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D&D General why do we have halflings and gnomes?

Lycurgon

Explorer
I have not read the entire thread so I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but I have a personal theory for the main influence for Gnomes. Obviously Halflings, along with Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs are all derived from Tolkien's works, but there are other books known to have influenced D&D. Several elements of D&D are derived from Poul Anderson's "Three hearts and three lions", including Trolls, paladins and the alignment system.
I also thing Gnomes are influenced by the Dwarf character Hugi. When I read the book the Dwarf character was the first time I had read of a character that made me think D&D Gnome. While he is a Dwarf he is less a Tolkien Dwarf and more a forest Dwarf, good at dealing with forest animals and survival. A Tolkien based D&D Dwarf would be a poor fit for Hugi but a forest Gnome, especial early edition Gnomes, would suit him just find.
 

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Nellisir

Adventurer
I have not read the entire thread so I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but I have a personal theory for the main influence for Gnomes. Obviously Halflings, along with Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs are all derived from Tolkien's works, but there are other books known to have influenced D&D. Several elements of D&D are derived from Poul Anderson's "Three hearts and three lions", including Trolls, paladins and the alignment system.
I also thing Gnomes are influenced by the Dwarf character Hugi. When I read the book the Dwarf character was the first time I had read of a character that made me think D&D Gnome. While he is a Dwarf he is less a Tolkien Dwarf and more a forest Dwarf, good at dealing with forest animals and survival. A Tolkien based D&D Dwarf would be a poor fit for Hugi but a forest Gnome, especial early edition Gnomes, would suit him just find.
The Broken Sword, by Poul Anderson, has several descriptions of creatures called gnomes identical to D&D gnomes. It was also published before Three Hearts and Three Lions (and is, IMO, a better D&D story).
 

I have not read the entire thread so I am not sure if anyone has mentioned this before, but I have a personal theory for the main influence for Gnomes. Obviously Halflings, along with Dwarves, Elves, and Orcs are all derived from Tolkien's works, but there are other books known to have influenced D&D. Several elements of D&D are derived from Poul Anderson's "Three hearts and three lions", including Trolls, paladins and the alignment system.
I also thing Gnomes are influenced by the Dwarf character Hugi. When I read the book the Dwarf character was the first time I had read of a character that made me think D&D Gnome. While he is a Dwarf he is less a Tolkien Dwarf and more a forest Dwarf, good at dealing with forest animals and survival. A Tolkien based D&D Dwarf would be a poor fit for Hugi but a forest Gnome, especial early edition Gnomes, would suit him just find.
I'm not so sure. Gnomes have a pretty heavy presence in folklore prior to D&D. Garden gnomes predate D&D by at least 50 years, if not more. I also note that gnomes as a playable race came about a year after the English translation of this fairly well known book. The 5e forest gnome seems very likely to have at least been influenced by the Huygen book.
 
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