Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Some Thoughts on Gnomes for Swords & Wizardry Light

It came up recently in a discussion online. You know the type.


Love them or hate them, there seems to be little middle ground, at least amongst those that discuss such things. Those that don't discuss such things literally couldn't care one way or the other ;)

Still, it got me to thinking about Gnomes in Swords & Wizardry Light. They've always seemed like an afterthought, somewhere between Dwarves and Elves in the "traditional fantasy RPG" evolutionary scale.

I like them, but in 1e they could be Illusionists, and Illusionist / Thieves rocked damn it! SWL doesn't have Illusionists, not does it allow multi-classing. Whatever shall we do?

I see them as particularly skilled in disarming (not necessarily finding) traps as well as opening locks. It just seems to be a gnomish thing to do, especially as they are often portrayed as a race that likes to tinker with mechanical (and sometimes Alchemical) arts. I'd go as far as give all gnomish characters, regardless of class, a 1 in 6 chance to disarm traps - which is a 5 in 6 chance of something going "bad". Which I also see as part of gnomish culture. Which bring me to...

An innate yet random magical ability - random in that the one time per day they wish to draw upon the ability, they must roll on a table much like a Wand of Wonder (you DO have an entry for the Crowdsourced Wand of Wonder, don't you? Prizes and everything). Might be good, might be bad, might just be awkward. It should still be entertaining.

Figure limit them to the Fighter and Thief classes, because really, who wants a gnomish cleric holding your health and life in their hands? As for magic-users, I don't see them having the focus.

Ah well, just thoughts at the moment. I'll refine these later ;)


  1. There is another option...


  2. My take, from my RC/LL games: Gnomes are MU/Thieves as opposed to Elves being MU/Fighters. Now that's Race as Class, so in SWL I would open up the MU class to Gnomes.

  3. If gnomes make an appearance in S&WL, there can be little doubt that Matt Finch has faded to black concerning any creative direction for Swords & Wizardry. Not that Complete was going to ever be anything but complete but at least there is a rules sandbox to work with in Light/Continual Light.

    1. Matt gave me copyright to SWL - so, it is effectively my child.

      When SWCL releases, copyright should be shared by James Spahn, Zach Glazer and Myself.

      Just so you know where to place the blame going forward ;)

  4. Our DM used to allow Gnomes to pull a random item of of their hat/hood, list included a pot of honey, a Luger, and '50 Shades of Greyhawk'.

  5. http://jdh417.blogspot.com/2016/03/fantasy-core-rpg-supplement-gnome.html

    This was my take for my rules. It's not OSR, but not really 3e either. At least the flavor text might be amusing.

  6. So when you eat a gnome, do you gain their magical ability permanently, or just for one use?


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