Posts Tagged With: Dwarves

Do dwarves take baths…?

So, the other day a picture of a chinchilla came up on my Tumblr, and I was struck for a moment by the image of one taking a dust bath. I immediately wondered if dwarves took dust baths? Do dwarves bathe? They don’t like deep water, they pretty much can’t swim (too dense), and the big reason to take a bath is because of sweat and I didn’t even know (because I’d never thought of it) if dwarves even sweat…

I kind of liked the idea though, the idea of dust baths and maybe filing away callouses and the like – or just a really good pumice scraping. So I took the idea to my dwarf player, KT, and talked it over with her. She kind of liked the idea as well, and after some discussion of physiological issues involved (no sweating means different ways of shedding heat, etc) we decided that it was a fine idea and added to it. Dwarves take dust baths, as well as baths with sand or some other coarse abrasive when they need to get rid of stains or caked on whatever. They have generally use pumice or a file to remove calluses and trim nails, and occasionally will slake themselves in oil and scrape themselves down – plus they’ll use oils on their beards occasionally to help shaped them and otherwise keep them healthy after being soaked in water to avoid lighting on fire at the forge.

Dwarves tend to keep their beards tucked into pouches, soaked in water, when they work at the forge in order to keep them safe. I can’t remember if that’s an old Ed Greenwood detail, or one that came from some old Tolkien illustration, but I distinctly remember liking it from somewhere, somewhen.

In fact, the only dwarves who are ever likely to actually wash with water are Hill Dwarves, because they are travelling so often. They don’t like it, and are likely to look a bit dirtier than the average Mountain Dwarf or Dwimmervolk for that reason – which of course adds to their reputation as being the “poor relatives” and vagrants who are at least (thankfully) better then those filthy, clanless and honorbroken Druegar…

We also decided that whatever the temperature regulation mechanism was for dwarven physiology, they just weren’t as bothered by temperature ranges from an comfort level. They aren’t resistant to heat or cold, but their “comfort zone” was far broader than that of a human.

TTFN!

D.

 

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Dwarven Bardic Spell List

So, I’ve been in the midst of trying to figure how a Ilda, the Dwarven Bard, successfully made a “God-call” to get her out of a seriously nasty jam. In the process I was taking a serious look at the Bardic spell list in the Player’s Handbook as was struck at how odd some of the spells were for dwarves in my game world. The nice thing about 5E is that there is a unified set of levels for spells – spellcasters get nine, lesser spellcasters get five, and the quasi-casters (archtypes) get four. Also unlike 1E, spells don’t change level depending upon what class they are.

So, looking at the list, and thinking about Dwarves, here is their modified spell list:

  • Cantrips
    • Remove Dancing Lights, Minor Illusion
    • Add Produce Flame, Magic Stone
  • First Level
    • Remove Longstrider, Silent Image, Unseen Servant
    • Add Absorb Elements, Bless, Earth Tremor
  • Second Level
    • Remove Phantasmal Force
    • Add Arcane Lock
  • Third Level
    • Remove Leomund’s Tiny Hut, Major Image
    • Add Glyph of Warding, Meld Into Stone
  • Fourth Level
    • Remove Dimension Door, Hallucinatory Terrain, Polymorph
    • Add Conjure Minor Elementals, Stone Shape, Stoneskin
  • Fifth Level
    • Remove Dominate Person, Teleportation Circle
    • Add Passwall, Wall of Stone
  • Sixth Level
    • Remove Programmed Illusion
    • Add Move Earth
  • Seventh Level
    • Remove Etherealness, Mirage Arcane, Mordenkainen’s Magnificent Mansion, Project Image, Teleport
    • Add Antimagic Field, Antipathy/Sympathy, Reverse Gravity, Sequester, Symbol
  • Eighth Level
    • Remove Dominate Monster
    • Add Earthquake
  • Ninth Level
    • Remove True Polymorph
    • Add Imprisonment

So, as you can see, less illusion and transport spells, more spells with a rune or earth focus. I also pulled out the Dominate spells because they didn’t fit either.

TTFN!

D.

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Went to go see TH: Battle of Five Armies today

I think it was the most faithful to the book of the three movies, but I also think #2 was the strongest of the three movies (I really didn’t care for the first movie, really I didn’t like the portrayal of Radagast and I didn’t like the fight in the mines). They handled the ending as well as they could have I think, and they handled the romance as well as I could have asked for (especially since I didn’t ask for it in the first place).

What this movie does have me thinking of is Wood Elves riding Irish Deer, Dwarves with their War-Boars and Riding Goats, and High Elves and Ringwraiths (and the idea that Galadriel is a Cleric, not a Mage). I’d actually forgotten about Dwarves and Warboars, I think that was a thing with Warhammer Fantasy, but I’ve certainly seen it before someplace. I like the idea of Riding Goats as well, it makes lots of sense. I am so tempted to ad them to my equipment list, but I don’t think either is common enough to make it worth it. I don’t, IIRC, have riding drakes or wardrakes on there either and they are also certainly available if you know where to shop.

The movie also drives home how far afield the Dwarves of my game world have come from the prototypical Tolkienian Dwarf. My Dwimmervolk are based more on High Germanic culture, and my Mountain Dwarves are actually more like “Deep Dwarves” – they dwell and live in vast underground cities. They are not the wandering surface folk portrayed in the movie. Though, now that I think about it, that makes a decent “sub-set” of  dwarf, the wandering outcast who has lost their home to goblins or worse – I suppose that is what “Hill Dwarves” are!

It also reminded me that I had a whole thing written up at one point that every Dwarven city or stronghold had an “Arkenstone” that represented the heart of the mountain and the community. Kind of like the Lia Fáil, or the Stone of Scone, it ratified the Dwarven King as true and served as a source of magical power. I should see if I can dig up those notes to convert to 5e, or just recreate them from memory!

Oh well, it’s late TTFN and I hope everyone had a good holiday!

D.

 

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Dwimmervolk, the Dwarves of the City

“Thank you for the drink! While the common folk know that we provide well-made goods for a fair coin, it is your nobles and merchants who understand our true worth as allies and partners. We provide access to the goods and services of our deep-kin, and our financial services are the backbone of the economy of the Mortal Realms. Not simply the goods we create ourselves and sell, but our banking and investments, the goods we move, and the trade we facilitate between the lands of men and the folk of the Underdark. Our engineers and alchemists have been responsible for some of the greatest wonders of the Mortal Realms and our services are in the demand of kings and mages across lands, oceans, and time – from the First City to the Great Works of Albion and Aquitaine we have been there, working beside humans to make a better, more beautiful, and more functional world.”

