Garballington Games

Gnome Miniatures

Gnome Miniatures and Mythology

Gnome Ready to defend
Armored Gnome proud and true

Gnomes, diminutive and clever beings, have woven their whimsical presence into the fabric of fantasy realms, folklore, and tabletop role-playing games. Standing at just a few feet tall, gnomes possess a remarkable affinity for invention, illusion magic, and a deep connection to the natural world.

Gnomes In Mythology

Gnomes, as distinct mythological entities, do not have a well-defined and widespread presence in traditional mythologies. The concept of gnomes as small, humanoid beings with a connection to the earth and natural elements has evolved more prominently in later folklore and fantasy literature rather than ancient myths. However, some elements associated with gnomes in contemporary depictions share similarities with certain mythical beings. Here are a few considerations:

  1. Earth Elementals:

    • Gnomes, as earth elementals, share some parallels with mythological creatures associated with the earth and subterranean realms. In various mythologies, beings like dwarves or spirits of the earth might bear resemblance to the earth-centric aspects often attributed to gnomes.
  2. Nature Spirits:

    • Some cultures have beliefs in nature spirits or small, guardian entities associated with specific natural features. While not precisely gnomes, these spirits could be considered distant relatives in terms of their role in the natural world.
  3. Folklore Transformations:

    • The term “gnome” itself has been used in different ways over time. In certain folk traditions, the word “gnome” might be interchangeable with other small, supernatural beings or spirits, contributing to the complexity of their mythological roots.

It’s crucial to note that the modern concept of gnomes, as we commonly understand them today, has been heavily influenced by literary and artistic interpretations rather than ancient mythology. Gnomes, as whimsical and inventive creatures, found their place in later folklore, particularly in Europe, where they became associated with gardens, mines, and the natural world.

Gnomes in TTRPGs

Gnomes, with their small stature, inventiveness, and magical inclinations, have become a popular and iconic playable race in various tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs). Their unique qualities often make them memorable and endearing characters for players.

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D):

  1. Player Character Race:

    • Gnomes are a core player character race in D&D. Players can choose to play as gnomes, selecting from different subraces such as Rock Gnomes, Forest Gnomes, and Deep Gnomes. Each subrace comes with unique traits and abilities.
  2. Inventive Nature:

    • Gnomes in D&D are renowned for their inventiveness and love for tinkering. Rock Gnomes, for example, have a natural aptitude for crafting and can create small, magical devices.
  3. Magic Affinity:

    • Many gnomes in D&D have a natural affinity for magic, with a particular fondness for illusion spells. This magical inclination often adds versatility to gnome characters.


  1. Player Character Race:

    • Similar to D&D, gnomes are a playable race in the Pathfinder system. Players can choose gnome characters and benefit from racial traits that align with their affinity for illusions and magical abilities.
  2. Gnome Magic:

    • Pathfinder gnomes possess a racial ability called “Gnome Magic,” allowing them to cast specific illusion spells. This reinforces their connection to magical arts within the game system.

Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP):

  1. Small Folk:
    • In the Warhammer Fantasy setting, gnomes, often referred to as “Halflings,” are one of the smaller races. They are known for their resilience and adaptability, particularly in the face of the grim and perilous world of Warhammer.


  1. Technologically Adept:
    • In the cyberpunk-fantasy setting of Shadowrun, gnomes are known for their technological skills. They excel in areas of matrix navigation and often contribute to the intricate world of hacking and technology.

Other TTRPGs:

  1. Versatile Characters:

    • In many TTRPGs, gnomes are portrayed as versatile characters, able to excel in a variety of roles, from spellcasting to engineering. Their adaptability makes them appealing choices for players seeking diverse character options.
  2. Quirky Personalities:

    • Gnomes are often depicted with quirky and eccentric personalities, adding a lighthearted and humorous element to TTRPG campaigns. This can contribute to enjoyable role-playing experiences and memorable interactions.

In TTRPGs, gnomes offer players the opportunity to explore characters with a blend of intellect, magic, and whimsy. Whether crafting magical gadgets, casting illusions, or navigating the complexities of a cyberpunk world, gnome characters bring a unique flavor to the gaming table.

Gnome Miniatures in Gaming

Gnome miniatures in tabletop gaming offer a delightful and visually appealing way to represent these inventive and magical beings on the gaming table. Whether used as player character representations or as adversaries in a campaign, gnome miniatures enhance the immersive experience of tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs).

1. Player Characters:

  • Gnome miniatures are commonly used by players to represent their gnome characters in TTRPG campaigns. The miniatures provide a tangible presence on the tabletop, allowing players to visually engage with their characters and the game world.

2. Campaign Specifics:

  • Game Masters often use gnome miniatures to represent key NPCs (non-player characters) or important figures in the campaign. These miniatures may be customized to match specific character traits, professions, or roles within the game world.

3. Collectibles and Unique Figures:

  • Some miniature manufacturers release special edition or collectible gnome miniatures. These unique figures might showcase gnomes in distinct poses, wielding specific magical items, or engaging in whimsical activities. Collectors and players often appreciate these detailed and exclusive miniatures.

4. Terrain Interaction:

  • Gnome miniatures contribute to the visualization of terrain and environmental interactions. For example, a gnome miniature might be depicted tinkering with a contraption or studying a magical object, enhancing the overall storytelling and immersion.

5. Versatility in Roles:

  • Gnome miniatures come in various poses and styles, reflecting the diverse roles that gnomes can play in TTRPGs. Some might be equipped for spellcasting, while others may have tools and gadgets, showcasing the versatility of gnome characters.

6. Customization:

  • Many miniature enthusiasts enjoy customizing their figures to align with specific character details. Gnome miniatures can be painted and modified to reflect individual character traits, such as unique clothing, accessories, or facial features.

7. Representation of Gnome Traits:

  • Gnome miniatures often emphasize traits associated with gnomes in TTRPGs, such as small stature, pointed hats, and expressions of curiosity or mischief. These visual cues help players and GMs easily identify gnome characters on the tabletop.

8. Role-Playing and Storytelling:

  • Gnome miniatures contribute to the role-playing aspect of TTRPGs by providing a focal point for character interactions. Players and GMs can use the miniatures to act out scenes, dialogue, and key moments in the narrative.

Whether used for player characters, NPCs, or collectibles, gnome miniatures play a vital role in bringing these whimsical and inventive characters to life on the tabletop, adding a touch of magic and charm to TTRPG campaigns.