Gnome / Drawf Defensive Training, but why?!

Pathfinder RPG General Discussion

I cannot for the life of me find the "lore" as to why this trait exists for gnomes. It completely feels like a person that just wanted to add something to a race without giving any explanation. +4 is CRAZYYY!!! If its defensive training, wouldnt it have been better to treat it like a favored enemy.

It predates favored enemies. Dwarves at least predate the ranger class. You're looking at something from the dawn of the game, before AD&D much less D&D 3.x or PF.

As to why, I dunno, I've only read a few bits of the OD&D rules and never played it. The people you might ask are few in number and getting pretty old now, I think there's at least one on this forum sometimes but I forget his name.

Shadow Lodge

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Per a site I just found, Dwarves originally took half damage from 'clumsy monsters like ogres, giants, and the like' in the 1974 rules.

By 1978's AD&D Player's Handbook, it was changed to a -4 penalty to attack rolls against Dwarves and Gnomes (which was not a player race option prior to this volume).

So basically, this idea has literally been around since the dawn of the game...

In the olden days gnomes were related to dwarves (in at least some worlds/lore) so had some similiar traits. The modern/PF idea that they are fey descended makes the idea of similiarity a bit odd.

Awesome! Thanks for the replies. Sadly for me Im running Rise of the Runelords which is pretty much all giant all the time. The little gnome barbarian is rocking like a 27/28 AC most of the time because of that +4. I did see that so far with what is released with Second Edition that this OP buff trait is gone.

Shadow Lodge

Remember, the bonus only applies 'against monsters of the giant subtype' so your mileage will vary: If you are playing an update of the old 'Against the Giants' campaign, you'll be happy as a proverbial clam with this trait, but in most games it will rarely come into play.

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