EVERYTHING you've always wanted to know about Dwarves !

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    • @jarnalyrkar ^^

      I'd like to add as a huge disclaimer that I'm not at all wanting to attack or make anyone feel uncomfortable here.

      I actually would like to consider this thread as an act of sympathy to all my Jewish friends ! <3

      I'd just like to imagine that we can have a sensitive, quiet talk about Jewish culture, just like about any other culture in the world (I mean, noone is against discussing Indian or Inuit culture and history, so why not Jewish culture ?), about what Jewish culture is and is not, and how this can or cannot be integrated to inspire our universe, without people just making faces like « Oh, no, not the Jews, that topic is forbidden », as if they were not a real people and a real culture in our world.

      And I mean, it'd be good if we could do something so that Jewish people looking at our game will be like :
      « Hey, it looks like this is about us ! How great ! »

      (But of course, if, despite all my best intentions, anyone anywhere feels this thread is too awkward and needs to be closed down, I'll just look say sorry and not complain about it !)
      GHAÂAÂAÂARN ! — The Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young
      First T9A player in West Africa
    • Ghiznuk wrote:

      @Scylla in the background that's already been written they're just saying that .

      – Dwarves don't do magic
      – They long for their lost empire
      – They are gifted jewellers and engineers
      – They are very conservative
      – They are secretive

      I don't see anything that contradicts my thesis here.
      And yet there are differences:
      - no mention of living amongst human beings as holders of highly-specialized roles
      - no mention of hatred and pogroms from human beings
      - no mention of any religion
      – no mention of any Semitic cultural element (DH)

      Of course the Background Team has yet to develop this faction and could follow the model of WHFB. But given the major changes which happened to the DL, WoDG and VS, I'd bet they'll do much better than a copy-pasting job :)
      For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
    • Marcos24 wrote:

      I’m looking for it now but I’m pretty sure it says in fine print in the full rule book “DH is basically Ancient Israel”. Word for word
      what rulebook?
      and I still believe; Light infantry should fight and shoot in 3 ranks, Imperial Guards should have weaponmaster and both parent and support, and that halbardiers should wear heavy armor. For Sunna and the Emperor!!
    • Interesting exercise, although I feel there are a lot of loose elements in your story.

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      What is it that makes Dwarf Jewish ?

      1) They practice a whole range of specialized crafts that have a lot in common with the ones Jewish people used to practice in older times.

      2) They long for the Promised Land.

      3) They have their own secretive religion that they don't really promote outside their own circles

      4) They have a link with the established religion

      5) They are rumoured to hold lots of gold

      6) They have their own districts

      7) There are pogroms

      8) They feel like everyone hates them

      9) Dwarf language sounds like Hebrew (known for ID, but DH?)
      Red lines are, it seems to me, yet absent of much confirmation in T9A. Some of the others can also be quite generic (number 1 and 3 particularly - basically most of the factions have their own religion which doesn't spreads outside, the opposite situation as WDG has it seems to be the exception rather than the norm) and many factions could claim it. See, if you replace Dwarf by Vermin Swarms, how many boxes do you tick? Well, I would guess 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 at least, add 6) if you have a rat-sewers situations. 7) doesn't seem unlikely at all from the human perspective, given the loss of Avras and the fall of Sunna. What about Saurians?
    • The association of mythological dwarfs with Jews goes back at least to Wagner's Ring Cycle, wherein Alberich and Mime are seen by many as representing antisemitic tropes, holding back the Aryan Sigfried, etc.

      There's a difference between dwarfs having Norse mythological and linguistic origins and representing Jews in some way in an author's deployment of them. Tolkien said that he used Semitic languages for the dwarfs to make them linguistically distinct from the elves. To the extent the dwarfs of fantasy fiction are descended from Tolkien, they include some sense of Jewish identity, for good and ill.

      My wife and I are Jewish, and discuss such issues quite a bit with people who aren't, so it's not inherently offensive.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by dslak ().

    • (any topic about jews is immediately setting course for dangerous waters...)

      To slightly rephrase the original thesis; dwarves are a different culture within the world. when living with humans, they form a subculture, resisting integration. In this second situation, the jewish comparison is fair- I wouldnt agree with all the specific points though. Throughout medieval europe, Jewish sub communities were the most conspicuous sub community, although there lots of others (flemish in london, venetians in constantinople, etc).

      If we are talking about dwarves as a separate nation within their own borders, I think we quickly get into dangerous territory of stereotyping. Toledo steel was the greatest quality, the milanese forged the best cannons, the byzantines had secret military weapons (greek fire), the florintines were great bankers, you could easily make arguments comparing dwarves to them.
    • So...I probably don't want to spend too much time contributing to this particular thread, because it can be something of a minefield, but also because certain elements of dwarven culture are still being developed.

      There are some similarities in certain traditional fantasy settings between dwarven and Jewish culture. Meanwhile, in our own setting, we have deliberately leant into certain associations, such as Mongolian culture with Ogre Khans.

      However, it is important that those associations, where they are overt, have to go beyond a collection of stereotypes or pejoratives. So if dwarves become caricatures of penny pinching, secretive, uncouth, violent, loud, hard drinking...wait, that's a Scottish comparison, that's the other kind of dwarf!

      Anyway, my point being inspiration should be more than just keywords and taglines, it should be integral. Otherwise, it's either coincidence, or offensive!

      Executive Board

      Head of Background Team

      Team Scotland ETC 2019 Captain

      "I think of the Abyss as being a pretty good catch all term."
    • I think that a lot of races in a fantasy setting might make a living as minorities in cities and towns like described in the original post.

      A reason for a different race to move and make a living in another races settlement would be because they have a special skill that is wanted by the majority race. Either due to cultural restrictions by the majority, like banking, or because they minority has a developed skill that is not known to the majority, like steelmaking. Elves might work as wizards, dwarves as smiths, and Iron orcs as bodyguards. This in turn would cause the creations of stereotypes. If the minority is a skilled workforce the majority might come to believe that the minority has access to great wealth within their profession. Elves have great books of learning and magical items, dwarves have precious metal and gems, and iron orcs have great skills in combat. If the minority is made up of a cheap labor force the view might be that the race is poor and unskilled.

      As expats in a foreign land they would be bit more patriotic and nostalgic about their homeland. I was more keen to celebrate Swedish holidays when I lived and studied in China than I am when back home in Sweden. As people tend to like to live among others that are like themselves we have a tendency to self segregation when given the free choice. The individual preferens for relatable neighbors wins over the collective preferens for divers neighborhoods.

      If they have an non missionary religion, then it might seems like they have an secret religion. Especially if the majority shares an missionary religion that they try to promote towards minorities.

      When hard comes it would be easy for the majority to blame the minority for what has happened. If the minority is rich then it might be easy to try to find a way to tax or take their wealth to solve the problem. If they are poor it would be best to drive them away to lessen the economic burden for the majority.

      As for the dwarven language being semitic. I believe that the common theme in a standard fantasy setting is that the dwarves speaks a language based on the nordic languages. The Tolkien language for his dwarves was, as pointed out, translated in his books to sound different from what he imagen them to sound. As most people have read Bilbo and the trilogy and not studied his intended languages the common perception is that dwarves speak a nordic language. The 9 Age seems to want for a standard fantasy setting and thus should go with the nordic theme.

      Ghiznuk wrote:

      I'd just like it if those features were also taken into account in T9A background and universe

      What do you think about it ??

      I believe that it would be fitting for a human city to have special neighborhoods for different races. Steel district where dwarven craftsmen lives and works as smiths. Orc district that comes alive at night with taverns open all night, fighting pits, and nightlife for the bold. Elven quarters close to universities and so on. The high borne elves might be known for the banks that specializes in longtime large loans that could be calculated to be paid back over human generations. In other words, dwarves might live in segregated communities but so should other races as well.
    • dslak wrote:

      Grouchy Badger wrote:

      War of the Motza Balls, those elves will never be forgiven for commenting on the texture.
      Finli kneaded the kneidlach too much. His family's been shaving their beards for generations now.
      Slayer Oath for Sloppy Soup
      I am going to offend you. You are not going to like it. You will survive.

      Chaotic Neutral

      Model Reviews with Twice the Brain Injuries!
    • This is a Politically Correct world. Your personal face to face experience is negligible.

      I don't doubt your intentions being good, however best is to steer clear.

      Tolkien did in fact used real world inspiration and some may say he was rather racist, who were orcs and other sauron allies were inspired from??? (different age different mind set)

      So yeah, if this post was on FB it would have been shut down.

      Again I'm not offended and believe this was intended as an intellectual discussion. But yeah take it to pub mate ;)