Gnomes trace their lineage back to the mysterious realm of the fey, a place where colors are brighter, the wildlands wilder, and emotions more primal. Unknown forces drove the ancient gnomes from that realm long ago, forcing them to seek refuge in this world; despite this, the gnomes have never completely abandoned their fey roots or adapted to mortal culture. As a result, gnomes are widely regarded by the other races as alien and strange.
Gnomes are one of the smallest of the common races, generally standing just over 3 feet in height. Their hair tends toward vibrant colors such as the fiery orange of autumn leaves, the verdant green of forests at springtime, or the deep reds and purples of wildflowers in bloom. Similarly, their flesh tones range from earthy browns to floral pinks, frequently with little regard for heredity. Gnomes possess highly mutable facial characteristics, and many have overly large mouths and eyes, an effect which can be both disturbing and stunning, depending on the individual.
Whimsical creatures at heart, they typically travel alone or with temporary companions, ever seeking new and more exciting experiences. They rarely form enduring relationships among themselves or with members of other races, instead pursuing crafts, professions, or collections with a passion that borders on zealotry. Male gnomes have a strange fondness for unusual hats and headgear, while females often proudly wear elaborate and eccentric hairstyles.
Gnomes have difficulty interacting with the other races, on both emotional and physical levels. Gnome humor is hard to translate and often comes across as malicious or senseless to other races, while gnomes in turn tend to think of the taller races as dull and lumbering giants. They get along well with halflings and humans, but are overly fond of playing jokes on dwarves and half-orcs, whom most gnomes feel need to lighten up. They respect elves, but often grow frustrated with the comparatively slow pace at which members of the long-lived race make decisions. To the gnomes, action is always better than inaction, and many gnomes carry several highly involved projects with them at all times to keep themselves entertained during rest periods.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Gnomes are physically weak but surprisingly hardy, and their attitude makes them naturally agreeable.
- Small: Gnomes gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they use smaller weapons and armour than medium creatures use, and their lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
- Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
- Defensive Training: Gnomes get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant type.
- Gnome Magic: Gnomes add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast.
- Illusion Resistance: Gnomes get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells or effects.
- Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Listen, Spot and Search skill checks.
- Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession skills.
- Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat any weapon with the word “gnome” in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Gnomes begin play speaking Common and Sylvan. Gnomes with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Giant, Goblin, and Wildlander.