"Secure the other end of the rope ... I've got gnomeventuring to do!"
Jarvis Specklethwaite, Gentleman Gnomeventurer
It will come as no surprise to many of you that I am a gnome supporter. Throughout 3E, the lead up to 4E, and especially in current D&D/OGL circles, I think the gnomes got the short end of the stick repeatedly ... and I'd like to DO something about it!
In part, I understand. How to handle gnomes is a tricky subject. At first blush, they and halflings seem to tread a lot of the same ground. And even when new ground is identified, gnomes have often been painted in a purely comic style. They became a JOKE, when really part of what they embodied was a sense of wonder and whimsy.
The answer that Wizards of the Coast AND Paizo have come to is to substantially change what gnomes are ... giving them a strong link to the world of the fey and making magic (particularly illusion) their mechanical focus. Moving away from the amusing and giving them an otherworldly creepiness. And, while both companies have created very interesting races in this manner, neither of them really seem like GNOMES to me.
I get it. Some people have NO PLACE for anything light hearted in their fantasy RPGs. But is it really necessary to take away those elements entirely? Is it not possible that the classic gnome has something to OFFER to a game?
I sure think so. And Jarvis Specklethwaite, Genleman Gnomeventurer may help me to elucidate on the subject as he appears in more doodles.