Gnomes

Over the millenia, gnomes have become obsessed with the search for knowledge. They constantly experiment and create new things to help them gather more knowledge, or to refine their understanding of existing facts. Many items in common use among other races are courtesy of the gnomes.

Gnomish society is very convoluted; it is run by a series of ministries, each devoted to something different. There is a ministry for just about any branch of study one could think of, and a few that are completely unique (some say the gnomes made them up). Despite the apparently byzantine beauracracy, though, things seem to run fairly smoothly; the Ministry of Agriculture, for instance, oversees farming issues, controls food and livestock prices, and ensures that produce is evenly distributed, while it also seeks to find ways to improve crops and productivity of the land and those who work it.

One consequence of the ministries is, obviously, that they are very effective at holding off outsiders when necessary. If someone requests information that is restricted or that the gnomes don't wish to divulge, they can bury him in endless forms and tie him up in red tape for years, if necessary, until he dies or loses interest. On the other hand, they are a marvel of efficiency when the situation warrants.

Personality: Gnomes love knowledge above all else. A gift of books, scrolls, or even unique artifacts will often serve to grease the wheels of the beauracracy for those seeking favors.

Gnomes are often serious and solem, though not as dour as dwarves; they have been accused of being humorless, but their sense of humor is simply unfathomable to outsiders.

Physical Description: Gnomes are short and stocky, with large noses, strong backs, and powerful shoulders. They were employed as miners by the Old Gods, but they never lost their musculature; the large nose (along with an acute sense of smell) was employed to sniff out pockets of gasses and dead air.

Gnomes' skin is light golden brown to dark mahogany. Their hair is dark blond to dark brown, rarely black, and their eyes are hazel, brown, or black.

Table 1: Height and Weight by Gender

Gender Base Ht. Ht. Mod Base Wt. Wt. Mod
Male 3' 7" +2d4 70 lb. ×(1d3) lb.
Female 3' 5" +2d4 60 lb. ×(1d3) lb.

Relations: Gnomes are largely uncaring of other societies, as they are largely involved in their pursuit of knowledge, but they do maintain active trading relations with most nations. Other nations, in turn, value gnomish inventions (those that actually work); a few abortive invasions in the past have met with disastrous failure, so the gnomes are mostly left alone.

Alignment: True neutral. To gnomes, knoweldge is everything.

Lands: Gnomes live in areas of rugged hills and plains.

Religion: Gnomes have a sizable pantheon, called the Celestial Beauracracy, a divine analogue of the mortal ministries.

Language: Gnomish ministers have a secret language they use among themselves, but which is never taught to outsiders on pain of death. Gnomes as a whole are fluent in Common and Gnomish, a language similar to Dwarven.

Names: Gnomish names often use long vowel sounds and can be long and unpronunceable to non-gnomes.

Male Names: Eeren, Joosten, Maasren, Roondar, Xaander

Female Names: Aleeya, Hennee, Janneke, Maarta, Saskia.

Adventurers: Gnomish adventurers are rare at best and are usually either traveling scholars, bards, or inventors who were exiled from their society for causing too much destruction. Bards, clerics, and wizards are common among gnomish society; while they have little cause for fighting, they do maintain a standing army (and thus fighters), but barbarians, monks, rangers are nearly nonexistent, and paladins unheard of (there are far too many gods for a gnome to consider becoming a champion to one of them). Rogues operate freely among gnomish society as spies and gatherers of information; they are commonly employed by ministries to sabotage or steal items and information from other ministries or outsiders, though none will openly admit such. Sorcery is rare among the gnomes, and those who do exhibit it are closely studied. Druids are rare and often employed in an official capacity by the appropriate ministries.

Table 2: Starting Age

Adulthood Barbarian,
Rogue, Sorcerer
Bard, Fighter
Paladin, Ranger
Cleric, Druid
Monk, Wizard
40 years +4d6 +6d6 +9d6


Racial Traits

- Small size. A Small character gets a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +2 size bonus on Stealth checks. A Small character's carrying capacity is three-quarters of that of a Medium character.

A Small character generally moves about two-thirds as fast as a Medium character (base land speed 20 feet instead of 30).

A Small character must use smaller weapons than a Medium character.

Racial Abilities

Keen Senses (Ex): Gnomes gain a +2 racial bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks due to their sensitive noses, and a +2 racial bonus to Perception checks due to their keen hearing. At 5th level and every five levels thereafter, the bonus to both skills increases by +1.

Low-Light Vision (Ex): A gnome can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp): 1/day - speak with animals (burrowing animals only, duration 1 minute). A gnome with a Charisma score of 10 or more also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day - detect magic, read magic. Caster level = character level.

Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat gnome hooked hammers as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.

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