Edit Gnomes are a race of diminuitive, fey humanoids, skilled in illusion magic. They are close to the earth, like gnomes, but represent its more magical and jovial side. They live in tunnels in wooded hills and have an intense curiosity about the world. They are often great crafters if a bit distractable , and peerless sages of the world and its phenomena. They have a rivalry with kobolds that is truly ancient, and have antagonism with goblins and giants of various sorts as well.
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Halflings for their part fared better in my imagination. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings certainly played a role there, but despite those wonderful stories halflings were never very compelling for me. And yes, I like the halfling depiction! They have a good nature and famously good luck, optimistic outlooks and a generally positive demeanor.
What I cherish most about halflings is, among all the myriad playable races, each sort of focusing on different aspects of the human experience, they exemplify the best of human nature. Mischief and minor squabbles are probably the bulk of problems halfling law enforcement deals with, along with keeping watch for dangerous outsiders who might bring trouble. Halfings traditionally are all about the creature comforts too. A cozy home, good food and plentiful free time to enjoy are hallmarks of halfling life.
Idyllic, laid back lifestyle of comfort and calm…why would they head out into a dangerous world and leave that all behind? Nevertheless these fancy-footed folk take to the road not traveled and head off to see what else is out there. This is something I can relate to too, having moved around the US many times myself and gone on spontaneous trips in other countries as well. Seems I have more in common with halflings than I thought; guess I have a bit of the fancy feet myself.
Wherever adventure takes them, a halfling finds the positive in any situation, a trait I admire. Any party will benefit from a halfling adventurer in their midst to remind them of the best the world has to offer even in the face of grave danger and terrible evil.
But it also includes a fun table of various reasons for adventuring. Any of them would give players terrific reasons for exploring the wide, wonderful world or inspire the sorts of unusual reasons your halfling might get the fancy feet.
If you want to play a good-natured adventurer with a zest for life, uncanny courage and remarkable optimism, a halfling fits the bill perfectly. Not so anymore! Small and sly like halflings, crafty and communal like dwarves, gnomes possess a magical quality imparting a really splendid place in the world. Curiosity drives a gnome, and wonder about the world s around them lends to a deep appreciation for whatever draws their attention. I came across this illustration a while ago and loved it.
So when it came time to create a new character I knew exactly what to do. It also gives me chances to move things along in our live stream game — Gus often drifts away from the group of larger folk while discusses plans to poke around.
The magical nature of gnomes is an important part of their culture, too. Whatever variety of gnome — rock, forest, or deep — gnomes have an affinity for magic.
Other creatures might not see it this way — gnomes do have a reputation for practical jokes, often enhanced with magic — but at the end of the day a gnome typically aims to make life more enjoyable.
Similar to halflings, gnomish adventurers are drawn by their curiosity to explore the wide world. The difference is this behavior is expected, and encouraged, by gnomish society in general. A gnome who spends their whole life in the burrow would probably be considered very strange by their kind. And gnomes are smart! Their desire to learn and ability to understand things is a valuable trait for an adventuring party. And delving deep beneath the earth, something adventurers often do, is a great place to have a deep gnome along.
The book does a great job of incorporating racial pantheons into their cultures, illustrating the sorts of things that are most important to a culture through the variety of gods each race venerates. Unlike halflings, whose pantheon are all good or neutral, gnomes do have one evil god, the chaotic evil Urdlen.
And of course, the customized personality traits, ideals, bonds and flaws tables are awesome. From the gnome tables, you can see they are intensely interested in focused pursuits, fascinated by the world, eager to learn, and helpful to those around them.
Let me know in the comments below! Like this? Did you enjoy this post? Thank you for your consideration and as always, until next time stay nerdy!
The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings
Halflings for their part fared better in my imagination. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings certainly played a role there, but despite those wonderful stories halflings were never very compelling for me. And yes, I like the halfling depiction! They have a good nature and famously good luck, optimistic outlooks and a generally positive demeanor. What I cherish most about halflings is, among all the myriad playable races, each sort of focusing on different aspects of the human experience, they exemplify the best of human nature. Mischief and minor squabbles are probably the bulk of problems halfling law enforcement deals with, along with keeping watch for dangerous outsiders who might bring trouble.
Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes — Halflings and Gnomes in D&D
The final chapter says, "It is important to remember when playing a gnome or halfling, that halflings are not short humans, nor are gnomes scrawny dwarves. It was probably because it was a lie that they even felt the need to say it. Halfling have the exotic race-specific character kits of Archer fighter, Burglar thief, and Healer priest. Did you know that wizards often have a fondness for halflings? Because that one wizard in that one book said as much. But hobbits themselves were just an idealized caricature of English yeomanry.