All About Gnomes


Old-School Gnome Stonecunning

To mirror the ability of gnomes (and dwarves) to detect underground features, see the Tunnelborn Feat


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Breachgnomes are rock gnome fighters who serve in defense of a warren. They are defensive specialists, and during an enemy invasion, they are stationed in the small tunnels that provide access to critical parts of a gnomish city. Their bravery is lauded in tales of gnomish sacrifice (such as the story of Maddi Gaddlroot, who held off an army of ogres for an entire day, giving her village time to prepare ambushes, hide the children and infirm, and slay the remaining ogres when they eventually overcame her). Many breachgnomes will study with dwarven and human warriors to better improve their skill. They take defense of their home very seriously, and their display of inventiveness and creativity comes in new approaches to fighting and protecting their homeland.

The Breachgnomes of Granitehome

In the village of Granitehome, the clan Barackathal serves as the town's protectors. They are largely responsible for protecting the mine and the people from invasion by nearby kobolds. It is said that the mightiest among them have the strength of creatures four times their size.


The breachgnomes are always interested in defending the town. Of specific interest is a group of kobolds on the other side of the lake from Granitehome, whose burrowing leads them dangerously close to the clan, possibly following the same seam of gemstones that the clan is. There is also a lot of interest in the goblins who live in the forests above Granitehome.


  • Renown 1: Gopher Trooper: You gain a contact among the breachgnomes of clan Barackathal who can train you as a champion fighter.
  • Renown 3: Rabbit Trooper: You get a 10% discount on weapons and armor purchased in Granitehome.
  • Renown 10: Mole Trooper: You gain access to the breachgnome shops, which will sell you common potions and spell scrolls.
  • Renown 25: Badger Trooper: You can acquire gauntlets of ogre power from the breachgnomes.
  • Renown 50: Wolverine Trooper: You can acquire a ring of protection from the breachgnomes.

Building a Breachgnome

  • Ability Scores: A high Con is essential, and a high Strength is laudable.
  • Class: Most breachgnomes are certainly fighters — their hardiness and skill at arms is one of their defining qualities. A few may be paladins who swear an Oath of Devotion to protect their homeland. Either way, they typically take the Defensive fighting style, as their function is to stand and defend. If they fall, so does the town.
  • Background: Most breachgnomes were trained as soldiers, and are considered fairly high-ranking among soldiers. Some gnomish cities bestown knightood on the breachgnomes as an incentive to volunteer, so some breachgnomes may be knights instead. Breachgnomes with any background may take the below options.
    • Bond: My homeland is everything to me, and I will die to defend it and its people from harm.
    • Flaw: I refuse to flee from my foes until all others are safe, even if said foes could easily destroy me.
  • Equipment: Breachgnomes use the short sword primarily, and they are also trained in either the hammer or the axe. They'll use metal armor and shields, and typically use a crossbow or a sling when distance fighting is required. Breachgnomes often take the opportunity to learn new weapons as they gain experience.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Breachgnomes learn how to craft the tools of their trade, learning how to use smith's tools.

Design Notes

The unique element of the breachgnome is that it gets an AC bonus when against a wall (or two). This is a very narrow ability, largely dependent on the DM's whim when setting up a combat, and useless in certain battlefields. The Defensive fighting style does something very similar, and very thematic, while being always available, making the narrow ability largely redundant.

Granitehome is based on the example dwarven town in the source material, with the Barackathal clan being the clan designated with defense of that town. Memership in the breachgnomes allows a player to benefit from access to weapons, armor, and common magic items, and greater success in helping the people of Granitehome.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
The foestickers are gnomes who are pro-active about their town's defense. They seek out enemies (typically, goblins and kobolds) for the explicit purpose of exterminating them and driving them from the land. Foestickers are often driven by some tragic attack by those creatures in their pasts (certainly the conflict is common enough to produce a lot of gnomes who have that story in their background), and who then take up arms as a way of preventing others from coming to the same fate. These gnomes are as cheery and curious as others of their race when engaging in their practice, which many other gnomes find a little off-putting — it's one thing to laugh at a joke, quite another to laugh at a bunch of kobolds falling into your spiked pit trap. For foestickers, the latter might actually be funnier.

The Foestickers of Granitehome

A few gnomes from clan Barackathal have become quite fed up with being simply reactive, and have gone forth to proactively defend Granitehome — by invading the warrens of the kobolds and the camps of the goblins. More than a few Barackathals are out in the wilderness doing this work, though it can be hard to find them. Still, if one hates the same enemies these gnomes hate, running into them is only a matter of time.


The foestickers run active campaigns against the goblins and the kobolds, but they need little help in the slaying department. They're happy to take an extra blade, but they're even happier to take a supply run, a warm tent, or a friendly meal. They're also quite curious about the movements of the enemy that they might not be aware of.


