THe Gnomes

Of Shadowgate

Gnomes of Shadowgate

Gnomes are small cousins of the dwarves except are generally smaller, thinner, and more nimble. They generally have large noses, and males keep their beards short and stylishly trimmed (except in the case of forest gnomes) which tends only to accentuate their noses even more. They prefer earthy tones and leather for their clothing, although they love to decorate them with ornate stitching and jewelry.

They are generally friendly but not especially social other than with their friends. They generally prefer to pursue their interests in peace and their alignment is normally neutral good. Although less inclined to be lawful – like halflings, it will also be extremely rare to see an evil gnome. Often though, they can be reckless in their desire to explore and discover new things.

They prefer to rely more on strategy in battle than brute force. Their favorite weapons tend to be short swords, hammers, but they often carry a hidden knife and are skilled at using even a simple mining pick as an effective weapon. Gnomes are intelligent creatures, quick to grasp concepts of the mind that other races struggle with. They are skilled at complexities of arcanery and mechanical constructions in particular.

Most gnomish types prefer the company of halflings and dwarves because of their similar interests. Gnomes often have an interest in magic and technology as well, so will generally share interests with elvenkind and humans. They have similar dislikes as the halflings for the cruder and giant races such as ogres and gnolls. The Svirfneblin, or deep gnomes, have long been mortal foes of the drow due to the need to defend their vast underground cities from them and other gnomes will, of course, share that hatred and distrust. They also have a longstanding mutual hatred of orcs, half-orcs, and kobolds for good reason as those races have been at odds 

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Rock gnome

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, thief, cleric, mage, sorcerer, bard, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 61-96
Average life span: 350
Stat adjustments: +2 constitution, -2 strength
Skill bonuses: +2 alchemy
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs illusion spells, +1 to hit vs goblinoids
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Offestry valley, the Darkwood region

The most common of the gnomes, these clan-organized creatures live beneath the earth in burrows, usually in remote areas of hills and forest. They are fun-loving creatures that enjoy a sense of humor, and the occasional prank or friendly rivalry. They have a companionship with animals, particularly those that live within the earth as they do. Their skin is tan to woody-brown, with fair hair and eyes of any blue shade.

Forest gnome

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, thief, cleric, mage, ranger, sorcerer, bard, druid, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 61-96
Average life span: 350
Stat adjustments: +2 constitution, -2 strength
Skill bonuses: +2 stealth
Misc bonuses: +2 saves vs illusion spells
Daily spells: ghost step x1
Level adjustment: 0
Commonly found: Kilkaen forest, the Moonstone vale

The smallest of the gnomes, averaging 2 to 2.5 feet. They are a shy, secretive folk, who tend to live within the very heart of deep forests, avoiding contact with others except when forced into confrontation. They live in small villages within the trees, and consider themselves guardians of their woods. They are friendly with most forest creatures, and will often help lost travellers, although they do their best to avoid being seen. They look much like regular gnomes, except with dull brown or gray-green skin, darker hair, and their eyes can be brown or green as well as blue. Unlike other gnomes, they also tend to wear their hair and beards long, nearly to the ground.

Deep gnome (svirfneblin)

Alignment: any non-evil
Classes allowed: fighter, thief, cleric, mage, sorcerer, barbarian
Normal adventuring starting age: 61-96
Average life span: 350
Stat adjustments: +2 dexterity, +2 wisdom, -2 strength, -2 charisma
Skill bonuses: +2 stealth
Misc bonuses: +2 to all saving throws, +2 dodge bonus to AC, 10MR
Daily spells: blindness x1, displacement x1, misdirection x1, dancing lights x1
Level adjustment: 3
Commonly found: underdark

Also known as svirfneblin, these gnomes are considered more dangerous, and to some, more vicious than their cousins. However they are actually of similarly good intentions as their surface kindred. They are, however, distrustful of most outsiders, and may come across as antisocial, having a dour nature that is not given to the humor and openness of their above-ground cousins. They are much given to stealth, as a means of survival in their underdark homes, which consist of large complex cities carved from stone. Their society is divided by sex: women are in charge of food and the running of the city, while the men do the mining and patrols. They have a distinct passion for metalwork and gemcraft (especially rubies) even above that of their surface cousins. Their skin ranges from medium brown to brownish gray, the color of the stone they live within. Males are bald and beardless, while women have stringy hair of dull gray shades through to pale white. Their eyes are black or gray. As a race, they tend more towards neutral alignments than their lighter cousins.

Useful MUD helpfiles: gnome, race gods, rock gnome, forest gnome, deep gnome, request races.

Resources:
Races of Faerun (3.5e sourcebook)
Races of Stone (3.5e sourcebook)
Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings (2e sourcebook)
Racial notes (4e)
More racial notes

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