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D&D 5E Bring Back Gnomes!

shadow

First Post
So far the playtest packet has included dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. Although I know that we haven't seen anything close to the final version yet, I really hope that gnomes are included in PC races. Gnomes are an 'iconic' D&D race for me since they have been in the game since the AD&D 1e PHB. Also, although they are not a race that is commonly played, I always enjoyed gnome illusionists and tricksters. Sure the PHB can include dragonborn and tieflings, but I want there to be gnomes too!
 

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Why? The only version to give gnomes a distinct and unique identity that made them popular (other than as Tinker Gnomes - which was pretty obviously done to make them into something other than a type of dwarf) was the one that left them out of the PHB. Before that gnomes were effectively a joke race. Fitting gnomes into the game in such a way they are distinct from dwarf/halfling hybrids is not a major priority.
 

JRRNeiklot

First Post
1E gnomes were definitely NOT a joke race. They were forest creatures with a love for animals and an innate knack for illusions. One of my favorite races until 2e and later editions made them a joke.
 

YES! Gnomes should NOT be relegated to a later book any more than druids, frost giants or ankhegs.
Druids - not in oD&D. In the Companion rules in BECMI. Proto-Speciality priests in 1e and 2e. Pretty obviously flawed and broken in 3.0 and worse in 3.5. Yeah, I'm going to say that the record of druids as core is really pretty terrible. Even the 4e Essentials druid - the sentinel - is one of the worst things about Essentials. They needn't go in core either if the track record is something to go by. And I've never used an ankheg, wanted to use an ankheg, or seen an ankheg used.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I strongly agree - having gnomes in the PHB is part of the game's identity at this point; not having them would damage Fifth Edition's cred amongst older gamers.
 

So far the playtest packet has included dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. Although I know that we haven't seen anything close to the final version yet, I really hope that gnomes are included in PC races. Gnomes are an 'iconic' D&D race for me since they have been in the game since the AD&D 1e PHB. Also, although they are not a race that is commonly played, I always enjoyed gnome illusionists and tricksters. Sure the PHB can include dragonborn and tieflings, but I want there to be gnomes too!

No. There's already a lot of races, and the PH should only include popular ones, not marginal ones. (And I would agree with 4e critics that dragonborn didn't need to be in the PH, and neither did tieflings.)

Gnomes take a lot of effort to be cool or unique. I've only seen them made cool in Eberron, and I'm not sure if other settings would easily fit gnomish secret police into them. Any other setting either treats them as jokes (Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms), removes them (Dark Sun) or makes them crosses of elves, dwarves and/or halflings (multiple settings, including the Realms again).

1E gnomes were definitely NOT a joke race. They were forest creatures with a love for animals and an innate knack for illusions. One of my favorite races until 2e and later editions made them a joke.

Sound like elves that happen to like illusions. So elf feylocks :) Do we really need a race to support just one school of arcane magic? Is there a race out there for conjurers?
 

1E gnomes were definitely NOT a joke race. They were forest creatures with a love for animals and an innate knack for illusions. One of my favorite races until 2e and later editions made them a joke.
Point. The 1e druid did have an identity and was squeezed out of the forest by the elves and out of the magic user niche by 2e making illusionists mere specialist wizards.
 

The Shadow

Adventurer
I thoroughly agree! My two favorite D&D characters of all time are both gnomes.

I disagree that they are too much like dwarves or elves; they have an identity all their own. (The mere fact that both similarities are argued should be a clue.) Though I will agree that the nerfing of Illusionists in 2e was a major disappointment that affected them sorely.

P.S. Like the username, btw. Shadows of the world, unite!
 


I disagree that they are too much like dwarves or elves; they have an identity all their own. (The mere fact that both similarities are argued should be a clue.) Though I will agree that the nerfing of Illusionists in 2e was a major disappointment that affected them sorely.
Not really. 1e gnomes were in what is now the wood elf niche as elves expanded with about fifty different subraces. 3e gnomes were dwarf wannabes (underground rather than forest dwelling, speak with burrowing animal, dwarflike crafting). It's separate concepts because the elves took the gnomes homeland until 4e. And in 3.5 as if the gnomes weren't the butt of enough jokes they made them have their favoured class as the most mocked class: the bard. (Yes, bards rock - sometimes literally - but they were definitely mocked).
 



Stormonu

Legend
Having run B/X for the first few years of my D&D career, I wouldn't miss them much - they've been unevenly and ill-defined for a long time. That said, my play group constantly uses them so it'd be a strike against going to 5E if they weren't in core.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
Maybe because I've spent the most time in 1e (and 2e), but I've really never understood the anti-gnome sentiments...or "gnomism," if you will. ;P

Can't say I've seen tons in play...or played many myself (I did have one that was a particularly lot of fun). But there was never any thought or discussion on "they're too close to dwarves" or "they're just short wood elves" or whatever. They were gnomes. They were around. Nobody minded. Some had fun.

Why they somehow, now, just don't match up/warrant being a core PC race, I don't get.
 

Please allow a minority report: gnomes have become kender in drag; they can afford to wait for a supplement.

Though if we have to add races to the PHB beyond the typical human/elf/dwarf/halfling/half-elf, I'd prefer gnomes and half-orcs over dragonborn, tieflings, or other recent arrivals.
 


S

Sunseeker

Guest
Gnomes and Halflings(who are already in but bear with me) fall into the same hole for me. What makes them unique other than being a short version of an existing race? Halflings are basically short humans. Their society, their lives, their livelyhood are all basically human. How are Gonmes not just short elves? They're fey, they're magically inclined, they're more practical jokers than arcane masters, but they're just as much tree-huggers. What do they really have that defines them?

Dwarves have different society, different livelyhoods, different outlooks on life. Same applies to elves when you compare these races to humans. What's worse though is that none of these races are distinctive.
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Looking back to the European lore that gave D&D creatures like elves, gnomes, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, etc.- many of which were interchangeable*- the problem with gnomes in D&D becomes clear: by and large, when given an opportunity to include a creature of that kind, the designers tended to default to "elves".

IOW, its not that gnomes can't be cool, its that elves got most of the cool bits that could have gone to other races, gnomes included.







* this is the Transitivity of Fey
 
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