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Gnome Humanoid

Long ago, early Gnome ancestors emigrated from the First World, realm of the fey. While it's unclear why the first gnomes wandered to Golarion, this lineage manifests in modern gnomes as bizarre reasoning, eccentricity, obsessive tendencies, and what some see as naivete. These qualities are further reflected in their physical characteristics, such as spindly limbs, brightly colored hair, and childlike and extremely expressive facial features that further reflect their otherworldly origins.

Always hungry for new experiences, gnomes constantly wander both mentally and physically, attempting to stave off a terrible ailment that threatens all of their people. This affliction the Bleaching strikes gnomes who fail to dream, innovate, and take in new experiences, in the gnomes' absence of crucial magical essence from the First World. Gnomes latch onto a source of localized magic where they live, typically primal magic, as befits their fey lineage, but this isn't enough to avoid the Bleaching unless they supplement this magic with new experiences. The Bleaching slowly drains the color literally from gnomes, and it plunges those affected into states of deep depression that eventually claim their lives. Very few gnomes survive this Scourge, becoming deeply morose and wise survivors known as bleachlings.

If you want a character with boundless enthusiasm and an alien, fey outlook on morality and life, you should play a gnome.

Hit Points: 8
Size: Small
Speed: 25 feet
Ability Boosts: Constitution, Charisma, Free
Ability Flaws: Strength
Languages: Common, Gnomish, Sylvan, Additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it's positive). Choose from Draconic, Dwarven, Elven, Goblin, Jotun, Orcish, and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).
Traits: Gnome,Humanoid
Low-LightVision: You can see in dim light as though it were bright light, and you ignore the Concealed condition due to dim light.

You might...

  • Embrace learning and hop from one area of study to another without warning.
  • Rush into action before fully taking stock of the entire situation.
  • Speak, think, and move quickly, and lose patience with those who can't keep up.

Others probably...

  • Appreciate your enthusiasm and the energy with which you approach new situations.
  • Struggle to understand your motivations or adapt to your rapid changes of direction.
  • See you as unpredictable, flighty, unreliable, or even reckless.

Physical Description

Most gnomes stand just over 3 feet in height and weigh little more than a human child. They exhibit a wide range of natural skin, hair, and eye colors. For gnomes that haven't begun the Bleaching, nearly any hair and eye color other than white is possible, with vibrant colors most frequent, while skin tones span a slightly narrower spectrum and tend toward earthy tones and pinkish hues, though occasionally green, black, or pale blue. Gnomes' large eyes and dense facial muscles allow them to be particularly expressive in their emotions. Gnomes typically reach physical maturity at the age of 18, though many gnomes maintain a childlike curiosity about the world even into adulthood. A gnome can theoretically live to any age if she can stave off the Bleaching indefinitely, but in practice gnomes rarely live longer than around 400 years.


While most gnomes adopt some of the cultural practices of the region in which they live, they tend to pick and choose, adjusting their communities to fit their own fey logic. This often leads to majority gnome communities eventually consisting almost entirely of gnomes, as other people, bewildered by gnomish political decisions, choose to move elsewhere. Gnomes have little culture that they would consider entirely their own. No gnome kingdoms or nations exist on the surface of Golarion, and gnomes wouldn't know what to do with such a state if they had one.
By necessity, few gnomes marry for life, instead allowing relationships to run their course before amicably moving on, the better to stave off the Bleaching with new experiences. Though gnome families tend to be small, many gnome communities raise children communally, with fluid family boundaries. As adults depart the settlement, unrelated adolescents sometimes tag along, creating adopted families to journey together.

Alignment and Religion

Though gnomes are impulsive tricksters with inscrutable motives and confusing methods, many at least attempt to make the world a better place. They are prone to fits of powerful emotion, and they are often good but rarely lawful. Gnomes most commonly worship deities that value individuality and nature, such as Cayden Cailean, Desna, Gozreh, and Shelyn.


Gnome names can get quite complex and polysyllabic. They have little interest in familial names, and most children receive their names purely on a parent's whim. Gnomes rarely concern themselves with how easy their names are to pronounce, and they often go by shorter nicknames. Some even collect and chronicle these nicknames. Among gnomes, the shorter the name, the more feminine it's considered to be.

Sample Names

Abroshtor, Bastargre, Besh, Fijit, Halungalom, Krolmnite, Neji, Majet, Pai, Poshment, Queck, Trig, Zarzuket, Zatqualmie

You select a heritage at 1st level to reflect abilities passed down to you from your ancestors or common among those of your ancestry in the environment where you were born or grew up. You have only one heritage and can’t change it later. A heritage is not the same as a culture or ethnicity, though some cultures or ethnicities might have more or fewer members from a particular heritage.

