In an enchanted forest, you may stumble upon a peculiar creature known as the Gnome Druid.
With their diminutive stature and affinity for the natural world, they may seem unassuming at first glance, but make no mistake – they are a force to be reckoned with.
Through years of studying the arcane arts and communing with the spirits of the land, Gnome Druids have developed a deep understanding of the natural world and all its secrets.
Even though they might not look it, Gnome Druids are fierce warriors when provoked, armed with staves, elemental summoning magic, or transformation magic turning into fearsome beasts to tear their enemies apart.
If you seek a companion with knowledge of the natural world camouflaged by their pint-sized appearance but dangerous when needed, then the Gnome Druid is your answer.
Creating a Gnome Druid
Gnomes often live in bustling, close-knit communities, and one can constantly hear the clatter of machinery, loud laughter, shouts of delight, or minor explosions.
Gnomes love life, enjoying their creations, explorations, inventions, and playful games.
|Skin||Tan, brown, or grey (Deep Gnomes)|
|Hair (Including their Beard)||Fair hair, yet sticking out in every direction |
Beards are well-kept, trimmed, and often styled in neat points or forks
|Eyes||Grey, turquoise, blue, or green, but not without a bright shine|
|Nose||Annoyingly large nose|
|Mouth||Often bearing a broad smile with smaller human-like teeth|
Note: These features can be changed to your liking or added to if some variations don’t fit your character.
Gnomes have 4 distinct subraces to choose from, some more common than others or only found in certain areas.
Forest Gnome – Forest Gnomes are secretive, rare creatures who often commune in sylvan forests, using their illusions to conceal their presence from outsiders.
These gnomes are often friendly to good-hearted woodland creatures, allying with elves and good fey. They also enjoy befriending smaller forest critters, relying on them for information.
Rock Gnome – Rock Gnomes are natural inventors, forming the bulk of the Gnomish population. They’re known to be hardy creatures – never eager to back off from a challenge.
Deep Gnome (Svirfneblin) – Deep Gnomes are found in the Underdark, living in small communities scattered throughout its dark landscape.
Deep Gnomes are different than most creatures in the Underdark yet remain as kind as their surface-dwelling relatives. Their oppressive environment has, unfortunately, dampened their humor and enthusiasm.
Mark of Scribing Gnome – The Mark of Scribing Gnomes deals with communication – written and spoken. They easily translate languages, speak to others at distances, and are gifted with communication spells.
Note: If you want to optimize your character, pick the subrace that best complements the Druid class
Druid Class Features
|Hit Dice||1d8 per Druid level|
|HP at level 1||8 + Constitution modifer|
|HP at Higher levels||1d8 (or 5) + Constitution modifier per Druid level after level 1|
|Armor||Light armor, Medium armor, Shields (Druids will not wear armor or shields made from metal)|
|Weapons||Clubs, Daggers, Darts, Javelins, Maces, Quarterstaffs, Scimitars, Sickles, Slings, Spears|
|Saving Throws||Intelligence, Wisdom|
|Skills||Choose two – Arcana, Animal Handling, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, and Survival|
Upon reaching level 3, you’ll have access to 7 different Druid circles, all having their own playstyles – but you’ll have to find one that best fits your character.
Dreams – Members of the Circle of Dreams have strong ties to the Feywild. They have a duty to protect the natural world, meaning they’re in an alliance with the good-aligned fey.
These Druids are masters at magical remedies, using them to mend wounds, bring joy to those unwilling to live on and have them find peace.
Land – Circle of the Land Druids are keepers of knowledge passed down through oral tradition. They whisper secrets around standing stones and serve as advisors to communities holding on to the Old Faith.
The magic they wield is influenced by the land they were initiated, giving them an undying link to that place.
Moon – Druids belonging to the Circle of the Moon are fierce natural guardians, living so deep within the wilderness that months can pass before seeing another humanoid.