-Haegarth”the Keen” Glimdurin, Investigating Auditor-Accountant of the Great Clan of Glimdurin

Compared to their kin the Mountain Dwarves, the Dwimmervolk are a welcoming and friendly, cosmopolitan group of cityfolk who populate both the cities men and the large dwarven cities of the Mortal Realms. Like their kin, they are devoted to their craft, have a deep and abiding hated of goblins, trolls, and worse, with almost as great a reputation for greed and tight-fistedness as their kin. But rather than miners and smiths, the Dwimmervolk are bankers, financiers, and clockwork engineers and tinkerers. As intensely private as the Mountain Dwarves, who they consider shield-brothers and clan-kin, they keep their language and lore secret from outsiders. The term “Dwimmervolk” was given to them by the early humans, it means “the Magic-Folk” and referred not to their skill at the arcane arts per se, but to their skills with clockwork mechanisms, alchemy, and enchanting. Just like the Mountain Dwarves, they are organized along family and clan lines, but the Dwimmervolk have no kingdoms, preferring to “acculturate” into human lands and kingdoms instead, as well as hold titles with their kin in the Underdark.

Statistic Modifiers: +1 Constitution, -1 Charisma

Languages: Two Human Languages, Dwarrune, Dark Tongue.

Appearance: Dwimmervolk stand 3’8″ tall (+2d4″), and weigh 115 lbs (x2d6). They are Medium in Size and their Speed is 25 (though they are not slowed by Heavy Armor). They tend to have stout builds (though slimmer than Mountain Dwarves) and tawny skin – it isn’t tanned, but merely a darker hue than that of their mountain-dwelling kin. Even young Dwarves tend to have features that look old by human standards, with deep lines and pronounced features, but this is not universal. Dwarven hair begins in generally dark hues, with occasional reds and blonds, but as in humans, it goes gray or white as the Dwarf ages. Dwarves tend to wear their beards and hair long, often with simple braiding to keep it it of the way in forge or fight. The Dwarven beard is a mark of pride and honor and insulting a Dwarf’s beard is a tried and true method of starting a fight with not just that Dwarf, but all their kin as well if it is dire enough. Dwarven eyes are dark, blacks, browns, and greys, but they glitter underneath craggy brows.

Common Dress: Dwimmervolk dress much like the humans they live beside, though they make a point of wearing fine cuts and fabrics that display their wealth. They also wear a fair amount of jewelry in the way of bracers, necklaces, armbands, and hair and beard rings. Clothing tends to be in browns, and the darker shades of greys, blues and greens, with brighter colors common in travelling cloaks and fest clothing – the only colors that are uncommon are whites and blacks. It is also quite common to wear and use rapiers and firearms rather than the axes and hammers of their Underdark kin.

Lifespan: Dwimmervolk are young adults at age 40, considered mature adults at around age 60, and can live up to 525 years of age. They generally begin play at 40 + 5d4 years of age.

Common Culture: Clan and Family are of the utmost importance to Dwarves, accompanied by being a productive member of society. The only members of society that are not expected to remain an active artisan are priests and soldiers (and they usually do so anyway is some small way so deep is this value instilled in Dwarven culture). Dwarves have an even more deeply held prejudice against the practice of Arcane magic save through a scant few methods (Alchemy, Divination, and Runic Magic being the foremost, the Truesmith bloodline being the other). One oddity of the Dwarven race is that Dwarves do not have a gendered society, not that there are no male or female dwarves by sexual characteristics, but by language and thought they have no gender – though each dwarf has an acknowledged parent, and some dwarves may assume a gender to simplify relations with humans.

Common Backgrounds: Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Guild Merchant, Noble, Ordinary Man, Outcast, Skald, and Soldier all make suitable Backgrounds for Dwimmervolk that require minimal explanation.

Naming Conventions: Dwarven names can potentially go back hundreds of generations, though only the skalds or the priests generally know anything beyond about twenty generations or so, and are considered the property of the clan, not the dwarf themselves – when exiled they are cut off from any connection to their former family. Dwarves give state their name in the following lineal fashion:

<Given Name> <Nickname(s)>, <Honorific(s)>

Born of (Parent), of the Clan of <Clan Name>,in the line of <Dynastic Forebear>,

<Rank & Guild Membership>, Great Clan of <Great Clan Name>, in the Kingdom of <Kingdom Name>.

Iterations of the “Child of Parent” can go back as long as preferred, along with acknowledgements of changes in the lineage of that ancestors clan and dynastic forbear. Many Dwarves have nicknames attached to their names, granted by the clan-mates and friends. There is no limit to the number of nicknames that a dwarf can accumulate, but few save the most renowned gain one or perhaps two. Honorifics note special status, such as being Stoneborn, a Truesmith, and special religious status (clergy or champion). Dwarves also specifically note their guild membership as part of their name, which will include their rank or status within that guild. At a bare minimum, dwarves will relate Given Name along with Parent and Clan, anything less is considered rude and anything obscuring (but not a lie, which is dishonorable) is considered an insult (“Ragnarn, of the Dwarves”) as it implies that the addressee cannot be trusted.

Common Alignments: Dwarven culture promotes Lawful ethics and Good morals as the ideal, though there are plenty of more Neutral and even Evil Dwarves. Dwarven psychics, Wizards, and Sorcerers tend to be Chaotic in alignment, as their very nature puts them at odds with many of the most tightly held Dwarven beliefs and attitudes. Most chaotic Dwarves will effectively voluntarily exile themselves rather than risk being labeled Derrokin and have their names struck from the rolls of their families.

Common Religions: Dwarven religion is an even more private matter than the rest of their affairs. Dwarves have a great deal of reverence for the Great Gods and even a grudging respect the human religions of the En Khoda Theos Kirk (the Great Elemental Dragons), but their primary spiritual pursuit is pursuing “the riddle of steel” though “forging their souls” by trial and perseverance. They also venerate their ancestors, living and dead, holding up the best and the worst as exemplars of the best and worst of Dwarven nature. Dwarven Priests are the “Ancestor Lords” – those that have a special connection to the Ancestors, while Dwarven Oracles are skilled with both Runes and “Stonesight”. Dwarven Bards are Lorekeepers and Runesingers, all working with chants, runes, and primarily drums and harps as instruments to bolster morale, speed up work, and hone battlefury as needed.

Common Classes: Preferred — Cleric, Fighter, Rogue; Common –Bard, Paladin, Ranger; Uncommon –Barbarian, Druid, Sorcerer (Truesmith); Rare — Monk, Warlock; Very Rare — Wizard

Common Professions: Dwimmervolk culture exists in synergy with the ecologies and cultures of the Mortal Realms and the Underdark. Any profession is possible, but the Dwimmervolk prize technical skill as well as the skills and talents inherent in trade and commerce. Identical to their kin but unlike human society (let alone Elven) Dwarven ethics do not allow a leisure class, and even Dwarven nobles work to excel at a craft of some sort, though the Dwimmervolk consider “merchant” a worthy craft in and of itself. All Dwarves are also all skilled warriors though few will make a sole profession of arms.

