Posted in: Dungeons and Dragons 5e

Gnome Rogue Guide [D&D 5e]

In the illustrious realm of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, the combination of a Gnome and a Rogue may not be as conventional as the classic Halfling Rogue, but for those with a penchant for creativity and a thirst for unique gameplay experiences, the Gnome Rogue is an option worth exploring. This comprehensive guide will dive deep into the intricacies of crafting and playing a Gnome Rogue, unraveling the mysteries of character creation, strategies in and out of combat, and roleplaying your curious and mischievous Gnome Rogue.

Gnome Rogue Guide [D&D 5e]
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Creating Your Gnome Rogue

Step 1: Attributes

Creating a Gnome Rogue starts with selecting your attributes. You have two options: either rolling your stats using the 4d6 method described in the Player’s Handbook or choosing the standard array of 15, 14, 13, 12, 10, and 8. For an archetypal Gnome Rogue, allocate your attributes as follows:

  • Dexterity (15): Essential for your Rogue’s agility. Forest Gnomes gain a +1 bonus, increasing it to 16.
  • Intelligence (14): All Gnomes gain +2 Intelligence, boosting this number to 16.
  • Constitution (13): Rock Gnomes gain +1 Constitution, bringing it to 14.
  • Wisdom (12): Decent Wisdom for your character’s perception and awareness.
  • Charisma (10): Average Charisma, as Gnomes typically excel in other areas.
  • Strength (8): Gnomes usually lack physical strength.

This allocation ensures that your Gnome Rogue excels in skills crucial for a rogue, such as stealth and deception, while being intellectually adept and nimble.

Step 2: Choosing a Subrace

Both Forest Gnomes and Rock Gnomes are excellent choices for a Gnome Rogue, though personal preference plays a role. Forest Gnomes gain +1 Dexterity, making them slightly more agile, which is beneficial for a Rogue. Additionally, they can cast Minor Illusion and communicate with small animals. Picture a Gnome Rogue summoning a band of squirrels for aid – a truly memorable moment in any campaign.

Rock Gnomes, on the other hand, have a “tinker” ability, allowing them to craft gadgets. While seemingly less flashy than the Forest Gnomes’ abilities, these gadgets can be invaluable, especially when shared with party members.

In addition to these two subraces, there is a third option found in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes: the Deep Gnome, or Svirfneblin. They excel in mountainous regions, caves, and underground networks, but are less effective outside these environments. They possess an impressive 120 feet of darkvision, without the sunlight sensitivity drawback, making them a decent choice for various campaigns.

Playing Your Gnome Rogue

Pathfinder: Hookshanks Gruller

A Gnome Rogue’s strength lies in their ability to gather information swiftly and stealthily. With a +2 to your Intelligence score, you are well-equipped to handle Arcana, Investigation, History, and Religion skills, allowing you to solve the mysteries your party encounters. Forest Gnomes can even consult small animals for wisdom and information, though be aware that animal perspectives may differ from humanoid viewpoints.

In combat, Gnome Rogues thrive by embracing their affinity for illusions, making the Arcane Trickster subclass a fantastic choice at 3rd level. This subclass provides access to wizard spells, primarily illusion and enchantment magic. Consider cantrips like message, friends, prestidigitation, and firebolt to complement your toolkit. Additionally, you gain Mage Hand and a special feature, “mage hand legerdemain,” which allows your invisible hand to pick locks and pockets, synergizing well with the Rock Gnome’s “tinker” ability.

Roleplaying Your Gnome Rogue

When it comes to roleplaying your Gnome Rogue, the possibilities are endless. While the Player’s Handbook describes Gnomes as lively and enthusiastic, you have the freedom to deviate from this stereotype and portray your Gnome Rogue as a sullen, brooding character, especially in the case of Deep Gnomes.

Curiosity is a core motivator for Gnomes, aligning well with the Rogue’s nature as a thief and explorer. Your Gnome Rogue might be driven by a burning question that only delving into arcane arts can answer or a desire to explore new places and meet fascinating people. The mystery your character seeks can be deeply personal or fuel their excitement for each new day. Regardless, the Gnome’s proclivity for good-natured meddling means they can’t resist investigating, fixing, or deconstructing things that pique their interest.

