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Old 10-22-2015, 10:05 AM   #41
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

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Originally Posted by Randyman View Post
Dwarves are the males, elven females are the females, elven "males" are the neuters. :)
...and on the topic of gender amongst dwarves, we have a variety of solutions. As far as I am aware the versions so far attempted are:
  1. Dwarves do not possess gender - they are elementals, machines or something similar.
  2. Dwarves have human-like gender dimorphism - dwarven women look like more "feminine" dwarven men.
  3. Dwarves have virtually no gender dimorphism - dwarven men and women are virtually impossible to tell apart (for humans ... whether it is any easier for dwarves is another issue)
  4. Dwarves have radical gender dimorphism - dwarven women are so unlike dwarven men that they are not obviously the same species.

There are also subsets of the above such as a (from the human POV) skewed gender ratio so that dwarven females are rarely seen because they are rarely born and/or dwarves being eusocial mammals so that the ones normally encountered are non-reproducing drones and actual males and females are never seen outside the dwarf-holds.
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Old 10-22-2015, 10:13 AM   #42
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

If you want them to be somewhat recognizable as dwarves, but cue the players that they are Different, you might call them [adjective] dwarves, much the way grey dwarves in That Other Game are very different from the standard model. Perhaps Silver Dwarves or some adjective that actually has to do with their unusual social structure (Clan Dwarves, Harem Dwarves, whatever).
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Old 10-22-2015, 01:25 PM   #43
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

...and then there's the idea that dwarves, gnomes and nasty hobbittses could all be different races/cultures of the same species...
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Old 10-23-2015, 07:21 AM   #44
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

Didn't someone here once post ideas about eusocial dwarves? That sounds interesting- have most of the ostensibly "male" dwarves be sterile drones, and have a 4:1 gender ratio with multiple births for the women. I did something similar for a monster race, once.

Last edited by acrosome; 10-23-2015 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:09 AM   #45
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Didn't someone here once post ideas about eusocial dwarves? That sounds interesting- have most of the ostensibly "male" dwarves be sterile drones, and have a 4:1 gender ratio with multiple births for the women. I did something similar for a monster race, once.
Probably. I'm not claiming any originality for these ideas - Robin Crossby had eusocial "orcs" back in '86.
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Old 10-23-2015, 08:10 AM   #46
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Default Re: A dwarf by any other name...

An interesting idea that I'm considering adding is having the dwarves give birth to their own slave/labour class. True dwarves live a long time, and so they can't just have kids all the time (same problem as with elves, but to a lesser degree since Dwarves do eventually die). Most of their offspring (say 9 out of 10) are larger, sterile, dumber creatures. Dwarves are very good at industry because their race has a built in labour class that is nearly inexaustable.
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