Quote Originally Posted by Naughtical View Post
I think my request has been largely misunderstood. I was not looking for a way to shoehorn them into BR with minimal changes, but adding them to the background wholesale. I.e. like dwarves and elves, they've always been there (and have always been known by humans). Probably even pre-human, at least in Cerilia.

I realize that gnomes did not exist in Scandinavian myth. But if you were going to give them a similar treatment (as was done with the elves and dwarves of BR), what would you do with them? What is their culture like? What was their involvement in the the wars between the gods? What are they like now? What is their opinion of humans? How do they fit into the political world of BR?

I've got a few ideas floating around in my head, but I was hoping to get some thoughts on the subject before I infected you all with my notions.
I agree that the flighty tech inventor stereotype that first appeared in Krynn did no favors to gnomes outside of the Dragonlance universe. I do have to admit that I like the way Eberron portrays the race, though. In Eberron, gnomes are obsessed with knowledge. Gnomes believe that every scrap of knowledge is or will one day become important. Of coure, their favorite use for said knowledge is as blackmail against their political rivals but that's more of a national passtime rather than outright maliciousness.

In Eberron, gnomes are cunning and wily. An invading kingdom wants to conquer our lil nation? "Ok, we surrender!" Then they sign a treaty that says in big letters "You da king!" with fine print that makes the gnome territory a quasi-independent, self-governing entity who the king is obligated to protect should it ever be threatened. Thanks, your majesty!

People are aware of the gnomes' general thirst for knowledge. Their nation has the largest library on the continent and the Korranberg Chronicle, weekly broadsheets (newspapers) is the most trusted news source with distribution in each of Khorvaire's 12 nations. They are not a nation of tinkerers and inventors but they are widely respected as ship builders.

Clearly you'd have to rework them to fit into your version of Cerilia but if you want to lean into these qualities, it gives you a starting point to begin finding ways to integrate them seamlessly into Birthright. But if you lean into those traits, they it makes sense that gnomes were native to Djapar and immigrated to Cerilia along with the Basarji. In fact, they likely also worshiped Basaia since knowledge was part of her portfolio.

If you want to give them their own realm like a gnome version of The Burrows, you could easily replace the Maze of Malavar with a gnome nation. These gnomes would technically be Rock Gnomes but perhaps with a different name. Say, Sun Gnomes.

In contrast, you could make a 2nd gnome realm that leans into the Forest Gnome subrace. Perhaps call them Moon Gnomes. Moon Gnomes could be natives of Cerilia who have always been there. They could be a minority population in most human cultures, similar to halflings. As for their homeland, perhaps Moon Gnomes use their natural affinity for illusion to hide their realm from Cerilia in order to protect it. If that were the case, the logical place for their hidden nation would be in the Vosgaard region known as the Mistmoor.

You could also create a Shadow Gnome subrace that live underground somewhere.

There are just some of the ways you could include gnomes into your version of Birthright. Even if you don't like my suggestions, I would say your best bet for seamless integration is to figure out a way that compliments the source material in some fashion. That's why I tied knowledge-hungry gnomes to the Basarji/Basaia and tied gnomes who have a natural aptitude for illusion to a mysterious place rumored to be haunted.

Hope that helps!