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Troy’s Crock Pot: You should’ve gnome better

What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

Gnome-je vu

Why all the 4E fuss? I’ll tell you why.  Gnomes are in the Third Edition Monster Manual, too. And they have a lair (“Gnomes make their homes in hilly, woodland lands. They live underground … those who come to visit and are welcome are ushered into the bright, warm burrows”), they have treasure (“Treasure: Standard … they decorate their clothes with intricate stitching or fine jewelry”) and they even have a minion (“they enjoy the company of halflings”). OK, that was cheap shot, but  I ask you: What re-envioning of the gnome disqualified them as a player race anyhow?


You want to see a kick-ass gnome? Try this one from Paizo [1].

A little hard to mow around

My wife is slowly adding to her collection of concrete lawn ornaments shaped like the Seven Dwarves. But they look like gnomes to me. Cuz one of the statutes is female! There weren’t any females among the Seven Dwarves — were there? (Unless Doc was really a female crossdressing as a guy …Hmmmm.)

9 Comments (Open | Close)

9 Comments To "Troy’s Crock Pot: You should’ve gnome better"

#1 Comment By ChattyDM On May 29, 2008 @ 5:22 am

They’re leaving gnomes for the Players Handbook IV: Midgets and Gadgets


#2 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On May 29, 2008 @ 6:08 am

Gnomes were left out because they’re not “Anime Standard”, like dragon- and demon-spawn are. Expect to see a Kitsune very soon, followed by any number of feline races… (I infer this from the “sword inflation” that is now rampant in gaming, and was first seen in anime.)

Honestly, the problem is that Gnomes and Halflings cover the same ground: a short race that lives underground in hilly areas and has some ties to the natural environment.

It’s not a GMing site without a “lemme tell you ’bout MY campaign!” reply, so… My treatment is a bit different: Gnomes are a ‘smaller cousin’ to Dwarves. They are excellent at mechanical and intellectual activities. Gnomes also run the only international banking consortium, and are active collectors and traders in information. Long story short: Gnomes are gnerds.

(FWIW: Halflings are related to Humans, and are a dexterous version of Professor Tolkien’s Hobbits.)

#3 Comment By DarthKrzysztof On May 29, 2008 @ 8:42 am

It’s an “omission” that doesn’t bother me, because I’ve never really known what to do with gnomes…

#4 Comment By Patriarch917 On May 29, 2008 @ 9:02 am

In my 4th edition campaign setting, the gnomes the party initially meets will be wild, barbaric, scary fellows with painted faces who surround the village at night with their torches and demand a sacrifice. Evil gnomes are great monsters because they have the “scary child” thing, but also the “clever” thing.

#5 Comment By Troy E. Taylor On May 29, 2008 @ 9:08 am

Darthkrzysztof: Respective of our site’s new logo, I’d say: cook ’em.

But that doesn’t sound right … do you smell something burning?

Actually, I like gnomes because they are so versatile. Fey burrow gnomes, tinker gnomes, gem-hunting dwarvish cousin gnomes, leprecauns … you get the point. Whatever you need the little to guys to be, they can be! (Customizable gnomes, a wonderful tool for the GM!)

I actually think it’s ironic that they — being TSR/Wizards, that is — has tried to do that with halflings. They’ve morphed halflings from happy little hungry hobbits into sticky-fingered kender and into these wild lithe barbarians on the Eberron plains. And those are valid creative choices, but they seemed forced.

Somehow, with gnomes, there’s more elasticity. Plug the gnome into whatever (racial-role) hole you have in your campaign, and they’ll fill it admirably. Try it and see.

#6 Comment By Martin Ralya On May 29, 2008 @ 9:53 am

Will gnomes be in the 4e MM? I think I heard that somewhere.

If not, I don’t think it’ll be long before there are umpteen homebrewed gnome variants online, suitable for use as a player race.

Personally, I love gnomes. It started with the classic Gnomes book of folklore (with amazing illustrations) as a kid, amped up with the old Dragonlance setting The Time of the Dragon and was solidified by the gnomes in the original Forgotten Realms boxed set.

Gnomes in Taladas (TToD) live in spires alongside the continent’s massive lava lake, create ingenious dropped weapons that they fling on their foes from hang gliders and have an elite warrior caste who undergo a ritual that “kills” them in the eyes of their friends and family — so that, already dead, they know no fear. So awesome.

#7 Comment By Mage189 On May 29, 2008 @ 11:08 am

Gnomes are a playable race in 4th edition. Just like several other races that are completely playable that are presented in the Monster Manual just like in 3rd edition, they just don’t get a page in the first PHB.

Why is this such a big problem for so many people? I’ve been playing D&D for decades and I’m the only person I’ve ever known to even make a gnome character. I’ve seen halflings, planetouched people, spellscales, stone children, goliathes and many others but no gnomes.

Plus you also have to remember that they plan on releasing update books in the form of the PHB 2/DMG 2/MM 2 which should be expected as that’s what every edition since practically chainmail did. Gnomes will probably have a write up in the PHB 2 to help fill in space.

#8 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On May 29, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

The Plight of the Gnomeless really doesn’t bother me that much, but I’ll take a stab at it.

Gnomes are iconic. Eladrin and Dragonborn aren’t iconic. Tieflings are arguably iconic, but not nearly as iconic as Gnomes…

For a lot of folks (myself included), the removal of Gnomes from the PHB while adding other races is an unnecessary change that seems to imply, “this isn’t D&D any more”. While it’s good to shake things up a bit, it’s also good to maintain some continuity with your past.

#9 Comment By Mage189 On May 30, 2008 @ 12:41 am

That’s what I’m wondering though? What exactly makes them iconic? Just because they’ve always been in the PHB doesn’t make them iconic in my opinion. They weren’t even in the original Dungeons and Dragons rules. I wonder if people have had this conversation before in reverse actually now.

“Gnomes? What are they? Why are they in the Player’s Handbook? I don’t remember any gnomes in the Lord of the Rings!”

Anyway, I’m sorry if this is turning into a rant but I really can’t agree that they’re iconic. 🙁