sábado, 6 de octubre de 2018

Are there dwarf sorcerers?

This is a translation of a post originally published in 2012.

Dwarves usually have a curious relationship with magic. If we take a look at classic D&D, only arcane magic is kept away from them and yet they are able to creat object of magic nature due to it's exceptional craftsmanship. In Middle Earth they lack magic completely (mostly like everyone except for elves). And in Warhammer we find that their "magic" it's based on runic artifacts. I bring these three up because the classic vison of dwarves follows their model--as far as I know.

This brief introduction lets us introduce the question that will serve for introducing (gods!) the question I've come to ponder over--are there dwarf sorcerers? The most common answer seems to be no. However I have had a little idea I want to share with you--a way to treat classic medieval fantasy dwarves that may interest some of you.

It is an explanation of why dwarves generally lack magic power and also why they are especially resilient to them. The secret lies in their beards: that thick layer of facial hair not only are important to show the dwarf social ststus, age and origin, but also, their thick steands, symbok of the unyielding order opposed to the chaos of magic, are impermeable to supernatural forces. But, in the same way that they keep magic from entering, they keep it from getting out.

Of course there has always been dwarf with a predisposition for magic that have found a workaround to this hairy problem. Shaving is anathema among dwarves, but the most corrupt of their numbers are ready to sell their honor and their clan's, their social status, their identity in exchange for the power that magic xan offer. So this hypothesis would answer the initial question like this--are there dwarf sorcerers? Yes, they only have to shave. We can analyse this from its symbolic perspective and also from the point of view of how gamable it is.

As a symbol it is more or less clear. In most cases a sorcerer is someone that leaves society and their norms to reachnew heights. We're used to the idea of the mage thst lives alone in his tower, forgotten by the world. There is also the common idea the corrupting and chaotic effect of magic and, I don't know about you, but to me the idea of a beardless dwarf gives me the chills--it seems like something is not right. And if that's me imagine others from the same race.

And this takes us to gamable ideas. A dwarf sorcerer would be specially rejected by other rightful dwarf characters. Both PCs and NPCs should have a complex background: it takes a lot to corrupt a dwarf and that sorcerer must have had powerful reasons to let go their ancestral dignity. I can't resist the idea of a clean shaven dwarf sorcerer as the mastermind of a campaign, consoiring from the depths against their former kin.

In more mechanical terms, a shaven dwarf would lose extra resistance against magic if it is contemplated in the system, making them closer to a human in that regard.

Well, I don't know if someone will shaee my enthusiasm, but I find it fun at the very least. Thanks for reading! Valmar Cerenor! Here is a video that illustrare the whole hairy situation (ha, ha):

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