Robert Wardhaugh was only 14 years old when he started a game of Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) with his friends in his basement, and 39 years later the game is still ongoing. The historic game of DnD has persisted for decades and has collected thousands of devoted players from all over the world. This was a first of a kind storytelling fantasy game, which relies on only one thing: your imagination.
To start with, each player has a designated character, except for the dungeon master or the DM. The DM dictates the setting, the quest and is essentially the narrator. The players get to create their own character based on their preferences and can choose from a wide array of game statistics available in books or online.
Which Gnome Races are there in DnD?
Every character belongs to a race and the most common ones are dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans. Some races also have subraces, such as mountain dwarves or wood elves. A character’s race is crucial in determining different abilities such as weapon training, magical powers, and other skills. A character’s rating is split into these six strands: wisdom, strength, dexterity, intelligence, constitution, and charisma.
All this information can be found on character sheets which provides a score on all these different sections and explains what an individual can contribute to the game. Most creatures in DnD have an alignment which generally describes its moral compass and their personal values. A character’s alignment is rated on two things: their morality (good, evil, or neutral), and their attitudes toward society (lawful, chaotic, or neutral).
Gnomes are one of the most popular characters players choose from, alongside halflings, elves, half orcs, and goliaths. The three most common gnomes are the rock, deep and forest ones which are found in the Forgotten Realms, also known as Al Qadim. The rest of the gnomes typically live in either underground, wooded or in hilly landscapes. A gnome might not be the first character you may choose to impersonate but they will surprise you.
They are part of the humanoid race and are very crafty and pragmatic individuals that have a great love for art. Most of them are very skilled in cookery, arts, fishing, construction, and music. They have the special ability to be necromancers as they are adept to perform all sorts of arcane training, including to become a wizard, warlock, or sorcerer. They are playful tricksters that exude charismatic energy but prefer to live unnoticed, so they are known to blend within their environments.
These little creatures are humble beings that like to blend with their surroundings to not disrupt the natural aesthetic. Therefore, they often wear neutral, earthy colored clothes such as brown and green. They are proven to be very resourceful in different settings and have a relatively good moral compass, making them an excellent team player. Their personal alignment is Neutral Good which means that they are very diplomatic beings and have pure/good intentions in general.
How Long do Gnomes Live for in DnD?
On average, gnomes live around 300 to 500 years in DnD, giving them plenty of time to seek out the world. Their longevity contributes to their creativity and ingenuity, as they constantly look for ways to be occupied. Their thirst for knowledge makes them adventurous and they have a very jovial personality. Depending on the gnome subrace, they can either be shy or shed chaotic energy. They speak both the common language and gnomish fluently. These creatures can be found in a wide array of professions. In the workforce they are often scholars, inventors, researchers, and engineers but those who are cheekier will work as tricksters, wanderers, or jewelers.
How much do Gnomes Weigh in DnD?
The average gnome weighs around 20 kg and can be 90 to 120 cm tall, making them very small in comparison to other races such as orcs. They might not be the spookiest race, but they are very agile players. Their small size might be considered as a disadvantage, but they are very discreet and can hide in plain sight. Their sensitive hearing is a great advantage because they can pick up on things that other races might not pay attention to. They are very skilled with machines which can be very useful while on a quest.
Gnome Names in DnD
Gnomes are a very community oriented race, making them the perfect teammate. Their wedding lasts for a week and they usually have around 6 family members involved when it comes to naming a baby gnome. The parents, grandparents, and other relatives each give the baby a name from childbirth, so it is very common for them to have around 6 different names. Names are mostly derived from their ancestors or their relatives or they are given a fresh spin. Some may choose three names especially when they are around humans to avoid confusion. These include their clan’s name, their preferred name and then their nickname.
Read our complete guide to gnome names here.
Gnome Subraces in DnD
Also referred to as “Svirfneblin”, are excellent gnomes when it comes to deep underground territories as they live within them. They are more dangerous than rock gnomes and live in the depths of the Underdark. These are creatures of stealth that have the ability to camouflage between rocks. In settings like caves or underground passages, a deep gnome can see in the dark in areas up to 120ft underground so they can see an incoming attack. However, these gnomes come less handy in desert-like conditions and any adventure that is over the surface.
These are very private gnomes that barely leave their hidden homes. They usually do not pay much attention to other races, although an exception is made for orcs, kobolds, and lizardfolk who have abuse forests often, making them an enemy to forest gnomes. They mastered the art of camouflage especially when it comes to forest-like surroundings, but they can also use their supernatural abilities to bind spells. They are natural illusionists and can speak to small beasts and animals. Forest gnomes get along well with elves and ghostwise, as they both live in forests.
They are the most striking gnomes with their rare physical features. Their eyes range from violet, green or blue, while their hairs are blond and red, as opposed to the rest of gnomes that have earth tones. A key difference is that their colors change according to their mood which makes them very candid, and they lead with honesty. Their name can be a bit deceiving because they are very spontaneous creatures which are often associated with chaos, but these creatures are just naturally curious.
These gnomes, as the name indicates, live around sea cliffs. They are very fast rock travelers which means their climbing skills are excellent. This is a very useful trait to have when travelling on a quest. They also have mining experience which can also help if they are travelling deep underground.
Typically found in hills and mountains, arcane gnomes differ to the rest as they are a bit taller than rock gnomes and their skin has a purple hue rather than a red one, like most gnomes. They are very friendly as they are well liked within the goblinoids, reptilians and giantkin species. Arcane gnomes are very crafty and have managed to build an entire city based on international trade. Found in the city of Hanformin, these intelligent creatures are very social and dominate the shipbuilding and scholastic field.
Whether the Dungeon Master takes your group to a forest, mountain or a cave, a gnome is always up for any sort of adventure. Their good-hearted nature and their excitement to discover new places is a great asset to have in any character. There is a reason why gnomes are such a popular choice and are well loved within the DnD community. Just remember that appearances can be deceiving and always use your gnomes’ wittiness to conquer your adversaries.
D&D Gnome Race FAQ
The fighter is ideal for close combat. Deep gnome and Forest gnome both get Dexterity increases.
Yes, gnomes are one of the core races available for for play as playable characters. There are then subraces of gnome.
Yes, the most popular type of gnome is the Rock gnome.
Yes, there are a variety of gnome subraces that you can choose such as Rock, Forest and Chaos.