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GNOMES!!!?

GNOMES!!!?

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Why should elves get all the love? Gnomes are personally my favorite fantasy race and for a new, innovative roleplay I'd like to create a world focusing almost exclusively on these mercurial little buggers.

691 readers have visited GNOMES!!!? since Scumbag_Brain created it.

Introduction

GNOMES!!!?

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Introduction

Why should elves get all the love? Gnomes are personally my favorite fantasy race and for a casual roleplay I'd like to create a world focusing almost exclusively on those mecurial little buggers.

Now for starters, when I say gnome I am not talking about the lute strumming, poem reciting, tree-hugging fraggles seen in English shrubberies and recent D&D editions. I don't know who decided gnomes should be extraverted, hippies but whoever they are, they need to go back to their hobbit hole and leave my race of underground uber-nerds alone!

In GNOMES!!!?, gnomes are what they were meant to be: quixotic, ingenius, intraverted, inventors, craftsmen and miners who combine elements of the arcane and technical realms.

Now that I've had my rant, some specifics.

Location

When I finally arrive home and gaze at her from afar, in all her dizzying complexity and mind bending glory, I get a head ache.

-Journal entry by Fridz Stonehopper, Gnome Explorer

Mechanus is the legendary city of the gnomes, located deep underground past narrow twisting tunnels which prevent the big folk passage. As its name implies, Mechanus is a city of technical wonder complete with clockwork servants, ratcheting walkways, and steam powered zeppelins. The city is one of mystery as well as industry. Any wall might be illusory, any persona veiled, any sound a figment designed to a lure one astray. Very little is as it appears in the Gnomish Capitol.

Mechanus is ruled over by the Council of the High Arts, which is a body consisting of the guildmasters presiding over what are thought to be the most illustrious magical sciences: Gematria, Tinkering, Alchemy, and Infusion. These powerful guilds dominate the economic, social and political life within the underground realm. The city is even divided into districts based on their influence and they determine much of the background in any given scene. For example in the Tinker districts roving packs of clockworks scavenging off spare parts might be common, while in the Alchemical district the air is thick with a myriad of fumes and steamships chug through the sky. In the Infusers districts arching bridges of pure magical force allow pedestrians to travel on high and in the Gematrician's block few sights or sounds can even be trusted as real.

Guilds

A-11471197: And no clockwork will be allowed to serve coffee to any licensed Tinker except in the event that the aforementioned coffee is brewed by entirely unalchemical means or in the case that said brewing has been authorized by the Alchemists guild via a member of good standing with a rank of no less than 67C.
-Excerpt from the 103,821 page codex of Guild Law

The four technologies central to Gnomish life, often called Arts by those who practice them, are overseen strictly by guild authorities. Practicing any of them without guild training or license is forbidden and brutally enforced as is the trading of guild secrets. In fact the guilds keep their secrets so well that there is very little crossover among their technologies. It is not as with our culture where a device has electrical, mechanical, chemical and other components. Gnomish inventions (with rare exceptions) are either all clockwork, all gematric, all alchemical, or all infused. In fact the separation is so total that some theorize that gnomes studying one of the Arts, mold their brain in such a way that it becomes literally impossible for them to understand the others. Others believe that the magical fields of the different technologies disrupt one another and cause malfunctions. Whatever the reason, a gnome knows one and only one Art and all his creations are limited by its techniques. Combining it with others is illegal at best, dangerous at worst.

As one might notice by skimming through, the Arts align roughly with the modern engineering disciplines of software/graphics (Gematria), mechanics (Tinkering), chemistry (Alchemy), and electronics (Infusion). However as you will learn, the gnomish version of these sciences differ considerably because their fuels and materials are magical, not mundane, in nature.

1)Gematria - As one might guess from the name, Gematria involves the use of magical gems and crystals. Gnomes practiced in this art grow or harvest crystals with a hyperspatial geometry. When charged by light, these gems project a multisensory hologram. Unlike the other arts gematria's results are far from solid. Called glamers, they are only as real as the belief invested in them and a healthy amount of skepticism can erode them much like acid would a paper thin strip of aluminum. Some glamers woven by master Gematricians are harder to disbelieve however and can approach the solidity of true magical conjuration. Gematricians themselves are among the most artistic and flamboyant of gnomes. Often they garb themselves in ridiculously overblown, bejeweled outfits of a thousand and one colors, though when dealing with the crystal masters one never knows if what one sees is real or a figment of magic.

