Hello gnomes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the first of the gnome sub-races. We’re going to be talking about the Deep gnome today also known as this svirfneblin and this is found in the sword coast adventurers guide. It was initially released in the elemental evil players companion though memory serves but was made official in the sword coast adventurers guide. At least i’m pretty sure that’s how it worked out, i don’t know my memory is a little bit hazy around these guys, i haven’t played gnome nearly enough to really be an authority on them to be fair so there’s that.
These guys live like deep underground so forest gnomes and rock gnomes are the gnomes most commonly encountered in the lands of the surface world. There is another sub-race of gnomes rarely seen by any surface-dweller: Deep gnomes also known as svirfneblin. Guarded, and suspicious of outsiders, svirfneblin are cunning and taciturn, but can be just as kind-hearted, loyal, and compassionate as their surface cousins.
Very cool stuff! I kind of like them, they’re about as edgy as gnomes get in 5E and they’re still pretty nice and kind hearted and all that good stuff. They’re just a lot more withdrawn and crafty maybe pursuing alternative means of accomplishing relatively simple goals. Now let’s move on to their traits.
- Ability Score Increase: +1 DEX
- Languages: Speak, Read and Write Undercommon
- Stone Camouflage: Advantage on stealth checks to hide in rocky terrain.
- Superior Darkvision: Your darkvision has a radius of 120 feet.
Right out of the gate they get a +1 to dexterity as their ability score improvement. Under languages they also gain the ability to speak, read and write undercommon which based on your campaign may or may not be super useful. They’ll gain a stone camouflage which is similar ish to mask of the wild but a little bit better in some cases.
It gives you advantage on stealth checks to hide in rocky terrain. Which is pretty neat becuse regardless of what area you are there’s probably going to be rocks kicking around. And they gain superior darkvision which extends your darkvision from your aforementioned 60 feet all the way up to 120 feet which is pretty great.
It seems like they’re modeled to be more so rogues and more stealthy arranged based classes that would explain the dexterity the Camouflage and the darkvision. But i mean i’m sure they’d make great casters as well taking advantage of that darkvision once again. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts regarding them.
Out of all the gnome sub-races i find them to be the most flavorful and there’s the most you could do with them in terms of role playing. However in terms of raw traits they leave a little bit to be desired. They are of course heavily geared towards the stealthy, rogue-esque playthrough. However especially with the introduction of a marked gnome they fall relatively short and even the forest gnome with its natural illusionist might actually make for a better stealth playthrough.
However who knows it really does come down to personal preference, if you like the way they look can you think of some cool ideas for them i’d love to hear it down beneath but they’re certainly stacked up fine compared to the vast majority of the other sub races, so pick it if you like it won’t hold you back at all.
That being said! if you have any ideas, thoughts, questions, comments, concerns about the deep gnome let me know down beneath in the comment section i’m looking forward to hearing from you. As always i hope you all have a wonderful day and of course happy adventuring.