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Gnomes, Masters of Invention
Gnome Crest.jpg
Character classesMage, Rogue, Warlock, Warrior.
Racial capitalIronforge's Tinker Town (by way of Gnomeregan)
Racial leader(s)High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque
Racial mountMechanostrider
Primary language(s)Gnomish
Average height1 meter/3 feet

The ingenious gnomes, masters of technology and the former denizens of Gnomeregan, are a race of diminutive humanoids who now live in exile in the dwarven capital of Ironforge, in league with the Alliance.

Introduction and History

This article or section contains lore taken from the Warcraft RPG books, and thus is not necessarily canon.

The eccentric, often-brilliant gnomes are one of the most peculiar races of the world. With their obsession for developing radical new technologies and constructing marvels of mind-bending engineering, it's a wonder that any gnomes have survived to proliferate.

No one knows much about the gnomes' history before dwarves discovered them, not even the Gnomes know much of their own history prior to the second war. Historicaly, there are some records of gnomes having contact with other races. There is the occasional historical documentation of individual gnomes having contact with humans and high elves, in the northern continent of Lordaeron in the Tirisfal Glades, as early as 848 years before The Burning Crusade. The first recorded interaction between gnomes and dwarves occured 200 years prior to The Burning Crusade. As the story goes, a dwarven explorer came across a small gnomish village. He was He was shocked to find out while dwarves had just discovered gunpowder, the gnomes already had a fully automated village, with such novelties as mechanical chickens. Contact between the two races grew, and soon, they became quick allies, and the dwarves allowed the gnomes to build their capital city, Gnomeragan in the foothills of Dun Morogh, near the capital,Ironforge. Shortly after this alliance was formed, the War of the Three Hammers occured.

Thriving within the wondrous techno-city of Gnomeregan, the gnomes shared the resources of the forested Dun Morogh peaks with their dwarven cousins. Though the dwarves of Ironforge also have a propensity for technology and engineering, it is the gnomes who provide the critical, visionary designs for most of the dwarves' weapons and steam vehicles.


The gnomes served the Alliance well during the Second War... but strangely, they refused to send any personnel to aid their allies during the Burning Legion's recent invasion, in the Third War. Though their designs helped turn the tide against the Legion, the dwarves and humans were shocked by the gnomes' decision to withhold their courageous troops and pilots.

When the war ended, the Alliance discovered the reason for the gnomes' sudden withdrawal. Apparently, an ancient, barbaric menace, known as Troggs, had risen from the bowels of the earth and invaded Gnomeregan. Knowing that their allies' priority was defeating the Burning Legion, the gnomes decided to make their stand alone. Though they fought valiantly to save their beloved city, Gnomeregan was irrevocably lost.

Nearly half of the gnomish race was wiped out during the fall of Gnomeregan. The ragged gnomes that survived fled to the safety of the dwarves' stronghold of Ironforge. Committed once again to the cause of the Alliance, the gnomes spend their time devising strategies and weapons that will help them retake their ravaged city and build a brighter future for their people.

Currently, gnomes can be seen living in numerous Alliance and Neutral cities, such as Darkshire, Gadgetzan and Auberdine. Their council is reunited at Tinker Town in Ironforge.


This article or section includes speculation, observations or opinions possibly supported by lore or by Blizzard officials. It should not be taken as representing official lore.

Due to a lack of released lore, little is actually known about Gnomish culture. Though what gnomish life really revolves around is unclear, perceived by most to be about striving towards the next levels of technology and knowledge through experimentation and tinkering (this is corroborated by the comments and clothing of gnome NPCs). Others believe gnomes live very similar lives to dwarves, hence the apparent lack of lore


Gnomish Technology seems to focus on seemingly pointless, inane, and impractical goals, which are occasionally strewn with malfunctions and backfires, often as the expense of the user's health, wellbeing, and physical form. This is most evident in Gnomish Engineering. Most gnomish experimenting focus on bending the laws of time, space, and physics, as seen in the many experimentation quests of Toshley's Station. While mainly impractical, such as Gnomish Poultryizer, or Shrink Ray, occasionally, gnomish technology may stumble into something useful, such as the Deeprun Tram.


The first historical account of a gnome is Erbag, the Gnomish representative of the Tirisfalen during the early days of Aegwynn. Erbag was described as being highly talkative as well as rather impatient with Aegwynn. He stands as an accurate and general example of Gnomish psyche. He was already inducted by the time of eight-hundred and forty-eight years prior to World of WarCraft and spoke on par with his human and elven counterparts, despite their relative obscurity in historical records.

Gnomes have not had Kings or Queens in 400 years. The first documented contact between dwarves and gnomes occurred roughly 200 years before The Burning Crusade, and they became fast allies, allowing the gnomes to build the gnomish capital Gnomeregan in their lands.

