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View Full Version : This is your plot on drugs: A Gnomish invasion.



Thoughtbot360
2009-06-21, 05:48 AM
So, I'm thinking about making a one shot adventure for an upcoming game, and thanks to a post about orcs begging adventurers for help versus invading gnomes (this was before 4.0 Gnomes, when they were a PC race)
found here, (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2497342&postcount=18) I now want to do a scenario where an army of gnomes invade the PCs city, for whatever reason.

From what little I've heard of 3.5 gnomes, like relentlessly pranking people and inventing dangerously unsafe steam-powered machines. Oh, and the illusions. Always the illusions. Nobody has ever played a gnome in any game I've played except once with as a bard. ......he left early.

So, what I'm interested in are ideas over various gnomish weapons and types of troops. Perhaps some unique motivations too, but mostly concepts for weapons.

I already have an idea for a Gnome Shocker (armored like a warrior but fights with a pole that is the equivalent of a wand of shocking grasp), Gnome Albalester (typical Crossbowman. typical REPEATING Crossbowman.), Mechastrider (See World of Warcraft) cavalry, and a giant golem (made of glass) that hides with a totally ineffectual cloaking device for giggles. (Uses the equivalent to Mirage Arcana, but it creates a scenic vision of a cliff face with waterfall....while its hiding in a city, so everyone knows where it is.)

Oh yeah, they also totally have all the moles and rats and other burrowing animals spying on the city's denizens for them...


Anything else you'd add?


Edit: oh, and of course, they have pointy hats with different degrees of height (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnome_(Dungeons_&_Dragons)#The_Gnome_Pointy_Hat)

Malacode
2009-06-21, 08:18 AM
*muses* There has to be a complex gnomish political system composed of many factions. Depending on which faction was in power, different war machines and tactics would be used. There could be a bardic/druidic faction, focusing on the natural magical prowess of gnomes, a mecha faction who uses huge, unreliable weapons of war and a merchant group, more interested in money than war. The list is limited only by imagination.

It opens up an interesting path for the PCs, in that they could support a particular political party of the Gnomes, and exploit that parties weaknesses once they're in power. It also means you can vary encounters quite a bit.

Dagren
2009-06-21, 08:23 AM
Edit: oh, and of course, they have pointy hats with different degrees of height (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnome_(Dungeons_&_Dragons)#The_Gnome_Pointy_Hat)What, with the height of the hat being a badge of rank, in lieu of insignia? :smallconfused:

shadow_archmagi
2009-06-21, 08:43 AM
Airships and gyrocopters are mandatory. Every major attack should be supplemented by plenty of illusions; anti-air defenses are far less effective when only one in twelve bombers is real.

Mark Hall
2009-06-21, 09:53 AM
Knights of the Dinner table already did this.

Thoughtbot360
2009-06-21, 02:25 PM
What, with the height of the hat being a badge of rank, in lieu of insignia? :smallconfused:

sigh....click on the freaking link about hats.


Knights of the Dinner table already did this.

Sadly, I've never actually read Knights of the Dinner table.

Mark Hall
2009-06-21, 02:36 PM
Sadly, I've never actually read Knights of the Dinner table.

[Yoda voice]This... is why you fail[/Yoda voice]

chiasaur11
2009-06-21, 02:47 PM
Wow. The more I read, the worse Gnomes get.

They deal with crime by mind raping the criminal until they're "good" again?

Geesh. And I thought the whole cave in murder incident that led to the Kobold grudge against them was bad.

PirateMonk
2009-06-21, 02:52 PM
Soldiers on steam-powered pogo sticks.

Entire illusory armies as diversions, with Escheresque war machines to make enemies' brains hurt.

Burrowing chariots pulled by badgers.

Catapults that shoot marbles, to rain glassy death on the enemy and then make them slip and fall down.

Bayar
2009-06-21, 02:58 PM
Give the gnomes the personality of kenders. Start the genocide machine.

