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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 Dungeons and Dragons 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’re a fan favorite – and this guide has all you need to make one, including One D&D Gnome stats, Gnome subraces, traits, ideal classes, and name tips.

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

To get your Gnome-y journey started, read on for our ultimate DnD 5e Gnome guide, complete with key info on names, traits, subraces, and optimal DnD classes to choose – here’s what’s included:

  • Gnome 5e names
  • Gnome 5e traits
  • Gnome 5e subraces
  • Best Gnome 5e classes
  • One DnD Gnomes

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 seen from behind tinkering at a workbench (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 - Wizards of the Coast art of an Artificer firing a gun at a pursuing opponent

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 Customizable Origins rules from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything can give your ability scores and chosen languages more flexibility.  

Best Gnome 5e classes

If you’re using a Gnome’s original ability score, there are plenty of 5e classes for Gnomes that benefit from that innate Intelligence modifier. An Artificer 5e or Wizard 5e character would get the most out of this boost, and both classes can take advantage of your character’s Gnome Cunning.

The Rogue 5e class 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 5e, Sorcerer 5e, or Warlock 5e character possible – and Dexterity-focused Gnomes can make serviceable members of the Fighter 5e, Blood Hunter 5e, and Ranger 5e classes.

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One DnD Gnomes

In the first Unearthed Arcana playtest document for One DnD, the rules for all species have been revised. Ability score bonuses have been completely decoupled from the species, so One DnD Gnomes can be tough, dexterous, or charismatic, as well as intelligent.

One DnD Gnomes have the same small size and 60ft Darkvision as DnD 5e Gnomes. There are subtle differences to their other abilities.

Ability One DnD Gnome 5e Gnome
Speed 30ft 25ft
Gnomish cunning Advantage on Wisdom, Charisma and Intelligence saves Advantage on Wisdom, Charisma and Intelligence saves against magic
Forest gnomes Can cast Speak with Animals a number of times per day equal to proficiency bonus Can communicate with small animals
Rock gnome Know Mending and Prestidigitation cantrips.
Can spend ten minutes creating a device that reproduces a single Prestidigitation cantrip.
Double proficiency bonus on History checks relating to made objects.
Can spend ten minutes crafting a fire starter, music box, or clockwork toy.

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