Gnolls are a rare case; introduced in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, these are a rare monster race that can’t be played. Indeed, after a bunch of additional sourcebooks, Gnolls are still not playable! That’s a shame. Huge, hulking beasts of war, gnolls are feral and simple. They tend to be more akin to anthropomorphic hyenas than dogs, and are driven by war and blood. However, that doesn’t mean you could have a DM willing to try a homebrewed creation. Our Gnoll Names guide will help enterprising players or DMs with a gnoll arc in mind to make a good gnoll.
Gnoll Names 5E Guide
Gnolls are completely uncaring about names. For them, a name is something to be earned, and crawled towards, over many a year. Once a gnoll receives the blessing of their god Yeenoghu, they then receive a name and can be identified in their war camps. As such… random generation for these guys might make sense. If you’d rather have a more full understanding of this race, you should check out their culture and personality. That way, it’s easier to change it if required, or make a more realistic foe to battle.
Culture and Naming Conventions
Gnolls are elemental forces of nature. They were created by the god Yeenoghu to reap devastation on the planet. Gnolls can read, write, and communicate, but they only do so to teach future generations to kill. All initiative, all of their creation, is fully dedicated to destruction. When a Gnoll feeds on a creature, they empower their god for future generations. Non-gnolls who worship Yeenoghu are essentially gnolls in action and personality.
Gnolls are brutal and combative. Their entire culture revolves around the efficient killing and consuming of sentient life. They are aggressively cunning, and are happy to use ambush and guerilla tactics on any creatures, even those that don’t deserve it.
Gnolls have no real knowledge of material goods. They understand the importance of armor or weapons, but jewelry and basic goods? Those don’t matter. Their food is humanity, their pleasure an axe in an enemy’s skull. Intelligent gnolls are cunning, but can be convinced to cooperate, if they believe that their partner’s goal would help Yeenoghu rise.
Gnoll war bands are what a gnoll lives in at all times. To be a gnoll outside of a war band suggests kidnapping, as gnolls don’t tolerate any attempts to usurp. So, if the gnoll is alone, there must be a good reason.
See Also: Githzerai Names Guide
Examples of Gnoll Names
Gnolls don’t get names until they’ve proven themselves to Yeenoghu. Once they have, Yeenoghu uses their own language as inspiration for naming them. Male and female gnolls share names, since these are more for identifying important targets across a battlefield.
And that’s it for our favorite dogmen! Gnolls aren’t a playable race, so if you want to be one, you’ll have to have a long conversation with your DM!
Want more monstrous races? Check out our guide to the Polunkranos, a legendary Theros monster!
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