WFRP: Atypical dwarfs (2)

Welcome to the second installment of Atypical Dwarfs, a series of posts examining dwarf demeanour and offering alternative personalities for dwarf PCs and NPCs.

Click here for the first installment!

I’ll kick this thing off by looking at the basic dwarf traits, and how to interpret them. I don’t want to recast the dwarfs as something entirely different as much as look at them in a different light. The following keywords define a dwarf in most fantasy settings, as well as in WFRP.

Short – Alright, it’s difficult to interpret this as anything other than ”dwarfs are short”. They are, it’s in the name of the race. This is one explanation as to why dwarfs have such a great need for asserting their competence and status in relation to the other races. This manifests in a tendency to never give up, and never back down from a challenge.

Beard – Face it, a dwarf has a beard. It’s a defining trait. The beard is a symbol of status, and is often groomed and adorned with gold or silver trinkets … erm, jewellry. Whether or not female dwarfs have beards is open to individual interpretation.

Stubborn – Dwarfs are stubborn and they never give up. This means that they spend a lot of effort and time to figure out how things work, and their patience while investigating, researching or studying is as great as their pride in their finely cultivated beards.

Good memory
– They never forget a wrong doing, carrying Grudges forever and ever. But they also carry the memory of a friend, or of a drawing of a bridge. Or the complex secret password to open the sealed door of the hidden dwarf stronghold.

Humourless – Dwarfs don’t tolerate nonsense, and are very focused on obatining the facts of each situation. This means that they are viewed as devoid of humour by the other races, but to the dwarf this is compensated by the fact that they very, very seldom are tricked or fooled, neither by a prank or a con.

Careful – No dwarf is ever sloppy. Or maybe more accurately, those who are sloppy don’t survive in the deep mines where the slightest mistake can be fateful. Dwarfs are careful and painstakingly thorough. This also manifests as an intense dislike of any form of chaos.

Eager to learn – Dwarfs want to know how things work. They are bad at understanding how people work on a psychlogical level, but outstanding at figuring out how things fit together and what makes them tick. They spend a lot of time observering how the world is out together to try to figure out how to control it.

Love of metals – Their love of gold is the stuff of legends, but the fact is that dwarfs love all kinds of metals. They are endlessly fascinated by gold, silver, iron, steel, all sorts of minerals and what you can do with them.

Mechanical aptitude – Dwarfs love to create mechanial contraptions. This does not necessarily mean that they things they create are complicated. They us basic physical and magical laws to create simple but effective machines and tools. For example, they prefer crossbows over a simple bow.

Okay, that’s the basic personality traits of a dwarf. So what can you do with this? Amazing things actually. The next installment will tackle the first atypical dwarf personality … so stay tuned to this channel some time next week.


WFRP: The Pamphlet Template Beta 1

The other day I was reading Jadrax’s comment to my latest issue of The Altdorf Truth. He mentioned that he thought these pamphlets would come in handy when the Pamphleteer career is released in Shadows over Empire, and I thought that’s probably right, but what if people don’t want my storylines, or aren’t playing in Altdorf?

So I put together a simple HTML tool to assist Gamemasters and players all over the world to create their own pamphlets in the style of The Altdorf Truth. It’s nothing fancy or advanced, but I imagine it can be a lot of fun nevertheless.

How it works is simple. Open the page and write your own newssheet in the boxes. Then print it out. That’s it. Please report any problems to me by posting in the comments!

My skills at programming are severely limited, so I don’t know how to create a save function … but a guy I know does, so this beta will be further developed as time permits!

For now, you’ll have to make do with the first beta release of … The Pamphlet Template!

Thanks to Jadrax for sparking this idea!


WFRP: Atypical Dwarfs (1)

How often don’t you find dwarfs in fantasy that are short, grumpy fellas with an axe strapped to their backs and a flagon of beer in their hand? This is without doubt the most popular image of the fantasy dwarf, popularised by countless roleplaying games, and maybe most importantly in the blockbuster Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. Even in Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, we are often treated to the stereotypical dwarf, even though I must admit there’s a twist; they’re also homicidal maniacs with punk hair.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with using that image when you are playing a dwarf character, or portraying a non-player character. But maybe it would be fun to portray dwarfs with other roles and demeanours once in a while? After all, it is not just human societies that have a need for, or give rise to, different personality types among the population. Take a closer look at the characteristics of a dwarf, and you’ll find variations within the basic theme that you didn’t think were possible!

This is the introduction to a short series of posts aimed at presenting six somewhat unorthodox ways of looking att dwarfs as characters in WFRP, or indeed in any fantasy roleplaying game. I’ll start off in the next post by examining the basic traits that are associated with dwarfish culture, and show how these traits can give inspiration for other personalities than the common dwarf thug. The game master will be treated to adventure hooks and the players get suggestions for new personalities which break the established pattern of how to look at a dwarf character.

The series is illustrated by Patrik Norrman, the talented and award-winning comic book artist and illustrator. If you enjoy his work and feel that you would like to commission his services, go to my profile and drop me an e-mail.

Stay tuned for more on dwarfs next week!