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What's up with the gnomes being quirky, rambling fools?

Is that just their thing as a species?

semiticgoddessArvia
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Comments

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,593
    i don't really know. sometimes is works [ glint] other times it becomes annoying [ grobnar from nwn 2]. in the case of jan it's a middle ground. i don't find him that funny but he does not annoy me.

    Chronicler
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    When I read their wiki article and stuff it doesn't really seem to say anything about why they're like that.

    It's such a weird narrow archetype to restrict an entire race to.

    Is it genetic? Would a a gnomish ward of Gorion be like that, even with little exposure to larger gnomish culture?

    semiticgoddess
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,787
    I just look at it like they're weird genius types by nature. God knows I'm surrounded by people like that at work. Scientists are a bit 'odd' (me included)...

    ArviaThacoBellsemiticgoddess
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    I don't know if I'd describe Tiax as a "genius" but he talks just like the other gnomes.

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,787
    Chronicler wrote: »
    I don't know if I'd describe Tiax as a "genius" but he talks just like the other gnomes.

    Well, Tiax is just insane. Genius types are probably prone to that in my experience...

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,593
    tiax is isnane
    quayle acts like he is smart
    glint rambles
    and jan is making stuff up and is obsessed with turnips.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    They all ramble insofar as their game allows.

    Tiax and Quayle were just companions in games where companions had less dialogue, but I think it's still understood that they ramble about their nonsense obsessions.

  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    u7py30oh33j5.jpg

    See, Quayle rambles too. I don't have any saves with Tiax to check right now but I bet you'd find something similar in his biography.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    chimaera wrote: »
    The problem with Tiax is how his mental illness is played as a joke. You can have an arrogant character with illusions of grandeour without turning it into a "ha ha, look at the little crazy man" moment. Case in point: Quayle.

    Jubilost in PK is very arrogant, but he is a genius and he knows it, so it's not empty boasting in his case. His character is certainly not a 'quirky fool' trope and one of the more interesting companions in the game.

    Where is everybody getting that Tiax is crazy?

    He claims to speak to his god, but he seems to have the divine power to prove it.

  • megamike15megamike15 Member Posts: 2,593
    well in my defense i never used either quayle or tiax in npc project so i had no idea if they rambled or not. and quayle did not really ramble that much when i saw him in bg 2 with aerie so shrug.

    Chronicler
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited July 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    edited July 2019
    chimaera wrote: »
    Chronicler wrote: »
    chimaera wrote: »
    The problem with Tiax is how his mental illness is played as a joke. You can have an arrogant character with illusions of grandeour without turning it into a "ha ha, look at the little crazy man" moment. Case in point: Quayle.

    Jubilost in PK is very arrogant, but he is a genius and he knows it, so it's not empty boasting in his case. His character is certainly not a 'quirky fool' trope and one of the more interesting companions in the game.

    Where is everybody getting that Tiax is crazy?

    He claims to speak to his god, but he seems to have the divine power to prove it.
    Every cleric in the game speaks with their gods and has the divine power to prove it. Why doesn't Viconia, or Branwen, or Yeslick end up in Spellhold for it?

    Right, so where are we getting that he's crazy? It's quite likely that Cyric did tell him everything he says Cyric told him. It's not that outlandish in The Realms.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited July 2019
    The user and all related content has been deleted.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    I responded before you added that edit. That does seem like confirmation that they were going for a crazy thing with him, though I don't know how well they pulled it off.

    He seemed more like he was just profoundly gullible to me. To think Cyric had such grand plans for him.

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    Chronicler
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    edited July 2019
    The insufferable hyperactivity and annoying quirks of D&D gnomes are most likely vestiges of the Dragonlance campaign setting and its thrice cursed tinker gnomes. A stereotype both TSR and WotC stuck with... to my utter dismay, I might add. And it only got worse with each additional edition. What with gnomes being fey and what not.

    At least Pathfinder's gnomes are required seeking out stimuluses in order to survive. The concept of Bleaching was rather interesting to learn about in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. But their D&D counterparts are just being a pain in the butt for the heck of it...

    AerakarsemiticgoddessChronicler
  • AerakarAerakar Member Posts: 718
    Back in the late 70s/early 80s gnomes in our PnP campaigns were played often as less dour dwarven cousins with an aptitude for magic and (often but not always) a love of practical jokes to provide some contrast with their cousins. We basically saw them as a branch of dwarfdom and they were still serious adventurers. Although I do like Tiax and Jan, I've never been able to identify with the goofball approach taken by BG/NWN with gnomes, pretty much without exception.

    ThacoBell
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,876
    Skatan wrote: »
    Btw, anyone knows where the idea of gnomes came first? They are not based on Tolkien like the rest of the stock races I guess? - Wrong, according to Wiki Tolkien did indeed have gnomes but they were very different from the generic gnome nowadays:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnome

    Reading this it seems gnomes share a lot of characteristics of (nowadays standard) dwarfs from the beginning mainly but also having other qualities being "earth elementals". Heh, sounds cooler than the trope used mostly today.
    I'd categorize the gnomes in western esotericism actually more relatively close as spirits than classical elementals. Kind of like the Klabautermann in folklore. Albeit centered around earth and not water. The same is also true for sylphs, salamanders and undines as well. It's funny though that the svirfneblin were the only gnome subrace that had actual powers over earth elementals. The only other Forgotten Realms subrace that had similar abilities were the urdunnir dwarves.

    In that sense the Record of Lodoss War franchise is closer to its origin than D&D ever was. Which is interesting, given that it derived as a homebrew AD&D campaign setting.

