D&D General Have you ever had a Gnoll PC?

Have you had a Gnoll PC before?

  • I did/do in 5E

    Votes: 4 5.6%
  • A friend did/does in 5E

    Votes: 3 4.2%
  • I did/do in a previous edition

    Votes: 17 23.6%
  • A friend did/does in a previous edition

    Votes: 16 22.2%
  • Nope, never temptrd

    Votes: 23 31.9%
  • My friends never did either

    Votes: 18 25.0%
  • I wasn't tempted before, but now that they say no...

    Votes: 1 1.4%
  • Eww, yuck

    Votes: 9 12.5%
  • Gnolls? Is that a Gnome/Troll hybrid?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I love Gnolls, but haven't played one

    Votes: 14 19.4%


You could say I have a fondness for them. A recurring NPC in most of my books is the gnoll sage, Fleabag. Kinda like my version of Volo lol





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I played a gnoll fighter as an NPC helping the party in one of my school campaigns. She was out for revenge against the rival pirates who took out her ship. Memorable character - she had no toes, having lost them fending off sharks before the party pulled her from the water. That campaign is set on Exandria, and gnolls aren't necessarily bloodthirsty monsters.

In any case, I don't care what the MM says about alignment or what a creature's behaviours are supposed to be - I give them whatever character traits I want. I would be fine with a player choosing to play as a gnoll - doesn't seem inherently different from tabaxi, kenku, tortle, or any of the other playable animal folk.
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Victoria Rules
Through a series of remarkable rolls on my "Other" species table, a player in a previous campaign of mine had a Gnoll PC.

Did pretty well, too, though he probably set the record for the most species changes by a single character. Started as a Gnoll, then got turned to a Hobgoblin by some curse or other, then picked up the Axe of the Dwarven Lords which over a few months turned him into a Dwarf, then somehow ended up becoming Human...I think.


Staff member
I never have, but I’d be cool with it.

I actually had Gnolls as a major player race in a post apocalyptic homebrew I was designing, in part because of the Wolfen & Gnoll minis in Rackham’s Confrontation miniatures wargame*, such as:



* It was similar enough to WotC‘s Chainmail that at one point, I was slowly translating stat cards from Confrontation’s French language & metric units to Chainmail’s English & Imperial units.
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I am toying with a gnoll replacement (more along the lines of Runequest's broo, which operate in the same thematic space) and making it a playable ancestry in Shadowdark, although it would be one of the "uncorrupted" tribes, rather than evil demon-worshipping ones.

Doesn't Kobold Press have gnolls available as a PC race in their Southlands setting?

Correct. Specifically the Southlands Player's Guide.

There's a playable option for gnolls in DM Guild material for Eberron by Keith Baker. Exploring Eberron specifically, given they can run the gamut of alignments like most other creatures in that world.

Midgard gnolls are a martially-inclined race (+2 strength for main race, +1 to Constitution, Wisdom, or Charisma based on subrace) and their default race and subraces get a variety of things, usually related to surviving in a harsh land. Like advantage on scent-based perception checks, bonus speed when taking the Disengage action, resistance to fire damage and going for longer without water, etc.

Eberron gnolls have no subraces and are a bit more limited in being physical fighters (+2 Consitution and either +1 Strength or Dexterity). They get a bite attack, bonus proficiency in a hunting-related skill, and can bonus action move and attack whenever they reduce someone to 0 hit points or bite someone.

Both gnolls have darkvision 60 feet, but personally speaking the Midgard gnolls feel they can reflect a wider type of character concepts. The bonuses to Wisdom/Charisma are very nice to war clerics/paladins/rangers, they get double proficiency to certain social or survival skills under the right situation (like bullying someone obviously outmatched or weaker than you with Intimidation, or Survival when scavenging food and water). Eberron gnolls is good if...you like to bite people and want an easy means of a bonus action attack, I guess. But when compared to other natural weapon users like minotaur (shoving horns) and tabaxi (double speed) they don't have as cool features.

I've always had a soft spot for gnolls, though have never had the chance to play one. There was a brief phase in (I think) the 90s when, in the absence of half-orcs in the PHB, it looked like gnolls were being set up to be a new 'monster' PC race that didn't have all the baggage of orcs or goblinoids. David Cook wrote a novel to that effect I think - Soldiers of Ice. One of the better earlyish FR reads.

Hmmm, that sounds pretty interesting. Kind of makes you wonder about the D&Ds that could've been...


In my 4E barbarian tribe game one of my players had a gnoll PC that was partnered with another player playing a Shifter. We just ignored the 'demon-worshipper' part of the traditional gnoll lore.


Yeah, we had one way back in 2nd Ed days. Like most of our characters back then, he didn't last long - our campaigns tended to cycle fast.

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