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ID: 7213


February 18, 2013, 11:41 am

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Griven Smartstaff, Scholar of Small Proportions


  The gnome hefts the giant tome situated on his back and then pushes his round spectacles up his protruding nose. He rubs the tip of his nose, knowing that he should really stop studying with his face so close to the books. The skin would sometimes rub off the tip during long hours of recording and study. Specks were  moving on down the road, and he produces a spyglass from a loop on his hip. Through the lens, he spots a group of adventurers. He grins from ear-to-ear and gives a hoot, almost losing his balance due to the weight of the book on his back.

   "These fellows look like they have purpose! It's time to find out what they're up to!"


    Griven Smartstaff is of the average, 3 foot tall height that most gnomes are, with earthy brown skin and cropped hair the color of a red sunset. His nose is quite long, sticking several inches out from his face, with a wide mouth. Round spectacles sit atop his nose, in front of bright blue eyes that are constantly in motion. His fingers are ink-stained and long. The enormous tome he carries attached to his back by leather straps is almost as large as he is, with various papers and bookmarks protruding and occasionally falling out. He ignores them when they do, knowing it just leaves more room for something else. A small birdcage is attached to the tome by two rods next to his head, and in it sits a yellow canary. He also possesses an enchanted quill and inkwell that float around his head when he uses the activation phrase. They can write hands free as he dictates, but he prefers to record by hand when he isn't on the move.


    His tendency to gather information stems from when he was but a wee gnome. The other gnome children would often play tricks on one another, as even adult gnomes tend to do. One of their favorites would be to convince the young Griven that his name was anything other than what it really was. Niverg Ballywog was the last straw in a long list of nonsense names, and so he carried an empty book with which he would record every new name they would give him. Anytime they would throw out names such as Dragonfriend Mahogany or Sir Knight Tuna, he knew they were speaking to him. Somewhere along the line, he decided he never wanted to forget anything ever again.

   Obsessively he began writing and sketching his new experiences. A self portrait for every year that would go by, a horned beetle he found in a stump, a colorful flower, all would be studied and sometimes sketched. A diary emerged and Griven began carrying that too, recording anything interesting that would happen throughout the day. Books piled up in his room, and when he moved into a new home they piled up his dwelling. This all lead up to the day a group of adventurers stumbled into the forest village he grew up in and stayed for several days. He knew he had to leave the village for even more fascinating experiences. After endless questions as to what their business was and where they were going, they finally agreed to let the gnome tag along to the next city.

   Griven left the party some days afterward to travel alone, but always joined others when they would so much as acknowledge his questions. The dangers of the road and caves the adventurers would frequent brought a love of dangerous experiences. He quickly realized he wasn't one for fighting, but his value was in his knowledge, which the fighters could exploit when faced with new foes while he stayed out from underfoot. When the danger would pass he would immediately begin recording the events. If his services were discovered to be useful, he would often request useful magical items or scrolls.

   Unfortunately, books will be filled quickly from use, and they must be put in storage. One such storage item is a pocket bookcase given to Griven by an ailing academic who knew the gnome would get more use from it than him. It is a shrinking bookcase that becomes a normal size for item storage and then can shrink to the palm of a man's hand. Care must be taken not to let any items stored inside to fall out, otherwise they will become of normal size and weight. Griven cannot fit the giant tome on his back within the bookcase, but he cannot bear to see it go.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Kid Cannibal
February 18, 2013, 11:41
This is my first submission to the site, I hope you enjoy it.

Griven here was made as a support character for the party I was DMing. I found he was very useful in helping move a plot along or giving hints when the party was stuck in a puzzle.
Voted Shadoweagle
February 18, 2013, 16:55
A nifty little fellow, is Griven. I love his eccentric, obsessive nature and can actually see how he would benefit a party: He would be great to give hints or even answers for riddles and puzzles the PC's are struggling with, plus if they encounter a new beastie, Griven may have it's weaknesses written up somewhere. On top of that, they could use him to remember past experiences in their game (such as the password they learned five games ago for the door today).

I can see him getting damned annoying, though! And likely he would get in the way, or add an element of complexity to a battle - they may have to protect the poor gnome.

Anywho. A useful gnome! And welcome to the site :)
February 18, 2013, 19:00
Neat npc. Seems like an excelent tool for advancing the plot. I forsee his last words being "What does THIS lever do?"
Voted Scrasamax
February 19, 2013, 16:04
A very gnomish gnome (without venturing into the realm of the tinker) who has some interesting motivation and use in a game. I particularly like his tiny bookshelf, and that if it tips over all the books fall out regular size.

A good first submission
Voted Murometz
February 27, 2013, 10:34
What Scras said! Glad he's not a "tinkerer"! Love the tiny bookshelf!
Voted Dossta
March 5, 2013, 11:50
Now here's a gnome I might actually use in a game. For "pet" NPCs like this, I find that small or otherwise nonthreatening (read: non-heroic) characters are best, since they can do their jobs without making the PCs feel upstaged. I would definitely play up his curiosity, though, since having an NPC along should be as much a curse as a boon. I might make him near-sighted as well, from all the reading.
Voted valadaar
November 4, 2013, 20:55
A nice NPC especially suitable to new players, moving on once his job is done.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Strolen

Small tavern in an out of the way town. Serve a wonderful delicacy that is simply outstanding. It is a creamy white consistancy, sweet, good to eat alone or a sweetener on any dessert. If the explore or ask they are shown where they get it. They breed a group of large catipillars or some other type of insect that basically spit the product onto a setup that they created for that particular reason. Or maybe the delicacy is the byproduct of feeding them something. Instead of city can be a traveller offering the food.

Encounter  ( Any ) | February 16, 2003 | View | UpVote 1xp

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