These Druids can prowl as a giant feline, fly through the sky as a bird of prey or act as the guardian bear of the forest.
Shepard – Circle of the Shepard Druids commune with nature spirits – especially those of beasts and fey – calling upon them for aid.
They protect animals rather than themselves, living their days in the wilderness, enjoying the company of the animals they hold so dear. The spirits of the wilderness always follow their shepherds.
Spores – Members of the Circle of Spores find beauty in decay, seeing that every death leads to new life and only being a change of state.
These Druids have complex relations with the undead, considering some as allies. However, they don’t permit undead to change the cycle they hold dear, thwarting out those who try to violate it.
Stars – Circle of the Stars Druids understand the power of the cosmos, seeking to harness its powers and reveal its mysteries.
They record constellations, documenting their effects on the world and constructing monoliths to hold their knowledge, protected even against powerful cataclysms.
Wildlife – Druids belonging to the Circle of Wildfire see destruction as the precursor to creation.
They bond with primal spirits, unlocking their creative and destructive power and using it to create devastating attacks or give life to those who need it most.
Combining Class With Race
Determining Your Subclass
Deciding on a subclass is subjective, but if you’re concerned with optimizing your character, try understanding what your character wants to do and what subclass fits best with their subrace.
Unfortunately, the Gnome’s bonus to their Intelligence score (2) doesn’t really help them too much, as a Druid’s Spellcasting Ability depends on Wisdom.
As a Druid, you’ll benefit most from just being a Forest Gnome or the Mark of Scribing Gnome, as it at least has access to a few spells.
Your Gnome Druid needs a unique background that will affect their choices, as well as the way they see the world and what they want to achieve.
Start by asking yourself some basic questions: Where were they born, and where did they come from? Do they have any goals, bonds, or ideals, and what are their flaws? Where do they belong in social circles and society as a whole? What inspires them?
Place of Birth
Think of the environment a Gnome Druid grew up in, the physical and emotional outcome of it, and how it shaped their view of the world.
Try to make their place of birth and upbringing correspond with their personality traits, ideals, bonds, and flaws – this will truly bring their character alive.
Note: The birthplaces of races are usually mentioned in the Player’s Handbook or some of its expansion books.
Characteristics and Personality Traits
Gnome Druids are talkative yet very protective of nature, some even regard animals as higher than common races, but that’s just their personality, and yours can be different.
Gnome Druid Examples:
- I always watch over my friends as if they were all a litter of newborn pups.
- I have a lesson for each situation drawn from observing nature.
Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws
Ideal – Express one ideal that is a driving force in a Gnome Druid’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).
The natural world is more important than any and all the constructs of civilization.
Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Gnome Druid has to an event, person, or place. Bonds will tie them to their background and can inspire bravery or stimulate memories driving them against their ideals.
I’m still seeking the enlightenment I pursued in my seclusion, and it still eludes me.
Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Gnome Druid – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.
The tyrant who rules my land will stop at nothing to see me killed.
The DM can use inspiration to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.
Taking care of nature is my boon.
Note: If you’re struggling to create your background or just don’t want to think, the Player’s Handbook has well-thought-through backgrounds that you can use for your character or use as a mold.
Supplies and Gear
Druids start with the following equipment, together with the equipment from their background. Choosing equipment based on your situation and your character’s proficiencies is the easiest way to go about things.
- (a) Wooden shield or (b) Any simple weapon
- (a) Scimitar or (b) Any simple melee weapon
- Leather armor, an explorer’s pack, and a druidic focus
You can decide how your character came about these goods – whether they stole, inherited, or purchased them some time back – adding to your character’s background.
Note: You can also use your starting wealth to buy equipment (2d4 x 10 GP for Druids).
Gnome Druids are experts at staying inconspicuous in nature; they also possess some intrinsic healing magic, making them good Supports and Healers.
If your party needs someone to keep things civilized yet enjoyable, Gnome Druids should be your go-to.