  • Renown 1: Poker: You gain a contact among the foestickers of clan Barackathal who can train you as a hunter ranger.
  • Renown 3: Piker: You can purchase food and adventuring supplies from the foestickers out in the wilderness, making use of their supply lines.
  • Renown 10: Piercer: You can purchase common potions and common scrolls containing ranger spells from the foestickers.
  • Renown 25: Pounder: You can acquire a pair of boots of striding and springing from the foestickers.
  • Renown 50: Pulper: A foesticker ranger of level 15 will accompany you on any adventure you desire, once per month.

Building a Foesticker

  • Ability Scores: Strength is their main focus. To keep out of harm's way, they may also dip into either Dexterity (if they're lightly armored) or Constitution (if they prefer heavy armors).
  • Class: Most foestickers are rangers, using their Favored Enemy feature to learn more about the kobolds (or goblins or ogres or whatever) that they hunt, and specializing in the terrain of their foe as well (underdark, for kobolds). Foestickers tyically take the Hunter archetype, focusing on abilities that help them take down their chosen adversary. Other popular classes among the foestickers include the Paladin (with the Oath of Vengeance), the Fighter, or even the Bard (using the College of Valor).
  • Background: The Folk Hero is popular as a background among foestickers (who tend to be lauded as great heroes of their people), but a few are Hermits who live in a constant state of hunting. A foesticker of any background may take the following personality trait and flaw
    • Personality Trait: I can't forgive the creatures that brought tragedy on me in the past. As far as I'm concerned, they're all guilty at birth.
    • Flaw: I can't flee a fight against my hated foes — doesn't matter how many of them there are.
  • Equipment: Foestickers are well-armed, but also carry equipment relevant for their survival. They are not often found without exploratory tools such as ropes, lantern oil, a firestarter's kit, maps, and several days' rations. Hunting traps are popular for both their intended function (to get food) and their useful alternate function (to trap fleeing enemies).
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Foestickers pick up knowledge of forgecraft enough to keep their blades sharp, so many learn to use smith's tools. Many also train in Nature and Survival, to facilitate their wilderness travel between sites of intended slaughter.

Design Notes

The goblinsticker becomes the foesticker. Now that gnomes can be rangers, the need for an extra attack/damage bonus against a favored enemy was pretty much eliminated. Goblinstickers in the source mateiral are fairly bland, but there haven't been a lot of special gnome ranger options historically, and doubling down on the rivalry between gnomes and their small enemies gave them something interesting. The flavor on this gets a little bit into territories of questioning the ethics of attacking kobold and goblin civilizations regardless of their actions, which can be interesting when using the foestickers as a faction in the world.

The Barackathal clan makes another appearance here, this time wandering far afield of the warren.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Mouseburglars are stealth specialists, gnomes who enter places unseen, accomplish their goals, and leave unseen. They are "as silent as a mouse," making them great spies and information-gatherers. Their size makes them able to access a lot of areas impossible for other creatures to access.

The Mouseburglars of Granitehome

Gnomes in Granitehome have an interest in the goings-on of the creatures of the forests and caves near their lair. The Mouseburglars are the professional spies and sneaks of the village, responsible for observing the happenings nearby and reporting on them to the town's council. Mouseburglars come from all clans, but are most common from the brave Barackathals, the observant Astrolacylls, or the adventurous Mastacalatls.


Unusual goings-on in the forest often require Mouseburglars (or their appointed agents) to investigate. Typically, the Mouseburglars have no interest in fighting a foe (they leave that to the Foestickers), merely in gathering information about them and passing it on to others, and so their quests focus on reconnaissance and research — it is much better to gain knowledge and to leave the foe with no idea they were even being watched.


  • Renown 1: Pindropper: You gain a contact among the Mouseburglars who can train you as a thief rogue.
  • Renown 3: Whisperer: You can purchase disguise kits, thieves' tools, fine cloth, and other general theives' implements from the Mouseburglars.
  • Renown 10: Pipsqueak: You can purchase common potions from the Mouseburglars.
  • Renown 25: Padfoot: You can acquire a ring of invisibility from the Mouseburglars.
  • Renown 50: Dead Silence: You can acquire slippers of spider climbing from the Mouseburglars.

