I've noticed recently that the gnomes we see and punt every day are, indeed, insane. I want to put an emphasis on the fact that Gnomes are meant to be the genius part of the Alliance, yet people still seriously RP as gnomes going "Me gnome. Me short."
I actually saw that at one point.
I'm going to emphasise and help out with a few points but, and I want this to be remembered: These are outlines. Not rules.
This guide was written by Cinty Cindersprocket Edit
I wrote this with one task in mind: to educate people about how Gnomes ought to be roleplayed.
Too often do I see one of my favourite races be mutilated by people who think Gnomes are idiotic, unintelligent and... Basically, people who think Gnomes are representatives of Goldshire's "roleplayers".
Intelligent and Quirky Edit
This should be the kind of Gnome that populates the world.
These gnomes stay true to their gift of intelligence, and know that they are smarter than you. Yes, you. They use their knowledge of mechanics and science whenever possible, and are almost always polite and optimistic. They love to tinker with things, and are never happy with what they have because they know it can be improved. A lot of them would also have OCD. They are the kind little Gnome with wrinkled hands, who spends sleepless nights at a table getting just the right angle for his mechanical lizard's eyes. He has four of each of his tools, and his eyes are quite bad from the constant work around these things. His face is blocked by goggles, and his fingers are horribly scratched from his experiments.
This kind of Gnome should be fast to speak and quick-witted. They should also be regretful of their lost city, and often have fond memories of it. If they have a problem, they don't whinge, they make a gadget of some kind to fit the situation. This gnome is extremely smart, but it also sometimes slightly awkward and perhaps SLIGHTLY insane, but only to the limit of "Let's make this banana fly!"
Explosion-Obsessed but Still Sane Edit
This kind of gnome was mentally affected by the Gnomeregan incident, but still managed to keep himself sane. He's got a bit of a problem with keeping himself under control, and sometimes goes into fits of anxiety. He is still very smart, but a few have a habit of emphasising their abilities for creating explosives. He sometimes gets distracted halfway through making something, and has a workshop full of half-finished gadgets.
This gnome is often the last person to speak, not being sure whether he has anything relevant to say. He's often quite rude, and gets very annoyed if he can't do something right first-try.
Sometimes they go a bit more loopy; but to the maximum limit of Thermaplugg-mad.
This gnome has completely lost it. His unsteady hands make it impossible for him to manage anything beyond a simple explosive, and he sounds bedraggled and confused. He's rude, he's unkind and he doesn't care any more.
This is the kind of Gnome you'd not like to meet, yet it is the sort of Gnome people act out as all the time. I really mean it; these Gnomes are not good RPers at all, normally. They normally speak in incorrect grammar, are very stupid, and are not funny in the slightest.
I need not mention the ones who think Gnomes should be used as children.
As I've said, the kind of Gnome you RP as should be Gnome Type-1, who is kind and intelligent. I will emphasise this again. The kind of Gnome you RP as should be Gnome Type-1, who is kind and intelligent.
As a note, I've found out that the only mad Gnomes you see are the male Gnomes. I'm not saying that all males are mad, I'm saying all mads are male. Have you ever seen a mad female Gnome? This is because the people who make the mad Gnomes think of male Gnomes as "funny-looking" and, therefore, deserving of riducule.
Remember, Gnomes are extremely intelligent, but they ARE small. They are agile, but thanks to long nights spent at desks, they aren't very physically able. They can't fight very well because of their shortness, they aren't heard very much because they're so quiet and... You get the idea.
This is where my next emphasis is; they use machines. They use machines for EVERYTHING. Fighting, moving, everything beyond building more machines, which they do themselves because they love it so much.
In Gnome culture, females are as equals to males so gender makes very little general difference in things. Emphasis on this.
Machines appear a lot in Gnome culture; no Gnome is complete unless he or she has at least one machine with them. If you are fighting someone as a Gnome, which I do NOT advise, you'd use machines. Here is a little list of the various RP classes Gnome should have.
Your Gnome stereotype. He just LOOOVES to tinker. If he can't find the solution to a problem, he tinkers and tinkers 'till he finds the thing to solve it. Tinkers are almost always Gnome Type-1.
Tinkers are the rulers of gnome culture, and the best of tinkers are greatly respected. Gnomes vote for their leaders, and the candidate's tinkering skills are a large factor. They, as a group, possess the greatest collective intelligence of most mortals in the world; definitely in terms of engineering. If a tinker can't get something right, he tinkers with it until he gets it perfect.
If forced into an argument, these kindly Gnomes will happily resort to using words to solve problems, but that doesn't mean they're not able to fight. A Gnome tinker normally has many powerful gadgets with him to help with things, often includng weapons. However, a Gnome will only resort to violence of the physical nature if absolutely necessary, and will only use his own two hands to fight if he has to. Tinker will probably have a whole plethora of gizmos around his body on straps and belts. His weapon will be a spanner, and he will probably wear goggles of some sort.
Many Gnomes have a great natural affinity for magic, and will gladly use these skills for the greater good. As you may see, there are a great many Gnomes in the Kirin Tor, and these Gnomes have deserved it. They are still very intelligent, but have devoted their time to the arcane more than Engineering. As a note, most Gnomes who don't engineer will probably become a Mage. Even then, a Gnome Mage will often tinker a little when he's bored.
