Hello gnomes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the second episode of our gnome subrace series. Today we’re going to be going over the forest gnome which is found in the good old player’s handbook and honestly i’m not pretty big fan of them for the most part. Gnomes are a weird race cause i haven’t seen them played a whole lot, personally i don’t think i’ve ever played a gnome outside of maybe a one shot here and there and even then i’m not one hundred percent certain about that.
In any case the forest gnome has a couple cool abilities, features and traits that might make it worth taking. In any case let’s now move on to the forest gnomes description and traits.
Table of Contents
As a forest gnome, you have a natural knack for illusion and inherent quickness and stealth. In the worlds of D&D, forest gnomes are rare and secretive. They gather in hidden communities in sylvan forests, using illusions and trickery to conceal themselves from threats or to mask their escape should they be detected. Forest gnomes tend to be friendly with other good-spirited woodland folk, and they regard elves and good fey as their most important allies. These gnomes also befriend small forest animals and rely on them for information about threats that might prowl their lands.
First and foremost they’ll gain a plus one bonus to dexterity. They’ll also gain a natural illusonist: You know the minor illusion cantrip, intelligence is your spellcasting ability for it. Minor illusion is arguably one of the more useful cantrips in 5E. It is outshadowed by a couple here and there depending on how you use them. But that being said, it’s still perfectly a viable choice and adds a ton of potential opportunities for your character.
They’ll also gain a speak with small beasts: This feature in particular is a huge blessing in my opinion. Through sound and gestures you can communicate simple ideas with a small or smaller beasts. There is a little bit of flavor text attached to this in the player’s handbook that written as forest gnomes love animals and often keep squirrels, badgers, rabbits, moles, woodpeckers and other creatures as beloved pets.
This is really cool! Because not only is there the mechanical benefit of being able to communicate with these animals at least in simple terms. But you also have a nasty habit of your race collecting them as pets. Maybe not a nasty habit but a habit nonetheless. You can use this to execute certain plans, gather informations or even use your animal companions to perhaps gain advantage on certain charisma checks.
Namely persuasion, intimidation as their cute little puppy dog eyes or their fearful rabies teeth bar at people. I think that’d be pretty neat and just a creative way to use these creatures in general. I don’t feel like you’d be able to have them be active in combat at least not without certain class features to justify that. However in small amounts i could see them being useful to you. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts about the forest gnome.
I actually think they’re pretty good for what they are. In terms of viable play styles or class combinations. I think they’d make a very very cool twist on the arcane trickster. Instead of being a edgelord, a dark and mysterious form of rogue you can instead be one that just a badass lorax. You speak for the trees and all that stuff, i think that’d be pretty cool!
Alternatively you could of course become a more caster focused, becoming just a wizard taking advantage of that plus two that the gnomes get and then being a little bit more dexterous as well. Maybe even making yourself more of a front line wizard that uses something like shadow blade or booming blade or green flame blade or what have you in the front lines and kind of uses dexterity to nimbly jump around.
Something like that would be pretty fun or even as a ranger taking advantage of that dexterity and that speak with small beasts already. There’s a lot of cool ways you could go about using the forest gnome, that being said let me know what you think down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns you have about the forest gnome and any cool stories or character ideas you have as well. As always i hope you all have a wonderful day and of course happy adventuring.