A Gnome Female
Gnomes are an intelligent and innately curious race and have a strong affinity for all thing Magical, particularly the Arcane. Gnomes may lack the drive and ambition of other races, particularly humans, but their creativity gives them a strong ability for ingenuity. Most Gnomes are content to live simple lives, acquiring knowledge merely as a hobby but others explore lost ruins, delve deep into the heart of the world, and conduct dangerous research in their unquenchable thirst for knowledge, leading more than a few to an untimely demise.
Gnomes are naturally witty and jovial, and they prefer to overcome obstacles through cunning and innovation rather than the obvious way. Ever curious, Gnomes are drawn to adventure more often by a desire to see the world than out of greed or the hope of fame. It is this curiosity, along with their cunning and witty repartee that makes Gnomes both entertaining friends and adept Wizards or scholars.
In their original home in Faerie, as well as some places in Taranche, Gnomes live in burrows and dug-out homes akin to those used by badgers, foxes, or rabbits, and as such are fond of these small animals, feeling a sense of natural kinship with them. And, like these animals, gnomes have an aversion to danger they can avoid that makes gnomes naturally inclined to hide away if they are able and many gnomish homes are carefully hidden by magic or other methods.
Like other races, Gnomish culture varies with the region and ethnicity, but a few characteristics are common to most Gnomes. Amongst virtually all Gnomes, great value is placed on one’s ability to avoid trouble and stay out of the way of others. Children’s games often involve elements of stealth and amongst adults drawing attention to one’s self is considered a breach of etiquette. The few legends of Gnomish heroes are not of powerful warriors but of subtle tricksters, who sneak past or trick their opponents rather than vanquishing them in combat. This in part comes from the long-standing issues gnomes have faced, which is their miniscule size compared to larger predators or enemies in their Faerie homelands, whom few gnomes could hope to stand toe to toe with in a fair fight.
Gnomes have an intricate society based on their love of all kinds of arts, pranks, and their long lives. They love indulgence, and they make most celebrations on a grander scale. Gnome weddings last for a week, even though Gnomes don't view love the same way humans do. If love begins to go wrong between a couple they may break up, believing it was a prank by Garl Glittergold.
Their society is based on art; all Gnomes must take up some form of art whether music, painting, cooking, building, or any other form that is considered creative by the time they come of age.
Gnomes who leave their home to seek an Adventurer's life are rare, given the race's famed shyness and lack of ambition. Those that do are motivated by a number of factors, but the impulsive race is often driven by curiosity more than anything else. Many gnomes feel no more rationale for adventuring than simply to explore the world that surrounds them. A few... the more orderly ones that is... seek out adventure for more innately noble purposes, such as to help others, but these Gnomes are rare. Other Gnomes are driven on to become adventurers by little more than simple avarice, as adventuring is often seen as a quick, if unsafe, avenue for wealth. Adventuring is not necessarily a welcomed lifestyle amongst Gnomes, in spite of the curiosity that fills the whole race, and sometimes is, in fact, seen as a betrayal of sorts to a Gnome’s family.
Gnomes, in general, are a reclusive people who'd rather stay out of others' affairs. Though some races interpret this as cowardice, it's more the case that Gnomes simply have nothing at stake in the conflicts between most other races and after centuries of being ignored or stomped on, are not particularly eager to fight someone else's fight. In fact, generally speaking, Gnomes are a very courageous and good-hearted race, who frequently use their neutrality as a way to negotiate disputes. Of all the races in Taranche, it's fair to say that gnomes have the fewest enemies, although they have very few friends as well.
Gnomes rarely intentionally invoke ire in any group, but at times circumstances have made conflict with other races unavoidable. In Taranche, Gnomes are most often at odds with Goblins and Kobolds, whom share their underground homes and often war with them for territory or wealth. In these cases, Gnomes are rarely the aggressors, due to their tendency to avoid trouble rather than cause it.
Gnomes are on fairly good terms with other Fey Creatures, and they share good relations with elves. Gnomes also get along well enough with halflings. Among those gnomes who live in the mountains and hills of Taranche, Dwarves are often counted as friends. Additionally, Dwarves and Gnomes both count Goblins and Giants as enemies and can often be found working together against them. Gnome are generally suspicious of other races, however.
Alignment and ReligionEdit
Gnomes tend toward the Chaotic alignments, and are generally goodly in nature. As a race, they worship The Lords of the Golden Hills for the most part, with some isolated communities following the elven pantheon or the worship of the Unicorn Queen.
Gnomes in the Young KingdomsEdit
- For a list of known Gnomes individuals, please see Notable Gnome Characters
Gnomes primarily live in wooded, hilly landscapes, most often underground. Generally speaking, though, Gnomes enjoy the fresh air a good deal more than other subterranean races such as Dwarves or The Drow and rarely burrow very deep, spending a great deal of time on the surface. Gnomish homes or communities are generally well-hidden, making it difficult for unwelcome visitors to find them. Within, Gnomish houses are warm and comfortable, akin to the burrows of small mammals.
Gnomes are found widely throughout the world, though rarely in large numbers. Small communities are most commonly found in the Heartlands, the Northern Dales, and along the coastline of the EasterSea. Most Gnomes who do live among other races, particularly Humans, live as gemcutters, mechanics, sages, or teachers, the last in particular being a profession highly valued by human employers, who know that a single Gnome can tutor multiple generations.
Gnome Racial TraitsEdit
- +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, -2 Strength: Gnomes are physically weak but surprisingly hardy, and their attitude makes them naturally friendly and agreeable.
- Small: Gnomes are Small creatures, and gain a +1 size bonus to AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a -1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combast Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus to Stealth checks.
- Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
- Defensive Training: Gnomes gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the Giant type.
- Gnome Magic: Gnomes add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast. Gnomes with a Charisma of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: Dancing Lights, Ghost Sound, Prestidigitation, and Speak With Animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the Gnome's class level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell's level + the Gnome's Charisma modifier.
- Hatred: Gnomes receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against Humanoids of the Reptilian and Goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
- Illusion Resistance: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against illusion spells or effects.
- Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus to Perception skill checks.
- Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on a Craft of Profession skill of their choice.
- Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat any weapon with the word "Gnome" in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Gnomes begin play speaking Auld Taoric, Gnomish, and Sylvan. Gnomes with high Intelligence scores can choose a number of additional languages equal to their Intelligence modifier.
- Level Adjustment: +0. Gnomes gain experience levels normally.