Sunday, 8 June 2014

"You Changed Your Name to Vanguard Crackhammer?" Or why I'm keeping Dwarves Old School and the Rule Of Awesome

Although everyone (or maybe it's just me) likes to put a unique spin on non human races for their personal setting there's just no improving on the cheesy, stereotypical dwarf. He drinks a lot, dislikes elves because they're a bit girly, he's made of sterner stuff, gets into lots of fights and is generally gruff and uncompromising. I mean that's pretty much every dwarf who's ever been role played and for good reason. Cheesy dwarves are fun. They have stupid, comical names like Garm Ironbeard. They are exclusively armed with axes and war hammers ("My dwarf draws his short sword." GM "He absolutely does not," *under breath* "-5xp for bad role playing...") or crossbows, if they're NPC guards or something.

Cheesy dwarves are awesome and When Something is Awesome it has to Stand. That's the rule. It's a highly flexible rule, don't get me wrong, and suffers from conservation of energy -like diminishing returns. If in a tavern brawl you dive head first over the bar to deliver a superman punch to the nut sack of the half ogre, then that is Awesome and the rule applies. Take your d20 and roll for spectacular success, or dramatic and highly problematic failure. However, if every time you're having a quiet pint in the local you bust out the same fastball special, it becomes mundane and the rule no longer applies. It's not one for the rules lawyers or those who have sleepless nights about game balance.

It should be a case of "Remember the time I swung off the chandelier and chopped that goblin in half in midair?" As opposed to "Oh yeah, I swing off the chandelier again so I can get max damage on my attack or whatever."

Gotrek Gurnisson, Binwin Bronzebottom, even Gimli son of Gloin, they're all cheesy dwarves and exactly the kind I expect at the gaming table. Because, ...awesomeness.

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