Wednesday, August 2, 2023

d100 - Dwarf Dweomercraft

Quite frequently, I encounter Referees unsatisfied with the perceived lack of certain Character Options or Abilities that occur when using a presentation that features Demihuman as Class. One of the often lamented “missing” archetypes is that of the Dwarf Cleric. I’m not really sure what cemented this particular combination as so essential in so many minds, but it’s definitely a frequent flier. I tend to see the Cleric Class, with its Piety, Proscriptions, and Prayers to be an incredibly Human convention and practice. Rather than just lazily grafting this onto another People wholesale and making them so much less distinctive in the process, my preference has generally been to try and invent something new instead.

The Dwarf in most of my games is much less Gimli and much more Rumpelstiltskin (and more mercurial rather than dour), but another persistent approach is to render them utterly a-magical. Spells are something that just doesn’t work for them or incompatible with their make up/nature (usually rationalized by their superior Saving Throws). But this has always been a bit at odds with the more Fairy Tale/Folkloric Model I tend to render them in. I’m stuck with the nagging suspicion that they should be Magical, but in their own singularly Dwarfin Fashion.

Ideas for giving this kind of Magic its own feel and flavor is the subject of this particular d100 table: these could be innate Magical Knacks, granted as the Dwarf becomes more experienced, acquired through Play/Adventure as a form of Character Growth (“Seek out Old Bleezlebottom if you’d like to learn the Ways of Water!”), or even something to sprinkle on flavor-wise to give other forms of Fey something fun once in awhile. The character of Magic performed by a Dwarf should differ from their Human Magic-User/Cleric and Elfin counterparts.

2 comments:

  1. In fact, in one of my next games, for Nordic flavour, I'm planning to reskin the Elf class as "Dwergar" (magic blacksmiths) and the Cleric class as "Alfar" (not an idea of mine; I read somewhere that for Middle Earth, where High Elves have mystic powers... I liked that and is useful for the divine natured alfars)

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  2. I've been thinking about the differences between different types of magic for a while now. I'm thinking that Prometheus gave fire (which includes certain types of blasty magic) to the humans because all the other creatures had magic of their own.

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