Author Topic: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.  (Read 2350 times)

Miradus

  • Posts: 2156
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2018, 03:20:22 PM »
The events related to that aren't in any way involved with this delicious conversation on how to properly roleplay dwarves.

Those dwarves were not roleplay vehicles ... they were murder-bots. This thread will probably be referenced for years for anyone new to roleplaying a dwarf in this environment. Maybe we can avoid cluttering it with these temporary events.

Sorry

  • Posts: 216
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2018, 04:01:52 PM »
Should dwarves have higher strength really anyway? They are small, shouldn't it make sense for them to have lower strength since seem to have mostly the same physiology and organs as humans?
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Hauwke

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2018, 05:16:21 PM »
Should dwarves have higher strength really anyway? They are small, shouldn't it make sense for them to have lower strength since seem to have mostly the same physiology and organs as humans?

It has been my understanding that the dwarves of Zalanthas are actually quite different in physiology from a human. They are short, yes, but they are also described as being about as wide as they are tall, and significantly denser than a human. All of this could feasibly combine to create a being whose strength is a good margin higher than a human.

That being said, I also think I read somewhere that the races were designed and fiddled with so that each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. Elves have really high Agi, but are the scum of the earth. Dwarves have high strength but are one-track minds. Half-giants are incredibly strong, which is inline with their immense size, but they are absolute morons. So, what does the human have? Well, human characters have the RP advantage, they can be whoever they want to be without any real challenge to that. Want to be a Salarri? Cool, go join them. Soldier? Yup.

The Warshaper

  • Posts: 159
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2018, 01:32:48 PM »
Another question about dwarven roleplay.

Are there any cultural behaviors that players of dwarves should observe when interacting with each other? I see that most of the dwarven roleplay helpfile is aimed at setting up the player with the full knowledge about how to live their day to day life, but when two dwarves meet are there any sort of "known" greetings? Handshakes? Phrases? References that when speaking in Mirukkim are common exchanges?

For their language to be passed down from dwarf to dwarf there has to be some sort of cultural norms out there that have developed from family units or even rough "tribes" being cohesive.

What have you all as players observed or even created when playing or interacting with dwarves that might be of note?

hyzhenhok

  • Posts: 1663
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2018, 03:07:47 PM »
Another question about dwarven roleplay.

Are there any cultural behaviors that players of dwarves should observe when interacting with each other? I see that most of the dwarven roleplay helpfile is aimed at setting up the player with the full knowledge about how to live their day to day life, but when two dwarves meet are there any sort of "known" greetings? Handshakes? Phrases? References that when speaking in Mirukkim are common exchanges?

For their language to be passed down from dwarf to dwarf there has to be some sort of cultural norms out there that have developed from family units or even rough "tribes" being cohesive.

What have you all as players observed or even created when playing or interacting with dwarves that might be of note?

I can't find reference to this is the roleplaying docs, but my understanding is that Zalanthas dwarves don't have their own culture and this is an important part of what makes them what they are (and distinguishes them from typical fantasy dwarves). Wherever they came from, if it was a single culture or polity it was destroyed and the dwarves scattered (and/or enslaved) long ago. These days, the divergence of dwarven foci naturally causes them to disperse and be spread apart; tribes and family groups exist, but do not achieve the same kind of long continuity as human and elven tribes.

I would caution against the assumption that there is a one-to-one connection between language and culture; that's kind of a modern Earth idea. While tribal and elven cultures are undoubtedly interlinked with their respective languages, I don't think the same is true for dwarves. Mirukkim is rather a stubborn remnant of the ancient dwarven culture that is otherwise disappeared from Zalanthas.  It isn't a sign of a unified dwarven culture that exists presently; rather, it's a sign of what may have once existed but is now lost.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 03:10:24 PM by hyzhenhok »

Miradus

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2018, 03:44:06 PM »

I like to roleplay some of my dwarves as having little bits and pieces of family history, like broken lore and legacy. It might be funny stories revolving around the mines, or bits of weird knowledge about different types of stone, or the belief that somewhere there's a city full of just dwarves.

I feel like that always makes them a little more poignant and forlorn, showing how much they lost rather than just the complete absence. Like huge gaps in knowledge and lore are more noticeable than a complete absence.


stoicreader

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #31 on: June 28, 2018, 10:28:35 PM »
I always wondered the same thing about languages. If they are culturally so vacant then why do dwarves have a language? Our family is culturally very much Latin, but none of us speak any Spanish anymore.... I barely speak it.

My thoughts are Mirrukim is a language of efficiency. It would sound very quick short and to the point. Almost like Cantonese choppy sounding Chinese restaurant vs mandarin  sing-song emperor's eunuchs.

