Saturday, June 12, 2021

Updated Gnome Class (OSR D&D-BECMI)

The next character class on my update list is the gnome. The experimental version I'd posted back in March was a bit controversial. Some readers didn’t like the idea of a gnome illusionist, so I’ll split the class into a simple warrior and an illusionist version. If you want something else entirely, you have the tools to create a class option that meets your goals. Again, there’s plenty of room for options!

Art Credit: D&D Gnome fan art by Sam Rowan -- ImaginaryGnomes on Art Station

Background: This is part of an ongoing series of articles about level progression mechanics. It all started with experimental updates to the magic-user and cleric spellcasting tables posted last January. A number of updated or new character classes followed. Feedback on those was useful—thank you! Suggestions will be incorporated in later updates wherever practical. This led me to create a user-friendly Excel spreadsheet to help put numbers together quickly and easily. This spreadsheet is particularly useful in making sense of the math used when creating homebrew character classes, and in ensuring some degree of consistency across the board. Click here for info on updated saving throws.

The Updated Gnome

I compiled the various features and abilities given in the source article to obtain a simple warrior class, and another with the magical abilities described originally. You’ll have to go back and refresh your memory about the initial design.

1. Gnome Fighter: Chop up the magical skills and feed them to the wolves. Keep all the racial and fighter abilities, and you end up with a Base xp 1,800. The saving throws are the same for both gnome classes.

2. Gnome Illusionist: Keep all the racial abilities. Reduce the fighting skills and related combat abilities to those of a cleric. Weapons and armor permitted are those of a standard magic-user. The original article describes magical skills (abilities rather than traditional spells). The gnome illusionist ends up with a Base xp 1,700.

Resulting experience tracks based on the Excel spreadsheet are listed below. If you're looking for the author, he fled south of the border.