D&D 5E What interesting niche do Gnomes have in your Homebrew Campaigns?

I love gnomes precisely because they are the "little ugly duckling" of the core PC races, ignored by almost all players, but mainly because these are too typecasted to be rogues or illusionists. That is the reason I like the racial feats in Pathfinder 2 because this allows more flexibility.

In the right hands gnomes can be interesting and charismatic characters, as Tyrion Lannister, but with some magical powers. If you want a magical girl with a lot of comedy, then the female gnome is your girl.

About the lore the gnomes are wellcome among the civilitated people, and with links with the Feywild because in the past some ancestors were abducted by faes to be their "pets" in the best of the cases. They have a love-hate relation with the feys, as frienemies. There is mutual respect and relative tolerance with kobolds if there aren't worshippers of evil gods. They fear and hate the fomorians from the Feywild because these launched raids to catch slaves, and sometimes "food". Some gnomes may be "mutants", becoming "springgans", feared by the rest of gnomes as the Increible Hulk of the X-Men mutants by Marvel comics. If gnomes suffer some "urban legend" is about wererats and werelagomorphs(wererabbits) gnomes, or gnomes tainted by dark magic becoming fomorians. The truth is some faes escaping from the Feywild would rather to hide among the gnomes but almost never they cause troubles.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
In Six Kingdoms, the forest gnomes ousted the elves as the leaders of the Summer and Spring Fey Courts.

The rock gnomes built Boltron with clockworks, string, gems, and bound elemental wisps. But they are weasels instead of lions and more than 5 of them.
 

Bitbrain

ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
Well, in my Eberron games, Zilargo is less a police state and more a nation-sized opium den. The Zil gnomes themselves are all dreamlily addicts, so if you want a campaign using some ideas from inception, you can expect the gnomes to play a big part in the campaign.
 

aco175

Legend
I find that 5e doe not do gnomes well and they have mostly fallen out of my games as well. The last campaign was the box set, Icespire Peak and one of the first missions was to a secret gnome community living in caves. The trope the book has is silly and I skipped the whole mission. They were find back in the day because they could do some magic where dwarves and halflings could not, but today anyone can be anything, so that bumps out gnomes and being more like an offshoot of dwarves.

In my games a player could pick gnome as a PC and they could be from around, but most would be handwaved as living among the other races in scattered pockets.
 



Stormonu

Legend
The gnomes of my homebrew are the creation of the dwarves and elves, meant to be a bridge between the two races. Unfortunately, the pranks and antics of the gnomes instead drove a wedge between the two. When the truth came out, they were kicked out of both's realms and have settled in hilly lands and mines of their own - where they have taken halflings under their wing. Most halflings have an Uncle/Aunt Gem, which consists of a gnome clan that is friendly towards the halfling and their family lineage. Halfling communities often work as the "face" for gnomish trade, being middlemen to sell gnomish gemstones, wares and clockworks to the larger world.

The gnomes are mostly secretive, to the point non-halflings have rarely encountered them, and if they did, might mistake them for the wizened population of the gregarious halfling communities they live adjacent to. There's still a lot of bad blood between dwarves and elves regarding gnomes, with a common theme that "dwarves can smell them and elves spot them in a crowd" sort of prejudice, but they get along fairly well with most other races, if in a mischievous way.
 

Mad_Jack

Legend
Gnomes aren't the silly stereotyped joke race that most games portray them as. Their fae heritage is well known, and gnomes have a reputation as somewhat untrustworthy, sly, potentially dangerous tricksters. Their mastery of both magic and science is looked at with suspicion and many folks find it disturbing.

One of the most feared mercenary companies in the world are the Hell Badgers, a company of gnomish sappers and siege engineers... Rumors of them showing up on the battlefield have turned the tide of more than one battle. And rumors and reputation are two of the Hell Badgers' greatest weapons, since they have quite a number of illusionists and warlocks amongst their numbers who can help conceal their presence until they want it made known.
Quite often the first time anyone actually sees them during a siege is when the courtyard of the enemy's castle erupts in an explosion of dirt and stone tiles as the Hell Badgers come charging forth out of the gaping hole screaming like the dire badgers that fight with them, tossing incendiaries and destructive magic everywhere.
 



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