Does anyone play Gnomes?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Seriously. Does anyone play Gnomes as a "go to" race? Because as I see it there flavor and back story is kinda lame and mechanically they are easily the worst of the base races. Just curious if anyone likes the Halfling lame cousin and if so why? Maybe I missed something about them....


Thematically, I love gnomes and vastly prefer them to halflings but the racial stat mods keep me from playing a lot of them. The classes for which a STR penalty/CHA bonus are acceptable/beneficial aren't generally the classes I usually play.

Now that Desna's fighting style enables builds that base almost-everything off of CHA, I might play one next time I get to play though.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

They get Con, Cha, and an AC boost. That's great for a pile of fun classes.

Scarab Sages

They make fantastic kineticists, sorcerers, oracles, bards, and mesmerists. I've played a gnome stalker vigilante and a gnome kineticist.


Gnomes make great summoners as well. If you really want to mess with someone, you could make a gnome Dex melee paladin since it never hurts to have Con in the front line.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

As a "go to" race? No.

I have played a few gnome characters before and found them useful. There's not a whole world of difference between any of the core book races. Differences yes, though all have their uses.


Gnomes are great in a good roleplay group, or in a no roleplay group, but not so good in an in between group with the Bleaching being enforced. Especially if the GM believes it is Kender-style or the Bleach.


I like them, but if I want to play a small race I usually go Ratfolk or Goblin due to their stats/abilities/flavor.

I played a gnome Usummoner for a one off and it was pretty fun though, so I may use them again sometime.


I loved my gnome summoner and his giant angry squirrel eidolon.

Liberty's Edge

Great minds think (almost) alike, Darigaaz.

Only in my case, it was an orangutan.


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1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.


Never liked them before I was permanently scarred by the race by an awful GM.

Distaste has given way to me just excising them from every game I run.


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Gisher wrote:
1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.

I have to say that yeah, I prefer the 1e fluff of gnomes to be this intensely curious, intellectual, and eccentric people to any other version of the fluff (incorrigible tricksters, art-based society, etc.) "Gnomes are impulsive and want to take things apart, see how they work, and put them back together better*" is how I would prefer to conceive of gnomes, but that's probably more of a +INT race than a +CHA race.


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I generally don't care much for them. Their fae-related nature (in Pathfinder) steps a bit on the toes of the elves, who tend to be the nature race by default. As a small race with a charisma bonus, they are also a bit overshadowed by the much more popular halfling. They aren't horrible, but I tend to ignore them for most roles. I tend to prefer martial races, where halflings or ratlings work better. I have never really bothered making a gnome as far as I remember.

I guess they would have a much more solid niche if they had an intelligence bonus and the usual tinkerer/mad scientist theme.Granted, it would be cliche, but it would give them a much more solid "niche" so to speak.


I'm not much into Golarion's gnome fluff. While the fey background is fine, I think it's a bit uninspired; I don't feel like they are stepping on the toes of the elves (whose alien aspect I really like).

However, I do plan to play an Eberron gnome at some point (because they are scary).


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gisher wrote:
1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.
I have to say that yeah, I prefer the 1e fluff of gnomes to be this intensely curious, intellectual, and eccentric people to any other version of the fluff (incorrigible tricksters, art-based society, etc.) "Gnomes are impulsive and want to take things apart, see how they work, and put them back together better*" is how I would prefer to conceive of gnomes, but that's probably more of a +INT race than a +CHA race.

That's not the original 1e fuff. The original 1e fluff is really boring which is probably why you remember that fluff instead of the original relatives of dwarfs.

Edit:
I do have to say the newest bit of fluff being that Golarion gnomes were a partially a death cult kind of interesting.


I absolutely love gnomes for full Charisma casters who don't understand the science of magic so much (like I see elves doing) they just play with it.
I see them as the lovable fun foil to the sometimes uppity elves as the two more magical core races. Love em.


They make pretty great life oracles.


Gisher,

Your gnome description is Ebberon and Forgotten Realms.


