D&D General Why Gnomes Are Awesome (+)

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.
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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.
I have no need for gnomes in the least. However, this little bit has drawn my attention favorably. Well done! My biggest issue is that they are too similar to either halflings or dwarves, and I prefer the different races to be strongly themed. I am following the thread with interest, and look forward to someone changing my mind!
 

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Atomoctba

Adventurer
There was a time when the Garden of Mortals did not know gnomes, until they began to appear. Out of nowhere. Appearing in mid-air on city streets or in the middle of countryside plantations. Disoriented. With no idea of their past life. It soon became clear that they were fey creatures. Somehow isolated from the Dreaming. Sent to the Waking World for some transgression. Of which they do not remember.

Since then, gnomes are among us. Some are as subtle as the most fleeting dreams. Others are as intimidating as nightmares. Others are sharper than anything else around them, as if from a vivid dream. There is a type of gnome for every kind of dream. And without remembering their past, they try to fit into the culture of the place they appeared.

Gnomes sleep, but do not dream. They were banished from the Dreaming. Their sleep is almost like a death-like sleep, in which they simply seem to "shut off". What could they have done to be exiled in this way? Perhaps it is something that will never be revealed to us.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I have no need for gnomes in the least. However, this little bit has drawn my attention favorably. Well done! My biggest issue is that they are too similar to either halflings or dwarves, and I prefer the different races to be strongly themed. I am following the thread with interest, and look forward to someone changing my mind!
Fair! While I prefer gaming worlds to be built with stuff strongly differentiated races very low on the priority list, I do think that gnomes are mostly just not well presented in 5e, but the 3.5 and 4e gnomes nothing like halflings and very little like anyone else.

3.5 gnomes are basically 5e’s rock gnomes. They are friendly, curious, and are beings of laughter and familial loyalty and creation. They have a potential strong place in a world as those responsible for the invention of crossbows, or water wheels, or water screws, windmills, etc.

If you want a race of people who see a strange and terrible monster they’ve never seen before, and immediately get out a notebook, rock gnomes are your best bet.

What they should have in 5e is tinkers tools and one other artisans tools, and something related to invention, because they’re just as likely to be painters or sculptors, as cobblers or artificers or inventors.

Forest Gnomes are basically the 4e gnome, which was a Fey creature with gemlike eyes and wild hair, who could turn invisible. They love illusions, and live in the deep forests near places close to the Feywild, and make their homes in burrows under the roots of trees, and bigger folk often walk through without ever knowing they were in a town.

Gnomes have off and on spoken to small and/or burrowing animals, been illusionists, and been associated with alchemy (true to their IRL origin as earth spirits in the writings of the alchemist Paracelsus) and inventions, trickery, and a jovial jokester nature.

I will admit that rock gnomes often are depicted basically living in hobbit homes, but hey they’re little earth spirit guys, where else they gonna live?
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In my friend’s setting, there are two mountain communities of gnomes. Both are a mix of gnome types, but the far northern one has more forest and deep gnomes than rock gnomes, and the more Swiss alps mountain region has a higher population of rock gnomes.

The northern mountains are a very Celtic inspired land, and the Gnomes have lived there since they were true Fey, before the fall of the great Fey kingdoms. They remember, at least culturally, the great trees with 30-70 yard diameters that reached up into the clouds, and many of their towns are carved into the stumps of these fallen giants. The flora and fauna lives higher up the mountain than would be the case IRL, and the gnomes share the mountain with dwarves and Goliaths and some few humans. There are still trees in the north equal to RL giant redwoods, and firs and other such trees as you go up the mountain until they finally thin out.

The Kiltaithi Gnomes are more often matriarchal than not, and organize themselves in clans and families. with clans usually named after mythic Gnomish heroes (which all happen to have Celtic names like Mananan mac Llyr, Graine Mhoal, Morrigan, and Nuada.

They essentially revere the great Fey and their own ancestors and the spirits of the land. There are also sea folk around the norther peninsula on islands, and are clever shipwrights, and deep gnomes that mostly live in cliff caves and fish and dive in the fjords with the help of magica to keep them from freezing.
 

The Glen

Legend
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Mystara gnomes rock. Only they find a magitek explodium powered rocket engine and strap a city to it. Then build an amusement park on top of it.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I have no need for gnomes in the least. However, this little bit has drawn my attention favorably. Well done! My biggest issue is that they are too similar to either halflings or dwarves, and I prefer the different races to be strongly themed. I am following the thread with interest, and look forward to someone changing my mind!
i agree with this point, this is not meant to be me dumping on gnomes, i have no great hate or great love for gnomes, mostly i forget about them, i think this is because they are conceptually spread thin all over the place, their theme exists on a quantum sliding scale between the core four's unique species themes, sometimes multiple times over in a single world, they're curious, ambitious and a bit eccentric like humans, they're fey, magicy and inteligent like elves, they're master crafters associated with earth and stone, jewels and metal like dwarves and they're small, humble and in tune with nature, subtle and tricksy or jolly and friendly halflings.

when your premise is split threeways and runner up to all four of the most iconic species in the game it's not hard to see why they can be sidelined or considered irrelevant, they need something to really pin down what they're about, their own thing, the iconic gnome class could be wizards, rogues, artificers or druids, all very strong species-class themes but all incredibly different unlike most other species who have some sort of focus.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
i agree with this point, this is not meant to be me dumping on gnomes, i have no great hate or great love for gnomes, mostly i forget about them, i think this is because they are conceptually spread thin all over the place, their theme exists on a quantum sliding scale between the core four's unique species themes, sometimes multiple times over in a single world, they're curious, ambitious and a bit eccentric like humans, they're fey, magicy and inteligent like elves, they're master crafters associated with earth and stone, jewels and metal like dwarves and they're small, humble and in tune with nature, subtle and tricksy or jolly and friendly halflings.

when your premise is split threeways and runner up to all four of the most iconic species in the game it's not hard to see why they can be sidelined or considered irrelevant, they need something to really pin down what they're about, their own thing, the iconic gnome class could be wizards, rogues, artificers or druids, all very strong species-class themes but all incredibly different unlike most other species who have some sort of focus.
The game is better for them not being forced into a silo.
 

aco175

Legend
I loved playing gnomes back in 3e times, but have not played one since. They seem to truly be the forgotten folk in my campaigns now. (sad-faced emoji)
 


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