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Illustration from a 1929 issue of Weird Tales

Gnorri (singular: Gnor) are a peaceful race of amphibious humanoids native to the Dreamlands of the Cthulhu Mythos. These water-dwellers are "finned and bearded", described as resembling a merman with two, three or four arms and a long, prehensile, serpentine or tentacle-like tail (suckers optional). Mentioned only in passing in the Dream-Cycle of H.P. Lovecraft, they are one of the many, many races who were basically reinvented from the ground up by Sandy Petersen and his team from Call of Cthulhu, with the largest source of such lore basically stemming from "Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos".

S. Petersen Fluff[edit]

Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands

Depicted in earlier books as literally resembling bearded (or coral-bearded) mermen, gnorri were redesigned in "Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos" with a smoother, more "aquatic alien" appearance. Their "beards" are in fact complex arrays of tentacle-like gills, which absorb oxygen from the water around them. Gnorri consist of three sexes, which are visually indistinguishable from each other by human eyes; males, females, and sterile "builders" who possess an innate affinity for earth elementalism - builders contribute to reproduction by constructing nurseries where males and females go to spawn; females expel masses of tiny eggs from their bodies once or twice per month, and males react to the presence of gnor eggs in the water around them by excreting sperm in a manner likened to sweating. The millions of plankton-sized larvae are consumed in wide abundance by other natural predators, but sheer density ensures a steady stream of them survive the 2-4 months it takes to grow into a creature resembling a man-sized eel; this "juvenile" gnor will spend the next three years eating voraciously before finally molting and emerging as a fully adult gnor in its own right. Because of this, gnorri have no concept of "family"; there's no way to biologically link any one gnor to any two others.

Gnor anatomy is strangely malleable, allowing them to manipulate their own musculature, nervous systems and skeletons to exude or absorb arms as they need them - a gnor only has enough "spare mass" to create up to four arms, and that's a strain.

Despite looking kind of like a multi-eyed, multi-armed anthro eel, gnorri are a peaceful and friendly race, so long as you don't screw with them.

Gnorri are divided into various subraces, distinguished by their colors. Black gnorri hail from the deepest depths of the oceans, whilst the blue gnorri are the most commonly encountered strain, as they favor the high water column and the continental shelf, building amongst the coral reefs and shallows. Mottled gnorri are found in swamps, estuaries and river mouths, red gnorri dwell in between the black and blue gnorri in terms of ocean depth, and white gnorri hail from arctic waters.

Gnor PCs for 5th Edition[edit]

Gnor Fighter.jpg
Gnor Rogue.jpg

Gnorri are one of the four playable races featured in "Sandy Petersen's Cthulhu Mythos for 5e".

Ability Score Modifier: +1 Constitution
Size: See Sprawling Tail below
Speed: 25 feet, Swim 35 feet
Vision: Darkvision 60 feet above land, Darkvision 120 feet underwater
Monstrosity: Your creature type is Monstrosity, which affects which spells can and can't hurt you.
Sprawling Tail: You take up space as if you were a Large creature, but you only have the Reach of a Medium creature. Additionally, you can't use feet or leg-based magical items.
Amorphous Physiology: You can move through spaces as narrow as 5ft wide without squeezing, and squeeze through areas as narrow as 2ft wide. You are also immune to water pressure.
Amphibious: You can breathe air and water.
Gnorri Science: You have proficiency with either Medicine or Nature, and proficiency with either the alchemist's supplies, herbalism kit, or poisoner's kit.
Limb Allocation: Once per day, you can modify how many arms you have deployed, which requires 10 minutes and needs concentration, as per a spell. If interrupted, you must start the limb allocation process all over, but this does not use up your attempts per day.
  • Two Arms: Strength-based weapons gain a +1 damage roll bonus.
  • Three Arms: No effect.
  • Four Arms: No effect, but the strain of allocating so much body mass in this way causes you to suffer a -1 penalty to Constitution saving throws.
Subrace: Choose either the Black, Blue, Mottled, Red or White Gnorri subrace.

Black Gnor

Ability Score Modifier: +2 Intelligence
Abyssal Sight: Your Darkvision functions even in magical darkness.

Blue Gnor

Ability Score Modifier: +2 Wisdom
Squeeze Entrails: Once per short rest, when you are hit by a critical hit, you can use your Reaction to downgrade it into a normal hit.

Mottled Gnor

Ability Score Modifier: +2 Wisdom
Agile Slither: Your land speed is 30 feet.

Red Gnor

Ability Score Modifier: +1 Constitution, +1 Wisdom
Tough Scales: Your natural armor class is 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
Limited Lim Allocation: You cannot allocate a 4th arm.

White Gnor

Ability Score Modifier: +2 Wisdom
Ice Affinity: You have Resistance to Cold damage, but Vulnerability to Fire damage.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Races
Player's Handbook: Dragonborn - Drow - Dwarf - Elf - Gnome
Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
Dungeon Master's Guide: Aasimar - Eladrin
Elemental Evil Player's Guide: Aarakocra - Genasi - Goliath - Svirfneblin
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide: Duergar - Ghostwise Halfling - Svirfneblin - Tiefling Variants
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes: Baatific Tieflings - Duergar - Eladrin - Githyanki
Githzerai - Sea Elf - Shadar-kai - Svirfneblin
Volo's Guide to Monsters: Aasimar - Bugbear - Firbolg - Goblin - Goliath - Hobgoblin - Kenku
Kobold - Lizardfolk - Orc - Tabaxi - Triton - Yuan-Ti Pureblood
Eberron: Rising from the Last War: Bugbear - Changeling - Goblin - Hobgoblin - Shifter - Warforged
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica: Centaur - Elf - Goblin - Human
Loxodon - Minotaur - Simic Hybrid - Vedalken
Mythic Odysseys of Theros: Human - Centaur - Leonin - Minotaur - Satyr - Triton
Unearthed Arcana: Minotaur - Revenant
Plane Shift: Amonkhet: Aven - Khenra - Minotaur - Naga
Plane Shift: Innistrad: Human
Plane Shift: Ixalan: Goblin - Human - Merfolk - Orc - Siren - Vampire
Plane Shift: Kaladesh: Aetherborn - Dwarf - Elf - Human - Vedalken
Plane Shift: Zendikar: Elf - Goblin - Human - Kor - Merfolk - Vampire
One Grung Above: Grung