I’ve completed the draft of Nebelun, the gnomish god of artifice and invention, following the format established by the 2nd edition Faiths & Avatars book. Please leave me some feedback on what you like, dislike, etc. I look forward to discussions of this project. :)
Once this project is completed, I’ll compile them all into a single document, much like Faiths & Avatars itself.
Nebelun (PDF Version)
Lesser Power of Bytopia and Arborea, CG
Portfolio: Inventions, inventiveness, artifice magic, fearlessness, good luck, tinker gnomes
Domain Name: Dothion/the Golden Hills (The Workshop) and Olympus/Olympus (Hephaestus’ Forge)
Superior: Garl Glittergold
Allies: Dugmaren Brightmantle, Gond, Hephaestus, Norebo, Reorx, Rudd, Tyche, Tymora, Vergadain, the gnome pantheon (except Urdlen)
Foes: Gaknulak, Kuraulyek, Kurtulmak, Urdlen, the orc and goblinkin pantheons
Symbol: Bellows and lizard tail
Wor. Align.: NG, CG, N, CN
Nebelun (NEHB-eh-luhn) is the gnomish god of inventions and inventiveness, as well as good luck and fortuitous accidents; he is also the adopted patron of tinker gnomes who have left their homes in Krynnspace. The Meddler is a restless adventurer with grand schemes and plans which never seem to work out quite as expected, but rarely actually end badly. He is a technologist at heart, and loves to build and tinker with machines of all sorts. While rarely performing as intended, they are almost never entirely useless, and often work in completely unexpected ways. In many legends, he is something of a trickster or thief, as shown by his unusual symbol, which represents the time he stole the tail of the lizard men’s god, Semuanya.
Nebelun was a mortal gnome who became a deity through divine ascension and progressed to the status of Lesser God through his own efforts. He is a great source of inspiration to any gnome who ever picked up a tool or wondered whether some practical task could be accomplished with more style or panache, if not necessarily more simply. As such, the Meddler is worshipped by gnomes whose interests lie in the realms of machinery and technology, as well as those who specialize in the wizardly school of artifice. He is also venerated by some warriors, although not due to skill at arms or his martial abilities, but because of his courage and tenacity.
With the notable exception of Urdlen, Nebelun is on good terms with the rest of the gnomish pantheon, although the other powers frequently become exasperated with his antics. He is closest to Flandal Steelskin, as both are craftsmen, although Nebelun constantly attempts to get Flandal to builder grander and more complicated items. He also shares a bond with Gaerdal Ironhand, who was fortunate to be on hand during an incident from the Meddler’s heroic career which helped save a gnomish village and thwart an attack led by Kurtulmak. Nebelun is also on excellent terms with many other gods of machinery and construction, particularly Gond of Toril and Hephaestus of the Greek pantheon. The Meddler spends much of his time assisting Hephaestus, and he gave express permission to Gond to grant spells on his behalf in Realmspace. As a minor god of specialist magic, he is also closely allied with Baravar Cloakshadow, the gnomish god of magic and illusions. While he generally does not actively fight against the humanoid gods who consider gnomes their enemies, he does oppose their actions and work to protect gnomish communities through the use of technology and inventions. Semuanya and Kurtulmak in particular have strong antipathy towards him due to his legendary career, although only Kurtulmak truly carries a grudge.
Among the Meddler’s more notable exploits and legends is a fortuitous accident that saved a gnomish village. Nebelun designed and built a system of dams to create a vast reservoir on a great Underdark river that would provide a stable supply of water for the village’s various forges and workshops. However, there was a slight flaw in the design which caused the largest dam to collapse, inundating a cavern complex. As luck would have it, there was a great kobold army, led by Kurtulmak, that was just about to attack the village, and the great flood forced those who survived to flee. In another stroke of good fortune, Gaerdal Ironhand was visiting the gnome burrows and was able to use walls of stone and iron to divert the waters away from the village. Not all of the Meddler’s tales are so serious, however; for example, another tale tells of how Skoreaus Stonebones’ specially-carved throwing rocks were replaced by metal spheres that made a variety of rude noises when picked up. Nebelun’s adventures are often slightly different from village to village, and often practical details are ignored entirely, such as just how the Meddler managed to steal Semuanya’s tail without him noticing. However, such things matter little to the gnomes; what’s important is the enjoyment, and to a lesser extent lessons, gained from the telling of the tales. Another strong aspect in Nebelun’s legendary career is his fearlessness, which some would say borders on insanity. After all, who else would just stroll into Semuanya’s domain while he was bathing in his favorite pool, steal his tail, use the thing to create the first gnomish blimp, and then fly around in a wicker basket strapped haphazardly beneath it? To top it off, the blimp never even crashed, although it did explode shortly after landing. In all his legends, the Meddler is never portrayed as a strong warrior; instead, he is characterized as curious, fun, and a playful tinkerer.
Nebelun does not send avatars to the Prime Material very often; usually only when he needs some special equipment or resources for his experiments.
