by Kipper Snifferdoo & Joe Mashuga
There are no tinker gnomes on Adlatum apart from those few who make their way there entirely by accident. Instead, Adlatum’s talker gnomes descend from a small delegation of diplomats and politicians that the Graygem (or Reorx, depending on who you speak to) transformed into a race of obsessive social engineers.
The talker gnomes (“Mentoi”) are everywhere in Adlatum. They are hyper-bureaucrats, political tinkers of exceptional skill who are nevertheless never satisfied with their results. Their own nation is a labyrinthine maze of plots, scandals, deals and partnerships, hopelessly deadlocked, so most gnomes take their skills elsewhere and serve as advisors to the rulers, kings and generals of the other races.
Personality: Gnomes are fixated on issues such as record keeping, government operations, diplomatic relations, business dealings, social engineering and the like. As such, Mentoi tend to behave professionally in most matters, no matter how mundane.
Physical Description: Talker gnomes are physically identical to their Ansalonian cousins—brown skin, white hair, and deep blue or violet eyes. Their garb usually suits their location or purpose. For example, a Mentoi sent to Etlarn will typically dress in Etlarnic fashion.
Relations: Mentoi tend to have better relations with those races who have a more civilized and structured society. Gnomes do not enjoy the company of the cat-folk, bakali, ogres, and Hoda kunda. Dwarves, Midlander humans, Corinesti, Gildanesti, and Mahjoran minotaurs are the races the Mentoi get along best with in most environments. For most others, the Mentoi have generally neutral yet professional relationships, except for the Avanesti with whom they have little contact.
2nd-3.5 Edition: Their stoic demeanor and their tendency to wrap themselves within issues of law, policy, and formal agreements lend most gnomes towards the lawful alignments.
4th Edition: Their stoic demeanor and their tendency to wrap themselves within issues of law, policy, and formal agreements lend most gnomes towards being unaligned. The majority of the other Mentoi are either lawful good or evil.
Gnomish Lands: The city-state of Gnomorrah is recognized as its own nation, even though it technically resides within the borders of FyxZharar of the Midlands. The autonomy is granted due to the fact all non-gnomes would never want to deal with running the Mentoi bureaucracy. The main gnomish settlement comprises of a single area of 300 square miles in the Thunderhead mountain range.
Religion: Many gnomes have either a detached sense of the world they chronicle or they are so fixated on their roles as social agents such that religion does not enter into their lives unless they are actually working for or with a church.
The exceptions are the church of Melik Suud (Reorx) and Nekkarb (Shinare). In the past, Melik Suud had been honored as the founder of their race and thus the Chief Executive Founder of Mentoi society. However, beyond that, faith does not add much to the development and maintenance of society. In fact, the honor given to Melik Suud does not usually equate to actual worship.
The gnomes have similarly honored Nekkarb for her faith’s teachings about communication and business management. However Nekkarb’s church itself does support or influence communication, trade, and other methods of negotiation. For this, Nekkarb had established a majority hold of the pious within the Mentoi society.
A handful of pious Mentoi also follow the faiths of Thobit (Majere) as a god of industry, thought, and communication or of Folmhesta (Hiddukel) as a manipulator of agreements and law.
It is expected some Mentoi may return to these faiths with the return of the gods. Language: The gnomish language is essentially a bastardized form of Common but so filled with double-talk and triple-talk that other races have trouble understanding it. Most talker gnomes study multiple languages to better understand the myriad of races they are sure to encounter in their lives, and they may pepper their own speech with key phrases or jargon from these languages.
Names: Mentoi names are lengthy strings of syllables, each being a shorthand contraction of names and words from a variety of languages. A name written out in full describes the complete listing of what the gnome’s parents had hoped to be the child’s fields of expertise later in life. Upon being of age, a Mentoi who knows what he will be doing in life will contract his name down to a shorter more accurate form. Rarely do parents name their children referring to so few fields of work and study that the child doesn’t take up some of those fields as a career.
Mentoi do not have family names, but if a career path has been passed down from parent to child for several generations, common syllables referring to that career will be passed down within their names as well.
Male Names: Opheimus, Panorvesh, Scrivaln, Travresrec.
Female Names: Advichish, Hayglmarch, Polifince, Romrashalish.
Adventurers: Mentoi adventure in order to search for relics of interest, such as the Volumes of the Prophet, the lost weapons of the Midlands, or something more obscure uncovered during research. Others wish to uncover knowledge either in regards to ancient works or current political dirty laundry. If a gnome has an interest in social engineering, the gnome may journey to find those he could experiment his sociopolitical ideas on.
Talker Gnome Racial Traits
Talker gnomes possess the Krynnish gnome racial traits listed in the Dragonlance Campaign Setting except as follows:
- –2 Strength, +2 Intelligence, –2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma. This replaces the gnome ability score modifiers.
- +2 racial bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, and Sense Motive checks. Talker gnomes are masters of the political scene. This replaces the gnome Craft (alchemy) and Guild Affiliation bonuses.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Gnome. Bonus Languages: Any, except secret languages such as Druidic.
- Favored Class: Noble (if you use the War of the Lance sourcebook, use the master instead of the noble).