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    Default [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Dreavarrian Gnoll
    "I don't care what you heard about Jakka and me. Maybe he barked up his last job, and maybe I punished 'im for it, and maybe I didn't. The important thing is this: you hurt one of my boys, and now I'm going to kill all of yours."

    When the average denizen of Dreavarr thinks of a thug or a brute, they're usually thinking of a gnoll. In the long shadows of soot-streaked slums, they cut an imposing image - fur braided with gang talismans, muzzles streaked through with ash and blood, eyes narrow and suspicious. Their short tempers and extended pack mentality mean that outbreaks of violence in gnoll-dominated neighborhoods are fairly common - but also fairly nonlethal, once dominance is established.

    No legends recount how gnolls came to Dreavarr, and this is probably due in part to the significant discrimination gnolls face. Treated as little more than animals, they fall into criminal habits almost without thinking about it, forced to crawl into the dregs of society just to put food on the table. Joining or forming gangs only reinforces their extended pack mentality, which further fuels the stereotypes that surround them. Thankfully, some gnolls do manage to rise above their circumstances, usually through exceptional military service, and these few can serve as a beacon of hope that they may, one day, rise above savagery.

    Appearance: Gnolls tend to be tall for humanoids, with slightly hunched bodies covered in thick, shaggy fur. Their faces bear canine muzzles and their fingers end in short, thick claws that, while useless as weapons, have proven useful in maintaining grips on slick or slippery surfaces. Many gnolls choose to braid or style their fur, and many weave gang or religious symbols into theirs. Since many gnolls live lives of violence, they are often found wearing armor, often painted in dark colors to blend in with the city around them.

    Like their cousins on other worlds, gnolls tend to be muscular and somewhat rangy. Their fur and eyes range in color, though they mostly end up getting stained and filthy over the course of a gnoll's life. Gnolls are unlikely to express particular loyalty to their home nations (since all of them more-or-less treat them like vermin), but almost always show solidarity with friends or companions, even if the gnoll in question doesn't like a particular symbol or practice (leading many of Dreavarr's inhabitants to joke that it's safer to be in prison than it is to be bald and friends with a gnoll).

    Racial Features
    +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. Gnolls are hardy and naturally cunning, but their natural bulk works against them and the prejudices of their societies work against them.

    Medium Humanoid: As Medium creatures, gnolls have no penalties or bonuses associated with their size.

    Base Land Speed: 30 Feet

    Powerful Build (Ex): Gnolls are heavily built with dense muscles packed into their rangy frames; whenever they are subject to a size modifier or special size modifier for an opposed check (such as during grapple checks, bull rush attempts, and trip attempts), they are treated as one size larger if doing so is advantageous to them. They are also considered to be one size larger when determining whether a creature’s special attacks based on size (such as improved grab or swallow whole) can affect them. They can use weapons designed for a creature one size larger without penalty. However, their space and reach remain those of a creature of their actual size.

    Scent (Ex): Gnolls gain the benefit of the scent special quality (see the system reference document or Monster Manual)

    Pack Hunter (Ex): The extended pack mentality most gnolls fall into gives them unparalleled ability to work with their allies. A gnoll gains an additional +2 racial bonus on attack rolls made while flanking and a +1 racial bonus to armor class as long as he is adjacent to an allied creature. Additionally, if a gnoll and one or more of his allies all threaten a creature, they are treated as flanking that creature.

    Vestigial Claws (Ex): A gnoll's claws grant him a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks, as well as any disarm checks the gnoll makes while unarmed.

    Languages: Common, Gnoll. Bonus Languages: Any national, Gutterspeak, Smuggler's Cant, Brattack Code, Old Orcish.

    Favored Class: Warblade.

    Level Adjustment: +0
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2012-04-23 at 08:57 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    "Additionally, a gnoll may treat any and all adjacent allies' threatened space as his own."

    I can see much abuse coming from this, especially if the adjacent ally threatens a LOT of spaces and the Gnoll has a lot of AoO to use or doesn't want to get close to a target enemy, in which case he could just stand behind his widely-threatening ally and attack with melee attacks from several tens of feet away.

    Powerful Build with no Str bonus sounds... unusual.

    I like Vestigial Claws. Nice fluff-crunch connection.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Is the Powerful Build thing a problem, or merely unusual?

    As far as Pack Hunter, I kinda like the idea, but what I'm actually worried about is gnoll-chaining. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it not extend upon itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    Is the Powerful Build thing a problem, or merely unusual?

    As far as Pack Hunter, I kinda like the idea, but what I'm actually worried about is gnoll-chaining. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it not extend upon itself.
    Merely unusual. Every single race with Powerful Build I've seen (both official and homebrew) has had a Str bonus is all.

