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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  03:17:06  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've long established my love for all-things-gnome across the various D&D worlds. And whilst I do care deeply for the gnomes of the Realms in particular, I'm comfortable with their rather "forgotten" status, since it's an aspect of their race that's been perpetuated since the earliest days of the published Realms.

From the Ol' Grey Box [Cyclopedia of the Realms pg. 46]:-
quote:

The Gnomes are called the Forgotten Folk of the Forgotten Realms, for despite the fact they seem an everyday sight in major cities, and have goodsized communities of their own, they seem unbothered by the world and similarly only rarely become involved with it.

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  04:19:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I should like to expand on my previous statement, just a bit... I am no fan of halflings and gnomes, but I don't dislike them, either. The races just hold no appeal for me.

I generally don't even think about them, unless I've a concept that specifically calls for one of those races -- like the halfling assassin I thought up, or the gnome monster hunter. The halfling assassin I came up with because of the sheer unlikeliness of that class/race combo, and the monster hunter became a gnome because I wanted to use a rather gnomish name I'd thought up.

Other races that don't work for me include aasimar and just about anything that was thought up for a splat book. There are exceptions to the latter, but a lot of those races have been uninspiring and generic, IMO.

I do like tinker gnomes, though.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 03 Mar 2017 04:20:14
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13135 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  15:13:38  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
We're beginning to drift, but I just want to respond to Wooly's last comment -

My problem with splat-book races isn't so much the lore itself, but rather, that they wasted that space creating a race no-one really uses or cares about, when we already had existing races that could have been expanded upon, and really used all that juicy lore.

Prime examples - Raptorans. What the hell? Did anyone ever play one? Why hadn't that lore been applied to the Aarakocra, or avariels? The lore itself is good, the race redundant and unnecessary.

And don't even get me started on 'Goliaths'. Not only does the name make me want to strangle someone, but we already had a MUCH better race fit in that niche - the Firbolgs. Bob Salvatore did a few cool things with them, and so did Troy Denning. They are a great race, with some neat gimmicks and they look awesome. 'Goliaths' isn't just a silly sounding name, they are ugly, lumpy... *just yuck*. They look like something a 5-year-old came up with. Those things will NEVER exist on any RPG world I play on, and most certainly not be in the Forgotten Realms. Hell, even 'half-giants' (Athas) are better than those dumb-ass things.

The fluff that went with them, though, is pretty good, which just infuriates me more. All of that could have gone to the firbolgs, who've been in D&D practically from the beginning, and have EARNED the right to be in a splatbook.

And to bring this back around, I went looking for cool-looking gnomes, and found THIS, which should give folks some inspiration. I love the one in the top hat with the bow.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 04 Mar 2017 01:57:00
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 03 Mar 2017 :  17:20:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

We're beginning to drift, but I just want to respond to Wooly's last comment -

My problem with splat-book races isn't so much the lore itself, but rather, that they wasted that space creating a race no-one really uses or cares about, when we already had existing races that could have been expanded upon, and really used all that juicy lore.



Exactly. I'd've rather seen existing races expanded upon, rather than others shoe-horned in to fill page count.

Gnomes and halflings in the Realms have, pardon all the puns, gotten the short end of the stick. Humans get most of the coverage, and elves have gotten a lot of coverage, too. Dwarves haven't had a huge amount of coverage, but at the very least, there is a dwarven sourcebook that came to us from Ed's own pen. Gnomes and halflings have had very little coverage... So there has been little to set them apart and really make them interesting, at least in my opinion.

Honestly, the best coverage Realms halflings have had was in a Known World sourcebook! Sure, it's not the Realms, but it's from Ed's pen, and when I said to him it could be used for Luiren, he responded with "Superimpose the Luiren cities and government structure, shift places "just a little" to make room for them, and, yes, it works admirably for that. Almost as if someone designed it that way. ;} "

Heck, the drow have had more coverage in Realmslore than gnomes and halflings have, and until recently, the drow were not one of the core races.

Now, I'm not a fan of Golarion's gnomes, but the Bleaching is an interesting idea -- it's something that really sets the race apart and makes them distinctive. And Midgard's gnomes, with their collective racial terror of Baba Yaga driving them to consort with fiends, that's a really interesting spin. We don't have anything like that for Realms gnomes.

They're called the Forgotten Folk in-setting... But they've largely been forgotten in the source material, too, and that's a shame.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1359 Posts

Posted - 04 Mar 2017 :  00:56:26  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How about Mr. Welch gnomes?
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay


My problem with splat-book races isn't so much the lore itself, but rather, that they wasted that space creating a race no-one really uses or cares about, when we already had existing races that could have been expanded upon, and really used all that juicy lore.

