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Famous Dwarves Throughout History

 

Fredli Stonehead

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!

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Bhrodain

 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!

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Khalūn

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!

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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.

Oh yeah! That describes the Warhammer dwarf perfectly. 

Confessions of a Dwarf Lover

 

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 ass.

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 the dwarf.

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. Idiots.

Chris Davenport
Dwarf Lover
Dwarven Hold

Copyright © 2000, No Apologies! Press on behalf of
Chris Davenport, Dwarf Lover!