The most recent innovation of gematria is of course the Resonance Net, where by users with crystal lenses and a specially vibrating gem tune into a virtual reality, a literal world of illusion. Within this virtual space lies a world every bit as big and complex as Mechanus itself and ruling it are the Gematicians who create both its landscapes and physical laws in the manner of Gods.

2)Tinkering- Best known for its animated clockworks, tinkers spend their lives studying magical metals and puzzling over elaborate systems of gears, springs and pins. All tinker constructions are wound and most have the trademark rotary spindle jutting from their frame. In the best made, a few twists can power the machine for days. Tinkers themselves tend to be the most gruff of the race with attitudes not unlike the hard metals they hammer day in and out. Many of their creations bear a likeness to one animal or another. These are called effigies and come in a variety of forms, from stilting spiders to robotic owls. Golems, humanoid automatons, are somewhat less common, but rarest of all are those that possess limited self awareness. The reason for this is simple, artificial intelligence requires the use of other Arts (notably Gematria) which means that their creation by Tinkers is automatically a case of espionage and a major violation of guild law.

3)Alchemy- Alchemy deals with magical materials and the bizarre formulae which describe their interaction with one another. Similar to our science of chemistry, alchemy takes various enchanted minerals mined from the rock around Mechanus, as well as components as organic as those used in a witches brew and combines them to create spell-like effects. The most common of these is a simple explosion and this is the basis for gnomish muskets as well as boilers, bombs and other thermodynamic technologies.

Gnomes of all disciplines distinguish three phases of magic (mithril [solid], mana [liquid], aether [gas]). A fourth phase is predicted by some alchemists but has never been documented. In most exothermic alchemical reactions magic undergoes a phase transition in part to the higher entropy gaseous phase (aether). The predominance of combustion technologies has therefore lead to a build up of aetheric pollution. This glittering violet gas is a trademark of the Alchemical District of Mechanus and where it collects in density (usually in the deepest and poorest quarters of the city) wild magic can result. Some have also claimed that prolonged aether exposure is the reason for the growing number of goblin births among the gnomes of the lower districts, but such claims have been quickly silenced by the alchemists guild and high ranking politicians.

4)Infusion- Dr. Jeeb Dwerk Nixwell, the founder of this newest Art, said of his brain child, “magic, the force primal behind both our technical achievements and the crude 'spells' of the surface dwellers, has been unleashed and by what? The most common mithril stone and a trinket-metal worn by the bigfolk.” Dr. Nixwell's great discovery that created a whole new gnomish Art was that when a silver wire moved between the attractive poles of lode stone, a flow of pure magic was induced down the wire. Such a wire was said to be 'infused.' This any gnome can understand, but the true magic of infusion involves what Artisans (nicknamed 'Coilers' for good reason) do with that wire. In infused devices the enchanted silver wire is coiled into complex shapes called glyphs and these in turn are wired together to make a larger pattern. The result is the projection of an inert magical force field, the lightest and strongest material in existence and a true hybrid between matter and energy. Glyphs can encode destruction as well as creation, though, by blasting their energy out from supercharged silver or molding it around a narrow core to make a blade of pure force.

Like all gnome technologies Infusion can be dangerous, exposure to live wires can cause hallucination or permanent insanity and at extremely high voltages wild magic can result from a short circuit. Infusion's main limitation is that the geometry of the produced fields must be fixed, so any moving parts must be exterior to the field itself.

Proscribed Arts

The surest way to get a gnomling to do something dangerous is to forbid it.
-Excerpt from Gnomish Parenting Guide

A number of arts over the years have been banned because they proved to be too dangerous or unpredictable, as have some magical materials, for similar reasons.

