Small cousins of the dwarves, gnomes are friendly but reticent, quick to help
their friends but rarely seen by other races unless they want to be. They tend
to dwell underground in hilly, wooded regions where they can pursue their
interests in peace. Gnomes can be fighters or priests, but most prefer to become
thieves or illusionists instead. Multi-class characters are more common among the
gnomes than any other demihuman race.
Gnomes strongly resemble small, thin, nimble dwarves, with the exception of
two notable facial features: gnomes prefer to keep their beards short and
stylishly-trimmed, and they take pride in their enormous noses (often fully twice the
size of any dwarf or human's). Skin, hair, and eye color vary somewhat by
subrace: the most common type of gnome, the Rock Gnome, has skin ranging from a dark
tan to a woody brown (sometimes with a hint of gray), pale hair, and eyes any
shade of blue. Gnomish clothing tends toward leather and earth tones,
brightened by a bit of intricately wrought jewelry or stitching. Rock gnomes have an
average life span of around 450 years, although some live to be 600 years or more.
Gnomes speak their own language, and each subrace has its own distinctive
dialect. Many gnomes learn the tongues of humans, kobolds, goblins, halflings, and
dwarves in order to communicate with their neighbors, and some Rock Gnomes are
able to communicate with burrowing mammals via a basic language of grunts,
snorts, and signs.
Gnomes posses infravision to 60 feet, and the ability to detect sloping
passages (1-5 on 1d6), unsafe stonework (1-7 on 1d10), and approximate depth (1-4 on
1d6) and direction (1-3 on 1d6) underground. They are highly resistant to
magic, gaining a +1 bonus to their saving throws for each 3.5 points of Constitution
(a typical gnome will have a bonus of +3 to +4). Unfortunately, this also
means that there is a 20% chance that any magical item a gnome attempts to use will
malfunction (armor, weapons, and illusionary items exempted).
Combat: Gnomes prefer the use of strategy over brute force in combat and will often
use illusions in imaginative ways to "even the odds." Their great hatred of
kobolds and goblins, their traditional enemies, gives them a+1 on their attack rolls
when fighting these beings. They are adept at dodging the attacks of large
opponents, forcing all giant class creatures (gnolls, bugbears, ogres, trolls,
giants, etc.) to subtract 4 from their attack rolls when fighting gnomes.
Gnomes can use any weapon that matches their size and often carry a second (or
even a third) weapon as a back-up. Short swords, hammers, and spears are
favorite melee weapons, with short bows, crossbows, slings, and darts coming into
play when distance weapons are called for; virtually every gnome will also carry
a sharp knife somewhere on his or her person as a final line of defense.
A typical rock gnome will wear studded leather armor and use a small shield
(AC 6). Their leaders will have chain mail (AC 4), and any gnome above 5th level
has plate mail (AC 2). There is a 10% chance for each level above 5th that the
gnome's armor and/or weapon is magical (roll separately for each). Spell
casters have a 10% chance per level of having 1-3 magical items usable by their
Habitat/Society: Gnomes live in underground burrows in remote hilly, wooded regions. They are
clannish, with friendly rivalries occurring between neighboring clans. They
spend their lives mining, crafting fine jewelry, and enjoying the fruits of their
labors. Gnomes work hard, and they play hard. They observe many festivals and
holidays, which usually involve games, nose measuring contests, and swapping of
grand tales. Their society is well organized, with many levels of
responsibility, culminating in a single chief who is advised by clerics in matters directly
relating to their calling.
A gnomish lair is home to some 40-400 (4d10>010) gnomes, one-quarter of them
children. For every 40 adults there is a fighter of 2nd to 4th level. If 160 or
more are encountered there is also a 5th-level chief and a 3rd-level
lieutenant. If 200 or more are met, there is a cleric or illusionist of 4th to 6th level.
If 320 or more are present, add a 6th-level fighter, two 5th-level fighters, a
7th-level cleric, four 3rd-level clerics, a 5th-level illusionist, and two
2nd-level illusionists. Gnomes often befriend burrowing mammals, so 5d6 badgers (70%), 3d4 giant badgers (20%), or 2d4 wolverines (10%) will be present as well. These animals are neither pets nor servants,
but allies who will help guard the clan.
Ecology: Gnomes are very much a magical part of nature, existing in harmony with the
land they inhabit. They choose to live underground but remain near the surface in
order to enjoy its beauty.
