Quick Stats:

  • Ability Score Adjustment: +1 Health, +1 Knowledge, -1 Willpower
  • Class Level Limits: See Racial Level Limits
  • Multi-Class Options: Illusionist + any one non-wizard, or Tinker + any one other
  • Height (M/F): 38 in / 36 in +1d6
  • Dome Height: 10 in +1d20
  • Weight (M/F): 72 lbs / 68 lbs +5d4
  • Aging:
    • Starting: 60 +3d12 years
    • Adult/Middle/Old/Venerable: 60 / 100 / 133 / 200
    • Maximum: 300 +3d100
  • Languages:
    • Bonus Languages: Gnim2, Burrowing Mammals1
    • Recommended Languages: Chuklian, Dethek, Luiric, Yip Yak, Undercommon
  • Movement: 6
  • Special Abilities:
    • Gnomish infravision enables them to discern gradients of heat within 60 feet in darkness. In addition, a gnome’s keen senses allow him to purchase Detection Proficiencies for the normal cost, regardless of his class.
    • Like their cousins the dwarves, gnomes are highly magic resistant. This gives a bonus to gnomes’ saving throws against attacks from magical wands, staves, rods, and spells. This bonus is +1 for every 3½ points of Health score. These bonuses are summarized on the Dwarf page.
    • In melee, a gnomes can head butt for 1d6 points of piercing damage (plus the gnome’s Muscle modifier, if any). A gnome cannot attack with a weapon and use its head butt in the same round.
    • Gnomes gain a +4 bonus to their AC against attacks made by ogres, trolls, giants, titans, or similar creatures.
    • Gnomish priests start out with a burrowing animal companion. This animal is the voice of the gnome’s god, and can only be heard by the priest. The animal offers advice and commentary, and when the priest uses Divination spells, the deity speaks through the animal.
  • Special Restrictions:
    • Gnome wizards and lone wolves must always be specialists in the school of Illusion.
    • Gnomes are small-sized. They cannot use Large-sized weapons and must wield Medium-sized weapons in two hands.
    • As small-sized creatures, gnomes have 2/3 the carrying capacity of a human of equal strength.
    • Gnomes are much more comfortable with technological devices than with magical items, and suffer a 20% chance for failure every time they use any magical item except weapons, armor, shields, illusionist items, and (if the character is a thief) items that duplicate thieving abilities. This check is made each time the gnome attempts to use the device, or, in the case of continuous-use devices, each time the device is activated. Like dwarves, gnomes can sense a cursed item if the device fails to function.

Background: Kin to dwarves, gnomes are noticeably smaller than their distant cousins. Gnomes, as they proudly maintain, are also less rotund than dwarves. Most gnomes have dark tan or brown skin. The most striking feature of gnomes, though, is their tall, steeply pointed craniums. A gnome’s dome can be half-again as tall as the gnome itself, and often causes them difficultly in navigating subterranean corridors designed for other short creatures such as dwarves or goblins. Gnomes hair tends to come in bright primary colors otherwise unseen in nature — such as red or blue — and lay flat against their domes, creating the impression that they are all wearing tall, conical hats. A typical gnome lives for 350 years.

Gnomes have lively and sly senses of humor, especially for practical jokes. They have a great love of living things and finely wrought items, particularly gems and jewelry. Gnomes love all sorts of precious stones and are masters of gem polishing and cutting.

Gnomes prefer to live in areas of rolling, rocky hills, well wooded and uninhabited by humans. Their diminutive stature has made them suspicious of the larger races—humans and elves—although they are not hostile. They are sly and furtive with those they do not know or trust, and somewhat reserved even under the best of circumstances. Dwelling in mines and burrows, they are sympathetic to dwarves, but find their cousins’ aversion to surface dwellers foolish.

1 Gnomes can speak in a language of signs, grunts, and snorts that allows minimal communication with moles, badgers, weasels, and similar creatures, including giant versions.

2 The most distinctive feature of Gnim, the gnomish language, is its lack of distinct “G” or “N” sounds, which carries over to all other languages. The gnomish hard-pallet is formed in such a way as to make these sounds unpronounceable. Instead all ‘n’ and ‘g’ sounds are replaced in gnim by a glottal stop produced in the back of the throat (ʔ, as in the gap in the English ‘uh-oh’). As such, even when writing other languages, gnomes tend to replace all ‘n’ and ‘g’ sounds with the tell-tale “GN”. Thus, the dominant gnomish deity — Gond to humans — is actually written Gnognd among gnomes and pronounced ʔoʔd.


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