DnD Gnome 5e guide

From names to subraces, create your very own DnD Gnome 5e character using the top TTRPG tips from Wizards of the Coast and Wargamer

DnD Gnome 5e looking thoughtful while reading (art by Wizards of the Coast)

For the DnD Gnome 5e race, life is often all about invention, exploration, and excitement. Gnome TTRPG characters have plenty they want to see and learn in life, and they’ve got a few centuries to do it. It’s no wonder they make such great D&D characters.

Your options for character classes and types aren’t limited by the Gnome race, either. Their size may rule them out of some TTRPG combat scenarios, but their intelligence and vivacity mean they can set their minds to plenty of other callings. Whether they want to be a spellcaster, storyteller, or tinkerer, when your Gnome character steps out of their burrow home, the multiverse is their oyster.

With so much adventuring to do, you don’t want to spend an eternity drafting up your DnD Gnome 5e character sheet. Not to worry – we’ve put our heads together to create the ultimate Gnome guide, complete with key info on names, traits, subraces, and optimal classes. That way, you can get your next gnome-y journey started sooner.

Here’s everything you need to know about the DnD Gnome 5e race:

DnD Gnome 5e smiling (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Gnome 5e names

Gnomes give each other countless names and nicknames, but they tend to stick to two or three when interacting with other humanoids. You can have as many names as you like for your Gnome, but a first name, clan name, and nickname are good places to start.

Gnome clan names include Daergel, Garrick, Scheppen, and Timbers. A gnome’s nickname is typically (but not exclusively) a single descriptive word or two of these words combined. Examples include Aleslosh, Finecraft, Grime, or Sparklegem.

Here are a few examples of Gnome 5e male names:

  • Alvyn
  • Gerbo
  • Jorston
  • Kelgrim
  • Orryn
  • Sinver

And here are some Gnome 5e female names:

  • Ellyjobell
  • Lorilla
  • Orrhana
  • Nibi
  • Roywyn
  • Spinoa 

DnD Gnome 5e seen from behind tinkering at a workbench (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Gnome 5e traits

Here are the basic Gnome 5e stats and traits:

Ability score increase +2 Intelligence
Size Small
Speed 25ft
Features Darkvision 60ft, Gnome Cunning
Languages Common, Gnomish

Gnome Cunning means all gnomes have advantage on Wisdom, Charisma, and Intelligence saving throws against magic. As with all races, the Customisable Origins rules from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything can give your ability scores and chosen languages more flexibility. 

DnD Gnome 5e casting electric magic on a beast (art by Wizards of the Coast)

Gnome 5e subraces

There are four Gnome 5e subraces to choose from:

Deep Gnome 5e

Deep Gnomes, also known as Svirfneblin, are typically found living underground. This gifts them with 120ft of superior darkvision, an understanding of the Undercommon language, and advantage on Stealth checks to hide in rocky terrain. Their Dexterity ability score is also increased by one – must be all the rock-climbing they’re doing.

Rock Gnome 5e

Rock Gnomes are as tough as stone, so it seems logical they’d get a plus one Constitution score. These gnomes can add twice their proficiency bonus to History checks made on magic, alchemical, or technological objects. They’re proficient with artisan’s tools, and they can easily create a tiny clockwork toy, firestarter, or musical device with an hour and ten gold pieces to spare.

Mark of Scribing Gnome 5e

The Mark of Scribing gifts these Gnomes with powers of supernatural communication. Their Charisma ability score increases by one, and can add the results of a d4 to any check that involves History or calligrapher’s supplies. Mark of Scribing Gnomes also have spellcasting abilities – they can cast Message, Comprehend Languages, and Magic Mouth.

Those with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature can also learn the following spells:

  • Comprehend Languages
  • Illusory Script
  • Animal Messenger
  • Silence
  • Sending
  • Tongues
  • Arcane Eye
  • Confusion
  • Dream

Forest Gnome 5e

The rare Forest Gnome makes themselves even rarer with illusion and stealth. They can cast the Minor Illusion cantrip using their Intelligence, and they get a plus one to Dexterity. They can also communicate simple ideas to Small (or smaller) beasts. 

DnD Gnome 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of an Artificer firing a gun at a pursuing opponent

Best Gnome 5e classes

If you’re using a Gnome’s original ability score, there are plenty of classes that benefit from that innate Intelligence modifier. An Artificer and a Wizard would get the most out of this boost, and both classes can take advantage of your character’s Gnome Cunning.

A Rogue is also a solid choice for any Gnome character. Arcane Trickster Rogues will get the most out of the Intelligence boost, but Deep Gnomes and Forest Gnomes offer additional dexterity bonuses to make any Rogue build more viable.

Specific subraces lend themselves to different classes. The Mark of Scribing subrace gives you the Charisma you need to make an effective Bard, Sorcerer, and Warlock character possible, and dexterity-focused Gnomes can make serviceable Fighters, Blood Hunters, and Rangers.