Svirfneblin (Deep Gnome)
Far beneath the surface of the earth dwell the Svirfneblin, or Deep Gnomes.
Small parties of these demihumans roam the Underdark's mazes of small passageways
searching for gemstones. They are said to dwell in great cities consisting of
a closely connected series of tunnels, buildings, and caverns in which up to a
thousand of these diminutive creatures live. They keep the location of these
hidden cities secret in order to protect them from their deadly foes, the
kuo-toa, Drow, and mind flayers.
Svirfneblin are slightly smaller than rock gnomes, but their thin, wiry,
gnarled frames are just as strong. Their skin is rock-colored, usually medium brown
to brownish gray, and their eyes are gray. Male svirfneblin are completely
bald; female deep gnomes have stringy gray hair. The average svirfneblin life span
is 250 years.
Svirfneblin mining teams and patrols work together so smoothly that to outside
observers they appear to communicate with each other by some form of racial
empathy. They speak their own dialect of gnomish that other gnomish subraces are
60% likely to understand. Most deep gnomes are also able to converse in
Underworld Common and speak and understand a fair amount of kuo-toan and drow. These
small folk can also converse with any creature from the elemental plane of Earth
via a curious "language" consisting solely of vibrations (each pitch conveys a
different message), although only on a very basic level.
All svirfneblin have the innate ability to cast blindness, blur, and change self once per day. Deep gnomes also radiate non-detection identical to the spell of the same name. Deep gnomes have 120-foot
infravision, as well as all the detection abilities of rock gnomes. (See also Wizard Spells, Player’s Handbook)
Combat: Despite their metal armor and arms, these quick, small folk are able to move
very quietly. Deep gnomes are able to "freeze" in place for long periods without
any hint of movement, making them 60% unlikely to be seen by any observer,
even those with infravision. They are surprised only on a roll of 1 on 1d10 due to
their keen hearing and smelling abilities and surprise opponents 90% of the
The deep gnomes wear leather jacks sewn with rings or scales of mithral steel
alloy over fine chainmail shirts, giving a typical svirfneblin warrior an Armor
Class of 2. They do not usually carry shields, since these would hinder
movement through the narrow corridors they favor. For every level above 3rd, a Deep
Gnome's Armor Class improves by one point -- a 4th-level deep gnome has AC 1, a
5th-level deep gnome, AC 0; to a maximum of AC 6.
All deep gnomes are 20% magic resistant, gaining an extra +5% magic resistance
for each level they attain above 3rd. They are immune to illusions, phantasms,
and hallucinations. Because of their high wisdom, speed, and agility, they
make all saving throws at +3, except against poison, when their bonus is +2.
Deep Gnomes are typically armed with a pick and a dagger which, while
nonmagical, gain a +1 bonus to attacks and damage due to their finely-honed edges.
Svirfneblin also carry 1d4+6 special stun darts, throwing them to a range of 40 feet, with a +2 bonus to hit. Each dart
releases a small puff of gas when it strikes; any creature inhaling the gas must
save vs. poison or be stunned for 1 round and slowed for the next four rounds. Elite warriors (3rd level and above) often carry
hollow darts with acid inside (+2d4 to damage) and crystal caltrops which, when
stepped on, release a powerful sleep gas.
Habitat/Society: Svirfneblin society is strictly divided between the sexes: females are in
charge of food production and running the city, while males patrol its borders and
mine for precious stones. A svirfneblin city will have both a king and a queen,
each of whom is independent and has his or her own sphere of responsibility.
Since only males ever leave the city, the vast majority of encounters will be
with deep gnome mining parties seeking for new lodes. For every four svirfneblin
encountered, there will be an overseer with 4+7 Hit Dice. Groups of more than
20 will be led by a burrow warden (6+9 Hit Dice) with two 5th-level assistants
(5+8 Hit Dice).
It is 25% probable that a 6th-level deep gnome will have illusionist abilities
of 5th, 6th, or 7th level. Deep Gnomes who are not illusionists gain the
ability at 6th level to summon an earth elemental (50% chance of success) once per day. Deep gnome clerics have no ability to
Ecology: Stealth, cleverness, and tenacity enable the svirfneblin to survive in the
extremely hostile environment of the Underdark. They love gems, especially rubies,
and will take great risks in order to gain them. Their affinity for stone is
such that creatures from the elemental plane of Earth are 90% unlikely to harm a
deep gnome, though they might demand a hefty tithe in gems or precious metals
for allowing the gnome to escape.
