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D&D (2024) One D&D gets gnomes close to perfect

This was the idea, yeah. I preferred it to Cunning because it affected ability checks rather than just saves, since Illusion often use Intelligence check to resist o spot illusion magic.

I wpuld be surprised if illusions won't be ended with an int saving throw instead of an investigation check.
Ilthough I really found the idea neat, it has a similar problem to the old grapple: skills can by far outmatch the DC by having expertise and easier boosts.
Also with the switch from investigation to perception when you search for traps and secret doors, if you play by the rules, the existence of the illusion if given away anyway.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
OK, first off, I don't buy that these are two distinct cultures (see my Unified Theory of Gnomes link above for more). But even if they are, wow, these two lineages are not even close to as good as one another. One gets two free spells that lots of spellcasters would choose anyway, and the other one gets to spend 10 gold to flavor Prestidigitation in a way that lots of DMs would just handwave as free roleplay flavoring?

Of all the little used tool proficiencies, tinkering is currently the most nebulous and useless one of all. (I have someone with the Brewing proficiency and it has been used in play.) Since very few people are likely wanting tinkering in its real world version in D&D ("I'd like my character to be a traveling merchant who can repair pots and pans"), why not make the rock gnome magical-mechanical effect how the tinkering proficiency works generally? It's not unbalancing -- it's not even as good as a lot of subclass ribbons.

Dump the idea of gnome lineages, make the default PHB gnome a forest gnome and either give them a free tinkering proficiency (which we're generally not doing, but it's hard to see what rock gnomes are doing as something completely uncoupled from proficiencies) or rename the Artisan background the "Gnomish Tinker" background instead, to steer folks that way, for all the gnomes from Krynn and Mystara.

I definitely enjoyed the over-arching version of the gnome lore, and the main stats are good. But I think I agree that the lineages aren't my favorite.

I don't mind that the Forest gnome gets Speak with Animals instead of just talking to them, but I don't think it should be prof mod per day. This feels far more like it should be at-will. But it does allow them to speak to bigger animals, which allows for some fun village/town building.

The Rock Gnome getting two cantrips instead is a bit weird. I think the power of the feature is hard to figure out. The flavor bothered me at first, but I'm coming to enjoy it. I think they are valuing it higher because it allows some casting to be done by other characters, but I don't think off-set prestidigitation is really the same value here.

I also find it interesting to look at the Multiverse version of Deep Gnomes, now that we know that is compatible. They get their magical spells, which are very powerful, improved darkvision, the resistances, and their camoflague ability is now advantage on any stealth check prof-mod per day.

Looking at that, then back at standard gnomes.... the standards could be raised a little without too much fuss I think.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
I like both Forest Gnomes and Rock Gnomes.

And I see how they are one unified people, too.

But I also see how Rock Gnomes are really just Dwarves that chose size small, and Forest Gnomes are really just Elves that chose size small, but instead of including that size class option in the Dwarf and Elf sections, they created a separate unified section. Similarly, Halflings are just Humans that chose size small.

But you don't want to otherize any player by saying in order to be size small, you have to be a magical non-human person. So Humans now can be size small, whereas if you say you want to play a keebler or christmas elf, the DM says, okay but you're not actually an elf, you're a gnome.

Halfling had this weird identity crisis where the Stout was kinda Half-Dwarf, Half-Halfling, and the Lightfoot was kinda Half-Elf, Half-Halfling (This dates back to Tolkien where Stoors are more Human-like, Harfoots are more Dwarf-like, and Fallowhides are more Elf-like). Like, D&D knows what a Human is, what an Elf is, what a Dwarf is, and what an Orc is. But the other peoples all had a version that was kinda elf like and kinda dwarf like or else kinda human like and kinda orc like (say, Hobgoblin vs Bugbear, with Goblins being kinda Halfling or Gnome like).

