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Conerning Gnomes (+thread. please don't crap the thread with anti-gnome negativity)

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Also, is anyone like me in having rarely if ever played Gnomes who are ridiculous?
Define "rediculous" :p

Whatever else they are, gnomes are tricksters. This means indirect approaches to problems. It means using the opponents weaknesses against them, frequently with karmic bent. This often winds up with a result that is comical, from an exterior point of view.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
In my Eberron campaign, I added Cookie Gnomes in underground caverns who work with Mushroom Men; also, gypsy Garden Gnomes who use the Draconic Prophecy with rainbow-coloured tarot cards.

I thought it was elves who made cookies?
download.jpg

Hmmm ... wait a minute. Short, funny hat, kind of chubby ... hey! These are gnomes! NABISCO YOU WILL PAY FOR LYING TO ME!!!!!
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Being able to talk to rats in a urban campaign is about as useful as that ability gets IMO. Rats are everywhere and can get anywhere.

The Rock Gnome frankly sucks though. Tinker is flavor at best and generally bloody useless, and Artificer's Lore is neat, but really, really situational. I'll take critter talk and the cantrip every time. The Rock Gnome's total package isn't as good as either of the abilities forest gnomes get. I'm not completely married to optimization, and I have no problem playing a sub-optimal Race/class pairing if it fits the character I have in mind, but I don't think I could pull the trigger on Rock Gnome regardless of concept. That makes me sad, because I like Rock Gnomes.

Honestly, give them the mending cantrip, leave the critter talk in, plus the CON vs DEX and I'm pretty happy. Maybe give them advantage or expertise with Tinker's Tools, or even Artisan Tools generally or a subset of that list (at the expense of critter talk depending on breath of application).
Yeah between rats, cats, and birds, speaking to critters is insanely useful in urban campaigns.

And I agree about Rock Gnomes. Even my inventor gnome is a Forest Gnome.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
For those who want little boost to their rock gnomes, you can steal the Tireless Precision from GGR's Veldakens, it fits the master artisan theme of the rock gnomes. You could also add the mending cantrip if you so desire.
 
I thought it was elves who made cookies?
View attachment 107706

Hmmm ... wait a minute. Short, funny hat, kind of chubby ... hey! These are gnomes! NABISCO YOU WILL PAY FOR LYING TO ME!!!!!
Unironically, Christmas Elves, "elves in a shoe," smurfs and cereal mascots are pretty much my go-to assumption of what a gnome is.

Whimsical, overly positive, creative with some ingrained magic (that is mostly non-harmful). Not quite halflings, which are pretty much hobbits.
 

lall

Explorer
Speaking of footballs, my gnomes’ noses are smaller than footballs. See the Pathfinder gnome. Also, my forest gnomes are smaller than halflings. See 2e and 3.5.
 
Golarion gnomes are sort of crazy, nature-based fey tricksters. It's not my personally favorite incarnation. I similarly agree that Rock gnomes are bit lackluster compared to the other subtypes. Emphasizing History as an alternate means of identifying items and maybe expanding / improving the list of things that could be tinkered would go a long way toward the subrace more attractive. Some ideas (all subject to the rock gnome tinkering rules and limitation of 3 at any one time):

* Repeating crossbow: A crossbow loses the loading property; but breaks and becomes nonfunctional if a natural 1 appears on a attack roll made with the device. At least until repaired through tinkering once again.

* Clockwork familiar: When capable of obtaining a familiar through a spell or class feature, a rock gnome can construct a clockwork version instead. A clockwork familiar counts as a construct; does not need to eat, sleep, breath; gains immunity to poison; and can be repaired if reduced to zero hit points by spending an hour's worth of time and using 5gp worth of parts.

* Clockwork toy: Can move up to 20 feet per round in a direction chosen by the gnome prior to activation. If a flask of acid, alchemist fire or dose of inhaled poison is used in the construction, the rock gnome can use the device to splash the alchemist fire, acid, or poison at creatures within 5 feet of the toy after detonation; the gnome must decide how many rounds until detonation occurs at the time the toy is activated. (This uses the gnomes attack bonuses at the time of construction, but gains advantage on the roll due to mechanical support). The toy becomes broken and nonfunctional after detonating.

* Timepiece: The gnome can use a tinkering slot to construct a time-keeping device, accurate to the minute.
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Yes. Gnomes. Gnomes inspire such ... erm, passion!

Let's hear it from #1 GNOME FAN!

They are also one of my top three favorite races,
Wait ... one of the top three? That's how much you love gnomes?

