls.

    Can you explain what you're trying to convey with this ability? I'm not sure I understand what this is supposed to represent. Mechanically, I think adding to the roll works fine, but the subtraction to a later roll feels a little clunky, especially because the next such roll could occur at a much later time, obligating a player to remember it for however long that may be.

    The part of your quote that I've italicized could be read to mean that if you don't do anything, you can continually regain one hit point at the start of your turn, potentially healing yourself to full hit points over a long period of time. I take it this isn't intended?
    I wanted something to represent laughing at a bad time, given hyenas don't do it in entirely in the same manner as humans.

    Is the following language clearer for the two sections?

    However, the next time you make such a roll before the end of your next long rest you cannot benefit from this feature and must subtract 1d4 from the result.

    At the start of your next turn, and each turn thereafter you can stand up, regaining one hit point as you do so, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions until the start of your next turn.

    Or, if it doesn't make the Spotted gnoll too much stronger than the others I could drop that. But I'd like if someone else ran some figures first.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grod_The_Giant View Post
    I came here hoping but not really expecting "aardnolls" to be aardvark people. I'm so delighted to be wrong. Now I need to find a picture...
    That didn't occur to me, but now that I look at the features I wrote, you could probably just add a small burrow speed to make aardvark people. Aardvarks and aardwolves have very similar diets, and similar habits as a result.

    Unfortunately, I don't currently have a picture for the race. There's a few if you search "aardwolf gnoll," although the best two I could find were either missing the stripes or looked more based on a striped hyena.

  5. - Top - End - #5
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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    I wanted something to represent laughing at a bad time, given hyenas don't do it in entirely in the same manner as humans.

    Is the following language clearer for the two sections?

    However, the next time you make such a roll before the end of your next long rest you cannot benefit from this feature and must subtract 1d4 from the result.

    At the start of your next turn, and each turn thereafter you can stand up, regaining one hit point as you do so, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions until the start of your next turn.

    Or, if it doesn't make the Spotted gnoll too much stronger than the others I could drop that. But I'd like if someone else ran some figures first.
    I'm backing up a moment, here, to figure out where I'd put the gnoll and its subraces with Detect Balance and how these abilities specifically factor into that.

    Base Gnoll
    ASIs - 12 points
    Bite - 1 point
    Darkvision - 3 points
    Easy Eater - 1 point
    Languages - 0 points
    Necrophage - 0 points
    Size - 0 points
    Speed - 0 points
    Rampage - 3 points
    Total: 20 points

    Spotted Gnoll
    Strong Mockery - 2 points
    Active Hunter - 3 points
    Total with base Gnoll: 25 points

    Brown Gnoll
    Keen Smell - 1 point
    Grasping Jaws - 2 points
    Total with base Gnoll: 23 points

    Striped Gnoll
    Speak with Predators - 2 points
    Lone Survivor - 2 points
    Feign Death - 2 points
    Total with base Gnoll: 26 points


    Overall, it looks like I came out a little short of where you pegged them, but now that I've got a better idea on where I think each subrace falls in terms of balance, I can look at these abilities again.



    It sounds like you want Strong Mockery to characterize such a character's potential social gracelessness. I can see why you went with the penalty in that case, but the initial bonus seem a little odd. I do think you're on the right track, but I think we need something that makes a player excited about sticking their foot in their mouth when they use this ability. We also want this balanced at something close to equivalent to proficiency in a skill. What if we took a little inspiration from the Friends cantrip and made it something like this?

    Strong Mockery
    Spotted Gnolls tend to break out in laughter in serious negotiations and make their allies look better by comparison. When a creature you can see within 120 feet makes a spoken Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion (Charisma) roll directed at a second creature, you can choose to add 1d6 to the result. If you do so, the creature the roll is directed at becomes hostile towards you for 1 minute.



    Feign Death likely shouldn't be more than a ribbon ability if you are trying to have parity between the different subraces.

    What are your thoughts on this take? I tried to make the wording more clear on when you could regain health.