MadScientistWorking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gisher wrote:
1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.
I have to say that yeah, I prefer the 1e fluff of gnomes to be this intensely curious, intellectual, and eccentric people to any other version of the fluff (incorrigible tricksters, art-based society, etc.) "Gnomes are impulsive and want to take things apart, see how they work, and put them back together better*" is how I would prefer to conceive of gnomes, but that's probably more of a +INT race than a +CHA race.

That's not the original 1e fuff. The original 1e fluff is really boring which is probably why you remember that fluff instead of the original relatives of dwarfs.

Edit:
I do have to say the newest bit of fluff being that Golarion gnomes were a partially a death cult kind of interesting.

Boring is in the eye of the beholder. I thought the 1st edition Dwarves and Halflings were the truly boring races.


Daw wrote:

Gisher,

Your gnome description is Ebberon and Forgotten Realms.

That was PossibleCabbage's description. I never played Ebberon or Forgotten Realms. I went from 1st edition to Pathfinder.


Gisher wrote:
MadScientistWorking wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gisher wrote:
1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.
I have to say that yeah, I prefer the 1e fluff of gnomes to be this intensely curious, intellectual, and eccentric people to any other version of the fluff (incorrigible tricksters, art-based society, etc.) "Gnomes are impulsive and want to take things apart, see how they work, and put them back together better*" is how I would prefer to conceive of gnomes, but that's probably more of a +INT race than a +CHA race.

That's not the original 1e fuff. The original 1e fluff is really boring which is probably why you remember that fluff instead of the original relatives of dwarfs.

Edit:
I do have to say the newest bit of fluff being that Golarion gnomes were a partially a death cult kind of interesting.
Boring is in the eye of the beholder. I thought the 1st edition Dwarves and Halflings were the truly boring races.

How is it that the race that wasn't that significantly different from the dwarf more interesting than the dwarf?

Silver Crusade

I've seen a few gnomes in PFS. They have their strengths. I've seen paladin, rogue, ninja and sorcerer at least, of varied effectiveness.

In 3.5 I played with a nasty evil gnome cleric tank for a while, and I ran a gnome eldritch knight who rocked.

I quite like pathfinder's take on gnomes. I plan on doing a gnome bard/oracle knowledge specialist at some point.


PossibleCabbage wrote:
Gisher wrote:
1st edition Gnomes were a favorite of mine. I don't care for the Pathfinder version.
I have to say that yeah, I prefer the 1e fluff of gnomes to be this intensely curious, intellectual, and eccentric people to any other version of the fluff (incorrigible tricksters, art-based society, etc.) "Gnomes are impulsive and want to take things apart, see how they work, and put them back together better*" is how I would prefer to conceive of gnomes, but that's probably more of a +INT race than a +CHA race.

I much preferred the pre-3.0 Gnome statline of +Int and -Wis. It was a lot more fun and thematic.

Pathfinderised, I'd probably make them +2 Con and Int, -2 Wis. It would give them a much more unique niche statwise than "Halflings, except with Con instead of Dex."


I really enjoyed my gnome wizard. He not only had this nice gnome magic at hand (useful even in addition to wizard cantrips), but also supported me going for the illusionist route (thanks to +1 DC) which encourages more creativity than a classic wizard.

RP wise he got a decent package already by race choice: Curious, bizarre, inventive. He nearly messed up the GM's railroad to capture us by summoning a mount and convincing it to rush through the enemy line. Too bad the campaign fell apart afterwards...


I have enjoyed gnomes over the years, and really like Paizo's interpretation of them.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Gnomes are a good race for certain concepts, especially when counting the alternate racial traits.

In addition to the mentioned bards, oracles, sorcerers, and summoners, they perform well as alchemists (with Obsessive in Craft (Alchemy) and the Pyromaniac alternate racial trait, FCB for extra bombs), arcanists (as many exploits are Cha-based, FCB to increase arcane reservoir), cavaliers (FCB for faster mounts), mediums, ninjas, paladins, skalds, and psychics (some disciplines use Cha to calculate phrenic pool points, FCB for extra phrenic pool points). They also are decent barbarians (Con bonus, Master Tinker alternate racial trait to be proficient with any exotic weapon they craft themselves), bloodragers (Con and Cha bonus, FCB to increase bloodline powers), clerics (channel energy and support), druids (FCB for energy resistance), magi (FCB to add extra weapon ability options with arcane pool), shamans (FCB for extra hexes), and witches (FCB for extra hexes).

