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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, gnomes are a humanoid race, and are one of the core races available for play as player characters. They are closely related to dwarves, but are more tolerant of other races and of magic, and are skilled with machines and illusions. Gnomes are Small sized creatures, standing 3-3½ feet (90-105 centimeters) tall.


Gnomes in Dungeons & Dragons have been further divided into various subraces:

  • Rock gnomes are the standard gnome subrace of Third Edition. They live in burrows beneath rolling, wooded hills. Friends to animals, rock gnomes have a racial ability that allows them to speak with burrowing animals.
  • Tinker gnomes or minoi, dwell in the Mount Nevermind in the world of Krynn.
  • Svirfneblin, or deep gnomes, dwell in cities deep underground. They are more dangerous than the common rock gnome.
  • Forest gnomes are smaller than rock gnomes. They are a shy, secretive folk, living deep in wooded areas.
  • Chaos gnomes are the most flamboyant gnomes. Brightly colored and rare, they are strongly inclined towards chaos, as their name suggests.
  • Whisper gnomes lack the jovial outlook of other gnome races. Sly and suspicious, they are creatures of stealth.
  • Fire gnomes live on Bytopia, on the Outer Planes, where they help Flandal Steelskin, the Gnomish god of metal and crafting, in his work.

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, gnomes are also known as the "Forgotten Folk".


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.


In the Greyhawk cosmology, the primary gnome deity is Garl Glittergold. In many campaign settings, the gnome pantheon also consists of Baervan Wildwanderer, Baravar Cloakshadow, Flandal Steelskin, Gaerdal Ironhand, Nebelun, Segojan Earthcaller, and Urdlen.

Game history

Throughout D&D history, spellcaster gnomes were either exclusively illusionists or had illusionists as their favored class. However, in Dungeons & Dragons v.3.5, gnomes' favored class has been changed to bard, as the illusionist is widely considered to be game-mechanically worthless, and the preference of a wizard concentration made them largely redundant with the far more popular elves. In D&D v.3.5, gnomes are inventors and alchemists who love pranks and excel at engineering. The tinker gnomes of Dragonlance are mechanically skilled, though their devices are quite prone to backfiring. It has been suggested that gnomes be given the Eberron class artificer as a favored class, due to their technical aptitude.


  • Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989).
  • [1]
  • Niles, Douglas. The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings (TSR, 1993).

it:Gnomo (Dungeons & Dragons) zh:侏儒 (龙与地下城)

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