In conclusion, the Gnome Rogue in Dungeons & Dragons 5e offers a unique and engaging gameplay experience. Their agility, intellect, and mischievous nature make them a captivating choice for players seeking a character that thrives on creativity and quick thinking. Embrace the Gnome Rogue’s potential for both lighthearted antics and cunning strategy as you embark on your D&D adventures.

Strategies and Tactics for Your Gnome Rogue

Stealth and Subtlety

Gnome Rogues excel in the art of stealth and subterfuge. With their smaller stature and inherent agility, they can easily navigate through tight spaces and remain hidden from enemies. Make the most of your high Dexterity score by prioritizing skills like Stealth and Sleight of Hand. These skills will serve you well when you need to slip past guards, pickpocket unsuspecting individuals, or remain unseen during an ambush.

Cunning and Deception

Gnomes, known for their cleverness and quick thinking, are naturals at outsmarting their foes. Your high Intelligence score can aid you in devising cunning strategies and understanding complex traps or puzzles. Leverage this intellect to your advantage in both combat and non-combat situations. Whether you’re disarming a trap, deciphering an ancient inscription, or deciphering the motives of a mysterious adversary, your Gnome Rogue’s sharp mind will be your greatest asset.

Versatile Skills

As a Gnome Rogue, you possess a range of skills that can prove invaluable in various scenarios. Your proficiency in Acrobatics and Athletics enables you to navigate treacherous terrain, scale walls, and perform daring feats of agility. Additionally, your proficiency in Persuasion and Deception can be used to manipulate NPCs or gather crucial information from informants. Don’t underestimate the power of social skills in your arsenal, as they can be just as potent as your physical abilities.

Illusions and Trickery

One of the standout features of the Gnome Rogue is their aptitude for illusions and trickery. As an Arcane Trickster, you’ll have access to a selection of wizard spells, particularly those of the illusion and enchantment schools. These spells can help you distract enemies, create diversions, and sow confusion among your foes. Mastering the art of illusion can turn the tide of battles and confound adversaries, giving you the upper hand.

Creative Gadgets and Devices

If you’ve chosen the Rock Gnome subrace, your tinkering abilities can come in handy throughout your adventures. While your creations may initially appear simplistic, their utility can be immense when applied creatively. Craft useful gadgets and devices that can help you and your party overcome challenges. Your penchant for tinkering can also synergize with your Mage Hand Legerdemain, allowing you to manipulate your creations with magical finesse.

Adventures and Quests for Your Gnome Rogue

Gnome Rogues are ideally suited for quests that involve uncovering hidden secrets, outsmarting adversaries, and embarking on thrilling escapades. Here are a few adventure ideas that align with your character’s unique traits:

  1. Heist of the Century: Your Gnome Rogue leads a daring heist to steal a priceless artifact from a heavily guarded museum. Navigate through laser security systems, avoid guards, and utilize your cunning to outwit advanced security measures.
  2. Intrigue at the Royal Court: You’re hired as a courtier in a grand palace, tasked with uncovering a web of political conspiracies and treasonous plots. Your intelligence and skills in Persuasion and Deception will be invaluable as you navigate the treacherous waters of the royal court.
  3. The Cursed Enchantment: A mysterious enchanted item threatens to bring chaos to your kingdom. Investigate its origins, decipher its secrets, and find a way to lift the curse while dealing with mischievous magical beings along the way.
  4. The Great Escape: Imprisoned for a crime you didn’t commit, use your resourcefulness and nimbleness to engineer an escape from a maximum-security prison. Solve puzzles, manipulate guards, and create diversions to secure your freedom.
  5. Infiltrating the Thieves’ Guild: Go undercover to infiltrate a notorious thieves’ guild, discovering their hidden base and the identities of their enigmatic leaders. Your skills in deception and subtlety will be your greatest allies in this high-stakes mission.


In the world of Dungeons & Dragons 5e, the Gnome Rogue is a character archetype that combines intelligence, agility, and a penchant for mischief to create a truly unique and engaging gameplay experience. As you craft your Gnome Rogue, remember to embrace your character’s strengths in stealth, illusion, and creative problem-solving. Whether you’re navigating treacherous dungeons or outsmarting cunning adversaries, your Gnome Rogue’s cunning and curiosity will make them a memorable addition to any adventuring party. So, go forth, embark on your quests, and let your Gnome Rogue’s mischievous spirit shine in the world of D&D 5e.

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