Nebelun’s Avatar (Artificer 22*, Thief 18)
Nebelun appears as an old but spry, white-haired gnome with blue eyes, dark tan skin, and a short but unkempt beard. He usually wears a black frock-coat and top hat, with glasses, and carries a black leather bag filled with strange and bizarre tools and items (but his magical hat allows him to vary his appearance considerably). He can cast spells from any school except necromancy, although he prefers spells from the schools of artifice and alteration.
AC 1; MV 12; HP 96; THAC0 12; #AT 1
Dmg 1d6 + 4 (mace +3)
MR 40%; SZ M (4 feet tall)
Str 15, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 19, Wis 14, Cha 14
Spells W: 6/6/6/6/6/6/5/5/4**
Saves PPDM 8; RSW 1**; PP 5; BW 7; Sp 1***
*Artificers are a type of specialist wizard detailed in Player’s Option: Spells & Magic. If this reference is unavailable, Nebelun is rated as a 22nd level Wizard and does not get the bonus spells listed below. **Numbers assume one extra artifice spell per spell level. *** Includes gnome +4 Con save bonus to a minimum of 1.
Special Att/Def: Nebelun wields a bronze mace +3 that stuns anyone struck for 1d4 rounds (successful save vs. spell negates the effect) on any successful attack. It has the effects of a wand of wonder; the Meddler rolls twice for any result and picks the preferred effect.
Nebelun can blink at will, in any direction he chooses. He may re-roll a saving throw, once per throw, 1d6 times per day. He can only be struck by magical weapons.
The Meddler typically wears a frock-cloak +1 and workman’s leather +1, as well as a top hat of disguise.
Nebelun expects his followers to develop their own ingenuity, so he doesn’t send omens or signs very often. However, he does on rare occasions manifest in the form of sudden inspiration (“Nebelun’s head” is similar to “Eureka!”). Other omens he will occasionally send include items rearranged in a toolbox, a trail of tools leading to a symbolic solution to a practical problem, or some other similar indirect clue to solve a pressing problem.
Nebelun is served by autognomes, einheriar (who were gnomish inventors in mortal life), golems, lightning and steam mephits, pseudodragons, and various clockwork creatures made with the help of Hephaestus.
Clergy: Clerics, specialty priests, tinkers, artificers
Clergy’s Align.: NG, CG, CN
Turn Undead: C: Yes, SP: No, Ti: No, Art: No
Cmnd. Undead: C: No, SP: No, Ti: No, Art: No
All clerics (including multiclassed fighter/clerics, cleric/artificers, and cleric/thieves) and specialty priests of Nebelun receive religion (gnome) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.
Nebelun’s church isn’t well known outside of tinker gnome and rock gnome communities, but it is generally well regarded, despite the frequent invention failures. They work to improve the lives of gnomes through their inventions, and are happy to share their knowledge with any gnome who wishes to learn. Beyond gnomish communities, Nebelun’s church is often viewed with suspicion and no little fear, although this is more due to tinker gnomes’ reputations for accidents and “improvements.”
Temples to Nebelun are often indistinguishable from schools or workshops to those unfamiliar with gnomish religion. They tend to be small, and filled with half-completed projects and experiments, diagrams, and spare parts. Space is cleared when religious services need to be held, which is not a regular event over the course of the year. Individual temples are often geared more towards either teaching knowledge of artifice and inventions or creating new machines and tinkering with existing ones. They often serve as schools for gnome children to learn other subjects, as well, including reading and writing, mining, and the like.
Novices in the service of Nebelun are known as Apprentices. Full priests are known as Craftsgnomes. There is no widespread hierarchy within the church, but high priests often have special titles related to their area of expertise, such as Master of Clockworks. Specialty priests are known as tinkerers. Nebelun’s clergy includes slightly more rock gnomes (50%) than tinker gnomes (45%), although the growing numbers of tinker gnomes will likely soon surpass the rock gnomes. The remainder is made up of other gnome races (5%). Males make up the majority of his priesthood (65%), although this does not reflect any internal bias against females. Nebelun’s clergy is comprised of specialty priests (40%), tinkers (30%), clerics (12%), cleric/thieves (8%), fighter/clerics (5%), cleric/artificers (3%), and artificers (2%).
Dogma: Improving the lives of gnomes is easiest to achieve by improving inventions and machines. Look for the hidden upside in mistakes and accidents. Any machine can be improved upon. Never give up, even in the face of apparent failure.
Day-to-Day Activities: Nebelun’s clergy are incessant builders and tinkerers. They spend the better part of each day working on devices that do everything from pump water to make beds automatically. No device is ever viewed as truly finished, although the priesthood does refrain from working on devices that are actively used by their community (water pumps, for example). Many members of the clergy have specialties, but if there is an urgent need for a device within the community that falls outside of the specialization, they’ll diligently work to complete the project, as the needs of the community outweigh personal interests.
Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Nebelun’s clergy hold major celebrations on Midsummer and the vernal equinox, and each honors one of the major legends from Nebelun’s heroic career. The Tail Race Day is a daylong affair on Midsummer where followers of the Meddler commemorate the legend of Nebelun stole Semuanya’s tail and created a blimp out of it. During the festivities, gnomes from the whole community build small models of blimps within a certain time period, which can vary from community to community, but is usually three hours, and then race them against each other. The winner is named Master Craftsgnome and holds the honorary title until the next festival. The other major celebration occurs on the vernal equinox, and commemorates Nebelun’s lucky misfortune. During the festivities, stories are told of the Meddler’s exploits and clergy debut their latest inventions (or revisions) for all the other gnomes to see. This event usually ends up with considerable collateral damage from malfunctioning devices, but the gnomes generally pass it off as a “learning experience.”
Major Centers of Worship: One of the most prestigious centers of learning within the known spheres is The Academy at Lirak’s Cube. While not run by gnomes, it does include a large college of artifice and technology, which is closely associated with the House of Invention, the largest Nebelunan temple in the multiverse. Many of the highest ranking clergy of the temple are also tenured professors at the Academy. The temple is nearly as old as the Academy, and the hierarchy is primarily composed of rock gnomes, although the number of tinker gnomes is increasing.
Within the same crystal sphere as the famous asteroid port known as the Rock of Bral is one of the largest colonies of tinker gnomes outside of Krynnspace, on a small flatworld known as Ironpiece. Within the city of Port Walkaway is the Meddler’s Workshop, the second largest temple of Nebelun in the known spheres. Unlike the House of Invention, the clergy of the Meddler’s Workshop is composed almost entirely of tinker gnomes. It also has a very unstructured hierarchy, with just a high priest and a senior priest; there are no other positions of rank.
Affiliated Orders: The closest thing to a military order within Nebelun’s clergy is the Order of the Ballista. Comprising mainly specialty priests, clerics, fighter/clerics, and cleric/thieves, this order focuses on building and improving the engines of siege warfare for gnomes and their allies. Members of this order only assist in those campaigns that are deemed beneficial or necessary for the defense of gnomish or allied homelands. Their most frequent opponents are goblin and kobold fortresses and warrens.
Priestly Vestments: The ceremonial garments of Nebelun’s clergy can vary wildly between temples, but they almost always include some piece made wholly or in part of snake or lizard skin, frequently a hat. Skins of intelligent reptiles are never used, however. The holy symbol of the faith is a small bellows shown inflating a lizard’s tail, and is usually made of a bronze or silver and either hangs on a chain around the neck or is pinned to a coat or shirt.
Adventuring Garb: Generally, priests of Nebelun wear practical gear when adventuring. By far the most common type of armor worn is gnomish workman’s leather, a type of leather outfit characterized by many pockets in which the gnome has stuffed tools. Many gnomish communities have even come to call such outfits “Nebelun’s armor.” Priests of the Meddler may not use simple weapons, such as clubs and quarterstaves, and they must have had a hand in the creation of any weapon they use.
Specialty Priests (Tinkerers)
Requirements: Intelligence 13, Wisdom 9
Prime Req.: Intelligence, Wisdom
Weapons: Any non-simple weapons that priest had a hand in crafting
Armor: All armor up to plate mail; any shields
Major Spheres: All, creation, divination, numbers, thought, time
Minor Spheres: Chaos, charm, guardian, healing, protection
Magical Items: Same as clerics
Req. Profs: Armorer, blacksmithing, carpentry, engineering, leatherworking, or weaponsmithing (pick one)
Bonus Profs: Engineering, reading/writing (gnomish)
- Tinkerers must be gnomes. Most tinkerers are rock gnomes or tinker gnomes, but gnomes of every subrace except spriggans can be tinkerers.
- Tinkerers are not allowed to multiclass.
- Tinkerers can select nonweapon proficiencies from the priest, rogue, and warrior groups with no crossover penalty.
- Once per day, tinkerers can reroll any one d20 roll.
- At 1st level, tinkerers can cast mending (as the 1st-level priest spell) once per day. For every three levels gained after 1st, they can cast it an additional time per day (i.e., twice at 4th level, three times at 7th, etc.).
- At 3rd level, tinkerers can cast analyze contraption (as the 3rd-level priest spell) once per day.
- At 5th level, tinkerers can cast free action (as the 4th-level priest spell) or Drawmij’s tool box (as the 4th-level wizard spell) once per day.
- At 9th level, tinkerers can pray for wizard spells from the school of Artifice, up to 3rd level, as if they were priest spells of the same level. The school of Artifice is detailed in Players Option: Spells & Magic, as well as the Wizard’s Spell Compendium volumes. If none of these references are available, substitute the school of Alteration.
- At 12th level, tinkerers can cast fantastic machine (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per day.
Priests of the Meddler may cast the 1st-level priest spell mending, detailed in Demihuman Deities in the entry for Dugmaren Brightmantle, the 3rd-level priest spell analyze contraption, detailed in Demihuman Deities in the entry for Nebelun, and the 6th-level priest spell fantastic machine, detailed in Faiths & Avatars under the entry for Gond.
Hey. This is pretty great.
I do have a question: When you cast Spiritual Weapon, what would you suggest be the form of it? A Bellows connected to a lizard tail would be a weird look for the spiritual weapon.
Second Edition only has Spiritual Hammer so I’m not sure if later editions have any specific requirements for “Spiritual Weapons.” If there’s no requirements, I’d say mace or pick.