Chameleon Gnome

The color of your hair and skin is mutable, possibly due to latent magic. You can slowly change the vibrancy and the exact color, and the coloration can be different across your body, allowing you to create patterns or other colorful designs. It takes a single action for minor localized shifts and up to an hour for dramatic shifts throughout your body. While you're asleep, the colors shift on their own in tune with your dreams, giving you an unusual coloration each morning. When you're in an area where your coloration is roughly similar to the environment (for instance, forest green in a forest), you can use the single action to make minor localized shifts designed to help you blend into your surroundings. This grants you a +2 circumstance bonus to Stealth checks until your surroundings shift in coloration or pattern.

Source: Core Rulebook pg. 43

Fey-Touched Gnome

The blood of the fey is so strong within you that you're truly one of them. You gain the fey trait, in addition to the Gnome and humanoid traits. Choose one cantrip from the primal spell list. You can cast this spell as a primal innate spell at will. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. You can change this cantrip to a different one from the same list once per day by meditating to realign yourself with the First World; this is a 10-minute activity that has the concentrate trait.

Source: Core Rulebook pg. 43

Sensate Gnome

You see all colors as brighter, hear all sounds as richer, and especially smell all Scents with incredible detail. You gain a special sense: imprecise scent with a range of 30 feet. This means you can use your sense of smell to determine the exact location of a creature. The GM will usually double the range if you're downwind from the creature or halve the range if you're upwind.

In addition, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Perception checks whenever you're trying to locate an Undetected creature that is within the range of your scent.

Source: Core Rulebook pg. 44

Umbral Gnome

Whether from a connection to dark or shadowy fey, from the underground deep gnomes also known as svirfneblin, or another source, you can see in complete darkness. You gain Darkvision.

Source: Core Rulebook pg. 44

Vivacious Gnome

You have an incredibly strong connection to the positive energy that flows through the First World, making it harder to attack your life force with negative energy. You gain negative resistance equal to half your level (minimum 1). When you have the Doomed condition, the condition affects you as if its value was 1 lower than it actually is (doomed 1 has no effect, doomed 2 causes you to die at Dying 3, and so on).

Source: Character Guide pg. 31

Wellspring Gnome

Some other source of magic has a greater hold on you than the primal magic of your fey lineage does. This connection might come from an occult plane or an ancient occult song; a deity, celestial, or fiend; magical effluent left behind by a mage war; or ancient rune magic.

Choose arcane, divine, or occult. You gain one cantrip from that magical tradition's spell list. You can cast this spell as an innate spell at will, as a spell of your chosen tradition. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. Whenever you gain a primal innate spell from a Gnome ancestry feat, change its tradition from primal to your chosen tradition.

Source: Core Rulebook pg. 44

At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). You select from among the following ancestry feats.

Name Level Prerequisites Benefit
Animal Accomplice 1
Burrow Elocutionist 1
Empathetic Plea 1 trained in Diplomacy
Fey Fellowship 1
First World Magic 1
Gnome Obsession 1
Gnome Polyglot 1
Gnome Weapon Familiarity 1
Grim Insight 1 Umbral Gnome heritage
Illusion Sense 1
Inventive Offensive 1 trained in Crafting
Life-Giving Magic 1
Natural Performer 1
Razzle-Dazzle 1
Theoretical Acumen 1
Unexpected Shift 1
Vibrant Display 1 Chameleon Gnome heritage
Animal Elocutionist 5 Burrow Elocutionist
Eclectic Obsession 5 Gnome Obsession
Energized Font 5 focus pool, at least one innate spell from a gnome heritage or ancestry feat that shares a tradition with at least one of your focus spells
Gnome Weapon Innovator 5 Gnome Weapon Familiarity
Intuitive Illusions 5 Illusion Sense
Natural Illusionist 5 Illusion Sense
Project Persona 5
Cautious Curiosity 9 at least one arcane or occult innate spell gained from a gnome heritage or gnome ancestry feat
First World Adept 9 at least one primal innate spell
Fortutious Shift 9 Unexpected Shift
Life Leap 9
Vivacious Conduit 9
Gnome Weapon Expertise 13 Gnome Weapon Familiarity
Instinctive Obfuscation 13 at least one arcane or occult innate spell gained from a gnome heritage or gnome ancestry feat
Homeward Bound 17