Playable races in Phaeselis e
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Fey humanoid

Gnome druid by el grimlock-d3cj4x2

2019064 orig

Commission sorcerer by suonimac


Fey humanoid

Average Height

3'0" - 3'6"

Average Weight

40 - 45 lbs

Skin Color

Ruddy tan to woody brown to rocky gray; grays to white with age

Hair Color


Eye Color

Glittering opaque orbs of black or blue




Small, keen mind, bright personality, magically gifted, can turn invisible

Average Lifespan

Usually up to 300 years, but 500 not unheard of; physically show aging but do not become infirm


The Feywild and Lemurias


Deep gnomes, forest gnomes, rock gnomes

Patron Deity

Hero Aristocles


Common, Elven
Formerly: Gnome

Challenge Rating


Source: Gnomes of Golarion, p. 3
This article is about the race in general. For the playable race, see Gnome (playable). For the language, see Gnomish.

The gnomes in Phaeselis came to Lemurias, also through the Dragon Gate. They are distant relatives of the fey, and their history tells of a time when they lived in the fey's mysterious realm, a place where colors are brighter, the wildlands wilder, and emotions more primal. Unknown forces drove the ancient gnomes from that realm long ago, forcing them to seek refuge in this world; despite this, the gnomes have never completely abandoned their fey roots or adapted to mortal culture. Though gnomes are no longer truly fey, their fey heritage can be seen in their innate magic powers, their oft-capricious natures, and their outlooks on life and the world.

Combined with their diminutive sizes, vibrant coloration, and lack of concern for the opinions of others, these attitudes have caused gnomes to be widely regarded by the other races as alien and strange. Gnomes, in turn, are often amazed how alike other common, civilized races are. It seems stranger to a gnome that humans and elves share so many similarities than that the gnomes do not. Indeed, gnomes often confound their allies by treating everyone who is not a gnome as part of a single, vast non-gnome collective race. Gnomes are probably from a world of blue fairies and pink unicorns, or better yet the sages have absolutely no idea. They are not from Arvandor or the elves would have mentioned them. And they are not from the world of (Athas?) or the halflings would have mentioned them.

Ecology Edit

Physical Appearance Edit

Gnomes are very small compared to most other races and, with an average height ranging between 3'0" and 3'6" and a weight range of 40 to 45 lbs, gnomes are generally larger and heavier than halflings, though forest gnomes (ranging between 2'1" and 2'10" in height and 21-35 lbs in weight) tend to be smaller than the halflings, leading some scholars to erroneously classify all gnomish races as "smaller than the Hin". However, while halflings are commonly said to resemble short humans, gnomes are more comparable with Tel-quessir, with whom they share pointed ears and high cheekbones, or even dwarves, who they are compared to due to their tendency to grow beards and live underground. Many gnomes have a more feral appearance than either, however, with hair that often sprouts from their heads in odd directions.[1] The hair can also come in a rainbow of amazing colors as well. With gnomish hair and skin brightest during childhood.[2]

The skin of gnomes runs in hue from reddish tans to earthy browns or even shades of gray, with exact hue somewhat dependent upon the ethnic origin of a gnome. Similarly, gnomish hair varies wildly in color from blond and brown to more exotic colors like white, orange, or even green. Gnomish eyes are often, particularly in individuals who are native to the Feywild, glittering black or blue although more natural eye colors are also known to the race.[1]

Psychology Edit

Gnomes can have the same concerns and motivations as members of other races, but just as often they are driven by passions and desires that non-gnomes see as eccentric at best, and nonsensical at worst. A gnome may risk his life to taste the food at a giant's table, to reach the bottom of a pit just because it would be the lowest place he's ever been, or to tell jokes to a dragon—and to the gnome those goals are as worthy as researching a new spell, gaining vast wealth, or putting down a powerful evil force. While such apparently fickle and impulsive acts are not universal among gnomes, they are common enough for the race as a whole to have earned a reputation for being impetuous and at least a little mad.

Plato and Aristotle in The School of Athens, by italian Rafael

Plato and Aristotle by Rafael

. . . to ask for anything more of gnomes is to invite disaster.
  — Attributed to Plato

If you wish to understand the gnomish race, you have to understand that the whole race itself is chaotic because it seems that they take one human trait to extreme. The trait to explore and have new experience. This is a cause for concern for anyone who deals with the race and it can make anyone - elf, human, orc - go mad with frustration.[2]

Including this, the bewildering race takes this to new extremes. Their flighty natures make humans seem dull and slow to think. They also draw others with their charm like moths to a flame, and they may even experiment with being united in the flesh with other races (of both sexes) to increase their experience.[3] This romantic pull can be incredibly powerful to experience and their traits of restless energy and insatiable curiosity makes them attractive mates to some.[3]

Gnome - Raven Mimura

So, since their behavior has confused many, this leads to rash action. They also have a foolish way of looking at the world, but they also tend to be lucky and can get out of a lot of tough scrapes.

