222-The Green Monster

This Wednesday I am beginning to run a new D&D game at Wardogs, my local game store. I’m pretty excited about it. The owner of the store is releasing his own campaign setting for myself and a few other DMs to have run of. It’s a small country, and each of us will be setting up shop in a different part of it. We’ll have a rumor network set up to hear the exploits of the other groups from time to time, and our villains will be reacting to more than one set of heroes running around the land. We may even do guest DMing spots in each others’ games as parties wander over into other game’s back yards.

It’s a neat concept and I’m pretty jazzed, except for one little thing. See, midway through the campaign, about June or so, the game is switching from version 3.5 to version 4. This alone I feel will be cause for celebration and happiness as we will all be stepping together into the new game, learning together, figuring it all out, and applying all new layers of gaming goodness to characters and worlds. I’ve read a lot about the upcoming changes, and it’s pretty sweet. My only concern stems from the fact that the group has yet to create their characters.

You see, I’m not quite sure what to do with the gnomes.

One of the most immediate changes to the game is that gnomes have gone the way of the dodo, and much the same as that great old flightless bird of yore, have been removed as a playable character race. Now typically this wouldn’t be much of an issue, since most parties don’t have gnomes in them anyway. It turned out that not that many players were willing to trade nerfed weapon damage, reduced run speed, and having to ride a dog into combat for the ability to carry on a minute-long conversation with a star-nosed mole once a day. However, it’s still an unknown at this point, and things given what they are, I am expecting the first all-gnome party in my long and storied gaming career.

Now of course I would never take away my players’ characters just because of a rules change. The game comes first, and the rules are there to help you enjoy it, not prevent you. No, that’s not really the issue.

See, I have a certain concept in my head I have been working on. It involves the players being the primary motive force in their area. They are the heroes, the main movers and shakers, the people everyone looks up to and depends on… they weren’t gnomes.

Now I know I’m just the DM, it’s not my call. The players make what they want, I just work here. I know as well that I am somewhat prejudiced against halflings and gnomes, and have been ever since “small” sized weapon damage came out. (I just never thought that players should be penalized for picking their favorite races to play.) An all-gnome game would be fun, it would just have a different flavor, that’s all. It would be less Heroes and more The Li’l Rascals. Every group of players brings their own spin to the table, and the DM, if he’s any good, rolls with the punches and comes back with something new and exciting and tailored to their expectations and desires.

Carrot Top’s Bottomless Chest of Comedy Props anyone?

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For more on this subject, check out the very amusing cartoon from WotC, The Tiefling and the Gnome.

Don’t forget to check out the HOLE store for more new goodies!

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