Gnome Ethnicity in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Gnomes are small humanoids known for their eccentric sense of humor, inquisitiveness, and engineering prowess. Having had few overt influences on the world's history but many small and unseen ones, gnomes are often overlooked by the powers that be, despite their craftiness and affinity for illusion magic. Gnomes are present in nearly every Human city and most caravan-stop villages where other cultures and non-human races were at least tolerated. The gnomes are also deeply integrated into elven and dwarven kingdoms to the point that they are considered kin to both races.  

Physical Description

Gnomes are very small compared to most other races and, with an average height ranging between 3'0"–3'6" (0.9–1.1 meters) and a weight range of 40–45 lbs (18–20 kg), gnomes are generally larger and heavier than halflings, though forest gnomes, ranging between 2'1"–2'10" in height (0.6–0.9 meters) and 21–35 lbs in weight (10–16 kg), tend to be smaller than halflings, which has led some scholars to erroneously classify all gnomish races as "smaller than the halflings". However, while halflings are commonly said to resemble short humans, gnomes were more comparable with elves, with whom they shared pointed ears and high cheekbones, or even dwarves, due to their tendency to grow beards and live underground. Many gnomes had a more feral appearance than either, however, with hair that often sprouted from their heads in odd directions.   The skin of gnomes run in hue from reddish tans to earthy browns or even shades of gray, with exact hue somewhat dependent upon the ethnic origin of a gnome. Similarly, gnomish hair vary wildly in color from blond and brown to more exotic colors like white, orange, or even green. Gnomish eyes are often—particularly in individuals who dwell within the Feywild—glittering black or blue, although more natural eye colors were also known to the race.  

Lifespan and Maturity

Gnomes are long-lived, often living as long as elves, which meant living over three centuries was not uncommonly rare and five centuries is not unheard of. Generally, gnomes are considered to reach maturity at forty years of age. However, unlike elves gnomes show a greater degree of aging as they grow older and once a gnome passes his or her first century, their hair began to gray, if it was not already white, and their skin began to wrinkle as in humans or dwarves. However, even the oldest gnome retain a vitality that would be extraordinarily unusual among many of the younger races.  

Gnomish Abilities

Gnomes are a naturally intelligent and creative race, with a charm about them unusual for other humanoids. Gnomes also have a natural grasp of the arcane, and have a resistance to arcane affects. Gnomes also have a natural affinity for stealth, an affinity they could sometimes pass on to others, and illusion, both for the purpose of using it for themselves as well as seeing through other attempts at it.   Many gnomes are weak compared to other humanoids, though this was far from a universal trait for the race. Like elves, gnomes had sensitive hearing and capable of hearing things that other races might miss. Gnomish eyes are also suited for seeing in low-light conditions, to a degree comparable with elves.  


There are four known ethnicities of gnomes which live in very different environments and have adapted to each of them.   Deep Gnome The deep gnomes, or svirfneblin, primarily dwell in cities within the Underdark serious and suspicious creatures   Fae Gnome The fae gnomes are the least numerous, and least understood of the gnomes. The fae gnomes dwell within the Faywild and a rarely known to leave that plane.   Forest Gnome The forest gnomes are smaller than other gnomes, these gnomes are a shy, secretive folk, and live within elven majority kingdoms, deep wooded areas, and the gnomish homeland Old Garstil.   Rock Gnome The rock gnomes are the largest and strongest of the gnomes, and primarily live within dwarven majority kingdoms, in burrows beneath hill lands, and the gnomish homeland Old Garstil.  

Kingdoms of the Gnomes

There is only one majority gnomish Kingdom, that being the Kingdom of Old Garstil   Old Garatil The Kingdom of Old Garstil is the only majority gnomish Kingdom, the kingdom itself is located somewhere within the eastern Elnurian Forest.


Ability Score Increase. When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. You can't raise any of your scores above 20.   Size. Gnomes are between 3 and 4 feet tall and weigh around 40 pounds. Your size is Small.   Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.   Darkvision. Accustomed to life underground, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern colour in darkness, only shades of gray.   Gnome Cunning. You have advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saves against magic.   Languages. You can read, speak, and write Common and Gnomish.


Natural Illusionist. You know the Minor Illusion cantrip. Intelligence is your spellcasting modifier for it.   Speak with Small Beasts. Through sound and gestures, you may communicate simple ideas with Small or smaller beasts.  


Artificer's Lore. Whenever you make an Intelligence (History) check related to magical, alchemical, or technological items, you can add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any other proficiency bonus that may apply.   Tinker. You have proficiency with artisan tools (tinker's tools). Using those tools, you can spend 1 hour and 10 gp worth of materials to construct a Tiny clockwork device (AC 5, 1 hp). The device ceases to function after 24 hours (unless you spend 1 hour repairing it to keep the device functioning), or when you use your action to dismantle it; at that time, you can reclaim the materials used to create it. You can have up to three such devices active at a time. When you create a device, choose one of the following options:   Clockwork Toy. This toy is a clockwork animal, monster, or person, such as a frog, mouse, bird, dragon, or soldier. When placed on the ground, the toy moves 5 feet across the ground on each of your turns in a random direction. It makes noises as appropriate to the creature it represents.   Fire Starter. The device produces a miniature flame, which you can use to light a candle, torch, or campfire. Using the device requires your action.   Music Box. When opened, this music box plays a single song at a moderate volume. The box stops playing when it reaches the song's end or when it is closed.   At your DM's discretion, you may make other objects with effects similar in power to these. The Prestidigitation cantrip is a good baseline for such effects.


LanguagesYou can speak, read, and write Sylvan.   Sceptical Nature. You are proficient in the Insight skill

Deep Gnome

Ability Score Increase. When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1. You can't raise any of your scores above 20.   Creature Type. You are a Humanoid. You are also considered a gnome for any prerequisite or effect that requires you to be a gnome.   Size. You are Small.   Speed. Your walking speed is 30 feet.   Darkvision. 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 discern colors in that darkness only as shades of gray.   Gift of the Svirfneblin. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the Disguise Self spell with this trait. Starting at 5th level, you can also cast the Nondetection spell with it, without requiring a material component. Once you cast either of these spells with this trait, you can’t cast that spell with it again until you finish a long rest. You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level.   Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells when you cast them with this trait (choose when you select this race). Gnomish Magic Resistance. You have advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against spells.   Svirfneblin Camouflage. When you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check, you can make the check with advantage. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.   Languages. Your character can speak, read, and write Common and one other language that you and your DM agree is appropriate for the character. The Player’s Handbook offers a list of languages to choose from. The DM is free to modify that list for a campaign.
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Diverged ethnicities

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