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Gnome Ranger 5e D&D Guide

Gnome Ranger 5e D&D Guide

With nimble fingers, the Gnome Ranger weaves enchantments into his arrows, infusing them with the very essence of nature itself. Each shot sings with the power of the forest, striking true and igniting the air with sparks of magic.

A Gnome Ranger’s connection to the natural world is a bond that goes beyond mere companionship. In his company, woodland creatures become allies, their loyalty sworn to the ranger’s cause.

In times of danger, he is a vigilant guardian, standing tall against the encroachment of civilization and the corruption of the wild.

With every arrow that soars through the air, a little more magic is brought into the world, and the forest rejoices, knowing it has found its champion in the wily and wise Gnome Ranger.

Creating a Gnome Ranger


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.

Below is a table showing some available Gnomish features:

SkinTan, Brown, or Gray (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

EyesGray, turquoise, blue, or green, but not without a bright shine
NoseAnnoyingly large nose
MouthOften bearing a broad smile with smaller human-like teeth

Note: These features can be slightly changed or modified if some variations don’t fit your character.

Gnome Subraces

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, 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.

Ranger Class Features

Hit Points

Hit Dice1d10 per Ranger level
HP at level 110 + Constitution modifier
HP at Higher levels1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier per Ranger level after level 1


ArmorLight armor, Medium armor, Shields
WeaponsSimple weapons, Martial weapons
Saving ThrowsStrength, Dexterity
SkillsChoose three – Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival

Ranger Conclaves

Upon reaching level 3, Rangers can choose to emulate the training and ideals of a specific conclave, granting them certain conclave-only features.

Beast Master – Becoming a Beast Master is to be the embodiment of friendship between the civilized races and the beasts throughout the world.

You’ll be united with a beast, focusing on fighting monstrous foes that threaten civilization and the wilderness as Ranger and beast.

Join the Beast Master conclave means committing yourself to this very simple ideal as you establish a partnership with an animal, becoming its companion and friend.

Fey Wanderer – Fey Wanderers are surrounded by the mystique of the fey, which could’ve come from various events such as eating a shining fruit, swimming in a magic spring, or acquiring a boon from an archfey.

How you acquired your magic doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you’re now a Fey Wanderer, a Ranger representing both the fey and the mortal realms.

You are filled with joy enough to brighten the hearts of those around you while also possessing great martial powers which strike fear in your enemies. You are the embodiment of the fey, their mirth, and their fury.

Gloom Stalker – Gloom Stalkers feel at home in the darkest places in the world, often found in primeval forests, deep under the earth, in gloomy alleyways, or anywhere else the light dims.

While most people enter these areas with trepidation, Gloom Stalkers venture bravely into the darkness, destroying threats before they can reach the outside world.

Many Gloom Stalkers can often be found in the Underdark, but they are willing to go to any place where evil hides in the shadows.

Horizon Walker – Rangers known as Horizon Walkers guard the world against threats that originate from distant planes or those who seek to destroy the mortal realm with fierce magic.

You’ll often hear of them seeking out planar portals, keeping watch over them, and even venturing into the Inner and Outer Planes to pursue their foes.

Horizon Walkers are great allies to many forces found in the multiverse – especially benevolent dragons, elementals, and fey – that work together to preserve life and the order of each plane.

Hunter – Hunters seek to master weapons to protect civilization from terrors that live in the wilderness.

These Rangers are taught specialized fighting techniques to use against these threats, ranging from terrifying dragons, hordes of orcs, towering giants, and rampaging ogres.

Monster Slayer – Monsters Slayer Rangers have dedicated themselves to hunting down wielders of grim magic and creatures of the night. They’ll often seek out dragons, evil fey, fiends, vampires, and other magical threats to vanquish.

Monster Slayers were trained in supernatural techniques for the sole reason of destroying and overcoming the powers of these monsters, becoming experts at defeating and unearthing mighty, mystical foes.