Gnomes also make an easy race choice for an off-the-wall concept, "because they're a gnome..."


I've never really enjoyed gnomes, so I don't play them. Custom settings I build just don't even have them because I have no desire to see them around or role-play as them as the DM, and games I run on Golarion just never feature them even though I don't necessarily excise them from the setting. An AP I'm running right now as gnomes searching for an old dwarven fort... so instead I made them dwarves, because that makes more sense. I mostly just remove them all but in name and don't take gnome characters.


...Of the core races, gnomes are the one I have the least interest in playing - I never have, and I don't expect that I ever will (pre-made NPCs when I'm running games don't count). They just don't match the kinds of characters I tend to make. Personal preference, I guess?


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I really wanna play a gninja one day


I'm still dying to make a pyromaniac gnome ninja for recharge innate magic/produce flame abuse, especially now we have a bunch of meta-SLA feats lying around. Plus gnome ninjas get access to Bewildering Koan, and that's always fun.


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There's no race like Gnome. There's no race like Gnome. There's no race like Gnome.


Us Gnomes rule.

Ho, you're talking about the psychedelic bunch of Golarion gnomes ?

Those are unworthy of their purported gnomishness.

...

I just like evil 1st edition gnomes. So s/r/ue me.


I won't even talk about the 4th edition D&D bumiliation of the gnomes during that edition's launchtime.

Oops, I just did [*evil grin*] !


Bumiliation = bummer + humiliation


Verily, I must confess that I quite like Pathfinder's take on the Gnomish race.

Maniaco-depressive little bummers...


I want to play a gnome bear rider cavalier as a tank that also charge. Seem like a fun play....


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One of my players has been running a gnome alchemist for years. He's currently the most tenured character in the campaign. He's very effective in play and the player has never complained about him, so yeah, I'd say they're cool.

From a GM standpoint, I like that Paizo found a way to make gnomes distinctive from dwarves and halflings.


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Quiche Lisp wrote:

I won't even talk about the 4th edition D&D bumiliation of the gnomes during that edition's launchtime.

Oops, I just did [*evil grin*] !

I'm a monster. Rar!

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

but... but... what about Kender?

Seriously, some of the gnome background in Pathfinder remind me of Kender.


I'm playing a gnome ranger. Gnome racial bonuses pair well with ranger class features. Made sure he had a positive Charisma modifier because a gnome ranger who can't speak with animals at 1st level is just sad. Have discovered the fun of charging around the battlefield riding a combat-trained pony. Just hit 4th level so now the shenanigans truly begin. Muhahahaha!


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Why gnome when you can halfling?


I once, briefly, ran an all gnome campaign, and an all gnome campaign setting. I wrote some Gnomish subtypes for that campaign so they wouldn't be so shoehorned into specific classes. It was good wacky fun. They were essential golarion gnomes, but not on golarion.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It's an awful race. The rainbow-haired buffoons should bake cookies in a tree and leave adventuring to the non-ridiculous. Take their talking ponies, sparkle parties, and gigglesticks, and go play in a pit of scalding hot tar, every last one of them. Then one day, in the future age of Starfinder, intrepid explorers and paleontologists will discover their adorable little skeletons. And those men and women will say to themselves, "Wow, these are obnoxious. I am so glad they went extinct 10,000 years ago. Now lets head back to our kender homeworld. Because we're all kender."

Even kender can't stand gnomes.

Shadow Lodge

You have given me an idea for a chainsaw wielding Gnome Barbarian/fighter. For this I am grateful. I must consult the pfs rules on how to make this legal. If not, I must play home brew.


Gnomes are a lot of fun.

Cuup, out.


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Kerney wrote:
You have given me an idea for a chainsaw wielding Gnome Barbarian/fighter. For this I am grateful. I must consult the pfs rules on how to make this legal. If not, I must play home brew.

