From publisher blurb:
Something about gnolls has always fired up my imagination. I mean, they’re demon-worshiping hyena people. What’s not to love? In my own Desteon campaign setting I use them the way Native Americans were (inaccurately) portrayed in a lot of Westerns. They’re denizens of the New World, wandering the plains, attacking settlers and caravans with reckless abandon and calculated brutality. I picture them as the ultimate chaos warriors, wandering around setters’ towns and villages for no other reason than they’re there, dying their fur wild colors, painting things with strange, otherworldly designs. They’re the reavers from Firefly. They’re the Batman’s Joker at his most psychotic. They commit atrocities because they find them entertaining and while they do, they laugh, and laugh, and laugh. In my world, gnolls are scary and insane.
To make things a little less black-and-white, I also have the gnolls playing an important part in the ecosystem. They’re scavengers. They let nothing go to waste. If the find a carcass that another predator has left, they utilize it. Bones and sinew and flesh and hair all get re-purposed and recycled and used for tools and traps. When gnolls do leave a body behind, it’s to serve as a message to others. If they wipe a human settlement out of existence, should it really have been there in the first place? Not that conservation is an excuse for mindless brutality, but wiping out a tribe of gnolls usually results in unintended consequences.
Gnoll Hide tries to add a little depth and variety to a race that’s been second-tier at best since the 1st edition. I try to present not just alternate block stats, but some possibilities on how they might be more effectively utilized in your own campaign world.