It's preferred over sirihish because it fits the fat squat mouths of dwarves more appropriately than the languid, overly verbose sirihish which would be taxing and tiresome to thick tongued balls of dough.
Meh

Nao

  • Posts: 1960
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #32 on: July 12, 2018, 04:16:26 PM »
How do you RP 'maintenance activities' with dwarves?

Eating, drinking, and maybe earning some coin to afford necessities aren't directly related to a dwarf's focus, but he still has to do them. And the dwarf would probably not wait until they're starving every time.

Basically, how do necessary activities that aren't directly related to the focus work with dwarves? Do they hate it? Just absent-mindedly go through the motions while making plans on their focus? Or is it up to the individual?

Another, unrelated thing I've been wondering is what happens if they're 'stuck' with no way to move forward for weeks or months at a time?
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sleepyhead

  • Posts: 567
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2018, 04:34:41 PM »
Personally, if I were playing a dwarf I'd view those 'maintenance activities' as part of pursuing the focus. You will have a hard time taking that next step towards your focus if you are physically or mentally weak, much less dead. So really, it's all wrapped up in the same package.

Sure, a dwarf would no doubt prefer a world where they are not required to eat, drink, or sleep (okay maybe forget that last one), but that's not the world they live in, so "refueling" is just another thing they have to do on the road to their goal.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2018, 04:36:35 PM by sleepyhead »

Miradus

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2018, 05:27:09 PM »
How do you RP 'maintenance activities' with dwarves?

Eating, drinking, and maybe earning some coin to afford necessities aren't directly related to a dwarf's focus, but he still has to do them. And the dwarf would probably not wait until they're starving every time.

Basically, how do necessary activities that aren't directly related to the focus work with dwarves? Do they hate it? Just absent-mindedly go through the motions while making plans on their focus? Or is it up to the individual?

Another, unrelated thing I've been wondering is what happens if they're 'stuck' with no way to move forward for weeks or months at a time?

I don't really tie eating, sleeping, etc. with the focus. Dwarf gotta focus, dwarf gotta stay alive to focus. Seems like that'd be a given. I often do, however, roleplay dwarven food tastes differently ... bleh, I don't like scrab because that's what they fed us in the mines, or wow, I love me some scrab! That's dwarven soul food from our days in the mines!

Each dwarf is going to be a little different on how they relate to the focus, and also depending upon the focus. It may be, "I'm going to just greb me some tubers so I can keep working on XYZ", or it may be "I should go eat an expensive steak and be SEEN eating an expensive steak so I can convince some of these humans I'm rich enough to pay attention to and then they can help me with XYZ."

There's no right or wrong way to do this. Maybe you have a full focus by the time you come out of chargen, but it may take months for your character to actually come up with a PLAN to fill that focus. Or you may run into obstacles that need to be overcome and it takes time and resources to do this. "We dwarves live a long time ... I'll join the Byn and earn some coin while I save up for that skimmer to become the best skimmer captain on the Silt Sea."

Being stuck for weeks or months at a time wouldn't be that big of a deal for most dwarves. So long as they can check on the progress, etc. or spend the time productively. Busy hands are happy hands. My dwarves tend to have the journey in mind more than the destination. Yeah, I'm building this mountainhome in the Shieldwall where we can overthrow the oppression of Tek-suck-my-stump-sack, but I'm alive and the sun is up and my belly is empty. We can go stack stones after I finish off this chalton. Or "you know, if I can just stay alive another few weeks, I'm sure someone who knows all about how to read cavilish will just drop in my lap and be willing to help me draft up this Dwarven Declaration of Independence so I can throw it in the face of the next Templar who bothers me."

**Listed focuses are the sole property of Stumps Unlimited, Inc. Use at your own risk. If torture and oppression lasts longer than four hours, begin consulting the helpfiles for your next character idea.


hyzhenhok

  • Posts: 1663
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #35 on: July 13, 2018, 05:38:23 AM »
From help dwarven roleplay:

Quote
A dwarf may do things unrelated to the focus - but it will always be at the back of their head, nagging them.

So I don't think it's necessary for the dwarf to view "maintenance" or even recreational activities as literally furthering their focus in order to engage in them. While the help file speaks mostly of the focus imparting fearlessness on a dwarf, I think necessarily most dwarves will also have incredible patience, to the point where they will not be troubled by the thought of putting off their focus so they can have a meal or go tumble with a whore. Some dwarves will decide that they need to carefully plan out their meals or how they relax in pursuit of their focus, but it won't be universal.

As for if your dwarf is "stuck"--same thing. It's fine for them to spend that time doing other things. They'll just be constantly thinking about their focus, and particularly about whether they can find a way to get it unstuck.

Delirium

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2018, 10:25:27 AM »
I could see a dwarf deciding that they need to be in peak condition to better serve the pursuit of their focus.

But what is peak condition? Does that include mental? Social? Purely physical? What about nutrition? Exercise? Sleep?

