Gnoll 5e DnD Monster Race

Gnoll 5e

Last Updated on January 20, 2023

Gnolls are feral, hyena-headed humanoids that attack without warning, slaughtering their victims and devouring their flesh.

Player’s Handbook

What are Gnolls in 5e?

Gnoll 5e

Gnolls are hyena humanoids in the DnD world. They are scavengers and nomadic raiders that attack quickly and viciously in numbers.

They vary in height similar to humans, but mature around 8 years old and live to about 30. Gnolls do not weaken with age and typically are at full strength and vitality up to the moment they die, making them deadly enemies from birth to death. 

Gnoll 5e Stats

There are 3 standard variants of Gnolls. Each one has its own stats and abilities, and each one is deadlier than the last. 

Standard Gnoll

  • Size: Medium 
  • AC: 15 (hide armor, shield)
  • HP: 22 (5d8)
  • Speed: 30ft
AbilityScoreModifier
Strength14+2
Dexterity12+1
Constitution11+0
Intelligence6-2
Wisdom10+0
Charisma7-2
  • Senses: Darkvision 60ft., Passive Perception 10
  • Languages: Gnoll
  • Challenge Rating: 1/2 (100 XP)

Rampage: When any type of gnoll reduces a character to 0 HP they can immediately move up to half their speed and make a Bite attack as a bonus action. 

Gnoll Pack Lord

  • Size: Medium 
  • AC: 15 (Chain Shirt)
  • HP: 49 (9d8 +9)
  • Speed: 30ft
AbilityScoreModifier
Strength16+3
Dexterity14+2
Constitution13+1
Intelligence8-1
Wisdom11+0
Charisma9-1
  • Senses: Darkvision 60ft., Passive Perception 10
  • Languages: Gnoll
  • Challenge Rating: 2 (450 XP)

Rampage: When any type of gnoll reduces a character to 0 HP they can immediately move up to half their speed and make a Bite attack as a bonus action. 

Gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu

  • Size: Medium 
  • AC: 14 (hide armor)
  • HP: 65 (10d8 +20)
  • Speed: 30ft
  • Saving Throws:  Con +4, Wis +2, Cha +3 
AbilityScoreModifier
Strength17+3
Dexterity15+2
Constitution15+0
Intelligence10-2
Wisdom11+0
Charisma13-2
  • Senses: Darkvision 60ft., Passive Perception 10
  • Languages: Gnoll, Abyssal
  • Challenge Rating: 4 (1,000 XP)

Rampage: When any type of gnoll reduces a character to 0 HP they can immediately move up to half their speed and make a Bite attack as a bonus action. 

Gnoll 5e Lore

Gnolls can be traced back to the demon lord Yeenoghu. When Yeenoghu broke into the material plane he went on a rampage, slaughtering and killing everything in his path.

In his wake followed packs of hyenas, feasting on the corpses and destruction left behind. These first hyenas were altered by the demon’s magic and became the first Gnolls. 

Gnolls take after their demonic sire Yeenoghu and are nomadic bands of terror. They build no settlements and make no items. They instead roam the world looking for easy prey and scavenging equipment from the dead.

Although they are not truly demons, they are evil. They make no allies among the other races as they are extremely untrustworthy and will betray allies at a moment’s notice. 

Gnolls have three different variants.

  • Standard Gnoll
  • Gnoll Pack Lord 
  • Gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu

Gnoll Pack Lords are stronger and bigger than the average gnoll. They are the alpha pack leaders and claw their way to the top of the food chain with violence. They typically scavenge the best equipment from the dead and are much harder to kill. 

Gnolls still worship Yeenoghu the demon lord. Every so often Yeenoghu blesses one of the gnolls and they become possessed by demons and become a Fang of Yeenoghu.

Any creature that the Fang kills has the potential to create more Gnolls. Packs of wild hyenas typically follow Gnolls on their attacks. Any hyena that eats a creature slain by the Fang of Yeenoghu transforms into a full-grown Gnoll.