Racial Traits

Darkvision: Accustomed to life underground, Dwarves have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. They can see in dim light up to 60′ as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. They cannot discern colors in darkness, merely varying shades of grey.

Dwarven Resilience: Dwarves have Advantage on all saving throws against poison, and have Resistance to poison as well.

Dwarven Toughness: Dwarves have a +1 to Hit Points at each level, with an increased maximum of one for each level as well.

Bearers of Burdens: Dwarves increase their Encumbrance by 150%.

Tinkerers: Dwimmervolk are premier tinkerers, in addition to Proficiency with Tinker’s Tools and Clockwork Tools, Dwimmervolk can spend 1 hour and spend roughly 10sp on materials to construct a Tiny clockwork device (AC5, 1HP). The device ceases to function after twenty-four hours (unless an hour is spent on upkeep and repair, which provides another 24 hours of operation). A Dwimmervolk tinker can have three (3) clockwork devices , plus their Intelligence modifier, in operation at any one time.

  • Clockwork Toy: It must be an animal, monster, or person. When placed on the ground it moves five feet in a random direction on each of it’s turns. It makes appropriate noises for the creature it represents and moves about for Levelx2 rounds.
  • Fire Starter: The device produces a miniature flame which can be used to light candles, torches, or campfires.
  • Music Box: When opened, this music box plays a single song at a moderate volume. The song stops playing when it reaches it’s end or the box is closed.
  • Autolancer: This device automatically lashes out with a razor-sharp needle for 1HP of damage on contact. It often used for pest disposal or the lancing of infected wounds.
  • Autogyro: Normally a somewhat abstract shape, this is flying device that flies about in a random direction, five feet in distance each round, maintaining the same relative height that it was released at. It moves about for Level in rounds.

With some effort (DC15 and 5sp of materials), the Dwimmervolk can combine two or more of these devices into one. This does not reduce the amount of time that must be spent building or maintaining each sub-mechanism.

Dwimmervolk Skill at Arms: All Dwimmervolk are skilled in Light Armour, and in the use of Hammers, Handaxes, Smallswords, Rapiers, & Firearms.

Psionics: Reserved

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Mountain Dwarves, the Dwaedurinar

“The first thing that you humans need to remember if you would treat with us is that we are a honorable people, with traditions that go back to the Deeps of the First Age. The second thing to remember is to forget what you know of the Dwimmervolk that dwell in your cities, they are shield-brothers and axe-kin, and skilled in their own way, but we are earth-blooded and stone-boned and  do not suffer foolishness in our dealings with others. Third, we dwarves are forged by the riddle of steel and we have hewn down more goblins, trolls, and worse in the Deeps than have ever walked the surface in our search for the answer to the riddle of steel. The last thing that deserves consideration is that you humans seem to think that we have a need of you.

We don’t.”  – Thralin Deepingaxe, Ambassador to the Gynarch of T’zarr.

 

As can be seen, Mountain Dwarves are a proud, dour, and taciturn race of warriors. They are devoted to their craft, have a deep and abiding hated of goblins, trolls, and worse, all with a darker reputation for greed and jealousy. Now, there are other Dwarves elsewhere, the Dwimmervolk that dwell primarily aboveground and in human cities, the ash-skinned and black-eyed Dwarrow of the Shadowlands and the scions of lost various Dwarven kingdoms known as the Hill Dwarves, but the Mountain Dwarves, the Dwarves of the Underdark, or the Dwaedurinar as they call themselves in their own language, think of themselves as the true Dwarves and the keepers and inheritors of the greatest secrets of their race – which includes some of the most technologically advanced secrets known to mortals. Known as the “Mountain Folk” or the “Kings Under The Mountains” because the upper reaches of their cities inhabit the exposed spine of the world. Dwarven society itself is divided along family and clan lines, and then further organized into kingdoms – though the reviled outcasts known as Derrokin always scrabble at the edges. They are an intensely private people, who keep their language and lore secret from outsiders and rarely trust non-Dwarves with anything of value.

Statistic Modifiers: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution, -2 Charisma

Languages: Local Human Language, Dwarrune, Dark Tongue, Trollish.

Appearance: Mountain Dwarves stand 4′ tall (+2d4″), and weigh 130 lbs (x2d6). They are Medium in Size and their Speed is 25 (though they are not slowed by Heavy Armor). They tend to have stout builds and pale skin with a stone-like hue. Even young Dwarves tend to have features that look old by human standards, with deep lines and pronounced features, but this is not universal. Dwarven hair begins in generally dark hues, with occasional reds and blonds, but as in humans, it goes gray or white as the Dwarf ages. Dwarves tend to wear their beards and hair long, often with simple braiding to keep it of the way in forge or fight. The Dwarven beard is a mark of pride and honor and insulting a Dwarf’s beard is a tried and true method of starting a fight with not just that Dwarf, but all their kin as well if it is dire enough. Dwarven eyes are dark, blacks, browns, and greys, but they glitter underneath craggy brows.

Common Dress: Mountain Dwarves prefer an extremely utilitarian style of clothing, commonly wearing trousers, heavy boots, and short sleeved shirts or vests made of leather and finely woven wool. When travelling hooded cloaks are popular, and most dwarves wear a fair amount of jewelry in the way of bracers, necklaces, armbands, and hair and beard rings. Clothing tends to be in browns, dark blues and darker greens, with brighter colors common in travelling cloaks and fest clothing – the only colors that are uncommon and blacks and whites.

Lifespan: Mountain Dwarves are young adults at age 40, considered mature adults at around age 60, and can live up to 525 years of age. They generally begin play at 40 + 5d4 years of age.

Common Culture: Clan and Family are of the utmost importance to Dwarves, accompanied by being a productive member of society. The only members of society that are not expected to remain an active artisan are priests and soldiers (and they usually do so anyway is some small way so deep is this value instilled in Dwarven culture). Dwarves have an even more deeply held prejudice against the practice of Arcane magic save through a scant few methods (Alchemy, Divination, and Runic Magic being the foremost, the Truesmith bloodline being the other). One oddity of the Dwarven race is that Dwarves do not have a gendered society, not that there are no male or female dwarves by sexual characteristics, but by language and thought they have no gender – though each dwarf has an acknowledged parent, and some dwarves may assume a gender to simplify relations with humans.

Common Backgrounds: Acolyte, Folk Hero, Guild Artisan, Noble, Ordinary Man, Outcast, Skald, and Soldier all make suitable Backgrounds for Mountain Dwarves that require minimal explanation.

Naming Conventions: Dwarven names can potentially go back hundreds of generations, though only the skalds or the priests generally know anything beyond about twenty generations or so, and are considered the property of the clan, not the dwarf themselves – when exiled they are cut off from any connection to their former family. Dwarves give state their name in the following lineal fashion:

<Given Name> <Nickname(s)>, <Honorific(s)>

Born of (Parent), of the Clan of <Clan Name>,in the line of <Dynastic Forebear>,

<Rank & Guild Membership>, Great Clan of <Great Clan Name>, in the Kingdom of <Kingdom Name>.