You could get pretty deep with it.
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BadSkeelz

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2018, 01:11:24 PM »
From help dwarven roleplay:

Quote
A dwarf may do things unrelated to the focus - but it will always be at the back of their head, nagging them.

So I don't think it's necessary for the dwarf to view "maintenance" or even recreational activities as literally furthering their focus in order to engage in them. While the help file speaks mostly of the focus imparting fearlessness on a dwarf, I think necessarily most dwarves will also have incredible patience, to the point where they will not be troubled by the thought of putting off their focus so they can have a meal or go tumble with a whore. Some dwarves will decide that they need to carefully plan out their meals or how they relax in pursuit of their focus, but it won't be universal.

As for if your dwarf is "stuck"--same thing. It's fine for them to spend that time doing other things. They'll just be constantly thinking about their focus, and particularly about whether they can find a way to get it unstuck.

I disagree. Every thought or action of a dwarf should be weighed against whether it helps their focus or not. That does not mean they have to be working constantly on the surface level progression. The dwarf just has to justify to themselves that its actions are furthering their focus in some respect. And I think dwarf logic can be pretty elastic.

But to put your focus on hold? You're just playing a human with better stats at that point. Dwarves should be played to bring their focus-oriented meat-robot role-play to the game world, not just their stat line.

A dwarf stuck on their focus should be a very dangerous thing.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2018, 01:15:50 PM by BadSkeelz »
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Miradus

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Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #38 on: July 13, 2018, 01:17:34 PM »

Agreed. And nobody is going to question you on it. I play a lot of dwarves and I've only ever had one guy (another dwarf) quiz me IC on my focus, but he was trying to get mine to line up with his in a very well-roleplayed manner.

It's just not a hard thing to do. Keeping in mind why you're willing to talk to this person, go to this place, do this thing, etc. Oh yeah. My focus. I find it's actually easier to roleplay because it gives me an in-game mission to work towards.

If it's justifiable to you, in your own head, then it should be fine for everyone else too. Nobody should ever be asking you, "Why aren't you out working on your focus?" if they see you in the Gaj.

hyzhenhok

  • Posts: 1663
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #39 on: July 13, 2018, 05:27:26 PM »
I disagree. Every thought or action of a dwarf should be weighed against whether it helps their focus or not. That does not mean they have to be working constantly on the surface level progression. The dwarf just has to justify to themselves that its actions are furthering their focus in some respect. And I think dwarf logic can be pretty elastic.

But to put your focus on hold? You're just playing a human with better stats at that point. Dwarves should be played to bring their focus-oriented meat-robot role-play to the game world, not just their stat line.

A dwarf stuck on their focus should be a very dangerous thing.

A dwarf isn't a robot programmed to fulfill their focus and do nothing else. A dwarf is a complicated, strange biological creature that has personality, urges, desires and a focus. It would be incredibly limiting if the only permissible dwarf is the one who convinces themselves every single one of their actions is progress towards their focus. I think that's a fine way to play a dwarf, but it's not the only way. Sometimes you might want to play a dwarf that is more than a stoic automaton (I can't drink, it doesn't help my focus!) or a master self-deceiver (sure, getting smashed will help me relax and that will help my focus!).

I'd say it's pretty ridiculous to accuse people doing something the docs say is OK of playing a "stat line." I don't think the "everything I do helps my focus" style of dwarf is any less susceptible to being played as a short, strong human that other styles, because it's so easy to have your dwarf to mental gymnastics and link whatever you want to do to the focus.

Miradus

  • Posts: 2156
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #40 on: July 13, 2018, 06:14:57 PM »

Oh yeah!

And also, not every dwarf is going to be capable of fulfilling their focus, any more than I'm going to be the next LeBron just because I set my mind on playing good basketball.

What can be very interesting is a dwarf who is pretty inept at something he ended up with a focus for. Or something everyone knows is going to be a fail from the beginning but they're willing to witness the epicness of the attempt.

I like some of my dwarves to really struggle understanding human culture. They use the wrong words in Sirihish or fail to grasp certain human concepts. Or maybe an extreme of not being able to tell human males from females unless the male has a thick beard. Remember that dwarves are NOT THE SAME SPECIES and you're going to have some fun with the concept. Some may be better human-socialized than others.

stoicreader

  • Posts: 135
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2018, 01:55:00 PM »
+1 on the not being able to tell genders of other races apart.
Meh

The Warshaper

  • Posts: 159
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #42 on: July 17, 2018, 12:26:19 PM »
It's me again... sorry. >.<

So with their focuses in mind, and apparent lack of distinct culture, would dwarves have their own attitudes towards other races? Do the prejudices of each race ever come to the surface in the mind of a busy dwarf?

