Thursday, June 17, 2010

Grognard's Grimoire: Gnomes

I promised more information about the gnomes of the Dwimmermount campaign and I intend to provide that in due course. In the meantime, here's racial class I've cooked up to represent them in my sessions.

The entirety of this class is hereby designated as Open Game Content via the Open Game License.

Requirements: CON 9
Prime Requisite: INT
Maximum Level: 12

A gnome is a rare sub-species of dwarf (less than 5% of all dwarves are actually gnomes), the result of a dwarf father's carving gone awry. Like his father, a gnome is a short, bearded demi-human being. Unlike his father, a gnome is significantly shorter and thinner, with more delicate, somewhat pointed, features. Their small size grants them a lower armor class (-2) when attacked by creatures greater than human size. The coloration of a gnome, particularly his eyes, is brighter and less "earthy," which makes this sub-species stand out amongst their dwarven relatives.

Gnomes are renowned for their command of magic, a talent lacking among dwarves. A gnome can cast spells as if he were a magic-user of the same level. Because of this, their dwarven brethren keep them safe and generally away from danger, which is why gnomes can use only the same weapons and armor as magic-users, as well as the same column of the character attack table. However, like dwarves, gnomes are very hardy and use the dwarf saving throw table.

Gnomes have the ability to see in the dark with infravision up to 60 feet. They also have a 2 in 6 chance of detecting traps, false walls, hidden constructions, or noticing if passages are sloped. They must be actively searching for these abilities to function, however. They can use magic-user spells from scrolls, in addition to all magic items restricted to magic-users. They can speak the common tongue, dwarvish, goblin, and kobold, as well as a special jargon used among their kind often gnomish, whose meaning is generally understood by most dwarves as well.

Reaching 9th Level: When a gnome reaches level 9, he is able to create spells and magic items. He may also establish a magical workshop within a dwarven stronghold and attract gnomish apprentices (1d4), who will range from levels 1-3.

Gnome Level Progression

Experience

Level

Hit Dice

0

1

1d6

3,735

2

1d6+1

7,465

3

2d6

15,025

4

2d6+1

30,251

5

3d6

60,501

6

3d6+1

120,001

7

4d6

240,001

8

5d6

360,001

9

6d6+1

480,001

10

7d6

600,001

11

8d6+1

720,001

12

8d6+2

8 comments:

  1. Interesting interpretation.

    So gnomes are part of dwarven communities (i.e., they do not live separately from dwarves)?

    Also, given the usefulness of gnomes (viz., their ability to cast spells), would dwarves not find it helpful to sometimes deliberately create them ("for the good of the community")?

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  2. On that note, can gnomes make their own dwarves?

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  3. I like the idea of gnomes as dwarven spellcasters a lot.

    Leads to an interesting comparison to old folklore where what a spirit/faerie did was what categorized it, rather than it's "species" so to speak, like the real difference between a leprechaun and a clurichaun was one was workin' on shoes and the other was roaring drunk, or the difference between a brownie and a boggart was whether they were helpful or pissed off.

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  4. Pardon a game mechanics question: how are you determining the level progression for the Gnome? Are you working off a template like the "Building a Perfect Class" tool on Bree-yark.org? Just eye-balling it?

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  5. Waitaminnit...I recognise that gnome..:)

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  6. Very cool!

    A "pure caster" demihuman class is somethinmg I've considered now and then, and you've pulled it off very nicely.

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  7. Lifted and added to my Mystara game.

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  8. Gloves of stoneshaping - allow the working of stone as if it were heavy clay. the gloves only control the outer few inches of the stone affected, but allow fine details to be created swiftly.

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