Iterations of the “Child of Parent” can go back as long as preferred, along with acknowledgements of changes in the lineage of that ancestors clan and dynastic forbear. Many Dwarves have nicknames attached to their names, granted by the clan-mates and friends. There is no limit to the number of nicknames that a dwarf can accumulate, but few save the most renowned gain one or perhaps two. Honorifics note special status, such as being Stoneborn, a Truesmith, and special religious status (clergy or champion). Dwarves also specifically note their guild membership as part of their name, which will include their rank or status within that guild. At a bare minimum, dwarves will relate Given Name along with Parent and Clan, anything less is considered rude and anything obscuring (but not a lie, which is dishonorable) is considered an insult (“Ragnarn, of the Dwarves”) as it implies that the addressee cannot be trusted.

Common Alignments: Dwarven culture promotes Lawful ethics and Good morals as the ideal, though there are plenty of more Neutral and even Evil Dwarves. Dwarven psychics, Wizards, and Sorcerers tend to be Chaotic in alignment, as their very nature puts them at odds with many of the most tightly held Dwarven beliefs and attitudes. Most chaotic Dwarves will effectively voluntarily exile themselves rather than risk being labeled Derrokin and have their names struck from the rolls of their families.

Common Religions: Dwarven religion is an even more private matter than the rest of their affairs. Dwarves have a great deal of reverence for the Great Gods and even a grudging respect the human religions of the En Khoda Theos Kirk (the Great Elemental Dragons), but their primary spiritual pursuit is pursuing “the riddle of steel” though “forging their souls” by trial and perseverance. They also venerate their ancestors, living and dead, holding up the best and the worst as exemplars of the best and worst of Dwarven nature. Dwarven Priests are the “Ancestor Lords” – those that have a special connection to the Ancestors, while Dwarven Oracles are skilled with both Runes and “Stonesight”. Dwarven Bards are Lorekeepers and Runesingers, all working with chants, runes, and primarily drums and harps as instruments to bolster morale, speed up work, and hone battlefury as needed.

Common Classes: Preferred — Cleric (War or Knowledge), Fighter, Ranger (Hunter); Common — Barbarian (Berserker), Bard, Paladin (Honor or Vengeance); Uncommon — Druid, Rogue (Scout), Sorcerer (Truesmith); Rare — Monk, Warlock; Very Rare — Wizard

Common Professions: Mountain Dwarf culture is entirely self-sufficient, so any profession is possible. That said, Mountain Dwarves have a reputation as metal and stoneworkers and their smithwork is fabled in human lands and history and all Dwarves have a certain basic knowledge of these fields. Unlike human society (let alone Elven) Dwarven ethics do not allow a leisure class, and even Dwarven nobles work to excel at a craft of some sort – that being the highest of all aspirations of a Dwarf. All Dwarves are also all skilled warriors though few will make a sole profession of arms.

Racial Traits

Darkvision: Accustomed to life underground, Dwarves have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. They can see in dim light up to 60′ as if it were bright light and in darkness as if it were dim light. They cannot discern colors in darkness, merely varying shades of grey.

Dwarven Resilience: Dwarves have Advantage on all saving throws against poison, and have Resistance to poison as well.

Dwarven Toughness: Dwarves have a +1 to Hit Points at each level, with an increased maximum of one for each level as well.

Bearers of Burdens: Dwarves increase their Encumbrance by 150%.

Stonecunning: When Mountain Dwarves make an Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, they are considered proficient in the History skill and gain double their normal Proficiency bonus to the check.

Perfectionists: Dwarves are the foremost artisans of any other race save in one aspect, they are perfectionist by nature and producing work takes them twice times as long (and often longer) and it also takes them twice times the cost. Similarly, it takes them twice as long and cost to learn new tool sets, instruments, etc.

Long Memories: The Dwarves are a proud people, and they hold both grudges and debts dear – long past when most others would consider reasonable. They also have consider debts (good and ill) to be transitive for at least seven generations – something which has caused many a problem for lesser-lived races.

Dwarven Skill at Arms: All Mountain Dwarves are skilled in Light and Medium Armour, and in the use of Hammers, Handaxes, Warhammers, and Battle Axes.

Dwarven Work Ethic: All Dwarves can choose one of the following artisan tool sets to be proficient in: Armorsmith, Blacksmith, Brewer, Engraver, Jeweler, Leatherworker, Mason, or Miner.

Special Vulnerabilities: In bright light or direct sunlight, Mountain  Dwarves have Disadvantage on attack rolls and visual Perception checks when they or the target they are trying to attack or perceive are in bright light or direct sunlight past 30′ of distance.

Psionics: Yes.

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Non-Human Cavaliers… (1e)

Yes, it’s been awhile since I posted – two different bits of family drama intruded into life and I’ve been busy. I’m woefully behind on the gaming log, and there have been some major changes that I have to fill folks in on…

But this post is about Cavaliers – specifically for non-human Cavaliers!

Yeah, I know that some folks have some serious hate for the cavalier, but I was never super-impressed by the complaints then or now…

While Unearthed Arcana says that humans, half-elves, and elves can be cavaliers, I have expanded this out to include dwarves and sh’dai as well. But like the The Elven Cavalier suggests in Dragon #114, this does require some tweaking. So, without much more discussion, here are the campaign-specific (and actually more culture-based rather than racially-based, so included are the two different versions of human cavaliers) weapons-of-choice and preferred armour selections for cavaliers.

  • Wood Elves
    • Greatbow or Longbow (First Primary), Longsword (Second Primary), Spear or Ransuer (Player’s Choice), Javelin or Shortsword (Player’s Choice)
    • Elven Chain
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +1 per 3 Levels
    • Combat Bonus: Forest Combat
  • High Elves
    • Shortbow (First Primary), Longsword (Second Primary), Spear or Polearm (Player’s Choice), Greatsword or Shortsword (Player’s Choice)
    • Elven Plate & Chain
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +1 per 3 Levels
    • Combat Bonus: Mounted Archery
  • Grey Elves
    • Longsword (First Primary), Battlesword (Second Primary), Fighting Knife or Shortsword (Player’s Choice); Greatsword or Scimitar (Player’s Choice)
    • Elven Plate & Chain
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +1 per 3 Levels
    • Combat Bonus: +1 Level when fighting Dual-Weapon
  • Humans of Aquitaine (Great Families)
    • Lance (Primary); Broadsword, Battlesword or Scimitar (Player’s Choice); Mace, Flail, or Battleaxe (Player’s Choice)
    • Full Plate Armour
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +Level when Mounted
    • Combat Bonus: +1 Level when Mounted
  • Humans of Aquitaine (Old Clans)
    • Longsword (First Primary); Longbow (Second Primary); Shortsword, Battlesword, or Greatsword (Player’s Choice); Lance, Polearm, or Spear (Player’s Choice)
    • Full Plate Armour
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +1 per 3 Levels
    • Combat Bonus: +1 Level when Mounted
  • Sh’dai (Shadowlands)
    • Greatsword or Battlesword (Primary); Fighting Knife, Shortsword or Battleaxe (Player’s Choice); Mace, Flail, or Longsword (Player’s Choice)
    • Full Plate Armour
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +½ Level
    • Combat Bonus: Beserker when Fighting Alone
  • Dwarves
    • Waraxe or Warhammer (Primary); Battleaxe, Hammer, or Battlesword (Player’s Choice); Fighting Knife, Mace, or Flail (Player’s Choice)
    • Dwarven Plate Armour
    • Damage Bonus to Primary Weapon of Choice: +½ Level
    • Combat Bonus: +1 Level against Giant-Class Creatures

