“We’ve been living, fighting, and dying side-by-side since the Wars of Binding, enough that some you call us “halflings” and treat more like your some of your own kin and less like the Forest- or the Mountain-Folk. Some say that it our friendship that brought the Fae into the Great Alliance against the Witch-King, and here in the Heartlands we’ve certainly had good relations with Albion since the Wars of Binding. I’ve always thought that it was because we’ve shared a dislike of goblinkin, a hatred of the Dearth, a love of good food, better drink, and a quiet pipe at the end of the day. We have more respect for the Great Mother these days than you do – with the Lighters spreading there aren’t enough of the wilderwise that still honor the Old Faith. That said, there are still enough of you here in the hills that we both call home that we can still share a pipe and a tankard of ale at the end of a hunt.” – Prince Gnaismith Glittergold, Ambassador to Albion.
The Gnomes, also known as Halflings, the Small Folk, and the Little People, are an earthy and lively race that inhabits the forested hills of the Mortal Realms for the most part, across all climates. Technically speaking they are considered part of the Faerie Folk, but are so down-to-earth that even most humans don’t see them in the same light as their distant cousins in Faerie (Pixies, Sprites, etc.) or the Shadowlands (the feral and greatly feared Daeshin Vorre). They enjoy food and drink, and have the lusty appreciation for life that makes them easy to get along with for most humans – who find them much more approachable than the dour dwarves or the ethereal elves. They are also known for their sense of humor and have a reputation as tricksters and jokesters. .
Appearance: Male Gnomes stand 42″ tall (+1d3 or -1d4), and weigh 80 lbs (+2-12 or -2-8) while female Gnomes stand 39″ tall (+1d3 or -1d3), and weigh 75 lbs (+1-8 or -1-8). Both genders have generally average builds that tend towards the rangy and tanned complexions. Their hair tends to come in various shades browns, blacks, and occasionally very dirty blonds, very rarely in true blonds. Beards are rare and tend to be more wispy or short rather than the full facial hair of humans or the bearded glory of the dwarves. Eyes are most often hazel, but brilliant greens and blues occur rarely.
Lifespan: Gnomes are young adults at age 50, are considered mature adults at around age 90, and can live up to 750 years of age. They generally begin play at 60 +5d4 years of age.
Common Alignments: Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral.
Common Classes: Druid, Healer, Fighter, Ranger, Archer, Thief, Scout, Mountebank, Bard, Illusionist.
Common Culture: Gnomish culture is based around family and clan, with tracing lineage and relationship being a common pastime. Gnomes tend to be an odd combination of free-wheeling spirits mixed with strong traditionalism and loyalty to each other and to their friends. Generosity of both spirit and goods is considered a virtue, along with wit and humor. Many Gnomish families have integrated into human kingdoms, most commonly living in rural communities engaged in hunting, mining, and craftwork. There are, however, a number of independant Gnomish kingdoms scattered across the Mortal Realms.
Naming Conventions: Surnames are often a combination of an element and a terrain feature (Mudswamp, Silvermoraine, etc), though the oldest of families have a similar convention to Dwarven custom of a descriptor and an element (Glittergold, Brightiron).
Common Dress: Gnomes tend to prefer practicality over style, with kilts and blouses for men and dresses for women being traditional. Colors are often a mix of neutral browns, greens, and tans mixed with splashes of color (blues and reds are favorites). Jewelry is common and plentiful for men and women, commonly a torc or necklace, along with a mixture of rings, bracelets or bracers, and brooches.
Common Professions: Gnomish society stands on its own in rural settings, so any profession appropriate to that setting is possible. In more urban settings Gnomes are known as superlative jewelers and gemcutters, finer even than their cousins the dwarves, and the less honest among them make excellent safe-crackers and locksmiths. Illusion magic is generally considered the province of the Gnomish gentry and nobility, and being a Ranger is considered one of the most honorable pursuits that a Gnomish warrior can take.
Common Religions: Gnomes invariably follow their own version of the Old Faith, though there are only priestesses in thier hierarchy. Some Gnomes will worship at the En Khoda Theos Kirk (the Great Elemental Dragons), but this is rare and is seen a bit of affectation by other Gnomes. In either case they will only rarely will they worship side-by-side with humans though, preferring to establish their own groves or kirks.
Statistic Bonuses: -1 to Strength, +1 to Dexterity, +1 Power.
Languages: Faerie, Dark Tongue, the local Human Language (Int15 +1, Int 16 +2, Int17 +3, Int18 +4). Gnomes may also communicate with all small burrowing mammals such as badgers, moles, ground squirrels, etc.
Special Abilities: +3 to Hit with Missile Weapons; +1 to Hit Goblins; -4 to be Hit by Larger than Man-Sized Creature; If alone or only in the company of other Gnomes or Elves (or 90′ distant from others) they have +2 to Surprise Rolls; Highly Resistant to Poison (+1 to saves per 3½ pts of Constitution); Highly Resistant to Magic (+1 to saves vs. Spells, Rods, Wands, & Staves per 3½ pts of Constitution); 60′ Ultravision; Invisible in natural surroundings: 90%; Detect Snares and Pits: 70%; Identify Pure Water 80%; Predict Weather 50%. Gnomes of 4th level or higher may use an Animal Friendship spell 1/daily. Noble Gnomes may all use Cantrips as an Illusionist at 1st Level, and at 4th Level may use Ventriloquism, Dancing Lights, and Light 1/day each. At 8th Level, noble Gnomes may use Mirror Image, Confusion, and Dimension Door 1/day each as well.
Special Vulnerabilities: Gnomes do not suffer from any particular vulnerabilities that are not immediately obvious. They are short, do not swim particularly well and prefer to stay away from water and boats. They are sometimes treated more like children by ignorant but well-meaning humans (and some insufferable and condescending elves). Goblins will tend to target them in preference to other races with the sole exception if Elves (who suffer from their greatest hatred). Gnomes all also suffer from the standard -10% penalty per character class to all experience gained.
Character Class Limits: Entertainer – N/A (Mountebank – 8th), Mage – N/A (Alchemist – 6th), Priest – 7th, Psychic – N/A (Illusionist – 6th), Rogue – 8th, Warrior – 5th, Warrior-Monk – N/A. As always, this is for Prime Attributes of 15 or less, 16 is +1 level, 17 is +2 levels, 18 is +3 levels, and 19 is +4 levels before the XP penalty is doubled from -10% to -20%.
Psionics: None inherent – they may not roll for Psionics, instead they develop and train as the Illusionist or Mountebank classes instead.
Additional Proficiencies or Skills: None, though if a Gnome chooses to specialize in Shortbow it only costs two rather than three proficiency slots. Gnome Warriors have one additional weapon proficiency.
Rogue Bonuses: Slight of Hand: No Bonus, Open Locks: +5%, Find/Remove Traps: +10%, Stealth: +5%, Climb Walls: -10%, Acrobatics: +5%, Tumbling: +5%
Perception / Hear Noise: Base 20%