Doc Roc
2009-06-21, 03:12 PM
Getting invaded by wave after wave of shadowcraft mages and supped-up attack builds is weird enough for me. Also painful enough.

Oslecamo
2009-06-21, 03:33 PM
-Badger cavarly, specialized in underground to surface attacks. DEATH FROM BELOW!

-Since gnomes suck in melee, preference for ranged weapons. Troops mass between illusionary cover.

-Of course, plenty of bards among the gnomish lines to buff them all.

-Screw gyrocopters, real D&D gnomes use AIRSHIPS POWERED UP BY FIRE ELEMENTALS! Let them feel the pain.

-The frontline will of course be composed of mind raped stupid monsters like ogres and trolls. Perhaps ridden by the already mentioned gnomish bards. If the party can kill it, it will turn on it's former "allies".

Dagren
2009-06-21, 03:54 PM
sigh....click on the freaking link about hats.I read it, I'm just wondering how seriously you were planning on implementing it. It sounds pretty silly to me, but then again that seems to be the premise of the thread, not to mention gnomes in general.

Epinephrine
2009-06-21, 04:08 PM
I posted a Gnome Tunnelrider PrC a while back, gnomes with either Wild Cohort Dire or Animal Companion Dire Badgers, equipped to tunnel into areas, patrol tunnels, or serve as scouts.

There is a variant Gnome Ranger in RoS, if they choose a Dire Badger they add 3 to their effective druid level. Works well for making low-ish level guys with some nifty support. If you allow the same thing for Wild Cohorts (or simply have tamed, rideable badgers) you have a neat little army. The gnome burrowing saddle (also RoS) allows a rider to stay onboard while burrowing, too.

Mando Knight
2009-06-21, 04:15 PM
Wow. The more I read, the worse Gnomes get.

They deal with crime by mind raping the criminal until they're "good" again?

Geesh. And I thought the whole cave in murder incident that led to the Kobold grudge against them was bad.

Good gods. They are monsters.


...Their leader should have a single level in Druid and take a badger (named Francis) as his animal companion. :smalltongue:

Thoughtbot360
2009-06-21, 04:34 PM
I read it, I'm just wondering how seriously you were planning on implementing it. It sounds pretty silly to me, but then again that seems to be the premise of the thread, not to mention gnomes in general.

...one second look, you were asking about military rank, not educational.

Hmmm.....I'm not sure. It's mostly there to


Yes, gnomes are silly. I suppose the only way to make it more sillier (and more challenging to the DM) is to try to play up the invasion and take all the gnomes' shenanigans as deadly serious business (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SeriousBusiness)

Calinero
2009-06-21, 04:43 PM
Well, obviously the gnomes who are the highest in rank have the shortest hats. That way, they present smaller targets to enemy archers, who will see the lower ranking gnomes by virtue of their large hats.

If at all possible, try to have the players get taken alive by the gnome forces. I can easily picture a hilarious 'trial' with the gnomes, babbling legal jargon that makes no sense to anyone.

shadow_archmagi
2009-06-21, 04:56 PM
I suggest you use this as the basis for the gnomes war crimes trial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTeG_gCxO-A&feature=related

Thoughtbot360
2009-06-21, 04:57 PM
babbling legal jargon that makes no sense to anyone.


Care to give a sampling of that?

Tohron
2009-06-21, 05:11 PM
[Yoda voice]This... is why you fail[/Yoda voice]

I've looked for it, but I've never found a link to the actual comic. Would you happen to have one?

Thoughtbot360
2009-06-21, 11:48 PM
One (completely scrapped) idea is to have the gnome leader say "I apologize profusely for any inconvenience my murderous rampage may have caused."

imp_fireball
2009-06-22, 01:45 AM
You could also use made up legal terms.

Like for phlebotinum in a stereotypical golden age comic book, they might have 'wonderflonium', but that's science. Not er... legal stuff.

Check out WoW armory for silly gnome names of items and such.

