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Avis
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« on: 28 April 2002, 12:42:00 »

That last message was quite rushed. Following is a very brief outline of my plans for the Gnomes. I still need to know a place where they can live and when I find this and get the go ahead from Artimidor I will continue work on them in earnest.

The Gnomes are a small race ranging in size from 1 ped to 1.5 peds. They start off with very little hair and go bald quickly although they often keep a short beard. They have long fingered hands which work very quickly and carefully.

They are very ingenious in their inventions, creating many ingenious devices ranging from mechanical toys upto improved windmills and water wheels, which they have just started to hook up to other devices such as looms and other mass production products.

There are two types of Gnomes. One type live among humans in their cities. They often do very well for themselves building large workshops run off nearby streams where they manufacture all kinds of things. The fact that the chief Gnome often becomes immensely wealthy and puts other human manufacturers out of businness means they are often persecuted and would probably have been driven out of human cities if they weren't so useful for the economy and particularly helpful in war where their brilliant war machines often tipp the balance of battle.

The other sort of Gnomes live together in their own very large cities located (insert place where they have access to all sorts of raw materials). All of the cities are huge centres of industry. They are divided up into Guilds, the leaders of which rule the city. The Guild members all design new devices and improved methods of doing things as well as performing the difficult parts of the manufacturing proccess. Below Guild members are the (suitable name here, like I said I'm no good at names) the Gnomes without a guild. They are most definetely a lower class and will be employed by a Guild to perform all the menial jobs and work the production lines. An example of the division of labour would be, say in a table producing factory run off a nearby river, the Gnomes without a guild would sit at the machines performing manual tasks like connecting the tabletop and legs while a few members of the wood working guild would be present for quality control and to fix any broken machines.

Entry into a guild is only possible if you are the child of a guild member. This does not however guarantee entry. On a certain day of the year all eligible recruits(i.e. over a certain age) are tested. If they pass the tests, they enter the guild and will live a priviledged life if they fail they join the ranks of the Guildless Gnomes where their lives will be much more difficult.

Sorry about any mistakes/lack of names/stupid example. I wrote it all at once which I find makes it a lot easier and i don't have time to edit it. If people think the idea won't fit please just tell me so I don't waste any more time on it and I will then be at your disposal to elaborate anyother race you choose. If you think its goo but needs revision just tell me and I'll put it right. I thought I'd post in this forum as it makes more sense than in the Joining Forum

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #1 on: 28 April 2002, 21:08:00 »

Avis: (great name choice by the way! Short, sweet, and simple - not to mention easy to remember...)


I like your suggestions and am very glad that someone wants to spend time elaborating a very sketchy race into something fit for the Dream. Your concept of Gnomes as small, clever, and technologically sophisticated is quite appropriate, although currently very reminiscent of the Dragonlance fantasy series....

However, the idea of huge cities of Gnomes monopolizing natural resources makes me a bit uncomfortable. We have already Brownie tribes which specialize in Leonardo-da-Vinci-type technology, which is currently the most sophisticated level we want to utilize in Santharia (which after all is mostly a medieval-leve society). We also have Dwarven clans which are mainly in charge of metallurgy, mining, armour and weaponry production (although some humans do their own forging, it's not common). Introducing a vast number of Gnomes in their own large Guild-run cities would seriously tip the sociological scales, not to mention that natural resources are not infinite. Gnomes would constantly be in competition with both Brownies and Dwarves (and dwarves have short tempers!)...

Might I suggest a compromise?

Specialization is always best. Let Gnomes be the alchemists and chymists of Santharia! As yet we have no 'scientists' (well, we have researchers, scholars, mages, etc....) and no one who deals with chemical reactions and actions. Small nimble-handed people who would be careful about measurement, curious to find out the reactions and interactions between various substances, and would then have a monopoly on extracting, refining, and selling those substances would be highly prized.

Many medieval trades required alum, for example (tanners, dyers, etc.) and we have no one taking care of that. Rock salt could be mined by the Gnomes (my dwarves haven't yet gotten around to that, so that's ok...) and sulphur, graphite, and other reagents needed by mages would all certainly be possibilities!

They could certainly live among humans as in your first example, as independent chymists (chemists) and alchymists (a kind of combination scientist/ astronomer /astrologer) It would also work well to have small Gnome villages near the mineral/chemical deposits which they are mining and refining, fairly well-known to traders.

Or - another brainshower - we don't have anyone who specializes in glassblowing yet, although we all assume we have glass in this society! Would be great if your Gnomes could do glass work, bottle manufacture, and even grind simple lenses.... just an idea....

Well, that's my two san's worth. Please let me know what you think, Avis. We need these mercantile holes filled somehow, and it seems that Gnomes might be just the race to do that!

