Deep Gnome Guide 5e

Published on December 22, 2022, Last modified on December 26th, 2022

If you’re looking for a mysterious and secretive race of deep-dwelling beings for your character, deep gnomes may be the right race for you.

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the deep gnome will be right for your 5e character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your deep gnome. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Deep Gnome in 5e?

Source: Monsters of the Multiverse

Deep gnomes, also known as svirfneblin, are a rare and secretive race of gnome in D&D 5e. With their tough, wiry frames and innate cunning, deep gnomes are well equipped to survive in the dangerous depths of the Underdark.

Unlike other races of gnomes, deep gnomes tend to be more cautious and reserved. The secrets of their underground homes are closely guarded, and they prefer to keep to themselves. Despite this reserved nature, deep gnomes can be a fun-loving and hospitable people, especially when it comes to those who have proven their trustworthiness.

In Monsters of the Multiverse, deep gnomes are considered an entirely separate race, rather than a subrace like they were in the Player’s Handbook.

Deep Gnome 5e Traits

Darkvision: Typical Darkvision is only 60 feet. So, having 120 feet of vision dark environments can give you a massive tactical advantage. Especially for ranged martials, spellcasters, and stealth-based builds.

Gift of the Svirfneblin: Disguise self is a useful enough spell, but nondetection is situational at best.

Gnomish Magic Resistance: Advantage on INT, WIS, and CHA saves against spells is normally extremely beneficial. Unfortunately, D&D 5e is trending towards removing spells from monster stat blocks and moving towards ‘spell-like abilities.’ This means you’ll be able to use this less, but it’ll be extremely useful when you’re able to use it.

Svirfneblin Camouflage: Choosing to make Stealth checks with advantage up to prof. modifier times per day can be helpful for all kinds of builds. Stealth-based builds can use it to ensure they remain undetected, heavy armor-builds can use it to negate disadvantage. Keep in mind, you must declare you’re using this advantage before the roll is made.

Which 5e Classes Work With Deep Gnome?

With access to advanced Darkvision, at-will advantage on Stealth checks, and the disguise self spell, deep gnomes are a great base for stealthy builds. That said, the advantage on saves against spells and the ability to offset the disadvantage on Stealth checks granted by heavy armor can make deep gnomes attractive for tankier builds as well.

Artificer: Apart from advantage on saves against some spells, the main thing deep gnomes offer artificers is out-of-combat utility. Disguise self, improved Darkvision, and advantage on Stealth checks all can help with things artificers usually aren't awesome at.

Barbarian: Not much here for barbarians. The advantage on saves against INT, WIS, and CHA spells can help save you from a dominate spell, but that's not usually a big enough draw for barbarians to choose a deep gnome. They also can't wield heavy weapons, which limits their effectiveness from a pure damage perspective.

Bard: Bards are used to being effective out-of-combat and deep gnomes can help them improve on this. Disguise self, improved Darkvision, and advantage on Stealth checks are all useful abilities for a skill monkey bard to have.

Cleric: Apart from advantage on saves against some spells, the main thing deep gnomes offer clerics is out-of-combat utility. Disguise self, improved Darkvision, and advantage on Stealth checks all can help with things clerics usually aren't awesome at.

Druid: Druids already have plenty of out-of-combat utility with wild shape. The deep gnome's offerings don't do much to improve or expand on their abilities so they're probably not worth it.

Fighter: Not much here for fighters. The advantage on saves against INT, WIS, and CHA spells can help save you from a dominate spell, but that's not usually a big enough draw for barbarians to choose a deep gnome. They also can't wield heavy weapons, which limits their effectiveness from a pure damage perspective.

Monk: Apart from advantage on saves against some spells, the main thing deep gnomes offer monks is out-of-combat utility. Disguise self, improved Darkvision, and advantage on Stealth checks all can help with things monks usually aren't awesome at.

Paladin: Because of your Aura of Protection, you already have access to the best thing the deep gnome race offers. Of course, you could always double down and likely never fail a INT, WIS, or CHA save against an enemy's spell but, there are more exciting options out there. They also can't wield heavy weapons, which limits their effectiveness from a pure damage perspective.

Ranger: Deep gnomes are fairly conducive to what rangers are all about. Scouting, infiltration, and stealthing, with some resistance to hostile magic make them an alright pick.

Rogue: Rogues are used to being effective out-of-combat and deep gnomes can help them improve on this. Disguise self, improved Darkvision, and advantage on Stealth checks are all useful abilities for a skill monkey rogue to have.

Sorcerer: Nothing much here for a sorcerer beyond the limited protection against enemy magic.

Warlock: With the Mask of Many Face invocation available, there's almost no reason to choose a deep gnome for your warlock, beyond the limited magic resistance.

Wizard: Deep gnomes don't have much that can't be replicated by a wizard's huge repertoire of spells. The biggest advantage here is the Gnomish Magic Resistance, but that won't be a big enough draw to choose a deep gnome for your wizard.

Sources Used in This Guide

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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