Niche Request: Gnoll Ancestry


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Just putting my prayers out there for this, and hopefully seeing if others agree.

The explicit mention of non-Evil gnolls in the Bestiary made me giddy, as someone who’s always loved them, ever since Eberron had them as non-Evil ancestry and 4e made them early on - my first character was one! I’d really enjoy seeing them get into print someday (soon, in my wildest dreams), and with some more neutral groups out in the world.

Sovereign Court

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I'd love to see this as well, and I know at least one person for whom this represents basically the greatest wish they could grant (in terms of choosing material to produce).


Oh please, yes. 5th Edition DND really dropped the ball on that.


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I'd also also love to see a gnoll ancestry. Cool, fun race. Loved all the lore 4e gave them, hated what 5e did to them afterwards.


I like Gnolls.

Fifth-ing this request.


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Also like, hey, they’d make a great Mwangi PC option, just saying.

Squiggit wrote:
I'd also also love to see a gnoll ancestry. Cool, fun race. Loved all the lore 4e gave them, hated what 5e did to them afterwards.

Keith Baker, the creator of Eberron, wrote their 4e lore!

Silver Crusade

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GIVE US THE FLUFFIES!!!!

Silver Crusade

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keftiu wrote:

Also like, hey, they’d make a great Mwangi PC option, just saying.

Squiggit wrote:
I'd also also love to see a gnoll ancestry. Cool, fun race. Loved all the lore 4e gave them, hated what 5e did to them afterwards.
Keith Baker, the creator of Eberron, wrote their 4e lore!

I didn't know that, that’s awesome!


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Given the Conversion Guide and the "Playing Gnolls" supplement for 4e, you might be able to homebrew a race for now. It even comes with tiered feats as appropriate!


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I very, very, very much would like to see playable gnolls somewhere in the setting.

They're a venerable D&D race, dating back from the first edition. They have a very appealing look (how can you not love these faces?). The hyena link gives you options for some definitely novel biology (the insane jaw strength has definite play applications, while the reproductive aspects are not exactly game-friendly but can definitely be fodder for cultural myths in the style of the Hugo-award winning Digger by Ursula Vernon.)

Keith Baker's 4E article on gnolls was a master class in how to make gnolls interesting and playable without detracting from the 'dangerous monster' aspect.

And I think that there are definite signs that Golarion may be ready for such a thing. We're steadily moving away from 'It's okay to kill them because they're green' approach to gaming, and if goblins can be a player ancestry, I can't imagine why gnolls couldn't be.

So, all aboard the gnoll hype train! Gnoll gnoll gnoll!


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Another one for support for playable gnolls.

One thing I would really love to be addressed though is the whole "demon-worshipping, cannibalistic savage clans" thing of theirs.
While the move away from "tribes" to "clans" is a good one (it's less troublesome language), it would be nice to hear about some clans that completely buck those trends, considering that the likes of goblins seem to be going down a similar path.

It would be really disappointing to see gnolls be treating as an Always Chaotic Evil ancestry, especially when a lot of other ones are getting an ostensibly better treatment in 2nd edition (goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, kobolds, lizardfolk).

A lot of people got really burned on 5e's treatment of gnolls (which is to say, being portrayed as so evil, cruel and violent as to not get a playable option, in a book that had an entire chapter on playable monstrous humanoids (like orcs and kobolds)*, who were playable and even quite decently portrayed in every prior edition), so I hope that Paizo doesn't repeat that mistake whenever they end up taking on gnolls.

* - though to be quite honest that whole part of Volo's Guide to Monsters was an absolute trainwreck beyond just "where's the gnolls tho", but that's neither here nor there.


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Heck yeah! I want to play a lazy gnoll sorcerer who relies on a demonic bloodline that his ancestors did all the work for. He got kicked out after his clan caught him eating the sacrificial goats himself.


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Considering we are getting a proper Lizardfolk ancestry very soon (something that missed all of PF1), I think we have good odds. I also throw in on them.

