Where did the gadget gnome idea come from?

Where did the gadget gnome idea come from? It predates Warcraft by quite a while, I remember gnomes with airplanes in early D&D. When and how did they go from pointy hats and talking to squirrels in their mushroom house to specifically being "the high-tech race"?

  1. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Might be Dragonlance. That's the first place I saw it, in the early nineties, but of course there's probably some kind of precedent even earlier.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      dragonlance is first place i encountered them.

      Dragonlance Tinker gnomes. A plague only second to Kender. Warcraft actually toned them down and made them less Rubegoldberg and more useful.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Don't tinker gnomes take an absurd pride in being completely fucking useless? Among them, kender, and gully dwarves, I can't help but wonder why the devs felt the need to include three insufferable short races.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Yeah, true Rubegoldberg type designs as in "never do in two operations what you can do in fifty!" That and the constant stream of thought ramblings, where every minute detail needed to be explained in one long run on sentence.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >insufferable short races
          Redundant.
          That said, I think tinker gnomes were inefficient specifically so they could get up to all sorts of steampunk bullshit without ending up actually making anything efficient enough to push the overall tech level of the setting further ahead.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >That said, I think tinker gnomes were inefficient specifically so they could get up to all sorts of steampunk bullshit without ending up actually making anything efficient enough to push the overall tech level of the setting further ahead.

            I mean in-character I believe they were cursed into being bad at tech

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              It does certainly feel like a curse. Not necessarily being bad at tech, but moreso bad at iterating upon it.
              Some of the Dragonlance novels had gnomes coming up with some really amazing inventions. I recall one where they managed to get an airship to one of the moons, which is absolutely a technical leap. But the initial design was flawed, and rather than working around that flaw, the chain of though is always to add more complexity and more fail-safes until the project collapses under its own weight.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >Don't tinker gnomes take an absurd pride in being completely fucking useless?
          There is a weird ass taboo about gadgets and machines working perfectly, Gnish or Gnosh (Conundrum maybe?) could make ones that worked perfectly and was embarrassed about it.
          Though, the guy he confessed it to was Tas, who as ever had no idea how to deal with Gnomes. Gully Dwarves, Tinker Gnomes and Kender get a lot of shit, but they were fun to read.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Gullies at least are direct copies of Petty Dwarves.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        WC gnomes are tolerable since they're a fairly important part of the alliance military and their military designs tend to be reliable and just simple enough they can be produced in large numbers by other technologically advanced races (see their planes and dwarves)

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I like the Goblin/Gnome rivalry in Warcraft, it fits both of their respective folklores quite well.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          >WC gnomes are tolerable
          >WC
          >tolerable

          [...]

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        WC gnomes are tolerable since they're a fairly important part of the alliance military and their military designs tend to be reliable and just simple enough they can be produced in large numbers by other technologically advanced races (see their planes and dwarves)

        They suck because they stole the Goblin thing. Goblins were the high tech race in WCIII and Gnomes did not exist. So for WoW the idea was to confirm the extinction of gnomes, but a clique of paedo's behind Metzen's back sneaked gnomes into the game and gave them the Goblin theme, while Goblins were downgraded to green garden gnomes.

        For comparison, Goblin affinity for technology goes all the way back to Tolkien and the birth of fantasy.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Gnomes are in Warcraft II, retard.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            And here he is, the legendary person who cares about Warcraft II.

            • 2 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              I care about Warcraft: Orcs & Humans as well, while we're at it.

  2. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Gnomes were cobblers or otherwise skilled and clever craftsmen in old fairytales so it seems like a natural evolution that they'd get gadgets if the setting becomes higher tech

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Elves were tiny, made shoes, baked cookies, and caused illnesses when slighted, but look where they ended up.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yeah but we can pretty handily point to Tolkien for that major shift.

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Tolkien merely returned to the roots of elvish myths, drawing from non-angloid cultures where heritage was better preserved.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Yeah but we can pretty handily point to Tolkien for that major shift.

            Elves were tiny, made shoes, baked cookies, and caused illnesses when slighted, but look where they ended up.

            You're both really oversimplifying the diversity of elves across Germanic countries and the overall mutation of elves as a concept which happened in a 1200 year period in those countries to today. Tolkien elves aren't Norse elves which aren't Victorian elves which aren't early modern elves which aren't christianized elves from high mediaeval England which aren't elves from German heroic legends set in the Vendel period which aren't the modern Icelandic concept of animist elves. And modern videogame/tabletop variants have divorced even further.

          • 2 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >implying they didn't all get cucked by christianity

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >but look where they ended up

  3. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    dragonlance is first place i encountered them.

  4. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    I remember there was a children's book series from, what, the 60s or 70s about the interactions between a village full of gnomes and a community of cute woodland critters, and the gnomes were portrayed as very competent builders, engineers and gadgetmakers, even though they largely worked with wood rather than metal. I can't remember the name of that series for the life of me.

    In D&D, the archetype can be traced to both the Tinker Gnomes of Dragonlance, who were given the "Bungling Inventor by way of Rube Goldberg" and passed off as a comedic relief race, and the Sky Gnomes of Mystara, who were competent to the point that they inhabited a magitek floating island they built themselves and defended with magitek biplanes.

    • 2 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Did that book also presented some sort of war and what the engineering marvels the gnomes and their opponents used in that war? I think I know which book you are referring to.

      • 2 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I remember there was a children's book series from, what, the 60s or 70s about the interactions between a village full of gnomes and a community of cute woodland critters, and the gnomes were portrayed as very competent builders, engineers and gadgetmakers, even though they largely worked with wood rather than metal. I can't remember the name of that series for the life of me.

        In D&D, the archetype can be traced to both the Tinker Gnomes of Dragonlance, who were given the "Bungling Inventor by way of Rube Goldberg" and passed off as a comedic relief race, and the Sky Gnomes of Mystara, who were competent to the point that they inhabited a magitek floating island they built themselves and defended with magitek biplanes.

        Nevermind, I think I found the book
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnomes_(book)

        • 2 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          No, that's not the series I was talking about. The one I was thinking of, after some googling, turns out to be "The Woodland Folk series", written by a guy called Tony Wolf.

          I read a couple of them in... I think grade school, even bought one or two from said school during a fete as a child, but I've lost them for ages. If only there was a place to read them online...

  5. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Probably an attempt to make them more distinct from dwarves and halflings, since without that they don't really do anything that those races don't already have covered.

  6. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    i think they made a working submarine in dragonlance, dunno bout airships....i know dragonlance had flying citadels.

  7. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    Gnomes initially came about in folklore as metaphyiscal personifications of the enlightenment, they were basically just always the inventor type.

  8. 2 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    tinker/warcraft gnomes are shit and chill nature gnomes are based. They can still be good craftsmen and even engineers but they should cap out at things like siege weapons unless you're going to give everyone else in the setting mechs and flamethrowers and shit. Also WoW art is fucking hideous.

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