Gnome race for BECMI - opinions?

Below is the basic information for the gnome as a player race in the BECMI system. I nabbed the basic idea from an old Basic D&D web site (Here.) I then altered it to bring it more in-line with the writing style and layout of the Basic (and the Expert) rules.

Gnome

Description:


A gnome is short and svelte, standing about 3 ¼’ tall, and weighs about 45 pounds Their skin color ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes can be any shade of blue (from a light ice blue, to brilliant cerulean to a deep midnight violet-blue). A gnome’s most prominent feature is its nose which is slight round and bulbous. Gnome males prefer short, carefully trimmed beards. Gnomes generally wear clothing of earth tones, though they may decorate their clothes with intricate stitching or fine jewelry. They value fine craftsmanship and expertly cut gems. Gnomes fight much like elves using both sword and spell but their spell abilities manifest in the use of alchemy (see below.)

Explanation of Gnome Experience Table:

XP:
When this number of Experience Points has been earned, the gnome automatically moves up to the next Level of Experience.

Title:
Your gnome should use this title when talking with other characters. Instead of saying “I’m Braunwyn, a Second Level gnome,” the character should say “I’m Braunwyn, the Apprentice.”

Spells: The numbers of magic-user spells a gnome can cast, and their level of power, are given here. Spells are explained below, under “Special Abilities.”

Other Details:

Prime Requisite:
Gnomes have two Prime Requisites, Intelligence and Dexterity. If a gnome has a score of 13 or more in both Ability Scores, the character gains a 5% bonus to Experience Points earned in every adventure. If the Dexterity score is 16 or greater (along with Intelligence of 13 or more), the XP bonus is 10%.

Minimum Scores: A gnome character must have a Dexterity and Intelligence score of 9 or greater when first played.

Hit Dice: A six-sided die (ld6) is used to determine a gnome’s hit points. A gnome starts with 1-6 hit points (plus Constitution bonus, if any) and gains 1d6 more hit points (plus bonus) with each Level of Experience.

Armor: A gnome may wear any kind of armor, and may use a shield. However, their armor and shield must be specially sized for them. Halfling armor is too roomy and dwarf armor is too large.

Weapons:
A gnome may use any small sized weapon (such as a dagger, short sword, or short bow). Gnomes may not use two-handed swords, longbows, battle axes, pole arms, or other large weapons. Gnomes may used normal weapons two-handed, but will lose the use of a shield.

Special Abilities:

A gnome has special vision, combat bonuses, knows several languages, and can hide in some locations better than other characters. Gnomes can cast magic-user spells but only through the use of alchemy.

Vision: Gnomes have Infravision in addition to normal sight and can see 60’ in the dark. Infravision is the ability to see heat (and the lack of heat). Normal and magical light makes infravision useless.
With infravision, warm things seem red, and cold things seem blue. For example, an approaching creature could be seen as a red shape, leaving faint reddish footprints. A cold pool of water would seem a deep blue color. Even items or creatures which are the same temperature as the surrounding air (such as a table or a skeleton) can be dimly seen by infravision.

Languages: In addition to the languages of all characters - the Common and Alignment tongues, as explained on page 51 – a gnome can speak gnome, dwarf, kobold and goblin. Additionally a gnome may speak to burrowing animals (badgers, rabbits, ferrets and the like) once per day as per the spell of the same name.

Spells: Gnomes can use magic-user spells but must “cast” these using oils, ointments salves and potions.
These spells must be prepared daily and spells not “cast” cannot be saved for later use unlike magical potions, which are created using a different process.
Gnomes must have a portable alchemical lab in order to use their spell abilities.

Combat: Gnomes are better at dodging the attacks of large creatures than are other characters. All gnomes gain the following bonuses when in combat.

-2 bonus to Armor Class when attacked by creatures larger than man-size;
+1 bonus to hit goblins and kobolds

Hiding: Gnomes are difficult to spot. In their natural habitat, dense wooded areas, low hill lands and natural (not man-made) underground formations a gnome can only be detected 15% of the time (GM rolls). In man-made dungeons this increases to 25%. The gnome must remain still and not be carrying any type of light.

Code:
                       GNOME EXPERIENCE TABLE
XP	Level	Title	               No. of Spells/Spells per Level
0       1	Gnome Neophyte   	1 First
3,000	2	Gnome Apprentice	2 First
6,000	3	Gnome Theoreticus	2 First plus 1 Second


Code:
GNOME SAVING THROW TABLE
Death Ray or Poison	        11
Magic Wands	                10
Paralysis or Turn to Stone	13
Dragon Breath	                15
Rods, Staffs and Spells	        15


I will post the "expert" additions later.
 
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That was part of the stuff that was stolen wholesale from the original article. However when I read it, it just went, BING!