Since the Ironforge dwarves' recent discovery of Titanic origins, the gnomes think that they too may be products of Titans. This fact is very uncertain, however; if it is true, the gnomes as yet remain estranged from their ancestral powers.[citation needed]

No other dates or facts have been given.


Gnomes are small, slight and nifty. They somewhat resemble dwarves, but are shorter and not as stocky with rather childlike statures (according to humans). They have large noses and ruddy skin, their ears are large and rounded, and their hair color ranges wildly, some even having pink hair. They have four fingers on each hand. They are often seen with goggles, tool belts and other items related to their technological inclinations.


Alliance Crest Gnomes are great friend of the dwarves and have fought and died alongside human soldiers. They are wary of high elves, but so is everyone else, so they don't feel too bad about that. They battled the Horde in the Second War and have a bit of a grudge against orcs, but gnomes are a kindly and forgiving lot and are willing to give orcs a second chance. Gnomes and goblins have always been rivals, trying to surpass each other's tech - though whether this rivalry is friendly or brutal depends on the individuals involved (for example on the Mirage Raceway). Tauren are considered to be rather primitive and rustic by Gnomes but, being social individuals, Gnomes have managed to associate themselves with these comparatively gargantuan creatures. Gnomes in Kalimdor and other places in Azeroth have become unlikely friends with the night elves (though it might be a one sided friendship with the night elves only tolerating the gnomes). The gnomes believe that with their use of arcane magics and technology they offer something that night elves lack in defense of their lands. [citation needed]

Gnomish names

Gnome parents name their children at birth. Gnomes have family names that represent an honored ancestor's achievements, but they only keep these names until some time in their thirties. At this point, gnome society expects them to have made their own achievements, and thus the gnome invents a new name that represents his own accomplishments. This name then takes the place of his family name.

Famous Gnomes

  • High Tinker Gelbin Mekkatorque
  • Mekgineer Sicco Thermaplugg

Starting Attributes


Gnomish Engineer

Base Mage Rogue Warlock Warrior
Strength 15 15 16 15 18
Agility 23 23 26 23 23
Stamina 19 19 20 20 21
Intellect 23 26 23 25 23
Spirit 20 22 20 22 20

Racial Traits

Escape Artist - instant - 1.75 min cooldown
Escape the effects of any immobilization or movement speed reduction effect.
Expansive Mind - passive
Mana increased by 5%.
Arcane Resistance - passive
Reduces the chance you will be hit by Arcane spells by 2%.
Engineering Specialization - passive
Engineering skill increased by 15.
Shortblade Specialization - passive
Expertise with Daggers and One-handed Swords increased by 3.

Gnomish, Common


Gnomes have fair starting stats for the rogue class. This is because high agility benefits rogue's critical hit chance and dodge chance. The melee damage of rogues (and hunters) is based on agility as well as strength. A notable feature that sometimes may give a gnome rogue advantage is their very short height. An unprepared and less alert enemy player might not notice the dangerous gnome rogue creeping near him, especially if his camera is pointed upward or he's distracted. Of course this advantage rarely appears and an experienced player knows to be alert!

For Mage and Warlock classes, gnomes have an advantage (at low levels) because their high initial intellect means they have a larger mana pool (can cast more spells before running out of mana). The 5% intellect bonus given by the Expansive Mind trait is calculated after adding bonuses from gear, so it continues to offer an advantage even at high levels.

Gnome Warriors have the advantage of being the only Warriors able to escape a root without use of items. Some people think that it is strange that gnomes can be warriors, but blood elves cannot.

Gnomes are the only race that have no classes with healing abilities. This is presumably because gnomes are not traditionally religious and would not become a Priest, Paladin, Druid or Shaman.

Why Gnomes in the World of Warcraft?

From Insider Interview — with Chris Metzen: Gnomes and Trolls as Playable Races from the Blizzard Insider:

I think we deal with it a little bit in upcoming D&D supplements. During Warcraft II, the gnomes were, in effect, building weapons and lending designs to the Alliance - but they were staying out of any direct fighting. In Warcraft III and Frozen Throne, and even in World of Warcraft, it becomes clear that the gnomes have had internal problems of their own for several years. As of World of Warcraft, they still offer support to the Alliance in terms of building tanks, designing weapons, sending flying machines, and so on. But they had a problem at home that has recently been discovered - an ancient menace from the depths of the underground, called Troggs. The Troggs invaded the gnomes' city of Gnomeregan and wiped it out. The gnomes decided not to let the rest of the Alliance know about this because they figured that they could deal with it on their own. But Gnomeregan fell, probably thanks as much to the gnomes' own actions as to those of their enemies - they likely blew themselves up with whatever failsafe devices they used to defeat the threat. After the destruction of their homeland, the gnomes fled to the safety offered by their nearby allies the dwarves.