Saturday, 3 April 2021

Gnome Class

This is certainly influenced by Skerple's Surly Gnome, and Roger's One Page Gnome to varying degrees. This post is designed in the style of Old School Essentials.


Requirements: No positive attribute modifiers.
Prime requisite: Wisdom
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum level: 8
Armor: Leather, no shields
Weapons: Any one-handed.
Experience: As cleric
Saves: As magic-user

Gnomes are small fae who have lost most of their glamor. Some never regain it, and wither away completely. Others make an effort to retrieve it by looking for new experiences, or grasping for shards of divinity cast off or lost by others, while staving off the mundane.

Adjust ability scores: In step 3 of character creation, gnomes may not lower any attributes.


 Because they are still strongly fae, they may not use armor or weapons made of metal.  This typically limits them to leather armor and spears or clubs to start.  They are also unable to use two-handed weapons on account of their being to small to leverage them effectively.

Scroll Use

A gnome can read arcane spells from scrolls, provided the spell level is no more than twice the gnomes class level.  There is a 5% chance of failure.

Lash Out

Gnomes are wicked brawlers.  Their unarmed attack does 1d4 damage, modified by their strength modifier.  

They also automatically get an attack against adjacent threats that inflict fear or cast a spell at them, whether successful or not.

When fighting unarmed or with a dagger, gnomes get one additional attack a round.

Powerful Hat

Once per day, you can remove your red felt cap and use it to negate an incoming ranged attack. The target must be you, and adjacent ally, or the area you are standing in.  The projectile or spell vanishes in your hat to no effect.  Write down everything your hat eats in this manner.  When you die, it will all come spraying back out.

Thief Skills

Gnomes gain the following thief skills as a thief of the same level: Climb sheer surfaces, hear noise, hide in shadows, move silently.  At character creation, they may also choose one of find or remove traps, open locks, or pick pockets.  Hide in shadows may also be used to hide in a wilderness setting, in a manner similar to halflings.

Cast Fae Spells

At each odd level, a gnome gets one arcnae spell it may cast once per day, determined at random.  Each even level, it may re-roll its spell selection for one level, although it may choose not to take the new result rolled.  All material components must still be supplied to cast the spell.

Craft Magical Items

At fifth level and each odd level thereafter, the gnome learns to craft one magical item, choosing from the following list of types: rings, potions, shields, swords, wands or staves, cloaks, boots, or gloves.  The gnome may then spend a month of downtime to create an item of the type listed.  The item has a 5% chance of being cursed.  The actual item created is rolled randomly, and the gnome can never create the same item twice.  The referee and player are encouraged to make sure they always have at least six such items to randomly roll from.

After Reaching 9th Level

A gnome that reaches ninth level becomes a non-player character, and regains its full fae status, transforming into a fae of some type appropriate to the setting, as determined co-operatively by the referee and player.


This is completely untested.  How out of whack is it? 

Edit log:
April 5: Made prime req saner.

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