1)Wizardry- Primitive magic, as it is called by most gnomes, still flourishes on the surface, but gnomes have evolved far beyond such crude uncalculated manipulations. So far indeed that they are now barely capable of this type of magic. The strange brains of gnomes have grown in unheard of ways in order to deal abstractly with the most paradoxical force in the universe; in the process they have lost their ability to deal with it intuitively. Should a gnome attempt even the most basic cantrip, the result is just as likely to be a chicken avalanche as the intended effect. In other words gnomish spells are riddled with wild magic, hence their illegality and the banning of any so called "spell books". This, of course, doesn't stop all gnomes and a secret school still practices wizardry despite all its dangers. Citizens call it simply the Shadow Guild but rarely speak of it since its members are among the most feared and detested gnomes in Mechanus.

2)Binding- Dealing with spirits of any kind is forbidden in the Gnomish City. Once there had been an Art which dared to bind demons, elementals, and even souls to machines but it ended in catastrophe with a great Devil escaping from its prison and releasing others to form a hellish army. The city barely survived their vengeance and since then spirit-dealings of any kind have been outlawed. Still, curious as ever, some gnomes refused to give up their Art and pass it along beyond and below the eyes of the law. The Demonologist's Guild recruits only gnomes preturnaturally resistant to insanity and conducts its dark technological rituals deep beneath the under-city where authorities can't interfere.

3)Thaumite- Thaumite is a rare mithril discovered by researcher Madame Mleery two centuries ago. It was found to emit magic, not as a field as in lodestone, but as highly energetic particles called thaumons. Thought to be the fundamental particle of magic, thaumons at such high energy cause goblinization of exposed germ cells and mutants in the next generation. The material is also highly unstable and an overdose of magic or even percussive force can cause it to convert most of its mass to thaumons in nanoseconds resulting in a horrific explosion. Such blasts have been known to level city blocks or rip temporary tears into the spirit worlds letting in all manner of unspeakable, irrational and inhospitable beings.

Among the gnomes Thaumite is a controlled substance and possession of any amount of it without Guild Council approval can result in life imprisonment. Goblins of course have no such stricture and often employ it as a fuel in their explosives and crude engines. Unlike gnomes they are also immune to its chronic effects.

Physique and Appearance

It continually baffles me how a creature with all the physical armaments of a toddler could survive in a realm which plays host to the monsters and demons of every age of the earth.
-Isbendius, human wizard and scholar on gnomes

Standing at around 2-2.5 feet in height, gnomes are not the most impressive specimen on the block, especially when that block is a subterranean realm full of nightmarish monsters. Gnomes are also a chubby lot with even the most hardened tunnel warriors being a bit round around the breast plate. Rumored to be the result of magic radiating from their overactive brains, gnome hair color spans the rainbow and even adds a few colors. Some gnomes have hair actually resembling a rainbow with multiple hues braided together, all without a drop of dye. Although gnome eyes are nearly as varied and beautiful as their hair, they are often covered. Many Gnomes (50%) are born near sighted and goggles remain a popular trend even among those with perfect vision.

The guilds tend to determine gnomish fashion, allowing the onlooker to tell the license of an Artisan by his or her apparel alone. As previously mentioned, Gematricians don flamboyant outfits brandishing as many colors as possible. On the other hand, Tinkers are a pragmatic lot and often wear their workshop aprons stained with grease wherever they go. Alchemists, members of the most ancient Guild, hold onto the fashions of primordial gnome wizards wearing tall hats and long cloaks sporting hundreds of hidden pockets for their various ingredients. Meanwhile, infusers can usually be found in formal attire with their hair oiled and shaped into the most chaotic yet orderly patterns. Common gnomes, lacking Art degrees, are equally recognizable by their threadbare work vests tainted either by the soot of factories or the stink of mushroom soil.

Gnome Psychology

“Imagine the brain of a genius driven by the enthusiasm of a child and hooked to the mouth of a sailor,”
-Dwarven Deep Ranger, Klaydurst Slagwell on gnomes

Gnomes like to figure out how things work, plain and simple. Whether it be devices, elements of nature, other gnomes, or even themselves, understanding is the driving force in most gnome lives. Its a small wonder that as a species they have figured out a great deal about how magic works, a feat considered impossible by many top-side philosophers.

