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BURROWS AND WORKSHOPS
The homes that the gnomes build for themselves are unlike anything seen in human, elven or even dwarven strongholds. They do not build mighty fortresses or magical enclaves, but rather put their creativity to good use building practical, comfortable and untraceable villages. They build their structures mostly underground, but close enough to the surface to have windows so that they can enjoy the view of their gardens. Through ingenious design and illusory disguise, they keep unwanted visitors away, tricking them so that they never realise how close they came to a gnome settlement. However, as proud as they are of their diversionary machines and illusions, they can muster unexpected and quite impressive defences when protecting their homes.
One important distinction between gnomish settlements and those of other races is that they are hardly monolithic and lack identifiable structures. There is not one single gnomish fortress and, since they do not have a standing military, they have little use for barracks or large military outposts. Instead, gnomes build in a modular fashion. Each digs out his own burrow with help from friends, family and neighbours, with all the community contributing to the communal burrows such as temples, storage space and defensive bunkers. When they deem it necessary, they dig subterranean ‘streets’; corridors that connect burrows to one another and covered by secret entrances. This gives the gnomes an avenue of escape and quick relocation in case a large force overruns their outer defences, so they can wait out any siege by their enemies while making them uncertain which burrow they will counter-attack from.
They build in hillsides to make the most of their preferences in half-surface and half-underground construction, giving their homes unique characteristics.
To design a burrow, you can use the simple house, grand house or mansion in Core Rulebook II and add 50% of its cost to represent the underground construction. For more militarily-minded gnomes you can use the rules for strongholds and holds in The Quintessential Fighter and The Quintessential Dwarf, which include more structure types. A summary of the construction rules, adapted for gnomes’ unique engineering methods follows:
† Building in difficult terrain such as a swamp, mountain or desert doubles the costs to represent the difficulty of securing underground passages and carrying goods and materials.
† Constructions may be built larger than the base size listed. Doubling a single dimension (height, width or length) will double the cost and tripling it will also triple the cost. The cost of increasing a dimension after increasing another applies to the new cost; for example, a square tower doubled in height to 60 feet would cost 36,000 gp and if it is also doubled in width to 40 feet it would cost 72,000 gp. No dimension may be more than tripled in size and no construction may be more than twice as high as its width, but it can extend below ground as deep as desired.
† Structures intended for surface construction cost 50% more when built underground. To build a structure that is partially on the surface and partially underground, increase its cost by 25%.
† Buildings have structure points. You can find the structure damage system in the Tools of the Gnomes chapter. Structure points increase in the same proportion as the construction’s cost for dimension increases.
† Burrows’ outer surface walls have a hardness of 10.
† Prices in the Construction Lists include the costs of hiring and feeding workers and an engineer must be hired for every 50,000 gp or part thereof spent on building the burrow.
† The chapterhouse takes one week to construct for every 2,000 gp spent. This time can be reduced to one week for every 5,000 gp by increasing all costs by 50%.
Armoured Room: The walls of this room are lined with iron sheets between rock, masonry and plaster, giving it an extraordinary resistance to attacks from the surface. Its windows are usually horizontal arrow slits at ground level and can be shut by an iron cover. An armoured room is as useful for keeping things out as keeping things in and many a wizard’s or inventor’s laboratory has its share of armouring.
Habitations: Simple and comfortable spaces, the one in the table corresponds to a one-person room and includes a closet.
Laboratory: Equipped with shelves, hard tables and all that an alchemist, wizard or mad scientist could ever wish for.
Panic Room: A secure room built by paranoid gnomes, it shares the plating of an armoured room, but has accommodations for 3-4 gnomes to live comfortably for a couple of months. It has one or two escape hatches and can be sealed from the inside to cut it off from the rest of the burrow.
Siege Room: A large burrow with special compartments and a raising platform, where a siege machine sits in wait to be raised to the surface and used against invaders. It has bunks for the machine’s crew as well as storage space for their ammunition and food. Some siege rooms have a laboratory attached or linked by an underground corridor for machines that require more ‘specialist’ ammunition.
Storage: Wide, ventilated or airtight as required but kept dry by layers of insulating materials to protect the goods.
Underground Corridor: Built to connect burrows together, it is perfectly underpinned and safe, with a lamp and oil on each side, when gnomes have not lined it with magical or artificial lighting.
Utility Rooms: Small rooms for different uses, like large wardrobes, washrooms or secret stashes of whatever a gnome may want to hide from others.