With welcome and regards from the Bard,



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Avis
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« Reply #2 on: 29 April 2002, 08:46:00 »

Okay, I understand what you mean, I was a bit worried about it myself but had read the Brownies entry and thought this was the best way to make them distinctive, however your idea is great. I'll re-write my entry to make them chemists, which would still give them a technological edge but make them much less powerful. I'll try to send out another post soon containing revised ideas in the format laid out for races. Is that ok with everyone?

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #3 on: 29 April 2002, 09:19:00 »

Thanks, Avis.

I'm assuming that you've gotten a go-ahead from Art (or will be getting such a message) to proceed with the Gnomes, as we have a very STRICT no-new-races policy.  As far as I know, though, the Gnomes  were initiated and begun a long time ago by someone else and you are asking permission to continue developing them...which would be great, 'cause we hate loose ends around this place!  

Anyhow, there are lots of resources to help you out, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask!

Regards from the Bard

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Avis
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« Reply #4 on: 29 April 2002, 11:22:00 »

I have asked in my thread in joining for Artimidor's permission to work on Gnomes. He read the message but and replied although he only said that he was against the joining of halflings and gnomes, not express permission. If he reads this can he please clarify whether that was permission or not.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #5 on: 29 April 2002, 12:34:00 »

Well, the gnomes are no new race, but one that was started quite a while ago by Xaron (a disappeared member, who has confirmed to me that he is too busy with other things now). However, what we have from the gnomes is extremely fragmentary and definitely would need a general revision, according to our new races scheme (see sticky topic on top of this forum). So I guess it's ok if you want to concentrate on the gnomes, Avis, just remember that there's a lot involved in describing a race thoroughly.


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Koldar Mondrakken
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« Reply #6 on: 29 April 2002, 13:45:00 »

First and most important point in my eyes is where do they live? The world is getting rather crowded with various races who don't like each other. Thus my latest Halfling <-> Gnome approach though I accept any decision to stick with two dwarven dwarf races here as well.
Only an explanation of my concerns...

Koldar Mondrakken, Knight of the Moonlight
--Santharian Master of Disaster ;)--

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Avis
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« Reply #7 on: 29 April 2002, 14:48:00 »

To Koldar. I don't think my Gnomes will take up too much room. A lot of them live with humans in Human cities. I am searching the map for an area with most of what they need but mainly uninhabited, which can contain a few villages and their "Capital city" which is little more than a town.

I thought I'd post what I've done so far so you don't think I've given up and you can critisise it.

Overview
The Gnomes are a small race approximately a ped high. They are renowned for there skills at alchemy, glass production and medicine, due to there ability with chemicals and their use of their dextrous hands and good eyesight to measure minute quantities. As such they have made a large amount of money trading and producing these chemicals for other people as well as themselves and it is not uncommon to see incredibly wealthy gnomes walking round the towns of Santharia.

Appearance
As mentioned above a Gnomes size ranges from slightly less than a ped all the way through too one and a half peds however the bigger sizes are rare and are seen as freaks by some of their race. They have long fingers that virtually never tremble and as such are brilliant for their jobs as alchemists. They have normal sized eyes but their eyesight is in fact  excellent and they can see very small things. Their skin tone is very pale and they are not normally very muscular (as in every race there are some body-building exceptions). They are not normally exceedingly fat, most young Gnomes are relatively thin, but as they get older most of them do put on weight. Although they do start off with hair ( the current fashion is to have it cut very short) by middle age they tend to be bald although many do maintain beards (again the current  fashion is short). Hair is normally black although occassionly there will be a dark brown haired Gnome.

Coat of Arms
Gnomes as such do not have one coat of arms for all of their race. Instead they have signs for different occupations and levels reached at their occupation. For the individual symbols see below under  occupations.

Territory
Many Gnomes live among humans in their cities. They do very well there as there is always demand for their medical and chemical skill. One of there major money earners is the creation of glass vessels, mirrors and stained glass windows. They had used coloured glass in replace of gems, and this had done very well as a cheap, novelty decoration however the dwarves made it quite clear that no-one was going to push there way into the gem market and destroyed most of the Gnomish workshops that produced fake gems. At the time the Gnomes were in a very weak position as general Gnomish hatred was growing as the doctors gave preferential treatment to Gnomes during (insert name of suitable plague here) so they gave up the decoration business. These Gnomes were at some times in history considered false Gnomes by the independent Gnomes however now the relationship between the two are a lot better now.

Clothing
Gnomes living in human cities tend to adopt the clothing of the area, although the dyes tend to be of very high quality as Gnomes are excellent at there production and normally Gnomes trade preferentially with their own kind (a fact which often causes tension between the Gnomes and local population). Richer Gnomes tend to overdo their dressing, although it is normally in local fashion it is often too over the top for most humans.

