Hey Game Fans, we're bringing new (and hopefully useful) content to you five days a week about Dungeons and Dragons, Battletech, Edge of the Empire and any other roleplaying game that strays into our field of vision. We hope you enjoy the ride.
Monday, October 17, 2016
Player's Choice (Gnome Edition)
So you’ve taken a hard look at Dungeons and Dragons and
decided that it’s time to make your first character for Dungeons & Dragons.
First off, welcome to the family. You’ve taken your first steps into
a world of shared storytelling and high adventure. We’re going to take a
look at the process for building your character and go over the options you
have available in the Player’s Handbook (we use the 5th edition, as it’s the
most recent, and we think it’s one of the most accessible systems we’ve seen in
a long time.). So grab your scratch paper, your pencil, and your
character sheet as we explore the magical world of Dungeons and Dragons.
The first step you should really take when building a character
is to think about what kind of a character you want to play. Before you
make any decisions or write anything down, you need to stop and think what
you’re going to enjoy playing. A secondary consideration would be what
the party of adventurers you are going to be a member of needs. You may
desperately want to break out a brand new half elf warlock, but your party
desperately needs a tanky fighter or a healing cleric. You decide what
you want to play, and what story you’re going to enjoy telling and playing.
Whichever character you decide to make, you’re going to have to make a
few decisions. Let’s take a look at the options for the first one of
What Race is your character?
Your character’s race defines a lot of the basic physical
and mental characteristics. It more than anything else will be the first
thing an observer uses to define you. How many times have you read a
passage that starts “And we saw the Dwarves standing there in their armor,
beards immaculately groomed…” In a fantasy setting Race is a defining trait
that gives other people a rough idea of what your character is, and how they
can be expected to behave. In Dungeons and Dragons, Race has a couple of
other features that we’ll discuss.
The Player’s Handbook offers nine racial choices for a new
player to consider for their character. Each one is distinct, and has
several subraces to choose from. When you select a Race, the offered
selections of a subrace are offshoots of that main racial group. It may
change baseline racial features, add new options, or give different physical
and mental characteristics. The character creation process starts with
choosing your race, so let’s go through the races and see what looks like fun
Not David, or any of his lawn kinsmen, the Gnomes of the
Dungeons and Dragons Universe are a vibrant and energetic race, compared to the
dour Dwarves and the serene Elves.Gnomes are constantly in motion, exploring the world around them in
search of the new, and the bright things in the world.
Joyful Pranksters and artificers, Gnomes often cast a shadow
and a presence much larger than their tiny bodies seem capable of.They are an intelligent race, dedicated to
exploration and craft.Gnomish Adventurers
combine their natural joy for exploration with a cunning intellect that no
adventuring party should be without.
Mechanically, in game, the Gnomes have the following
Gnomes are extremely clever.They get a +2 bonus to their Intelligence
Gnomes age about the same speed as humans.The wanderings of the young are supposed to
end around 40, but Gnomes live much longer than humans do, with their eldest
members living to be almost 500.
Gnomes tend toward the Good alignment, but their
lawfulness/chaotic are influenced as much by their chosen professions as their
habits.These will vary by gnome.
Gnomes are small creatures, standing between 3 and 4 feet
tall, and they weigh on average 40 pounds.They are size category Small creatures.
Gnomes can move 25 feet per round.
Gnomes speak their native tongue, Gnomish and Common.
Gnomes have Darkvision, like other races we’ve talked about
before.They can see in Dim Light as if
it were bright light within 60 feet, and treat regular darkness as regular Dim
Light.They can’t see in color with this
Gnome Cunning is a special ability that gives Gnomes
advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom and Charisma saves against magic.
Gnomes have two subraces to choose from, the Forest Gnome
and the Rock Gnome.
Forest Gnomes embrace the natural wonder of the world and live
within its splendor.Dwelling in ancient
fey glens or within sylvan communities, the Forest Gnomes embrace the power of
Illusion to protect themselves and their communities from the wider world.
Mechanically, they have the following benefits.
Forest Gnomes are agile, adding +1 to their Dexterity
Forest Gnomes are naturally adept with magical
illusions.They know the Minor Illusion
Cantrip, using Intelligence as their primary spellcasting Stat.
Forest Gnomes interact with small burrowing animals as per
the Speak with Animals spell.
Rock Gnomes are an inventive branch of the gnome tree.Hardier than their small frames would
suggest, Rock Gnomes are capable of tinkering small pieces of metal into
woundrous items of mechanical joy and mayhem.
Rock Gnomes have the following benefits, mechanically
Rock Gnomes are hardier than expected.They add 1 to their Constitution Scores
Rock Gnomes have an ability called Artificer’s Lore.Whenever they make an Intelligence (history )
Check for arcane, mechanical or alchemical items, they add double their
Rock Gnomes also have the tinker ability, which lets them
craft small technological items that can be helpful (read your PHB to figure
out which ones).
So what character class combinations go well with these
particularly entertaining creates?
druids combine a tiny amount of arcane power with cultural interesting
choices.Forest Gnomes are allies with
the fey and Sylvan, and a Forest Gnome Druid combines the best of both of these
choices.The thing to keep in mind with
this character build is that you probably aren’t going to get a 17 wisdom for
your druidic spellcasting.
utilizing the Illusionist arcane tradition, The Forest gnome combines the
natural intelligence benefit of being a gnome with the natural arcane power of
a wizard.In this instance, the benefit
of being able to talk to burrowing mammals is more of a situational benefit
than anything else.Remember, you have a
dexterity bonus, so try to keep your AC high enough to not get hit.
Gnome Ranger is banking on the ranged combat benefits of being a ranger,
coupled with the intelligence and dexterity benefits of the Forest Gnome.Minor Illusion can be used to set up all
sorts of nature based tricks and traps, and this is probably the most militant
Forest gnome build.
Forest gnome benefits from a dexterity bonus, the Rock Gnome can be a much more
effective rogue.You’ve got a boost to
your Constitution, so you can stay in the fight a little longer.You’re probably going to want to take your
expertise benefits in Rogue’s tools so you can remove traps more
effectively.See how often you can get
your DM to give you your artificer’s lore on mechanical or magical traps
(identifying them off course)
Forest Gnome, the Rock Gnome is perfectly capable of following any of the
arcane traditions.These are
unparalleled experts in arcane items and magical theory, so if you need a
wizard who needs a booster seat for the bar, this could be the gnome you’re
Gnomish exuberance for life with just the right level of “I know tons of stuff
about that” the Rock Gnome Bard can fulfill a similar role to the Rock Gnome
Wizard.The Difference between the two
is that the Rock Gnome Bard is going to be much more capable of engaging
enemies in melee combat (probably) than the wizard.
And that’s our write up of Gnomish power.We’re coming up on the end of this series, as
we only have the Half-orcs, Half-Elves, and Tieflings left to review.