Dark Archive

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Albatoonoe wrote:
Considering we are getting a proper Lizardfolk ancestry very soon (something that missed all of PF1), I think we have good odds. I also throw in on them.

Let's hope! Gnolls and lizardfolk are hands-down two of my favorite fantasy races (along with other oddness like aranea and aquatic elves, which I don't expect to see anytime soon).

Definitely my favorite two 'anthro' races, although I'm also growing fond of Golarion's take on tengu, and Freeport's PC-able serpentfolk.

(Never much cared for catfolk, or lupins, or grippli, or any other bird-peeps other than aarakocra, for whom I have some nostalgiac fondness. I'm hit or miss on ratfolk. If I think of them as Golarion's version of the Scarred Lands slitherin, I like them more.)

Anywho, yes! Gnolls, please!


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This isn't a niche request. It will happen one day.


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Know at least one of my players who would love this. They were playable as a low-RP option in PF1, bring them to PF2!

(Seriously, I support bringing in Hobgoblins, but I was surprised to learn we'd get them before gnolls.)


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Sooooo a friend with the LOWG showed me an excerpt where it mentions there are gnolls living peacefully in Nantambu!

Silver Crusade

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keftiu wrote:
Sooooo a friend with the LOWG showed me an excerpt where it mentions there are gnolls living peacefully in Nantambu!

Yay!


Gnolls are classic and need to be a character option at some point.


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...

am i the only one who thinks that humanoid Hyenas should remain as one of the:

"Hey, look, a gnoll!"
*party attacks, no question asked*

races?

Yes? I'll see myself out.


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shroudb wrote:

...

am i the only one who thinks that humanoid Hyenas should remain as one of the:

"Hey, look, a gnoll!"
*party attacks, no question asked*

races?

Yes? I'll see myself out.

You came into a thread explicitly about folks who disagree, in an edition where ancestries (not races) are all supposed to be more nuanced, so...


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shroudb wrote:

...

am i the only one who thinks that humanoid Hyenas should remain as one of the:

"Hey, look, a gnoll!"
*party attacks, no question asked*

races?

Yes? I'll see myself out.

Any sentient creature should be allowed to break tradition. There is no reason that any species of intelligent creature should be attack on sight with no questions asked.


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shroudb wrote:

...

am i the only one who thinks that humanoid Hyenas should remain as one of the:

"Hey, look, a gnoll!"
*party attacks, no question asked*

races?

Yes? I'll see myself out.

well, i mean, if you're out and about with your caravan and like 10 of them have weapons drawn moving toward your you very quickly...

but that's doesn't really have anything to do with their race.


Donovan Du Bois wrote:
shroudb wrote:

...

am i the only one who thinks that humanoid Hyenas should remain as one of the:

"Hey, look, a gnoll!"
*party attacks, no question asked*

races?

Yes? I'll see myself out.

Any sentient creature should be allowed to break tradition. There is no reason that any species of intelligent creature should be attack on sight with no questions asked.

including intelligent fiends, races with evil built literally into their very essence.

Sovereign Court

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Another day on the forums, another argument in favor of unprompted genocide.

Good times.

Silver Crusade

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I kind of think that worshipping a primal force of evil that exists solely to bring more terrible and Evil spawn into the universe removes the unprompted part of that. I mean, we're getting to the point where you have to sit down with a demon lord for mediation sessions before finding out whether you're justified in stopping it from eating a farmer.

Now, while I appreciate having more options, and no, not all members of a race are going to be evil, I don't think we should be looking at everyone is neutral as a viable standpoint. It's the Drizzt problem. He was interesting(ish) when he was the one Drow who turned his back on the evil ways of his people. Then you started seeing more and more official Good drow characters. I mean, is Paizo going to start introducing Good drow, when they put out the lore that Drow aren't simply an elven surface, but surface elves who get evil enough become Drow?

Silver Crusade

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So we should wipe out all humans then? Cause they worship Lamashtu too. And Rovagug. There’s a whole country of them that worships Asmodeus.

