Topic: Some love for Dwarves

I've had a read through the game and am looking forward to our first session on Thursday.  I really liked the writeup for the dwarves,  I found it quite evocative, but find the class a bit bland.   I realise that get very good saving throws and the best Hps but I'm not sure that only being the best at not dying is that fun without something else. 
But I wanted to make sure it didn't step on anyone elses toes.  Fighters are the only one who go up in attack bonus, specialists get skill points etc.  So it couldnt be a permanent increase in one of those, but as there arent alot of mechanics in the game it would probably have to be along those lines.

So I thought what is particullary dwarvish.  Ancestors.  So how about an ability for dwarven adventurers to be able to summon the spirit of dead ancestors to "aid" them in their endevours?

I was thinking it could work something like this.  For every two character levels, round up(maximum say 6), the dwarf could summon one ancestor to aid him during the day.  He needs to be able to speak and move his arms around much like a wizard.  The spirit would have to have a name and maybe a nickname, etc, that helps explain why he is summoning that spirit right now.

The only mechanical in game effect I can come up with at the moment is a bit dull.  How would +1 to a d6 roll for any activity for level 5 or under and +2 for above level 5.
For combat rolls I was thinking maybe +1 to hit for each character level that drops by one each succeeding round until it reaches 0.  Only one spirit may be summoned per encounter.

So a 5th level dwarf would be able to get assistance three times per day.  In combat he would get +5 to hit in the first round, +4 in the second etc until 0.  For other actions he gets +1 on his die roll(which in most instances mean he doubles his chance!).

Creative players and GM's would be able to find other uses for these spirits.  Maybe they could answer questions or help find things or even ask the character to do things for them.(Beats meeting in an inn before every adventure)

An ancestor could only be summonned when the character has time to react so in a fight is fine, but not to help with a saving throw or surprise check.

I dont think it is over powerful and certianly not as good as fighters and specialists but compared to the nothing they currently get.

Any thoughts or suggestions?  The numbers I have above are totally changeable having had no testing!


Aaron C

Re: Some love for Dwarves

I've had a couple of other thoughts on other possible benefits.

Armour Class bonus of +1 up to level 5 and +2 above level 5, as your ancestor assists in warding off blows until the end of the round in which your bonus was 0.

As an alternative to the +1 on the d6 roll how about rolling a second die.  Up to level 5 roll a d4 as well as a d6 with a success being achieved if either die comes up 1.  Above level 5 roll d8 as well as the d6 with a success achieved on a 1 on the d6 or 1-3 on the d8.  The second die obviously being the ancestor.

Another idea is to have the characters level of encumbrance reduced by one while he is being assisted by the ancestor as they help to carry his burdens.

As a success due to the die effects, or even the defense with the armour class bonus, is obvious the ancestor could even be given a personality and brag and be obnoxious

Also though instead of adding to the combat bonus the character could possibly roll a second d20 giving him/her effetively two chances to roll high enough(just like the skill idea above).  It wouldnt meant that the dwarf actually gets two attacks as they just pick the best of the rolls.  the ancestor spirit helps guide a miss into a hit.  Use two different cloured die so it is easy to identify the ancestors "aid".  If the player would have hit anyway then the ancestor didnt need to aid him(read ignore the second die) and just watch the resut.
By making it a second die it removes any comparison from the fighters attack bonus making both abilities unique.

Last edited by Aaron C (2010-10-06 01:20:27)

Re: Some love for Dwarves

There was talk of a +1 to the Con bonus.

It's not the years, it's the mileage.

Re: Some love for Dwarves

hogscape wrote:

There was talk of a +1 to the Con bonus.

I read that in a post somewhere too.  I'm not sure giving them extra hitpoints is something that would make them more appealing, for me. to play.  As the dwarf has no actual control over whether he is attacked or not.  Any intelligent opponent when faced with attacking a fighter or dwarf is surely going to attack the fighter every time knowing he is the more dangerous and most probably the easiest to kill.  I was thinking something the dwarf player had some control over would be nice.
Having played the game now, only one short session attmitedly, I think it is probably better to leave the dwarf alone and just not use it rather than try and add anything.  You add something to one class and risk making it "the class" to be and then you have to add to the others.  A slippery slope.

Re: Some love for Dwarves

My sense is that they are deliberately less appealing, to reduce usage.  The "weird tales" inspiration of the game is deeply rooted in stories with human protagonists, and the referee section is pretty heavy on reducing the incidence of the fantastic to keep it fantastic.

You can change the class, but you may lose some of the "weird" flavor.

Re: Some love for Dwarves

For now I'm giving them a damage bonus : +1 at level 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 (so +5 maximum).
It gives them an edge without overshadowing the fighter. I'll see how it works in my ongoing campaign.

Not very flavorful but I find it fits well with the new dwarf illustration in the Grindhouse edition.

Re: Some love for Dwarves

As a house-rule, I'm thinking of giving Dwarves a d12 hit die AND increasing their minimal HP at level 1 to 10 HP. This would make them REALLY TOUGH, as they are supposed to be.

Alternatively, give them 1d6+4 HP per level instead of 1d10...