There are a handful of other tweaks to Weapon Restrictions, Codes of Honor, etc. – but those can wait until another time…

TTFN!

D.

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Mountain Dwarves, the Dwaedurinar (1e)

“The first thing that you humans need to remember if you would treat with us is that we are a honorable people, with traditions that go back to the First Age and the Deeps. The second thing to remember is to forget what you know of the Dwimmervolk that dwell in your cities, they are shield-brothers and axe-kin, and skilled in their own way, but we are earth-blooded and stone-boned and  do not suffer foolishness in our dealings with others. Third, we dwarves are forged by the riddle of steel and we have hewn down more goblins, trolls, and worse in the Deeps than have ever walked the surface in our serach for the answer to the riddle of steel. The last thing that deserves consideration is that you humans seem to think that we have a need of you.

We don’t.”  – Thralin Deepingaxe, Ambassador to the Gynarch of T’zarr.

As can be seen, Mountain Dwarves are a proud, dour, and taciturn race of warriors. They are devoted to their craft, have a deep and abiding hated of goblins, trolls, and worse, all with a darker reputation for greed and jealousy. Now, there are other Dwarves elsewhere, the Dwimmervolk that dwell primarily aboveground and in human cities, the ash-skinned and black-eyed Dwarrow of the Shadowlands, but the Mountain Dwarves, the Dwarves of the Underdark, or the Dwaedurinar as they call themselves in their own language, think of themselves as the true Dwarves and the keepers and inheritors of the greatest secrets of their race – which includes some of the most technologically advanced secrets known to mortals. Known as the “Mountain Folk” or the “Kings Under The Mountains” because the upper reaches of their cities inhabit the exposed spine of the world. Dwarven society itself is divided along family and clan lines, and then further organizied into kingdoms – though the reviled outcasts known as Derrokin always scrabble at the edges. They are an intensely private people, who keep thier language and lore secret from outsiders and rarely trust non-Dwarves with anything of value.

Appearance: Male Mountain Dwarves stand 48″ tall (+1d6 or -1d4), and weigh 150 lbs (+2-24 or -2-16) while female Mountain Dwarves stand 47″ tall (+1d4 or -1d4), and weigh 145 lbs (+2-20 or -2-16). They tend to have stout builds and pale skin with a stone-like hue. Even young Dwarves tend to have features that look old by human standards, with deep lines and pronounced features, but this is not universal. Dwarven hair begins in generally dark hues, with occasional reds and blonds, but as in humans, it goes gray or white as the Dwarf ages. Dwarves tend to wear thier beards and hair long, often with simple braiding to keep it it of the way in forge or fight. The Dwarven beard is a mark of pride and honor and insulting a Dwarf’s beard is a tried and true method of starting a fight with not just that Dwarf, but all thier kin as well if it is dire enough. Dwarven eyes are dark, blacks, browns, and greys, but they glitter underneath craggy brows.

Lifespan: Mountain Dwarves are young adults at age 40, considered mature adults at around age 60, and can live up to 525 years of age. They generally begin play at 40 + 5d4 years of age.

Common Alignments: Dwarven culture promotes Lawful ethics and Good morals as the ideal, though there are plenty of more Neutral and even Evil Dwarves. Dwarven psychics tend to be Chaotic in alignment, as their very nature puts them at odds with many of the most tightly held Dwarven beliefs and attitudes. Most chaotic Dwarves will effectively voluntarily exile themselves rather than risk being labeled Derrokin and have their names struck from the rolls of thier families.

Common Classes: Mountain Dwarves are most commonly Fighters of some sort, with Templars and Scouts running a close second. They can multiclass, but many Dwarves retain a somewhat single-minded focus on a single character class. Rogues are not common, but not exactly uncommon either – but Scouts are generally more common than actual Thieves. Other than Templars, and even then uncommonly, Priests are rarely found adventuring. Dwarves also have Oracles, but these adventure even less than Priests.

Common Professions: Mountain Dwarf culture is entirely self-sufficient, so any profession is possible. That said, Mountain Dwarves have a reputation as metal and stoneworkers and their smithwork is fabled in human lands and history and all Dwarves have a certain basic knowledge of these fields. Unlike human society (let alone Elven) Dwarven ethics do not allow a leisure class, and even Dwarven nobles work to excel at a craft of some sort – that being the highest of all aspirations of a Dwarf. All Dwarves are also all skilled warriors though few will make a sole profession of arms.

Common Religions: Dwarven religion is an even more private matter than the rest of thier affairs. Dwarves have a great deal of reverence for the Great Gods and even a grudging respect the human religions of the En Khoda Theos Kirk (the Great Elemental Dragons), but their primary spiritual pursuit is pursuing “the riddle of steel” though “forging their souls” by trial and perseverence. They also venerate thier ancestors, living and dead, holding up the best and the worst as exemplars of the best and worst of Dwarven nature. Dwarven Priests are the “Ancestor Lords” – those that have a special connection to the Ancestors, while Dwarven Oracles are skilled with both Runes and “Stonesight”.

Statistic Bonuses: +1 to Constitution, -1 Charisma, -2 Comeliness.

Languages: Local Human Language, Dwarrune, Dark Tongue, Trollish (Int15 +1, Int 16 +2, Int17 +3, Int18 +4). Dwarves can also speak with Spirits of Elemental Earth.

Special Abilities:  Detect Grade or Slope in Passage, 75%; Detect New Construction of Passage or Tunnel, 75%; Detect Sliding or Shifting Walls or Rooms, 60%; Detect Stonework Traps, 50%; Determine Depth Underground, 50%;  +1 to Hit Goblins; -4 to be Hit by Larger than Man-Sized Creature; Highly Resistant to Poison (+1 to saves per 3½ pts of Constitution); Highly Resistant to Magic (+1 to saves vs. Spells, Rods, Wands, & Staves per 3½ pts of Constitution); 60′ Infravision; All motionless Dwarves are Invisible in areas of natural rock or stone, 90%; At 4th Level, non-Psychic Dwarves can use Stone Tell 1/day; at 8th level non-Psychic Dwarves can Conjure Earth Elemental 1/day.