Set
2009-06-22, 09:00 AM
Gnome Albalester (typical Crossbowman. typical REPEATING Crossbowman.),

Todd Lockwood approves of this. (http://www.toddlockwood.com/galleries/concept/03/gnome_archer.shtml)


Mechastrider (See World of Warcraft) cavalry, and a giant golem (made of glass) that hides with a totally ineffectual cloaking device for giggles. (Uses the equivalent to Mirage Arcana, but it creates a scenic vision of a cliff face with waterfall....while its hiding in a city, so everyone knows where it is.)

Gnomes are known for their alchemical skills, so having improved versions of alchemical fire, acid, frost, etc. used by special 'great-slingers' to wreak havoc among their foes could be fun. They'd have alchemical liquids that act like faerie fire, to 'paint' targets for nighttime archery practice, small-sized alchemical golems that hurl internally generated 'spit attacks' of alchemical fire (mobile alchemical fire thrower, that creates it's own ammunition!), etc. A Medium-sized Monstrous Spider-shaped mechanical golem that spits out Tanglefoot Bags would be very appropriate, as well, with a Gnome 'tender' riding on it's back, using a polearm to keep people away from his valuable steed (and a 10 charge Wand of Repair Light Wounds to keep Mecha-Schlob operational!).

Gnomish Barbarians riding Dire Badgers could be their shock troops, and they might have used alchemy to enhance them as well (or used alchemy to grant a badger-like frenzy upon their foes, making them uncontrollably turn and attack the nearest target, usually each other, when exposed to the alchemical 'frenzy gas' grenades!).

With their mastery of illusion magic, their invading force might seem much larger than it actually is, and phantasmal attacks would distract foes and force them to defend themselves against constant harassing attacks (some of which would be real, some illusion, and some 'quasi-real' shadow magic!).

The best ever Illusion (Shadow) spell for military use, if you've got the XP to burn, is Simulacrum. Have the gnomes got the financial chops to purchase a suit of dragonscale leather armor? Tear that puppy apart and use the scales to create a hundred dragon simulacra! Sure, they're only half-strength, but who cares? They're half-strength *dragons!* Even if the gnomes can only spare the XP to make one or two dragon Simulacra (or Bulette Simulacra, or Simulacra of their highest level Wizards, Clerics and Fighters, or whatever), they can supplement these attacks with Shadow Conjurations, so that the foe never knows when they have to unleash their full dragon-slaying arsenal, or when they are wasting valuable dragonbane arrows on mere Shades... Send in the Shades time and again, let them get dispelled or otherwise foiled after wreaking some havoc, and then send in the Simulacra, and watch the enemy dispellers wet themselves as their spells fail to slay the beast!

Thoughtbot360
2009-07-16, 08:34 PM
Sorry for breaking the thread no-come-backy law, but I feel the need to add this to the thread:


Gnomish Paladins.

Now, unlike other Paladins their idea of "an honorable fight" is a little strange. They can pull some really low blows with various slapstick-theme tricks, and not stop moralizing with genuine sincerity, let alone fall from grace. This is due to the Gnomes' predisposition towards pranks prevents him from seeing the throwing of banana peels around in battle as in anyway an inappropriate, and because Gnomish justice centers around a lack of humility being the source of all evil and juvenile pranks are a way to "beat the ego out of them" (As put in a article of the Gamer's Magazine "Signs and Portents").

These guy would reek havoc in an evil campaign (you know, one where everyone cuts back, imagines their favorite bastard, and play as villains), however, the idea has other uses. This can't happen in D&D, but there are some game systems (Zodiac (http://www14.brinkster.com/zodiacrpg/) chiefly among them) that give character the ability to be weak to Holy/Goodly spells for extra power or otherwise benefit from the assumption that you will never fight the forces of light in a normal campaign. If you can retcon some this idea into one of those systems.

But above all, its to combine to things notorious for being annoying, and combining them to bring some (un)holy wrath upon your players psyches.