Weapons
The Gnomes are not a very warlike people as a whole and as such they have few weapons, most of which they get in trade from other races. There is no Gnomish standing army, which has caused them to be conquered and enslaved several times throughout their history. The mages often enslaved Gnomes during the War of the Chosen and forced them to create chemicals for their magic. They were generally left alone during the first two Santharian wars between Elves and men however in the third they were again conquered and subjected to torture and slavery before the humans, elves, and dwarves drove off the dark forces.

The Gnomes who dwell among men, although not  normally involved in fighting themselves have used their chemical knowledge to create weapons of great power. One of these weapons would be the flamethrower, which sprays burning chemicals straight in front of it for a limited distance but causing huge destruction. Another example would be Gnomish fire, that is thought of as magical by most, in which a ball of burning chemicals is lobbed at the enemy (normally by a catapult but any other method would do) which is not put out by water but instead burnt more fiercely. These inventions have been instrumental in certain sieges like (Insert name of siege here)

Government
The Government of the Gnomes is a Meritocracy. The best merchant and chemist (from all the disciplines form the government.). The best chemist is selected completely apolitically and is called the (I don’t know yet, I’m rubbish at names). There are certain chemical reactions to perform and questions on chemistry to answer. When the chemist reaches this post he writes down the tests to be performed by the (whatever I call him) 3 generations in the future. This means that all the questions and tasks remain up to date but it is impossible for the (whatever) to influence his successor by asking questions that only one of the candidates would now about. The selection of the best merchant is slightly more politically orientated. The wealth of a merchant is ascertained, anything he inherited is removed and then the top 10 merchants are selected. The rest of the merchants then vote on which merchant shall become the chief merchant.

Both of these positions are for life. The chief chemist outranks the chief merchant and has the final say on everything. The chief merchant is just there to advise the chief chemist on how to run the relationships between other races and trade. The chief merchant may insist on a meeting with the chief chemist where the chief chemist cannot leave until the chief merchant lets him or ten hours have passed.

This system is considered very primitive by most other races as they do not believe that a qualification in chemistry makes you a good leader. This is probably true, but birth or the ability to persuade people are not that good indicators anyway, and this system turns up about as many good leaders as bad. One problem that does effect this system however is that often apathetic leaders gain power, however as the Gnomes generally stay out of the rest of the world’s way and there is seldom anything for the chief chemist to decide this is probably a good thing for the Gnomes.

BTW I know there is still lots to do and loads of detail to be added.

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Greybark
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« Reply #8 on: 30 April 2002, 08:34:00 »

I like.
The chemistry thing has taken care of the overlap with Brownies that I had been concerned with. They seem to be really developing well.

You still need a mythological origin. Are you going to keep the original one of their having been derived from orcs?


Brownie Expert

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Avis
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« Reply #9 on: 30 April 2002, 08:47:00 »

I'm not sure yet where they came from although I am thinking about it. If anyone has any other suggestions I would like to hear them, if not I'll come up with something before they're finished.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #10 on: 30 April 2002, 14:48:00 »

Yup, like as well what we have so far.

The Territory part however is not very specific, Avis. Only the first two sentences fit under Territory. The rest of the paragraph should go under the section "People", where more details about gnomes in general should be placed. Under Territory more information about locations where you can find gnomes should be placed.

I'd say that gnomes are only a small race and that there only exist a few gnome villages (similar to halfling villages) where pure gnomes live.


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Thuja
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« Reply #11 on: 30 April 2002, 15:32:00 »

As I was re-writing Horth, I was going to have glass blowers there to make the wine bottles, it would be a good place to have a few Gnomes.  I will write it into my description of the city.  This will give a start to having them interacting with society.

Man, I wish I had more time right now.  All my good ideas keep getting taken before I can put them on the site.  Oh well that's life I guess.


"Never argue with an idiot, they will lower you to their level and beat you with experience."

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Bard Judith
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« Reply #12 on: 01 May 2002, 01:19:00 »

For names and titles for your Gnome leaders, how about some of the following? You could create a hierarchy if you want to use more than one of these.....

Arch-Chemist (pronounced AR-kem-ist)
High Alchymist
High Chemist of the Gnorth Clan
Blendmaster
Apothetek
Grainweigher
Apothecary
Chemist
Mortarist
Pestlewielder
Prentice Grinder

Mercantine Lord
High Merchant
High Merchant of the Argentus Clan
High Bargune
Trademaster
Barterer
Hagglestout
Salender
Shopwright
Stallholder

And by the way, in the Miscellaneous Forum, there is a thread entitled Weights and Measures.  I believe it will be pretty essential to your Gnomes....  You might wish to further develop a system for very tiny units (which the Brownies also need) based on grains, powders, and fractions of the smallest unit we currently have of both weight and volume.  Or just ask me and I'll work it out, somewhere along the line!




Regards



Regards from the Bard


 “The three principal endeavors of a Bard are to learn and collect knowledge; to teach others; to make peace and put an end to all injury. To do contrary to these things is not usual or becoming to a Bard.”  
The Triads of Britain, medieval text

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