Originally posted on 05-30-2013 02:45 AM at koboldquarterly.com

Gnolls have slaughtered their way to gaming infamy, and they are a favorite of gamemasters (GMs) and players alike. This article can be used by GMs to round out this age-old monster, or players can use it to create new characters. The following gnoll variant is formatted for AGE—though you can convert the material to your preferred system easily enough—and is specific to the Midgard campaign world.
Gnoll Sand Dancer

Indigenous to the Sarklan Desert, where their tribe is called the Kum Firtinasi, Sand Dancers roam the vast empty, having adapted to harsh desert life. These nomads prey on traders and travelers by night, and they go wherever the slaughter takes them, pitching tents made of skin to shelter from hot days. Sometimes hired to protect caravans, Sand Dancers sport gray robes that make them difficult to spot, and they are adept at ambushes, utilizing dunes and dust storms to conceal their approach. It is said that Sand Dancers drain and drink a victim’s blood for moisture, and this rumor has spawned tales that the Sand Dancers are actually vampires. Sand Dancers are hygienic for gnolls, burying their scat in sand banks and taking dust baths that reduce their stink. Sand Dancers have an affinity for bastard swords and crossbows.
Playing a Gnoll Sand Dancer

If you choose to play a Sand Dancer, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Constitution. Sand Dancers must be tough to handle desert living.
  • Pick one of the following focuses: Perception (Hearing) or Perception (Smelling).
  • You can speak Kariv.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a warrior or a rogue.

Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
GNOLL SAND DANCER
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Cunning
3–4 Weapon Group: Light Blades
5 Focus: Perception (Seeing)
6 Focus: Constitution (Running)
8-Jul +1 Strength
9 Focus: Constitution (Stamina)
10–11 Focus: Communication (Leadership)
12 Weapon Group: Bows
Gnoll Slaver

Slavers roam deserts and tundra alike. They use hyena teams to pull prison carts and ride individual ones into battle. Always searching for victims, Slavers do not stay in one place for long, and those they encounter and do not eat on the spot end up in bondage, and they are worked, sold, or traded. Skilled torturers, Slavers break body, mind, and spirit. Though Slavers make temporary alliances with traders and curb their blood-lust long enough to make a deal. More often than not, though, such meetings mean the capture or death of those they trade with, and cargoes of barley, hemp, jewels, linen, oils, papyrus, perfume, and spices are counted among their pilfered wares. Slavers are concentrated on the Rothenian Plains, were they are called Pashtva, and the Southlands, where they are called Kolelik. Slavers have an affinity for maces.
Playing a Gnoll Slaver

If you choose to play a gnoll Slaver, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Perception. Slavers look for future victims.
  • Pick one of the following focuses: Communication (Animal Handling) or Perception (Tracking).
  • You can speak Khazzaki.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a warrior or a rogue.

Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the dice together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
GNOLL SLAVER
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Dexterity
3–4 Focus: Communication (Bargaining)
5 Focus: Dexterity (Brawling)
6 Focus: Cunning (Navigation)
7–8 +1 Strength
9 Focus: Strength (Intimidation)
10–11 Focus: Dexterity (Riding)
12 Weapon Group: Bludgeons




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