Forest gnomes, have a natural knack for illusion and inherent quickness and stealth. Forest gnomes are rare and secretive. They gather in hidden communities in sylvan forests, using illusions and trickery to conceal themselves from threats or to mask their escape should they be detected. Forest gnomes tend to be friendly with other good-spirited woodland folk, and they regard elves and good fey as their most important allies. These gnomes also befriend small forest animals and rely on them for information about threats that might prowl their lands.
A gnome's energy and enthusiasm for living shines through every inch his or her tiny body. Gnomes average slightly over 3 feet tall and weigh 40 to 45 pounds. Their tan or brown face's are usually adorned with broad smiles (beneath their prodigious noses), and their bright eyes shine with excitement. Their fair hair has a tendency to stick out in every direction, as if expressing the gnome's insatiable interest in everything around.
A gnome's personality is writ large in his or her appearance. A male gnome's beard, in contrast to his wild hair, is kept carefully trimmed but often styled into curious forks or neat points. A gnome's clothing, though usually made in modest earth tones, is elaborately decorated with embroidery, embossing, or gleaming jewels.
Gnomes makes their homes in hilly, wooded lands. They live underground but get more fresh air than dwarves do, enjoying the natural, living world on the surface where ever they can. Their homes are well hidden by both clever construction and simple illusions. Welcome visitors are quickly ushered into the bright, warm burrows. Those who are not welcome are unlikely to find the burrows in the first place.
Gnomes who settle in human lands are commonly gemcutters, engineers, sages, or tinkerers. Some human families retained gnome tutors, ensuring that their pupils enjoy a mix of serious learning and delighted enjoyment. A gnome might tutor several generations of a single human family over the course of his or her long life.
As far as gnomes are concerned, being alive is a wonderful thing, and they squeeze every ounce of enjoyment out of their three to five centuries of life. Humans might wonder about getting bored over the course of such a long life, and elves take plenty of time to savor the beauties of the world in their long years, but gnomes seem to worry that even with all that time, they can't get in enough of the things they want to do and see.
Gnomes speak as if they can't get the thoughts out of their heads fast enough. Even as they offer ideas and opinions on a range of subjects, they manage to listen carefully to others, adding the appropriate exclamations of surprise and appreciation along the way.
Though gnomes love jokes of all kinds, particularly puns and pranks, they're just as dedicated to the more serious tasks they undertake. Many gnomes are skilled engineers, alchemists, tinkerers, and inventors. They're willing to make mistakes and laugh at themselves in the process of perfecting what they do, taking bold (sometimes foolhardy) risks and dreaming large.