Lawn Gnomes (3.5e Race)

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Lawn Gnomes[edit]

Before antiquity there lived a race of gnomes not unlike those that live today. They were inventive and inquisitive and excelled at all manner of constructions and inventions, but most of all, they loved practical jokes. In fact, their entire civilization was built around humiliating and embarrassing the races of men and dwarves that they shared their mountain home with.


When the great wars of the First Time were fought, and evil was cast down from Erth into the outer planes, these gnomes had plagued the armies of the Evil One with constant inconveniences and humiliating setbacks of such insignificant proportions that his infernal host lost all its spirit and welcomed exile in their new home in Hell. So it was that the gods of good and balance invited these gnomish heroes to their celestial abode to celebrate their part in the victory. But the gnomes could not help themselves, and the gods soon regretted the invitation for so great was the ability of the gnomes to cause mischief that the gods themselves groaned and were wroth. Finally, a great god of the elves, and a wizard of the greatest ability and compassion placed a curse upon the gnomes that they should be still of joint and muscle and be as stone. The gnomes were removed from the celestial planes and returned to Earth. However, in his mercy, the mage left a chance of escape for the gnomes. Each night on a full moon they are unbound and freed to act and do for themselves until dawn. The curse will be broken entirely if they can pass a night without a prank. Over the ages of time, much of their race has been lost, they have been scattered and sold throughout the planes, the gods who they once plagued have all been forgotten, but still they remain, not one of them has broken his curse or gone a light without playing a practical joke.


The Lawn gnomes are the ultimate jokers. No trick is to great or to small. They are obsessive-compulsive about practical jokes and cannot pass one up. This race is not recommended for PCs, due to the limited dimensions of their personalities, but imagine the PCs who awake after sleeping near the forest of the lawn gnomes to find their hands sewn to their heads or their pants missing. Lawn gnomes are never seen, but their mythos has built and while few believe in them today, those who encounter them will never forget it.

Physical Description[edit]

Lawn Gnomes are short even by gnomish standards, 2 ½- 2 feet tall. Their complexions are often fair, and their beards are usually white (they are 1000s of years old). They dress in tunics and loose pants, and usually wear boots unless they are sneaking, then they go barefoot. They are unusually long lived, and while petrified, are as tough as adamant. There is no known incidence of a lawn gnome dying or being killed while not in stone form.


Lawn gnomes love all living things, but are self-centered and insensitive to the feelings of others, not out of malice, but out of lack of self-control. A lawn gnome will spontaneously initiate a practical joke upon site with any member of any race, and must succeed at a reflex save 18 to get the opportunity to make a will save of 15 to pass the opportunity. It is not surprising that few races can long stand a lawn gnome, much less a pack of them. And even other gnomes and halflings soon tire of their relentless barrage of mischief. They are fearless, but oblivious to reality and view even their curse as a big joke and one easily escaped...tomorrow.


Whatever their alignment, lawn gnomes are always chaotic. They are wild and cannot be ruled even by themselves. While good-natured and mirthful, their constant annoyance and harassment lead many races to think of them as evil, though they are truly most often neutral.


The mountain which was once the home of the lawn gnomes has long been worn flat by time. Their curse left their civilization wasted, and they exist now only as artifacts and ornaments throughout the planes. to be arisen at the appointed time to fail their test and be re-petrified in the dawn.


The gods once revered by the lawn gnomes have long since faded from memory, they may worship who they will, but always gods of mischief, though even the gods won’t have them as worshippers.


The tongue of the lawn gnome has been long lost to lore. They often know enough gnomish or dwarvish to communicate, but seldom try except to mock some poor soul they have picked on. They understand, but do not speak the common tongue.


Lawn gnomes adventure to learn new pranks or to find new locales to try their old tricks out on. They don’t want power, and don’t care about politics or religion. Occasionally, when a lawn gnome has grown so obnoxiously expert at his craft that even his own kind can no longer stand him, he is sent away to far off lands as some prank arranged by his family (arranged to have him sold to traders from another plane, etc.). Usually, a lawn gnome travels because his petrified form is bought and sold, or else stolen by some unfortunate tomb raider.


Starting Ages Same as for gnome.

Ageing Effects Due to the curse placed upon them, lawn gnomes do not die of old age, but also do not reproduce.

Height and Weight 18 inches +2d6 & 24 pounds +2d6

Racial Traits[edit]

  • Stat Bonuses: +4 Dex, -4 Str. Lawn gnomes are quick and sneaky, but have little prudence and self-control.
  • Size: Small. Lawn gnomes get a +1 bonus to AC, attack, and all other appropriate modifications.
  • Low-light vision: Due to their nocturnal life style, lawn gnomes can see twice as far a humans in low light conditions.
  • +4 racial bonus on saving throws to resist enchantments and divinations. Though their wills are weak, they are difficult to control or predict even with magic.
  • +4 racial bonus on Spot and Sense Motive checks to detect a prank. Lawn gnomes are always pulling practical jokes, and expect that at any given moment someone could be pulling one on them.
  • +1 racial bonus on saves against traps.
  • They receive Uncanny Dodge as an automatic bonus feat and can never be caught flat-footed. They are difficult to deceive, impossible to ambush.
  • +2 racial bonus on listen checks. Gnomes have excellent hearing and lawn gnomes are no exception.
  • Adamant Body (su): When not animated by the light of the full moon, lawn gnomes are petrified as if by the spell flesh to stone except that they have damage reduction 15/+3 adamantine and are vaguely aware of what passed while they are stone. No one knows what would happen if a Lawn Gnome broke the curse by going a night without a prank because it has never happened before. Some think that it would signal the end of the world.


Lawn Gnomes can favor any class that allows them to cause mischief and pull pranks. Rogue would do, but I never had a PC play a Lawn Gnome, they were always antagonists and I always made them high level rogues with a few spells. It is possible for the DM to allow a Lawn Gnome PC to be free of the curse, perhaps being able to use his Adamant Body as a 1/day spell-like ability.

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