Even before November 2007, when I first stumbled across Dwarf Fortress, dwarves were a favorite race of mine. They are tough bearded warriors with an axe in one hand and a stein of ale in the other, who have no time for words being busy racking up the orc body count while grunting at the elf in disdain ever since the party of stupid humans allowed it to tag along.
And lo to the giant that faces a dwarf in combat.
Wait a minute, dwarves are violent alcoholic racists with a Napoleon complex!
I do not actually think of dwarves that way (well, maybe they are alcoholics), but after a bumpy exchange with someone my mind kept going back to the subject of racism in a fantasy world. Looking up more information on the topic, it seems I missed the conversation in 2008.
When it comes to playing with the girls, I drew from the roots of the genre to portray the traditional dispositions of all the fantasy races. Sue is a half-elf and has been treated as such by the majority of people who don’t know her. Everyone is always suspicious of the halfling thief (although Kay makes this very easy and would probably bring this upon herself no matter what race she played). Tess and the dwarves of Eastbrook never interacted well for the longest time; Kay’s character often acting as a liaison between the elf and dwarves.
Prejudice in a fantasy role-playing game helps keep you moving forward.
Greenskin? Kill it!
Not slow it down with unnecessary preparation:
All I have left is Know Alignment! I didn’t want to accidentally kill a good giant.
. . .as the frost giant crushes the other party member.
Teach Your Children Well
I am not going to turn our game into some twisted replacement for Sunday School.
Today we will focus on idioms. What can we learn from expressions such as “Gentle Giant” or “Judging a book by its cover”?
This is not about teaching life lessons. Math, introduction of unfamiliar words, moral dilemmas, problem solving and the many other educational values that are attached to role-playing games are a side-effect not the purpose of this geek created social entertainment escapist hobby.
It is more stimulating to fear the drow lurking in the underdark, more exciting to rush the goblins no questions asked, and more interesting to share a common enemy with the dwarves; the elf and dwarf teaming up when taking on the orc and duergar.
That is not to say I have not presented them with dark-hearted humans or that all their non-human adversaries have been stock evil races. They have felt bad about leaving goblins tied up in a smoky unventilated room and they have realized too late that the “monster” they just killed did not mean any harm.
Lessons learned in a world of fantasy, they push forward.