View Full Version : Gnomes and Halflings in the Shattered World

2007-07-13, 05:21 AM
I have not yet had a chance to write up the gnome and halfling in a nice format the way I did the elves and dwarves. So I am just going to post my thoughts on these races for your perusal. As always, let me know what you think!


The gnomes of Oramis are very similar to those of the Dragonlance setting... loving mechanical things and such. They have created the strongest competition for windriggers - the Gnomish Clockwork Ship. A Gnomish Tinker class/prestige class will definitely be available for gnomes. One concept that I am considering... Gnomes are actually the result of crossbreeding attempts between dwarves and elves! As a dying race, the dwarves are desparately trying to find a way to produce more of there kind. They ahve already discovered that they can crossbreed with humans, so it was inevitable that they would try the same with elves. Well, it didn't work as well with elves. In fact it was the foundation of the race of gnomes.


I have always hated the name Halfling. The Halflings of Oramis consider it a derogatory and very insulting name. They prefer to be called by their own racial name for themselves.. the Twyll. They have a new ability: Twyll have a natural homing sense and know by instinct exactly where any shard is that they know the know the name of, unless the shard has been magically hidden from divination. A new class/prestige calls is available for Twyll - the Twyll Wayfinder.

2007-07-17, 08:55 PM
Opinions anyone?

2007-07-17, 11:20 PM
Interesting so far. I definitely like how gnomes are a dwarf-elf crossbreed (in my homebrew world, they're a dwarf-halfling crossbreed). However, you need to give us more detail before I can really comment.

Inyssius Tor
2007-07-18, 02:01 AM
Aaaiee, it's an unnecessary decorative Y! Fail fail fail fail FAIL!


Anyway, it looks neat. As the Seraph said, we need more info (and I need to read your other thread) before there can be commenting.

2007-07-21, 01:02 PM
The find chard ability might be a little overpowered, unless of course your spell for finding chards is very low level as well and you want it to be easy to find a specific shard.

2007-08-29, 04:22 PM
Finally got around to writing up the gnomes of Oramis. Please let me know what you think...


Gnomes - like muls - are an infant race when compared to the other races of Oramis, having only been in existence for around 500 years. The origins of the gnomish race have their roots in dwarves.

The dwarves have always been small in number, owing to the fact that they suffer from low fertility rates. However in the year 497 this problem was greatly compounded by a devistating plague of unknown origins - now referred to as the Dwarven Plague - that struck the dwarven clans. Unfortunately, the plague was fatal to all who contracted it. Even worse, it only affected dwarven women. Today only 1/4 of all dwarves are female.

Realizing the adverse implications that this could have on the probability of the survival of dwarves as a race, the dwarves pursued drastic measures - they explored the possibility of cross-breeding with other races. Around the year 512 A.S., the great Dwarven Breeding Experiments began. These had mixed results. The most successful of their experiments was in dwarf/human crossbreeding, which resulted in fertile half-dwarves as well as a few sterile muls. Dwarven attempts to breed with Twyll did not work at all - the progeny of all such attempts were stillborn. Attempts to breed with elves, however, had a completely unexpected result - the birth of the species which would come to be known as gnomes.

The first gnomes were treated as curiosities. There were 12 of them - six males and six females. The dwarves had no idea what to do with them, and the elves had no time for them. Thus, for the most part, they were left on their own to explore their surroundings with very little help from others. As they matured, it became obvious that they were an incredibly intelligent race, able to learn very quickly, and to retain knowledge with great accuracy. Another thing became very obvious - gnomes are unbelievably fertile and multiply like rabbits.

By the year 707 A.S.,only around 200 years later, the dwarves began to realize that if something were not done, the gnomes would soon overtake them in number. Gnomes had begun to feel restless among the dwarves anyway, feeling like outsiders, not quite fitting in, and wanted a place of their own. The dwarves were more than happy to oblige. thus began the Gnomish Migration of 710. Utilizing a handful of prototype dirigibles, the dwarves helped the gnomes to relocate to an uninhabited shard which the gnomes promptly named Shinnsa.

Today Shinnsa is a booming metropolis. Ruled by 7 of the original 12 gnomes - all of whom are obviously nearing the end of their lifespans - Shinnsa is a mecca for all of those who pursue knowledge.

Personality: Gnomes are incredibly curious about how things work, and enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together for the sheer fun of it. To other races, they seem very child-like in their youth and innocence. They also have a great sense of humor, and enjoy puns, jokes, and games as well as intricate tricks.