How gnomes achieve their comprehension of the incomprehensible is not fully comprehended... The reigning theory though involves hyperspace. Young gnomes regularly discuss tesseracts and space-time at the age when human children struggle with spelling. Later on gnomes skilled in the Arts regularly visualize upwards of seven dimensions, a feat impossible for any other species. At the same time many of the oddities of gnomish technologies can be explained by hyperspace. A clockwork's spring can store more force than possible because many of its coils wind through other dimensions, a crystal can contain more information than a super computer because its etchable surfaces extend in many more than three planes. Still, despite all the theories, no one but the guild masters themselves know the secret to the riddle of gnomish cognition and they aren't talking.

Most gnomes speak three languages, the common tongue is designed to keep pace with their overactive brains – imagine Japanese on amphetamines. On top of this each guild has its own lexicon of technical jargon, enough to make even the idlest discussion of theory unintelligable to outsiders. Then all gnomes speak a third language which is slower, perhaps to make sure that no one misses a word, and sounds strangely like Yiddish. This language's sole purpose is cursing and late at night one may hear it issuing from laboratories and factories around Mechanus. One word in particular is said to be so profane that it can sour milk, knock stalactites from the sky, strike bats dead and deafen those unlucky enough to hear it uttered.

Gender among gnomes is inconsequential compared to less cerebral races. The difference between male and female is more a difference of style than societal place. Most guilds have equal membership among both sexes and the Guild Council is currently composed of three female members and one male. The average gnome would find the suggestion of males being better at technical pursuits laughable at best, and top-sider brain-bile at worst.

Religion constitutes a curious oddity for most gnomes. Though familiar with demons and spirits, gnomes understand them as organisms composed purely of magic, things to be studied not Gods to be worshiped. Still there remains one remnant of faith lingering in Mechanus and that is the Holy Church of 0/0. According to its priests the answer to the question what is zero divided by zero, does exist and that answer... is God. In their candle lit halls the faithful chant various paradoxical formula but all these are considered mere manifestations of 0/0. Zobinder, a drop out from Tinker college, founded the religion 750 years ago, but it has always been a minority belief. Average Mechanites tolerate the 0/0s allowing them their shrines, holidays, and occasional parades, but very few take them seriously.

Economy

"Five cribstalks and a pound of buttershrooms, that comes to seven quibs and twenty three gnorks,"
"Can I put that on crystal?"
"Yes but we don't take Ultraviolet."
"SCHTOOPLES!... pardon me..umm wait a second," rifles through pockets, "can you break a klem?"
"Of course."

-everyday Gnome transaction

The economy of Mechanus emerges from three commodities: mana, mushrooms and mithril. Although any enchanted liquid is technically mana, the term most often refers to a sticky phosphorescent goo, highly enchanted and highly reactive. Gnomish scholars believe it originates in the ancient past when dragons ruled the world. When those dragons died their bodies drifted down in the soil strata and were compressed. The final result was an organic sludge infused with primordial magic. Mana is the main source of power for both Alchemists and Infusers. Though once a licensed Alchemist technology, mana engines are now considered Low Tech and are used even by commoners to heat their houses. Alchemists still use mana, as they have for hundreds of years, to power their airships, while the infusers use its released heat to drive the turbines which energize their glyphs. The result of all this burning mana is aether, a pollutant which endangers the future of Mechanus and even the world above.

Mithril is a catch all term for magical solids. These are smelted and forged by Tinkers into various enchanted alloys whose properties defy reason. Even now, 1500 years after the invention of the first alloy, the metals remain absolutely vital for gnomish engineering and architecture. Without mithril gnomish bridges would collapse into the abyss, gnomish walls would crumble before the onslaught of monstrous hordes, clockwork robots operating for centuries would wind to a halt, and the great city of Mechanus itself would be buried under the weight of millions of tons of rocks. Unfortunately, the smelting of mithril also releases aether (though not in as great a quantity as burning mana) and adds to the ever worsening pollution problem. Rising in value with the success of modern Gematria are mithril crystals. Some are grown artificially, but the larger ones must be harvested from rare crystal forests. Without these crystals, the main communication medium for gnomes, the resonance net, could not function.

