Gnome ancestry for Shadow of the Demon Lord


A hundred years ago, the Faerie Queen stripped the Gnomes of their Faerie talents and banished them, for a crime everybody remembers. Their incessant tinkering with technology and technomancy was all fine and good, up until the tar-powered steam engine started dragging itself through the landscape on iron rails.

The Gnome and the Invention

The Gnome and the Invention by MegyeriMano

Some say the Faerie Queen overreacted when the she exiled the gnomes because of the damage they caused. Others say they had been duly warned. Others still say she had separate issues weighing her down, like the rather expensive divorce she was going through. No matter. The gnomes were permanently exiled for polluting a vast area of Faerie. Not any sort of pollution, but a nasty smog combined with greasy, magical manifestations with a disturbingly long half-life.

Gnomes have since permeated the academic and engineering communities of human society, offering up sound technological advice, insightful ideas, cheap licensing of patents and downright dangerous inventions.

Hard working entrepreneurs, fierce competitors and eager to employ any manner of subterfuge in order to succeed, many Gnomish families have done well for themselves amongst humans since their exile.

However, since leaving Faerie, female Gnomes seem to have switched to a three year menstrual cycle. In daily life, this works well for both male and female Gnomes, because less time spent on romance means more time available for work. On the other hand, Gnomish birth rates have dropped drastically. Also, once it is rumoured that “season is up” somewhere, competition among males can get quite caustic.

Small and lithe: Gnomes stand around a meter tall, are light and gracefully built, and weigh between 15 and 30 kilos. They have human features, but tend to have a bigger nose, strange ears and wispy hair. Gnomes can grow quite old, many surviving their 150th birthday.

Odd notions: Compared to humans, most Gnomes live outside “the box”, mentally speaking. Strange suggestions, perplexing plans, idiosyncratic ideas and insane inventions. Gnomes, when confronted with a problem, tend to come up with crazy solutions, often with only a marginal chance of success. Yes, the failure rate might be high, but audacious is the only way to go if you want to succeed spectacularly.

Common names: Bimbatonk, Bizzsprocket, Bombastick, Corgi, Gindee, Gist, Glinwack, Kathfinkle, Pishwash, Puddlegauge, Shortwock, Teeblonk, Thistlespanner, and Tocatitinus.

Creating a Gnome

Starting Attribute Scores Strength 9, Agility 11, Intellect 11, Will 9

Perception equals your Intellect score
Defense equals your Agility score
Health equals your Strength score
Healing Rate equals one-quarter your Health, round down
Size 1/2, Speed 10, Power 0
Damage 0, Insanity 0, Corruption 0
Languages and Professions You speak the Common Tongue and Elvish.

Lithe target: When a creature of larger size attacks you, add 1 bane to the attack for each size, rounded up, that the attacking creature is larger than you.

Level 4 Expert Gnome

Characteristics: Health +4

You learn one spell or gain Clever Approach

Clever Approach:
Once per round, if you take a slow turn, you can make a challenge roll with 1 boon.

Gnome Personality

3d6 Personality
3 You are cruel, wicked and self serving. You enjoy making others suffer.
4 If you can, you may. Having power gives you the right employ it however you see fit
5-6 You hate all the biggies. Everyone would be better off without their bullying and condescending manners.
7-8 You’re extremely competitive. Anything goes as long as you win.
9-12 You invent, or dabble in, only stuff that contributes to the greater good.
13-14 There is no law, only what your heart tells you. Also, your heart is made of gold. Or something else that glimmers.
15-16 You help others in order to show them how competent and clever you are.
17 You always keep your word. Civilization, after all, is just a bunch of kept promises.
18 Your family has always had a motto. You would rather die than not follow that motto to the exact word.

Gnome Age

3d6 Age
3 You are a child, 10 years or younger.
4-7 You are an adolescent, 11 to 20 years old.
8-12 You are a young adult, 21 to 40 years old.
13-15 You are a middle-aged adult 41 to 70 years old.
16-17 You are an older adult, 71 to 110 years old.
18 You are a venerable adult, older than 110 years.

Gnome Build

3d6 Build
3 You are short and skinny.
4 You are short, with a pot belly.
5-6 You are short.
7-8 You are a bit pudgy.
9-12 You’re that normally built gnome. Average height and girth.
13-14 You are wiry.
15-16 You are tall.
17 You are tall and skinny.
18 You are tall and heavy.

Gnome Appearance

3d6 Appearance
1 You are bald.
2 You have a long, pointed chin.
3 Your nose is big, fat, red and squishy.
4 Your nose is long and points upward at the tip.
5 You have a huge mole on one of your cheeks.
6 You have an impressive amount of hair.
7 You have a dignified posture no matter what happens.
8 You’re a hunchback.
9 You have large, pointy ears.
10 You have large, round ears.
11 Your teeth are disturbingly pointy.
12 You are bow-legged.
13 You’re torso is a lot shorter than you legs, or vice versa.
14 Your eyebrows are big and shaggy.
15 You have six fingers on each hand.
16 Your have very wet lips, always smacking.
17 You have a big, toothy grin.
18 Your eyes are watery.
19 Your eyes are usually very bloodshot.
20 Your eyes are big and slanted.

Gnome Background

3d6 Background
1 You once beheld something utterly unspeakable. You start the game with 1 Insanity.
2 One of your concoctions accidentally poisoned someone important.
3 You have the schematics for an invention which you’re convinced is completely brilliant. Except it’s not.
4 You’ve sold somebody an apparatus which does not yet exist.
5 You feel like you don’t belong on this plane, and entertain romantic notions about Faerie.
6 Your brother is also your dad. Which makes you your own nephew. Or something.
7 An old Faerie disposition lingers in your blood. You always get the heebie-jeebies when you touch iron.
8 Because of multiple unhappy relationships, you fall quickly in, and out of, love.
9 You once got lost in the wilderness and you’re determined that shall never happen again.
10 You earned a living working in your profession.
11 The tattoo on your back, which you can’t remember getting, looks like a promising treasure map.
12 You’re not what you’ve led them to believe. Add charlatan to your list of professions.
13 You have traveled extensively. You speak one additional language.
14 There is a statue in town which looks just like you.
15 You know a potentially dangerous secret about someone important.
16 You’ve been a hoarder all your life and own a mule and a wagon full of junk… uhm… merchandise.
17 You have a pretty good idea how the Gnomes might redeem themselves in the eyes of the Faerie Queen.
18 You have the schematics for an invention which could potentially change a major aspect of society.
19 You’ve inherited an ancient construct which is stored somewhere until you can figure out how to make it work.
20 You came into money and start the game with 2d6 cp.

Background: I needed a gnome ancestry for a character concept in Shadow of the Demon Lord (an new and quite excellent Fantasy Horror RPG by Robert Schwalb). So I made one. This is v0.1. Any suggestions are very welcome. Feel free to use and enjoy!

Everything except the artwork on this particular post is CC BY-SA 4.0 Creative Commons License

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