Building a Mouseburglar

  • Ability Scores: Dexterity is their main focus, for the ability to remain silent. Many mouseburglars favor Wisdom as a secondary ability score, allowing them to hear and see things others might miss, but others prefer Intelligence, making them better at disabling locks and investigating areas thoroughly while remaining unseen.
  • Class: Mouseburglars are typically rogues, and typically take the Thief archetype. Few other creatures can remain as silent. They will typically have expertise in Stealth, and their other Expertise option in either Deception or Thieves' Tools.
  • Background: Many mouseburglars are spies, putting their skills to work in support of their homelands. A few are urchins, charlatans, or outright criminals, but most mouseburglars are not nearly so dangerous as that. Regardless of their background, a mouseburglar might take the following personality trait and flaw:
    • Personality Trait: I rarely speak above a whisper, and prefer to remain quiet in a room with others.
    • Flaw: I'd rather flee than fight — if someone is hostile to me, I want to avoid confrontation.
  • Equipment: Mouseburglars like to work quietly, prefering dark clothes and soft boots. They prefer weapons that can be wielded with stealth and precision, such as the sling, crossbow, dagger, and short sword. Many will carry a disguise kit on them to help with their initial infiltration, and they're never too far from a set of thieves' tools.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Mouseburglars will raise their Stealth to its maximum and try to keep it there. They tend to be quite skilled at Investigation and Perception as well. Tool proficiencies are very important to mouseburglars, as thieves' tools and a disguise kit are standard-issue equipment.

Design Notes

The mechanical distinction of a mouseburglar is that they're better at moving silently and using lockpicks — translated to 5e, this means Stealth and Thieves' Tools. A pretty straightforward conversion. Their organization is based out of Granitehome, and contains elements of Eberron's gnomes as well.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Tumblers make a living as gnomish entertainers, displaying feats of agility and acrobatics that others find impossible to do. It is said that the art of acrobatic tumbling originated with the gnomes, and the gnomes are quite adept at applying this skill, especially against larger creatures.

Building a Tumbler

  • Ability Scores: A high Dexterity is vital. A good Charisma goes hand-in-hand with the performance aspect of the Tumblers.
  • Class: Rogues make ideal tumblers, with the ability to pump up their Dexterity (Acrobatics) check to quite high levels. Thieves tend to be more popular than other roguish archetypes. A few Bards (especially College of Valor bards) are represented in the Tumblers, as are a handful of Fighters (typically those who specialize in ranged attacks).
  • Background: The Entertainer is the natural Tumbler background, though no small quantity are Charlatans or Urchins. Regardless of background, a Tumbler might take the following personality trait and flaw.
    • Personality Trait: I am a natural performer — I do even the simplest tasks with a flair and a display of my skill.
    • Flaw: I can't concentrate on a single task for very long. I prefer action over patience, even to a fault.
  • Equipment: Tumblers use lightweight equipment fairly typical for thieves. A Tumbler is rarely without a trusty coil of sturdy rope of at least 60' in length for use in impromptu performances.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Athletics can be as vital to a good Tumbler as Acrobatics is — being able to climb and jump is often essential to being able to leap and roll.

Tumbler Training

Feat: Gnomish Tumbler

Prerequisite: Proficiency in Acrobatics
You are an adept tumbler, agile lithe, and fast on your feet. You gain the following benefits:

  • If you do not have proficiency in Athletics, you gain it. Regardless, you can choose to make Strength (Athletics) checks as if they were Dexterity (Athletics) checks.
  • When you take the Dodge action, you can add your proficiency bonus to your AC until the start of your next turn.
  • Once per round, you can make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check during your movement to move through the space of any hostile creature 1 size category larger than you without it counting as difficult terrain, by tumbling beneath its legs. The DC is equal to 10 + the target creature's proficiency bonus. On a failure, you fall prone. On a success, you move through the creature's space, and gain advantage on your next attack roll against that creature.

Design Notes

The special benefits of the Tumbler as presented require a little more work than other kits, and I didn't want to limit the option to only one class. Hence, a feat. The bonus to AC with Dodge and the ability to use Dexterity for Athletics and to get Advantage for an attack roll simply by making an Acrobatics check against it seem to all be "big" enough to not require an additional ability score bump with the feat. Proficiency in Acrobatics is required to stop people with poor Acrobatics checks from stumbling into the feat and thus not getting much use out of its last benefit.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
The imagemaker is an artisan of illusions, a crafter of highly realistic and nuanced images. They are welcome as entertainers and storytellers, able to create illusions that, while false, give the impression of "being there." They are also popular as soldiers in war, excelling in diversionary tactics and realistic illusions.

