Saturday, 27 October 2012

Gnome Class for Basic Labyrinth Lord

For my new Labyrinth Lord campaign I've decided, for simplicity and nostalgia, to use the basic rules -- so race-classes are back in fashion!

To that end I thought I'd whip up a gnome class, as I've always been fond of the oft-reviled wee folk. I've tried to give them a bit of flavour to differentiate them from dwarves, with whom they are often conflated.

The rest of this post is designated Open Gaming Content according to the Open Gaming License.


Requirements: STR 9, DEX 9
Prime Requisites: STR, DEX
Hit Dice: 1d6
Maximum Level: 8

Gnomes are a wee race of cunning burrowers. They are sometimes mistakenly regarded as relatives of dwarves or halflings – an assertion at which they take offence. In stature, gnomes reach about 3½ feet, and 60 pounds. They tend to dress in shades of brown and green, favouring soft leather and felt. The pride and joy of every gnome is his or her hat. They sport felt hats of a variety of shapes, colours and sizes – a tall red cone being the traditional choice.

Gnomes typically dwell in deep forests and secluded valleys, and have little contact with other races. They speak their own language and the common tongue. They are also privileged to know the secret language of burrowing mammals such as badgers, moles, rats, and rabbits. Such creatures, including giant varieties, are often found in the company of gnomes.

Due to their habit of living in burrows and warren complexes, gnomes can detect unsafe construction when below ground. A gnome must spend one turn searching to use this ability, and has a 2 in 6 chance of success. Gnomes can also always tell how deep underground they are, accurate to within 20', and never lose their orientation underground.

Like halflings, due to their small stature, gnomes gain a +2 bonus to armour class when fighting larger than man-size creatures. Gnomes may use any armour and any weapons except large or two-handed melee weapons, longbows and heavy crossbows.

They use the same combat, saving throw and experience tables as halflings. A gnome with at least a 13 in one prime requisite gains a +5% experience bonus. A gnome with 13 or greater in both STR and DEX gets a +10% bonus.

Gnome Backgrounds
  1. Troll hunter
  2. Brewer
  3. Badger master
  4. Tinker
  5. Burglar
  6. Outcast
  7. Hatter (optionally mad)
  8. Woodsman
See also: variant gnomes.


  1. Hey! More love for the gnome! Stop the senseless hate!

    I would have done the gnome as a thief/illusionist condensed (like elves are magic users/fighter), but that's propably just because of my gnome pc created in the early nineties... ;)
    But, seriously, a little illusionist magic would be ok, I think, like in the 3.x race. Once per day a random illusionist spell of 1st level as innate ability, maybe?

  2. Gnome love yay!

    I have the nod to illusionists in the psychedelic gnome (see link at bottom).

  3. Oh yes, I read that before.
    I just looked at the illusionist spell list in AEC and these spells are mostly too powerful, anyway. :)

  4. Love it! I'm a big fan of race as class--nice job on this one. The new issue of WMLP will feature some gnomes, too, but they're nasty ones...

    1. The only trouble with race-classes, I find, is that now I've decided to play basic LL, I just have the urge to create dozens of classes for new unusual PC races! Which sort of defeats the point, imho, of playing Basic D&D... Hm...

      I'll be ordering WMLP asap :)

  5. I made my gnomes fighter/illusionists with Pick Pockets, Max level 9. They gain one MU rank at 3rd, 6th and 9th. They have infravision and the Halfling AC bonus against larger than man-sized creatures, and speak with burrowing mammals.

    They use fighter attacks, Halfling attack ranks, and dwarf saves.

    I also allow gnome clerics and druids if anyone wants one.


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