Gnomes are rare and they keep their homeland secret, for fear the bigger folk might use the knowledge to do them harm. Rather, those gnomes you might meet in the game are all traveling from their home and some few do settle for a brief while in one place or another, but all speak of a 'homecoming-to-come'. If your PC is a gnome, you are one such gnome, and home is far away, nothing more need you say, for secrets are best kept that way.
- Gnome Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, -2 Str
- Favored Class (Wizard): A multiclass gnome’s wizard class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty for multiclassing.
- Special Abilities: Small Stature, Hardiness vs. Illusions, Offensive Training vs. Reptilians, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinity (Listen), Skill Affinity (Concentration), Spell Focus (Illusion), Low-light vision.
When talking about gnomish subraces in Argentum Regio, you may get blank looks. In the lands of Argentum Regio, there is really only one type of gnome: the rock gnome. And they're rare enough. As such, they're just referred to as gnomes. After all, these gnomes are known to be natives to this plane at least, if not native to the lands. You'll find no gnomish settlements in Argentum Regio.
For other races of gnome it's hard to say. They may exist in some far away land, but due to their nature it's rare (if not totally implausible) that they'd end up travelling to Argentum Regio.
Svirfneblin, or deep gnomes, may get dragged through from another plane, much like the invasive drow, but there seems to be no developed communities. Unfortunate for the poor Svirfneblin, dragged away from home and family, with no where safe to turn to. Perhaps any that did get pulled through were picked off by the drow quickly.
Forest gnomes (Not currently an available subrace, but can be requested) are much the same. None are native to these lands, and if any did get pulled through from another plane, then they're keeping to themselves, for no one's seen them.
- -2 STR (as Standard Gnome)
- +2 DEX
- +2 WIS
- -4 CHA
- Favored Class: ROGUE
Deep gnomes share the dark reputation of the other underdark dwellers, the drow and duergar, but they're actually just as kind spirited as their gnomish cousins, if a little slower to trust others. Deep gnomes fears outsiders and follows the motto that you should only trust other deep gnomes, preferably from your community and preferably family. As such, most others get a suspecious cold shoulder.
They have gnarled, wirey bodies which are coloured like that of their environment; stone grey skin, grey-black eyes and females may have dark, dull hair. They're lives are short and hard and a Deep gnome is considered an adult at 20, and lives to around 160 years if they're lucky. Around 3-3'2 feet, Deep gnomes are slightly thinner and shorter than their cousins, but tend to weigh just as much due to the density of their muscle.
Deep gnomes have even less use for history than most other gnomes, preferring to live in the present and prepare for the future. They have a cynical, resigned outlook on life, with males toiling away mining for precious gems and females taking care of house and home. Noise and sounds can attract unwanted attention in the underdark, so they tend to be a quiet lot. For a rare few, gnomish yearning for knowledge and adventure breaks through and they go seeking for exploration beyond their tunnels. Or for a burning desire for rubies, which all Deep gnomes love.
Often these explorers will be warriors or illusionist looking to improve their skill and craft, or lone prospectors looking for new opportunities.
Deep Gnome society revolves around communities that live in connected caverns and tunnels. The highest ranking gnomes claim the largest stalagmites to carve homes from, while others have to make do with cave floor or wall. They live in darkness, avoiding light that will attract attention. Children are treasured and doted upon, with most families rarely having more than 4 children. They live with their parents until married. There is no concept of retirement and gender roles are strict and clear. Females rule inside the home and males rule outside it, the king takes control of mining production and defense, the queen takes care of supplies and community affairs. The King and Queen need not be married, but will usually work closely with one another. If one dies, the other sets up a contest to choose their successor.
Deep gnome food tends to be mushrooms, with the occasional fish or deep rothe meat added. Rather then cook, this food is salted to last, and is usually too salty for non-deep gnomes to stomach. Even their traditional drink, which is drunk besides water, is a salty concoction of fermented fish. Very rarely is a ceremonial wine, said to contain ruby dust, is drunk.
(Currently not an available subrace- please request if you really wish to play one) Forest gnomes are painfully shy. Many human settlements find themselves surprised when they discover forest gnomes were living nearby, and even more shocked to learn that they'd been there before the humans had even settled centuries ago. These gnomes are quiet folk, and only make contact with other races when it's direly important to do so. Even other gnomes see these nature loving recluses. Perhaps the only guaranteed way to gain interaction with a forest gnome is to threaten it's forest and woods- likely this will be the only time you see a forest gnome angry also.
The shortest of the gnomes, averaging 2 feet (roughly 61cm/ 24 inches), with bark brown skin and light coloured eyes, forest gnomes are easily distinguishable from their cousins. To add to this, their hair is eccentric even by gnome standards; hair that when unbound touches the floor, but is usually kept up in unusual styles, and beards that are long and pointed, or swept up to look almost like tusks, framing their face.
It's not that the Forest gnomes are distrustful of outsiders, like their Deep cousins, or even hate them. Rather, they don't see how outsiders could be interested in them and why they should be interested in outsiders. It's rare for a forest gnome to venture outside the safty of their home, and if so, often do so alone and with a goal in mind. Getting a solitary traveling forest gnome to talk is a feat, but not impossible. A group of travelling forest gnomes is a rare phenomenon indeed, and will often spend more time whispering to each other about the happenings around them, then they will engaging with outsiders.