Building an Imagemaker

  • Ability Scores: A good performer always invests in a good Charisma. Imagemakers who are more precise and analytical about their spells may invest heavily in Intelligence instead. Typically, their main focus overlaps with the main ability score used in their spellcasting, with the secondary focus being the other ability score.
  • Class: Any class capable of using illusions might find themselves as an imagemaker. Illusionist wizards are very well-represented, but so are bards of all stripes, and even clerics of trickery, arcane trickster rogues, and others. Of course, no member of a class that cannot use illusions is welcome in this guild, making it more exclusionary than many.
  • Background: The Entertainer is the natural Imagemaker background, as most hone their skills in storytelling and performance first. Those who gravitate to a more military mindset might be Soldiers trained more for battlefield illusions. Some are sages who research illusions like a sceince, and given the honor that imagemakers have in gnomish society, some few are even nobles. Regardless of their background, an imagemaker may take the following ideal or flaw:
    • Ideal: Mastery. (Any) I seek to perfect my art, dedicating long hours of practice and refinement to it.
    • Flaw: Divination magic makes me nervous. I don't learn it, and I don't like seeing it cast. Reality is what you sense, not what you know.
  • Equipment: Imagemakers employ a few tools to support their magical talents, including smokepots, flashballs, and probably a musical instrument to help them sing a song to tell the story.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Imagemakers can be surprisingly studious, mastering Arcana and History. Most have quite a bit of investment in Deception, though other Charisma skills are not very important. Third, they invest in skills that help them see through illusions, including Investigation and Perception.

Imagemaker Training

Feat: Imagemaker

Prerequisite: Ability to cast at least one Illusion spell
Your mastery of illusions makes yours exceptionally believable and durable. You gain the following benefits:

  • Creatures with truesight do not automatically detect your illusions, nor do they automatically succeed in saving throws against them. Creatures without truesight have disadvantage on any saving throw or skill check used to detect your illusions.
  • Once per short rest, when you cast an illusion spell with a duration of 1 minute or longer, you can double its duration, to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • When you cast an illusion spell that requires concentration, the spell can actually last 2d6 rounds after you cease concentrating (determined secretly by the DM). If you cast any other spell that requires concentration, the illusion still ends, and while you are not concentrating on it, the illusion cannot react realistically (though it can repeat a specific action round after round).

Design Notes

The special benefits of the original Imagemaker are pretty huge, even for a 5e feat. I've simply recreated them here. As with the Tumbler, I didn't want to lock the archetype down to a single class. Like most of the drawbacks from the various kits, this one fits in as a flaw, though this flaw doesn't mention conjuration at all. This is rather intentional — whatever the original opposition schools to illusion, I've felt it is fairly solidly philosophically opposed most strongly to Divination.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Vanishers focus on a specific kind of illusion — making this disappear. Invisibility and disguise are their stock-in-trade.

Building a Vanisher

  • Ability Scores: Being a magical specialist, the Vanisher tends to focus on whatever their primary spellcasting stat is, though many dabble in Dexterity, to better enhance their ability to conceal their own presence with the Stealth skill. Many maintain a good Wisdom, for detecting invisible things themselves with Perception.
  • Class: Anyone who can render something else invisible is a good candidate to be a Vanisher. This, of course, includes many spellcasters, such as wizards (especially illusionists), bards, trickery clerics, and arcane tricksters, but it might also include any character capable of creating dust of disappearance, or a similar effect, such as via alchemy.
  • Background: Vanishers tend toward the Spy, Soldier, and Sage backgrounds, reflecting their military use. Unlike the Imagemakers, Vanishers have little application outside of direct confrontation and reconnaissance. Regardless of their background, a Vanisher may take the following personality trait or flaw:
    • Personality Trait: I rarely speak above a whisper, and prefer to remain quiet in a room with others.
    • Flaw: Divination magic makes me nervous. I don't learn it, and I don't like seeing it cast. Reality is what you sense, not what you know.
  • Equipment: Vanishers often sing the blessings of a simple pen and paper, with which to write down the things they observe while unseen. They are also often found with a special kind of invisibility powder, which they can craft.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Vanishers learn much to help them in their role as spies and information-gatherers, including learning a diversity of languages, the Stealth skill, the Perception skill, and the Investigation skill. They are also often adept at finding their way to their locations, knowing the Survival skill.

Vanisher Training

Feat: Vanisher

You craft an invisibility powder, and have a mastery of that and other effects that create invisibility. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Intelligence score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • When you have access to some flour and at least 100 gp in crushed diamonds, you can make an invisibility powder when you take a long rest. The powder causes one creature or object of up to Large size to become invisible for 2d4 minutes, and retains its potency until your next long rest.
  • Once per short rest, when you grant a creature invisibility (including with your invisibility powder) for 1 minute or longer, you can double the duration of the invisibility, to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • Creatures with truesight do not automatically see creatures or objects you render invisible. Creatures without truesight have disadvantage on any saving throw or skill check used to notice a creature you have made invisible

Design Notes

There are a lot of similarities between the Vanisher and the Imagemaker, to the point of essential overlap between them. The thing that makes the Vanisher distinct is its stealthy approach (rather than the Imagemaker's performative style), and the invisibility powder (which is essentially a limited, daily, single-target invisibility). Given the more limited scope of the Vanisher's feat, I surmised an ability score bump would be good compensation — you take Imagemaker if you want to be better at all illusions, or Vanisher if you've got a more narrow focus and don't want to totally miss out on ability score bumps. Vanishers are a little weak — rolling them into Imagemaker is absolutely a possibility, but they're presented here as distinct for completeness and their subtle differences.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Buffoons are gnomish jesters, clever rogues who affect a humorously dense image to better put themselves in a position to ridicule and belittle the targets of their true scorn, and to get a crowd to do the same.

