Perhaps more than any other creature here, gnomes have filled a wide variety of roles across RPG settings. Some cast them as tricksters, others as bumbling inventors and eccentric wizards, others as bardic tale-weavers, others as helpful but reclusive fairy folk.
Ultimately, this shifting identity the major reason gnomes don’t, by default, appear in Escarnum‘s world. If you wish to bring them back in, their natural place depends on which version you enjoy.
Inventor-gnomes would be a good fit for the bizarre wizard-silicon-valley of Independence proper, or perhaps underground digging for Precursor relics. Fairy and trickster gnomes would be strongest in Deepwood, and other places where the border with the Feywild stretches thin. Bardic gnomes might even be travellers from Aethys, or beyond.
Alternatively, if you’d like to stick to a gnomeless Escarnum, you can find a similar appeal to gnomes in a number of places:
- Tinker gnomes: kobolds are huge fans of technology in Escarnum. If your idea of a gnome is a fearless inventor who’s only ever two steps from burning off their own eyebrows, a this is an ideal replacement.
- Trickster gnomes: The abilen may not have too much in common flavour-wise, but they offer a lot of the same mechanics; small stature, natural charisma, and the tools to slip by any foe.
- Disaster gnomes: For big chaos energy in a pint-sized package, the gremblin is an ideal choice. Similar to kobolds, they are characterised by frantic creativity, short attention span and semi-comprehensible good intentions.