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Gnome

Gnome

Gnomes are distant relatives of the fey, and their history tells of a time when they lived in the fey’s mysterious realm, a place where colors are brighter, the wildlands wilder, and emotions more primal. Unknown forces drove the ancient gnomes from that realm long ago, forcing them to seek refuge in this world; despite this, the gnomes have never completely abandoned their fey roots or adapted to mortal culture. Though gnomes are no longer truly fey, their fey heritage can be seen in their innate magic powers, their oft-capricious natures, and their outlooks on life and the world.

Gnomes can have the same concerns and motivations as members of other species, but just as often they are driven by passions and desires that non-gnomes see as eccentric at best, and nonsensical at worst. A gnome may risk its life to taste the food at a giant’s table, to reach the bottom of a pit just because it would be the lowest place he’s ever been, or to tell jokes to a dragon—and to the gnome those goals are as worthy as researching a new spell, gaining vast wealth, or putting down a powerful evil force. While such apparently fickle and impulsive acts are not universal among gnomes, they are common enough for the species as a whole to have earned a reputation for being impetuous and at least a little mad.

Combined with their diminutive sizes, vibrant coloration, and lack of concern for the opinions of others, these attitudes have caused gnomes to be widely regarded by the other species as alien and strange. Gnomes, in turn, are often amazed how alike other common species are. It seems stranger to a gnome that humans and elves share so many similarities than that the gnomes do not. Indeed, gnomes often confound their allies by treating everyone who is not a gnome as part of a single, vast non-gnome collective species.

Vibrant Expression

A gnome’s energy and enthusiasm for living shines through every fiber of his or her tiny body. Gnomes tan or brown faces are usually adorned with broad smiles (beneath their prodigious noses), and their bright eyes shine with excitement. Their fair hair has a tendency to stick out in every direction, as if expressing the gnome’s insatiable interest in everything around.

A gnome’s personality is writ large in his or her appearance. A male gnome’s beard, in contrast to his wild hair, is kept carefully trimmed but often styled into curious forks or neat points. A gnome’s clothing, though usually made in modest earth tones, is elaborately decorated with embroidery, embossing, or gleaming jewels.

Delighted Dedication

As far as gnomes are concerned, being alive is a wonderful thing, and they squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of their three to five centuries of life. Humans might wonder about getting bored over the course of such a long life, and elves take plenty of time to savor the beauties of the world in their long years, but gnomes seem to worry that even with all that time, they can’t get in enough of the things they want to do and see.

Gnomes speak as if they can’t get the thoughts out of their heads fast enough. Even as they offer ideas and opinions on a range of subjects, they still manage to listen carefully to others, adding the appropriate exclamations of surprise and appreciation along the way.

Though gnomes love jokes of all kinds, particularly puns and pranks, they’re just as dedicated to the more serious tasks they undertake. Many gnomes are skilled engineers, alchemists, tinkers, and inventors. They’re willing to make mistakes and laugh at themselves in the process of perfecting what they do, taking bold (sometimes foolhardy) risks and dreaming large.

Bright Burrows

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 simple illusions. Welcome visitors are quickly ushered into the bright, warm burrows. Those who are not welcome are unlikely to find the burrows in the first place.

Gnomes who settle in human lands are commonly gemcutters, engineers, sages, or tinkers. Some human families retain gnome tutors, ensuring that their pupils enjoy a mix of serious learning and delighted enjoyment. A gnome might tutor several generations of a single human family over the course of his or her long life.

Seeing the World

Curious and impulsive, gnomes might take up adventuring as a way to see the world or for the love of exploring. As lovers of gems and other fine items, some gnomes take to adventuring as a quick, if dangerous, path to wealth. Regardless of what spurs them to adventure, gnomes who adopt this way of life eke as much enjoyment out of it as they do out of any other activity they undertake, sometimes to the great annoyance of their adventuring companions.

Gnome Names

Gnomes love names, and most have half a dozen or so. A gnome’s mother, father, clan elder, aunts, and uncles each give the gnome a name, and various nicknames from just about everyone else might or might not stick over time. 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 “stuffy” about names, a gnome learns to use no more than three names: a personal name, a clan name, and a nickname, choosing the one in each category that’s the most fun to say.

