The Dragonlance Nexus

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Tinker Gnomes

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by André La Roche


Gnomes are one of the least understood races upon Krynn. Ever since their creation, tinker gnomes have been cursed to invent complicated and usually useless things.

Personality: All tinker gnomes talk very rapidly, and find it bothersome that members of other races can't keep up with their normal pace of speech. Gnomes are rarely subtle, always ready to get down to the meat of things. They obsess over their inventions and for this reason they are often omit normal courtesies. Tinker gnomes put tremendous amounts of time and energy into their machines, which are constantly being improved upon (and blowing up).

Gnomes rarely provide sufficient explanation of any topic unless pinned down with direct questions. This occurs because they assume a gnomish degree of general knowledge. An uncurious visitor may be led past ten wonders of Mount Nevermind, being told, "Don't step on that", "Mind the gap", and "Duck." Gnomes have 34 ways to say "Look out," each detailing a direction and intensity of dangers.

Physical Description: Most gnomes are about three feet tall and weigh 45-50 lbs. They have brown skin the color of wood with white hair and blue or violet eyes. Gnomes have round ears and large noses. They tend to dress in outlandish garb, preferring function over style. They often wear leather aprons with many pockets bristling with tools, notes, papers, pencils, and various other gadgets.

Relations: Other races tend to look upon gnomes and singleminded and obnoxious. Tinker gnomes see other races as intolerably slow and not as bright as themselves. Their bluntness will many times lead to hurt feelings (or worse) when tinker gnomes are among other races. Most humans will actively avoid contact with gnomes, finding them too dangerous to be around. Kender are fascinated by gnomish inventions and gnomes are happy to sate their curiousity. Dwarves look upon tinker gnomes as the Reorx's rejects.

Alignment: Gnomes are usually chaotic good, though they may by chaotic neutral.

Gnomish Lands: Tinker gnome communities can be found in various isolate places throughout Krynn. Their main city is within Mount Nevermind, a dormant volcano in the northern part of Sancrist Isle.

Religion: Gnomes aren't particularly religious, but most pay homage to Reorx. Clerics and priests are uncommon among the tinkering folk. A small faction of gnomes also reveres Shinare, goddess of industry.

Language: Tinker gnomes speak an extremely rapid version of the common tongue, so rapid that it is sometimes mistaken for an entirely different language by those unfamiliar with gnomes. When among other races, gnomes can be persuaded to slow their speech, but often do so with a mocking or condescending tone.

Names: Each gnome has three names. A gnome's true name recounts the gnome's entire family tree, extending back to creation. This history occupies a single, enormous word that can easily fill a large book. The complete names of every gnome born on Sancrist appear in a volume in the Genealogy Guild in the main library at Mount Nevermind. Though each gnome knows his complete name (or at least the first few thousand syllables), most gnomes use a shortened form of address that takes merely half a minute to recite. This shorter name lists the highlights of the gnome's ancestor's lives. Humans use even shorter names: the first one or two syllables of a particular gnome's name. Gnomes find this abbreviated name undignified, but endure it all the same.

Adventurers: Most gnomes never leave their communities. If they do, it is usually to test a new invention or acquire some sort of special part for a machine. Sometimes a malfunctioning gnomish machine may take the creator away from Mount Nevermind; for example a technojammer that misfires may deposit the gnome anywhere in the world.

Tinker Gnomish Racial Traits

  • +2 Intelligence, +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom, -2 Strength. Gnomes are brilliant creatures that masterfully and carefully are able to manipulate machines. However, they often make faulty and questionable decisions during construction, and live a rather sedentary lifestyle.
  • Small: As Small creatures gnomes gain a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but they must use smaller weapons than humans use.
  • Gnome base speed is 20 feet.
  • Low-light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against kobolds. Due to the creation of their race, kobolds hold gnomes responsible for it and have fought against the inventors ever since.
  • +2 racial bonus to Craft and Knowledge checks involving large and complicated machinery.
  • +1 racial bonus to Reflex Saving throws. Tinker Gnomes are used to ducking for cover when things blow up.
  • Automatic Languages: Gnomes start out with Common and Fastalk.
  • Favored Class: Tinkerer. A gnome's tinkerer class does not count when determining whether he suffers an XP penalty to multiclassing. However, few gnomes are anything BUT tinkerers.

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