Silver Crusade

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It's not the primary deity of the humans. Lamashtu has been stated to be primary deity of the Gnolls.

Silver Crusade

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Irrelevant, Gnolls are in Katapesh, Humans are all over the world. There’s more Humans that worship Lamashtu, a core deity in multiple continents, than Gnolls. So if the metric is “I assume a certain percentage worships evil Deities we should kill them on sight” then Humans easily meet that metric. Especially when you add in all the other evil deities.

As for your edit, we already have Good Drow, and had non-Evil Drow back in Second Darkness when they were introduced to Golarion.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:
It's not the primary deity of the humans. Lamashtu has been stated to be primary deity of the Gnolls.

Cool motive, still genocide though.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Incorrect, while most numerous in Katapesh, Gnolls are found throughout Garund, Avistan, and Casmaron.

And let's not forget that the mark of a civilized gnoll is that they make you a slave rather than just eat you.

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
I mean, is Paizo going to start introducing Good drow, when they put out the lore that Drow aren't simply an elven surface, but surface elves who get evil enough become Drow?

Signs point to yes.

There's already several nonevil drow in print, and even a good one (though as a subject of reincarnation, she's a fairly extreme outlier). Drow are no more "genetically" evil than any other humanoid.

Point 5 here is also relevant to both this question and the topic of the thread.

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Rysky wrote:
So if the metric is “I assume a certain percentage worships evil Deities we should kill them on sight” then Humans easily meet that metric.

Given how blindly genocide-thirsty player characters seem to be, I think killing them on sight might be the moral play here.

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Kalindlara wrote:
Rysky wrote:
So if the metric is “I assume a certain percentage worships evil Deities we should kill them on sight” then Humans easily meet that metric.
Given how blindly genocide-thirsty player characters seem to be, I think killing them on sight might be the moral play here.

Yeah I’m siding with the plushies defending their lair here.

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Val'bryn2 wrote:

Incorrect, while most numerous in Katapesh, Gnolls are found throughout Garund, Avistan, and Casmaron.

And let's not forget that the mark of a civilized gnoll is that they make you a slave rather than just eat you.

*points to all the human countries that enforce slavery*


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“Always-evil” for any group of people is a double whammy of boring and potential problematic. You can tell so many more stories if there’s options for nuance.

Silver Crusade

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Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Flat out No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.

Silver Crusade

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Rysky wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:

Incorrect, while most numerous in Katapesh, Gnolls are found throughout Garund, Avistan, and Casmaron.

And let's not forget that the mark of a civilized gnoll is that they make you a slave rather than just eat you.

*points to all the human countries that enforce slavery*

And yet we all agree that it's evil, but just because the gnolls do evil things they aren't evil?

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Specifically, No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.

Got a different page number? P. 68 of Armageddon Echo talks about a Grey Render’s lair.


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All issues of morality aside, always-evil is kind of boring.

Like, there's nothing about having the option to make good gnolls or good orcs or good drow that precludes someone from including groups of baddie that exist purely to present a combat-oriented obstacle for the PCs if that's the kind of encounter you want to create.

I mean, one of the most bog standard low level encounters I've seen are human bandits and the fact that you can play neutral or good or evil-but-nuanced humans doesn't take away from that at all. It doesn't even factor into the discussion about human cannon fodder, or elf cannon fodder, or dwarf cannon fodder.

5e deciding to backpedal on their old lore and make Gnolls more intrinsically evil than demons didn't add anything to the game, it just took away whatever neat stuff someone might have been doing with the older, more varied stuff that existed before.

Even completely ignoring the various other issues people have brought up, the absolute best outcome here is that you've just reduced the number of stories people can tell within a setting and added nothing else. I can't see how that's good or interesting.

Val'bryn2 wrote:


And yet we all agree that it's evil, but just because the gnolls do evil things they aren't evil?

I mean, there's a gap between "generally do bad things" and "biologically incapable of not being evil."

Silver Crusade

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:

Incorrect, while most numerous in Katapesh, Gnolls are found throughout Garund, Avistan, and Casmaron.