Male Names: Alston, Alvyn, Boddynock, Brocc, Burgell, Dimble, Eldon, Erky, Fonkin, Frug, Gerbo, Gimble, Glim, Jebeddo, Kellen, Namfoodle, Orryn, Roondar, Seebo, Sindri, Warryn, Wrenn, Zook

Female Names: Bimpnottin, Breena, Caramip, Carlin, Donella, Duvamil, Ella, Ellyjobell, Ellywick, Lilli, Loopmottin, Lorilla, Mardnab, Nissa, Nyx, Oda, Orla, Roywyn, Shamil, Tana, Waywocket, Zanna

Clan Names: Beren, Daergel, Folkor, Garrick, Nackle, Murnig, Ningel, Raulnor, Scheppen, Timbers, Turen

Nicknames: Aleslosh, Ashhearth, Badger, Cloak, Doublelock, Filchbatter, Fnipper, Ku, Nim, Oneshoe, Pock, Sparklegem, Stumbleduck

Traits

Your gnome character has certain characteristics in common with all other gnomes.

Health. Your health increases by 8.

Age. Gnomes mature at the same rate humans do, and most are expected to settle down into an adult life by around age 40. They can live 350 to almost 500 years.

Size. Gnomes are between a meter and 120 centimeters tall and average about 20 kilos. Your size is Small. You require half as much food and water as a Medium character.

Speed. Your base walking speed is 4 meters.

Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.

Gnome Cunning. You have advantage on all Will saving throws against magic.

Languages. You are proficient in Linguistics with Common and Gnomish.

Variant. Two variants of gnomes are found among the worlds: forest gnomes and rock gnomes. Choose one of these variants.

Forest Gnome

As a forest gnome, you have a natural knack for illusion and inherent quickness and stealth. Forest gnomes are rare and secretive. They gather in hidden communities in sylvan forests, using illusions and trickery to conceal themselves from threats or to mask their escape should they be detected. Forest gnomes tend to be friendly with other good-spirited woodland folk, and they regard elves and good fey as their most important allies. These gnomes also befriend small forest animals and rely on them for information about threats that might prowl their lands.

Low-Light Vision. Due to your fey ancestry, you have superior vision in dim conditions. You can see twice as far in dim light and dim light doesn’t impose disadvantage on your Perception checks.

Forest Camouflage. You have advantage on Stealth checks to hide in forested terrain.

Natural Illusionist. You know the minor illusion cantrip. If you do not have a spellcasting ability, choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as your spellcasting ability.

Speak with Small Beasts. You can comprehend and verbally communicate with Small or smaller beasts. The knowledge and awareness of many beasts is limited by their intelligence, but at a minimum, beasts can give you information about nearby locations and monsters, including whatever they can perceive or have perceived within the past day. Forest gnomes love animals and often keep squirrels, badgers, rabbits, moles, woodpeckers, and other creatures as beloved pets.

Rock Gnome

As a rock gnome, you have a natural inventiveness and hardiness beyond that of other gnomes. Most gnomes are rock gnomes.

Low-Light Vision. Due to your fey ancestry, you have superior vision in dim conditions. You can see twice as far in dim light and dim light doesn’t impose disadvantage on your Perception checks.

Artificer’s Lore. Whenever you make an ability check to know the history or workings of magic items, alchemical objects, or technological devices, you have advantage on the roll.

Eureka!. As a reaction, which you can use when you roll an Intelligence check, you recall memories and knowledge previously inaccessible to you. You can reroll the Intelligence check.

Once you use this trait, you must finish a short or long rest before you can use it again.

Tinker. Using tinker’s tools, you can spend 1 hour and 10 sp worth of materials to construct a Tiny clockwork device (5 Defense; 1 Health). The device ceases to function after 24 hours (unless you spend 1 hour repairing it to keep the device functioning), or when you use an action to dismantle it; at that time, you can reclaim the materials used to create it. You can have up to three such devices active at a time.

When you create a device, choose one of the following options:

  • Alarm. This device senses when a creature moves to within 3 meters of it without speaking aloud a password chosen when you create it. One round after a creature moves into range, the alarm makes a shrill ringing that lasts for 1 minute and can be heard from up to 100 meters away.

  • Calculator. This device makes arithmetic easy.

  • Clockwork Toy. This toy is a clockwork animal, monster, or person, such as a frog, mouse, bird, dragon, or soldier. When placed on the ground, the toy moves 1 meter across the ground on each of your turns in a random direction. It makes noises as appropriate to the creature it represents.

  • Fire Starter. The device produces a miniature flame, which you can use to light a candle, torch, or campfire. Using the device requires an action.

  • Lifter. This device can be used as a block and tackle, allowing its user to hoist five times the weight the user can normally lift.

  • Music Box. When opened, this music box plays a single song at a moderate volume. The box stops playing when it reaches the song’s end or when it is closed.

  • Timekeeper. This pocket watch keeps accurate time.

  • Weather Sensor. When used as an action, this device predicts weather conditions in a 2-kilometer radius over the next 4 hours, showing one symbol (clouds, sun/moon, rain, or snow) for each hour.