They don't erase the base archetypal elf. It's just -another- kind of elf.How is that different than elves? Desert, sea, moon, ...
but what is the gnomeness they share the key things that makes something a gnomeIn my campaign I divide between forest gnomes and rock/tinker gnomes. Forest gnomes are kind and curious nature loving folk. You can walk through a forest gnome community and not even realize it between how they blend in to nature and their knack for illusion magic. They're quite inventive so be careful, they also like to play good natured practical jokes and pranks.
Rock/tinker gnomes are unabashedly stolen from WOW, as inventors of overly complicated devices that they keep trying to perfect. The more complex the invention, the more perfect it is. I've described one of the largest rock gnome cities as being akin to Las Vegas with contraptions and everyone trying to outcompete each other with crazy inventions.
On a related note, both goblins and gnomes are descended from feywild goblinkin that long ago came to my world. The feywild goblinkin are mischievous pranksters and when they left the feywild some followed the light hearted harmless pranks of Garl Glittergold's pantheon and became gnomes. Others followed the cruel, intentionally hurtful ways of Maglubiyet.
So I've given them identities over time that may not match very closely with established lore.
interestingTheir creator, Theophrastus "Paracelsus" von Hohenheim, designated them as beings of elemental earth.
Within D&D they've settled into the space of folkloric little people / mythic trickster that Elves and Dwarves can't occupy, because they glom too closely to Tolkienesque tropes.
since when have kobolds been cute they are horrible dog-like dragon servitors I suppose they could be worse they could be halflings.Goblins I’ll give you, but Tucker’s not withstanding, were kobolds ever not cute?
possibly goliath could use some more lore and connections to the world and both are orderly to the point of madnessSymbiotic fungal growth!
Dwarf are small Goliath?
fair point.They don't erase the base archetypal elf. It's just -another- kind of elf.
Meanwhile 4e made -all- Gnomes into Fey, and 5e brought them back to Humanoid.
The baseline "Gnome" gets changed because there's no real consensus or idea of what it is at its core.
Sort of like Ranger.
Gnomes are just non-Tolkien elves.
interesting, I think I have figured out what I dislike about tieflings they force me to have to having to deal with extra plane monsters that I have always disliked and outcaste has never really been a role I enjoyed playing, I prefer something that has connections to something bigger with a real place in the world other than being stepped on a lot.
I will need to think on this some more as I have debated trying to build better gnomes with a real place in the world.Yep. Gnomes exist to fulfill the weird, funky little folkloric and fairytale elf role that went unfulfilled when D&D got the elegant, pretty Tolkien elves as its elves.
They also get all the spare folkloric traits of dwarves after D&D's Tolkien-derived dwarves got what they did.
Basically Gnomes are a grab bag from the remnant folkloric attributes for fey peoples that Tolkien didn't use.
See, I've always been of the opinion Halflings are the easier one to ditch on that behalf, especially because the vast majority of the halfling subraces are barely different. Except the one which psionically talks to elves which, honestly, is basically an inbuilt gnome trait to begin withLike for example if you removed gnomes and made their Disneyish foresty animal friend subspecies to be a type of halfling and gave the mad-scientist tinkerer thing to dwarves so that they could sometimes be something else than just shortish drunken axe-wielding Scottish Vikings, then I feel both halflings and dwarves would be improved, yet the thematic concepts of the gnomes would be preserved.
Did you miss the part of Eberron's Gnomes where they have the not-so-secret police that controls most of Zilargo and also have a monopoly on most of the communication and major newspapers in Khorvaire? Sure, Eberron's Halflings ride Dinosaurs, which is cool and all, but the Gnomes are over there in Korranberg publishing whatever propaganda the Trust tells them to write while also deciding who gets to use their magic cell service.WotC and most other brands and writers try and differentiate gnomes by making them tinkers or fey or bankers (which has antisemitic roots) or whatever other role they can create that is as far from "Hobbit" as they can manage. Eberron made them Teachers, for example, tutors for the wealthy and powerful and...
What are the rest of the gnomes doing while some tiny portion acts as teachers? Same thing as everyone else. Only in the "Small People" Ghetto where halflings, gnomes, and sometimes goblins hung out. And the Keith went "Let's get crazy with halflings instead!" and made them into dino-riders instead of hobbits. Well. Almost. He turned around and made Ghallanda and made them hospitable hobbits, too.
I kind of wanted to say this earlier myself but was afraid it would come across wrong. Still, I think it's true for me, too, even though of course not all gnomes are roleplayed this way....maybe it's just that some of their quirks are particularly relatable to me (having both ADHD and ASD).