But somehow, 1D&D was able to unify Halfling into their own people. But Gnomes are still caught in this limnal space between Dwarves and Elves as their littler variation. Which is weird because Dwarf also means little person in common parlance, so really Dwarves should be able to be small, not one of the only PHB lineages that CAN'T choose Small.

The lack of Ability Score bumps should give room for the two lineages to be merged. Let Forest and Rock be cultures. Svirfs can be different in the way Duergar and Drow are, and by removing Rock Gnomes as separate from Forest Gnomes, you end up with Svirfneblin contrasting more with Gnomes in general.
 

kunadam

Adventurer
But I also see how Rock Gnomes are really just Dwarves that chose size small, and Forest Gnomes are really just Elves that chose size small, but instead of including that size class option in the Dwarf and Elf sections, they created a separate unified section. Similarly, Halflings are just Humans that chose size small.
Spoken from my heart. I just do not feel what is a gnome.

In some sense I have the same problem with hobbits/halflings, but at least they had the clear role of being commoners and plum farmers. Over the editions, they have become more kenderish.

Dragonlance tinker gnomes are at least unique. So I do not mind rock gnomes going in that direction. But forest gnomes still feel like short elves.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester (he/him)
Spoken from my heart. I just do not feel what is a gnome.

In some sense I have the same problem with hobbits/halflings, but at least they had the clear role of being commoners and plum farmers. Over the editions, they have become more kenderish.

Dragonlance tinker gnomes are at least unique. So I do not mind rock gnomes going in that direction. But forest gnomes still feel like short elves.
I feel like a big issue with Halflings is that they swing between sedentary Hobbits, itinerant stereotypes of Romani people, Kender, Athasian cannibals, and Forest Gnomes with the serial numbers filed off.

“The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” depicts itinerant Harfoots (one culture of Proto-Hobbits) in much the way a lot of D&D games treat Forest Gnomes. I’ve also seen it argued that while Sam should be statted as a Stout Halfling and Pippin as a Lightfoot Halfing, Frodo should be treated as a Gnome.

The line between Gnome and Halfling has always been very vague bc they’re representing the little people. I always liked Gnomes as the Fey variation of either Dwarfes or Halflings (with Elves as the fey Humans and Firbolgs as the Fey Goliaths), but now Fairies exist as a small fey lineage! I’d almost put Firbolgs and Gnomes in this third category of natury but not Fey people, in 5e at least…
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
I feel like a big issue with Halflings is that they swing between sedentary Hobbits, itinerant stereotypes of Romani people, Kender, Athasian cannibals, and Forest Gnomes with the serial numbers filed off.
It's the sign of trying to please people who post "I don't get halflings/gnomes" threads. TSR and WotC have always had the somewhat bizarre notion that every race needs to work for every player. (The people who create those threads often have a similar view.)

Here's the thing: I really don't give a crap about elves. Rings of Power earns a lot of points with me for making elfy elfishness compelling to me for the first time since middle school. But I am well aware that other people adore elves and have no need or desire to post threads demanding they be taken out of the PHB or be completely reworked in a way that will please me but alienate the existing elf-lovers.

Why halflings and gnomes have to be remade to please people who -- spoiler alert -- still won't play them anyway has always been a mystery to me. What 4E did to halflings and gnomes were among the reasons I noped out of that edition.
The line between Gnome and Halfling has always been very vague bc they’re representing the little people.
Halflings are fantasy (in every sense) English peasants. They occupy a totally different conceptual space than gnomes, who are the magical little people.
 

I once did some digging into where gnomes came from. The D&D version anyways. And I read that, when they were concieving of the gnome, the writers wanted to make a new jack-of-all-trade race, but in a different way from humans. So, smol and tricksy-stealthy, like halflings. Likes digging and crafting and shiny gemstones like dwarves. And magical likes the elves. Thus were the gnomes born.

Heh. Or that's what I read anyways; grain of salt and all that. And its what I did with my gnomes in my campaign - half-elf meets halfling-dwarf parents.
 



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