A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview


Warpiglet

Adventurer
Wow. I think Duergar are really cool and have since 1st edition!

I like the little tidbit about Duergar warlocks in the table...if not AL, I would imagine a Duergar hexblade to be really cool. Some exiled thief who finds freedom with a black axe...

Next character idea accomplished!
 

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Wow. I think Duergar are really cool and have since 1st edition!

I like the little tidbit about Duergar warlocks in the table...if not AL, I would imagine a Duergar hexblade to be really cool. Some exiled thief who finds freedom with a black axe...

Next character idea accomplished!

I liked that, too. Pretty evocative. Leaves it uncertain as to whether the warlocks are Duergar, even.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
I think that's kinda the internet now, pretty much everywhere. To our credit, I think we manage to maintain a pretty civil community here. There's some scary places out there!

And kudos to you for what you do to keep this place civil! I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Just having been away from here for years and then returning, the tonal shift from general excitement towards not just more skepticism, but actual anger (at least in word choice), just seemed more noticeable. *shrug*

But EN World is still far better than the dregs of the internet, and I'm sorry for my totally subjective (and off-topic!) mini-rant bubbling to the surface of my brain today in a melodramatic way. :)
 
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kenmarable

Adventurer
It's just my opinion, it's okay if it differs from yours. I love everything they've done, I just think this one didn't make sense. My comment doesn't herald the end of the golden age of ENWorld I promise.

I'm sorry for jumping on your posts, just the word choice seemed weird to me (and it's been something I've noticed in the past from others, it just finally tipped over to commenting on it today). But as long as you promise ENWorld's golden age isn't over, that's fine with me. Remember, you promised!! ;)
 

Warpiglet

Adventurer
I think that's kinda the internet now, pretty much everywhere. To our credit, I think we manage to maintain a pretty civil community here. There's some scary places out there!

this is head and shoulders above my previous source of D&D news. only after being a more frequent visitor here did I realize how bad my old spot really was!
 

gyor

Legend
Getting back on topic, it was alittle interesting. I like ideas like interbreed and binding devil, the psionics and so on.
 

Bitbrain

ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
Do I wish there was more information in the preview? Yes.

But it isn't that bad. I like the Duergar, so whatever information they do release on them for 5e is much appreciated.

I'm now working on designing Clan Paleworm, a growing Duergar clan that ride young (huge sized) purple worms into battle, and who see the massive worms as something akin to war elephants.
 
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Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I dont get why duergers arent more popular in the D&D lore. I get that drows are sexy and that may appeal to a large population, but their whole civilization is still pretty basic, as if all elements of it was designed to sell sexy+evil. OTOH, duerger seem to have a more complex society, with a more gray-ish morality, their long battle with the horror of the underdark, the betrayal of their own gods, the relation with the world of psionics thru their fight with the Mind Flayers and the pure madness of the Demons, their uneasy alliance with devils etc.

Its like they take the best part of drow lore and mixed them with industrialization era dwarves and ''dark alfar'' from norse mythology. They are soooooo much more than ''juste dark dwarfs''.
 

Gradine

Final Form (she/they)
This is actually pretty exciting for me. I've been working on how to incorporate Forge of Fury into my Eberron campaign and had some ideas about how the Duerger are the remains of the lost Mror Dwarf clan, altered heavily by a Daelkyr into aberrations. So, very different than typical Duerger, but I think this will definitely give me a lot of ideas to play off of.
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
I dont get why duergers arent more popular in the D&D lore.

Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. The Drow early on had Lareth the Beautiful show up in Hommlet, as well as the D and Q series of modules, making them mysterious and horrible foes that kept getting cycled into products until Salvatore spun out Drizzt and cemented their place in D&D forever. The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats.
 

Solandros

First Post
Am I the only one that thinks the defining clan trait 11 is a pretty strong hint we'll get psionics in this book? How can your clan be famous for something that doesn't technically exist in the game yet. That compared with all the psionic races, multiverse coverage etc, seems like pretty strong hints
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
I don't get how you could wish for more

I'm getting old, it seems. A few years back I know I loved them leather clad elves and their repentant ranger. ;)
Looks like the older me prefer deeper and more elaborated story (if still a little edgy, in the case of the Duergars).

