Gnome Racial Traits
Gnomes are welcome everywhere as technicians, alchemists, and inventors. Despite the demand for their skills, most gnomes prefer to remain among their own kind, living in comfortable burrows beneath rolling, wooded hills where animals abound but hunting is a very bad idea.
Personality: Gnomes adore animals, beautiful gems, and jokes of all kinds. Gnomes have a great sense of humor, and while they love puns, jokes, and games, they relish tricks-the more intricate the better. Fortunately, they apply the same dedication to more practical arts, such as engineering, as they do to their pranks.
Gnomes are inquisitive. They love to find things out by personal experience. At times they're even reckless. Their curiosity makes them skilled engineers, since they are always trying new ways to build things. Sometimes a gnome pulls a prank just to see how the people involved will react.
Physical Description: Gnomes stand about 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and weigh 40 to 45 pounds. Their skin ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes can be any shade of blue. Gnome males prefer short, carefully trimmed beards. Gnomes generally wear leather or earth tones, and they decorate their clothes with intricate stitching or fine jewelry. Gnomes reach adulthood at about age 40, and they live about 350 years, though some can live almost 500 years.
Relations: Gnomes get along well with dwarves, who share. their love of precious objects, their curiosity about mechanical devices, and their hatred of goblins and giants. They enjoy the company of halflings, especially those who are easygoing enough to put up with pranks and jests. Most gnomes are a little suspicious of the taller races-humans, elves, half-elves, and half-orcs - but they are rarely hostile or malicious.
Alignment: Gnomes are most often good. Those who tend toward law are sages, engineers, researchers, scholars, investigators, or consultants. Those who tend toward chaos are tricksters, wanderers, or fanciful jewelers. Gnomes are good-hearted, and even the tricksters among them are more playful than vicious. Luckily, evil gnomes are as rare as they are frightening.
Gnome Lands: Gnomes make their homes in hilly, wooded lands. They live underground but get more fresh air than dwarves do, enjoying the natural, living world on the surface whenever they can. Their homes are well hidden, by both clever construction and illusions. Those who come to visit and are welcome are ushered into the bright, warm burrows. Those who are not welcome never find the burrows in the first place.
Gnomes who settle in human lands are commonly gemcutters, mechanics, sages, or tutors. Some human families retain gnome tutors. During his life, a gnome tutor can teach several generations of a single human family
Religion: The chief gnome god is Garl Glittergold, the Watchful Protector. His clerics teach that gnomes are to cherish and support their communities. Pranks, for example, are seen as ways to lighten spirits and to keep gnomes humble, not ways for pranksters to triumph over those they trick.
Language: The Gnome language, which uses the Dwarven script, is renowned for its technical treatises and its catalogs of knowledge of the natural world. Human herbalists, naturalists, and engineers commonly learn Gnome in order to read the best books on their topics of study
Names: Gnomes love names, and most have half a dozen or so. As a gnome grows up, his mother gives him a name, his father gives him a name, his clan elder gives him a name, his aunts and uncles give him names, and he gains nicknames from just about anyone. Gnome names are typically variants on the names of ancestors or distant relatives, though some are purely new inventions. When dealing with humans and others who are rather "stuffy" about names, gnomes learn to act as if they have no more than three names: a personal name, a clan name, and a nickname. When deciding which of his several names to use among humans, a gnome generally chooses the one that's the most fun to say. Gnome clan names are combinations of common Gnome words, and gnomes almost always translate them into Common when in human lands (or into Elven when in elven lands, and so on).
Male Names: Boddynock, Dimble, Fonkin, Glim, Gerbo, Jebeddo, Namfoodle, Roondar, Seebo, and Zook.
Female Names: Bimpnortin, Caramip, Duvamil, Ellywick, Ellyjobell, Loopmottin, Mardnab, Roywyn, Shamil, and Waywocket.
Clan Names: Beren, Daergel, Folkor, Garrick, Nackle, Murnig, Ningel, Raulnor, Scheppen, and Turen.
Nicknames: "Aleslosh," "Ashhearth," "Badger," "Cloak," "Doublelock," "Filchbatter," "Fnipper," "Oneshoe," "Sparklegem," and "Stumbleduck."
Adventurers: Gnomes are curious and impulsive. They may take up adventuring as a way to see the world or for the love of exploring. Lawful gnomes may adventure to set things right and to protect the innocent, demonstrating the same sense of duty toward society as a whole that gnomes generally exhibit toward their own enclaves. As lovers of gems and other fine items, some gnomes take to adventuring as a quick, if dangerous, path to wealth. Depending on his relations to his home clan, an adventuring gnome may be seen as a vagabond or even something of a traitor (for abandoning clan responsibilities).
Gnome Racial Traits
- +2 Constitution, -2 Strength: Like dwarves, gnomes are tough, but they are small and therefore not as strong as larger humanoids.
- Small: As Small creatures, gnomes gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of Medium-size characters.
- Gnome base speed is 20 feet.
- Low-light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions, because gnomes are innately familiar with illusions of all kinds.
- +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears): Gnomes battle these creatures frequently and practice special techniques for fighting them
- +4 dodge bonus against giants: This bonus represents special training that gnomes undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants. Note that any time a character loses his positive Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, such as when he's caught flat-footed, he loses his dodge bonus, too.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Gnomes have keen ears.
- +2 racial bonus on Alchemy checks: A gnome's sensitive nose allows him to monitor alchemical processes by smell.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc. Gnomes deal more with elves and dwarves than elves and dwarves deal with one another, and they learn the languages of their enemies (kobolds, giants, goblins, and orcs) as well. In addition, once per day a gnome can use speak with animals as a spell-like ability to speak with a burrowing mammal (a badger, fox, rabbit, etc.). This ability is innate to gnomes. It has a duration of 1 minute (the gnome is considered a 1st-level caster when he uses this ability regardless of his actual level). See the speak with animals spell description.
- Gnomes with Intelligence scores of 10 or higher may cast the 0-level spells (cantrips) dancing lights, ghost sound, and prestidigitation, each once per day These are arcane spells, and as such the gnome suffers spell failure penalties for wearing armor. Treat the gnome as a 1st-level caster for all spell effects dependent on level (range for all three spells and duration for ghost sound).
- Favored Class: Illusionist, which is a wizard who specializes in casting illusion spells. A multiclass gnome's illusionist class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty (see Experience for Multiclass Characters).