Gnomes are a playable race. Like drakelings, gnomes are typically a playable-only race—no NPCs are gnomes save for some shopkeepers (and/or Ruun in Dwarftown if the PC is a gnome), and gnomes have no evil counterparts that can appear as NPCs (unlike hurthlings and elves).
Gnomes are the smaller cousins of dwarves. They live in rolling hills and wooded valleys. They are great connoisseurs of gems and the best gem carvers known in the whole world. Gnomes are famous for their very black humor and their great magical skills. They are about four feet high and not so stocky as dwarves. They groom their beards very well, although they generally favor short cropped beards. Gnomes are great leather workers and gnomish boots are a quality product every race greatly enjoys (except trolls and maybe hurthlings). Their greatest enemies are the kobolds living in the tunnels below the mountains. They normally attack each other on sight. Gnomes are excellent crossbowmen who prefer to utilize light crossbows for ranged attacks.
Gnomes are the only race that are guaranteed Pick pockets and Ventriloquism; Pick pockets can easily be obtained by PCs that are neither lawful nor aspiring Paragons of Order, though. Gemology and mining can be put to good use to generate a source of both income and Learning (through blessed gems of knowledge), provided the PC has a pickaxe. Ventriloquism is a somewhat rare skill that can be sometimes put to good use; however, the skill is generally hard to advance in, even for gnomish PCs that also practise it in their profession.
Whilst most gnomes have roughly average stats, they typically have very impressive Mana scores and good Dexterity. Whilst gnomes are not as nimble and often not quite as magically adept as elves, they tend to be considerably tougher, making gnomes a popular choice for magic-orientated PCs.
Gnomes tend to incur minor penalties to Strength and Willpower, and tend to be slightly less intelligent than humans; otherwise, their stats are typically well balanced and they tend to have good Charisma scores.
Like humans and hurthlings, all gnomes come prepared with some torches and an adequate supply of fuel. Gnomes otherwise tend to pack light, typically starting out with leather armor (although gnomish Paladins start out wearing chain mail) and a light weapon. Some gnomes—such as Fighters and Priests—also start out with a small shield to complement their defensive fighting styles.
Gnomes start out at 85-135 (75+10d6) years old and die at 610-800 (600+10d20) years old. They have the longest lifespan of the non-elven races, and thus have a large degree of resistance against unnatural ageing.
Power Point and Hit Point Regeneration Rate
Relations with Other Races
Despite their dark sense of humor, gnomes appear to be relatively popular in the world of Ancardia. Gnomish shopkeepers do fair deals with most races, and gnomish PCs are equally treated well by shopkeepers, receiving excellent deals from gnomish shopkeepers (obviously) and relatively good deals from dwarves.
Other gameplay effects
- Level advancement: Gnomes require less experience to increase in level than other races, receiving roughly a 25% discount on required experience per level for their profession.
- While being able to raise levels quickly is almost always a good thing, it may be of some concern to PCs that are trying to get through the Small Cave safely (for example). Also, the PC might reach level 16 perhaps more quickly than desired—i.e before clearing the Pyramid—meaning they may have to attempt to defeat Rehetep without adequate time to prepare, or just abandon the Pyramid completely.
- Crossbow training: Gnomes require roughly 25% fewer marks per skill level to raise their skill with Crossbows than the other races.
- Talents: Gnomes start with one extra talent. They share this racial ability with hurthlings.
Gnomes have rather average tastes. Food such as rats, fat worm and cooked roaches make them vomit, but aside from doppelgangers, there is nothing that they refuse to eat.
When choosing a race-class combination, gnomes have a number of points of interest - their fast level advancement, their high Mana scores and their relatively good Toughness (particularly for a magically adept race).
Gnomes are natural Elementalists, due to their magical abilities and fast level advancement (meaning they gain more spells quickly). Their ability to quickly gain levels also makes them notable Beastfighters and Monks. Their high Mana combined with one guaranteed extra talent means that gnomes are often eligible for a Heir gift, which is particularly beneficial for Thieves, Healers, Bards and Mindcrafters (their typically mediocre Willpower limits their ability at mindcraft, but their ability to quickly gain levels somewhat makes up for this).
Gnomes can do well at any class centred around casting. Alternatively, players may chose gnomes to be Archers due to their racial affinity with crossbows and their semi-casting potential.