Gnome — Rock Gnome Subrace 5E

Hello gnomes! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the fourth and currently final episode of the gnome subrace series. At least currently i really hope wizards of the coast adds in mor because i find what’s here to be a little bit plain jane relative to a lot of the other races and sub races in 5E. In any case we’re going out with a bang…we’re going out with the rock gnome which is found in the player’s handbook and for players handbook subrace actually has quite a bit going on. In any case let’s dive right in to the rock gnome by checking out its traits here.


In terms of your ability score improvement you’ll gain a plus one to constitution which is really fantastic regardless of which class you’re playing constution is almost always one of your paramount stats. The only real exception is maybe the rogue, if especially if you’re playing a further back ranged character then maybe CON isn’t super important to you. But outside of that it’s almost always required. You’ll also gain

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Artificer’s lore.

When you make a history check related to magic items, alchemical objects or technological devices you can add twice your proficiency bonus instead of any proficiency bonus you’d normally able to apply.

This is essentially expertise, when it comes to these really niche checks. This is very similar to the rock dwarf which is pretty cool! I’m actually really excited about this and i’m surprised i don’t see it used more often in games. The gnomes aren’t necessarily the most popular race so there is that but still this is a really cool ability to have. Especially if you don’t have someone with detect magic or even if you do have someone with detect magic.

The detect magic doesn’t inherently tell you what the object or item does, it only tells you the school of magic so if you don’t happen to have something like identify for example, then this trait is super useful. Even when it comes to things that aren’t necessarily magical in nature, alchemical objects for example could very easily just refer to potions and that could open up your game to things like poisons, certain bombs or grenades or poison tipped arrows things of that nature could be really super useful.

And then technological devices might not even mean weapons it could mean. Obelisks or shrines or ancient technology in general. I think that’d be really cool. Discuss this with your dungeon master of course, there’s a lot for them to work with here if they choose to but that’s ultimately their call to make. Now let’s move on to the other trait the rock gnome gets.


 This is actually one of the more interesting traits i’ve seen in any sub-race. You have proficiency with the artisan’s tools namely tinker’s tools. Using those tools, you can spend 1 hour and 10 gold piece worth of materials to construct a tiny clockwork device. It has an AC of 5 and one hit point. The device ceases to function after 24 hours unless you spend one hour repairing it to keep the device functioning or when you use your action to dismantle it. At that time you can reclaim the materials used to create it, you can have up to three such devices active at a time.

This is really neat. It provide some examples for what those advices it can be, the first is a clockwork toy that resembles a animal monster person something of that nature and when placed on the ground the toy moves five feet for each year turn in a random direction and makes noises appropriate for the creature represents.

You can also make a fire starter which is pretty much what it sounds like, device that produces a miniature flame which you can use to light candles torches campfires, using the device requires your action or you can make a music box. When opened this music box plays a single song at moderate volume. The box stops playing when it reaches the song’s end or when it is closed.

I think this is awesome! all of these are really cool to me, especially at those early levels where odds are you’re not going to survive for very long unless you employ some more creative tactics. It is a little disappointing that there’s no way for these to scale up. However a dungeon master might be a little bit lenient in that area. That being said however if you have any cool ideas for other trinkets to make or other gadgets you might be able to construct, let me know down beneath in the comments section. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts regarding the rock gnome.


I think these guys obviously make perfect artificers, it’s literally the name of one of their traits. So they make these little gadgets it really does suit them, maybe a clan artisan as well for a background makes sense for them. That being said, i just think they’re super neat. There’s a lot you can do with them and they’re really versatile simply because a plus one to constitution is really great.

Artificer’s lore makes sense in almost any campaign and tinkerer makes sense in almost any campaign as well. However i do think the artificer is what they’re more geared towards. Very interesting stuff! As i mentioned earlier this is the last article currently for the gnome series so might as well give you guys a quick heads up as to what’s happening next.

Next we’re gonna be diving into the half elves and then the halflings from there. There are a couple half elf variants we’re gonna have to cover so that series should go on for a little bit longer than the gnome did. Sadly there’s just not a lot of attention that the gnome seems to have been given in recent iterations which is a little disappointing but whatever it is what it is.

I know a couple people in the comment section are noman mains and they really do like them especially as it relates to casters. However i don’t know it’s an interesting race might make for some cool thematic and role play opportunities. However for the most part i still think they’re kind of mad to be honest. The rock gnome and the mark of the scribing gnome are probably two of the better ones however i don’t know.

Yeah…half elf then halfling and then we’ll keep going through the player handbook races and sub races and then we’ll eventually move on and cover the supplements as well.


If you have any thoughts, questions, comments or concerns related to the rock gnome or any character ideas, concepts or stories feel free to put those down beneath as well. That being said, i hope you all have a wonderful day and of course happy adventuring everyone.

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