Archive for March 26th, 2010


Red Box Workshop: The Gnome PC


Gnomes are diminutive demi-humans akin to dwarves and halflings, with the former’s affinity for the earth and the latter’s joie de vivre. Though most shy away from humans, they are gregarious among their own kind and prone to tricks and games. Their curiosity often gets the better of them, leading them from their safe woodland burrows to a life of adventure.

The prime requisites for a gnome are Intelligence and Dexterity. A gnome character whose Intelligence or Dexterity score is 13 or higher will receive a 5% bonus to earned experience. Gnomes whose Intelligence and Dexterity scores are 13 or greater will receive a bonus of 10% to earned experience.

RESTRICTIONS: Gnomes use four-sided dice (d4) to determine their hit points. They may advance to a maximum of 8th level of experience. Gnomes may use any type of weapon that has been “cut down” to their size. Thus, they cannot use a two-handed sword or long bow, but may use a sword or short bow. They may wear nothing more protective than leather armor, and cannot use a shield. Gnomes must have a minimum score of 9 in Dexterity.

SPECIAL ABILITIES: Gnomes live in underground caves and burrows, and have infravision (heat-sensing sight) which allows them to see 60 feet in the dark. A gnome’s deft fingers allow the use of the thief skills of open locks, find or remove traps and pick pockets. In addition, their innate magic grants them limited spell use (see MAGIC, below). All gnomes speak Common, Gnomish and the alignment language or dialect of the character, and the languages of dwarves, goblins and kobolds.

MAGIC: Gnomish magic is innate. Gnomes do not need spell books, nor do they prepare spells as do clerics, elves and magic-users. Instead, a gnome knows a number of spells of each level equal to the number of spells he may cast per day, and he may cast each spell he knows once per day. A gnome may cast a number of spells per day equal to a wizard one level lower. When a gnome gains a level, he rolls randomly to see what new spell(s) he discovers. The DM is encouraged to adjust the spell selection as desired; for example, the DM in a Holmes Blue Book or AD&D game might replace the darkness spell with dancing lights.

Exempli gratia: Twiggledim is a second level gnome. He casts spells as a first level magic user, and so he knows a single spell, randomly rolled: hold portal. Upon reaching third level, he can cast two spells per day instead of one, so he rolls on the list of first level spells to obtain a new spell. He rolls a four: light! Now he can cast hold portal once per day and light once per day.

First Level Spells:
1) Darkness
2) Detect Magic
3) Hold Portal
4) Light
5) Ventriloquism
6) Player chooses any first level spell on this list

Second Level Spells:
1) Detect Invisible
2) Invisibility
3) Knock
4) Mirror Image
5) Speak with Animals (from the cleric spell list)
6) Player chooses any second level spell on this list

Third Level Spells:
1) Fly
2) Growth of Animal (from the cleric spell list)
3) Invisibility 10′ radius
4) Phantasmal Force
5) Water Breathing
6) Player chooses any third level spell on this list

Fourth Level Spells:
1) Confusion
2) Dimension Door
3) Growth of Plants
4) Hallucinatory Terrain
5) Massmorph
6) Player chooses any fourth level spell on this list

SAVING THROWS: As thieves.


ADVANCEMENT: As per the magic-user advancement table.

Past Adventures of the Mule

March 2010

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