Building a Buffoon

  • Ability Scores: The nature of the pranks a Buffoon tells means that Charisma is pretty vital for them. They are typically able to feel out a social situation very well as well, having a high Wisdom.
  • Class: Buffoons are perhaps mostly bards, able to influence others, and traveling the world as wandering joke-tellers. There is no small amount of charismatic rogues or prank-prone illusionists (or some combination) as well. Arcane Tricksters are also quite common.
  • Background: Buffoons are natural Entertainers, often supplementing their comedy routine with acrobatics and stunts. More than a few are Charlatans with a "stage persona," as well. Regardless of their background, a Buffoon may take the following personality trait or flaw:
    • Personality Trait: You love telling jokes, even awful ones, and have no problem making yourself the butt of them.
    • Flaw: You dress eccentrically, distinctively, and ridiculously, and your have no intent or desire to change that.
  • Equipment: Comical gimmicks are the go-to for Buffooning hands, and theytravel with juggling balls, noisemakers (horns or bells), wigs, false beards, bald-caps, and a variety of makeups.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Buffoons are often trained in Insight, as knowing when to press your joke and when to run for the exit is pretty key in their line of work. Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Deception are possible choices as well.

Buffoon Training

Feat: Buffoon

You can harass other creatures and make friends with your jokes. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Charisma score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • As an action, you can hurl jabs and insults at an enemy concentrating on a spell to distract them. The target must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 10 + your Charisma modifier) to maintain concentration. If they fail, they lose concentration just as if they were struck in combat.
  • You can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check to convince someone that you are an incompetent fool. The DC for this check is 10 + the target's Wisdom modifier, and it requires at least 10 minutes of interaction (though it needn't all be peaceful). If you roll a 1 on this check, you automatically succeed. If successful, you then have advantage on Charisma checks against the target until your next long rest.
  • As an action, you can start your buffoonery to disrupt fear effects. Until the end of your next turn, you and any ally within 30 ft. of you have dvantage on saving throws against being frightened.

Design Notes

The main function of the Buffoon in the source material was a gnomish thief/illusionist who worked much like a bard (with added anti-spellcaster measures). Here, a lot of that distinction fades into the background, and what emerges is a distinct character archetype that exists very independent of class. I developed a feat to reflect its abilities, though this might not be necessary in all campaigns, as the only unique thing it does is allow for spellcaster distraction — the feat builds on the idea of "influencing reactions" and on the 5e interpretation of a bard's countersong.


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Stalkers are gnomish hunters who track prey through dense woodland. Experts in archery and wilderness lore, these creatures are also paragons of stealth. One could be walking through a forest full of stalkers and never know it.

Building a Stalker

  • Ability Scores: Ranged weapon focus and stealth focus encourage a high Dexterity. A good Wisdom, Strength, or Constitution is also useful for survival in the outdoors.
  • Class: Stalkers are primarily rangers, and both hunters and beastmasters (typically with a badger, wolverine, fox, or other small burrowing mammal) are well represented. Rogues with a wilderness slant, fighters who prefer archery, and even the occasional druid or barbarian can also be found among the Stalkers.
  • Background: Stalkers naturally gravitate toward Outlanders, though a few are Hermits. Regardless of their background, a Buffoon may take the following personality trait or flaw:
    • Personality Trait: I am most comfortable when I am waiting to ambush your prey.
    • Flaw: I am no fan of heavy, noisy armors, and I refuse to wear such burdensome gear, and would prefer it if others didn't.
  • Equipment: Even without the above flaw, Stalkers prefer light gear, typically wearing leather armor, without a shield. As survivalists, most will not be found without a sturdy rope.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Stalkers focus on observation and concealment: their primary interest is in Stealth, but Perception is also important for them. Survival lets them hunt and get along in the wild, and to track prey.

Stalker Training

Feat: Stalker

Your ability to hide in the wilderness is peerless. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You have advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide when in the wilderness
  • You can make Dexterity (Stealth) checks to hide when you are next to any plant or stone object that is bigger than you.

Design Notes

Most of a Stalker's abilities can probably be rolled into a ranger. However, their focus on stealth in the wilderness is worthy of expansion into a feat. Still, their +1 to ranged attacks is essentially the Archery fighting style, and their other abilities essentially translate into "they are good at stealth."


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
Rocktenders are spiritual kindred with cave and stone, deeply in touch with the dark world below ground. They revere the stone with a druidic ideology, believing it to be alive, and to have an interest in nurturing life.