    ThacoBellAerakarleeux
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,009
    Not sure where they came from, besides a vaguely European spirit/elemental, but this was my first exposure to a concept of "Gnome."

    KamigoroshiAerakar
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,208
    Skatan wrote: »
    DA:O's version of dwarfs comes to mind as a much better example of how to take the old trope and expand it into something really, really interesting. Dwarfs still felt very much like dwarfs, but the added social context, the cast system, the political intrigues etc made them feel like a real race and not a cliché trope of uniform robots.

    YES! That was precisely why I loved DA:O's interpretation of dwarves and dwarven society. It ticks all the classic tropes of the race (conservative, insular, places great importance on family/house/tradition), but the introduction of the caste system and the way it plays into dwarven politics just made SO much sense and helped breathe new life into a race in a way that brings to life a functional society.
    Skatan wrote: »
    Could also explain how they later became fey to even further separate them from the standard races and create a niche for them perhaps? Personally I prefer gnomes to be something else, whether if it's yellow, green, furry or something to separate them from dwarfs and halflings, ie like the Orlans in PoE who feels like the "gnomes" of that setting.

    I think that that's actually where the original concept of gnomes came from, as a sort of "brothers of the earth" faerie-kin, not too dissimilar from the original Nordic concept of elves. However, this led to the gnome's shortcomings in fantasy culture because they then overlap too much with the classic concept of halflings (the shy, rural agricultural version that was clearly heavily influenced by Tolkien's hobbits), or, if they were trying to embrace more of the traditional fey ideas, they then become too similar to other fey races like brownies, pixies and sprites. (Even now, I'm willing to bet that the average D&D player probably doesn't know what differentiates those three fey races, even before muddying up the waters further by throwing a fey-styled gnome race into the mix.)

    SkatanThacoBell
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,271
    Zaxares wrote: »

    I think that that's actually where the original concept of gnomes came from, as a sort of "brothers of the earth" faerie-kin, not too dissimilar from the original Nordic concept of elves. However, this led to the gnome's shortcomings in fantasy culture because they then overlap too much with the classic concept of halflings (the shy, rural agricultural version that was clearly heavily influenced by Tolkien's hobbits), or, if they were trying to embrace more of the traditional fey ideas, they then become too similar to other fey races like brownies, pixies and sprites. (Even now, I'm willing to bet that the average D&D player probably doesn't know what differentiates those three fey races, even before muddying up the waters further by throwing a fey-styled gnome race into the mix.)

    Reply to the bolded text: According to Wiki it's actually the exact opposite, original gnomes was the direct opposite to Fairys (which I assume is the base for Fey?). Pixies I guess is just a classic fairy with another name. Brownies I don't even know what it is (yeah I know I can google it, hehe).

    BelgarathMTH
  • shabadooshabadoo Member Posts: 304
    I think gnomes like to take the tall races down a peg. Their pranks and jokes are more embarrassing than harmful. The inane insane babble that many crpg's use is beyond me. But it's probably hard to code urine in your canteen to full effect.

  • leeuxleeux Member Posts: 115
    Aren't Gnomes (in DnD, I mean...) to be generally super-intelligent (at least in average w.r.t. the other species)?

    Maybe the trope comes from the "Mad Scientist" type of behaviour, but distorted to fit standard fantasy setting in which the games take place? I.e. when talking to someone which is supposed to be super-intelligent anyone not up to their level would only hear non-sense (for them) and would have a hard time interpreting the actual meaning.

    This is all just conjecture from me, of course... I have no idea on the actual history of PnP and such :)

    ChroniclerThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,330
    edited July 2019
    leeux wrote: »
    Aren't Gnomes (in DnD, I mean...) to be generally super-intelligent (at least in average w.r.t. the other species)?

    Maybe the trope comes from the "Mad Scientist" type of behaviour, but distorted to fit standard fantasy setting in which the games take place? I.e. when talking to someone which is supposed to be super-intelligent anyone not up to their level would only hear non-sense (for them) and would have a hard time interpreting the actual meaning.

    This is all just conjecture from me, of course... I have no idea on the actual history of PnP and such :)

    Gnomes have +1 intelligence and -1 wisdom, so it would make some amount of sense for them to trend a bit more verbose and a bit less sensible than the other races.

    But I think the highest intelligence any gnome companion has is like 16, and their wisdom scores aren't too crazy either. If that was the sole reason you'd think Edwin would be gnomier than Jan, with his higher INT and lower WIS.

    leeux
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,787
    edited July 2019
    Chronicler wrote: »
    leeux wrote: »
    Aren't Gnomes (in DnD, I mean...) to be generally super-intelligent (at least in average w.r.t. the other species)?

    Maybe the trope comes from the "Mad Scientist" type of behaviour, but distorted to fit standard fantasy setting in which the games take place? I.e. when talking to someone which is supposed to be super-intelligent anyone not up to their level would only hear non-sense (for them) and would have a hard time interpreting the actual meaning.

    This is all just conjecture from me, of course... I have no idea on the actual history of PnP and such :)

    Gnomes have +1 intelligence and -1 wisdom, so it would make some amount of sense for them to trend a bit more verbose and a bit less sensible than the other races.

    But I think the highest intelligence any gnome companion has is like 16, and their wisdom scores aren't too crazy either. If that was the sole reason you'd think Edwin would be gnomier than Jan, with his higher INT and lower WIS.

    Well, to be fair, Edwin muttering under his breath about me being a 'monkey' and musing about his grandiose plans right in front of me like I'm not there is almost as insane as Tiax. Edwin is basically Tiax with a narcissistic personality disorder...

    leeuxThacoBellsemiticgoddessArvia
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