Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin)Edit
Regions : Gnome (deep), the North, SilverymoonEdit
The deep gnomes are the closest thing the gnome family has to 'black sheep.' Many surface dwellers count the deep gnomes along with their evil neighbors, the drow and the duergar, believing them to be little more than dark reflections of the friendly rock gnomes with whom they are more familiar. In fact, the svirfneblin are just as good-hearted as their sunnier kin. However, after centuries of dealing with the everyday perils of living in the Underdark, they have become understandably distrustful of all outsiders.
Compared to their better-known kin, the rock gnomes, the deep gnomes are as gray and lifeless as the subterranean caverns in which they choose to make their homes. They keep to themselves out of fear of outsiders - a fear born from numerous poor experiences with such people. To a deep gnome, the only people you can trust are other deep gnomes from your village, and preferably from your family. All others are best avoided.
With strangers, most deep gnomes are sullen, reserved, and suspicious, almost to a fault. However, when they are along with their own kind, they are friendly and respectful to each other. Few people from outside a svirfneblin community have ever seen this more pleasant side of the deep gnomes. For their part, the deep gnomes would be horrified to find themselves observed by outsiders, and they find such a person staring at them - or even looking directly at them - quite rude.
Deep gnomes are a gnarled and callused folk, with little fat at all on their bodies. Theyr skin is the color of the rocks among which they live, almost as if they sprang directluy from the stones themselves. They have dark gray eyes, tending toward black. Their hair is a similar color, although it's only seen on the women, as the men and entirely bald and beardless.
Deep gnomes are short-lived and reach adulthood at an age of 20 years. Use the following aging effect characteristics instead of those provided.
Gnome, deep 80 120 160 +2d% years
Like their lives, svirfneblin are also short and hard. They stand between 3 and 3 1/2 feet tall on average. They are thinner than their surface cousins, but they weigh just as much - about 40 to 45 pounds - due to the density of their muscles. They are little more than wiry sinews and rocklike bones.
Dour and cynical, deep gnomes are resigned to their lot in life. They spend their days scratching out a living in the subterranean passages near their home. The males mostly mine for precious gems while the females - who are rarely seen outside their villages - gather food, care for the children, and keep house. Few aspire to do anything other than live out their lives quietly focusing on doing their jobs as best they can.
The svirfneblin literally have little or no light in their lives. To avoid detection by others in the Underdark, they often refuse to use fire for cooking or warmth whenever possible. Instead, they rely on their darkvision, seeing the world only in black and white. The deep gnomes live and work in the eternal darkness out of their overwhelming love for gems. Most males spend almost their entire lives trying to chip precious stones out of the earth. They favor rubies most of all.
Outsides often think of deep gnomes as irredeemably sullen and suspicious. While there is some basic for this, these are the outward results of survival techniques that these gnomes have had to adopt to endure their harsh and unforgiving envorionment. Sounds of any kind - especially voices - travel in strange ways in the Underdark, and they have a tendency to attract visitors. In the experience of most deep gnomes, such outsiders have only the worst intentions, so when a svirfneblin encounters a stranger who is actually friendly, she is normally to suspicious to even consider responding in a like manner. She may eventually warm to a svirfneblin from another town, but even this can take time.
While deep gnome adventurers are rare, some deep gnomes succumb to gnomish curiosity about the world outside the caverns and mine shadts of their daily lives. This is especially true for those deep gnome illusionists who crave to learn more about the nature of their chosen school of magic, but who lack for instruction in the insular villages in which they live. Svirfneblin prospectors are also occasionally encountered in the Underdark far from their homes, questing for promising new veins to mine for their beloved rubies.
Relations with other racesEdit
Insular and suspicious, deep gnomes do not get along well with any other races. If forced to pick with whom they would rather keep company (outside other deep gnomes or no one at all), most deep gnomes would choose to associat with forest gnomes, and then rock gnomes. Beyond that, they might not mind gold dwarves or shield dwarves, or the occasional elf.