Building a Rocktender

  • Ability Scores: A good Wisdom is a virtue for a Rocktender, allowing them to listen to the stones and hear what they are saying. Many also have quite the strong Constitution, pulling endurance from the stone that they revere.
  • Class: The most iconic rocktenders are druids (typically of the Circle of the Land) and clerics (typically of Life or Nature), but any class can become one with the right frame of mind and reverence for the earth. Monks, Barbarians, and even Fighters and Paladins can find kinship with the Rocktenders.
  • Background: Many Rocktenders are trained in the basics of their craft as Acolytes, though Hermits who live alone in deep caverns or atop high mountains are not uncommon. Regardless of their background, a Rocktender may take the following personality trait or flaw:
    • Personality Trait: I carry around a bit of stone that I speak to, and believe that it has magical properties.
    • Flaw: I believe that metal is the blood of the earth, and refuse to use equipment made of it.
  • Equipment: Even without the above flaw, Rocktenders tend to eschew metal gear, favoring leather, cloth, and stone. This leans them toward bludgeoning weapons (and the occasional sharpened stone point on a spear or arrow), but fairly light armor.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Rocktenders might gain proficiency in mason's tools, ennabling them to craft stone into their desired shape, given enough time. Many also learn Nature, as it can tell them much about how the earth and its inhabitants act.

Rocktender Training

Feat: Rocktender

Prerequisite: Ability to cast Conjure Elemental
You have a deep affinity with the earth. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Constitution score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You have advantage on Intelligence(Investigation) checks to notice hidden or obscured stonework, such as sloping passages, stone mechanisms, and faulty stonework.
  • You can tell when a cave-in, volcanic eruption, landslide, earthquake, or other tectonic event is imminent. When such a thing is going to happen, you learn of it 1d12 hours in advance.
  • If you lose control of an earth elemental you command via conjure elemental, it does not become hostile to you.

Design Notes

The Rocktender's abilities are a little on the weak side for a feat, and, with the exception of a narrow benefit regarding the conjure elemental spell, very dependent on DMs being aware of your abilities. Definitely something to re-visit at a later time. I couldn't find a place to slot the typical Rocktender "hinderance" of being in contact with rock to cast spells, either, and I'm not sure I entirely would like to…


original source: Complete Book of Gnomes and Halflings - 2e
The forest gnomes consider woodland sacred, and the Treetenders are the priests that protect and watch over the wild lands, removed from society.

Building a Treetender

  • Ability Scores: A solid Wisdom is the foundation for a Treetender, to be more in tune with the nature of things around them. This is often supported by a good Dexterity (for climbing around in trees).
  • Class: Most Treetenders are Druids from the Circle of the Land. Clerics of Nature and Rangers also present a sizable group.
  • Background: Most Treetenders are Hermits who live alone in the woods. They are not totally removed from society (they often appear at large seasonal festivals in a nearby village), but they certainly prefer their distance. Acolytes who serve under other nature priests are not uncommon, and neither are Outlanders. Regardless of their background, a Treetender may take the following bond or flaw:
    • Bond: I have a tract of forest that I am personally charged with protecting, and I don't intend to abandon that responsibility.
    • Flaw: I have a taboo against metal that means I won't use metal equipment.
  • Equipment: Even without the above flaw, Treetenders tend to eschew metal gear, favoring leather, cloth, and wood. Especially common are bows and spears. They are also skilled herbalists, and can create potions of healing.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Treetenders are trained in Nature, herbalism kits, Survival, and, often, Athletics (for climbing the trees).

Treetender Training

Feat: Treetender

You have a deep affinity with the trees. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Wisdom score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • You can pass through overgrown areas without leaving a trace.
  • You have Advantage on saving throws against effects that apply the Charmed condition when those effects originate from fey.
  • You learn Sylvan.

Design Notes

A little on the weak side, feat-wise, as well. Lots of overlap for a druid. Hermph.

Blade Bravo

original source: Races of Stone (3e)
Blade bravos are fancy gnomish fencers who attack larger targets.

Building a Blade Bravo

  • Ability Scores Dexterity and Charisma seem to be the favored in flavor, though Strength is likely to come into play often.
  • Class: Most Blade Bravos are Fighters (especially battle masters) or Rogues (especially assassins).
  • Background: Entertainers are popular, as are Gladiators. Some are able Charlatans.
    • Personality Trait: I don't back down from a contest, no matter how tough the opposition looks.
    • Flaw: I need to constantly prove myself, and I look to goad enemies into a challenge.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Focus on Dexterity and Charisma skills, such as Acrobatics, Deception, Sleight of Hand, and Performance. Make sure to grab a rapier, but keep lightly armored.

