Famous Dwarves Throughout History
While Fredli's skills as an armorer, blacksmith, stonemason, and brewer
are notable, his gaming leaves much to be desired. He prefers running over
riding, sleeping over working, and solid ground over water. While others
consider his ego, stubbornness, and mouth a hindrance, he regards them as
favorable attributes. He is fond of humans and halflings, acknowledges
elves as necessary (but woosies!), and loathes gnomes to the point
of always causing a (violent) scene. In battle Fredli is a master
strategist whose tactics usually stress offense. Though he prefers
wielding an axe (for providing special effects), the Dwarven
thrower, Louvger (the Pulverizer), is often utilized for sheer power
and unmatched accuracy.
Sounds like a sound Dwarf to me!
Member of one of the most noble and rich family from the
High Helm, Bhrodain made his way to the top by using both his intelligence
and his money. Accused by opposing noble families of being way corrupt, he
still have the respect of his people, mostly from the miners, who seen to
really love Bhrodain`s "way of government". He`s also a fierce
fighter, and though the passing of years lessened his suberb dwarven
wealth, his mind is still fresh...
Hmm, not quite as dwarfy as a dwarf should
be but he is a fierce fighter!
Khalūn is a slim dwarf with a long red beard, and is
always smiling. She is dextrous, but is a strongly built dwarf, and is
usually mistaken for a male dwarf. Her personality reflects that of a
friendly and happy elf, but with the honesty and determination common to
dwarves. She is the one who usually starts the singing when people huddle
around the campfire, and the one who shares her blanket with the needy.
Khalūn is made of a robust material which is stronger
than steel, and softer than featherpillows. She is a living legend, and
many are the familystories which contain a generous and smiling greenclad
dwarf saving people from monsters, poverty and hunger. Despite the
apparent brutal behaviour, at least from a goblin's perspective, Khalūn
hates fighting, and would gladly throw away her weapons but as it is said:
"Evil does only triumph when good men do nothing". Khalūn will
never attack anyone (except ogres/goblins) unless she is certain that
taking another creature's life is the only possible option. Khalūn is
however the last one to give up in a fight, and will gladly sacrifice
herself for someone else's life.
Bah. This dwarf character
is exactly opposite what a dwarf should be. But she's famous in that she
proves female dwarves have beards. See!
The Grudge Bearers
Of all the races that play Blood Bowl in the Old World,
Dwarfs are perhaps the most well suited to the game.
Short, tough, well-armored and not afraid of a little
old-fashioned mindless violence, Dwarfs are one of the best defensive team
in the entire game.
The Grudge Bearers are just one of many famous
Dwarf teams out there but their penchant for never forgetting an insult or
dirty trick played against them has propelled them to legendary status!
Stubborn and extremely resilient, Dwarf teams have a
tendency to not give any ground on defense and more than one agile
Bloodbowler has crashed to the ground with a look of surprise on his face
when he tried to dodge away from the iron-hard Dwarf line.
yeah! That describes the Warhammer dwarf perfectly.
Confessions of a
Back in high school, the
term 'date' had a very different connotation for me than for most males my
age. No grabbing hands in dark movie theaters, no shared milkshakes or
fries with a pretty girl nor any late night romantic drives. Just snacks
and dice and a bunch of male friends. For you see, I was a gamer.
There are of course many
categories which the term gamer encompasses: computer games, console
games, role-playing games (multiplayer live, via computer or play by
mail), live action role play, collectible card games, military
re-enactments (both table top miniatures and live recreation) and I'm
sure many others. I was first and foremost a fantasy role player of the
paper- and-dice- sit- around- a- table- eating- snacks- and- goofing-
off category. Only when the usual gaming group was not around or too
busy or started to fall apart did I resort to computer RPGs and CCGs
(collectible card games). But those are very different stories and very
different essays because they never came close to the aspect of Fantasy
RPGs I loved so much: Role Playing the Dwarf.
Okay, I can just hear all
you real gamers screaming at me about clarifying 'Fantasy RPG'. Did I
play Dungeons & Dragons? Did I play GURPS? Warhammer? Tunnels and
Trolls? Well, I never played GURPS. And why bother with Tunnels and
Trolls, a D&D rip-off, after I'd already become bored and tired with
the D&D system? Warhammer became my only love. Sure I started out
with D&D like I'm sure most people did. But who wants to check
tables and tables of to-hit charts modified by everything between
strength, racial hatreds, terrain, weapon type, your dexterity,
creature's hit dice & armor class, infravision, weapon speed,
iniative and whatever other rule the usual Dungeon Master wasn't
currently ignoring. And how many times is a person expected to roll a
20-sided die before actually doing D4 damage to that stupid goblin? Did
anybody even deal with Psionics? The truly scariest monsters in the game
were nothing to our hack 'n' slash tactics due to the fact that we just
glued the psionic pages together in the Dungeon Master's Guide for
easier flipping between the to-hit charts and the saving throw tables.