With as busy as they keep themselves they seem to lack the interest (or not, I'm just spit balling here) in the racial tensions that rule most camps/cities. Sure dwarves know elves can't be trusted and humans are a power mongering master race and perhaps that half giants are dimwitted and dangerously strong but... do they give two shits? Do they have time for -that- social facet to manifest when they are more interested in their focus?

I'd like to see how some of you have portrayed this in the past. Again, not looking for right or wrong, just discussion and feedback.

Miradus

  • Posts: 2156
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #43 on: July 17, 2018, 02:31:41 PM »
It's me again... sorry. >.<

So with their focuses in mind, and apparent lack of distinct culture, would dwarves have their own attitudes towards other races? Do the prejudices of each race ever come to the surface in the mind of a busy dwarf?

With as busy as they keep themselves they seem to lack the interest (or not, I'm just spit balling here) in the racial tensions that rule most camps/cities. Sure dwarves know elves can't be trusted and humans are a power mongering master race and perhaps that half giants are dimwitted and dangerously strong but... do they give two shits? Do they have time for -that- social facet to manifest when they are more interested in their focus?

I'd like to see how some of you have portrayed this in the past. Again, not looking for right or wrong, just discussion and feedback.

No need to apologize. I could talk about dwarves all day long.

Different dwarves are going to have different prejudices, but I often play my dwarves as having viewpoints against other races. Ironically, my dwarves view elves as the most constant of the non-dwarves, being always untrustworthy. You can count on an elf to be dishonest and shady. They are consistent.

Humans I alternatively view as either fairweather friends at best or dumb children at best. Giants I generally see as about as irrelevant as an inix and about that dumb.

One of my longer-lasting, older dwarves viewed all of the humans outside of his control as dangerous elements to be distrusted, but the humans who worked under him as wayward children requiring his protection.

Another dwarf of mine particularly distrusted tribals, believing they were all half-crazed with a mishmash of conflicting beliefs that always seemed to favor their own interests.



hyzhenhok

  • Posts: 1663
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #44 on: July 17, 2018, 03:58:09 PM »
I would say for the typical dwarf, stereotypes and racism is definitely a thing. Stereotypes get lodged in the mind because they are seemingly handy mental shortcut towards arriving at conclusions (even though those conclusions are often wrong). People believe in stereotypes in part because it makes it a lot easier on the mind to categorize and simplify the world, and once you believe a stereotype it's hard to change your mind because of confirmation bias and the like. I don't see why dwarves would be immune from this; they might be even more likely to rely on stereotypes as shortcuts to allow them to quickly categorize people.

The dwarf, when dealing with people, is constantly thinking about their relevance to his focus: could they be useful? Could they be a threat or an obstacle? Racial stereotypes should play a significant role in these appraisals for the typical dwarf who is raised in Zalanthas culture. I can easily see a lot of dwarves having a preference for working with humans, because it'll be a lot easier for the dwarf to categorize as "useful" people who are not (1) liars and thieves (elves), (2) walking garbage (breeds), or (3) stubborn, unyielding and distracted by their own pursuits (other dwarves). And when a dwarf does decide a dwarf, elf or breed will be a useful associate, they'll often do so because of the stereotypes, e.g. a dwarf who makes a habit of befriending elves because he'll need a thief or two in his back pocket to achieve his focus.

Remember that a bigoted person is not going to think "this person is really talented and useful, but I refuse to hire them because of their race"; rather, they'll think "this person is X race, so they can't possibly be talented and useful regardless of what my eyes are telling me."

Once you make the cut and the dwarf thinks you're useful, it might very well seem as though the dwarf stops caring about your race.  But still, the stereotype could still a role in how the dwarf interacts with you--he'll leave his money in his apartment when he goes to meet his elven associate, or he'll make an excuse when the half-elf he hired for his crew wants to drink with him in public.

IMO the intersection between Zalanthan racism and the dwarven focus is really interesting and I love to play dwarves this way. I don't think it's wrong to play a dwarf that has decided stereotypes are bullshit and he needs to appraise each individual on their merits on his own, but I don't think most dwarves are that enlightened.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 04:05:32 PM by hyzhenhok »

Miradus

  • Posts: 2156
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2018, 08:55:18 PM »

My next dwarf will be purple skinned, dress like Doug Stanhope, and suffer from 24x7 Tourette's.




Wyrmboy

  • Posts: 196
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2018, 10:30:00 AM »
They should of made you a NPC after just for coming up with that name "Butcher Brons" is awesome!!

Miradus

  • Posts: 2156
Re: The ultimate Dwarf RP guide.
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2018, 05:45:29 PM »
They should of made you a NPC after just for coming up with that name "Butcher Brons" is awesome!!

Thanks for that. :)

I HATED stumps when I first started playing. They seemed to me to have been stripped of everything that makes dwarves cool in every other fantasy setting. BUT the more I delved into it, the more I felt that their being stripped let to some very interesting aspects of roleplay for them.

I hope you're enjoying the same.