Blade Bravo Training

Feat: Giant-Killer

You know how to fight giants with ruthless efficiency. You gain the following benefits:

  • Increase your Dexterity by 1, to a maximum of 20.
  • Enemies who are Huge or larger have disadvantage on attack rolls against you
  • When you score a critical hit against a creature that is Huge or larger, you may roll your weapon damage dice one extra time and add it to your total.

Design Notes

Most of a Blade Bravo's abilities can be mimicked by a Battle Master Fighter (Goading Attack, Feinting Attack, and Riposte cover the flashier skills quite nicely), perhaps with a dash of rogue (for the sneak attack - no particular need to limit it to melee here). What's more difficult to mimic is some of the BB's abilities against larger creatures (especially their big AC boost). Hence, the feat.

College of Fools

Bards of the College of Fools are comedians, clowns, acrobats, and jesters, learning the delicate and precise magic of laughter. These bards realize that all knowledge is vanity, all valor is fleeting, and the only truth in this world is the inevitable collapse of all. They bear this out, bringing kings and heroes low in their pointed ridicule, upending civilizations while they are around, and spreading the ultimate heresy: that all the pomp and nobility is ultimately worthless.

A bard of this college isn't a mere wit or joke-teller, but a student of the subtle magic of pride and self-awareness. They dress garishly, behave recklessly, and are comfortable in the presence of the powerful and the grim — perhaps too comfortable.

Bonus Proficiencies

Once they enter the College of Fools, a bard gains proficiency in three of the following skills of the bard's choice: Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, or Sleight of Hand. They also gain tool proficiency in juggler's gear (including pins, daggers, even flaming torches).

Point and Laugh

Also at 3rd level, a bard in the College of Fools learns how to mock, belittle, and insult a creature for its weakness, rendering it momentarily incapable of defending itself or attacking. When a creature that you can see within 60 ft. of you misses on an attack roll, fails a saving throw or ability check, or is hit by an attack, you can use your reaction to expend one of your uses of Bardic Inspiration, rolling a Bardic Inspiration die. The number rolled applies as a penalty to the creature's attack rolls, saving throws, AC, and ability checks for one round. You use this feature after the roll is made, but before success or failure is announced. The creature is immune to your pointed words if it can't hear you, or if it's immune to being charmed.


At 6th level, you can take the Dodge action as a bonus action on your turn.

Critical Criticism

Starting at 14th level, a creature who is the target of your Point and Laugh feature is stunned for one round. After that round, it suffers from your Point and Laugh feature for an additional round before the effect ends.

Divine Prankster

original source: Races of Stone (3e)
Divine pranksters are clerics of trickery who have mastered a jester's performance to overcome their foes.

Building a Divine Prankster

  • Ability Scores Dexterity, Charisma, and Wisdom are all quite key for divine pranksters (though they can determine how much of the latter two scores they want themselves).
  • Class: Divine pranksters are bards, clerics, and bard/clerics, by and large. The clerics are almost exclusively pulled from those with the Trickery domain.
  • Background: Entertainers are popular. Some are able Charlatans. Acolytes are well-represented as well.
    • Ideal: Humor (Chaos). Things that are funny and things that are true go hand in hand, and for me, the two bleed into each other.
    • Flaw: I can't take serious scenarios seriously — to me, it is all one big joke.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Performance should be given a high priority, but other Charisma skills such as Deception and Persuasion are also critical. Wisdom, Intelligence, and Dexterity skills make up the next rung, depending upon your other focus — skills such as Religion, Acrobatics, and Insight can all be very useful.

Divine Prankster Training

Feat: Illusory Deception

Prerequisite: ability to cast at least one illusion spell, training in Deception
Your mastery of illusions leads you to study various other methods of eluding and deceiving your enemies without magic. You gain the following benefits:

  • Once per day, you may infuse an illusion spell you cast with extra power. Saving throws against this spell are made with disadvantage.
  • Once per round, when you provoke an opportunity attack, you may roll a Deception check and use the roll as your AC against that attack.
  • When you cast a spell, it is impossible to tell what spell it is based on your verbal or somatic components.

Design Notes

Many of a divine prankster's original abilities are rather weak sauce or oddly narrow, making it difficult to get an overall "vibe" from the mechanics. Most of the performances of a divine prankster can be replicated in spells — heroism inspires courage, suggestion can provoke an enemy's attack, and power word: kill is a great replication of a killing joke. Now that bards are more healing-focused as well, a divine prankster can serve as a leader and protector of their people without necessarily needing cleric levels, though the trickery domain supplies a lot of fun additional effects, if one goes the multiclass route. Of the three abilities that remain (zigzag, disguise spell, and infuse figment), the feat above was built.

Shadowcraft Mage

original source: Races of Stone (3e)
Shadowcraft mages are specialists in shadow magic, illusionists who duplicate the effects of other spells with semi-real shadow-stuff.

