There it is, in Olde Gygaxian - a statement that gnomes are just a type of dwarves. Gygax would change his mind later with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and future authors would continue to have gnomes as a separate but similar species. But in Duemerus? This is my setting, and my game, so I can do whatever the heck I want. And I want to have gnomes just be dwarves again.Dwarves are about four feet tall, stocky of build, weigh 150 pounds, shoulders very broad, their skin a ruddy tan, brown or gray, and are of various types (hill, mountain, or burrowers) (such as gnomes).
|Spot the difference? (Images originally from Men & Magic)|
This also extends to allowing dwarves to be illusionists, once I finalize that class and get it plugged into my campaign. It might seem odd to allow even mountain dwarves to be illusionists, but if I split classes among subraces in addition to races, I may as well make them entirely separate races (like The Elder Scrolls series does with its elves and humans). Not to mention, an illusionist doesn't have to be energetic and mercurial; Jason from X2: X-Men United implants illusions in others' minds in spite of being confined to a wheelchair and displaying no outward emotion. Stryker even (bitterly) calls him "the great illusionist."
But consider this: when one thinks of an elven ranger, one almost invariably pictures a wood elf - and yet, high and gray elves aren't forbidden from becoming rangers. It might be a bit odd, but it works.
The other advantage of collapsing gnomes into dwarves is that dwarves can be properly Small. My rules are based on Basic Fantasy, but with a lot of additions from AD&D 2nd Edition - one of which is the specific size rules as they pertain to weapons. Medium creatures like humans and elves are best suited to wielding Medium weapons (such as longswords and maces) or Small ones (such as daggers and hand axes), while Small creatures like halflings cannot wield Large weapons (such as greatswords) at all.
But dwarves in Basic Fantasy and its ancestors are in an odd position. They can wield some Large weapons but not others, sometimes receive an Armor Class bonus against Large attackers, and in AD&D have the same reduced movement rate as gnomes and halflings. As long as I'm editing the rules myself, though, I'll just make dwarves Small, flat-out. This does mean that they might have fewer hit points than their fellow humans and elves (due to my rules on hit dice), but it's fairly easy to get even a slight Constitution bonus to hit points - and I'm considering adding AD&D's racial modifiers to ability scores, which would give them a bit of a boost.