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Oh boy, more gnolls. They’ve been in every Monster Manual for this edition. I skipped the MM2 entry because it turned out to fully overlap the Monster Vault, but the one in this book is specifically meant to complement the MV instead of overlapping with it. We don’t get much in the way of new lore, but we get a few new stat blocks.

The Monsters

As usual, gnolls are Medium Natural Humanoids. They have low-light vision and their ground speed is 7. Their signature ability remains Pack Attack, giving them a +5 damage bonus on melee and ranged attacks against an enemy that has two or more gnoll allies adjacent to it.

Gnoll Skulker

Our first gnoll, however, is a bit of an exception. These runty buggers are too cowardly to employ the usual brutish gnoll tactics, so they usually keep to the edges of the fight and wait for opportunities to strike isolated enemies from surprise. They’re good at this, but it’s not a fighting style that’s valued in “mainstream” demon-worshipping gnoll society.

Skulkers are Level 5 Lurkers with 51 HP. Their Peerless Camouflage allows them to make Stealth checks to hide even when they only have partial cover or concealment, and to stay hidden for an additional turn after leaving cover. They lack Pack Attack but have Something to Prove, gaining a +5 damage bonus against enemies that have no allies adjacent to them.

They fight with a dagger and a shortbow, and have a Hit and Run maneuver that allows them to shift 2 squares after hitting with the bow if they attack from hiding.

A band of gnolls with some skulkers in it is a lot harder to fight. If you spread out a bit to make it harder for the standard gnolls to use Pack Attack, the skulkers get you with Something to Prove, and vice-versa.

Gnoll War Fang

War Fangs are heavily armored commander-types that also make use of demonic powers. They’re anti-paladins of Yeenoghu, basically. War Fangs are Level 6 Soldiers with 72 HP and the Leader tag.

Their War Fang Defense aura (1) grants allies a +2 bonus to AC, and they fight with a Longsword that deals extra damage when they’re bloodied (this stacks with Pack Attack).

Once per round as a minor action, they can issue a Demonic Challenge that works a lot like the paladin version - it marks an enemy within 3 squares, and whenever the marked enemy makes an attack that doesn’t target the war fang they suffer 10 fire damage.

If any enemy misses the war fang with a melee attack, the No Mercy ability allows an ally adjacent to that enemy to make a melee basic attack against them.

War Fangs work very well when positioned in the second row of the enemy front line, because they’ll improve the front-liners’ defenses and mark the PCs from a place where they can’t be easily attacked. They also do very well on the front line when surrounded by their allies.

Chosen of Yeenoghu

This is a gnoll necromancer, a Level 7 Elite Controller with 156 HP. It fights with a staff in melee and fires bolts of ruination that deal necrotic damage at range, but its main schtick is filling the battlefield with ghostly hyenas.

The Chosen can summon a single Hyena Spirit as a minor action, or four of them at once with the Call Beyond the Grave encounter power. Spirit Strike is a 1/round minor action that allows a spirit to make a free basic attack with a +2 bonus. Finally, To the Front is a power that teleports every adjacent ally 10 squares.

This is a monster, not a PC, so it doesn’t use PC summoning rules. Hyena Spirits are Level 7 Minion Soldiers and each one has their own full set of actions in the initiative order. They have a Spectral Jaws aura (1) that slows enemies caught inside, and a standard basic bite attack. When one of them dies, the Chosen takes 5 damage. Depending on how the Chosen is positioned, killing the hyenas might be the only way the PCs can damage it.

The spirits are worth 0 XP if they’re summoned by a Chosen, but you can include them in a fight by themselves and have them work as normal minions.

Final Impressions

I continue to mourn the fact that they never expanded playable non-evil gnolls beyond that single Dragon article, while remarking that the mechanics for these gnolls are pretty interesting.