Special Vulnerabilities: In bright light, Dwarves have thier vision reduced to 30′ and they are -1 to Hit. Dwarves are also unable to swim and sink like, well, rocks in water. As a result they all tend to have a fear of deep water and the idea of sailing on seas or oceans can terrify them into a quiet panic. They are short, though not as short as gnomes. Their hatred of other races is matched in turn and goblins, ogres, trolls, and drakes will tend to attack Dwarves in preference to other races and thier settlements are often the targets of attacks. Dwarven reputation means that they generally suffer a penalty of -10% to Reaction Rolls with humans and elves. Dwarves also suffer the standard nonhuman penalty of -10% to experience for each character class.

Character Class Limits: Entertainer – N/A, Mage – N/A (Alchemist – 6th), Priest – 8th, Psychic – N/A (Oracle 8th), Rogue – 9th, Warrior – 7th, Warrior-Monk – N/A. As always, this is for Prime Attributes of 15 or less, 16 is +1 level, 17 is +2 levels, 18 is +3 levels, and 19 is +4 levels before the XP penalty is doubled from -10% to -20%.

Psionics: None inherent for Mountain Dwarves, though they have normal chances to roll for Major Psionics.

Additional Proficiencies or Skills: All Mountain Dwarves gain one free weapon proficiency to be applied to a Crossbow or a Firearm (Handgun or Longarm). They also have one more free proficiency that can be applied to Axes or Hammers. Dwarven Warriors also have one additional weapon proficiency.

Rogue Bonuses: Slight of Hand: No Bonus, Open Locks: +10%, Find/Remove Traps: +15%, Stealth: No Bonus, Climb Walls: -15%, Acrobatics: +5%, Tumbling: +5%

Perception / Hear Noise: Base 10%

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High Men, Psionics, and Psionicists (1e)

So, James has posted today about the Psionicist over at Grognardia. I’ll add on to say that it is one of the ways that I’ve handled psionics in my game world – and certainly the major way that players have had psionic characters in my game for a while now. Coincidently I’ve been thinking about psionics the last couple of days and came up with a new tweak that I like and that makes more sense to me from both a character development and a game balance perspective.

Personally, I never had a problem with psionics in AD&D, first I was reading Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series at a young age because my mother loved them and they were sitting in the huge pile of speculative fiction that inhabited our house (along with the rest of the books the bibliophiles that my parents were had collected). The simple fact is that psionics hardly ever came up, what was noticeable was that they were often something that either immediately doomed a character because psionic encounters really, really suck or foretold a long and successful career because certain abilities just made the characters quite powerful. This was a s true of the psionicist as it was of the psychic but actually emphasized the “psionic encounters suck” end of things because the progression was slowed down so much.

You’ll notice that Brother Illya is a “High Man” (aka Deryni aka Dúnadan aka Comyn aka whatever) and is a multi-classed Psionicist/Warrior-Monk (currently 3rd/3rd) while a couple of other characters are listed as “Minor Psychics” and “Psychics”. The “Minor Psychic” is a new category that I essentially invented when I came back to AD&D after running my own rules system to cover those races that I wanted to always have some innate psychic Talent to model certain abilities but without giving them the full range of psionic abilities automatically. High Men only count as roughly about 5-10% of the population and are considered to be the true scions of nobility – paradoxically because having the traces of blood of angels, elves, dragons, whatever running through their veins that grants them the mixed blessing and curse of psychic ability violates the taboo against inter-racial sexuality that the “civilized” races have in my game world.

Psionicists work pretty much as they do in the article, save that they use my attribute of “Talent” instead of the IWC (Intelligent-Wisdom-Charisma Average) to determine Psionic Ability – everything else is the same. High Men are able to multi-class as Psionicists with any other single class, and suffer the same 10% XP penalty per class as non-humans. Also, Psionicists automatically have the Minor Devotions of Rapport and Lights in addition to the other Disciplines gained as a result of advancement. At one point in the very distant past I allowed Psionicists to choose thier Devotions, Sciences, and Arts – but at this point I insist that they roll them like everyone else.

Psychics are pretty much the way psychics are written up into the Players Handbook, with the addition of automatically having the Minor Devotions of Rapport and Lights. I interpret the advancement for multi-class characters to occur as one ability (Minor Devotion or Major Science, all Minor Devotions first) to be added each odd level, the same as for single-class characters, but the multiple classes are added together to determine “level” rather than using the highest level class or some other arcane formula to determine how many abilities had been learned. This would also represent the abilities of “untrained” High Men if someone wanted to play one without multi-classing as a Psionicist. The chance for any non-human to be Psychic is the same as the basic roll from the Players Handbook – with the stipulation that Talent must be 16 or higher. This is limited to those races who even have the potential – Dwarves, Gnomes, Half-Elves, Sh’dai – Elves and Ithians are either Minor Psychics or Psionicists, never half-way. As an odd note, two “human” races are automatically considered Psychic if they do not specialize as Psionicists, the “Old Race” and the “Feyhd”.

One other note, only characters who choose to be multi-class as Healer/Psionicists can start with Cell Adjustment at 1st level, and other Psionicists or Psychics may only take it if they roll high enough to “Select One” on the table – and may only do it with my permission.

(As I write this, I think I’m just also instituting a rule that Psychic characters suffer a 10% XP penalty “as if” they had another character class as a multi-class. That’s another nice bit of balance for the benefits that you get for the abilities. If you are Psionicist, you already get it, and if you are a Minor Psychic the “benefit” is really not much compared to the potential downside for most adventurers.)

Minor Psychics have only the abilities of Rapport and Lights – as given in the Psionicist article. They can use all forms of psychic item, device, or consumable just like a Psychic or Psionicist. They only have one Defense Mode (G- Though Shield) and they only gain one Attack Mode (A – Psionic Blast) at 2nd level. None of this is rolled, either your race is considered “Minorly Psychic” or it isn’t. This is mainly Elves, Half-Elves, Sh’dai, and Ithians. Perhaps strangely, bit Gnomes and Dwarves are not Minor Psychics, their gifts manifest as thier other abilities to detect stonework, etc.

Psychics and Minor Psychics roll for Psionic Ability using the following formula: 1d100, plus one for point of Talent, plus one for each point of Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma, and Power over twelve. If two of the five attributes are above 15 then the “bonus” points are doubled, if three then they are tripled, if four, quadrupled; and if all five then the bonus points to the d100 roll are quintupled.

Here is the tweak for Psychics and Minor Psychics that I just realized this past weekend made much more sense. Instead of rolling to determine what the Attack and Defense Modes are known, just ruling that Defense Modes are gained at the rate of one for every odd level (and Defense Mode G being the first automatically gained at 1st level) and attack modes are gained at the rate of one for every even level. Psioncists advance as the table in the article.