This can make a Gnoll infestation/outbreak spring forth from seemingly nowhere. 

Gnoll 5e Actions

Standard Gnoll 

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft, Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage. 

Spear: Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft, Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage, or 6 (1 d8 + 2) piercing damage if used with two hands to make a melee attack. 

Longbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 150/600 ft, Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage. 

Gnoll Pack Lord

Multiattack: The gnoll makes two attacks, either with its glaive or its longbow and uses its Incite Rampage if it can. 

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.  Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage. 

Glaive: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10ft., one target.  Hit: 8 (1d10 + 3) slashing damage. 

Longbow: Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 1 50/600 ft .,  one target. Hit: 6 (1d8 + 2) piercing damage. 

Incite Rampage: (Recharge 5- 6) . One creature the gnoll can see within 30 feet of it ca n use its reaction to make a melee attack if it can hear the gnoll and has the Rampage trait. 

Gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu

Multiattack: The gnoll makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws. 

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature.  Hi t: 6 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) poison damage. 

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, re ac h 5 ft. , one target. Hit: 7 (1d 8 + 3) slashing damage. 

What Level Should I be to Fight Gnoll 5e?

A 1v1 fight between an adventurer and a Gnoll is going to be a pretty easy fight. Gnolls by themselves aren’t particularly strong but remember, they’re pack creatures and they have a tendency to attack weaker creatures in numbers and with ambushes to ensure victory.

They’re not honorable creatures and they’ll use traps and trickery to their advantage. 

Standard Gnolls should not be underestimated. They can use traps and trickery which can make them deadly despite their weak Challenge Rating of 1/4.

A standard group of 4 players will be able to take on a small group of gnolls (5) at level 1. If a Pack Lord leads them, players will want to be at least level 4 to stand a chance of surviving. 

If a Fang of Yeenoghu, a Pack Lord, and 5 gnolls are present the standard party of 4 players at levels 7-9 should be able to survive the encounter. 

What makes Gnolls dangerous isn’t necessarily their stats, but the tactics that the DM uses and ambushes that are set for the party. Gnolls are evil and vicious, not stupid beasts. 

How Do You Beat a Gnoll 5e?

Because of their Darkvision, Gnoll encounters tend to favor ambushes. They have ranged weapons and the skills to use them. If encountering a Pack Lord or Fang of Yeenoghu, it’s important to target them first since they will deal the most damage. 

Since Gnolls attack in numbers, using choke points or ranged attacks to control the field is going to be essential. Once surrounded, Gnolls can easily whittle away at a player character’s HP and then use their Rampage ability to rush another player.

Getting surrounded is one of the worst things you can do as a player when fighting Gnolls. 

Gnoll 5e FAQ

Can you play as a Gnoll in 5e?

You can play as any creature in DnD using the custom background rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. In addition, it’s suggested in the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron (Page 84) that players can use Gnolls as a character race. 

Do Gnolls work with other creatures?

Gnolls have been known to temporarily work with other creatures. They’re typically distrusted by the other races but have been known to have mutually beneficial arrangements with trolls, ogres, orcs, and goblinoid races. 

What do Gnolls work with?

Gnolls typically surround themselves with packs of wild hyenas that attack and scavenge with them. When a tribe of Gnolls includes a Fang of Yeenoghu, it’s not uncommon for demons sent by Yeenoghu to accompany a tribe of Gnolls. 

Who do Gnolls worship?

Gnolls worship Yeenoghu and in the world of Eberron, they typically worship the Dark Six. 

Can Gnolls reproduce?

Gnolls reproduce in two ways. Either through normal sexual reproduction which results in a pregnancy that lasts two months or by having a normal Hyena eat the kill of a Fang of Yeenoghu.

If a normal Hyena eats from the kill of a Fang of Yeenoghu they are immediately transformed into a full-grown Gnoll.

Gnoll 5e DnD Monster Race
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