Game Day: A Dwarf by Any Other Name

Our brave adventurers are back in the dwarven stronghold of Khelez-Mar after nearly being consumed by a duegar-built green slime trap in the Obsidian Maze.  The group argued mightily about the retreat, with the dwarves eager to press on and the others stating that a withdrawal to the stronghold was needed to restock and perhaps seek out a trapfinder. In the end, the dwarves reluctantly agreed, with Kull assigned to seek out the potential new recruit at one of the stronghold’s taverns.

Returning to the growing bastion of dwarven culture in our campaign gives us a chance to do a little role-playing, and press some of our newly found (or re-discovered) sources into service.

Draconic Dwarves

Dragon Magazine has had a few useful articles on dwarves, most of which can be found in issue #278. These articles are rules-light and content heavy, making them good resources for any D&D/fantasy campaign. The articles are:

  • “A Short History of Dwarves” (real-world dwarven history)
  • “A Dwarven Lexicon” (dwarven language)
  • “Cry Havoc” (dwarven war cries)
  • “Forge and Hammer” (dwarven society)
  • “The Old Words are the Best Words” (dwarven sayings)

It’s been a very busy two weeks, so I haven’t had a chance to read these articles as thoroughly as I’d like to, but I plan on having some sayings from “Cry Havoc” and “The Old Words” handy for tonight’s game. Evil Genius, our GM, has read them all however, and informed us that he used them as the basis for much of Khelez-Mar’s society

Dwarvenly Names

Another excellent Dragon resource is the dwarven name generator that can be found in Issue #261. It will generate a dwarven name, a stronghold name, and then tell you exactly what the name means.

For example, the name “Ovent” comes from “ov” (“cunning/wise”) and “ent” (“mountain”). He’s from the hold Garhig, from “gar” (bear/of the bear”) and hig (garrison). It’s a great way to provide your character with some history, background and some great one liners (“Shut up you young fool, and listen to the wisdom of the Mountain!”)

If you don’t have access to them, then you’re in luck: someone has ported the generator to the web:

Another useful resource is the Dwarven Name Generator at RPG Inspiration. This generator creates names that are little more generic fantasy and a little less Tolkien-sounding. Examples include “Thoggolin Granitehammer”, “Kurfoin Mountainstein” and “Thafrak Flintgrinder”.

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