Often, the forest gnomes stumbled upon are actually illusionists, who were busy making sure their homes stayed hidden. And even then, you probably won't know it's a forest gnome, as they'll use illusions to make themselves appear as another race, to better protect the secret of their presence. Other classes of gnome, druids and clerics for example, often stay hidden within the heart of their home, managing and caring for it.
Aside from these more magically inclined gnomes, who tend to focus on peaceful protection of their homes, forest gnomes are wonderfully artistic. They make for good crafters and can be surprisingly good bards, providing they're not too shy to sing. They're also naturals are remaining unseen, and can be nimble rouges. Almost no forest gnome would ever choose to engage in melee combat, or combat at all. Even druids and clerics prefer to focus on their healing skills, or even defensive skills, before considering any offensive technique. Their most combative class is that of an illusionist, and even that class aims at deception rather than blunt force.
Forest gnomes even prefer to avoid eating meat, instead living off fruit, nuts and other available vegetation that is sustainable. They dislike interfering or damaging nature, and use their druids as a sort of architect, shaping living trees harmlessly into hidden home. Forest gnome 'hamlets', rarely number more than 100 in population, and often tend to be only a handful of families living together. And by together, we mean relatively close by- perhaps a 100 feet between the homes to allow for ideal privacy. Non-forest gnome visitors are going to have a hard time, as they'll hardly be able to fit inside these rooms- each room must fit inside the tree trunk, and is never more than 4 feet tall, connected by ladders and ropes.
These are just the individual homes however, often housing a few family members. Children stick to their parents' sides, playing, and learning by watching their elders intently. Forest gnomes don't engage in politics, and any leader of sorts to be named would the the elders, who lead by wisdom. The community, however, also had an underground hall, connected to each home, where the forest gnomes can gather together, hidden from anyone above. These little 'gnome runs', have narrow tunnels that allow only those the same height as a forest gnome, or smaller, to pass. Forest gnomes are still gnomes, and still find beauty in the gems of the earth, so sometimes these tunnels are used to seek out and treasures, but their hearts always lie withing the forest (perhaps reflected in the fact that the gem they value most are forest green emeralds).
Forest gnomes are rather good with languages and writing, and all of them seem to be able to talk to animals. Religion wise, a community that connects different hamlets, almost all Forest gnomes follow nature dieties (In this case, almost always Deeproot). As for their relation with outsider- they like other fey races, and ghostwise halflings. Mostly, they like other races who respect nature and privacy. They dislike orcs and other such races that are harsh and brutal, and care not for the nature they harm, and are suspicious of races like humans, who build such obtrusive homes and cut down trees. After all, for a Forest gnome, this is needless destruction, and comes across as brutish and ignorant.
- +2 CON (as Standard Gnome)
- -2 STR (as Standard Gnome)
- Favored Class: BARD
In Argentum Regio, when anyone says gnome, they mean rock gnome. Although they may not even think of them as rock gnomes, as it seems strange to give a name to the only kind of gnome around, right? Rock gnomes, or just gnomes in Argentum Regio, are perhaps the only 'local' gnomes.
And they're a friendly bunch. Happy to travel, happy to settle, getting along with almost everyone they meet, rock gnomes of Argentum Regio are likable fellows for the most part. Any gnomish 'nation' that exists in lands far off from Argentum Regio, are likely to be little independent nations, coexisting amiably with their neighbours, or are communities within another race's nation, causing little trouble. They get along well with most races- especially dwarves who share there love of gems and craft, and halflings who share a common outlook on life.
Your standard Rock gnome tends to be 3-3 1/2 feet tall (36-42 inches, or roughly around a meter). Although rock gnomes don't tan, they often come in varying shades of brown, from pale to tan, sometimes even darker. There hair can be many shades of 'natural' colours, but tend to grey around adult hood. Males seem fond of neatly styled beards.
They're a bunch full of zest usually, loving a little mischief here and there, but generally being kind and helpful souls. This habit of thinking outside of the box and being enthused with passion may explain why rock gnomes are so good at illusions and crafting. Life and the world is a puzzle to be solved, and dedication to what ever craft catches a young gnomes fancy is a way of getting closer to the gods- by getting close to the answer they weaved in the puzzles of the world. Not that gnomes are particularly pious, preferring to 'worship' the gods through their crafts, rather than being devout and praying everyday. Most gnome gods don't mind.
Possessed by a urge to explore and learn, it's not unusual to find gnomes in the oddest of places, but most return home at some point. Gnomes tend to find a craft, skill or work that they are passionate about, and balance between obsessing over it and celebrating life joyously.
Gnomes have a strange taste for salt, so it's best not to let them cook.
(This is information on gnomish dwellings- unlikely to be found in Arg-reg, and information unlikely to be shared by gnomes):
Gnomes live in burrows, often connected to each over via tunnels and a community hall. In most cases, there will be more adults then children, and a lack of young adults who are off exploring. Children live a carefree life, and often share a room with each other. Upon reaching adolescents, they'll share rooms by gender. Married couples get there own rooms, but the general feeling of rock gnome burrows in a close knit, interconnected community, with a great deal of socialization and not a lot of space for privacy. They don't seem to mind. Often a gnome need not even go outside of the burrow, and perhaps the fact that their civilization and everyday lives takes place below the ground is why humans fail to notice them.