The Scattered Isles
The curious gnomes have long looked for their place in the world. A people with intellectual leanings and magical talent, the gnomes seek solutions to all problems, even those that do not yet exist. Inventors, mages, and engineers, the gnomes seek a better world through the power of the arcane and the wisdom of the scientific. The saying goes that “A gnome that isn’t reading or working has likely forgotten he is a gnome”.
The gnomes are not strictly “ruled” by anyone, though the undeniable heads of gnomish society are the three High Arcanists. Each High Arcanist is the head of one of the three major divisions of gnomish studies and works. The High Mage is in charge of all things purely magical, such as wizardry, sorcery, and spells. The High Tinkerer is in charge of all things technological and physical, such as alchemy, engineering, and sciences. The High Artificer is charged with blending these disciplines together, the marriage of magic and science. While they cannot command the average citizen, these three can guide the efforts and support given to the various fields of academic and practical study.
Fifty years ago, the gnomish island and capital of Mechaven was founded. Finding that there were no uninhabited islands on the ocean that suited their needs, the gnomes built one. Mechaven is an entirely manufactured island, built with gnomish engineering and magic. There gnomish wizards, alchemists, and artificers work tirelessly each day to bring the world of tomorrow to the Aegis Sea.
Gnomes are the smallest race on the Scattered Isles, most top out at just over 3 feet tall. Gnomes have slightly over-sized heads, often with eyes and mouth to match. Their hair comes most often in human colors, though black is a rarity. Their skin tends to be fair, and they are rarely of poor complexion. It is not unusual for gnomes to have magically altered the color of their hair or skin, a pink haired, dark skinned gnome is not so uncommon as to raise many brows.
Gnomes look for a use for everything. Everything that exists has a purpose, even if one has not found it yet. Gnomes see wasted resources as one of the gravest of misdeeds. Magical talent is greatly prided. Those who do not possess such talent are not treated poorly for it, however, they are instead encouraged to learn the arts of engineering or alchemy. Gnomes can occasionally be somewhat absent-minded in their work; a gnome will often overlook the dangers of working with explosive chemicals when lost in the possibilities they hold for agricultural summoning spells.
Gnomes get along well with most other races on the Scattered Isles. They most closely ally themselves with humans, often sharing settlements with them on various islands across the Aegis Sea. Gnomes are perhaps the only race that does not hold an inherent dislike of changelings; they are instead fascinated by the astounding abilities they possess, and the possibilities therein. Gnomes often trade with gol, though they are occasionally frustrated by what they see as the giants’ slow, backwards thinking. Gnomish relations with orcs are somewhat more lukewarm. Both races see the other as pursuing the wrong means to the wrong ends. The High Arcanists of Mechaven spoke out avidly against the slaughter of the surface elves, and eventually negotiated for the lives of those remaining, eventually taking in those of magical talent.
Alignment and Religion
The gnomes are an impulsive, sometimes reckless people, but whatever their actions, they are usually working to make something better than it was before. Their methods may occasionally be strange and dangerous, but they usually mean well. Most gnomes tend to be Neutral Good. Most gnomes worship Nysander; his message of progress, learning, and innovation suits the gnomish way quite perfectly.
Gnome adventurers are a common, if puzzling sight. Setting out across the sea to learn more about the world and themselves, a gnomish adventurer is bounding into the future in perhaps the most exciting way he or she can. Gnomes favor the Wizard and Alchemist classes.
Male Names: Grunwick, Harkutt, Dalto, Tinklot, Harvud, Grenkwot
Female Names: Isilde, Tenklit, Seldy, Bresjit, Nodelly, Terimether
+2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Gnomes are physically weak but extremely intelligent and their attitude makes them naturally agreeable.
Small: Gnomes are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Defensive Training: Gnomes gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
Gnome Magic: Gnomes add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast. Gnomes with Charisma scores of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, and prestidigitation. The caster level for these effects is equal to the gnome’s level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the gnome’s Charisma modifier.
Illusion Resistance: Gnomes gain a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells and effects.
Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on a Craft or Profession skill of their choice, and a +2 bonus on a Knowledge skill of their choice.
Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat any weapon with the word “gnome” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Gnomes begin play speaking Common and Gnome. Gnomes with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Elven, Gol, Goblin, and Orc.
Expanded Resistance [Racial]
You have expanded your natural resistance to magic to encompass different kinds of magic.
Prerequisites: Gnome, illusion resistance racial trait.
Benefit: Select one school of magic other than illusion. You gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells or effects from the selected school.
Special: You may select this feat more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time you select it, it applies to a different school of magic.
Gnomish Scholar [Racial]
You have graduated from one of the three gnomish colleges.
Benefit: Pick any two Knowledge skills. You gain a +2 bonus on these two skills. If you have 10 or more ranks in one of these Knowledge skills, the bonus increases to +4 for that skill.
Quick Analysis [Racial]
Your keen intellect allows you to quickly identify and react to danger.
Benefit: You add your Intelligence bonus on initiative checks.
Trivial Knowledge [Racial]
You have the ability to dredge up obscure knowledge in appropriate situations.
Prerequisites: Gnome, Int 13.
Benefit: Whenever you make a Knowledge check or a bardic knowledge check, roll twice and use the better of the two results.