It’s worth noting that I also consider Illusionists to use “Mentalism” rather than Arcane Magic or Divine Power, along with Oracles (Dragon #53) and Timelords (Dragon #65). This means that “Magic Resistance” doesn’t work against these “spells” (though for certain extra-planar creatures I have ruled that they have equivalent “Mentalism Resistance”). In some ways this might makes things more powerful for Illusionists, but at other times it means that a simple Thought Shield prevents them from doing much of anything worthwhile…

Ouch!

TTFN!

D.

Categories: Game Design, Game Play, House Rules, OSR | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

So who does my character worship..?

So, ckutalik over at Hill Cantons has a nice post about religion and gaming. Now, what many folks don’t know about me is that at one time I seriously considered a career as a minister, though my Calling found another expression eventually. With that piece of information in place, you can imagine that religion and spirituality play an important place in my game worlds.

I’ve really run the gamut. In the old days, the very early days, I took a page from Katherine Kurtz and ran with a direct analog of the Catholic Church – which was also rather nice because I used the Deryni in my game world as well. The “Old Faith” was an amalgam of Celtic myth and modern NeoPaganism, and pretty much all real world religion existed in one form or another – there was the “Church of the Divine Couple” for the Egyptian mythology, and the Northmen worshipped the Norse and Finnish Deities. Pretty much if it was in Deities and Demigods I was willing to include it. I also ran with the Greyhawk deities as they came out, the Forgotten Realms deities when they came out, and I have always used the Cthulhu Mythos as well as the Moorcockian Courts of Chaos. For the nonhumans I pretty much ran with whatever the “flavor of the day” was, though it was always somewhat oddly incorporated at times to try to make sense of the multiple different, “hard polytheistic”, pantheons.

But currently, religions and spirituality have gone through a handful of more recent evolutions as I’ve tried to get away from “ripped from reality” and more “inspired by reality” combined with “entirely fabricated”…

To start with big bag guys, the ones that pretty much everyone agrees are worth banding together to fight against are the Five Demon Emperors and the servants of the Dearth as worshipped by what is commonly known as the Cult of Shator under the auspices of the King in Yellow. These are combination of the Great Old Ones or the Outer Gods of the Cthulhu Mythos. Their very existence, even as a thought, brings corruption and destruction to multiverse. More than unbridled Chaos, more than simply Entropy, they are literally Nothingness made manifest. (Evil)

One of the oldest human religions is known as the Heptarchy by sages, a pantheon of seven deities made up of the Lady Night and her children, and the Twin Brothers of the Perihelion (and their dark triplet) and the Three Sisters of the Perilune. Found in both urban and rural settings, the Heptarchy is quite popular, though each deity maintains it’s own religious hierarchy. Relationships between the deities and their cults vary, but are generally neutral or good as none of the deities are in active conflict or direct opposition – save perhaps the relationship between the Midnight Sun and his two brothers.

There is the Old Faith – a pantheistic worship of nature, it’s cycles and its elements, the manifest spirits of which are often referred to as “the Old Powers” by both humans and the gnomes. The Old Faith is highly organized, with twin orders of male and female druids, along with the a variety of warrior societies (most famously the Rangers) organized into lodges. (Generally Neutral)

Then there is the Society of the Light – a religion originally inspired by Augustine’s notion of the “City of God” and then mixed in with healthy doses of early Jewish, Christian, and Islamic custom and belief along with a good dash of Sikhism. It is marked by a hierarchical relationship of mortals and the Sarim (the ruling angels), overseen in the Mortal Realms by the Council of Devas in Kistath. It has a multiple Rules, and one significant heresy (the Trinitarians) based on the actual spiritual and physical union of mortal and angels. (Mostly Lawful Good and some other Goods and Neutrals)

In opposition to the Society of Light there is what is often termed “the Horned Society” – the cults and organizations devoted to the Fallen (Angels) in what is in many ways a mirror image of the SOL. The War in Heaven and the Fall was fundamentally one of philosophical difference in how to pursue the War Without End against the Dearth. (Mostly LE, some other Evils and Neutrals)

In Thule, the worship of the Freyja the All-Mother is most popular. The pantheon, the Æsir, is greater than just the All-Mother, but after the Ragnarök there were few survivors and Freyja was the greatest among them and took the high seat of Hliðskjálf. Her servants, the Valkyrja, continue to choose the worthy among the slain to serve her as einherjar in Valhalla. (Generally Good and Neutral)

The Khemeti are also known as the Church of the Divine Couple, the Khemeti are among the eldest of the organized religions – perhaps not even originally of humankind. It is said that the Khemeti arose out of the Great Chaos at the beginning of Creation when Ptah and Ma’at created a sense of Order and Logic in the random Chaos. Currently they are worshipped primarily in Kistath, they have a very small Cult in the Heartlands and are essentially nonexistent in Thule. (Lawful)

The elves have, at their heart, a spirituality that is governed by “Li’vicor” or the idea of “Ruling Passion” or “True Will” – while at the same time having an appreciation for the universe that is similar to the pantheistic view of the Old Faith combined with a respect for the “E’lin” (the “Elect”) who seem to have a special relationship with what the Old Faith would call the Old Powers. (Good)

The dwarves don’t speak of their spirituality or religion, but seem concerned with “forging their souls” and “anvil of the world” by those outsiders that they trust enough to speak about such things with. They also have a great venerance for the living stone and their ancestors, how this all fits together is unknown. (Lawful)

There is also the En Khoda Theos Kirk – the Dragonborn’s Kirk (Church) with its worship of the four “Great Dragons” that are generally thought to encompass various aspects of the natural world and the elements. A complex religion, there is no higher authority than each kirk’s Dorje (priest), and it is a deeply contemplative religion that focuses on meditative practice, often in a monastic or other secluded setting. Primarily followed by the Dragonborn it is also followed a surprising number of members of other races and small Kirks can be found in most major cities. (All Alignments)

The Teotl is the pantheon of the Old Gods of Ith. A bloody state religion marked by human sacrifice and the veneration of the Ithian Serpent Folk. Of all the major human religions, it is the one that is closest in some ways to the philosophies of the non-human races and has it’s roots in the mysticism of the Serpathians.  (Neutral and Evil)

The goblins, ogres, and trolls worship the Formorians, a collection of beings known as “the Goblin Court”. Generally hateful and destructive, the Goblin Court is still opposed to Dearth and Arras-Kol, the Great Goblin, is ever vigilant for the seeds of corruption in his children. (Evil)

The Lords of Chaos – The greatest of the powers of Chaos, sometimes known as the Wyld, often accept worship and service in exchange for favor. With some of their members being corrupted by the Dearth (known as the Forsaken, Tiamat and Typhon), they are quick (perhaps overly quick) to act against the Five Demon Emperors. (Chaotic)

Then there are the Godlings, sometimes known as the Disparate Names, a mixture of demigods, quasi-deities, and lesser deities that work alone, in conjunction with, and in opposition to themselves and the other pantheons. They are commonly described and organized in what is called the Lords Tarot, though this may be a purely human invention rather than a true reflection of the Godlings actual relationships (All Alignments).

