Ability Score Adjustments: +2 Con -2 Str
Favored Class: Wizard
Lifespan: Up to 400 years.
Special Abilities and Feats:
- Small stature
- Hardiness vs. Illusions
- Offensive Training vs. Reptilians
- Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids
- Defensive Training vs. Giants
- Skill Affinity: Listen
- Skill Affinity: Concentration
- Spell Focus: Illusion
- Lowlight Vision
The diminutive race of gnomes is thought to be an offshoot of the dwarven race that traces its roots back to a few centuries after the Great War. A dwarven hero by the name of Fegall, who fought many battles in the Great War and was reputed to be an innovative crafter, gained the admiration of thousands of galdokin followers who sought to emulate him and learn from him. Over time, this adulation caused Fegall to ascend to godhood, and a few centuries after that, the isolation of Fegall's followers caused them to exhibit differences from their now distant galdokin cousins. The races became so different in appearance, outlook, and attitudes towards craftsmanship, in fact, that they came to be called gnomes.
Unlike their distant dwarven cousins, gnomes are cheery and curious. They are so curious, in fact, that many have died for this quality in unfortunate and sometimes ironic accidents. Nevertheless, even though they possess many differences from dwarves, they stem from the same original stock and therefore have much in common. Gnomes prize hard work, though not for the good it can do for society or their fellow peoples. Rather, they prize work in a manner that borders on obsession born out of curiosity and unfocussed ambition. Gnomish craftsmanship goes above and beyond the traditional areas of dwarven work. They are known to take part in all the conventional crafts that dwarves engage in, but they also consider the term "crafting" to cover a much more broad spectrum of activities. Scientific pursuits, as well as technology, and even magic are all considered crafts. There are also many other unconventional trades that gnomes study which are considered to be under none of the above-mentioned things. Examples can include sock weaving, hair grooming, book illumination, and even bug collecting. Where dwarves partake of crafting in order to create the perfect item, gnomes see crafting as something that is to be researched and extended to create new and wonderful items.
Generally, gnomes are fun-loving and compassionate, both among their own kind and others. Their helpful qualities will only extend as far as their interests, however. Once a gnome becomes bored or uninterested in a subject or event, he or she will move on, and leave those involved behind if they do not come along. This gives non-gnomes the impression that they are unfocussed, flighty, and a little airy.
Gnomes are three feet tall on average, regardless of gender. Their eye color can range from deep blue to violet, with hues of green also possible. Gnomish hair color is generally brown or light blonde, and it is not uncommon for gnomes to have white hair. With age, their hair can become gray, though it is difficult to tell whether the color is natural or a product of longevity. Compared to dwarves, gnome hair is softer and less course in texture, and this is especially true of their beards and mustaches, which can grow long and curly. Gnome skin tones are dark compared to dwarves. They seem to have a tan complexion even though they mostly live below ground. In some specimens, the tan color has a grayish tinge to it, which can be dependent on how much dwarven blood has been mixed with their ancestry.
In terms of physique and build, gnomes tend to be lean, even skinny. They possess finely toned musculature, and thin shoulders. The effect of these characteristics on their voices is thought to be the cause for their more nasal, higher-pitched, and almost squeaky voices.
Gnomes dress according to their stations in life. Most of them are involved in crafting or research in one form or another, and they will don the appropriate gear for their occupation. Those who work the core trades such as smithing, carpentry, and masonry will dress in thick leather aprons and breaches containing various pockets and hangers for their tools. Gnomes involved in academic trades tend to favor robes with bright or gaudy colors. Each profession also has its own peculiarity of dress which often seems out of place when the gnome is away from its job, but can make uncanny sense when they are in their element.
Though they cannot completely understand the serious and almost grumpy attitudes of their dwarven brethren, the gnomes regard them as distant cousins and count them as their greatest allies and friends. This is more true of the dubgaldokin than any other type. Aside from that, gnomes will get along with any race or creature that allows them their space to work and pursue their journey to become the ultimate crafter. They do not take kindly to large-scale interference to their work brought about by disturbances from underground minions, or invasions from the outside.
On the surface, gnomes are generally a mystery because they are not seen with any regularity. Humans enjoy making up funny stories about them, which may or may not have basis in truth. These stories usually stem from the gnomish tendancy to request odd parts and objects for components used in their research. Those who encounter gnomes on the surface will often corroborate the human stories, more for fun than anything else. They seem to be a favorite outlet for jokes and humor among many surface races. Elves are more stoic when it comes to gnomes, seeing them as an equal inhabitant of the continent on which they live, and taking more than a little pleasure at the fact that the gnomes do not seem to favor living in their forests at all.
Gnomes do not usually stop to consider at all whether an action is selfish or selfless. They are strongly neutral in that regard, because moral matters are of little concern to them. In terms of their views on law and order, gnomes will either completely distrust anything to do with laws, preferring to simply do what's necessary in the moment, or they will accept the fact that some laws are necessary but those laws should not interfere with them. This makes them chaotic to netural. Gnomish ambition for anything other than crafting is virtually non-existent. Thus, they rarely go out of their way to hurt others, but they are still known to stubbornly do what they please.
The nation of Deglos is run primarily by gnomes and it is the major center of their population. This is a fairly decentralized country that is run as a conglomerate of crafting guilds that loosely control the affairs of their own members. Dubgaldokin also make their home in this underground nation, and they often fill out the ranks of the military and the core crafting guilds.
Some settlements in Deglos exist above ground, especially near the borders of other nations. These are often small outposts that the gnomes and dwarves use for trading purposes to supply materials for those crafts that are not sustainable in their underground homes.
Almost all gnomes venerate the god Fegall, who was said to be the father of the renaissance in crafting that sparked the creation of the gnomish race. For the most part, their religion consists of trying to emulate Fegall, by either extending the knowledge of their craft as far as possible, or learning as many crafts as they can.
Like most gnomish endeavors, Fegall's worship is not organized. A few gnomes act as his priests, but even these gnomes will do it in the name of a single craft or group of crafts. In general, gnomes worship Fegall by working at their trades.
Gnomes speak their own language, which is directly related to dwarven. The two tongues are close enough to get a basic understanding of what is being said when one speaks dwarven and the other speaks gnomish. The common tongue is also well-known in gnomish society, especially among gnomes who trade with surface dwellers or those that live among them.
Also see the other dwarven languages.
Gnomes are given their first names at birth, and they use these throughout their everyday lives. Last names are often descriptions of what trade the gnome works. Gnome families can be large, but they tend not to think of themselves as clans, and gnomes within the same family can have different last names, even fathers and sons. This is especially common if the two gnomes are involved in different occupations.
Bobyn, Bockworth, Bondle, Deedle, Deider, Grendle, Harold, Jakwin, Seymour, Soodo
Barma, Belinda, Charmara, Delna, Eena, Elendela, Frida, Glenda, Leerna, Mirna, Sally
Anvilworth, Bookbinder, Illusio, Lintwaddler, Smithiness
Armorers, Basketweavers, Blowgunners, Carpenters, Contraptioners, Illusioners, Miners, Portallers, Sockmakers, Swordsmiths
Many gnomes will take part in the search for components needed for their crafts that are not found within Deglos. In some of the more obscure guilds, strange components can be acquired. One widely-held account even tells of gnomes from a strange guild seeking underpants. On journeys like these, the gnome will encounter many strange and unfamiliar settings that will lead to many side-tracks, which the gnome will happily partake of without hesitation or realization of their lack of focus.