Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-17-2017, 09:30 AM   #1
Pragmatic
Ceci n'est pas une tag.
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Vancouver, WA (Portland Metro)
Default Our dwarves are different

Since there's a lot of threads about dwarves, I thought I'd make my own to get inspiration...

I'm getting a pretty good handle on how I want elves to be. EVERYONE talks about elves, so it's easy to "data mine" (plagiarize) from dozens of sources.

Spoiler:  


But what about dwarves? What makes dwarves unique in your universe? How did they come to be? What defines them? How are they different from "short humans, lives underground, likes gold, gruff, Scottish accent"?
__________________
I'm a collector, not a gamer. =)
Pragmatic is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 09:41 AM   #2
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
But what about dwarves? What makes dwarves unique in your universe? How did they come to be? What defines them? How are they different from "short humans, lives underground, likes gold, gruff, Scottish accent"?
In my current universe, dwarves are the smallest race, smaller than the hobbit analogs. A typical dwarf has SM -2 and ST 5, though they have Arm ST +1. Low-tech dwarves produce obsidian, chipped flint, and semiprecious stones, and trade for game; higher-tech dwarves produce metals, often bronze, as well as glass and porcelain, and trade for a wider range of goods. I modeled dwarf social behavior on naked mole rates, with a fertile female, maybe two to five fertile males, and a bunch of sterile workers; males trade, guard the mine, and do the heavy work, but females manage both the heart and the smelter, and workers do the chores.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 01:23 PM   #3
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Could people no stronger than big house cats knap stone like that or mine effectively?
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.

Last edited by Flyndaran; 09-17-2017 at 01:29 PM.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 02:50 PM   #4
simply Nathan
formerly known as 'Kenneth Latrans'
 
simply Nathan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Wyoming, Michigan
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

One version of dwarves I had were born fully literate and had to learn speech just like everyone else - which often took longer, due to having a good medium of communication already. All the other races in that setting start using the dwarvish alphabet to write if the interact with them enough since that's easier on everyone, even if they're writing words that look like gibberish to a dwarf who hasn't learned to speak multiple languages yet.

A recurring trend in my dwarves is either to have white beards and black skin or black beards and white skin. Rarely albinos because who needs skin pigments when you spend your whole life underground anyway?

Dwarves with common human skin and hair colors (browns) are dwarves that are at least part human in their recent ancestry - thus, it is half-dwarves that adventurers most commonly are and interact with. Pure dwarves are shorter (3' instead of 4-5') and stronger (ST 14-20 instead of ST 10 + Lifting ST 2) but also liable to turn to stone in the sunlight - you don't know if you have the condition until you've been exposed to the sun so why try? And this is a world with two suns so the day is twice as long as the night.
__________________
Ba-weep granah wheep minibon. Wubba lubba dub dub.
simply Nathan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 02:58 PM   #5
(E)
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: New Zealand.
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

In my setting some Dwarves can pass as short stocky humans if they choose to, in the default time period the race keeps themselves separate from humans. In fact very few humans even know they exist at all.
__________________
Waiting for inspiration to strike......
(E) is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 03:02 PM   #6
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Could people no stronger than big house cats knap stone like that or mine effectively?
Arm ST 6 is about like that of someone weighing 27-42 pounds. That's really quite huge for a house cat; the only cats I've encountered in that weight range were seriously fat. I think it's more like the weight of a raccoon, and they can be pretty strong.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 03:07 PM   #7
lwcamp
 
lwcamp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The plutonium rich regions of Washington State
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Could people no stronger than big house cats knap stone like that or mine effectively?
Capuchins have been known to chip rocks, producing flakes of rock very similar to those produced by early hominids (although they don't seem to be using the stone flakes for tools).
https://qz.com/816645/these-cute-mon...human-history/

Luke
lwcamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
Flyndaran
Untagged
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Beaverton, Oregon
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Cats are much stronger for their weight than primates in general and certainly more than comparably sized people.
And some Maine Coons top 20-25 lbs without being obese. My Cerberus wasn't quite that big but did knock down an adult man braced for impact by kicking off the wall. While anecdotal, it does suggest how powerful kitties can be.

I did say, "big house cats", so I wasn't even acting my too often hyperbolic self. (I'm working on it, but have a way to go.)

Now I'm imagining a fantasy setting where the miners are cat-people. Small, hunched, powerful, eat the mine rats, because they like to...
That would make "our dwarves are different" quite true.
__________________
Beware, poor communication skills. No offense intended. If offended, it just means that I failed my writing skill check.
Flyndaran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 04:38 PM   #9
mlangsdorf
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
But what about dwarves? What makes dwarves unique in your universe? How did they come to be? What defines them? How are they different from "short humans, lives underground, likes gold, gruff, Scottish accent"?
My dwarves almost always have German accent =) or speak fairly incomprehensible pig-German.

I've dwarves in the past that were miners, but absolutely did not live underground: as miners, they were tragically aware of the consequences of tunnels collapsing, and they wanted no part of that in their homes.

I've also used dwarves that are not born, but carved from stone and magically painted to imbue them with life. I'm especially fond of this variant, because it explains why there are so many variations in what a dwarf can look like: each sculptor can create his or her own child, and give them long arms or wide torsos or whatever. I think I borrowed this idea from the Arcanum video game, but I can't find a reference on their wiki.

Finally, my dwarves physically are based on Joel Rosenberg's version: 6' tall men with 2' chopped off their legs. This gives them proportions more like gorillas than humans, with long torsos and arms for their height and short legs.
__________________
Read my GURPS blog: http://noschoolgrognard.blogspot.com
mlangsdorf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2017, 06:11 PM   #10
robkelk
Untitled
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: between keyboard and chair
Default Re: Our dwarves are different

Go back to the source: the dvergr of Svartalfheim in Norse mythology. They live underground, and they're good with tools. That's all these dwarfs have in common with D&D dwarves.

Dvergr are intensely magical - they created Thor's hammer Mjölnir, Odin's spear Gungnir, Freyr's ship Skķšblašnir, and many other artifacts of immense magical power.

Four dvergr have lent their names to the cardinal directions of the compass: Austri, Vestri, Noršri, and Sušri (“East,” “West,” “North,” and “South”) hold the sky off the ground. This is an example of both their strength and their height - dvergr are not short.

Their skin is pitch black. They might or might not have beards. And their accent is Norse, not Scottish.

More at https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/dwarves/ , from which I cribbed most of the above.
__________________
Rob Kelk
“Every man has a right to his own opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.”
– Bernard Baruch,
Deming (New Mexico) Headlight, 6 January 1950

Last edited by robkelk; 09-17-2017 at 06:14 PM.
robkelk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dwarves

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:44 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.