Gnome Mages are a bit more trigger-happy than Tinkers, and rather than relying on their skill with machines, they will rely on their skill with magic. They will use magic to help them with trivial problems such as a high shelf, and are perfectly able to fight using magic.
Warlocks are included here: Some Gnomes may take the path of chaos and devote their lives to demons. If this is the case, a Gnome will probably spend his time studying demons, and possibly finding ways to make machines and demons work together somehow.
A Gnome who chooses to spend his life fighting is a rare Gnome indeed. These gnomes, you could say, specialise in ankle-biting. They are the most physically-able of gnomes, but aren't respected ridiculously in Gnome culture as, in Gnome culture, intelligence rules over strength. That being said, Gnome warriors are often the less-bright of the bunch, hardly even knowing how hydrothermatics work. Gnome warriors go for weapons above gizmos, and often don't use a gizmo unless it's useful for battle.
Gnome warriors don't feature much (or at all) in the world, and they're not suggested because they don't really exist very much.
Remember; iintelligence is the ruling aspect of Gnomes.
Relations with Other Races Edit
Gnomes are generally very friendly and polite people, meaning they generally don't have any problems with any of them. They don't like goblins, though.
Gnomes have a bit of a history with humans, as they have been handing their help with engineering to the Humans for years. Politically, humans are the second-best friends of Gnomes, and the Gnomes see the Humans as friends and neighbors in other aspects. Humans often insult Gnomes for their height, which saddens Gnomes greatly, but Gnomes are always willing to help out a human, and vice-versa. Gnomes may see Humans as arrogant and stupid; this is entirely true. Compared to the patient Gnomes, Humans are rash, harsh and under-educated. Only the oldest and wisest of Humans will compare to a Gnome. So it's only natural that Gnomes feel that way.
Dwarves are the greatest allies the Gnomes could have. Since day one, the Gnomes have enjoyed the company of the Dwarves. The Gnomes even shared their inventions of war with the Dwarves, and let the Dwarves build them themselves, such as the Gnomes' much-loved secret of flight-with-machines. Dwarves enjoy Engineering as much as Gnomes, even though they're inferior at it. And then there's the thing that no Gnome can forget; when Gnomeregan was invaded, the Dwarves gave the Gnomes a place in the city of Ironforge, which is one of the kindest things an entire population can do. As individuals, the Gnomes are good friends of their taller cousins, and herald a great respect for them. You'll be hard-pressed to find a Gnome that would happily kill, or even harm, a Dwarf.
Night Elves Edit
Gnomes and Night Elves generally leave each other alone. Night Elves dont like the Gnomes' machines, and Gnomes just don't like that fact, so they just leave each other alone.
It is most likely that Gnomes hold a quiet respect for Draenei, and are amazed by Draenei technology. It is to be expected that Draenei, not knowing much about the planet, might misunderstand and think a Gnome is livestock.
Gnomes and Gobling share a friendly (or otherwise) rivalry with each other, embodied the most in the Shimmering Flats. As you can see, though, a Gnome isn't above working with Goblins, as many Gnomes can be seen with Goblins, working on the same project. It's likely they still bicker a bit, though.
The Horde Edit
I expect Gnomes don't really care about the Horde as much as the rest of the Alliance.
Relationships and Families Edit
I'm afraid I don't know much about Gnome relationships, and don't have much to go on, but Gnomes will use their intelligence above their bodies. A way of courting may be to show off a particularly good item of engineering, or to give a gift of useful parts or tools.
I'm taking a wild guess here, but I can assume that when there is a wedding going on, the two families can take the event as time to show off each others' engineering skills and to try to out-do each other. The wedding will probably be one of the only times a Gnome will wear formal dress, and the bride and groom will most likely change back to their favoured clothes immediately after the ceremony. A wedding will be full of beautiful shows of technology, made by the families, ranging from fireworks to electromagnetic pulse personifier rays (?). Heavy usage of hydrogyrothermatic kilometrons will be in order, I do not doubt.
Family life will be a rather normal procedure; Gnome genders are equal in society, and a Gnome husband will be expected to make improvements on the stove just as much as the wife, and they will both be expected to teach their children as much as possible. A Gnome child will be expected to be good at engineering, and to make it big in the world. Metaphorically.
A Gnome will grow up with his or her parents' second name, but after gaining an engineering achievement of some sort, he or she will change his or her surname to accord to his or her achievement. Basically; they change their name when they do something big.
As a note, a Gnome comes of legal age at roughly fourty years old, and lives for roughly 500 years; older than a Dwarf
Remember, these are just basic guidelines, and you do not by any means have to obey them, but it is suggested.
It gets depressing when I see someone RPing a Gnome as either a mad little squit or, and this should be emphasised, as a CHILD.
I'll just emphasise that again.
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, RP AS A LITTLE CHILD.
It is not clever, it is not funny, and it is not good for giving Gnomes the image they are meant to have.
Gnomes are meant to be the cute little Einsteins of the world, not your steriotypical INTERNET RETARD! And I don't use the term lightly. I didn't mean to, but I'm afraid "Internet" is the only thing that can describe some of the people who "RP" like that.