Gnome Racial Traits

In The Realms

The human scholars of Candlekeep refer to the gnomes as the Forgotten Folk, for their willful evasion of the great wars and tragedies that color the history of Faerûn's other races. While the gnomes have been slaves of powerful nations such as Netheril and Calimshan in the past, they have never been conquerors. For the most part, they have lived in out-of-the-way forests and hills, untroubled by the conflicts that occupy human, elven, and dwarven attention.

That has changed as the strength and number of humans in Faerûn has grown. Many gnome youngsters now question the wisdom of attempting to remain completely separate from other societies. Change within gnome communities is slower than in human ones, but more and more young gnomes are leaving home to live as travelers or adventurers.

When Gond, the god of invention, appeared to the world in the form of a gnome, many young gnomes took that as a sign that it was time for gnomes to invent a new way of life. These followers of Gond share the standard gnome distaste for joining organizations that are too big, so they tend to organize themselves into small groups of like-minded inventors rather than trying to remake gnome communities in their own image.

Deep Gnomes

See also Underdark Svirfneblin

Hidden in the depths of the Underdark live the svirfneblin, or deep gnomes. Reclusive, suspicious, and resentful of intrusion into their cavern homes, the deep gnomes share little of the humor or openness of their surface cousins. Where a rock gnome community bursts with energy, excitement, and laughter, a svirfneblin city is a dull and colorless place of echoing silence and furtive motion in the shadows. All hands are raised against the svirfneblin - or so the deep gnomes believe, anyway.

The deep gnomes may be the world's stealthiest and most elusive folk. Centuries upon centuries of surviving the deadly perils of the Underdark have bred in this race an amazing gift for avoiding attention. In their cavern homes they are nearly undetectable with magic, and even in the strange and threatening (to them) surface world, the deep gnomes' natural stealth makes them difficult to spot or catch.

Svirfneblin have gnarled physiques, brown or gray skin, gray eyes, and gray hair (although males are bald). They tend to be sullen, withdrawn, and suspicious to a fault.

Regions: Very few of the Underdark towns and strongholds of the deep gnomes are known to the surface world. Most svirfneblin characters can be described accurately enough by the deep gnome entry Underdark (Northdark).

Two years ago, several hundred svirfneblin from the city of Blingdenstone were driven to the surface in the Silver Marches when their city was overrun by drow-summoned demons. These exiles sought refuge in the lands of Silverymoon and are occasionally seen in the North.

Racial Abilities: Svirfneblin have all the gnome racial traits listed above except as follows:

Rock Gnomes

Rock gnomes are the most common type of gnomes in Faerûn, and are usually just called gnomes, since they are the only ones that surface dwellers ever see. The rock gnomes of Faerûn are nearly identical to the gnomes portrayed above. They are inquisitive, irrepressible, and at times insincere. Equipped by nature with keen curiosity and a knack for mechanical workings, gnomes excel at intricate crafts such as gemgetting, toymaking, and clockwork engineering. They happen to be the finest gunsmiths in Facrûn, and they are the most likely of any race to arm themselves with smokepowder firearms.

Regions: If the rock gnomes have a homeland, they would probably count it as the half-mythical island of Lantan. See Gnome Regions. Other than in Lantan, rock gnomes do not dwell in quantity in any particular country or city. Instead, small communities, of a dozen families or so might be found almost anywhere, well hidden in wild terrain or sometimes in their own urban neighborhood. They favor temperate climates, and a number of gnome settlements are known to exist in the Western Heartlands, the Dalelands, and the woodlands of the Great Dale and Thesk.

Racial Abilities: Rock gnomes have all the gnome racial traits listed above except as follows:

Races of Faerûn
Character Creation