Autognome 5e: Get to Know the Robot Gnomes of Spelljammer

Spelljammer is an interesting setting. It deviates from standard D&D fare, but it is hardly your typical science fiction jaunt either. This unusual setting is a strange mix of cosmic horror and fun hippo-folk with pistols. The Autognome race leans closer to the silly than the bizarre, but they make for a fun player option either way. Learn more with our Autognome 5E Guide.

Autognome 5E: All the Details

autognome 5e

The autognomes are one of the stranger race options available in Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. Although this playable race is new to the 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, it is not new to D&D in general. Autognomes were present in previous versions of Spelljammer, and they are back to play an important role in your next Wildspace campaign.

What are Autognomes in D&D?

Autognomes are mechanical creatures that travel the unknowns of Wildspace. They share a lot of similarities with gnomes for a reason, as they were primarily built by rock gnomes inhabiting Wildspace. Although they were created to serve the gnomes that built them, countless autognomes have struck out on their own after being separated from their creator.

Autognomes resemble gnomes physically. Most of them can also speak Gnomish. While their external appearance can vary, their internal design can also differ significantly. Some autognomes are purely mechanical, while others include some living organs inside of them.

Building an Autognome Character

It should come as no surprise that this version of autognomes vary from previous editions. Unlike previous versions, there are no malfunction tables to worry about. Instead, these characters are fairly similar to the other options in Spelljammer, like the Giff or Hadozee. As is the case with the other race options, autognomes do not come with set ability score bonuses. This approach allows you to expand your subclass options without worrying about optimization.

Ability Scores

One of the major changes that Wizards of the Coast has embraced recently is the move away from race-specific ability score bonuses. Not only does this approach move away from the bio-essentialism that some players are bothered by, but it also offers flexibility in selecting the race you want without being limited by the classes that are optimal. You have two options when it comes to selecting your ability scores. You can choose a +2 bonus to one ability and a +1 bonus to another. Your other option is to take a +1 bonus to three different abilities.


The autognomes do not have a language of their own. Like all characters in Spelljammer, you can read, write, and speak common in addition to one other language. While most autognomes also know gnomish, you can pick any language option your DM allows.

Character History

While Spelljammer: Adventures in Space has been light on lore when it comes to these races, the book does provide players with guidance on your autognome’s history. If you need a nudge in the right direction, you can roll to determine how you came to be freed from your creator.

1Your creator gave you autonomy and urged you to follow your dreams.
2Your creator died, leaving you to fend for yourself.
3A glitch caused you to forget your original programming. You don’t remember who made you or where you came from.
4You didn’t like how you were being treated by your creator, so you ran away from home.
5You were built to complete a special mission.
6You felt trapped in the role for which you were built and abandoned your creator, determined to find a greater purpose.

Autognome Traits Breakdown

Autognome Traits
  • Creature Type: You are a Construct.
  • Lifespan: Your lifespan is roughly 500 years.
  • Size: You are Small.
  • Speed: Your walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Armor Casing:You are encased in thin metal or some other durable material. While you aren’t wearing armor, your base Armor Class is 13 + your Dexterity modifier.
  • Built for Success:You can add a d4 to one attack roll, ability check, or saving throw you make, and you can do so after seeing the d20 roll but before the effects of the roll are resolved. You can use this trait a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
  • Healing Machine:If the mending spell is cast on you, you can spend a Hit Die, roll it, and regain a number of hit points equal to the roll plus your Constitution modifier (minimum of 1 hit point).

    In addition, your creator designed you to benefit from several spells that preserve life but that normally don’t affect Constructs: cure wounds, healing word, mass cure wounds, mass healing word, and spare the dying.

  • Mechanical Nature: You have resistance to poison damage and immunity to disease, and you have advantage on saving throws against being paralyzed or poisoned. You don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe.
  • Sentry’s Rest: When you take a long rest, you spend at least 6 hours in an inactive, motionless state, instead of sleeping. In this state, you appear inert, but you remain conscious.
  • Specialized Design:You gain two tool proficiencies of your choice, selected from the Player’s Handbook.

There are some similarities between gnomes and autognomes here. Your size is small, for example, and your lifespan is also 500 years. However, there are differences. Chief among them is your walking speed, which is thankfully the standard 30 feet. Autognomes also lack the Darkvisiona nd Gnome Cunning that comes with the standard gnome race.

The traits this race has certainly makes up for these omissions, though. It comes with what you would expect from a construct class, namely Mechanical Nature and Sentry’s Rest. Specialized Design is another nice touch, as you gain two tool proficiencies of your choice. You also have natural armor that is AC 13 plus your dexterity modifier, which is pretty standard for these features.

Built for Success and Healing Machine are the most interesting aspects of the autognome. Healing Machine has plusses and minuses. While you can expend hit dice to regain HP when mending is cast on you, not all healing spells work. The most popular options are available, but there are some omissions like Goodberry. Built for success is also interesting, as you can tack on 1d4 to rolls that just barely miss.

Best Classes for Autognome

Because of the flexibility that comes with ability score bonuses, it is possible to create an optimized character using any class. This is great news, especially if you have previously passed on certain races due to the lack of optimization. With that in mind, there are no wrong answers on your autognome’s class.

Still looking for suggestions? Thematically, an artificer would make a lot of sense. The addition of tool proficiencies would work well for an artificer, and you would also have access to the Mending cantrip. Given how important this spell is for you, artificer could be a good fit.

How to Play an Autognome

Autognomes are constructs. They are created in the image and by the hand of another creature. While physically similar, these creatures do not have a society or preferred habitat of their own. That means your next autognome character is an open book. The creator of an autognome is often a central theme, however. Do you know who your creator is? Are you working with them side-by-side today? This is often a good place to start when it comes to fleshing out your character.

Autognome Names

Unfortunately, there are no suggested names provided in Spelljammer: Adventures in Space. The freedom to name your character anything you want is great, but suggestions are always nice. As autognomes are likely named by their creator most of the time, it might make sense to adopt gnomish names. You can see some examples in our Gnomish names guide.

Wrapping up our Autognome 5E Guide

That concludes our autognome 5E guide. This race is a fun option and good thematically for Spelljammer. If it’s not for you, there’s also the Astral Elf to consider! Have any thoughts on this one? Let us know in the comment section.

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