Half-Gnoll (5e Race)

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Half-gnolls are brutal and merciless, capable of any form of deceit and lacking any real honor, Products of a profane ritual on the newly born children of non-gnoll slaves, half-gnolls are raised in a society where they are not as strong or as big as their peers. Yet, they are expected to be the harbingers of their dark god and thus perform just as well, if not better than regular gnolls. They rarely know of love and affection in this kind of environment.

Physical Description[edit]

Most half-gnolls are large, muscular beastmen with wild fur and yellowed teeth, reminiscent of the hyena gnolls. Many half-gnolls have monstrously large canine eyes and snouts like a hyena, which end with a human nose and pink lips. They are shorter and stockier humanoid creatures, resembling more traditional humanoids like dwarves, or monstrous kinda like goblinoids and the like. But thick fur covers their backs and forearms. In addition to their gnoll-like snouts, they sport wicked claws capable of dealing horrific damage. Half-gnolls typically possess black or red-tinged eyes. They prefer to garb themselves in looted trinkets and trophies from past conquests. While their armor and gear is well-maintained and can consist of any grade of technology, it tends an archaic fashion. They tend to be attached to age-old gear that’s served them well over a newer, finer piece of work.


The half-gnolls are born into brutality, whether wrought on them by the harsh realities of their life or by them on others. Non-gnoll slaves, usually humans, who give birth to children will often have their newborns stripped away to be offerings to Yeenoghu. The ensuing ritual creates an abomination of human and gnoll ancestry: a half-gnoll. Others are conceived via violent rape by a gnoll. Either way, they are born into a violent and unforgiving place of brutality. Little else is noted about their becoming, since they often run with gnolls and so are conflated with them generally. It is believed they attributed to many of the events of savagery that razed Cormanthor and the surrounding areas, driving tons of people to become refugees. They are as hated and feared as true gnolls.

There are stories of defectors among them. As they are not true gnolls, there is a degree to which they are not bound to the pack. Such dissonance can make them think long and hard about what they do, and question their lives of violence. This can result in the unthinkable: desertion. While rare, half-gnolls have appeared in other societies, seemingly wanting to change. Many take up the work of the god Ilmater, trying to help others with their suffering after having dealt it for so long.


Even though these monsters act and live with gnolls, they seem capable of thinking with human intelligence. Rare as they are, they are mainly seen around the Phlan and Moonsea regions, though it is likely they are disseminated throughout the ranks of gnolls moving about in conquest. Like the yuan-ti, they have no concept of honor in battle, and will resort to any brutal tactics to win and dominate. Beginning life as a waif, half-gnolls take to the hunting and fighting lessons of their elders with a predatory gusto. As they are smaller than regular gnolls, this earns them respect, and enables them to take positions of leadership, despite whatever their age and gender may be. They often lead the warbands in raids and the like, gaining notoriety. Some end up leaving for extreme reasons—most notably exile or a personal search for loot and personal power.


Half-gnolls are noted for their cruelty streak, enjoying violence to a disproportionate amount even for a gnoll. They gleefully engage in raids and looting, spending every moment they can preparing for the next one as they go about their lives vying for power and influence in the warband. Stubborn and bull-headed, half-gnolls only respect those more powerful than they, and even then only grudgingly. It is believed their love for savagery is due to their need to survive and exist in an environment that demands it. Thus, they bury whatever humanity they may have in bloodshed. They embody a zeal that even the bloodlust of normal gnolls cannot fully rival.

They are rarely raised with knowledge of their forebears. If they ever discovered their origins, it might affect them in unknown ways, like possibly shattering their entire life-view and driving them away from their tribe. They are not incapable of introspection, going as far as seeking out a new purpose as they attempt to make right their wrongs. A half-gnoll who realizes it’s a mutation of a union of slaves often is so wracked with guilt that they spend the rest of their lives trying to “make right” their very existence, casting aside their ties to their kin and often fighting against gnoll’s plans with a zealous effort.

Otherwise, they tend to be dismissive of the “lesser beings” and can be brutal in their interactions as predatory creatures, usually only engaging in contact with non-gnolls in a war-like fashion and rarely for anything else. These gnolls leave their clans on quests for personal power because either their pride has been insulted or they have wronged the clan. They seek to repair their pride by becoming powerful and returning to the clan to seek a source of leadership. This may lead to a change in the half-gnolls worldviews and result in a changing of their quest as they get to know the “lesser beings” and sometimes end up empathizing with their plight.

Half-Gnoll Names[edit]

Half-Gnolls always start off with gnoll names. If they choose to defect and gain a change of heart, they may shed those names in favor of a human one.

Male: Drazz, Kyrg, Ak, Thrukken, Iziz

Female: Syhr, Ur, Dohr, Bho, Hihr

Neutral: Zaa, Srack, Golkulh, On, Garcu

Surnames: Gunknail, Dirtwizzle, Goldpaw, Failfinch, Fizzgrin

Changed Names: Clements, Mercy, Jonah, Isaac, Ophelia

Half-Gnoll Traits[edit]

Abominations of human and gnoll ancestry
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Age. Half-gnolls mature at the age of 20 and don't get much older than 55.
Alignment. They tend to be chaotic, and are more often neutral than not.
Size. Half-gnolls are about the same size and weight as ordinary gnolls. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. Thanks to your gnoll heritage, you can see in the dark. 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..
Claws. Your wicked claws are like talons to be used in unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier.
Gnoll Weapon Training. You are proficient with spears and longbows.
Iron Will. You are a stubborn creature born of scavengers. When you are reduced to 0 hit points but not killed outright, you can drop to 1 hit point instead. You can't use this feature again until you finish a long rest.
Hounding Advance. You never stop pursuit of enemies. When a creature within 5 feet of you moves out of range, you may expend your reaction to move up to a number of feet equal to your movement speed to follow them. This counts towards your movement on your next turn.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Gnoll.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

6′ 8'' +2d6 210 lb. × (2d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

d6 Quirks/character traits
1 I panic at the slightest bit of noise in quiet places, because I'm scared it's someone who wants to kill me.
2 I always cover my face, even when I am with people I trust.
3 Hyenas constantly follow me.
4 I worship Ilmater and constantly ramble on about how great he is.
5 In battle, my gnoll side takes over and I brutally murder my enemies.
6 I get along well with dogs and wolves.

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