Gnomes have always been that race that fall into other areas in so many campaign worlds. Kind of like halflings, kind of like dwarves, etc. The one thing they always seem to be though is innovative. So by making them just a little bit like all the other demi-human classes, and making their magic system completely different from the others, it gives them a uniqueness... for a change. :)

Thanks for the comments BTW, I know you can be very discerning.
 

Here's the Expert additions. Still working on the Companion/Master conversions.


Gnome

A gnome may only advance to 9th level. However, this is balanced by the gnome‘s special abilities, especially the combination of fighting, spell casting and combat bonuses. This combination makes a gnome far more powerful than a human of the same level. Gnomes only hire gnomes as mercenaries, although specialists and retainers of any race may be employed.

A gnome may “set” a spear against charge attacks, but (when mounted) may not charge with a lance, as described under “Fighter” (page 10). A gnome may construct a stronghold any time after 6th level has been attained. This stronghold, known as a college, may be either an above ground dwelling in the deep forest similar to an elf’s, a fortified burrow mound in the low hills or an underground complex dug from the earth. This stronghold must not interfere with any natural features such as diverting streams, waterfalls or destroying unusual rock formations.
When the stronghold is completed, the character will develop a friendship with the all of the burrowing animals in the area. All burrowing animals within 5 miles of the stronghold will be friendly toward the gnomes dwelling there.
Animals will be able to warn of approaching strangers, carry news of events, deliver short messages to nearby places, etc. In return for these services, the animals will expect help and protection from the Gnomish families live in Clans. See page 22 for more information.

Code:
GNOME EXPERIENCE TABLE
Level	Title	         XP	               Spells per Level
                                        1       2       3       4       5       6
1	Gnome Neophyte	             0	1	-	-	-	-	-
2	Gnome Apprentice	 3,000	2	-	-	-	-	-
3	Gnome Theoreticus	 6,000	2	1	-	-	-	-
4	Gnome Practicus   	12,000	2	2	-	-	-	-
5	Gnome Adeptus    	25,000	2	2	1	-	-	-
6	Gnome Philosophus	50,000	3	2	2	-	-	-
7	Gnome Major	       110,000	3	3	2	1	-	-
8	Gnome Magus            230,000	4	3	2	2	-	-
9	Gnome Magister	       400,000	4	4	3	2	1	-

Code:
GNOME SAVING THROWS
Level	                     1-3       4-6     7-9
Death Ray or Poison	      11	9	7
Magic Wands	              10	7	4
Paralysis or Turn to Stone    13	11	9
Dragon Breath	              15	12	9
Rods, Staffs and Spells	      15	12	9
 
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Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
Hmmm... I think the TTS save is a bit off, judging by how many of the petrified suckers are on my lawn.
;)

I really, really like this. Makes me long for a Basic game! One little problem: I suspect you simply haven't finished it, but the "when mounted" bit in the part about setting a spear against a charge is confusing to me; I think I understand the sentence, but it's not 100% clear.

Other than that, that it's very flavorful class, and matches the spirit of the game nicely, imho. Nice work, thanks for sharing!
 

hmmm - good point, I actually took that directly from the Expert Rule book. I'll have to check that. If I do edit I'll make sure to post a separate post here and a tag in the rule change too.

Thanks for the catch, this is why editors have top billing in game materials.
 


Theo R Cwithin

I cast "Baconstorm!"
Heh, I don't recall the old wording now, but it seems clear now, though that second set of parentheses still seems odd. Fwiw, here's the meaning I'm getting:

A gnome may “set” a spear against charge attacks as described under “Fighter” (page 10), though he may not charge with a lance when mounted.

If that's correct, then it's golden.
 

Heh, I don't recall the old wording now, but it seems clear now, though that second set of parentheses still seems odd. Fwiw, here's the meaning I'm getting:

A gnome may “set” a spear against charge attacks as described under “Fighter” (page 10), though he may not charge with a lance when mounted.

If that's correct, then it's golden.
That is the correct meaning. Yes the wording is cloogey, however, I didn't write the original.
 

Particle_Man

Explorer
For what it is worth, TSR did come up with a gnome PC race in the supplement PC2 Creature Crucible: Top Ballista. There is the regular underground gnome and the skygnome, a rare clan, that lives in a flying city (not too far from Tinker Gnomes in Dragonlance).
 

For what it is worth, TSR did come up with a gnome PC race in the supplement PC2 Creature Crucible: Top Ballista. There is the regular underground gnome and the skygnome, a rare clan, that lives in a flying city (not too far from Tinker Gnomes in Dragonlance).

Yeah, I have that - If I publicly stated my true personal opinion of Mssr Hickman and Mdm Weiss's Dragonlance and their creations within I would get me banned from here. Let's just say I would love to tinker with their gnomes and kender are great - light roasted in a honey glaze. The "regular" gnomes suffered from the same problem as the other TSR versions - they weren't unique, they were a pile of stats that too closely resembled anorexic dwarves. :)

Both versions are ersatz homages to tinkers - thank you , pass.
 

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