As obsessed as gnomes are with activities of the mind, they are still biological and must feed their stomachs to fuel their brains. By far the main provider of these required calories are mushrooms. Bred, over the centuries, into as many varieties as vegetables on the surface, edible mushrooms vary in form from the giant spurtle, to the lowly brachenbush. Most are grown from an organic compost whose origin is best not discussed in civilized company. Although gnomes are considered by outsiders to be a race of craftsmen, a great many still tend the fungal gardens as their ancestors did at the founding of Mechanus. Those who do remain proud of their profession claiming that the first alchemists were, in fact, farmers.

Environment

"Dark? You don't know what dark is."
-Fridz Stonehopper, Deep explorer

The subterranean world which surrounds Mechanus and its colonies is an unforgiving realm of monsters and buried civilizations better left forgotten. Gnomes and Dwarves call it simply The Deep. Tunnels and caves constitute much of its volume, though, vast open chambers, crystal forests, winding rivers, and even oceans exist. The Deep is bordered above by the bedrock which has only a few, far flung, fissures which lead to the surface and below by the molten sea of magma which not even demons can survive. Living in between these two layers are a plethora of creatures, few of whom are very friendly. Perhaps most dangerous and certainly most powerful of these are the Wyrms. Evolved from dragons, wyrms have lost both their legs and eyes and look more like a cross between a planarian and a python. Though some are no bigger than serpents, the largest are wide as a stadium and stretch on for miles. Most of the tunnels which criss-cross the underworld are their work. As a result, far from hated, they are praised by the inhabitants of the Deep as great unknowing architects, carving out a place for life in otherwise barren rock. Some unfailingly macho clans of dwarves actually hunt the wyrms but the sane people of the Deep simply try to avoid them.

Many sentients call the Deep home, but only two pose a significant threat to gnome civilization. One are the trolls, savage beasts who rampage through the Deep in an endless search for food. They eat anything they find, gnomes included, and though large they can force their rubbery bodies through the smallest cracks and regenerate on the far side. Spawned of aetheric pollution like Goblins, they are resistant to magic and quickly heal physical damage. As a result most Gnome border patrols carry alchemist-designed flame spurters whose searing jets seem to be the best weapon against these voracious aberrations.

Far more organized than the trolls and no less dangerous are the Shien. Not a random creation of aether, the Shien are much older, predating even Gnomish civilization. Their ancestors were humans, heirs to a worldwide empire founded on arcane magic. However, legend tells that pride lead them to a great disaster which sunk their cities beneath the earth. The survivors adapted to a new life in the harsh Deep and evolved into something far different than humans. The Shien no longer live in cities but hives. Sorcery, once an art they learned, is now burned into their very blood, but only some females are born with magical talent. Those lucky few rule their civilizations as Queens. Below the royalty, each member of Shien society knows their place, a role referred to as Darva. The Shien are born into these castes with warriors bulging with muscle, overseers sporting oversized brains, and workers long wiry limbs. Each knows their place beneath their Sorceress Queen and each accepts it without question. Non Shien, especially the individualistic gnomes, are viewed with contempt. Those captured can look forward to but one fate, slavery, and those who resist will find the powerful magic of the Queens melting away their very minds.

Goblins

As insanity is to genius, so are goblins to gnomes.
-Excerpt from A Tale of Two Species

Wild Magic doesn't only thin the barriers between the worlds and conjure the impossible, it also changes the things of this world. Such changes are usually not pretty. When gnomes mutate in this manner, goblins are the result. Unsurprisingly, most are born to poor gnome families who live in districts choked with aetheric pollution or in some cases Artisans who've spent too much time in unsafe laboratories. Whatever the reasons for their birth most goblins go to the same place after they reach an age where they can fend for themselves – the streets.

