From: Psychedelic Goblin <PS4CC@merkland.rgu.ac.uk>
Subject: WFRP: Dwarven Culture
The following notes are written to cover the culture of the Mountain Dwarves of the Worlds Edge, Grey and Black Mountains. These dwarves still follow dwarven culture in its purest form. After each section is a note on how the culture of the Imperial Dwarves differs.
RELATIONSHIPS AND MARRIAGE
Due to the low female to male ratio, relationships can prove a problem in dwarven culture. The dwarven women have the opportunity to choose a mate from a variety of candidates. The female has total power in the selection process, and the males must compete for her affections. The female chooses her candidates on the basis of desirable traits, such as courage, intellect, wisdom, honesty, honour, reputation and skill, but the final choice is based on stability, compatibility and how responsible the mate will be as a parent. When the female has made her decision, it is dishonourable for the male dwarf to refuse. With the females having strong positions in dwarven society, they have a desire to have strong mates to give their relationship durability. Their relationships tend to be very cooperative, and are purely monogamous until the death of a partner, when the female is expected to take another mate. Dwarven relationships are not tempestuous, intense or hot blooded, being more akin to strong friendship and respect. This respect extends to privacy, both in itself and regarding female form and functions. Male dwarves are painfully shy and respectful of a females sexuality, and no male dwarf would ever make crude or lewd remarks about a female of any species. It is very dishonourable to do so. With only 33% of male dwarves ever attaining a relationship, the rest dedicate themselves to their work. No dwarf would ever use the services of a prostitute or brothel, nor have sex with any female other than a dwarf, and even then not before marriage. To give in to primal urges is one of the greatest dishonours, with rape being among the greatest.
Dwarven marriages are private affairs, and performed without pomp and ceremony.
Imperial Dwarves - Due to being much less condensed than their mountain counterparts, it can be a problem for a male dwarf to even find a female. Also, because they are not under constant threat, breeding is not quite so important. Due to these considerations courting often takes place along human lines, and taking another mate is not required. Nevertheless, the female still has the power, and male dwarves are still subject to the same taboos and feelings.
PREGNANCY AND BIRTH
Dwarven females are pregnant for 16 months and aren't really affected by the it for the first 11 months. The mate will dote on the female to a vast extent, and the prospect of a new dwarven child warms the heart of even the toughest dwarf. Male dwarves have a very strong paternal instinct which leads them to be surprisingly patient and considerate with the young of any race. No male dwarf would even raise a hand against a goblin child!
To a male dwarf, hitting a child with force is an abuse of their greater strength, and any physical punishment is in the form of labour.
At birthing times it is not unusual to find every male dwarf in the community happily creating some miniature trinket (such as tiny axes, hammers, tools etc) for the coming newborn. The actual birth is restricted to the females of the community. Even the mate is not allowed to be present (and due to their shyness about such matters they are usually happy about their exclusion).
Imperial dwarves - In the more relaxed Imperial life the males are allowed to be present at the birthing (but still usually avoid it!).
Dwarven children are encouraged to be responsible for their actions from the start, and become independent at a very early age. Dwarven parents are strict but fair, and do not protect their children from the negative aspects of the real world. Dwarves know life is hard, and so their children must be prepared for it. All children, both male and female, are taught the basics of conflict from an early age, and are discouraged from showing outward displays of emotion. Both parents are responsible for raising and teaching the child (esp. the child of their own sex, which usually means the male has most of the parenting duties).
It is considered a great tribute and honour for both concerned, if the child follows in the footsteps of its parents.
Imperial dwarves - Child rearing has not really changed for the Imperial dwarves, but they can now send their children to centres of learning such as universities.
Death is seen as a sad fact of life in dwarven society, and their funeral rites are very solemn affairs. The funeral of a mate or beloved friend is one of the few times crying is not frowned upon, but getting too emotional (i.e. anything more than a few stray tears) is considered disrespectful. The deceaseds tools and belongings are passed out to the family and friends. Due to space considerations, the body is usually cremated.
Imperial Dwarves - The Imperials do not have the same space restrictions that the mountain ones do, and so have in many cases revived the older tradition of burial.
