"Gnomes live ten times faster than humans. They're harder to see than a high-speed mouse. That's one reason why most humans hardly ever see them. The other is that humans are very good at not seeing things they know aren't there."
- Terry Pratchett
Over the years, gnomes have known numerous incarnations, from the tinker gnomes of Dragonlance to the Ice Gnomes of Eberron, the Forgotten Folk of the Forgotten Realms, the Rock Gnomes of third edition, and countless subraces besides. In Fourth Edition, gnomes are fey folk who have lived in servitude in the Feydark, using their wits and stealth to survive. Throughout all their incarnations, however, two traits stay the same: the gnomish love and curiosity for arcane innovation, and their propensity for not being seen when they don’t care to be.
To that end, gnomes are most at home in the adventuring life when they’re manipulating the power of the arcane, or hiding even deeper in the shadows than the rogues of other humanoid races. If you’re one of those lucky few tinyfolk who have escaped your fomorian oppressors, I’ll give you some insight here as to how you might put your unique talents to good use for the betterment of the world.
In this guide, I’ll be using the standard color-coded rating style:
Sky Blue indicates true gnomish synergy. Pick as much of this color as you can, and one day it’ll be your tales the bards sing.
Blue is a pretty good gnomish option. Sometimes you just can’t have the best, and if that’s the case there’s nothing wrong with a blue option.
Black won’t get you picked on by your fellow adventurers, but you’re not going to be wowing crowds with mediocrity. You’re a gnome, if it’s not flashy, it’s not gnomish!
Purple options might be bad enough that not even a gnome can make them work out.
Red means that you should never be seen using one of these options, on those rare occasions you’re seen at all. Or it could mean that you’re stuck with something that will cause you troubles.
Lord_Ventnor, whose template I used, and whose Tiefling handbook made analysis of an INT/CHA race much easier.