The Bleaching Edit

There is something unfortunate that seems to afflict gnomes. This is called by the gnomes the Bleaching. The more the gnomes allow the world to stress them down, the more their colors become less vibrant. They become depressed, they become weighed down, and they begin to withdraw from the world of Lemurias.[4]

The bleaching is a result that the world has turned bland and colorless itself. The gnome explicitly believes that the world has turned into something so dull, and so obtuse that there is nothing worthy of experience within it anymore. The gnome has reached a limit of experiencing new experiences and now Life is boring to them. They are so bored that eating becomes an exorable chore and eventually breathing and pumping gnomish blood through their body becomes a problem. Those that survive the experience become known as bleachlings. And that is something more horrible to a gnome.[4]

Culture and Society Edit

Like other races, gnomish culture varies based on region and ethnicity, but a few characteristics are common to most gnomes. Amongst virtually all gnomes, great value is placed on one’s ability to avoid trouble and stay out of the way of others. Children’s games often involve elements of stealth and amongst adults drawing attention to one’s self is considered a breach of etiquette. The few legends of gnomish heroes are not of powerful warriors but of subtle tricksters, who sneak past or trick their opponents rather than vanquishing them in combat. This in part comes from the long-standing issues gnomes have faced, which is their minuscule size compared to larger predators or enemies such as the fomorians of the Feywild, whom few gnomes could hope to stand toe to toe with in a fair fight.[5]

Gnomes have an intricate society based on their love of all kinds of arts, pranks, and their long lives. Gnomes love indulgence, and they make most celebrations on a grander scale. Gnome weddings last for a week, even though gnomes don't view love the same way humans do. If love begins to go wrong between a couple they may break up, believing it was a prank by Garl Glittergold. Their society is based on art; all gnomes must take up some form of art whether music, painting, cooking, building, or any other form that is considered creative by the time they come of age.[5]

Gnomes who leave their home to seek an adventurer’s life are rare, given the race's famed shyness and lack of ambition. Those that do are motivated by a number of factors, but the impulsive race is often driven by curiosity more than anything else. Many gnomes feel no more rationale for adventuring than simply to explore the world that surrounds them. A few, the more orderly ones that is, seek out adventure for more innately noble purposes, such as to help others, but these gnomes are rare. Other gnomes are driven on to become adventurers by little more than simple avarice, as adventuring is often seen as a quick, if unsafe, avenue for wealth. Adventuring is not necessarily a welcomed lifestyle amongst gnomes, in spite of the curiosity that fills the whole race, and sometimes is, in fact, seen as a betrayal of sorts to a gnome’s clan.[5]

Clothing Edit


From Races of Eberron.

Gnomish clothing often mirrors that of the Persian flare, with robes, pants, shorts, shirts, and tunics. However, they all turn out to be flamboyant. The color choices and styles can be so unusual and so uncoordinated that the fashion plates of other races would often cry in disgust. "Where did I go wrong in teaching them fashion!" said one particular fashion plate. In fact they are so flamboyant, if they are even trying to avoid notice, they'd choose something so out of place and so noticeable even when they are trying to be stealthy.[6]

The gnomes' sense of fashion is disgustingly colorful and flamboyant!
  — Euobea of Philedelphia

This not to say that gnomish thieves are not successful, they are. They just manage to choose clothing that makes them stand out in society. This is a reflection of the gnomish racial paradigm, very few gnomes have learned how to blend in softly into their environment as far as clothing is concerned. Their clothes are often as colorful as their personalities.

Government Edit

Anyone, anyone, who visits the Island of the Gomes off the coast of Italy (near Volcania), will see the most complicated form of Bureaucratic Anarchy that has ever existed. Gnomes do have a government, and then again, they don't have a government. Gnomish politics, in the words of one Greek that visited the island, suck. There is a lot of arguing in the Assembly of Bureaucrats, and they all speak very loud, very fast, and with quick tempers that nothing gets done. So generally, the gnomes take it upon themselves to run themselves. Gnomes are full of common sense when no one is governing them, not even their own political leaders. Their own high Bureaucrat -- High Bureaucrat Thaytris -- can't get anything done and he can't govern well. All he does is shout and steal from the public treasury -- if anyone would bother to collect for the treasury in the first place.

Relationships with other Races Edit

Gnomes are seen as extroverted weirdoes by many. They tend to make friends with anyone and everyone, wether he is fully sentient or not. This includes animals, many of whom would love to eat gnomes. The gnomes of Phaeselis are exuberant, and they tend to cause people all sorts of strife when it comes to making relationships.

Gnomes tend to make more friends among humans and other near humans (like elves and dwarves), and have a stronger rapport with the elves as a whole, although any individual elf -- except the Olivaen elves -- will deny it. However, the one race where the gnomes have varied relationships are the humans. The humans can't even seem to relate the gnomes as well, and so the relationship between the two races are complicated.

Gnomes do have enemies though. Gnomes count amongst their enemies the goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears), the ratfolk (whom they have a strange aversion to), and the kobolds and troglodytes. The Dragonborn and lizard folk excepted from this.[7] Gnomes do not like kobolds, and it has to do with their collective mythologies and creation myths. While humans have the potential for great compassion, Gnomes have none for the kobolds and the kobolds have returned the favor. Fortunately, the gnomes have a haven from kobolds on the Island of the Gnomes. Well, kind of. Despite this, many gnomes do receive training to fight giants, and there are many giant slayers amongst the gnomes.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Gnome (Wiki Article). Forgotten Realms Wiki. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Mark Moreland, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, Steven Schend, and Owen K. C. Stephens (2010). Gnomes of Golarion, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, inc.. ISBN 9781601252234.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Mark Moreland, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, Steven Schend, and Owen K. C. Stephens (2010). Gnomes of Golarion, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, inc.. ISBN 9781601252234.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Mark Moreland, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, Steven Schend, and Owen K. C. Stephens (2010). Gnomes of Golarion, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, inc.. ISBN 9781601252234.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gnome (Culture) (Wiki Article). Forgotten Realms Wiki - Gnome. Retrieved on 2015-01-18.
  6. Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Mark Moreland, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, Steven Schend, and Owen K. C. Stephens (2010). Gnomes of Golarion, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, inc.. ISBN 9781601252234.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Mark Moreland, Jeff Quick, Sean K Reynolds, Steven Schend, and Owen K. C. Stephens (2010). Gnomes of Golarion, p. 10. Paizo Publishing, inc.. ISBN 9781601252234.
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