Dwarven rulership is hereditary, with each dwarven stronghold having its own noble line. Rulership is a heavy burden in dwarven culture, and great things are expected of those in such positions of power. The dwarven rulers have absolute power in their community, but rarely excercise it without first consulting their advisors. All rulers have a council of advisors (mostly female) and the rulers edicts are also administered and organised by the women. Rulers are expected to exemplify all that dwarves regard as good and true (honour, courage, wisdom, strength etc) and those that fall short of expectations find many of their edicts ignored. Those found severely lacking are forced to abdicate until a better successor can be found. During such indredibly rare periods the council takes over. Dwarves are tremendously loyal to the rulers they respect, and it is a tribute to dwarven integrity that very few of their rulers have been anything other than paragons of dwarven virtue.
Imperial Dwarves - As full Imperial citizens the Imperial dwarves no longer have a dwarven nobility, but instead swear fealty to the Empire and Emporer. There are few Imperial Dwarven nobles, and female administration is no longer the norm.
CRIME AND JUSTICE
As would be expected, dwarven justice is harsh indeed. All crimes are judged by female magistrates and assessed acording to 4 penalties:
It is also worth noting that many dwarves do not reach trial, because the community often lynches them first. For lesser dishonours, or unpunished greater ones, the dwarf (if they have any honour left) usually undertakes the life of a slayer.
Imperial Dwarves - They are governed by Imperial law but are still governed by traditional honour concepts. Dwarves are still likely to lynch wrongdoers, or in the case of personal dishonour, become a slayer.
Religion in the dwarven community is strong and ritualised, but ultimately private. In addition to their gods, ancestor worship is very strong for them. All dwarves who die honourable are said to go to the Hall of Warriors (a parralel to the Norse Valhalla) where they reside with the gods. Favoured gods include Grungni, Rukh, Hrungnor and Morngrim. The ancestors are too numerous to mention.
Imperial dwarves - There has been no real change in this area, but some dwarves have adopted the worship of Sigmar.
All dwarves have a very strong inherent resistence to magic, and this makes it difficult for them to follow the spell caster careers. However, they are no strangers to magic and have turned to the creation of magical artefacts as their main source of magical power. They are the best Runesmiths in existence, and the vast majority of the greatest magical items (including those used by elves and humans) are dwarven made.
Imperial dwarves - With the proximity to humans it is easier for a dwarf to find a teacher of the arcane arts,but the main practitioners of dwarven magic crafts such as runesmithing are still in the mountains.
DEFENSE AND WAR
The Worlds Edge dwarves are in a state of near constant conflict, and must maintain complete battle readiness at all times. The dwarven military is experienced, organised and very effective (perhaps even the best in the world). Units of Tunnel Fighters deal with attacks and subterranean clearances, and soldiers deal with surface attacks. All dwarven military act as guards and watchmen, and are drilled constantly. They also maintain heavy weapons such as trebuchet, catapults and bolt throwers at every tower and wall. They are intelligent combatants and will retreat if a situation is to bad. They are primarily defensive fighters (due to low numbers) and only launch attacks to free/reclaim fallen holds or slay chaos dwarves (who they see as a stain on the collective honour of the dwarven race).
Due to childhood training, all dwarves are at least familiar with weapons, but it is taboo for the rare dwarven females to join the military.
Imperial Dwarves - They still follow the childhood training traditions but face a much lower combat expectancy. Obviously, they now fight for the Empire. There are no Imperial born Tunnel Fighters except in Middenheim, and no Imperial born Runners.
FOOD AND DIET
Due to the inhospitable mountain climate, and large underground complexes, the dwarven diet is fairly restricted. They keep enclosures of mountain goats and sheep, grow a wide variety of mushrooms and some tubers. Water is taken from underground springs, as are a few subterranean fish. The only alcohol they produce is a form of vodkha (tuber wine) and a pungent mushroom ale called Akorak. Their only bread is a flat, unlevened variety made from tuber flour.
Imperial Dwarves - Imperial dwarves have access to the full range of food that any Imperial citizen has.
THE DRINKING MYTH
Due to their constant need for battle readiness, the mountian dwarves cannot afford to get drunk, and so rarely have more than 1 or 2 drinks. They do enjoy alcohol, but they cannot afford the luxury of drinking to much. Also, getting drunk is risky, because it encourages lack of control that could lead to dishonourable behaviour.
Imperial dwarves - Imperials have a more relaxed attitude to drinking than those of the mountains, but still frown upon getting drunk. It is the actions of the dishonourable few that has coloured the stereotype of the drunken dwarf.
