For me, the best kind of gnoll is the one without an explanation, or at least without an interesting one.
The party just found my gnoll character passed out face down in a puddle, when they woke me up I looked at them all confused and squinting and said "which... one of you... hit me?". After that I just sorta followed them around like a stray dog, they never really felt threatened by me becuase I was always so seemingly sick, sad and hungover that they more expected me to just keel over dead.
I based him off of two things; a stray dog (the kind you don't want to take home) and Kikuchiyo from 7 Samurai.
I never got the feeling at any point that PoL was cosmopolitan at all. Those PoL the setting describes are probably that way because there are hordes of evil monsters out there. They don't seound too trusting to me of monstrous races at all. The setting just doesn't seem to lend credence to that IMO. However most gnolls ARE evil, over a lot more than half of them are. Most people aren't going to think he's a good guy when they see him either. That's in the Playing a Gnoll. It should also be the breaks of playing a monster. DMs who just run them like humans in funny suits are very poor DMs. The Gnolls who get heard about are the baby eaters, not the nice Gnolls. Eberron actually DOES have the same old culture sterotypes. A monster cannot just walk around where he pleases in that setting. Sharn/Breland is more accepting but just try and walk around as a monster in say Thrane or Karnath for example. Won't fly unless your maybe associated with House Thrassk. Also as far as Sharn/Breland goes: If his Gnoll isn't from Breland? He's not protected by the laws of Galifar. He could be killed without penalty.
You're shifting your goalposts again, Akuma.
"I'm more curious why a monstrous evil humanoid is allowed in civilized lands at all?"
It's not unusual for them to be in civilized lands and a gnoll can by and large walk around where he pleases in that setting, assuming that anyone else is free to walk around in those areas as well.
All of the rest is simply an attempt to split hairs.
Do you honestly think that any city is going to tolerate anyone wandering around and killing large numbers of people, regardless of whether they have legal protections or not? That sort of behavior isn't going to be tolerated regardless of who it involves - even if it causes more trouble for some than for others.
And you're *still* ignoring the issue of not being able to tell who is or isn't protected just to look at them, and not all gnolls are Droaamish. Your 'slumming' folks are quite liable to kill someone who does have protections - which will make the trouble they're in worse, but they'll be in it regardless.
But again, your initial assertion was that they couldn't move around in civilized society. As far as Eberron is concerned, they can, and anyone deciding to kill them just for being a gnoll is an exception, not a common attitude - regardless of their legal standing. You can try to shift the goalpost to an argument about how much protection anyone has, but it doesn't change that basic fact.
Edit: Since you also seem to be fixated on Droaamites having no protection, Akuma, I must also point out that Keith Baker has mentioned gnolls as living in the Eldeen Reaches among other places. The Eldeen Reaches are most definitely one of the twelve nations and its people have full legal protections - so are you really sure you want to assume that gnolls must be fair game because Droaamites are?
Thank you Neutronium, your post pretty muchs sums up what I was trying to say.
Just because a race isn't widely accepted, or even is "normally" hostile, doesn't mean that there's some kind of "go ahead and kill them on sight" clause in every town/village/city you walk into.
And as for gnolls in the Eldeen Reaches being good/neutral or evil?
First off, it's Eberron, and alignment is not an absolute barometer of behavior or allegiance. You're talking about a setting where a LE vampire is brokering for peace and a CG queen still desires warmongering and strife. It would be safe to assume, however, that when talking about a PC that we're not talking about a savage, evil, marauding gnoll. Even if most of his people were like that, who's to say that he is as well?
And you said "it's helpful to know their disposition".
You ARE shifting the goalposts, because earlier you advocated killing them on sight. What if the gnoll you are looking at is a LG pacifist, only in town to sell his crops at the market? You'll never know, because you want to kill him on sight, and you assume that there will be no legal repercussions because he's not even a person (in your eyes).
Gee it's awfully metagamey to have everyone somehow magically see the "PC" sign above the gnoll PCs head and then just intrinsically know he's a good guy don't you think?
You can bet there actually is going to be such a clause in most standard D&D settings.
Actually, the Drooamite gnolls are not people in the eyes of the people of the setting, which are the monsters I was talking about as being ok to kill. It has nothing to do with MY eyes. It's right there in the book, not to mention Keith Baker himself talks about it. The laws only apply to Citizens of the Five Nations. Drooam and Dargun are not counted. There will indeed be no legal repercussions for killing any monsters from Drooam. None. Deal. On top of which the status of the person murdered also matters. Most typical monsters will not have much status in a human society and their deaths probably will not even be investigated. Please read the book Sharn, City of Towers more before you try to debate with me.