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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Feb 2019

    Default Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    I have a cool idea for a homebrew gnoll that I am going to design, but am not sure about the backstory. The idea is to have a gnoll brute type thing, who is much less supernatural, but still incredibly dangerous. It would be so unstable that while out of combat, the other gnolls would keep it in chains. However, I have no idea how it comes to be, without bringing in the supernatural.

    I was originally going to post this under homebrew, but it was less mechanical, so I put it here. If you want an idea of it's stats, it takes inspiration from the dire troll, in it's attack everything near me thing.

    I had originally thought that they would be an elite, but I'm not sure. I also toyed with a gnoll going insane, but I wasn't sure that could work, and the idea of it being a ritual was too supernatural for me. We have enough supernatural gnolls for the moment.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Later on, I should be releasing this in the homebrew section, alongside some other gnolls, who you can actually role-play, rather than being random encounter brutes, as well as a gnoll race, and a conversion of the alchemical golem from the pathfinder 2e bestiary.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

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    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    Hm...

    The gnoll has an infestation of bugs in its head. These bugs nest and lay eggs in parts of the brain, and usually hit the self-control and survival instincts. So, you pretty much end up with a berserker who has no thoughts for survival.

    Alternatively, drugs.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    I'd go with something feindish...

    Since you want to avoid that, this could be something that happens when gnolls eat a troll. The troll keeps trying to regenerate, but the gnolls digestive system is too efficient. End result is these giant, brutal gnolls with diminished mental abilities due to constant pain.

    Or

    A wizard did it. Christ, it worked for owlbears.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Mar 2007

    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    You could also go with something along the lines of drugs/poison/potions.

    The Gnoll tribe like having the resource of this "Bezerker-Gnoll" They keep it chained up because it's dangerous but the tribe's alchemist doses it with a special concoction every morning. It gets a special dose just before it's let off the chain for a fight which makes it even more dangerous for the next 5 minutes before slumping to the ground exhausted.
    If the party rescue it, and dry it out, they have a bewildered pet

    Or maybe he was dosed as a pup and has never been quite right since.
    I love playing in a party with a couple of power-gamers, it frees me up to be Elan!


  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    Perhaps it's just a strange version of rabies that infected a regular gnoll barbarian hero.

    In this case, the characters can "debuff" him with a Cure Disease spell if they manage to learn what's wrong with him.

    Follow-up quest: find the much more dangerous beast that wounded and infected the gnoll hero when he set out to slay it.
    Last edited by Berenger; 2019-09-20 at 04:24 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    Half gnoll/half ogre crossbreed. Works physically, but not mentally. Or, quite possibly, gnolls aren't the best parents to begin with, and their attitude towards halfbreeds is even worse.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    boomwolf's Avatar

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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    You can even excuse it with just being the result of natural evolutionary drift.
    Big gnoll parents have big gnoll kids, fast forward a few generations and you sometimes get a hulk, but with so much strain developing the body, the mind doesn't develop well.


    Heck, you can even leave it as a random anomaly and never explain unless they are a recurring monster


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  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Feb 2019

    Default Re: Help with backstory for homebrew monster.

    Thanks for all the responses, some of them are really interesting.

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