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"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." " - 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual

Gnomes are the smallest of the demihuman races, looking somewhat like short small framed dwarves. Males average 2’8” in height, 40lb in weight with females averaging 1 inch shorter and 5 pounds lighter.

Gnomish society is a thing of mystery to outsiders. The males are obvious with their broad ears and thick, hanging earlobes. They tend to carry their weight in their belly and face, while females tend to carry it in their hips and legs. Their inane rhyming tends to drive out others before they can begin to truly understand gnomish society.

What is understood is that rhyming is a show of intelligence, grace, refinement, and respect. Gnomes understand perfectly well that this is their own trait, and do not look down on other races for their failure to rhyme, at least not outwardly. A gnome who does not rhyme is considered foul mouthed, and crass, while a gnome who usually rhymes may stop doing so when outraged, insulting someone, or when being deadly serious.

Most races view gnomes as a curiosity. They are undoubtedly helpful and inventive, but also obnoxious and frustrating with their endless rhyming and cheerfulness. They make excellent neighbors. Elves get along quite well with gnomes, but gnomes are impatient creatures who often find themselves frustrated with what they view as the idleness of aloof beings.

Many Gnomes come from their island nation of GNoME.

Gnomish Inventions

2e Racial Info[]

From 2e Player's Handbook

  • Racial Ability Requirements: Str 6/18, Dex 3/18, Con 8/18, Int 6/18, Wis 3/18, Cha 3/18, Per 3/18
  • Class Restrictions: Fighter (to level 11), Thief (to level 13), Cleric (to level 9), Illusionist (to level 15). Or a combination of two, not three.
  • Gnomes suffer a 20% chance for failure every time they use any magical item except weapons, armor, shields, illusionist items, and (if the character is a thief) items that duplicate thieving abilities. This check is made each time the gnome attempts to use the device, or, in the case of continuous-use devices, each time the device is activated. Like dwarves, gnomes can sense a cursed item if the device fails to function.
  • Gnomes are highly magic resistant. A gnome player character gains a bonus of +1 for every 3½ points of Constitution score. This bonus applies to saving throws against magical wands, staves, rods, and spells.
  • In melee, gnome characters add 1 to their attack rolls to hit kobolds or goblins.
  • When gnolls, bugbears, ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, or titans attack gnomes, these monsters must subtract 4 from their attack rolls because of the gnomes' small size and their combat skills against these much larger creatures.
  • Being tunnelers of exceptional merit, gnomes are able to detect the following within 10 feet (exception: They can determine their approximate depth or direction underground at any time.). They must stop and concentrate for one round to use any of these abilities.
    • Detect grade or slope in passage 1–5 on 1d6
    • Detect unsafe walls, ceiling, and floors 1–7 on 1d10
    • Determine approximate depth underground 1–4 on 1d6
    • Determine approximate direction underground 1–3 on 1d6

Player Characters[]

Gnome Player Characters