Wonderful! It draws a whole new aspect out of the dragon mentality. This is really nice and succintly written. Genius Dossta. Real Genius. 5/5
The only piece missing is that dragons like to live in scary, hard-to-reach places. I would want to wedge a challenge in Act II before the parlay. Here's what I'm thinking:
Zaulphiria the Vain lives in a fantastic and beautiful abandoned dwarven mine. The players would have to battle cave monsters and traps to parlay with her, and she would be even more upset if they were to damage her lovely home trying to reach her.
Shadrevaen the Artistic lives in a forrest that holds several elven shrines. Though most of the elves were chased out, the beauty and inspiration of nature keeps a few artistic elves around. The players would have to convince the elves to let them pass and maybe even fight a few elven spirits to parlay. Shadrevaen may be upset if the players carelessly harm the talented bardic elves she has grown to appreciate.
Tjamaladara the Mighty lives is a mighty keep that she took by force. She has raised many war dogs and a few trolls to guard her home and scare off visitors. She would think very little of someone who did not show their might by facing her guardians in fair combat. She would likely think very little of anyone who approached her by sneaking around.
This extra challenge gives the players something to think about and plan in advance. I'm sure you could think of a better lair for each dragon to match your setting and power level, but you get the idea.
A unique take on a gnomish subclass, and can make for a refreshing change in the usual wilderness encounter.
Perhaps giving them some type of musical related magic would help fill in the missing gap? Perhaps they have found a way to combine bardic magic with that of regular mages?
A song of burning passion may possibly set a target on fire, or one of a raging river make those enemies in ear shot feel as if they are drowning?
Giving them a little bit of offensive power (which they learned so they don't suffer the same fate as their ancestors) could make the odd group who looks at them as little push overs rethink their assumptions rather quickly. (Having a group of singing gnomes come to the rescue from a bandit ambush would also make for a fun encounter.
Inspired by this old thread: Dark Gnomish Evil or how to improve a hopeless race
I still feel as though these guys are missing something, but can't think of what to add at present. Please feel free to suggest improvements or add ideas.
I love the different take on gnomes, the setting, the flavor, and the language used to paint the whole picture. This is the kind of submission that keeps me coming back for more and gives me something to aspire to. Thanks for the link back to my own submission (and I wish I'd read this one before I updated it).
Short and catchy, with all the quality I'd expect in a short story from one of the published magazines like the Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
The piece can work well as the basis behind a rescue mission for nearly any sci-fi setting, or a cautionary tale told around the star port bar by a retired brotherhood guard about what happens to those who are *too* successful with cutting edge creation.
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Certainly a very high quality piece. Overall, I don't think I can really suggest any useful suggestions for improvement. Oh, one minor thing, the sub mentioned in the 4th paragraph something abt his "access to the nets" was limited. I thought this referred to the Internet or some such equivalent in which case it would be better to capitalise the "nets" bit else there may be a slim chance (very slim) that the reader might wonder abt it meaning something else (as I briefly did but then again maybe it's just me)