Svifrneblin do not have much feeling about any of the other standard character races, other than a general aversion to all of them. However, they have a deep and abiding hatred for drow and duergar. These two races, with whom the deep gnomes share the Underdark, have long been a thorn in the side of a people who would much rather just be left alone. Also, the evil tendencies of these races have lef many surface dwellers to think that all who live in the Undersark are unrepentantly evil, a prejudice that frequently causes deep gnomes grief when they first encounter an ingorant intruder from the surface.
Regions : The Dalelands, Gnome (rock), Great Dale, Lantan, Thesk, Western HeartlandsEdit
Rock gnomes are the gnomes that most people are familiar with, so much so that when someone says 'a gnome', he or she is almost always speaking of a rock gnome. Unlike their reclusive cousins, the deep gnomes and the forest gnomes, the rock gnomes are an inquisitive and loquacious people. They are renowned throughout Faerûn as technicians, alchemists, and inventors, as well as illusionists of the highest order. They do not care much for living in larger cities, where their talents are in high demand, and prefer the rolling hills of the countryside. But anywhere they find themselves, they display an amazing zest for life and all the pleasures it holds.
Rock gnomes are far friendlier and more outgoing than the other gnome kindreds. They are well known for their love of jokes and pranks, as well as their fondness for finely made things. As with all gnomes, they adore gems of all kinds, but rock gnomes have a particular passion for the purity and perfection of the diamond.
From a rock gnomes's point of view, life is meant to be enjoyed in all its facets : work, play, and otherwise. Again, it's the process that is important, not the goal, even if those goals - like, say, finely cut gems - do end up being valuable on their own. This shows in just about everything a rock gnome does, from making a meal to working a mine to playing a practical joke. The care they put into their actions always shines through.
===Young rock gnomes have carefree childhoods. During their adolescence, rock gnomes are expected to learn the basics of a useful trade and to master the basics of self-defense. They are encourage to dabble in all sorts of pastimes until they find something that perfectly fits their temperaments. They come of age at 40, an occasion for the largest party of their lives. From there, the average life expectancy is about 350 years, although some have been known to reach 500 years.
Rock gnomes average between 3 and 3 1/2 feet tall, and weigh between 40 and 45 pounds. Their skin comes in many different shades of brown, but is unaffected by exposure to the sun. The hair of young gnomes can vary greatly in color, but in adulthoo they all tend toward gray or white. The males wear their beards neatly trimmed.
Rock gnomes are generally optimistic. They view the world as a puzzle that the gods - in their infinite wisdom - have laid out before them as the iltimate challenge, one that cannot ever be fully met. It is their greatest joy to be involved in the unraveling of the mysteries of creation, an act they feel brings them closer to the gods with each passing day.
In their adolescence, rock gnomes are encourage to dabble in as many different things as possible. Eventually, they find something that truly intrigues them, fires their imaginations, and sets them on the path of a career that may last them the rest of their days. Amost every rock gnome enjoys what she does for a living, which is one of the reasons that they have such positive dispositions.
Of course, rock gnomes enjoy their leisure time at least as much as their work. They are known for hosting wild celebrations on the thinnest of pretenses. When they really have a reason to cheer, the parties have been known to last for tendays.
While most gnomes are homebodies at heart, a number simply can't resist the urge to go out into the world to explore. Inquisitive by nature, gnomes often find themselves compelled to do everything they can to learn about anything they want. Others, the greedier ones, set off in search of fame and fortune. Sadly, these are fleeting dreams, as even the most famous of gnomes is usually just another member of her community when she returns home.
Relations with other racesEdit
Rock gnomes get along famously with almost all the standard character races. They are particularly fond of dwarves of all kinds, with whom they share a love of finely wrought jewelry and mechanical devices. They also have a great love for halflings who can tell a joke. Their common style of housing and their similar sizes would be bonds enough, but their shared joy for living is what really brings them together.
Rock gnomes are a bit more cautious around the larger peoples, but their reservations usually quickly give way to enthisiasm when someone shows any sort of interest in or knowledge about the gnome's work or other passions.
Orcs, kobolds, and goblinoids find an especially cold place in a rock gnome's heart. Although most rock gnomes find it hard to hate anyone, long experience with these races as told them that it's better to never cut them any breaks. Besides, none of them can take a joke.