Splatbook nonsense is but a symptom of what goes on: in 3.x era D&D became a "formerly loud name" bandwagon with little to no quality control and surprise, surprise - it quickly ended up as a blob of barnacles and lampreys allowed to cling to whatever and whoever was good in AD&D2 era.
Which demonstrates the rule of continuity degradation, too: "Any sufficiently established franchise is indistinguishable from fanfic". Which is one of the reasons why "Grubbyverse" Planescape was never replaced by anything coherent comparable to it, just drunk mumbling.
Introducing Very Speshul tiny little things as splatbook novelties in itself is not a big problem - look at Mystara. At least are, indeed, easy to ignore. Which is better than everything established being turned on its ears and squashed into one more stupid fanfic.
Conversely, "one sinkhole" policy and "what the world spins around this month" gimmick events are bound to bury anything left worth looking at under mountain ranges of junk.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 06 Mar 2017 :  23:53:15  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm more like wooly in the fact that I never really noticed them. But since I started DMing, I realized that they add a distinct flavor and they DO have a niche, somewhere between dwarves and halflings. Sounds like there is a need for more gnome lore. I would like to expand on what I've already written and do some write ups on some small gnome communities, with various cultural aspects. I still am a bit confused about the difference between "rock" and "forest" gnomes. Feels a bit like the whole "hill" vs "mountian' dwarves from Dragonlance.
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Starshade
Seeker

Norway
66 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  18:40:53  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think much would be solved with a famous gnome hero the D&D players read about in books, or know from some source, PC game or whatever. As it is, the most famous D&D gnome I can think of is Scanlan Shorthalt, from the Critical Role D&D show on geek and sundry, probably most famous for being a immature, funny bard, and his cry-trough-his-poo potion.
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
230 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  19:56:55  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's an MMORPG in development right now called Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen. It's an intentional throwback and spiritual successor to the original Everquest and games of that era. I'm guessing nobody here has heard of it, mainly because: A) it's still in pre-alpha, and B) it is not going to be a AAA title, but rather a niche game for a very specific type of gamer.

Anyway, before I start to sound like a product shill, they have one of the most unique and interesting takes on gnomes I've seen. Their gnomes are insatiable arcanists, diving so deeply into a particular power source (The Elos Star - their version of the Weave, I suppose) they actually give up their corporeal bodies and become pure energy. In game they all wear masks and armour made of a material that they bond to, allowing them to have a physical form in which to manipulate the world around them. Here's a pic and writeup:

http://pantheonmmo.com/races/gnomes/

They're still obsessed with magic, as well as being heavy industrialists. They are the most enigmatic and least understood of the playable races, spending most of their time holed up in a floating rock city - like unfathomable little bees in a suspended hive.

Edited by - VikingLegion on 07 Mar 2017 19:59:49
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29653 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  20:00:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There have been some gnomes scattered around in FR novels -- I think one of the Harpers novels had a flock of them, and I know one of Elaine's books had a gnome minor character.

But they've never really being in the forefront... In fact, one of the things I recall from the old AD&D comic was when they did the "Everyone wants to rule the Realms" issue -- they didn't have any gnome characters to use in their slideshow, and showed a generic gnome, instead. Since all the other slides were of characters from the comics, and showed them hanging out in Earth clothes (and Kyri in a bikini!), that one really stood out.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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VikingLegion
Learned Scribe

USA
230 Posts

Posted - 07 Mar 2017 :  20:24:09  Show Profile Send VikingLegion a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There have been some gnomes scattered around in FR novels -- I think one of the Harpers novels had a flock of them, and I know one of Elaine's books had a gnome minor character.


Yeah, Soldiers of Ice had a very well-written gnomish community way out in the remote cold lands, I think it was set in Vaasa, but would have to double check. They were all about hiding in their warren, being distrustful of strangers, basically everything Cards mentioned in the OP. David Cook did a really good job bringing their culture to life, might be worth the read if your going to continue utilizing this little gnomish community.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2017 :  02:07:15  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Starshade

I think much would be solved with a famous gnome hero the D&D players read about in books, or know from some source, PC game or whatever. As it is, the most famous D&D gnome I can think of is Scanlan Shorthalt, from the Critical Role D&D show on geek and sundry, probably most famous for being a immature, funny bard, and his cry-trough-his-poo potion.



Belwar Dissengulp I thought was the most famous gnome.

Or possibly Nanfoodle. He's my favorite!

Edited by - Cards77 on 08 Mar 2017 02:10:44
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
525 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2017 :  02:10:12  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There have been some gnomes scattered around in FR novels -- I think one of the Harpers novels had a flock of them, and I know one of Elaine's books had a gnome minor character.


Yeah, Soldiers of Ice had a very well-written gnomish community way out in the remote cold lands, I think it was set in Vaasa, but would have to double check. They were all about hiding in their warren, being distrustful of strangers, basically everything Cards mentioned in the OP. David Cook did a really good job bringing their culture to life, might be worth the read if your going to continue utilizing this little gnomish community.