Building a Shadowcraft Mage

  • Ability Scores The spellcasting ability score of a shadowcraft mage is their primary ability score (be that Wisdom, Charisma, or Intelligence).
  • Class: Shadowcraft mages are typically wizards, though any class that can cast illusions might be open to the pursuit.
  • Background: Most are Sages, though some Acoltyes, Charlatans, and Spies are present as well.
    • Personality Trait: I think the distinction between lie and truth is mostly a matter of perspective.
    • Flaw: I'm afraid of being honest, and don't trust the truth to many.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Intelligence skills such as Arcana and Charisma skills such as Deception are prominent, and most will have Stealth to enable them to hide when concealing themselves.

Shadowcraft Mage Training

Feat: Shadow Illusionist

Prerequisite: ability to cast at least one illusion spell that creates illusory sensory effects
You can pull out bits of shadow and weave it into your illusion spells. When you use an illusion spell that produces illusory sensory effects, you can infuse it with shadow-stuff, making it partly real. Spells that can be augmented with this feat include disguise self, hallucinatory terrain, major image, minor illusion, mirage arcane, phantasmal force, programmed illusion, project image, seeming, and silent image. This has the following effects:

  • Illusion spells cast with this feat are difficult to see through, and creatures who make skill checks to discern the illusion for what it is take disadvantage on those skill checks. Creatures who see through the illusion (such as with truesight, or with a successful skill check) see only shadow — they cannot see what is underneath.
  • Physical interaction with these spells allows for an automatic skill check, but does not automatically reveal the effect as an illusion, and the illusions so created can have actual effects that their real versions would have (such as supporting weight, or providing cover). However, the shadowstuff is weak, and objects created with it are only half as strong as they would otherwise be (for instance, they weigh half as much, bear half the weight, have half as many hit points, and their damage threshold is half of what it would normally be).
  • Illusion spells cast with this feat can cause real damage, as the illusory blades and flames created are partially real. If the illusion is one that can cause damage, any creature who is damaged is allowed an immediate skill check to see the illusion for what it is. Failure causes them to take up to 1d6 damage per spell level. Success still causes them to take half damage, from the actual shadows.

Feat: Cloaked Illusionist

Prerequisite: ability to cast at least one illusion spell
You can use shadowstuff to enhance your illusions and cloak yourself. You receive the following benefits:

  • As a free action, you can surround yourself with a cloak of shadow. This cloak imposes disadvantage on all attack rolls. It doesn't function in daylight, and can be dispelled with any spell or effect that creates light. Creatures that can see through magical darkness can see through this cloak as well. In addition, you are able to use the cloak to make Stealth checks to hide. Maintaining the cloak requires concentration.
  • Once per short rest, when you cast an illusion spell with a duration of 1 minute or longer, you can double its duration, to a maximum of 24 hours.
  • When you cast an illusion spell, you don't need to use verbal components.

Design Notes

Two feats! There's no spell currently in 5e that replicates the effect of spells like shadow conjuration, shadow evocation, or shades, and for pretty good reason: the main function of these spells is to cast other spells, but "weaker," making them far too versatile in the hands of an abusive player. Still, the idea of using shadow-stuff to make an illusion "real" is a good story hook, and such a concept deserves support. So what that looks like in 5e was re-thought from the ground up to be the Shadow Illusionist feat: such a caster can make illusions with semi-real effects (including damage), using existing illusion spells. The second feat essentially grabs the other three character traits from the class and rolls them together — the main appeal there is the cloak of shadow, which, in the right circumstances, can be a powerful effect, but is limited by its concentration requirement.

Gnome Giant-Slayer

original source: Complete Warrior (3e)
Just what it says on the tin: a gnome who slays giants.

Building a gnome giant-slayer

  • Ability Scores Dexterity is very important for these agile warriors, and Strength is a close second.
  • Class: Typically Fighters (especially Champions). Rangers (hunters) and rogues (assassins) are also welcome to try their hand.
  • Background: Folk Heroes are rampant. Some Soldiers as well. A few Gladiators.
    • Personality Trait: I like big challenges — the bigger they are, they harder they fall!
    • Flaw: I am prone to getting in over my head when my aim outstrips my skill.
  • Skills & Proficiencies: Dexterity-based skills like Acrobatics and Sleight of Hand are key, and a dabble in Athletics never hurt. Don't worry about heavy armor — gnome giant-slayers need to stay mobile!

Gnome Giant-Slayer Training

(see Blade Bravo, above)

Design Notes

The challenge here is that a lot of gnome giant-slayer abilities are broadly useful, but put into a Giant-specific niche, and aren't otherwise relevant to fighting giants. Much of a giant-slayer's abilities can be summed up in a simpler package, and the Blade Bravo has already done it.