Along with Human, Half-Dwarves are a really simple option. They take their flaw from humans, and their perk from the dwarves.
Size: More or less human-sized.
Most half-dwarves are slightly on the shorter side, but like most folk, they are a diverse bunch. It is not uncommon for a half-dwarf to grow taller than a human. They are known for a tendency to grow into extremely tough, strong-willed individuals, and there are many legends told of half-dwarves who withstood an astonishing amount of punishment.
|Max ability scores
Perk: Stone in the blood
At level 1, Half-dwarves gain a +1 bonus to AC. They gain an additional +1 bonus at levels 10 and 20.
Flaw: Broken spirit
The race of man was at the epicenter of the fracture, and they are still suffering the effects. Half-dwarves inherit this penalty and suffer a -1 penalty on all saving throws Vs. Magic.
Skill: An unknown destiny
1 free proficiency or feat or language.
Dwarves should be clever; not necessarily wise, or even particularly intelligent in the conventional sense, but clever. It’s a subtle distinction but important, I think, to their character.
Dwarves are not mundane. They are not merely small men (certainly not the stocky, angry, inexplicably Scottish men that modern pop culture has universally made them out to be.) What’s missing in most depictions of dwarves is an essential magic, an elevated, supernatural cleverness. We get our notion of dwarves mostly from Tolkien, of course, but they’re much older than that. In Norse mythology, the dwarves are closely related to dark elves, the Svartalfar. Like any good myth, dwarves are a metaphor: they fascinate because they represent the spark of creative, destructive magic. They combine intemperance with wonder and amazement.
The Norse dwarves were dangerous, sharp-minded, over-eager to invent, to dig deep, but they also were unattached. They didn’t belong in Midgard. I think Tolkien realized that and created a story for them which gave them an authentic connection to the world. My dwarves are definitely thematic relatives of the norse dwarves, but I’ve taken a page out of Tolkien’s book as well. The story of the dwarves is a developing tragedy; slowly, they are falling asleep and returning to the stone that they were illegitimately hewn from. If your connection to the world is a tenuous one, then a threat to that connection makes it all the more important. I’ve got a short story on the way that goes into it a bit.
Continue reading “Player Character Race: Dwarves”
Summer classes started a couple weeks ago, and I’ve been incredibly busy. Between working, studying, sleeping, and just generally staying alive, I haven’t had time to post. I AM still thinking, writing, and working on Felmoorish matters, but the going is a bit slow.
I have good news, however. The dwarves and half-dwarves are coming very soon. I also have some campaign mechanics to post about (a reputation system, and an item-pricing system for the DM.) All that should be up before the end of the week. Finally, I’ve been working hard to populate Saragnor – which will be a kind of home base for the adventurers in this campaign – with NPCs and interesting stores to shop at, but that’s a little farther off.