Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Dwarven Weakness - Any Ideas?

I'm trying to come up with a unique weakness that dwarves (or dwarfs, if you prefer) in D&D-style games could suffer from, as a way to differentiate them from humans, elves, and halflings. I'm trying to refine my house rules for separating race and class in LotFP, and I'd like something interesting to offset their various advantages a bit.

I've flirted with a few ideas so far: making them allergic to sunlight and/or open spaces, making them roll on some kind of Dwarven Madness table at character creation, making them near-sighted, making it harder for them to heal somehow...but I'm having trouble figuring out the mechanical details of how such things would work. Plus I bet there are people out there in OSR Land who will have some awesome ideas.

Preferably, the weakness would be biological, psychological, magical, or some combination thereof. Something that complicates the life a dwarf PC in a more in-depth and fascinating way than, say, a -1 wisdom penalty.

So, anyone have any suggestions?

EDIT: Results are HERE.


  1. Greed. Accumulating large amounts of wealth may even INCREASE their HP (will to fight/live), but permanently degrades one (or perhaps all) of their mental stats. Maybe even inflicts a proper Madness at a certain stage. (Wealth isn't limited to coinage, but also art, weapons, land, etc.)
    Perhaps complicated to implement, but it plays on the "greedy dwarf" trope and gives players a genuine choice to make ("this loot is great, and the HP boost it might give is also great, but what about my precious stats? And my sanity!")

  2. Movement rate. They're slow and it's a big deal.

    1. I was thinking about that. Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. Makers of things. Dwarves are constructed beings; they don't breed, but every now and again must create a new dwarf out of what is at hand. Stone is best, the dead flesh of sentient beings will work, but it's frowned upon for obvious reasons. Monthly save-or-Make, after which you get a reprieve for a while.

    Seems like it would be a bit clunky and 'haha you cannot play your chosen PC,' but that might be ok. Also relies on the campaign going on for in-character months or years, so, you know, keep strict tract of time and all that.