Curiosities and Acquisitions
Big of nose, quick with a laugh, cheerful, visionary, and industrious in their approach to life, the Rock Gnomes form the picture of the gnomish race as it is viewed by most of the larger folk who know them.
Rock Gnomes are the most common type of gnome among the known worlds, and indeed, when one speaks of a “gnome,” chances are he or she means a Rock Gnome. While not a populous race in comparison to humans or other demihumans, they are encountered in a wide variety of environments, showing no particularly preference for any one type of climate. They do, however, tend to make their homes in areas with an abundance of natural rock (even if it’s invisible under a layer of loam and forest).
The most distinctive physical characteristic of the Rock Gnome is an enormous nose, a proboscis that is larger than that of any dwarf or human, despite the gnome’s diminutive size. Indeed, the size of one’s nose is a matter of some status among Rock Gnomes, and more than one good-natured debate has resulted in actual comparisons being made. The true test of a mighty nose is the ability to poke it into your opponent’s eye without having his nose do more than tickle the fringe of your beard (the use of the male pronoun is not generic here; females pride themselves on big noses too, but in addition to lacking beards they are less prone to such boisterous comparisons).
Rock Gnomes average about 31/2 ft in height. Unlike the burly dwarves, who tend to weigh as much or more than the average human, Rock Gnomes are lightly-built. Their small frame is deceptive, however, for despite their size these gnomes are as strong as most humans.
The eye color of a Rock Gnome is predominantly blue, though shades of green and, rarely, yellow or brown are not unknown. Such unusual eye colors are apparent from birth and is considered to signify either very good fortune or very dire omens, depending on the traditions of that particular gnomish community.
The brownish color of the Rock Gnomes skin can be encountered in many shades, ranging from a light tan to nearly black. While the race does not avoid the sun, they suffer no effects from exposure-they don’t sunburn or tan, so the shade of a gnome’s skin has nothing to do with the proportion of his or her life spent outdoors or underground. In mature adults, the hair and beard are almost universally white or pale gray, but in youngsters and adolescents one will find as wide a variety of hair color as among human-kind.
Only the males are bearded, with facial hair growing in near the beginning of the gnome’s second century of life. Unlike dwarves, however, gnome males keep their beards neatly brushed and trimmed, with a maximum length of only about six inches. Sometimes the beard will be trimmed into fashionable shapes such as a goatee, or brushed into a long, curling point (or pair of points, in a real statement of high fashion).
Rock Gnome Ability Scores
Ability Score Adjustments:
+ 1 to Intelligence; – 1 to Wisdom
Languages: Gnome, Common, Dwarf, Halfling, Kobold, Goblin, and Burrowing Animal (the latter is a language of signs, grunts, and snorts that allows minimal communication with moles, badgers, weasels, and similar creatures, including giant versions).
Infravision: Yes (60’)
Special Features: Rock Gnomes have a number of special abilities. These are described on page 22 of the Player’s Handbook and are
summarized here for easy reference:
Detect Underground Features-Like dwarves, Rock Gnomes can locate sloping passages (1-5 on ld6), flawed stonework (1-7 on Id10), and approximate depth (1-4 on ld6) and direction (1-3 on ld6) underground.
Saving Throw Bonus-The Rock Gnome gains a +1 bonus to his or her saving throws versus spell for every 3.5 points of Constitution.
Combat Bonuses-Rock Gnomes add +1 to all melee attack rolls against kobolds or goblins, their traditional racial enemies. They receive a -4 bonus to their Armor Class when attacked by giant class creatures (gnolls, trolls, bugbears, ogres, ogre magi, trolls, titans, and giants)..