Don't forget to say the words


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I like how Pathfinder has handled the flavor and culture of gnomes (and halflings) in Golarion. It works well.

I just have an extreme dislike of the Small sized character mechanics*, so tend to house rule them to be on the short-and-light end of Medium and typically clocking 80-120 lbs, and aren't dwarfed by my three-year-old.

*:
Namely, that player mechanics and classes are balanced on the assumption of medium sized characters:
  • Con: smaller weapon damage dice (almost inconsequential)
  • Con: reduced movement (but so do dwarves or medium characters in heavy armor
  • Con:-2 Strength (but +2 to two other stats)
  • Con: -1 penalty to CMB and CMD.

  • Pro: Early access to flying mounts (1st level instead of 7th)
  • Pro: Mounted combat characters can take their dog (or other beasty) into most dungeons, where a medium sized character often cannot.
  • Pro: More efficient carrying capacity. Heaviest gear is 1/2 the weight, but your capacity is 3/4 that of a Medium sized creature
  • Pro: +1 AC and attack rolls (comes up way more than CMB/CMD)
  • Pro: +4 size bonus to Stealth checks. Be the ninja.
  • Pro: Need carrying? Not a problem. You're 27-43 lbs, instead of 150-200. A party member can carry five of you for every one human.

In particular, the mounted combat rules are something I've seen abused way, way too often by players with small sized characters to particularly enjoy having them at my table.

Again. Love the background and flavor of gnomes in Pathfinder. Hate the mechanics.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

On a more serious note, there's a reason why (spoilers I guess) we've never had a gnome or halfling BBEG for any of the APs. Or even any Module that I've seen (and I've seen most). It's because the idea of a 3-ft. tall archvillain is patently absurd, even for a fantasy game. Just picture it: the heroes have battled hordes of giants and dragons, demons and aliens, all for this moment. They now stand before the mighty Karzoug on his throne of gold and... oh wait, he's a gnome now. Still has the cool robes and glaive and stuff, but he's now the size of a young child. The PCs promptly put him in a headlock, give him indian burns, and make him promise never to be naughty again.

Or even worse: the players have routed the evil warlord's armies and bested her most talented lieutenants and generals. They now face her on the field of battle and discover, to their endless delight, that she is 2'6". She wears adorable halfling-sized full plate armor, and has a cute little sword that the fighter could make into sweet whittling knife. The wizard knocks her over with his staff and pins her down so the party can take her stuff. Campaign over.


Generic Villain wrote:

On a more serious note, there's a reason why (spoilers I guess) we've never had a gnome or halfling BBEG for any of the APs. Or even any Module that I've seen (and I've seen most). It's because the idea of a 3-ft. tall archvillain is patently absurd, even for a fantasy game. Just picture it: the heroes have battled hordes of giants and dragons, demons and aliens, all for this moment. They now stand before the mighty Karzoug on his throne of gold and... oh wait, he's a gnome now. Still has the cool robes and glaive and stuff, but he's now the size of a young child. The PCs promptly put him in a headlock, give him indian burns, and make him promise never to be naughty again.

Or even worse: the players have routed the evil warlord's armies and bested her most talented lieutenants and generals. They now face her on the field of battle and discover, to their endless delight, that she is 2'6". She wears adorable halfling-sized full plate armor, and has a cute little sword that the fighter could make into sweet whittling knife. The wizard knocks her over with his staff and pins her down so the party can take her stuff. Campaign over.

But wait- imagine it this way. The party slaughters their way through the armies and smashes their way into the castle. When they arrive, they look around the throne room, take a look at the haughty elf wizard, the massive orc shaman, the shifty human fighter/rogue/sorcerer, and stubborn duergar warlord, then decide to attack one of them, assuming them to be the leader. But in reality, it is the halfling (probably Bard), who is cowering behind a pillar, yelling "Help me brave adventurers! You're my only hope!" as the elf, orc, human, and duergar get chopped up by the PCs. After "liberating" the halfling, the PCs leave to rest on their laurels, but a couple months later, they discover that the armies have reformed, the castle is occupied again (and fortified better than ever), and that a new warlord rules over the land they freed.

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