And let's not forget that the mark of a civilized gnoll is that they make you a slave rather than just eat you.

*points to all the human countries that enforce slavery*
And yet we all agree that it's evil, but just because the gnolls do evil things they aren't evil?

No, the evil Gnolls are evil.

Most well known Gnoll culture worships Lamashtu and keeps slaves. It’s a culture thing, not a genetic thing.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

58, stupid font and a quick look messed me up. The section Drow of Golarion. A sidebar labeled "Are There Good Drow?"


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Val'bryn2 wrote:
Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Flat out No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.

And there’s a link to a quote from the Creative Director upthread disagreeing.

Silver Crusade

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The last paragraph of the sidebar:

Quote:
If a drow were to exhibit good behavior—inordinate kindness, cooperation, or empathy—the individual would be assumed to be either enchanted or ill. Attempts would be made to cure the individual (because a good tool should never be thrown away), but if the condition persisted, there would be no choice but to enslave the obviously insane drow or turn him over the fleshwarpers to create a drider, as a warning to others.

It’s a propaganda piece, Good Drow existed they just get killed in Evil Drow society.

This is coming from a 3.5 era piece too, not even P1. Which again, they had non-Evil Drow in the same adventure.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
keftiu wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Flat out No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.
And there’s a link to a quote from the Creative Director upthread disagreeing.

Yes, where he says that non-outsider non-undead are not inherently evil. Which means outsiders are inherently their alignment. Except the ones who aren't inherently, like the demon lord who feels real sad about what she did and changed her alignment. Whoops. Guess he was wrong about them being inherent.

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Val'bryn2 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Flat out No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.
And there’s a link to a quote from the Creative Director upthread disagreeing.
Yes, where he says that non-outsider non-undead are not inherently evil. Which means outsiders are inherently their alignment. Except the ones who aren't inherently, like the demon lord who feels real sad about what she did and changed her alignment. Whoops. Guess he was wrong about them being inherent.

No Nocticula was inherently evil, but 10,000 years and time travel shenanigans let her overcome her inherent evilness.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:
keftiu wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Funny. Page 68 of Armageddon Echo asks the question are there good drow, and answers No. Flat out No. Which means they ignore their own lore if they say there are.
And there’s a link to a quote from the Creative Director upthread disagreeing.
Yes, where he says that non-outsider non-undead are not inherently evil. Which means outsiders are inherently their alignment. Except the ones who aren't inherently, like the demon lord who feels real sad about what she did and changed her alignment. Whoops. Guess he was wrong about them being inherent.

Sounds to me like you’re agreeing that “always evil” is pretty much a sham for anyone in the setting.

Dark Archive

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Isn't the whole point of having outsider without free will gain free will that it makes for interesting story of unusual rare circumstances and moral questions it makes for? :p

Anyhoo, pathfinder in early days was kinda edgy and insistent on making sure that all evil creatures are super duper evil. They relaxed on that eventually so later books makes mentioning that non evil drow can exist even if they have to escape from drow society.

And yeah, I agree that its for better that PCs wonder about what to do rather than assuming its okay to attack everyone on sight :p Like constructs and fiends are probably most safest to attack on sight(and obvious slavers), but attacking random group of kobolds that are eating turnings seems drastic


keftiu wrote:
Sounds to me like you’re agreeing that “always evil” is pretty much a sham for anyone in the setting.

I don't think it's fair to say any sentient creature in control of it's own mind is always any alignment. If it can think and reason, it can change alignment.

Dark Archive

I'd say that probably only free willing creatures that are almost always evil are probably aboleths/allgothuls.

Why? Because they all have genetic memory from time they were primordial ooze, so while individual aboleths have differences in personality from growing apart for super long time, they are all likely to share personality traits of supreme arrogance and being control freaks who think all other beings exists to be their slaves <_<

There could exist good aboleths yeah, but I think that would be more likely if some of them got amnesia or something to wipe out their genetic memory.

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