Tinker Gnome (Minoi)
Cheerful, industrious, and inept, tinker gnomes originated on Krynn, but they
have spread to many other worlds via spelljamming ships. Physically similar to
rock gnomes, even to the extent of sharing the same infravision range, magic
resistance, combat bonuses, and detection abilities, their history and culture
are so radically different as to qualify them for consideration as a separate
Graceful and quick in their movements, tinker gnomes' hands are deft and sure.
Tinkers have rich brown skin, white hair, and china-blue or violet eyes. Males
favor oddly-styled beards and moustaches, and both sexes have rounded ears and
typically large gnomish noses. Tinkers who avoid getting blown up in an
experiment live for 250-300 years.
Tinker gnomes speak very rapidly, running their words together in sentences
that never seem to end. They are capable of talking and listening at the same
time: when two tinkers meet, they babble away, answering questions asked by the
other as part of the same continuous sentence.
Combat: Tinker gnomes rarely carry weapons, although some of their ever present tools
can be pressed into service at need. However, they delight in invention and are
always devising strange weapons of dubious utility, from the three barrel
water blaster to the multiple spear flinger. Tinkers can wear any type of armor but
typically outfit themselves in a variety of mismatched pieces for an effective
AC of 5.
Habitat/Society: Tinker gnomes establish colonies consisting of immense tunnel complexes in
secluded mountain ranges. The largest gnome settlement on Krynn, beneath Mount
Nevermind, is home to some 59,000 tinkers. Other tinker gnome colonies exist, both
on Krynn and elsewhere, but their populations seldom exceed 200-400.
All tinkers have a Life Quest: to attain perfect understanding of a single
device. Few ever actually attain this goal, but their individual Life Quests do
keep the ever hopeful tinkers busy. Males and females are equal in tinker
society, and each pursue Life Quests with similar devotion. Each tinker gnome belongs
to a guild. The guild occupies the same place in a tinker's life that the clan
occupies for other gnomes. Together the guildmasters make up a grand council
that governs the community.
Though most tinker gnomes are content to stay home and tinker with their
projects, some have Life Quests which require them to venture out into the world.
Adventuring gnomes are generally unable to learn from past experience and repeat
the same mistakes, yet they are often successful with quirky solutions to save
the day for their companions.
Ecology: Despite their great friendliness, tinker gnomes are not well-liked by other
races: their technological bent makes them quite alien to those accustomed to
magic, and their poor understanding of social relations puts off many potential
friends. Sages generally agree that the tinkers' indiscriminate trumpeting of
technology has discouraged its development by other races who have encountered
Shy and elusive, the forest gnomes live deep in forests and shun contact with
other races except in times of dire emergencies threatening their beloved
woods. The smallest of all the gnomes, they average 2 to 2˝ feet in height, with
bark-colored, gray-green skin, dark hair, and blue, brown, or green eyes. A very
long-lived people, they have an average life expectancy of 500 years.
In addition to their own gnomish dialect, most forest gnomes can speak gnome
common (rock gnome), Elf, Treant, and a simple language that enables them to
communicate on a very basic level with forest animals. All forest gnomes have the
innate ability to pass without trace, hide in woodlands (90% chance of success), and the same saving throw bonus as their rock gnome
Combat: Forest gnomes prefer boobie traps and missile weapons to melee weapons when
dealing with enemies. Due to size and quickness they receive a -4 bonus to Armor
Class whenever they are fighting M- or L-sized opponents. Forest gnomes receive
a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls when fighting orcs, lizardmen,
troglodytes, or any creature which they have seen damage their forest.
Habitat/Society: Forest gnomes live in small villages of less than 100 gnomes, each family
occupying a large, hollowed-out tree. Most of these villages are disguised so well
that even an elf or a ranger could walk through one without realizing it.
Ecology: Forest gnomes are guardians of the woods and friends to the animals that live
there. They will often help lost travellers but will strive to remain unseen
while doing so.
(See also Gnomes, Player’s Handbook, Gnomes, Player’s Option: Skills & Powers and Gnomish Workman's Leather Armor, Arms & Equipment Guide)
||J, K, Qx2
||C, Qx20 lair
||D, Qx5 lair
||C, Qx20 lair
||6 or better
||2 or better
||10 or 5
|NO. OF ATTACKS:
||20% (and up)
||S (3' to 3˝')
||S (2' to 2˝')