Monster Analysis: Hyenas

  • First appearance: 2-06 The Howling Mines
  • Armor Class 11
  • Speed 50 ft
  • Pack Tactics (advantage on attacks with group)
  • Suggested Average, Max HP: 5, 9
    • Between 5 and 13 damage dealt to each hyena

Hyenas followed Yeenoghu in his rampage. While many were corrupted by the carnage they fed on in his wake, not all received his cursed blessing. Many hyenas still follow the pack of gnolls, scavenging for leftovers from the gnolls’ excursions and attacking the occasional wayward wanderer as the pack’s guard dogs. They are simple beasts, operating out of a sense of survival, instinct, and basic hunger, rather than the insatiable craving for destruction of their bipedal kin.

A single well-aimed hit is enough to dispatch most hyenas, even among the lowliest of player characters. Their bites took a bit of luck to land on the party, and even those that did hit dealt upwards of 1d6 damage, a seriously low value compared to the weapons of their superiors.

Like the regular gnolls, the hyenas’ threat is in the numbers of the pack. Hyenas gain advantage to their attack when they have an ally harassing the same target. However, the real danger in the hyenas were not in the damage that they could deal (even with advantage), but in whose attention their barks and whines may have drawn. Outside of a gnoll stronghold and within the twisting tunnels of the mines a while colony occupies, their disturbed laughter and hungry growls serve to alert reinforcements. Valuable turns, spells, and other resources were spent dispatching creatures that the colony likely placed little value in in return, resulting in unfortunate trades lest the hyenas drew more powerful attention.