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Biting knees, building robots.
Gnomes are highly intelligent, diminutive humanoids that make their home in the technologically advanced city of Ak'anon located in the Steamfront Mountains of the continent of Faydwer. Gnomes are the only race with access to the Tinkering tradeskill, which provides access to a great many useful items. They are more intelligent than they are physically powerful, generally favoring casting classes over others. They aren't a terribly spiritual race, although gnomes can play as clerics if they wish to, although their lack of strength can make wearing heavy armor problematic at low levels. They are a good race, accepted by elves and humans, but are particularly well liked among the dwarves. Gnomish necromancers are considered evil, but won't likely have much trouble travelling safely around Ak'anon. Gnomes begin with the hide skill, and enjoy the benefit of being unusually small. They don't need the shrink spell to get into particularly tight spaces. They are particularly known for their brilliant inventions, being the only race adept with the use of magical technology. Ak'anon itself is populated with useful robots, protecting the town from danger and keeping it well-swept - that is, until something goes wrong and they go rogue.
Gnomes can play as clerics, enchanters, magicians, necromancers, rogues, warriors and wizards. Their stamina is surprisingly high for such a small race - 80 base for a warrior - but their strength, stuck in the low 60s, leaves much to be desired for warriors and rogues. Their high dexterity is good for classes that expect to use a lot of proccing weapons, but otherwise their 108 intelligence score for caster classes just looks far more appealing. They have very weak wisdom, at 77 for clerics - that combined with their low strength makes them a relatively poor choice for that. On the other hand, few people pick the gnome race for those classes, and it would certainly make you stand out to pick it, and in any case the differences fade away as you level higher. Their excellent agility helps caster classes have a little extra avoidance, giving them greater survivability in combination with their stamina score.
The Steamfront Mountains are a rather dangerous place for curious gnomes. You're generally safe so long as you stick to the area near the city gates, fighting the occasional rogue clockwork creature, but venturing too far up north can end with you on the wrong end of a minotaur's axe. Many gnomes elect to travel elsewhere for leveling, either through the Plane of Knowledge or up north to Greater Faydark to level among the elves.