I get a vibe from the Duergars that they are tragic counter-part to the concept of the ''adaptable elves who shaped themselves to fit each Plane''. Duergars have been broken, enslaved, betrayed by every Plane, but they wont compromise and become one with them: they take the weapons that crushed them and use them against their oppressors. That's the motto of the Duergar: no weapon is too evil to fight back against those who hurt us.

Now I want to play a Duergar rogue who gathers part of the fire giant's Vonindod to assemble it and release it on the filth of the Underdark.
 


While emphasizing the idea that they're former Illithid slaves might explain their affinity towards psionics, I think it gets in the territory of Githyanki with them also being an evil race of former Illithid slaves.
 

Tales and Chronicles

Jewel of the North, formerly know as vincegetorix
While emphasizing the idea that they're former Illithid slaves might explain their affinity towards psionics, I think it gets in the territory of Githyanki with them also being an evil race of former Illithid slaves.

They are not ''former slaves'' tho, the Illithids still enslave whole clans of duergar and some of them are even willing ''victims''. In FR there's also a part where the Duergar gods (exiled from regular dwarf pantheon) were killed in secret and a Devil Lord took their place in disguise, tricking them into pacts and war against demon etc.

Where the Gith are former slaves who revolted and kicked the butt of the Illithids and the Drows are mostly unchallenged in the Underdark, the Duergars are always in survival mode, always attacked and betrayed, left with no allies to help them make a place in the world.
 

The Thrasson

First Post
Mostly I suspect because there isn't a "classic" adventure centered on the duergar. The Drow early on had Lareth the Beautiful show up in Hommlet, as well as the D and Q series of modules, making them mysterious and horrible foes that kept getting cycled into products until Salvatore spun out Drizzt and cemented their place in D&D forever. The duergar have never really had that - they've always played second (or third, or fourth) fiddle to the drow when it comes to underdark threats.

They mainly occupy the middle and lowerdark. Their interaction with the surface world is less frequent than other underdark races. I would like them to have a little more "surface world" affecting scenario. Maybe an uneasy alliance with the Githyanki for an underdark cleansing crusade against the hated Illithid. Some PCs being dragged along for the ride, could be quite epic.
 

Bitbrain

ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
While emphasizing the idea that they're former Illithid slaves might explain their affinity towards psionics, I think it gets in the territory of Githyanki with them also being an evil race of former Illithid slaves.

I never liked the idea of the Duergar being enslaved by the Illithids, so my home-setting's lore is that the Duergar are the "true dwarves".
The hill and mountain dwarves available as PC races are actually those dwarves whose ancestors fled the Underworld, abandoning the old ways.
 

Where the Gith are former slaves who revolted and kicked the butt of the Illithids and the Drows are mostly unchallenged in the Underdark, the Duergars are always in survival mode, always attacked and betrayed, left with no allies to help them make a place in the world.
How is survival mode that much different from the Githyanki, they have a lot of enemies too not including the Illithids, they certainly feel betrayed by those who became the Githzerai, not to mention most humanoid races feels the Githyanki are antagonistic to say the least, and if the Psurlons are factored in to things (they probably won't be brought up in that book) there's also another enemy who wants to destroy them, one in fact based in the Astral Plane. Let's not forget whatever pact one of the Lich Queens Vlaakith made with Tiamat, which mirrors that of the infernal pacts the Duergar.

To me it feels like they're trying for a little of the Drow and a little of the Githyanki with this current depiction of the Duergar. I always felt the Derro were the more interesting "Dark" Dwarf subrace, even if they also have origins tied to the Illithids too and have never been as fleshed out as the Duergar have... They have at least the insanity thing going for them to separate them from both the Githyanki and the Drow.

Maybe it's the existence of the Derro that has diluted the idea of Duergar being the "Dark" Dwarves, as there's not 1 but 2 "Dark" Dwarf subraces.
 

Prakriti

Hi, I'm a Mindflayer, but don't let that worry you
Am I the only one that thinks the defining clan trait 11 is a pretty strong hint we'll get psionics in this book? How can your clan be famous for something that doesn't technically exist in the game yet. That compared with all the psionic races, multiverse coverage etc, seems like pretty strong hints
Doubtful. There are psionic creatures in the Monster Manual, and Volo's Guide to Monsters had a whole chapter on Illithids. If the inclusion of psionic creatures meant anything, then we would have had psionics years ago.
 

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