Swarmkeeper – Swarmkeepers are Rangers who feel a deep connection to the environment around them, reaching out through the magical connection they have to the world and bonding with swarms of nature spirits.

Many Swarmkeepers are hermits or outcasts, keeping mostly to themselves and attending to their swarms rather than taking on the burdens and discomforts of others.

Other Swarmkeepers enjoy building bustling communities they see as mutually beneficial to all those who form a part of their swarm.

Drakewarden – Drakewardens have their link to the natural world embodied by a draconic spirit, with the physical form of a drake.

As your power grows, so does your drake, turning from a meager four-legged companion to a majestic winged creature, strong and large enough to be ridden. The Drakewarden will also gain powerful draconic powers.

Combining Ranger With Gnome

Determining Your Ranger Subclass

Choosing your ideal subclass is subjective, but if your objective is optimization, try understanding what your character wants to do and what stats fit best with their subclass.

Beast MasterDefender/Striker
Fey WandererDefender/Scout/Striker
Gloom StalkerDefender/Scout/Striker
Horizon WalkerDefender/Striker/Utility Caster
Monster SlayerDefender/Striker

Optimal Gnome Subrace

As a Gnome, you start with a bonus to Intelligence (2), followed by a bonus to one ability score brought on by your subrace. Unfortunately, Intelligence isn’t very useful for Rangers, but having it is better than the latter.

If optimization is your plan, you should choose either the Forest Gnome or the Svirfneblin (Deep Gnome). Both of these subraces have a bonus to Dexterity (1), with some helpful abilities for a Ranger.

For those who have interests in beasts or stealth, the Forest Gnome comes with the Natural Illusionist (unlock the Minor Illusion Cantrip) and Speak with Small Beasts (communicate simple ideas with Small or smaller beasts) features, so you can start to practice early for becoming a Beast Master!

The Svirfneblin have Superior Darkvision (Darkivions of 120 feet) and Stone Camouflage (advantage on Dexterity [Stealth] checks to hide in rock terrain). These features can help a Ranger who likes to prowl in the shadows!

Your Gnome Ranger Background

Your Gnome Ranger needs a unique background that will affect its choices, as well as the way it sees the world and what it wants 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 Ranger grew up in and how it affected them physically and emotionally and eventually 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

(Short outline of characteristics; are they proud, violent, or angry, and how does their class affect their personality).

Gnome Ranger Examples:

  • I always watch over my friends as if they were all a litter of newborn pups (even though I’m shorter than them).
  • 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 Ranger’s life – their conviction, ethical principle, and moral standing (probably something about nature).

I see no good in pretending to be something I’m not.

Bonds – Think of a single bond that your Gnome Ranger 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 worked the land, I love the land, and I will protect the land.

Flaws – Choose a single flaw for a Gnome Ranger – their unhealthy compulsion, greatest fear/weakness, or most vile vice.

I have a ‘tell’ that reveals when I’m lying.


Inspiration can be used by the DM to reward you for playing according to your bond, personality traits, ideals, and flaw.

There’s nothing more important than protecting those close to you. Even if they are the aggressors, I will defend my party till my last breath.

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 For Gnome Rangers

Rangers 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) Scale mail or (b) Leather armor
  • (a) Two shortswords or (b) Two simple melee weapons
  • (a) Dungeoneer’s pack or (b) Explorer’s pack
  • Longbow and quiver of 20 arrows

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: By using your starting wealth, you can buy your own equipment (5d4 x 10 GP for Rangers).

Final Thoughts

Gnome Rangers aren’t too common, but even with their stats not ideally lining up for this class, they can still become extremely proficient marksmen.

Subraces like the Forest Gnome are great if you want a good roleplay character who loves nature; they even have stats that complement what a Ranger needs.

Even though Gnomes don’t tend to become Rangers, if you see one wandering around, don’t take him lightly. You never know how quick and skilled they can be, especially at their size.

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