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Deep Gnome

Forest gnomes and rock gnomes are the gnomes most commonly encountered in the lands of the surface world. There is another subrace of gnomes rarely seen by any surface-dweller: deep gnomes, also known as svirfneblin. Guarded, and suspicious of outsiders, svirfneblin are cunning and taciturn, but can be just as kind-hearted, loyal, and compassionate as their surface cousins.  

Physical Description

Svirfneblin seem more like creatures of stone than flesh. Their leathery skin is usually a gray, brown, or dun hue that acts as a natural camouflage with the rock around them. Their bodies are gnarled with hard muscle or fat, and they are heavier than their small stature suggests; svirfneblin often weigh 100 pounds or more but rarely stand much more than 3 feet tall. Male svirfneblin are bald from early childhood, although adults can grow stiff beards or mustaches. Females have full heads of hair, and they usually tie their hair back in braids or cut it short to keep it from getting in their way as they work.   Svirfneblin are well adapted for their subterranean existence. They have excellent darkvision, and many of them have magical talents that rival the innate spellcasting of the drow and duergar. They are surprisingly strong for their size, enduring toil and danger that would overwhelm most other people.  

Society

Svirfneblin are known as deep gnomes because they choose to live far below the earth's surface. Most svirfneblin never see the light of day. Their homes are well-hidden strongholds concealed by mazelike passages and clever illusions. Vast networks of mine tunnels ring most svirfneblin settlements, guarded by deadly traps and concealed sentries. Once a traveler passes through the outer defenses, the tunnels open up into marvelous cavern-towns carved from the surrounding rock with exquisite care. The svirfneblin are austere in their comforts compared to their surface cousins, but they take great pride in their stonework. Deep gnomes do their best to remain hidden. Even if surface travelers succeed in locating a svirfneblin community, winning their trust can be even more difficult. Those rare travelers who do succeed in befriending deep gnomes find that they are loyal and courageous allies against any foe.   Despite their guarded natures, svirfneblin aren't joyless. They admire skillful work and delicate craftsmanship, just like any other gnome. Svirfneblin love gemstones of all kinds, and they boldly seek out precious stones in the deepest and darkest tunnels. They are also expert gemcutters and miners, and they prize rubies above all other gemstones.

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Gnome (Deep)

Ability Score Increase Int +2; Dex +1
Size Small
Speed 25 ft.

Age. Deep gnomes are short-lived for gnomes. They mature at the same rate humans do and are considered full-grown adults by 25. They live 200 to 250 years, although hard toil and the dangers of the Underdark often claim them before their time.   Alignment. Svirfneblin believe that survival depends on avoiding entanglements with other creatures and not making enemies, so they favor neutral alignments. They rarely wish others ill, and they are unlikely to take risks on behalf of others, except those dearest to them.   Size. Unlike other gnomes, svirfneblin tend to weigh 80 to 120 pounds. Your size is Small.   Superior Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.   Gnome Cunning. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.   Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, Gnomish, and Undercommon.   Stone Camouflage. You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide in rocky terrain.

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