In the dark corners of Mechanus violent goblin gangs mark their territory with rusted metal and spray paint. Farther below, the goblin nation plots revenge on those who have forsaken them, building machines of twirling spikes and grinding treads that leak wild magic wherever they roll and stockpiling massive amounts of their favorite technology – explosives. Goblins do not have the facility of mind to understand any of the High Arts. None the less, they have mastered many mundane technologies (Low Arts) and succeeded in generating reliable energy from thaumite. Of course, machines fueled by this energy emit arcane radiation but the goblins have no need to fear it, their DNA already being mangled beyond repair.

Few surfacers know the origin of the various monsters which plague their realms, each of which goes by a different name: ogres, trolls, orcs, hags, etc. If they did know they'd probably be liable to dig up the earth in order to exterminate the gnomish race. In truth each is a mutation of a 'pure' magical race, a mutation caused by wild magic. Trolls were once Treants, Ogres once Giants, Orcs elves and so on. Each lost their sanity and symmetry to magical pollution in all likelihood generated by the great gnome metropolis and its colonies. Whether the gnomes who designed the many aether vent shafts leading to surface tunnels know this or not, can only be guessed.

Others

I can not tell you what creatures you will find out there, what monsters or villains, but I can assure you that all of them will be stupid and most will want to eat you.
-Parting words spoken by his father to the young Fridz Stonehopper upon leaving Mechanus for the first time

Few outsiders ever make it to Mechanus. Of those that do, none are allowed to leave for fear they may reveal the city's location to the 'barbarians'. Gnomes are intensely xenophobic, especially in regards to what they generically refer to as 'big folk' (aka any race taller than dwarves). Big folk are characterized as stupid, ugly, violent and clumsy. Common knowledge informs the citizens of Mechanus that the over-sized surfacers look upon gnomes as little more than a delicacy and in some cases this is actually true.

Of all the races, Dwarves (commonly called Flatheads) are the only ones even remotely trusted. The clan folk often trade with gnomes but do so only at far flung outposts in the knowledge that any visitors to Mechanus come there to stay.

Story

I do no believe that precrafting a storyline and forcing players onto it makes for good RP. Instead, like the Matrix, it steals the freedom of choice from the player and so breaks the illusion that they are an independent actor. As a result I do not even try to write plot until I know my characters. Even then, the plot I have envisioned, changes based on the actions of players which are notoriously unpredictable. In other words, the story will be, in large part, determined by player choice. Two consequences arise from this 'sandbox' style. One, character histories become far more important because I will draw on them to create both subplots and main arcs. Two, players will need to be self motivated. Though I will certainly throw in a narrative hook here and there, players desiring direction by the GM may face a very long wait.

Character

Those wishing to play should give a full and detailed description of their character. This should include guild membership if any as well as a list of gadgets the gnome has access to. Remember that a gnome can practice but one High Art (this includes Binding if she is so brave), though she may know many more mundane crafts that deal with nonmagical materials (glass blowing, carpentry, metalworking,mechanics, etc). Learning other Arts is feasible for extraordinarily gifted gnomes but such a task must be pursued during the story not before.

Below is a character skeleton with the information required for most characters and reminders of what each attribute or characteristic means

Name: (While gnomish first names tend to be concise, a surname with less than four syllables is not considered respectable. Example: Blix Glaskinfreeble)
Age: (20-450 or in human years 12-90)
Hair Color: (Any conceivable)
Eye Color: (Any conceivable)
General Physical Description: (Remember that gnomish fashions are highly influenced by Guild affiliation)
Religion: (Is the answer to 0/0 undefined as most gnomes believe or is it God, the Universe and Everything as is claimed by the Holy Church of 0/0)
Motivations: (Beyond instinctual curiosity, what drives your gnome? What are her goals?)
Quirks: (Gnomes are a quixotic people so they don't come without neuroses)
Guild Membership: (Not all gnomes belong to a Guild but those who don't are considered underclass or outcast)
Low Tech Trades: (Most gnomes also study one or more nonmagical crafts or sciences)
Gadgets: (All the inventions in your arsenal. Not all need be personal creations, but rare and advanced devices from other guilds require permits from that guild)
Converyances: (How do you get around? Ornithopter, Gyrocopter, Zeppelin, Steampowered pogostick or do you just take the trolly?)
Workshop: (Most are owned collectively though high ranking guild members often have personal laboratories)
Background: (History and upbringing, were your parents shroom farmers or were you born with a silver cog in your mouth?)