Dwarven arts are very straightforward and restrictive. Performance wise, they favour drums, horns and rich songs and tales, but most of their art revolves around the embellishment of items. No dwarf would create a work of art for its own sake. All dwarven art pieces must have some use and vice versa.
Imperial dwarves - With contact with humans, the dwarven mind has expanded to the arts, and art for its own sake.
Dwarven craftsmanship is among the best there is and forms a very important part of their culture. The crafts are part of each dwarfs family and history and they are passed down through the generations. To a dwarf, they are a source of honour, pride and self reliance.
Imperial dwarves - No real change.
Base Skills: choose 2 of - carpentry, haggle, metallurgy, mining,
The Academic and Rogue charts remain unchanged.
|WARRIOR||RANGER||Bodyguard||01-10||Bounty Hunter||01-10||Labourer||11-15||Coachman||11-15||Mercenary||16-25||Gamekeeper||16-20||Militia||26-35||Hunter||21-25||Noble||36-40||Muleskinner||26-35||Outlaw||41-45||Prospector||36-65||Pit Fighter||46-50||Rat Catcher||66-75||Protagonist||51-55||Roadwarden||76-80||Servant||56-60||Toll Keeper||81-90||Soldier||61-75||Trapper||91-00||Squire||76-80||Troll Slayer||81-90||Tunnel Fighter*||91-95||Watchman||96-00|
Base Skills: choose 2 of - smithing, stonemason, mining, metallurgy. Note: Many of these careers differ from those in the main rulebook.
|WARRIOR||RANGER||ROGUE||ACADEMIC||Noble||01-10||Prospector||01-35||Thief||01-05||Alchemists App||01-15||Soldier||11-50||Rat Catcher||36-45||Tomb Robber||06-00||Artisans App||16-35||Troll Slayer||51-65||Runner||46-00||Engineer||36-75||Tunnel Fighter||66-00||Initiate||76-80||Pharmacist||81-85||Seer||91-95||Wizards App||96-00|
Remove Drive Cart and increase chance of trade skill to 75%.
replace Classical with Arcane Dwarf
Dodge Blow, Dwarven Etiquette, Dwarven Heraldry, Dwarven History, Read/Write, Strike Mighty Blow, 50% Public Speaking
Expensive clothes, jewellery worth 20d6 GC, fine hand weapon, sleeved mail coat, crested helmet, crested shield
remove the leeches.
Disarm, Dodge Blow, Strike to Stun, Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure, 25% SW 2 Handed
XBow + ammo, Mail Coat, shield, helmet, 2h weapon (if skilled)
Concealment Urban, Evaluate, Flee!, Pick Lock, Scale Sheer Surface, Silent Move Urban, Spot TrapTrappings -
remove Secret signs and Language, but add Scale Sheer Surface and Evaluate
replace Classical with Arcane Dwarf
as Merc Sgt
Disarm, Dodge Blow, Street Fighter, Strike Mighty Blow, Strike to Injure, Strike to Stun, Strike to Injure, SW 2 Handed
Sleeved Mail Coat, helmet, shield, Xbow + ammo, 2h weapon.
as Merc Captain
as Military Sgt + Tactics
Sleeved mail coat, shield , mail coif, 2H weapon, brestplate, XBow + ammo, helmet.
Disarm, Dodge blow, Read/Write, Cult doctrines, Strike mighty blow, strike to stun, strike to injure, SW Flail, SW 2H (Grungni only) - mining (Morngrim only) - SW Thrown, SW Firearms, TacticsTrappings
(Grungni) - Full Plate, symbol, shield, hand weapon (pick), 2H weapon of choice Morngrim) - Full Plate, large shield, symbol, 2 Specialist weapons of choice (including firearms).
As basic dwarven noble plus Sing, Disarm, Public Speaking, Stewardship, Tactics
more wealth, higher quality trappings, d2+1 minor magickal items.
as rank 2 plus Evaluate, Intimidate, Strike to Stun, Dynastic Knowledge, SW 2Handed
another increase in wealth, at least 1 rune weapon and full magical armour.
as rank 3 plus Theology, Strike to Injure
virtually boundless, includes at least d3+1 rune weapons and armour (1 of which will be very ancient and powerful), d4+6 lesser magickal items, command of dwarfhold legions.