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Awesome dwarves! Who has 'em?


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Desolation has a branch of dwarves that fill the Bedouin / nomadic desert culture in the setting.


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Castle Falkenstein...

To quote Mike Surbrook's Hero System writeup of Castle Falkenstein at http://www.devermore.net/surbrook/herosource/fantasy_hero/castle_falkenstein_templates.html :
Dwarfs were once Faerie, but they renounced most of their powers and their immortality just so they could work iron and even Star Metal. They appear as archetypal fantasy dwarfs, short with broad features and long beards. However, their feet resemble those of ducks and chickens. Dwarfs are embarrassed by their feet and hide them inside heavy shoes and boots. They also get very angry when asked about their feet.

All dwarfs are male. They must marry female Faerie in order to reproduce. The male children are dwarfs; the females are the same species as their mother.

Dwarfs cannot use Magick, but they are highly resistant to it. They are also immune to fire and extreme heat. A dwarf can survive being pushed into a lava pit and woe to the man who pushed him when he gets out! They are mortal but can live twice as long as humans.

Dwarfs are organized into Dwarf-holds, which are usually located under high mountains. Dwarf-holds are run like factories, with the kings acting as the general managers of their holds.

Dwarfs are obsessed with making a name for themselves, especially since their mothers tend to give them silly first names. Gaining a prestigious Second Name is therefore important to them. Being expert miners and mechanics, those names usually reflect their work in those areas. But some dwarfs, especially kings, earn Second Names related to military or diplomatic accomplishments. The way a dwarf earns a Second Name is to accomplish a difficult task or create a unique item and show it to his king, who will proclaim the dwarf’s new Second Name to the entire Dwarf-hold.

Dwarfs have a special ability called Metal Sense. It allows them to detect and identify any kind of metal, even a small quantity, up to a mile away. Detection works by smell, so it will not work in a vacuum or if the metal lies under tons of rock.


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I LOVE dwarves and wanted to do something special with them when I created Arcanis. I wanted to answer some of the questions that always had me scratching my head, such as - "Why do a people who top out at 5'-nothing require huge vaulted ceilings?" and "Why are dwarves so obsessed with creating magic items?"

So I did my best to give a reason for those and a couple of other questions. I also wanted to give dwarves a variety of nationalities, like humans have. Why should they be just a two-dimensional, monolithic people?

Back when Arcanis was a D20 game, we produced the Codex Arcanis (a 256 page Source Book) with only the last 32 pages or so with stats. The rest is just great stories and source material.

With the advent of the Arcanis: World of the Shattered Empires RPG (which won the Origins Award for Best RPG in 2012 ,btw) we decided to make the PDF of the Codex Arcanis FREE!

Feel free to download a copy from RPGNow and check out the chapter entitled, The Lament of the Dwarves. Let me know if I did our stocky friends justice.

Here's a handy link:




Pronounced 'akkadrakka'
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Gemini's dwarves are essentially mutants, cursed by (the gods, I think) in ages long past to suffer from horrible physical deformity.


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Which RPGs, whether by fluff or system, have the most interesting dwarves?
Dragon Age (RPG based on the computer game) has a fun take on dwarves - they're still bearded. underground no-nonsense types, but they're trapped in a rigid and oppressive caste system and so rooted in tradition it's killing them off. Most traditionalist dwarves believe sunlight will corrupt them, let along walking on the surface, and the lack of communication between underground holds has effectively isolated them. Yet huge numbers of surface dwarves now exist, considered casteless by their subterranean cousins, many of them prosperous. The caste system forces those unlucky enough to be casteless into lives of crime as they legally cannot be employed as anything, even servants (there's a servant caste who reputedly hate the casteless more than anyone), so organised crime is a big issue. The soldier caste drawing recruits only from its own ranks only speeds their decline as they hemorrhage soldiers defending their homes from underground monsters.

Also, dwarven politics is complicated and nasty. Assassination is common.

Tush Hog

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Thanks for the responses folks!

Henry, I've downloaded it and will read it this weekend. Sounds very intriguing!
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