Workshop: Like a laboratory, but sturdier and with hanging holders, sheds and the tools necessary to practice a given craft. Small workshops are enough for simple crafts like pottery and gemcutting, medium ones are meant as forges and carpentries and the large ones are fit for projects of great scope, like ship building, to mention some less bizarre uses.
|Moat||500 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||100 ft.||-|
|Tower, round||25,000 gp||30 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||800|
|Tower, square||18,000 gp||30 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||600|
|Wall||4,000 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||100 ft.||300|
|Armoured Room||1,500 gp||10 ft.||30 ft.||20 ft.||36|
|Habitations||900 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||12|
|Laboratory||4,800 gp||10 ft.||40 ft.||40 ft.||64|
|Panic Room||2,000 gp||10 ft.||30 ft.||20 ft.||40|
|Siege Room||5,400 gp||20 ft.||30 ft.||40 ft.||72|
|Storage||7,200 gp||20 ft.||40 ft.||40 ft.||96|
|Underground Corridor||150 gp||10 ft.||5 ft.||5 ft.||-|
|Utility Rooms||450 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||6|
|Workshop, small||2,700 gp||10 ft.||30 ft.||30 ft.||36|
|Workshop, medium||21,600 gp||20 ft.||60 ft.||60 ft.||144|
|Workshop, large||64,800 gp||60 ft.||120 ft.||180 ft.||2,592|
|Outbuilding, stone||900 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||12|
|Outbuilding, wood||600 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||8|
Bunker: A simple armoured room concealed by natural or illusory camouflage from which gnomish warriors can shoot enemies and still remain relatively undetected. Special outposts may even have a siege room nearby.
Common Burrow: A home for a single gnome or a family, it usually has 2 or 3 habitations, 2 utility rooms, 1 storage and either a laboratory or a workshop. Or both for enterprising gnomes…
Luxury Burrow: Up-and-coming gnomes either expand their burrows or dig new ones according to their new station or wealth. The workshop is larger and the furnishings are better, even if the number of rooms does not grow.
Wizard or Inventor’s Burrow: Once a gnome announces his profession as a wizard or a professional inventor, he is politely asked to dig his burrow where explosions will not damage the rest of the community. A gnomish wizard does not build a tower, or at least not one that extends upward and both kinds of creators surround their burrows with stone courtyards. Depending on their line of study, they can have armoured rooms and even siege rooms to raise their creations to the surface.
Storage Burrow: These large rooms are where the community stores the product of harvest, recollection and hunting, as well as processed goods like flour. Many storage burrows are connected to certain points around the settlement through hidden passages that may be both an escape route or a possible trap, when the gnomes want such entrances to be obvious. Such multi-purpose storage rooms are usually armoured.
Major Project’s Burrow: Communal projects like submersibles, flying ships, juggernauts or giant, crewed constructs can only fit in a major project’s burrow, a mix between large storage room and large workshop. It is one of the deepest burrows in a gnomish community.
Launch Silo: A variation of the siege room, the launch silo does not deploy a siege weapon, but a gnomish technological wonder. The machine can move or be static, the important thing is to keep it hidden and available where it might be needed.
Gnomes are not warriors and resort to trickery and deception as their first line of defence. Combining magic, wilderness savvy and technological ingenuity, they create diversions and disorientation mechanisms that put any enemy right where they want him: far away.
It is hard to hide an entire village by natural means, but individual burrows have a variety of concealment methods, especially if they are built in dangerous locations. To build natural concealment, use Wilderness Lore, a Craft skill (carpentry, trapmaking, sculpture or weaving) or a Profession skill (farmer, gardener, rancher, siege engineer or woodcutter). Full concealment for a burrow includes covering doors and windows and smothering smoke from chimneys, not to mention hiding them too. The disguise is made of grass-covered lids and creative shrubbery and its market price is 1/25th of the total cost of the burrow. Follow the normal rules for the Craft skill to build the concealment. The highest check result becomes the DC for any Spot check to notice the concealment for what it is. For creatures actually looking for it, the DC for Search checks is 5 points less than the highest check result to build the concealment.
With the help of druids or with normal growth, gnomes also conceal the roads that lead to their villages, with ingenious matrices that operate like gates, except that they are made from trees and bushes.
Given their mastery of illusion, gnomes find it very convenient to hide their villages through magic. Hallucinatory terrain is the best way to achieve this, but not every settlement has an experienced illusionist to cast it repeatedly, which is why they build illusion generators.
An illusion generator is a simple magic item that costs 108,000 gp and 4,320 XP, requiring a 15th level caster with hallucinatory terrain. It operates through a command word that all the village’s adults know. The generator only produces a single illusion that the caster designates at the moment of creating the item, but it is large enough to cover the whole village. New burrows dug outside the generator’s area of effect must resort to natural concealment or a localised illusion generator (caster level 7th, 50,400 gp, 2,016 XP). Unwanted visitors detect the illusion as per the spell.
Coupled with concealment, gnomes have many ways to misdirect intruders. One of their favourites is to build maze-like roads across the hilly landscape that will keep casual passers-by from reaching the village. Use the same rules for crafting concealment to build a maze, but instead of Spot, anyone trying to reach the village must roll Intuit Direction. Gnomes place special pointers to indicate the right roads at crossroads where only other gnomes can find them.
Illusions give a lot more options for misdirection. The village elders devise illusions to misdirect approaching creatures by creating or commissioning illusion generators for other spell effects, with the favourite being programmed image (118,800 gp, 4,752 XP, caster level 11th). The generator is placed in a suitable spot and produces the illusion when intruders pass near it. Such illusions vary depending on the village’s location and situation. A fleeing villager may lead pursuers off in the wrong direction, or great obstacles may appear and lead to dead ends or the road farthest from the gnomes.