D&D General Why Gnomes Are Awesome (+)


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In the ancient mythical times when snakes had legs and thunder hadn't learned to chase lightning yet, Garl Glittergold sat in a cave with some gemstones, and told jokes.

He told jokes so funny for so long that the gemstones started to laugh, and once they'd started to laugh they learned they liked it, and became gnomes, and the Forgotten Folk have followed Garl and his family ever since, learning to smith and tinker from Nebelung and mining from Flandal Steelskin, to create traps and illusions and defend their homes from interlopers from Baravar Cloakshadow, and many lessons from many other gods besides.

So, brilliant origins, gods that just hang out with them and teach them stuff on a semi-regular basis, a love of creation and laughter and delighting in new things, and that's before we even get to the kinds of traits they have.

Also in my headcannon, gnome babies don't cry when they're born, they laugh, and their first baby name is based on what gemstone their eyes resemble most.

Seriously unless you're trying to min max or don't play short races (I'm sorry but I will never not find this one weird), why on earth would you not wanna play a gnome?

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Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Digging into the topic more, I do think the 5e Gnomes disappoint a little bit. The 4e Gnome had Fade Away which let them turn invisible when they got hit. I do like the playtest gnome, though, for the most part, but ffs just let them both talk to animals at-will.

Just let them both talk to animals, and then let forest gnomes be sneaky with minor illusion and then pass without trace (altered to be able to hide a place, as well) and give rock gnomes find familiar and then summon beast, both altered to create a construct.

But! Most players choose races on theme, not power, so whatever.

4e also had awesome gnomes because they were like...hidey small trickster eladrin? With gemlike monochrome eyes, and wild untameable hair.

They survive in 5e as the Forest Gnome, though watered down a bit, while the Rock Gnome is right out of 3.5's Races of Stone.


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How I've Used Gnomes

Dresden (many other names, as one does) is a rogue/wizard who started his adventures as a swashbuckler aboard a trade/smuggler ship with some minor knowledge of magic, who turned to arcane magic when his entire crew was murdered by a necromancer. He is often brooding, but always circles back around to laughter or curiosity. His familiar is the runt of a litter of mountain wolves, the brother of which is the ranger's beast companion. He rides his familiar, which is definitely not rules legal but it's fun and he's actually faster without a mount anyway.

Combining Swashbuckler Rogue with Bladesinger Wizard levels a bit awkwardly until around level 10, but it wrecks when it comes together, but the heart of the character lives in the moments where he gets the bar singing a shanty song becuse he's bored, or sneaks into a tower that ends up housing a behir and almost getting himself killed because he didn't want to wait for the team, or when he went ethereal to murder a hag and made the team wait for him to tell them it was done so he could check out the magical tech of the Fighter's airship and take notes.

I added to the setting the idea that redcaps come from gnomes, specifically that gnomes used to put on red caps when they intended to engage in acts of remarkable violence, signifying that one should not get in their way, nor hail them, for their eyes sought only their enemy, and would not turn away from the hunt until they'd dipped their cap in the enemy's blood. It's that whole Wise Man's Fear, or Demons Run idea. “There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.” in the words of Patrick Rothfuss's Kvothe, or for a Doctor Who quote with the same point, "Demons run, when a good man goes to war."

I've always loved the idea of gnomes (and halflings, for that matter) having that kernel of true rage inside them, I once had a gnome character in a game I ran tell someone that "The world has never seen a wrath so complete, nor so cruel, as what I am about to show you."

I'm working on a gnome assassin right now who is just kindof a trickster weirdo who is a little scary just due to how unaffected they are by their work, and their habit of rambling about linguistics or telling elaborate puns while on the job, sometimes to the mark. Wears a red cap when on the job.

Someday I'll play a non-subversive gnome artificer or ranger or thief lol


Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The only part of MToF I liked, btw, was the section about gnomes and their gods. Other than that I wish I hadn’t purchased it, it’s a terrible book overall, IMO.

But the gnomes gods. Very good.

What would a 5e Fey more strongly influenced by 4e conceptually gnome look like?

So, fade away is a feat and I don’t like obviatinge existing options.

How about the explicit ability to see out of a minor illusion, thus being able to hide in one.

If your girlfriend is a female gnome, it is allowed by the law.

If you are a gnome you can kill with a crossbow Tywin Lannister when he was busy in the toilet, and everybody will congratulate you.

Gnomes riding monster mounts are cool.

Gnomes piloting steampunk mechas are cool. Thanks this they can kick-ass Megatron and Starcream.

Gnomes are perfect for a survival horror where the monsters are fomorians (ugly giants). A gnome werebadger is perfect as final surprise.

Gnomes are perfect for a D&D preschool cartoon.

Gnomes from the Feywild are enough smart to have survived the game of thrones in the fae courts.

Gnomes when they build strongholds with siege traps are like a tower defense videogame. (have you played Orcs must die! or Fortnite: Save the world?)

Digging into the topic more, I do think the 5e Gnomes disappoint a little bit. The 4e Gnome had Fade Away which let them turn invisible when they got hit. I do like the playtest gnome, though, for the most part, but ffs just let them both talk to animals at-will.
Gnome | Level Up In Level Up, the Gnomes' ability to turn invisible is a Gnomish gift called Into Mist.


As a bonus action, or as a reaction immediately after taking damage, you can turn invisible . The invisibility lasts until the end of your next turn, and it ends early if you attack, deal damage, cast a spell, or force a creature to make a saving throw. Once you use this feature, you must finish a short or long rest before doing so again.

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