Ardalkhayan Gnomes (5e Subrace)

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Ardalkhayal Campaign Setting
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Gnome Subrace[edit]

An Ardalkhayan gnomish ranger, wearing Piston-Powered Exogloves and wielding a hand cannon.
Gidget, Gnome Tinker by Salvinicus.
Desire To Know More

Ardalkhayan gnomes are a highly advanced, if not the most advanced, subrace of humanoids on Ardalkhayal. They possess a superior knowledge of magic, and an inherent proficiency for tinkering. As a result, many often choose to become historians, sages, engineers, researchers, scholars, investigators, inventors, or magic-users of the wizard or sorcerer variety. In rare cases, they might seek out combat and become a ranger or even a bard. Some less-than-desirable Ardalkhayan gnomes will turn their back on societal progress, in favor of darker, self-fulfilling paths, such as that of a rogue or warlock. Those who do are rarely ever lawful, and tend towards a chaotic alignment.
Due to their short stature, it is unusual, but not uncommon, to see an Ardalkhayan gnome in a class favoring melee attacks, such as a barbarian or fighter, but nonetheless they will undoubtedly exist, most likely powered by some ridiculous mechanics they designed in order to make up for their shortcomings.

Living Legacy

No matter what their caste, all Ardalkhayan gnomes undergo an apprenticeship with either their own family or another of their caste, starting when they turn 20, ending after 5 + 1d4 years. After finishing their apprenticeship, Ardalkhayan gnomes are assigned jobs within their cities based on the skills they displayed proficiency in.


Ardalkhayan gnome societies are founded around a rather unusual caste system. Rather than your typical "sort by income/role" caste system, Ardalkhayan gnomes generally fall into one of five castes, which are determined by the renown of your family name. As a result, the average Ardalkhayan gnome feels that it is their duty to create The Next Big Thing and increase their, and their family's, rank.

  • At the very bottom are the Fledgling Caste. Nowadays it is very rare to see a gnome of the fledgling caste, due to the lengthy history of gnomes usually resulting in most families having at least a couple inventions, but there are a few. Generally, fledgling caste members would be those of a non-Ardalkhayan gnome subrace.
  • Near the bottom, we have the Olden Caste. Families in this caste have/had one or two useful inventions, but they are either very rarely used, or are now outdated, such as the Greasy Lantern.
  • In the middle we have the Producer Caste. Families in this caste are known by name, if not in every house. Gnomes in this caste generally strive to produce a new invention or prototype every 20 years.
  • Moving near the top we have the Life-changer Caste. A family in this caste would be known for producing a series of life-changing inventions, such as launch-able flask bombs or retractable armor. Life-changers, or "lifers" as they're commonly called, can have anywhere from three to twenty inventions tied to their name, or even more in rare cases.
  • At the highest rank we have the World-changer Caste. A family in this caste typically doesn't produce any new inventions, and instead are rich beyond belief due to the groundbreaking nature of their ancestors' creations, such as airships or auto-gnomes. It is very rare to see a Revolutionary, as they are typically gnomish royalty, and are usually confined to their Royal Quarters.
  • Ever-known, but never talked about, are the Caste-less. These are families, or individuals, who have shamed their kin, or families, and have been stripped of any privileges. Common reasons for becoming a Caste-less include: High-level crime such as Royal Assassination, Giving away treasured gnomish knowledge such as that of creating an auto-gnome, Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism (of another Ardalkhayan gnome, anyways).


In addition to the normal traits gnomes get, you also gain the following:
Ability Score Increase. Choose either your Wisdom or Intelligence score, and increase it by 2. Increase the score not chosen by 1.
Improved Tinkering. You gain a natural proficiency with artisan's tools(tinker tools). Whenever you attempt to craft an object using tinker's tools, the time spent is halved.
Clockwork Companion. As the final step of your apprenticeship, you built yourself a clockwork cube. Once per day, as an action, you can deploy your clockwork companion, which can take on a multitude of forms. A clockwork companion can only hold one form in addition to its basic cube form at a time, and you must spend at least 4 hours outside of combat tinkering a new form into it if you wish to use a different one. You gain new forms as you level up, and you can only change the secondary form, not the cube form. After a clockwork companion is deployed, it lasts until it either dies, or runs out of energy, either of which causes it to revert to its cube form, and it cannot be used again until you complete a short or long rest.

Clockwork Companion Forms[edit]

At 1st level your companion cube gains the ability to become a Clockwork Guide or a Clockwork Messenger.
At 3rd level you add Clockwork Beetle Bomb and Clockwork Medic to your list of possible forms.
At 5th level you can also add Clockwork Shredder and Clockwork Turret to your list of possible forms.
Please note that, your clockwork companion can only become one of these forms at a time, and to change its form you still have to spend time to modify it.

Variant: Consult your DM before using this variant. At higher levels you can add even more forms not listed here, as long as they are construct type creatures.

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