Topic: Lamenting Gnomes

Hi All,
I'm going to convert Gnomes (a la '70s AD&D) to R&M LotFP.
My gut says to make them the bastard child of Dwarf and Halfling. I like that shorthand.
I'm about to knock out some crunch to that end but I'm curious what you guys think.
Thanks much,

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

I think you should go with exactly that, Gnomes aren't a race in their own right, they're what happens when a daddy dwarf and a mummy halfling (or vice versa) love each other very much.

You people are all alike, you march in here, young, try and touch the local things.
I suppose next you'll be spraying me with one of those cans of paint, smearing poor Tubbs here with excrement.

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

I like treating them as a spellcasting specialist (as opposed to the spellcasting fighter called an Elf), but that's just a matter of taste and might possibly introduce too much magic into your game.

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Re: Lamenting Gnomes

I made gnomes in my games to be psionic using dwarves. Dropped their hd to d6 and removed the Architecture skill bonuses and bonuses to encumbrance (gnomes are smaller dwarves). My psionics system is based on the specialist skills and points though with 16 psionic power. Things like range duration damage and healing is based on what was rolled on the die with increments increasing with the increase of pips/points invested (example for duration; 1 pip- 1 round, 2 pips- 1-2 rounds, 3 pips- 1-3 minutes , 4 pips- 1-4 turns, 5 pips-1-5 hours, and 6 pips- 5-11 hours[totals of 1-5 count as 5s] no limit on use, ranges in feet and the powers are open for adjudication with general descriptions for each power and their limitations.

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

I think the key thing is to recall-- what precisely is a Gnome? Or rather the essence of one.

Half-Dwarf and Half-Halfling? No. Even by appearance, not at all. Gnomes tend to be smaller than either.

The key to the Gnome, whatever is called a Gnome, is intellect. Sure, there are versions that cast illusion and enchantment spells like breathing. And that is certainly a path one can go down.
And then you have forest (or garden!) dwelling ones who are friends with small animals, who know all the special herbs and medicines and can heal someone.
But then you also have modernized ones who excel at the latest steampunk technology....

The Dwarf is about resilience and toughness, both physical and mental who will not shrink or back down from any challenge.
The Halfling is about being quick, crafty, lucky and tougher than they look.

The Gnome concept doesn't overlap with these nearly at all-- although one might want to give them some Dwarf-like abilities due to being cousins or give them Halfling like abilities for being small, I think these were decidedly missteps in the development. It is important that they be a unique race.

So what do you need to have if you are a Gnome?
Well, use Elf as your primary template is a good beginning I think. Use that race's saving throws and attack and spell advancement.
Their hit dice would be D6s.
Weapons would be restricted like a Halfling's due to small size. I wouldn't grant them the +1 bonus to AC though. Figure it is best to leave that as a Halfling thing (since Halflings get so very little as it is).
Their spell list would be restricted to only illusion and enchantment spells.
They have the ability to communicate with (but not necessarily hold intellectual conversations with) small animals.
They would have the ability to hide, particularly in the wilderness-- much like the Halfling ability.
They should have the Tinker ability of the specialist. Although demi-human abilities all seem to be set at a particular level and never changing (mostly because the designers copied D&D line for line I imagine), I would think moving away from this model and starting low and improving would be better. So either their tinkering is always 4/6 or it starts at 1/6 and improved by 1 point every 2 levels.

I don't know what the experience points needed per a level should be set at. It would be lower than Elf. Maybe 75-80% of the experience needed to level as an Elf due to having a greater restriction on spells and weapons.

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

I took a more simplistic approach, using the halfling race as a template and switched out the bushcraft skill for tinker, and changing the +1 AC bonus for 1 1st level spell.

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

That works for first level, but how do they develop after first level? Do they properly gain new spells? Is their spell list limited?

And how much experience do you charge them. The system clearly values spells over AC in terms of experience points.

Re: Lamenting Gnomes

XP as halfings, but no new spells.  I don't limit what spells they can learn, but just one a day.  Admittedly I haven't had to test out long term repercussions.  But it works thus far.