Kin to dwarves, gnomes are noticeably smaller than their distant cousins.
Gnomes, as they proudly maintain, are also less rotund than dwarves. Their noses,
however, are significantly larger. Most gnomes have dark tan or brown skin and
white hair. A typical gnome lives for 350 years.
Gnomes have lively and sly senses of humor, especially for practical jokes.
They have a great love of living things and finely wrought items, particularly
gems and jewelry. Gnomes love all sorts of precious stones and are masters of gem
polishing and cutting.
Gnomes prefer to live in areas of rolling, rocky hills, well wooded and
uninhabited by humans. Their diminutive stature has made them suspicious of the
larger races--humans and elves--although they are not hostile. They are sly and
furtive with those they do not know or trust, and somewhat reserved even under the
best of circumstances. Dwelling in mines and burrows, they are sympathetic to
dwarves, but find their cousins' aversion to surface dwellers foolish.
A gnome character can elect to be a fighter, a thief, a cleric, or an
illusionist. A gnome can have two classes, but not three: fighter/thief,
Due to his upbringing, a beginning gnome character can choose to know the
following languages, in addition to any others allowed by the DM: common, dwarf,
gnome, halfling, goblin, kobold, and the simple common speech of burrowing
mammals (moles, badgers, weasels, shrews, ground squirrels, etc.). The actual number
of languages a character begins with depends upon his Intelligence score (see Table 4) or the proficiency slots he allots to languages (if that optional system is
Like their cousins the dwarves, gnomes are highly magic resistant. A gnome
player character gains a bonus of +1 for every 3˝ points of Constitution score,
just as dwarves do (see Table 9). This bonus applies to saving throws against magical wands, staves, rods,
Gnomes also 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.
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.
Gnomish infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in the dark.
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
Gnome characters gain a +1 bonus to their Intelligence scores, to reflect
their highly inquisitive natures. They suffer a -1 penalty to Wisdom because their
curiosity often leads them unknowingly into danger.
(See also Arms & Equipment Guide, Monstrous Manual, Player’s Option: Skills & Powers and The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings)
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