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 a Small creature, a gnome gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Gnome base land speed is 20 feet.
- Low-light vision: A gnome can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers as martial weapons rather then exotic weapons.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions: Gnomes are innately familiar with illusions of all kinds.
- Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusion spells cast by gnomes. Their innate familiarity with these effects make their illusions more difficult to see through. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.
- +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against kobolds and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears): Gnomes battle these creatures frequently and practice special techniques for fighting them.
- +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants): This bonus represents special training that gnomes undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it's caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too. The Monster Manual has information on which creatures are of the giant type.
- +2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Gnomes have keen ears.
- +2 racial bonus on Craft (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, a gnome can speak with a burrowing mammal (a badger, fox, rabbit, or the like, see below). This ability is innate to gnomes. See the speak with animals spell description.
- Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day - speak with animals (burrowing mammal only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day -- dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnome's Cha modifier + spell level. See the spell descriptions.
- Favored Class: Bard. A multiclass gnome's bard class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty (see XP for Multiclass Characters)
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.
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:
- -2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -4 Charisma. Quick and perceptive, svirfneblin are suspicious and retiring to an extreme.
- Darkvision up to 120 feet. This replaces gnome low-light vision.
- Spell-like Abilities: 1/day - light blindness, blur, and change self. These abilities are as the spells cast by a wizard of the svirfneblin's character level (save DC 10 + spell level). This ability replaces the gnome ability to cast the 0-level spells dancing lights, ghost sound, and prestidigitation.
- Stonecunning: Like dwarves, svirfneblin receive a +2 racial bonus on checks to notice unusual stonework. Something that isn't stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A deep gnome who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a check as though actively searching and can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A svirfneblin can also intuit depth, sensing the approximate distance underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.
- Nondetection (Su): Svirfneblin have a continuous nondetection supernatural ability as the spell cast by a wizard of their character level.
- Spell resistance of 11 + character level.
- +4 dodge bonus against all creatures (no special bonus against giants).
- +2 racial bonus on all saving throws.
- +2 racial bonus on Hide checks, which improves to +4 in darkened areas underground.
- Automatic Languages: Gnome, Undercommon, home region. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Illuskan, Terran.
- Level Adjustment +3: Svirfneblin are slightly more powerful and gain levels more slowly than most of the other common races of Faerûn. See Powerful Races for more information.
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:
- Automatic Languages: Gnome, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Chondathan, Draconic, Dwarven, Goblin, Illuskan, Sylvan, Terran.
- Study & Jest The secret life of Gnomes
- The Little-Lympics Beating Gnomes at their own game
- Gnome 3.0
- Underdark Svirfneblin