Varis: The War of the Brand
Exiled from the mysterious fey realm of the First World, gnomes are fundamentally alien to Varis. Endlessly excitable, gnomes amuse and terrify other races with their strange obsessions and unconventional methods. Their childlike wonder—and sometimes innocent cruelty—are two sides of the same coin, and every coin the gnomes have is spent in pursuit of adventure, whether they like it or not. For the gnomes have a dark secret: unlike the elves, the world’s natural magic cannot sustain them and should they ever stop seeking out new experiences, they fall prey to the Bleaching, a wasting disease that slowly sucks away their hold on the world, leaving them nothing but bones and dust.
Gnomes live mostly in small, temporary enclaves deep in the wilds when not exploring and to raise children and enclaves of gnomes are scattered across Varis.
+2 Constitution, +2 Charisma, –2 Strength: Gnomes are physically weak but surprisingly hardy, and their attitude makes them naturally agreeable.
Small: Gnomes are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Gnomes have a base speed of 20 feet.
Low-Light Vision: Gnomes can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. See Additional Rules.
Defensive Training: Gnomes get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant type.
Gnome Magic: Gnomes add +1 to the DC of any saving throws against illusion spells that they cast. Gnomes with a Charisma of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day—dancing lights, ghost sound, prestidigitation, and speak with animals. The caster level for these effects is equal to the gnome’s level. The DC for these spells is equal to 10 + the spell’s level + the gnome’s Charisma modifier.
Hatred: Gnomes receive a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the reptilian and goblinoid subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
Bleaching: Gnomes in the mortal world find it completely alien and hostile, as creatures born in the First World of the Fey, Gnomes who stop seeking out vivid and exciting new experiences begin to become affected by the Bleaching once the bleaching starts it cannot be reversed unless by a “Wish” or “Miracle” spell but additional bleaching effects can be staved off if a Gnome has new, vivid experiences.
Illusion Resistance: Gnomes get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against illusion spells or effects.
Keen Senses: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Obsessive: Gnomes receive a +2 racial bonus on a Craft or Profession skill of their choice.
Weapon Familiarity: Gnomes treat any weapon with the word “gnome” in its name as a martial weapon.
Languages: Gnomes begin play speaking Common, Gnome, and Sylvan. Gnomes with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Giant, Goblin, and Orc.