Dwarves in Udra and How They Differ From Those of Cliche


The cliche of dwarves is short, burly, bearded miners, masons and reclusive mountain dwellers following their vaguely Norse or Scots Celtic culture, making you think of Brian Blessed, if Blessed were short and stumpy. They are veritable tanks in battle and at the bar. But I don’t follow that in my game.

Udran dwarves are descended from the occasionally evil, occasionally cannibalistic, utucheckulu of Darth Lom. Generally most are lawful neutral rather than lawful good. Unlike their Lomite cousins, and unlike virtually all dwarfish cliches, they have an enormous fascination with magic, especially in combat. This is why they favor monk as a class over fighter. And those that cannot be monks, tend to be become wizards or sorcerers.

To further distinguish themselves from their Nyambian heritige, they tend to shave all body hair, often even the eyebrows, only the women are the exception to this, retaining short bobbed or cornrowed hair, eyebrows and beards occasionally. Generally a male Udran dwarf never lets his beard or hair grow out except as a form of shame, carelessness or penance. There are Udran dwarves who go about bearded but these are looked at as prisoners, hooligans, vagabonds and ne’er-do-wells.

A good example of an Udran dwarf can be found in the Neverwinter Nights character, Grimgnaw. They are short, dusky and ascetic, with strong influences from traditional African shamans, diviners and martial artists. Unlike their Nyambian cousins and unlike their D&D counterparts, they favor monk or wizard as a class. As such, they are always literate, often in several languages. The music they favor is something very similar to Mongol Throat Singing, kora harps, mbiras and mouth harps.

Aside from their different outlook and favored class, they have all the same advantages of dwarfs as described in the Players Handbook. As they have departed strongly from the traditions of Nyambe, they don’t have the advantages outlined in that source book.

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