    As-is, I don't think gnoll-chaining is a problem, if by that you mean people read the ability as "if a bunch of gnolls stand in a line, the one in the back treats the threatened squares of the one in the front as threatened squares of his own".

    I'd be more worried about a gnoll building up to a massive damage non-charge build with an ally building up to have a massive threatened area. What's more, as-is, if an adjacent ally has a reach weapon, the gnoll's threatened area increases even further. And also goes a bit out of whack since he doesn't threatened that ally's adjacent squares anymore (unless said ally has a spiked chain), which, from the common sense perspective, would be really weird if the gnoll is fighting with a pair of clubs.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I think this Dreavarr project is really cool. Finally, the Core races are cool again! I also like the idea of playable gnolls. They always seemed a little more interesting to me than orcs and goblins and I always thought it was a shame that hyena-men didn't get that much love in the original Monster Manual.

    Will flinds be joining them?

    I'd be more worried about a gnoll building up to a massive damage non-charge build with an ally building up to have a massive threatened area. What's more, as-is, if an adjacent ally has a reach weapon, the gnoll's threatened area increases even further. And also goes a bit out of whack since he doesn't threatened that ally's adjacent squares anymore (unless said ally has a spiked chain), which, from the common sense perspective, would be really weird if the gnoll is fighting with a pair of clubs.
    Could you reword it so that they only get the benefit from a fixed number of allies, rather than all of them?

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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    Will flinds be joining them?
    If I could stick a suggestion to that, if racial paragons are a Dreavarr thing, just make Flinds Gnoll Paragons.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    If I could stick a suggestion to that, if racial paragons are a Dreavarr thing, just make Flinds Gnoll Paragons.
    They are not.

    National paragons, however, are.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Flinds don't necessarily need to be a racial or a national paragon, right? Could they be a sub-subrace of the gnolls or a variant or something like that? Although to be honest they're not that big of a deal either way though, right? Gnolls themselves have been fleshed out here to the point where they don't necessarily need a stronger version.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    As far as Pack Hunter, I kinda like the idea, but what I'm actually worried about is gnoll-chaining. I'm trying to figure out a way to make it not extend upon itself.
    Specify the natural reach of the ally (that would also prevent abuse via reach weapons) and say that the added threatened area is not considered natural reach.

    And gnoll chaining definitely is a problem, as anyone standing near the gnoll line can provoke AoOs from an arbitrarily high number of gnolls.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Alright, let's try this wording:

    "Additionally, a gnoll may treat any and all adjacent allies' natural reach as his own whenever it's not his turn. Reach granted by this ability does not count as natural reach."

    It accomplishes what I want it to (threatening, flanking, AoO) elegantly, I do believe.

    I have zero plans to include Flinds.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    That still reads as if it allows them to, say, make an ally of a Great Wyrm Dragon, and then stand behind it and club people in the face from 60 feet away.

    Is it supposed to be just the squares immediately around an ally? "A gnoll threatens all squares immediately around any adjacent allies in addition to his own," or something. That still allows them to club people in the face from 30 feet away with their dragon ally, though. Hm.

    I was also wondering about some of the fluff on the ability adjustments. The intelligence penalty is put down to them having "the prejudices of their societies work against them" - but I'm not sure that gels well with intelligence; it sounds more appropriate for a charisma penalty than anything.

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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Quote Originally Posted by Total Biscuit View Post
    That still reads as if it allows them to, say, make an ally of a Great Wyrm Dragon, and then stand behind it and club people in the face from 60 feet away.

    Is it supposed to be just the squares immediately around an ally? "A gnoll threatens all squares immediately around any adjacent allies in addition to his own," or something. That still allows them to club people in the face from 30 feet away with their dragon ally, though. Hm.

    I was also wondering about some of the fluff on the ability adjustments. The intelligence penalty is put down to them having "the prejudices of their societies work against them" - but I'm not sure that gels well with intelligence; it sounds more appropriate for a charisma penalty than anything.
    I do believe I'll edit the ability to mirror the Island of Blades stance - if the gnoll and an ally both threaten the same target, they're treated as flanking that target. Done, headache resolved.

    With the Intelligence penalty, it has more to do with access to education and opportunity. Money is funneled away from gnoll-dominated neighborhoods; gnolls are expected to do worse in school and often don't bother to show up in the first place. They have to scrap and scrape to get basic utilities like warmth and shelter, get forced or turned out into the streets early and forced to band with the dregs of society. "Gnoll culture", such as it is, undervalues Intelligence because it doesn't have access to the resources it would take to capitalize upon it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [3.5 Subrace] "I realize I look like I'm smiling, but trust me, I'm not."

    Wording on Pack Hunter altered and fix'd.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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