What if the cleansing of the Gnomes failed and small populations of the canonically destroyed race still existed? I have decided to keep the Gnomes, and I have them survive in small communities in the land beetwen the Wind, like the Eladrins in 4th ed. My gnomes hate Nibenay, and the hate is mutual. They are a cautious people who still remember kinder times and practice kinder ways.
Why do the gnomes hate Dregoth when it was Gallard (Nibenay) that slaughtered them? Some sort of psychological transference?
Because I’m an idiot and wrote the wrong SK’s name. I edited.
Then nothing. Cool, have fun.
Can’t wait to see how you DS them up, though!
Maybe I will make Athas more Gnome friendly instead.
They should be psionic punk. Psionically powered crystals are implanted into them. Those power psionic enhancements, like extra limbs, eyes on the back of their heads, or other crazy stuff.
They shouldn’t be extra friendly, they should be extra paranoid! You never know when one of Nibenay’s agents might try to discover their hiding spot and their psionic secrets.
The psionic punk part might be interesting. Maybe they have found a way to blend psionic and arcane so they can avoid defiling while still getting powerfull results.
If it helps, you can have a read about the gnomes and brownies in Secrets of the Dead Lands and Faces of the Dead Lands. We’ve talked a fair bit about their Green Age history, and given some characterisation of them that makes them somewhat different from gnomes in other settings. Maybe that might help you…
If you really want to be bold and do for gnomes what was done for elves and halflings, start pronouncing the g instead of leaving it silent. Pronounce g-nomes. It’s sure to terrify your players.
I am torn, on one hand I want to make then different, on the other hand I want them to be living testaments of a kinder way of life. They let the desert behind them and so they are the instrunents to heal Athas.
Why would they be kinder? There’s no reason to be. Dark Sun is brutal and harsh. You are either the hammer or a nail. Better to be the hammer.
Maybe Gnomes are eco-terrorists and take an extreme view of protecting nature. They attack caravans who participate in the lumber trade, no matter how eco-friendly the merchants think they are. They slay herders and release the flocks into the wilderness. They only use stone and bone, never wood. They’re all vegetarian.
Gnomes could have been killed off because they were weak. Just saying.
Yeah, I mean for all of our Green Age backstory work, we’ve been making the Green (and Blue) Ages just as hardcore as the Brown Age, just with less ecological destruction (mostly - looking at you, Brown Tide). Athasians were still deeply “human” (aka, jerks sometimes) and it’s canon that terrible wars between ideologies and city-states were a thing. And that slavery was always a thing (even if they made it clean and pretty with the Orbs).
But, that being said, you do you.
Maybe you could make gnomes kind and brutal somehow, the way halflings are savage cannibals that also somehow have a noble, intelligent society. Maybe gnomes are generally kindly or are polite the way the Yakuza always are on TV - a veneer of order and custom and politeness over barely contained savagery; savagery against those who hard what’s left of the environment? Like @Rajaat99 said. That’d definitely be a doozy of 2 nested surprises for the PCs.
You might want to check out gnomes in Eberron, either for ideas to steal or ones to avoid. Gnomes run a magical powerhouse of industry in Eberron.
“My name is Gnorr, with an unsilent G”
There was talk in the pristine tower group about the mindhome folk being related to gnomes somehow, perhapse via faulty Noah’s arc like project that housed their souls in a crystal so they may be preserved and reborn once it was safe outside, but through some flaw or miscalculation they emerged different enough from the original gnomes as to not even be considered gnomes or appear on Gallard divination spells, as well as sharing a hive mind due to their psychs being in close contact with each other in that crystal for so long.
It may also account for any diffrenceses in their temperament compared to the gnomes of the green age.
Athas is brutal and harsh, but you can react to boiling water like the egg, and hardening, like a carrot, and softening or like coffee and change the water. My Gnomes, and other things I will add to Athas will be or try to be like coffee.My green age is very different by what you have detailed, it was kinder and more peacefully until Rajaat started preaching his word of racial hate. Slavery was on the way of eradication in my green age, before Rajaat begun acting.
I’m not arguing that they were killed off, because they were weak, or otherwise. I’m saying that if they survived the cleansing, they would have to adapt to the current state of Athas.
If you wanted to go with peaceful hippy type Gnomes, I’d probably go with ouroboros’ idea, of having the Gnomes in stasis and only recently emerging.
I just think they’re in big trouble, once a House Stel slave caravan discovers them. After all, a handful of coffee beans aren’t going to change an ocean of boiling water.
Also, the races were changed and taken to extremes for the Dark Sun setting. Dwarves aren’t jusy hard workers, they dedicate their lives to work. Halflings don’t just want to be left alone, they’re xenophobic cannibals.
I gave two oprtions on how Gnomes can be taken to an extreme. How would you suggest Gnomes are changed for Dark Sun?
This may help as well: