Sunday, December 9, 2012

The All-Dwarf Campaign?

Okay, so I've been studying the new dwarven Clan-Builder over at Fictive Fantasies.  It's a nice set of random roll (or you can also just pick stuff) lists to generate key characteristics for dwarven clans for RPGs.  It's pretty cool so check it out.  But that got me thinking: there is a persistent interest in all-dwarf games.  The TowerGuardDM channel I used to follow in YouTube (now closed) had a very cool set of videos laying the groundwork for an all-dwarf game.  Kickstarter even has the "Axes and Anvils" project where the entire game is designed from the start to support all-dwarf gaming.  The only other race I've seen a lot of interest in as a single-race campaign is drow.  Personally I'd love to do an all-drow campaign or all-elf campaign.  There is some good stuff out there for all-drow campaigns, but apparently not much for all-elf gaming.  And there is apparently even less interest in games where all players are gnomes, halflings, or half-orcs.

Is this all because dwarves are so often ignored or stereotyped in games and people want to see them get some respect?  Is it because there's a lot of cool background there to build a campaign on which is going unloved?  Are there really a lot of dwarf fans out there?  I have no idea.  I've never really been into dwarves as a player race (maybe because I'm an elf fan) but I can see the potential of an all-dwarf game with the mixture of underground/dungeon adventure, intra-clan social-political conflicts, feuds with other clans, invasions by surface-dwellers, etc.

You could almost run it so totally dwarf-centric that the inhabitants of the dwarf fortess-city are barely aware of an outside world--rather like Alpha Complex in Paranoia.  See as they venture into the Outside and have difficulty with the sunshine, the weird tall green things called trees, the freakish creatures such as birds and squirrels.  Only the inner sanctum of the clan leadership and high clerics is really aware of the overall situation.  The rest of the clan members have their assigned jobs with their guild and that's all a proper dwarf needs to know.

It would also be fun to do the races like Old School Hack and early D&D did and make humans, halflings, gnomes, and elves into stereotypes where their races are classes and only let the dwarf players pick from a range of actual classes.  How about these classes:
  • Warrior (melee fighter; dwarves only)
  • Gunner (gunpowder missile weapon fighter; dwarves only)
  • Cleric (dwarves only)
  • Delver (underground ranger; dwarves only)
  • Divine Hammer (dwarven paladin; dwarves only)
  • Scout (dwarven thief; dwarves only)
  • Skald (dwarven bard; dwarves only)
  • Alchemist (dwarves only)
  • Runemaster (rune magic wizard/; dwarves only)
  • Artificer (dwarves only)
  • Human
  • Halfling
  • Elf
  • Gnome

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