Gnome – Core Race SRD
Of the races in the Realm, Gnomes are one of the newest arrivals to the region. Gnomes trace their lineage back to Eisadai, the mysterious realm of the fey. Unknown forces drove the ancient gnomes from that realm long ago, forcing them to seek refuge in the mortal world. Despite this, the gnomes have never completely abandoned their fey roots or adapted to mortal culture. As a result, gnomes are widely regarded by the other races as alien and strange. Gnomes are a far traveling people, and make their way as merchants, tutors, messengers, and occasionally even mercenaries. Any profession that draws a gnome to the road is preferred. They are also natural Illusionists, which is an ability most gnomes use to great effect. Gnomish culture places great value on knowledge gained through experience; as such gnomes can be found nearly anywhere, always seeking new challenges and adventures.
Unknown to other races, there is a practical reason for a Gnomes seemingly inborn wanderlust. Unlike the exiled Elves and immigrant Dwarves, Gnomes escaped Eisadai. They fear that settling in one place for too long will draw the attention of the Fey Lords they seek to evade. While many Gnomes scoff at the idea that the Fey Lords are still seeking them, entire gnomish settlements still periodically vanish without a trace. Wiser Gnomes think it better to keep walking and not tempt fate.
Gnomes are one of the smallest of the common races, generally standing just over 3 feet in height. Their hair tends toward vibrant colors such as the fiery orange of autumn leaves, the verdant green of forests at springtime, or the deep reds and purples of wildflowers in bloom. Similarly, their flesh tones range from earthy browns to floral pinks, frequently with little regard for heredity. Gnomes possess highly mutable facial characteristics, and many have overly large mouths and eyes, an effect which can be both disturbing and stunning, depending on the individual. Gnomes prefer rugged, durable clothing with fine embroidery and accented by jewelry.
Gnomes are personable, curious folk, known for being exceptionally clever. Most Gnomes are fascinated by other peoples and cultures, and spend much of their lives traveling. They are known for their remarkable senses of humor, and even the most sober Gnomes always seem to be somewhat amused, as if laughing quietly at some private joke. Despite their gregarious natures, most gnomes rarely form large communities, preferring their own company or traveling with a handful of companions.
Gnomes are known for their often bizarre senses of humor, which others might misinterpret as cruel, senseless or hopelessly absurd. Gnomes, in turn, find other races amusing if slow-witted. Gnomes get along well with humans and halflings, who often appreciate their strange personalities, but quickly tire of those who are stolid, gruff, short tempered, or simply boring. Gnomes tend to retain their culture and habits, and rarely integrate with larger cultures (or even stay in one place for more than a decade or two).
Alignment & Religion
Gnomes are independent, whimsical and wily, which makes the majority chaotic to one degree or another. While evil Gnomes are uncommon, those that exist are known for taking an almost artistic approach to their deviancy
Gnomes aren’t particularly religious, with those who are prone to worship worshiping the gnomish god Garlen, but some prefer nature gods (and the deity Ranil has become very popular with many Gnomes).
All the Gnomes speak Gnomish, Western and at least one other human language (Eastern, Northern, Southern, or Wyr). Many learn Elvish, Dwarven, Halfling, or Sylvan as well.
Gnomes are supremely adaptable, but dislike unnecessary restrictions. They favor flexible versatile classes (such as Bards, Rogues, and Sorcerers and Wizards) or classes that are in touch with nature (Druids and Rangers primarily).
Alternative Racial Traits
- Fey-Blooded: Gnomes with this trait have a stronger connection to the realms of the fey. The Gnome counts as Fey as well as Humanoid (Gnome) for all purposes (such as humanoid-affecting spells like charm person or enlarge person). In addition, the Gnome gains DR 2/Cold Iron. This replaces Hatred.