How to use the Ventriloquism spell

Hi all, in my home game I replaced Elves and Dwarfs with Gnomes to represent demihumans. I have several classes for them all which take Gnome 1 as a minimum to inject a little magic flavour. But I have never really seen Ventriloqism, as an innate spell, get used.

I was tempted to just swap it out for Chameleon, also an illusion spell and fitting in with the gnomish ‘blends into the terrain’ thing that is often a part of forest or rock gnome writeups.

But... before I do... maybe if I had some tips on good (regular) uses of ventriloquism it may help me to not replace it. I know it can have situational uses, but for newer players that have this are there any examples that are more common in application?


I've never found a use for it, either... It's hard to use without being caught unless you can cast spells subtly, or have foreknowledge of needing it in an upcoming encounter before that encounter begins. I guess it exists because Gandalf did it?

I also remember as a kid in the 70’s and 80’s that ventriloquism was all the rage. So I think it may also be a product of the time. I definitely see it’s use in a setup encounter, maybe supporting othe illusions that lack sound. But as a regular innate spell I would like my players to gain something of utility that is also illusion based. 

Anyway, question still live, anything?