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The Origin of the Gnoll (again)

Andrew D. Gable

First Post
Something that's been bothering me: all these other sources that use gnolls. There's a Mage Knight gnoll figure, there's miniatures, gnolls are in practically every video game... now I seriously doubt all those people are going to pay royalties to DnD. I mean, how hard is it to create a doggish humanoid and just give it a differnet name? All of which implies to me that there has to be some folkloric, or similarly public domain, derivation of the term and creature. Danged if I can figure what it is, though.
 

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jonesy

A Wicked Kendragon
I faintly remember it having something to do with
celtic folklore, but can't find the reference anymore.
 

Skade

Explorer
No reference to hyenas in African myths? Were hyenas able to mimic voices, and maybe take shapes? Were there half hyena figures? I have no clue, simply conjecture. ;)
 



mistergone

First Post
Not so interesting piece of trivia that had no bearing on anyone's life... I don't have gnolls in my campaign world. I figured, a long time ago, that since Dragonlance didn't have orcs, I would cut out gnolls. That's pretty much my sole reasoning. Net effect on my game world? None. Importance? None. Just thought I'd share.
 

Gez

First Post
hellbender said:
Some say, Lord Dunsany, as there are muderous creatures called 'gnoles' in the following

While we're on useless trivia, "gnole" is French slang for cheap, low-quality, wine.

But usually, excessive consumption of gnole makes you see pink winged elephants, not hyenae-men.
 

diaglo

Adventurer
jester47 said:
Ah yes I remember now someone said it was a short passing reference in Lord Dunsany's works.

Aaron.

and you will find the works of several authors referenced in the 1ed books. Lord Dunsany being one of them.

well not really referenced. but suggested reading. ;)
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Okay!

Here's the story:

I made up "gnoll" thinking of it as a cross between a gnome and a troll, and I think the name first appeared in a really bad novel I was writing, The Gnome Cache, part of which was serialized in DRAGON Magazine way back when.

I wanted to expand the humanoids list to match PC levels, so I altered the gnoll to fit into that list after hobgoblin and before bugbear.

The name is not drawn from any mythology, folklore, or authored work of fiction--although Dunsany's "gnole" is close. The description and stats are unique. IMO WotC could indeed claim it as unique to them.

Cheers,
Gary
 



Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Aeolius said:


Which further muddies my gnorts (gnoll-troll crossbreed) :D

Speaking of which, I never did publish the description and stats for a "thoul"...a troll-ghoul. It was listed as an encounter in the first edition of D&D, but thereafter it sort of got lost. Recently someone was asking, and I sound my notes on the critter, gave them the synopsis.

What a fun and nasty beastie the thoul is!

Cheers,
Gary
 

alsih2o

First Post
Col_Pladoh said:


Recently someone was asking, and I sound my notes on the critter, gave them the synopsis.

What a fun and nasty beastie the thoul is!

Cheers,
Gary

let us in! post them here for enworld goodness! please!
 

Col_Pladoh said:
Okay!

Here's the story:

I made up "gnoll" thinking of it as a cross between a gnome and a troll

Cheers,
Gary

Good to know but takes the fun out of it. Kinda like learning there was no Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy....
 

Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Thoul

Okay, happy to share;)

Note I changed the name to tr'oul (ter-OOL), as I thought "thoul" was too ordinary...

Tr’oul
4+2 HD
AC 6
Regenerate 1 HP/round
Not harmed by holy water.
Sunlight harms at 1 HP/round, not regenerated, healed at 1/day

Paralyze by touch, one such attack per new opponent--success 21-40 rounds of paralysis.
Turn as ghasts +1
Damage 2 x 2d4 for claws
 

Aeolius

Adventurer
All this talk of hybrids has me thinking. Green Ronin is coming out with "Bastards & Bloodlines", while Mongoose Publishing's "Encyclopaedia Arcane: Crossbreeding" is in the works. As crossbreeding beasties is somewhat a hobby of mine, I'll be taking a gander at both.

I suppose I'll take another look at my trogres, a troll-ogre crossbreed, in particular the aquatic kresh, offspring of a marine merrow and scrag. Add to that the bakaruda (a koalinth/sahuagin hybrid), my half-krakens (the sykraken and krakidan), and the opinaku (children of sea elves and weresharks).

It goes without saying that my Night Hag Family Tree is chock full o' hybrids. No gnomes in there, just yet, though I did make the dark creeper a night hag/derro crossbreed. A night hag and svirfneblin... hrmmm..... :D
 

Gez

First Post
Here's what the CC crew made of the Thoul:

But they tied the beasts to hobgoblins, rather than trolls and ghouls... :(

Arcane experimentation by hobgoblin loremasters ages ago produced the bizarre hybrid race known as the thouls. It is assumed that the loremasters wanted to create a race of bodyguards that had the discipline of a hobgolin, the power and regenerative properties of a troll, and the paralyzing touch of a ghoul. What they got instead was a pitiful, pained creature that, although quite capable of filling the role of bodyguard, was nowhere near as powerful as the hobgoblin kings had hoped.

From a distance of greater than 10 feet a thoul closely resembles a hobgoblin; it takes a Spot check (DC 15) or previous experience with hobgoblins to tell the difference. A thoul’s skin is slightly greener and lumpier than that of a hobgoblin, and its nose is long and hooked—no doubt these features are holdovers from its trollish aspects. The eyes of a thoul have no pupils, giving them a stare that is most disconcerting to those not accustomed to them.
Thouls have no language of their own, and speak Goblin.

Some rare thouls know Orc or Common.
 

Aeolius

Adventurer
megamania said:
Good to know but takes the fun out of it. Kinda like learning there was no Santa, Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy....

A powerful fey who lives upon a cloud, in a castle made of children's teeth...now THAT'S an adventure! ;)
 


Col_Pladoh

Gary Gygax
Likely I should have added this:

A few months back I was DMing for a group that wanted to explore the original Greyhawk Castle dungeons. They got lost and ended up on "The Crypts" level. There they met and dealt pretty handily with some ghouls, but then the tr'ouls nearby entered the fray. Both their cleric and mage failed their saves vs. paralysis, and thus the denizens of the place were soon feasting on fresh adventurers...saving the largest which they set aside to properly age :eek:

Cheers,
Gary
 
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