“We’ve been living, fighting, and dying side-by-side since the Wars of Binding, enough that some you call us “halflings” and treat us 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.
Statistic Modifiers: +1 Dexterity, -1 Wisdom
Languages: Faerie, Dark Tongue, the local Human Language.
Appearance: Gnomes stand 2′ 11″ tall (+2d4), and weigh 35 lbs x(1) Lbs . They are Small in Size and have a Speed of 25. 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.
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.
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 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 independent Gnomish kingdoms scattered across the Mortal Realms.
Common Backgrounds: Entertainer, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Guild Merchant, Ordinary Person, and Noble are all suitable Backgrounds for Gnomes.
Naming Conventions: Gnomes use a variety of names, combining given names, surnames, nicknames, professional names, and both clan and kingdom names into their “complete” name in the following lineal fashion:
<Nickname> <Given Name> <Professional Name>
of the family <Surname> of the clan <Clan Name> in the kingdom of <Kingdom>
Complicated relationships, especial for nobles, can result in multiple professional names, clan relationships, and surnames being used. Outside of Gnomish culture, this is often reduced to Given Name or Knickname, Surname, and Clan. 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). Royal families often follow a convention of using (to human ears) what is written as a “silent g” at the beginning of given names.
Common Alignments: Chaotic Good, Neutral Good, True Neutral, Chaotic Neutral.
Common Religions: Gnomes invariably follow their own version of the Old Faith, though there are only priestesses in their hierarchy, and they almost all belong to a Circle of the Land (Golden Woods). 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.
Common Classes: Preferred: Druid (Land/Golden Hills), Ranger, Rogue (Scout or Arcane Trickster) — Common: Bard, Fighter (Champion), Wizard (Divination or Enchantment) — Uncommon: Cleric (Nature), Sorcerer, Warlock (Archfey) — Rare: Barbarian (Totem), Paladin (Vengeance) — Very Rare: Monk
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.
Darkvision: Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, Gnomes have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. They can see in dim light up to 60 feet as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it was dark. They cannot discern color in darkness though, only shades of grey.
Speech with the Small Beasts: Through sounds and gestures, Gnomes can communicate with simple ideas with Small or smaller beasts. Gnomes love animals and often keep squirrels, badgers, rabbits, moles, woodpeckers, and other creatures as pets.
Gnomish Bravery: Gnomes have Advantage on saving throws against Fear.
Gnome Cunning: Gnomes have Advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Gnome Resilience: Gnomes have Advantage on saving throws against poison, and Resistance to poison damage.
Gnome Nimbleness: Gnomes can move through the space of creature Medium or larger.
Naturally Stealthy: Gnomes can attempt to hide when obscured by creatures that are size Medium or larger.
Mask of the Wild: Gnomes can attempt to hide even when they are only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.
Faerie Magic: Gnomes all know the Minor Illusion and Druidcraft Cantrips. At 3rd level they may use Animal Friendship once per day and at 5th level they may use the Animal Messenger spell once per day as well. For spellcasters these spells are also always considered memorized and may also be cast using regular spell slots – and are always cast as if at the highest level of effect that the spellcaster can produce.
Born of Faerie: Gnomes may also wear Ultra Light, Light, and Medium non-metallic armors and cast Arcane spells, or enchanted metallic armors.
Special Vulnerabilities: Gnomes are also uncomfortable around Cold Iron and cannot benefit from a Long Sleep if surrounded by large amounts. They are also prone to wasting away if they cannot regularly feel the wind on their face and the sun on their skin, suffering as if Poisoned if kept in the dark or fresh air for more than a month. This is cured after a mere week in healthy conditions. Gnomes 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 and Dwarves.