Mountain Dwarf & Deep Dwarf

Small size

There are several good reasons why it may be an interesting idea to make dwarves (both DD and MD) a small species:

  • It's a nerf but luckily both DD and MD are very strong. They can take it; some even say they need a nerf.
  • It fits thematically.
  • It helps other species like Minotaurs a lot.
  • It would also give the dwarven armour trait a niche: I'd say that dwarven armour items should work better for small beings, a bit worse for normal-size beings and perhaps not at all for larger sizes. (This is part of the crusade for meaningful racial traits.)
Making dwarves worse than a human with regard to axes and other “dwarfy” weapons makes very little sense. Further, with the introduction of size-based mechanics (eg. trampling and whatever else comes out of this) dwarves become less sturdy than a human, which is again not intuitive. Same goes with the hit they'd take with shields. The change will also make the mountain dwarves dodgy and stealthy. None of this really makes much sense if you're talking your standard fantasy dwarf, which is what MDs are meant to accomplish. I could see this working somewhat better for DDs, but having them be different sizes is weird. I agree that dwarves need a nerf, and that minotaurs are too similar to them, but this is not a good solution imo. Minotaurs are the ones who lack much theme. I would suggest morphing minotaurs into a satyr-like race, which gives much greater opportunity for thematic abilities and apts and a much better distinction from dwarves. The small-sized dwarf option creates very little thematic distinction and will be highly disorienting for new players. Below is discussed some ways to have the small-size change “make sense,” but in just about every regard, the small-sized implication makes very little sense for a dwarf, and special mechanics to let them be treated as medium-sized in certain ways is a bit silly when they simply make sense as a medium race to begin with.— Pedjt 2011-04-23 09:38
As incentive, I'll expand on the satyr idea. Horns, as before. More of a dex/dodge focus, but non-bad armour apt. Good fighting still, but only good with primitive-type weapons. Polearms, maces, bows, throwing, etc. Not axes and blades. Awesome hexes skill, and good tloc, but meh spellcasting. Breath-based mesmerize (a)bility. Bad stealth (hooves). — Pedjt 2011-04-23 10:12
The idea has been implemented (branch small_dwarves), however, it did not seem that hot in practice.
Dwarves could use heavy short-hafted weapons as if one size category larger, so they were denied only the use of certain polearms. In the end, the change resulted in less availability of rigid armour but no perceived positive changes. — KiloByte 2011-04-24 01:29
Giant slaying

dpeg has mentioned thinking about making Dwarves into a Small race, but was concerned that this wouldn't go over well because it would be a nerf due to limiting their weapon selection (no large weapons). I had thought of a racial trait called Giantslaying for Halflings that added a free +1 to +5 slaying bonus based on the size difference between you and the monster you were attacking. Right now I don't believe Halflings actually need that as they are stronger with Slings than I had realized, and my main concern was low Sling damage output as a primary weapon.

I believe, that Giantslaying would actually suit Dwarves better thematically, and would soften the blow of making them into a Small race. I'm all in favor of making them a Small race in the first place as currently there are only 3 out of the huge roster of races, and they would be the only Small races who are good at Armour, Axes, and Necromancy. Speaking of, I believe it would be necessary to give the Axes tree a hard look and make sure they're still a very appealing weapon set for Dwarves that can no longer use Executioner's or Battle Axes under the current values. Broad Axes are far inferior to Demon Blades, so I feel this would be a heavy nerf to melee Dwarves unless some things were adjusted.



+1 to dwarves becoming small. I personally feel this is necessary not as a nerf, but to differentiate mountain dwarves from minotaurs. I propose that dwarves, to remain competitive as melee bruisers/tanks, gain (in addition to giant slaying) the racial trait Stalwart. Stalwart would have two effects: 1) A chance, increasing with level, to resist the effects of fear. Currently, I believe no monsters cause fear but presumably this will change in future versions. This would also makes scrolls of fear less useful in the dwarven halls, which adds to the flavor.