And how many reference books do you need to play a stupid role playing
game? As you can see, I've spent way too much space talking about how
D&D had way too many rules.
Thus, Warhammer. The system
for the truly impatient hack 'n' slasher. Get rid of all those dice
first off. No more punctured feet by stepping on escaped D4s. Say
goodbye to the 12-sided, the 8-sided and the 20-sided dice. All you
needed for Warhammer were two ten-sided dice and one six sided. Of
course, you always had the super dork in your group who carried around
D30s and D100s, both of which were so huge and round that they took a
full eight minutes to stop rolling.
With minimal fuss, your
Warhammer character could be created using the same dice you would be
using throughout the rest of the campaign. Unlike D&D which uses
only the six for character building. A die you'll never use again unless
you were a *snicker* cleric and had to wield that lousy mace because you
weren't allowed to spill blood. Like blunt objects never spill blood.
But of course, the best aspect of this pure hack 'n' slash system, the
insane-slice-first-find-out-what-you- just-attacked-later fighter's best
friend: the fate point. Anywhere from one to five little miracles
pre-built into your character to save you from those fatal errors of
judgment your character may, occasionally, make. The only chance your
character stood against an early demise in D&D was the DM fudging a
die roll behind his dungeon master's screen. So it was Warhammer all the
way. And only a dwarf would do.
In Warhammer, you had four
character classes: human, elf, dwarf or halfling. Okay. Three choices.
Halfling characters were comic relief. Sure, they got more fate points
than the others but they used them faster too. I think the only time I
role played one was when one sick game master made all the players
create halflings for his campaign. He must have just read Lord of the
Rings because this guy was also the one who, while taking his beginner's
philosophy course, made us go up against a Demon who decided to hold a
debate with us about good and evil. Or was that during his Milton class?
Anyway, halflings aside,
human, elf or dwarf was the racial choices. Absolutely no incentive was
ever given to play a boring human. In D&D, they get no restriction
on levels to make them more appealing. In Warhammer, nothing. Elves are
just pansy, light-weight, arrogant fairies and I'd rather flush my lucky
dice down the crapper than role play one of them. Really. Who wants to
role play a character that automatically starts the game with the skill
singing or dancing?
But role playing a dwarf!
The character seems to be set up for a hack 'n' slash RPGer. Gruff,
tough, strong, belligerent and ready to swing axes before setting the
table for delving into diplomacies. But role playing separate dwarven
personalities is a subtle art. It's more than loading up on armor and
heading speechless into the breach. Not a lot more. But it's there. The
really good dwarf players know how to bring a dwarf to life.
Here are some examples of
my favorite dwarf characters (played by both me and friends):
Kracko, Troll Slayer: This
one was played by some fucked up pot head who played a campaign or two
with us. As strong and tough as a beginning dwarf can be, he stupidly
hacked his way into and out of every situation in which we found
ourselves. It was like adventuring with a mini, bearded tank. That pot
head was always fucking ripped but we didn't mind cause his dwarf kicked
Gully Granitehead, Giant
Slayer: My favorite dwarf I ever played. As strong and tough as a dwarf
can get, he insanely chopped his way into and out of every situation in
which we found ourselves. It was like campaigning with an invulnerable
munchkin escaped from an asylum. In a tank. He eventually died after
killing half the Middenheim army while his elven comrade skinned out
like a virgin at an orgy.
Spike Cragborn, Troll
Slayer: Another dwarf of mine. As strong and tough as a troll slayer can
get, he maniacally charged into and out of every situation in which we
found ourselves. It was like fighting with an atomic hedgehog of short
stature. With a beard. His adventuring days came to an end during one
night's gaming when I spilled the GM's coke and ate his Milky Way.
Crollock Gutbuster, Giant
Slayer: This friend's dwarf character was special: he had a magic
adamantine axe of skull crushing. Critical hits almost guaranteed. As
strong and tough as a mithril laden, adamantine axe wielding dwarf can
get, he threatened his way out of every situation into which he got us.
It was like role playing a crazed hack 'n' slash gamer with a magic axe
and a beard. This guy's best moment was when he greedily stuck a cursed
ring on his finger and then, when no magic could get it off, he chopped
off his own finger. Then the GM literally laughed at him and yelled,
"You're insane!" The GM then preceded to change the dwarf's
alignment and deduct experience points and add a couple of insanities to
Dwarves have made my role
playing experience a gem. Get it? Gem? Mining? Dwarves? Ha ha ha! Any of
you role players out there think I'm wrong and would care to argue on
behalf of elves or something similarly lame, go ahead and let me know.