Gnome

Globe1.1.bmpAs old as the game itself gnomes have been, at worst, much maligned and, at best, over-looked as a poor cousin to the dwarf. In The World of Llowellen gnomes are destined to become, by the time of Mid-World and the Modern Age, the most prosperous and populous of all the races of the world.

Personality: The typical gnome is loyal to his own, self-interested and devout. He enjoys the simple things in life, such as home and hearth, family and faith; but he is still curious and interested enough to seek out new experiences. Gnomes love history and art. They love philosophy, science, travel and exploration.

And yet, despite this open curiosity to discover new frontiers, gnomes often possess an arrogance that leaves them believing that their way is somehow the only way and that other peoples should be expected to conform. There are those who say gnomes too often demonstrate racial or religious bigotry and intolerance toward others, but again, the population of Western Summan numbers in the millions – and everyone’s an individual.

Industrious, hard-working, curious and stubbornly determined, gnomes if left to their own devices would explore, conquer and colonize all the lands of the world, and by the end of The Fourth Age that is exactly what they are well on their way to doing.

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Physical Description: Gnomes are not the shortest of all the Races of Man, but they are a little people; averaging only three and a half feet tall. Gnomes often have thick or stocky frames, broad shoulders and wide hips.

Their skin color varies considerably from the very pale and fair skin most often seen in Gelderland and Helluland, to the much more tanned hues of Bilbali and Magritta. The gnomes of the Midden Marches often have ruddy skin and albinos are not uncommon in Uberwald.

Hair color is even more varied, although generally speaking the further west one travels the blonder gnomes become; with a few red-heads appearing in Floen Forest and some Uberwalder’s having hair as jet-black as their dwarven cousins in the east. Many men commonly allow their hair to grow to shoulder length while women will often wear their hair much longer. Men favor thickly elaborate mustaches and beards.

Relations: Gnomes share Western Summan with the bugbears, and they do not get along. Most of the gnome nations are constantly at war with bugbears, seeking to eradicate them completely or drive them from their borders. The ogre mages that roam the Floen Forest are often regarded with caution and distrust. Gnomes are generally on good terms with the lycanfey, and while those people favor the Midden Marches, many wereboars, bears and badgers live happily within the gnome nations.

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Outlook: Gnomes come from many different nations and from all walks of life across a very large continent. Generalizations will always be made with clumsy, broad strokes; nevertheless, an outsider looking in at the gnomish people often imagines one large extended family (despite the individual political nations) that simply cannot get along. They frequently squabble, fight and make war with those they have much in common with. Many gnomes possess a need to be in control, and may sometimes get involved where they have no business doing so. Yes, it is true that gnomes are individuals and such generalizations will always be inaccurate; and, yes, it also true that throughout it’s history Western Summan has forever been plagued with civil wars, border skirmishes, disputed territories, religious schisms and conflict of all description.

Gnome Lands: Their lands are as diverse as the gnomes themselves. The primary gnome nations during the Old World are the seafaring Gelderland and Helluland, and the chivalrous Kingdom of Couronne in the far west; the ever-squabbling states of Bilbali and Magritta, nestled in the deep woodland glades and river valleys that lie west of The Midden Marches; and the distant mountain realm of Uberwald. The Midden Marches themselves are a constantly changing, lawless region of confederacies and baronies that eventually fades into the true and unclaimed wilderness of the mighty Floen Forest.

Religion: The Mother-Goddess Anwen remains the dominant faith across much of the Midden Marches (or at least, devotees of The Old Faith are able to more openly practice their religion). In each of the gnome nations, certainly by the time of The Fourth Age, The Shoshannic Church is only religion that can be worshiped without fear of prosecution (and in countries like Magritta, that means “Burn the Witch!”). None of the six nations quite agree on certain elements, definitions and translations of the Shoshannic Texts, however. Consequently, each of the nations worships their own interpretation of Shoshanna, which usually works out about as harmoniously as one might imagine.

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Languages: In Gelderland, the gnomes speak a guttural tongue known as Alba. In the Kingdom of Couronne they speak Breton and in Helluland they speak a language inexplicably called The North Tongue. The gnomes of Magritta and Bilbali share the Estal language, although they speak in noticeably different accents. And in faraway Uberwald, they speak the rich and sonorous Waldertongue. But, regardless of where they come from, all gnomes can speak the strange language of the burrowers, a squeaky tongue called Shrewd.

Names: Gnomes who are from either Gelderland or Helluland draw their names from Dutch sources. The women have names such as Anna, Elissa, Lotte, Thilly or Tanneken. The men have names like Erik, Gillis, Huygen, Igge or Sander. Gnomes from the Kingdom of Couronne take their names from French sources. The women have names like Camille, Claire, Noemie, Solene or Yolande. The men have names like Killian, Mathieu, Severin, Tristan or Yanis. Gnomes from Bilbali have names drawn from Portugese sources. The women have names such as Adelina, Caterina, Elana, Marisa or Rosa. The men have names like Eduardo, Felix, Horacio, Marco or Xavier. Gnomes from Magritta take their names from Spanish sources. The women have names like Casilda, Joana, Petra, Suelo or Ynes. The men have names like Eli, Hector, Jaime, Pepillo or Tomas. The gnomes and bugbears who live in The Midden Marches have names drawn from Celtic sources. The woman have names like Albina, Boudicca, Carissa, Danu or Talisia. The men have names such as Corio, Donnus, Epos, Grannoch, or Vallo. The gnomes of Uberwald take their names from Germanic and German sources. The women have names like Adelheid, Elisabeth, Helena, Kirstyn or Osanna. The men have names like Axel, Dieter, Karl, Lennor, Merikano, Mikhail or Soon.

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Gnome Racial Traits

  • Gnomes are a healthy and sturdy people but the small stature does not lend itself to physical strength. Gnomes gain a +2 racial bonus to Constitution and a -2 racial penalty to Strength.
  • Small: Because they are Small creatures, all gnomes gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class and attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus to all Sneak checks. They must use smaller-sized weapons and equipment, and can lift and carry only three-quarters as much as a Medium character.

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  • Base land speed is 20 feet.
  • Low-Light Vision: A gnome can see twice as far as human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight and similar conditions or poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and details under these conditions.
  • +2 racial bonus on all saving throws versus illusions.
  • A gnome casting illusion magic of any kind may add +1 to the DC of his spells.
  • +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against bugbears and ogre mages.
  • +4 dodge bonus to AC against creatures of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to AC, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
  • +2 racial bonus on Alchemy and Listen checks.
  • Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.

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  • Automatic Languages: Gnomes gain the language of their home nation and Shrewd.
  • Gnomes always gain Knowledge (gnome) as a class skill.
  • Spell-like Abilities: A gnome with a Charisma score of at least 10 also has the following spell-like abilities: 1/day – dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigation. Caster level 1st; save DC 10 + gnome’s Cha modifier + spell level,

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  • Racial/Evolved Levels: Gnome

Gnome Levels

Hit Die:

Skill Points at 1st Level:
Skill Points at Higher Levels:
“Class” Skills:

Armor Proficiency:
Weapon Proficiency:

Evolved Gnomes

Artwork by Tony DiTerlizzi, Penko Gelev and Leonid Kozienko. Used with love and not permission.

Cartography by Ian Hewitt.