2) A chance to resist trampling based on total AC (representing the heavily armored and bulky dwarf standing his ground). This would differentiate dwarves from all of the smaller races, especially if yaks are changed to be able to trample small races. This would also differentiate mountain dwarves from deep dwarves, since the former will be more likely to be in the heaviest armor they can find as early as possible, so they will be more likely to resist.

Deep dwarves and balance

Deep dwarves have balance issues, because some healing sources are a lot cheaper than others.

Some deep dwarf discussion in 663.

DD could use a slight xp aptitude nerf. — Porkchop 2010-09-27 14:40

The powers of the Deep Dwarf always felt like they would work out better as part of a god's repetoire rather than a racial ability. This would mean we wouldn't have a race constantly choosing Makhleb anymore, it would get rid of the starting Wand of Heal Wounds, and would just be a very interesting choice to offer to all species. It could easily be flavoured as some kind of assimilation/machine god that slowly integrates you into its nexus. Perhaps you are forced to rely on the god for your healing “energy”. — Pedjt 2013-03-19 22:33


Initially I was about to post this on the “dwarven hall” page, but I figured the author doesn't deserve to get her proposal derailed.

dpeg: deep dwarves would get a lot less flak if they weren't called deep dwarves. Norse mythology has a lot of words for weird creatures, and most of people don't know it. For me the amusing thing is they lump trolls, elves and dwarves together because they're so loosely defined. Why not svartalfs or something similar ? Finally, “XYZ dwarves” is a precedent. It encourages others to propose copy/paste designs, and it offends me.

What drives me mad about elves ?

  • In most sources, including Tolkien I believe, elves are described as long-lived yet inflexible, attached to their traditions.
  • Many fantasy games have multiple brands of elves - high elves, grey elves, dark elves, pork elves, wood elves.

These two points are inherently incompatible. It gets less and less believable with each additional recoloring of elves. Either a race is an adaptable one, or it's not, make up your mind !

b0rsuk 2010-08-25 07:34

Deep Dwarves can be changed into a “cyborg/crystaline” kind of creatures. That would explain all their traits(no normal regeneration/healing, damage shaving - all the while still requiring food); it will also be a nerf (no “dwarven” bonuses). —SinsI 2011- 04-24 17:39

Regarding elves, I don't think those two points are as incompatible as you think they are. Inflexibility and adherence to tradition seem like cultural traits rather than ones inherent to the species; elves may be like that now, but it doesn't mean they always were. And even if they were, it only takes a couple of revolutionaries, exiles, wanderers, or anything else you can imagine to break off and start a divergent group that grows more different over the ages. The fact that most elves are a certain way doesn't mean that no elves can ever be different. — Danei 2010-09-27 15:31
+1 for adding “Pork Elves” — XuaXua 2011-04-25 18:20

New Dwarf Race

Mountain Dwarves have been removed from the game as of version .10 due to their similarity to Hill Orcs, who do the same things but with more flexibility (and Beogh). Bringing back Mountain Dwarves in their old form seems to be off the table. If a dwarven species is added back to crawl in the future, it will have to not share too much space with the remaining species. Dwarves are a fantasy staple and are commonly associated with axes, armour and alcohol, but that is no reason to limit the creation of a new Crawl-specific dwarf archetype. There is now a proposal on this wiki for a new dwarf race under the name “Forge Dwarf.” — File200 2011-10-31 16:19

I'm throwing my hat in with “Iron Dwarves” on the Consolidated Species page. Highlights: Super high (+4) Armor and (+3) Shield skill, High Invo/Evocations, Mediocre at best weapon and spell casting abilities, slow move speed, but poison resistance and sense surroundings. Tried to pay homage to D&D dwarves like Durkon Thundershield. Different from Orcs, Deep Dwarves and Forge Dwarves, so maybe we'll get to see as many Dwarves as Elves someday. - AceSV
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dcss/brainstorm/species/dwarves.txt · Last modified: 2013-03-19 22:38 by Pedjt
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