Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thinking About: Dwarves as Cunning Folk.

This idea came to me while skimming Searchers of the Unknown, Revised .

The simple (its a one page game) description of Dwarves struck me as a great idea

posted here in part

Dwarfs are short and cunning

Subterfuge: Sneaking, climbing, fiddling locks, hiding, disguise,
forgery, picking pockets and so on are all feats of subterfuge. . Dwarfs add +2.

Rather than an entire race of Gimli's, throw in this and some of more magical Dwarf ideas (like say Eldoran arcane Dwarves from Advanced Race Codex Dwarves (Green Ronin BTW ) and you have a great replacement for the halfling and gnomes niches

Also if you want to play Elves as exalted and Dwarves and more base and sin wracked (play up the greed and anger) possibly Half Orcs too.

Its also very Nordic (they can be Dvergar and the Elves Alvar) if you like that flavor. or play them as selflish ala C.S. Lewis' "The Last Battle" bah, the Dwarves are for the Dwarves.

So you get a much more variated people (some will be doughty warriors) that is not as flavored with Gamer Scottish. Well just a little. ;)

Rules-Wise it requires very few rule changes. At most drop the various "hated foes" for some kind of craft cunning as I do already and if desired add some Fae traits .

In older games, all thats required is tweaking racial bonuses to thief skills and allowing Dwarf casters.

So what say you folks?


  1. I'm for it. It's a mostly forgotten classic, in a sense -- one of the many places where D&D tropes have moved progressively away from a folkloric version of the fantastic. It strikes me as a good move -- less Tolkien, less modern gamer dwarf, a reconnection with other kinds of dwarfs in tales.

  2. Thanks for the reply. I especially like alleviating the need for the other "why are they there anyway? races.

    Now I don't terribly mind the occasional "warrior dwarf" but they should be something of an exception, not the rule.