I tend toward the same line of thought. My struggle with Gnomes has always been differentiating them from Dwarves. Saying "They're like Dwarves in that they like minerals but are practical jokers, so they're also like Halflings" just doesn't work for me.However, imagining them as almost fey creatures of the elements, earth-spirits with strange, furtive ways who dwell in the rocky places of the wild really works for me. This concept didn't really coalesce in my mind until I saw Wayne Reynolds' illustration for the Pathfinder iconic Gnome Druid, Lini:http://paizo.com/image/content/CrimsonThrone/PZO9011-Druid.jpgThat's a Gnome I can feel good about using in my game world.
Pardon me, but F gnomes! I've never known one person who has played one. Pure suckage.By the way, Peter Bradley seems to have an interesting way of depicting gnomes in the C&C books. They seem very...snouty and big of ear. Much different from what one would usually think. I assume that was very intentional?
Gnomes sure are played like miniature dwarves with some extra powers - for the most part. I just don't like it. If you want to play a miniature something, play a dwarf. That and the very name conjures up a small dude with a hat and waist coat and cane and a basket of flowers.I like them as earth fey, as you mentioned. But I also like them small and unique in nature, spirit and kind. Smurfs if you will. Actually more like the wizard in Wizards.Steve played a gnome. He was fat, greasy, chewed tobacco (had a dribble stain) and stayed drunk. His name was William Crowbill. I think it was the only gnome I ever really liked.I played a gnome once named Pirinkle Fitsimmons. He wore a yellow hat, strawberry waste-coat and green trousers. He was a druid and sorta mean spirited.Peter has his own view of gnomes so we let him run with it. We have a picture somewhere with that gnome getting its ears sheared off.
Some times I think I am the only player of gnomes. More often than not, I play them as mixture between Blackadder II and Dean Martin. Only shorter. That said, the C&C gnome illustration unsettles me.
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