Do you ever tell your spouse, "When I look into your eyes, I know I love you so much. I mean, you are definitely ... maybe .... in my top three people I've loved in the last couple of weeks. I think.... hey, um, put that down, you really don't want to throw it at me ...."

GNOMES! Probably in the top three of races of people that love them (maybe?).
 

Paul Farquhar

Explorer
I think gnomes are fine, personallity-wise. They are whatever the player makes of them. In the game I DM a gnome was a major villain. Specifically because gnomes tend not to be taken seriously the players never twigged before he was ready to reveal himself.

I think 5e rock and deep gnomes are a bit lackluster in terms of interesting racial abilities though.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
I like the concept of the gnome, and it's one of the early/classic races of the game. Unfortunately I'm not a fan of the 5E gnome, mostly because of the sub-races. The Rock Gnome used to be the standard, generic gnome, with the Forest Gnome and Deep Gnome becoming later variants. Instead, the Rock Gnome is now the Tinker Gnome (one of the worst aspects of Dragonlance IMO), which really doesn't work for a lot of settings. I understand they wanted to differentiate the sub-races, but it just doesn't work for me.

In my Greyhawk campaign I merged the two sub-races to create the singular "Surface Gnome." It's really the Forest Gnome, but gets +1 Con instead of +1 Dex. I considered altering the speak with small animals to only burrowing creatures, but realized it wasn't worth the bother. This is the way the standard gnome should be, IMO.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Something positive about gnomes...

...Uh, they make GREAT footballs!!
I've been testing this since you posted, and after 4,228 attempts, I just can't get their aerodynamics right. None of those suckers have cleared the uprights.
 

Richards

Adventurer
I've used a couple of gnomes as villains in my previous 3.5 campaign. In one adventure (which spawned a sequel), they were up against a skeletal equiceph (a Large, horse-headed, spellcasting skeleton) who called himself Darklord Drago Von Mordak. It turned out that was all just an illusion; he was really just a gnome lich whose name in life had been Toofles Pigwilligan. (But that didn't sound nearly as impressive.)

Another time they were up against an evil gnome baker named Pogo Snuffmuffin, who managed to petrify almost an entire Adventurers Guild (including all of the PCs) and was looting their headquarters - and would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn't been for the PCs' familiars, animal companions, and an elderly NPC hireling.

Johnathan
 
I think 5e rock and deep gnomes are a bit lackluster in terms of interesting racial abilities though.
Interesting is entirely subjective. But advantage on mental saves, stone camouflage, and 120' darkvision w/o sunlight sensitivity makes for pretty damn awesome rogues. With an intelligence bonus to boot for arcane trickster.
 

Tallifer

Villager
My favourite Gnomes in the published 5E books are the Sivis Dragonmark Gnomes from Eberron. My ultimate preference however is munchkins from the movie The Wizard of Oz.
 

Azzy

Explorer
Im not familiar with the Golarion depiction, can you give a tl:dr of why you love them so much?
They were originally from the First Word (the fey realm) and were immortal, but migrated to Golarion. Because of their fey ancestry, gnomes have a hard time adpating to a reality is not malleable (as it is in the First World) and must seek out new experiences, innovate, etc. or the succumb to a condition known as the Bleaching—where the gnome loses color in their hair and skin, succumbs to demetia, and eventually dies.

I’d also love to hear about your favorite non-silly Gnome PCs!
My favorite one is from a 3.5 Greyhawk campaign I DMed. I forget the character's name (because this was about the time that 4e started coming out and, well, that was just over decade ago), and she was a druid with an wolf animal companion that was about as big as her, and was a bit of the mother type to the party.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
They were originally from the First Word (the fey realm) and were immortal, but migrated to Golarion. Because of their fey ancestry, gnomes have a hard time adpating to a reality is not malleable (as it is in the First World) and must seek out new experiences, innovate, etc. or the succumb to a condition known as the Bleaching—where the gnome loses color in their hair and skin, succumbs to demetia, and eventually dies.
very interesting!


My favorite one is from a 3.5 Greyhawk campaign I DMed. I forget the character's name (because this was about the time that 4e started coming out and, well, that was just over decade ago), and she was a druid with an wolf animal companion that was about as big as her, and was a bit of the mother type to the party.
Nice! The 4e gnome/forest gnome is definitely my favorite dnd gnome. I have a rogue/wizard with a wolf familiar (it’s a story thing), and sometimes he rides his wolf friend. If not for the story that lead to that, I’d have gone with an otter, badger, rabbit, or something like that, but a wolf that’s as nearly big as him is pretty rad. She actually weighs more that him, bc her and her brother are mountain wolves modeled after Northern Colorado Mountain Wolves.
 

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