Finally, opposing and at the same time including the Dearth are the Bel En Khoda – the Thirteen Great Gods. These are almost like reified Platonic Forms. Though, truthfully, this isn’t worship (save in the Shadowlands where the Unborn are revered above all), but their presence is always acknowledged, by everyone with any level of mystical or magical knowledge, and many mystical or spiritual organizations are essentially organized around a philosophical allegiance to one of them even if it doesn’t exactly qualify as “worship”. (All Alignments)

I’ll probably detail those out more in future posts.

TTFN!

D.

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Dwarven Weapons and Equipment (1e)

So, as I talked about for the Elves I also have a collection of equipment and gear that the Dwarves produce.

The Dwarves as a race are a collection of craftsmen and artisans that take a great deal of pride in their accomplishments. Their product is invariably of sturdy construction (gaining a blanket +2 to all saves) and costs roughly five times (5x) the normal cost for an item (even if not granting any other special bonus) – though one notable by-product of the innate dwarven enchantments and forging process is that Dwarven goods don’t rust either.. Dwarven goods, mostly weapons, armour, and other pieces of metal working, are in great demand across the Mortal Realms and can be found in most Great Cities. Dwarven smiths are also one of the few places that Masterwork and even simply enchanted weapons (+1 and +2) and armour can be purchased – though often at astronomical prices.

Dwarven Battleaxe: With the Dwarven Waraxe, the Dwarven Battleaxe is perhaps the quintessential Dwarven weapons. Crafted from fine steels and sturdy wood hafts, the Dwarven Battle is also balanced for throwing (ROF: 1, Ranges: 1″/2″/3″) like those of the Northmen and has a haft usually around two-and-half to three feet long and most commonly single-bitted. Like all axes, it gets a +1 to Hit, but also has the ability to Disarm opponants on a roll to hit AC8. Damage: 2-9/2-9, 75sp

Dwarven Waraxe: A heavy two-handed axe, the Dwarven Waraxe is preminantly a weapon-of-war for the Dwarves. Most commonly double-bitted, some single-bitted “cording style” Waraxes are also found and both types are capable of Cleaving attacks. Like all axes it gets a +1 to Strike, and like all of the Two-Handed weapons it gets an additional +1 to Hit (for a total of +2) and strikes in Post-Rounds. A company of Dwarves armed with four-to-five foot long Waraxes can decimate opposing foes quickly and efficiently. Damage: 3-18/3-18, 150sp

Dwarven Hammer: Perhaps slightly more common than battleaxes for the Dwarves due to their additional utility when it comes to mining. Dwarven Hammers are beautiful and sturdy weapons about two-and-half to three feet in overall length, and are balanced for throwing when they are purpose-built as weapons (ROF1, Ranges: 1″/2″/3″). They most commonly have a single head and like all hammers get a +1 to Hit. Damage: 3-6/2-5, 15sp

Dwarven Warhammer: In the same vein as the Dwarven Waraxe, this is the matching two-handed blunt weapon with a haft length of four-to-five in length. Like all hammers it gets a +1 to Strike, and like all of the Two-Handed weapons it gets an additional +1 to Hit (for a total of +2), Cleaving, and strikes in Post-Rounds. Some examples exist that are single-headed maul styles. Damage: 3-12/4-10, 50sp

Dwarven Knight’s Mace: The idea of a “Dwarven Knights” is a bit odd to human ears, and in truth this mace is styled as such due to its popularity among human knights – though it is equally as popular among many Dwarves as well. Usually around two-and-half feet in length, the Dwarves like them for their ease of use in close quarters and have determined the most advantageous designs for both damage and ease of use. Damage: 2-8/2-7, 75sp

Dwarven Shortsword: A quite common, though not quite so romantic, weapon of the Dwarves. The Dwarven Shortsword is a broad-bladed weapon just over two feet in length that is quite effective. Damage: 1-8/1-8, 125sp

Dwarven Battlesword: Somewhat rare, but often used ceremonially by the Dwarves, the Dwarven Battlesword is a broad-bladed weapon between four-and-half and five feet in length that can only be used with two-hands. Like all Two-Handed weapons it gets a +1 to Hit and has Cleaving – it also strikes in Post-Rounds as is normal for Two-Handed weapons. Despite it’s often ceremonial role, it is a deadly weapon when wielded in combat by a skilled warrior. Damage: 3-12/2-20, 300sp

Dwimmervolk Smallsword: The Dwimmervolk eschew many of the traditional weapons of the Dwarves due to thier above-ground, urban dwelling habits. The Dwimmervolk Smallsword (sometimes called the “Citysword”) is a thin-bladed fencing weapon of great strength and flexibility matched with a light action and ease of use for the skilled duelist. It gets a +1 when used to Parry. Damage: 2-7/2-8, 250sp

Dwarven Doublemail Hauberk: The Dwarves are known not just for their weapons, but their armour as well. The 1-in-8 design of forge-welded links is amazing enough, but the metals used lighted the load more than could be imagined. Bulky, 25 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC4, 600sp

Drakehide Hauberk: A popular style of exotic armour, the Dwarves also made armour out of the hide and scales of Drakes which grants a bonus to saves (+2) against the elemental effects that the Drakes are associated with and reduces the damage taken from such effects (-2 per Die of damage). The common varieties are Fire/Heat (Fire Drakes), Electricity and Lighting (Storm Drakes), Cold and Ice (Frost Drakes), and Acid (Swamp Drakes). Fairly Bulky, 30 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC5, 3000sp.

Dwarven Plate Armour: This complicated set of full plate armour is lighter and stronger than would be expected due to a combination of both alloy and technique. Like other Full Plate, Dwarven Plate absorbs 2HP of damage from each die of damage that hits – though it absorbs 48 HP of damage before worsening to AC2. Non-Dwarven smiths requite double the time and cost to repair the armour. Fairly Bulky, 25 lbs, 9″ Movement, AC1, 20,000sp

Dwarven Waybread: A rich, earthy loaf of dense bread, Dwarven Waybread is an excellent source of nourishment in a very compact form. One loaf of bread will sustain a person for an entire day of very hard labour. 3sp per loaf.

It is also worth noting that Dwarves are often the most common users of Firearms along with Crossbows, the Dwimmervolk are common sources of Dartcasters, and the Dwarves of the Shadowlands (the Dwarrow) have their own weapons and specialties. They are also quite noted for the beers, meads, stouts, and strong spirits.

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