    Feign Death
    When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can automatically became stable as you fall unconscious. While you are unconscious, each creature that observes you must make an Insight (Wisdom) check contested by your Deception (Charisma) roll to determine that you are not dead. When you start your turn in such a state, you can choose to end the ruse, and regain one hit point and stand up, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions on the turn you do so.

    Once you have used this feature you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.

  6. - Top - End - #6
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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    Overall, it looks like I came out a little short of where you pegged them, but now that I've got a better idea on where I think each subrace falls in terms of balance, I can look at these abilities again.
    Huh, first time I haven't underestimated racial features. Though, as a ribbon, Necrophage should be worth 1 there. And I'll slap a desert version of the Goliath's Mountain Born on teh brown gnolls, given I weighed Keen Smell at 3.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    It sounds like you want Strong Mockery to characterize such a character's potential social gracelessness. I can see why you went with the penalty in that case, but the initial bonus seem a little odd. I do think you're on the right track, but I think we need something that makes a player excited about sticking their foot in their mouth when they use this ability. We also want this balanced at something close to equivalent to proficiency in a skill. What if we took a little inspiration from the Friends cantrip and made it something like this?

    Strong Mockery
    Spotted Gnolls tend to break out in laughter in serious negotiations and make their allies look better by comparison. When a creature you can see within 120 feet makes a spoken Deception, Intimidation, or Persuasion (Charisma) roll directed at a second creature, you can choose to add 1d6 to the result. If you do so, the creature the roll is directed at becomes hostile towards you for 1 minute.
    "Hostile," is usually treated as applying to both yourself and your companions. I'll replace it with disadvantage. Otherwise this is good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    Feign Death likely shouldn't be more than a ribbon ability if you are trying to have parity between the different subraces.

    What are your thoughts on this take? I tried to make the wording more clear on when you could regain health.

    Feign Death
    When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can automatically became stable as you fall unconscious. While you are unconscious, each creature that observes you must make an Insight (Wisdom) check contested by your Deception (Charisma) roll to determine that you are not dead. When you start your turn in such a state, you can choose to end the ruse, and regain one hit point and stand up, although you cannot take actions or bonus actions on the turn you do so.

    Once you have used this feature you cannot do so again until you finish a long rest.
    That works. I'll add you to the credits.

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    Huh, first time I haven't underestimated racial features. Though, as a ribbon, Necrophage should be worth 1 there. And I'll slap a desert version of the Goliath's Mountain Born on teh brown gnolls, given I weighed Keen Smell at 3.
    Fair point on Necrophage.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    "Hostile," is usually treated as applying to both yourself and your companions. I'll replace it with disadvantage. Otherwise this is good.
    Yeah, that likely works a little bit better.

    Quote Originally Posted by sandmote View Post
    That works. I'll add you to the credits.
    Thanks!


    You've done an excellent job with the rest of the features in supporting Gnoll behavior mechanically. Bite and Rampage make them feel like a predator, while Easy Eater and Necrophage allow them to be an actual scavenger. Each subrace elaborates upon these sort of characteristics, too.

    The only ability I've still got questions about is Feign Death. Where did that come from? Is that actual striped hyena behavior?

    And because I haven't already mentioned it, the Aardgnoll works well. Nothing I'm seeing there that seems out of place. I do find it fun that you'll get to encourage your companions to eat grubs.

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    Bite and Rampage are from the statblocks in the books, so I can't take credit for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Twelvetrees View Post
    The only ability I've still got questions about is Feign Death. Where did that come from? Is that actual striped hyena behavior?
    Based on the information I could find, actual striped hyenas will continue to play dead even as they are begin repeatedly bitten by dogs. Beside that, most of what I found were legends about hyena parts being helpful for romantic endeavors and associations with lycanthropes. Although two interesting bits it that they're considered to have hypnotic abilites in the Arabian peninsula while Mesopotamian hunters claim they won't resist capture while being cajoled in their dens. I'm not interesting in creating an entire race of Casanovas though and am unsure how to make the other legends into mechanical features, so I went with playing dead.

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    Default Re: Gnolls & Aardgnolls (Non-Demonic, PEACH)

    There is a tribe of gnollkind I heard of. They are halfling size and are relentless hunters.
    they are the dreaded...Cor-Gi.

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