Yes those guys.
Allot of people are all like "gnomes ? who gives a shit?"
Gnomes are the only AD&D somewhat :old school: player demihuman race that exists out side of Mr. Tolkien's august and looming shadow. Dwarfs and elfs have been forever altered by his portrayals of them. Orcs and by proxy half Orcs come with similar baggage.
Gnomes however a free to let their freak flags fly, to be what ever the hell the player wants.
You want a jolly little bastard who hangs out in gardens an feeds berries to the birds? Gnome. You want a little fellow who has a tattooed face and collects dire badger scalps to wear over his own shaved dead? Gnome.
Gnomes hold a very important place in the events of my home campaign. A lynch pin race really, not that any one knows how or why. (I'm not spilling the beans.)
Join me in giving up a few ways that Gnomes are Metal.
- Gnomes lovingly care for and breed war goats. These goats can only be tended by gnomes, and may only be ridden by the gnome who raised it. Should a gnome fall in battle his or her war goat will stubbornly defend its riders body until it is killed and buried along with it's master. The war goats are often rubbed with charcoal to give them a more menacing appearance, and are outfitted with sharpened iron horn tips.
- Ogres sometimes where the skeletons of gnomes around their necks as good luck charms. Occasionally a particularly well off ogre will catch a live gnome, roll him in warm pine tar, then dip it in gold coins and jewels. This gnome is then want around the neck of the ogre as a status symbol. Needless to say the gnomes hate this tradition and will spend their time as a trinket whispering miss truths and lies to their host ogre. Much discord and strife has been caused among ogre tribes by spiteful "Gnomeulett." If a gnome in this predicament is freed they will gladly give their rescuer what ever is stuck to them.
- Gnomes are often used for ballast in ships. At port captains will often trade ballast between their vessels as they take on and off load cargo. These ballast trades are known as Gnomenschwappen and are a raucous affairs among the gnomes, who party long into the night and trade scrimshaw pieces they carved during their long journeys.
- At one point the Grim Jaw orcs were using a captured community of Gnomes as ballistic projectiles. The effect was supposed to terrify the humans who's town the orcs had under siege, which it did. An unsuspected side effect however is that some of the gnomes survived. The gnomes who did survive banded together after they recuperated and formed the spear point of a nighttime counter attack against the orcs. The Orcs were routed the humans saved and a new culture of Bezerker gnomes was formed . A group of gnomes known as the Brigitzen are all decedents of these hardy warriors and they live by a set of simple laws, Fight when one must, never back down, die in battle They can be identified by their tight leather helmets, their orange, red, and, green tartans and their exclusive use of short sword and short spear.
- Deep in the southern jungles lives a tribe of feral gnomes. They live high among the trees, in nests that are not that different form any large birds nest. They are masters of the jungle foliage, capable of moving silently and remaining hidden even from the most stubborn pursuer. These Gnomes who call themselves the Kutak and are experts at extracting and blending poisons found in the environment around them. The Kutak can drop a full grown human with a well placed sling dart, (Sling darts are another special skill of the Kutak gnomes.) ONe chemical that the Kutak treasure is a a blend of a rare mushroom spore, with the dermal ooze of an equally rare tree frog. This sticky substance known as "Ruld" among the gnomes when exposed to air changes from clear to bright yellow to red. While it is yellow it is highly hallucinogenic , and the gnomes will use this substance to go on long spirit journeys and answer the deepest questions in their world. The closer the substance is to it's final red color the ore powerful effect, however once it turns fully red the user risks mind bending insanity and even death. Many a Kutak have pushed the limits by using the red Ruld only to wander off into the jungle never to be see again. Powerful wizards will seek the Kutak and look to used the ruld as a way to expand their minds, but they do so at great risk to their sanity**
Check out: "Gnomes" by Will Hutton Which is a great book for kids and has some simply amazing illustrations by an awesome artist Rien Poortvliet.
- The high Gnome priest Latoon who dreamed of building a gnome cathedral dedicated to his god Glitergol. Towards this goal he created for himself several stone gnomes carved in his own image. Latoon made five gnomes and painted each one's clothing a different color Red , Blue , Green, Yellow, and, Purple. He then began the long arduous task of breathing life into the statues so that they may be employed as tireless physical labor. All went as planned until an exhausted Latoon suddenly died while hard at work drafting a new wing form his grand cathedral. As Latoons heard clenched in his chest, his last words were spoken to the Red Gnome , it was a command, "get help!" The Red Gnome being a automaton , has no way to get help except to being making help, so the stone gnomes of Latoon began carving more stone gnomes in their own likenesses. In a year they had made hundred or so lifeless stone gnomes. The community was shocked by the loss of Latoon, and could not stop the stone gnomes from going about their business, what was worse some of the newly minted gnomes would move on their own and block entrance to the cathedral site. In time the great Gnome cathedral was dismantled leaving only the desiccated skeleton of Latoon sitting among thousands of Colorful gnome statues like an undead lord with a comical army sitting among the ruins of his hubris. It was only when Latoons remains fell way and his scull rolled among the litter of stone dust on the old cathedral floor that his gnomish golems stopped working. The gnomes in the community approached carefully and found all of the statues inert. They treated the statues with great reverence for a while, but eventually as the community that and built up around the teachings and the dream of Latoon fell apart and dispersed, they took statues with them. Gnome homes throughout the lands soon had the statues near their doors as symbols that they were descendants of the followers of Latoon. The statues were said to come alive and fend off intruders, though this may or may not be true. Gnomes who own one of the stated refer to them as Statues of Guarding, or guarding gnomes, humans some times call them Garden Gnomes, a real gnome descended from the tribe of Laroon would find that highly insulting.
**Ruld in add 2d ed: Any one how takes yellow ruld will have one hell of a trip, save vs poison or your companions will have to hold you down for 12 hours give you plenty of fluids and wait for it to wear off. With Yellow Ruld there is a 1 in 10 chance that the visions the player character receives are of value and actually provide real insight in to their present quest.
Taking Red Ruld for any character other than a wizard save vs poison or permanently loose 1d4 points of wisdom and pick up a random insanity determined by the GM. Even if the character passes the save they are in for one hell of a day having the most extreme violent and horrific mind bending hallucinations that the GM can think up. The character will also be so dehydrated and exhausted that they will be operating at 1/2 hit points until they can get at least a day of pure bed rest.
If a wizard takes red Ruld things get strange. If they fail their saving throw they take all of the effects listed. If the wizard passes the poison save they go on a spirit journey. During this hallucinogenic trip the wizard will fight a battle against some symbolic hallucination that has the exact stats as the wizard right down to the selection of spells and weapons. This mirror match will determine what the wizard gets out of his risky journey into the mind. If the wizard wins the fight, he or she is granted a glimpse of the universe in all of it's endless beauty and horror, and receives access to one extra spell slot of 1d8 level up to his or her maximum. For example if the character can only cast 4th level spells he or she woudl only be able to gain a spell slot of level one to four.
If the Wizard looses the battle the wizard is granted a long look at the universe beyond his or her mind, it's to much. The wizard looses 1d4+2 intelligence and any bonuses that may have gone with having high intelligence. A wizard may only take this trip once , if they ever try it again they simply have a reaction liek any other character. Any Character who takes the Ruld earns the instant respect of the Gnome tribe.
Question Comments and all that good stuff can be placed in the hollowed out gnome skull below.
As always thank you for reading.
_MarkThis post is dedicated to Joohan Tyree, Have you heard of him? Well regardless, he is a bad ass Gnome.