Interesting that you mention that. I haven't read that book but my wife just read it. She is one of the players and she said I played the gnomes almost exactly the way they were portrayed in that novel

I don't know if I'm happy or if I lacked originaality without even knowing it. lol

The players thought it was good so that's all that matters.

It felt different from any other racial encounter we have had.
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31684 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2017 :  03:22:17  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Other gnomish tales:-

"Speaking with the Dead" -- originally printed in Realms of Mystery and included in The Best of Elaine Cunningham.

And "Stolen Dreams" as well -- originally printed in DRAGON #259 and also included in The Best of Elaine Cunningham.

Stevcen Schend included one of my favourite Realms gnome characters [a gnome priest of Baravar Cloakshadow] in his novel Blackstaff Tower.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
13135 Posts

Posted - 08 Mar 2017 :  23:08:35  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recall some 'gnomish stuff' in a Waterdeep novel. It may have been the one Elaine and Ed wrote, but it may have also been a more recent one, like Mistshore.

It had to do with 'The Warrens' which is where the 'wee folk' (Gnomes, halflings, and perhaps others) hide away from the 'big folk', and can 'be themselves' (which apparently is much more pragmatic and somber then the 'act' they put on for humans and others). The only thing I recall from the story was that the small folk didn't like anyone 'big'coming to the Warrens for that reason; they work very hard at maintaining an appearance of smiling, happy-go-lucky, harmless folk... and nothing could be further from the truth. At least, thats the vibe I got.

Ed's article in issue #269 of Dragon Magazine - The Hin Nobody Knows - also covered gnomes, and some of their settlements, and also some of the not-so-nice behavior those settlements are known for ('hiding stolen goods' seems to be a gnomish pastime in several places in The Realms - I guess when the owners never come back, it makes it all the sweeter). They also fence goods, and do other things 'against the local law' within human kingdoms, because it seems they often fall beneath the notice of the authorities, who never bother to look in the direction of their smiling faces.

They're the types to 'sell weapons to both sides' in a conflict, and do so inconspicuously. It makes me think there should be some sort of gnomish 'black ops', just in-case their more covert activities are found-out (like someone they've been fencing goods for gets caught by the authorities, and the next day the guy is found dead with his throat slashed, still in his cell - that sort of stuff).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 08 Mar 2017 23:09:08
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5039 Posts

Posted - 09 Mar 2017 :  14:05:09  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by VikingLegion

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There have been some gnomes scattered around in FR novels -- I think one of the Harpers novels had a flock of them, and I know one of Elaine's books had a gnome minor character.


Yeah, Soldiers of Ice had a very well-written gnomish community way out in the remote cold lands, I think it was set in Vaasa, but would have to double check. They were all about hiding in their warren, being distrustful of strangers, basically everything Cards mentioned in the OP. David Cook did a really good job bringing their culture to life, might be worth the read if your going to continue utilizing this little gnomish community.



I want to say you're right in that it was the bloodstone lands definitely (I think Vaasa too, but may have been Damara on a slim chance).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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moonbeast
Learned Scribe

USA
254 Posts

Posted - 16 Mar 2017 :  10:27:57  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks to above posters that suggested the Soldiers on Ice book. It seems from (Amazon) book reviews that it does have a very good section detailing a gnomish clan. I'm placing an order for this tonight!

I ran a unique informal all-Gnomish guild in the original Everquest (over a decade ago).. we were the Dread Gnome Pirates, the DGP. Mostly a group of fun-loving adventurers and pranksters. Since most of us gnomes were (high-INTEL) spellcasters, we knew we'd never become a high-end raiding guild (you need a small army of fighters and clerics and tanks for that). EQ gnome lore was vaguely based on original AD&D and Dragonlance material, which means we were in the role of industrial tinkering spellcasters. Tinkering was one of the "crafting skills" on the original Everquest MMORPG that any character race could learn, although the gnomes had a small headstart if I recall.

I also wrote, way back then, the original lore of Tinkerfest, the Gnomish high holiday which occurs once every 4 years. Thanks to me befriending a couple of the Sony (Sony Online Entertainment) devs, who also played the game obsessively, Tinkerfest eventually became an official in-game "event" that would happen annually on the Everquest servers. In these special events, there would be festival type games, contests, and many prizes awarded (including in-game magic items!).

I'd love to post the Story of Tinkerfest here if I have time to dig it up. It's a very gnomish story. The holiday of Tinkerfest commemorates the struggle and story of the original "Tinker Princess". in an ancient gnomish kingdom (Everquest vaguely had gnomish subterranean kingdoms). It also involves a dragon, as well as a clockwork dragon!




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