| Gnolls are a race of caniform humanoids originally hailing from the arid deserts and grasslands of the east. In recent history they have become unusually attracted to the Dungeon, establishing tribes around and even inside of it. Unfortunately their long stay in the Dungeon has exposed their somewhat fragile minds to excessive amounts of its magic.
On the one hand, their bizarrely altered brains now have incredible proficiency at learning every skill. On the other, these same alterations have rendered Gnolls incapable of selective learning. They learn all skills equally at the same time, so it's hard for them to learn more about any one thing.
In order to survive with this limitation, Gnolls use their universal knowledge to take advantage of every resource they find in the Dungeon. They also have powerful noses adapted to the Dungeon's scents, allowing them to easily locate where treasures lay hidden.
- Distributed Training: Gnolls' experience is split equally to all skills.
- Fangs 1: Gnolls can make an auxiliary bite attack.
- Strong Nose: Gnolls can sense the location of nearby items on the floor.
Difficulty of Play
|Simple • Intermediate • Advanced|
Gnolls are jacks of all trades, but masters of none. Using what the game provides you as far as items and spells is essential. On the other hand, you will always have skill for any good item you find, which makes skilling and gearing easier. Gnolls also have an easier time with triple school spells than most other races, as they train all three schools at once.
Notably, Gnoll's phenomenal +8 and +6 aptitudes mean that they start with inflated skill in whatever their background provides. While largely meaningless in the endgame, it does make their starts a lot easier.
The higher the value, the better the aptitude.
|Maces & Flails||8||Shields||8||Summonings||6|
Given that a Gnoll's skills will be at around 16 once hitting character level 27, going for high-level spells will be a challenge, and min delay with heavier weapons will not be possible without boosts from Okawaru or Ashenzari. This leads to a hybrid character that should use every advantage they've got - from hexes, summons, and ranged combat - before engaging in melee.
Tips and Tricks
- Okawaru is a popular god choice for gnolls because of weapon and armour gifts and skill boosts. Since gnolls can use every weapon equally well, Oka's gifts are easier to use and never require retraining if you get something absurdly powerful.
- Cheibriadosʼ stat boosts enable a gnoll to comfortably use any item or spell the game throws at it, at the cost of slow movement speed. This speed penalty may be worth paying in exchange for being able to deal with practically any situation before it becomes dangerous.
- Ashenzari's skill boosts can help bolster your average skill levels enough to make use of high-end items and spells.
- Gnolls' ability to use anything and everything has the downside of making inventory management even more of an issue than for all other characters.
Gnolls have a unique dilemma - what exactly do I use? Here are a few points on melee weapons:
- The main thing to keep in mind is attack delay - you almost always want to keep it below 1.0. Above that, and you risk normal speed enemies double-hitting you. You can press @ to see the delay with your current weapon.
- Daggers are a useful swap-out when you want to stab, whether you're sneaking up on your foes or using Hexes or wands to give yourself opportunities.
- Artefacts aren't necessarily better than a regular branded weapon, but they might come with a nice brand or some neat properties.
- Gnolls more often than not prefer wearing some sort of shield. They already train the Shields skill, and two-handed weapons require high skill levels that Gnolls can't compete with. Bucklers and orbs are universally useful, while kite shields are good if you can cast necessary spells reliably in them.
- Brands and enchantment are the main distinguishing factors throughout the early Dungeon. A dagger of venom on a Human is already strong enough to beat enemies on route to Lair, and a +9 randart freezing flail will probably be useful for longer.
- Gnolls, thanks to their +8 aptitudes, will start with great skill in whatever weapon school they start with. Make sure to make use of that.
- As hostile gnolls will happily demonstrate, Polearms are great to use in the beginning. The extra hit, as well as the low skill requirements of spears and tridents, are great perks in the early game.
- Many fast, low-skill, and powerful options exist. Demon whips, demon tridents, and demon blades are all effective in terms of power, speed, and skill. Other good, non-demonic weapons include morningstars, eveningstars, and scimitars.
- Axes are still respectable throughout the entire game, thanks to their cleave.
- With a strong Transmutation, like Blade Hands or Statue Form, you may consider Unarmed Combat - though Gnoll's low skill makes UC a poor choice without the help from Okawaru.
- Scrolls of enchant weapon represent a form of dedication. A good base weapon that's well enchanted and branded (+6 vorpal broad axe, eveningstar, demon weapons, etc.) will remain passable throughout a 3-rune game.
- If you find a strong artefact (especially certain unrands), it's probably worth using.
|Simple||Hill Orc • Minotaur • Merfolk • Gargoyle • Draconian • Palentonga • Troll • Ghoul • Gnoll|
|Intermediate||Human • Kobold • Demonspawn • Djinni • Spriggan • Tengu • Deep Elf • Ogre • Deep Dwarf|
|Advanced||Vine Stalker • Vampire • Demigod • Formicid • Naga • Octopode • Felid • Barachi • Mummy|