Possible nongnome characters include goblins, dwarves, and sentient golems, but I am putting a cap on such deviants with a first come, first serve philosophy. If you want to play as one of the big folk, this is also possible, but you best have a story explaining how and why you are in Mechanus which is so good it forces me too get up from the computer and change my underwear.

Conclusion

GNOMES!!!? as the name implies is a light fantasy game. Feel free to include the comical as well as the ridiculous in your writing. If this story isn't only confusing but funny, I will be disappointed ;-( Good luck and let the gnoming commence.

Toggle Rules

1) Don't clutter the Story. This means don't keep adding elements and NPCs before dealing with those already part of the plot. If you are currently engaged in an epic battle with a villain, save the introduction of the ninjas who are chasing your character for some later date. Clutter kills RPs.

2) Be a competent writer. You don't need to be Tolkein, but you do need a style of your own, even if that style is a work in progress.

3) Don't be a power player. If I smell ego on your character I will politely direct you to the nearest X-men roleplay. Epic characters are fine if created with maturity, depth and detail but expect to be sidelined for less powerful characters as they, having room to develop, should take center stage in the story.

4) Post Regularly. Rates depend on the character and their involvement with the plot, but 1/week can be considered bare minimum.

5) Don't be Edmund the Ecstatic Exception, aka that player who gleefully breaks every rule when making their character and mistakes this for creativity. Vegetarian vampires, Werepossums, and Obese elves are all the work of Edmund. Don't be like Edmund, be creative enough to find originality within the confines of pre-existing archetypes. As the story progresses rules can be violated and exceptions found, but not at the start of the story before the rules are even established.

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#, as written by iderray
Kyjia frowned as she emptied the contents of her pockets into her ingredients cupboards. She had so few ingredients, it could actually be singular, cupboard. But she spread them out, organizing and labeling them. It was probably a pride thing.
But the lack of ingredients was definately a funds thing. Or a lack thereof. In fact, she hadn't even bought the ingredients she had. She had spent the day collecting them; cave walls, fertile plots of ground, everywhere. She was one of the few gnomes willing to go Aboveground to look for potions, although it was quite a trip and she hadn't much opportunity to do it. Collecting was actually quite fun; she collected everything she found: everything biotic and a few things not. She collected it whether she knew what it was or not; if she did, it was cool to regocnize it; if she didn't, it was fun to experiment with later. But she did wish she had the funds, so she could by special, interesting things, specific things she needed for potions. She should be getting ingredients based on potions she had in mind, not making potions based on ingredients she had. It resulted in a lot of trivial potions of almost no value, like a mold dying potion, or a potion to make your sneezes more forceful.
Suddenly, while looking through her supplies, Kyjia froze. What was that? A jar of a shiny, oozy substance that seemed to shift around in the jar as she looked at it. That was... Jyslbed Spider goo. Or guts. Or whatever you call that slimy stuff that spiders keep in their abdomens. Kyjua knew it doubled as the spiders venom. It was corrosive enough to melt simple metals but stable enough to be easily controlled. Extremely useful on the streets; it would dissolve locks, and could be used to cause extreme pain and nerve damage (the effect on nerves also made it useful in medicine). It was also very rare. The entire jar, about the size of Kyjia's head, would have come from one spider. They were big, and had an attitude, and to get the goo, they had to be killed. That didn't happen too often. All this together made the ooze very expensive. More than she could afford. So, where'd she get it?
She'd stolen it. She must'ave. "She" being Jykia. Kyjia sat down, fingers on the bridge of her nose.

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Character Portrait: Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium

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Character Portrait: Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium
Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium

50 years old, or however old 17 would be in human years, female, alchemist, 0/0

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Character Portrait: Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium
Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium

50 years old, or however old 17 would be in human years, female, alchemist, 0/0

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Character Portrait: Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium
Kyjia (Jykia) Aleganarium

50 years old, or however old 17 would be in human years, female, alchemist, 0/0


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