Physical Description: Gnomes combine the slim graceful build of their elven mothers with the smaller stature of their dwarven fathers. They stand about 3 1/2 to 4 feet tall, and weigh about 40-45 pounds. Their facial features are also a combination of those of their parent races. They have the upswept, pointed ears of the elven race as well as the trademark bulbous dwarven nose. Gnome males prefer to wear short carefully trimmed beards. Their skin ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes can be any shade of blue or green. Gnomes love to dress in bright yet tasteful colors in elaborate styles. Gnomes reach adulthood at about age 40 and have an apparent lifespan of about 450-500 years. Multiple births are common among gnomes.

Relations: Gnomes get along well with humans and twyll - at least those who are tolerant of their practical jokes. They enjoy spending time with dwarves, however the sentiment is not returned as enthusiastically. Dwarves had hoped that gnomes would be the solution to their fertitlity problems, and the fact that they are hyper fertile when compared to dwarves is a sore spot in gnomish/dwarven relations. Gnomes are a little intimidated yet awed by elves and rapotrans, and suspicous of Tieflings. They are, however, rarely hostile or malicious.

Alignment: Gnomes are almost always good, though they are almost equally divided between lawful, neutral and chaotic. Those who are lawful tend to be tinkers sages, researchers and scholars, while those who are chaotic tend toward illusionists, minstrels, tricksters and wanderers. Evil gnomes are as rare as they are frightening.

Gnome Lands: Gnomes may be found almost anywhere throughout the shards, though they are most numerous on the gnomish homeshard of Shinnsa. There is also a fairly large number of them to be found on the four shards which comprise the Kusaran Alliance: Kusara, Tartassos, , Carbuncle and Sheranda.

Religion: The chief gnome god is Garl Glittergold. His clerics teach that gnomes are to cherish and support their communities. Pranks are seen as ways to lighten spirits and to keep gnomes humble, not as ways for pranksters to triumph over those they trick.

Language: The Gnome language blends elements of Dwarven, Elven and Common in an eloquent yet practical language. It uses the Dwarven script and is renowned for its technical treatise and its catalogs of knowledge about the natural world. Human herbalists, naturalists and engineers commonly learn gnome in order to read the best books on their topics of study.

Names: See the section on gnomish names in the PHB page 17.

Adventurers: Gnomes are curious and impulsive. they may take up adventuring as a way to see the world or for the love of exploring. Some take up adventuring as a quick - if dangerous - path towrd wealth, which is often needed in order to purchase supplies for their experimenting and inventing. Gnome adventurers are occasionally forced to begin a life of exploration after being stranded far from home by a flying machine gone wrong. More often, though, a gnome character chooses to travel among the other races of Oramis as tinkers and craftsgnomes, selling minor inventions and masterwork objects to finance exploration into their personal interests.

Gnome Racial Traits

+2 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -2 Strength. Gnomes are brilliant creatures that masterfully and carefully are able to manipulate machines. However their innocence and naivete often causes them to make faulty and questionable decisions during construction.

Small: As a small creature, a gnome gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three quarters of those of a Medium character.

Gnome base land speed is 20 feet.

Low Light Vision: A gnome can see twice as far as a human in torchlight and similar conditions of poor illumination. He retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes may treat gnome hooked hammers ( see PHB page 118) as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.

+2 racial bonus on saving throws against illusions. Gnomes are innately familiar with illusions of all kinds.

Add +1 to the Difficulty Class for all saving throws against illusions cast by gnomes. Their innate familiarity with these effects make their illusions more difficult to see through. This adjustment stacks with those from similar effects, such as the Spell Focus feat.

+2 racial bonus on Listen checks: Gnomes have keen ears.

+2 racial bonus on Craft (Alchemy) checks: A gnome's sensitive nose allows him to monitor alchemical processes by smell.

+3 racial bonus against all effects that cause aging: A gnome's elvish blood resists aging.

+2 racial bonus on Knowledge, Craft and Profession skill checks involving large and complicated machinery, mechanics or tinkering.

+1 racial bonus to Reflex saving throws: gnomes are used to ducking for cover when things blow up.

Automatic languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Raptoran, Twyll. Gnomes deal more with elves and dwarves than elves and dwarves deal with one another.

Favored Class: Tinker. A multiclass gnome's tinker class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty (see XP for Multiclass Characters, page 60, PHB).

2007-08-30, 06:17 PM
Glad to see this is still proceeding.

2007-09-01, 10:51 AM
Thanks! What did you think of my gnomes?

2007-09-01, 11:56 AM
Well, the background is unusual, but workable within the Campaign Setting and interesting, as well. The mechanics seem balanced to me and so I have no problems there. In short, I think they are fine.