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General Should Bearded Female Dwarves be the Default?

Should Bearded Female Dwarves be the Default?

  • Yes

    Votes: 28 19.3%
  • No

    Votes: 41 28.3%
  • A possible trait, but not universal

    Votes: 62 42.8%
  • No opinion

    Votes: 14 9.7%

  • Total voters
    145

Slit518

Explorer
I say leave this option up to the setting. If you're playing in a setting where female Dwarves have beards, such as Tolkein LotR setting, then those females can have beards.
 

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Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I think this really should be a setting specific thing.

The Hobbit movies portray them with beards, like the men (but often "prettier" beards or more tufty), going off the joke from The Two Towers extended edition film (Aragorn says, "its the beards" to Éowyn when Gímli is explaining why people think that there are now Dwarf Women and they just spring out of the ground!).

But I also liked 4e & the Nentir Vale's beardless Dwarf Women.

And I imagine in a hot setting like Dark Sun, all dwarves might go without facial hair, much like the Muls do. It's just too damn hot for that.

For Forgotten Realms, which is the default in 5e, I think bearded is fine. I think for my homebrew setting, beardless is preferred.
 


Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Which is honestly funny, because in reality beards function as more of a shield against the sun than as a heater; it's why most men living in desert biomes don't shave.
Good point; I had forgotten the commonality of beards throughout the northern subtropical desert belt.

As a bearded man myself, I've usually cursed my beard whenever going to humid tropical climates like the Amazon. Shaved it off on more than one season in the field. But I haven't spent much time in deserts, so I haven't really noticed the lack of the heat problem with it in arid tropical climes. Makes sense that it would cause problems where it collects moist heat but less so when moisture is scarce.
 



Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Well, having just shaved mine off recently, we can start with no one recognizing you and move on to disadvantage against that cold wind from Canada. I think Dwarves would probably face a lot of sniggering behind their backs and possibly the odd juvenile prank in the lunchroom at the forge. You know, freezing their hammer into a block of ice, greasing the floor in front of the lunch buffet, that sort of thing. And they wouldn't get to sit at the table with the cool Dwarves.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
And I imagine in a hot setting like Dark Sun, all dwarves might go without facial hair, much like the Muls do. It's just too damn hot for that.
Dark Sun aficionados feel free to correct me on this if I’m wrong, but I was pretty sure both Athasian dwarves and muls not only went without facial hair, but were in fact hairless.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Oh just balance things out... Dwarven women can always grow beards if they want (lovely fine, soft, curly, braided, bejeweled ones), and elven men can never grow beards (not even one single folicle). ;) :)
What about Círdan the Ship-wright? Not to mention Nastajia's dad Oberon (of 'The Dreamland Chronicles' fame)?
 
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Gilladian

Adventurer
In my campaign world, there are no female dwarves anymore. What happened is a campaign mystery. New dwarves are carved from stone by their parent and blessed alive by the priests in major rituals. So they are all male, all bearded, and a great quest for the whole race is to discover how to placate the gods and get the females back.
 

jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
If you're playing in a setting where female Dwarves have beards, such as Tolkein LotR setting, then those females can have beards.
Tolkien's LOTR setting does not canonically have female bearded dwarves. That's just a fandom joke.

Peter Jackson =/= Tolkien. (And if I'm gonna be really snarky, Peter Jackson < Tolkien.)
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
Tolkien's LOTR setting does not canonically have female bearded dwarves. That's just a fandom joke.

Peter Jackson =/= Tolkien. (And if I'm gonna be really snarky, Peter Jackson < Tolkien.)
Actually, that's not true. Tolkien described female dwarves as having beards in War of the Jewels and in The Peoples of Middle-earth.



"no Man nor Elf has ever seen a beardless Dwarf - unless he were shaven in mockery, and would then be more like to die of shame... For the Naugrim have beards from the beginning of their lives, male and female alike..." (JRR Tolkien, The War of the Jewels ("The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Naugrim and the Edain", ~1951).

I agree with you that Tolkien > Jackson, though I'm still a big fan of the movies and think that the books as written were unfilmable. They're masterpieces, but different media require different tacts, and as many gripes as I have regarding BOTH Jackson trilogies, they're still quiet laudable in their achievements. Honestly, I think the books would be better suited to serialized adaptation, though - a 4 season TV show would probably be the best format for Hobbit+LotR. To that end, kinda looking forward to the Amazon series, though warily (because they've got far less JRR Tolkien language to draw upon, and the movies were at their best when they leaned into Tolkien's actual words rather than making up their own variations on it).


In my campaign world, there are no female dwarves anymore. What happened is a campaign mystery. New dwarves are carved from stone by their parent and blessed alive by the priests in major rituals. So they are all male, all bearded, and a great quest for the whole race is to discover how to placate the gods and get the females back.
I LOVE THIS! In my setting, Dwarves are forged upon their parents anvils. Instead of Warforged, we have robo-dwarves. Now that Theros is out, I can more easily model this by giving all Dwarves the anvilwrought supernatural gift instead of the bonus 1st level feat I often give my players.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I agree with you that Tolkien > Jackson, though I'm still a big fan of the movies and think that the books as written were unfilmable. They're masterpieces, but different media require different tacts, and as many gripes as I have regarding BOTH Jackson trilogies, they're still quiet laudable in their achievements. Honestly, I think the books would be better suited to serialized adaptation, though - a 4 season TV show would probably be the best format for Hobbit+LotR.
Damn... It’s too bad we’ll probably never get this given how prolific the Peter Jackson films are. I love the first trilogy and enjoyed the first of the Hobbit films, but I agree this would be a much better format to adapt the series to.
 

jayoungr

Hero
Supporter
Actually, that's not true. Tolkien described female dwarves as having beards in War of the Jewels and in The Peoples of Middle-earth.
I admit I forgot about that, but I'd call it "secondary canon" at best--an idea Tolkien may have had at one point but didn't necessarily keep to.

I agree with you that Tolkien > Jackson, though I'm still a big fan of the movies and think that the books as written were unfilmable. They're masterpieces, but different media require different tacts, and as many gripes as I have regarding BOTH Jackson trilogies, they're still quiet laudable in their achievements.
I'm just salty because they thoroughly messed up my favorite part of the books (everything to do with the Stewards of Gondor). Well, except that they did a great job with Boromir, but then he came across as the best member of his whole family, which is also a problem... I blame Philippa Boyens and her obvious raging crush on Aragorn.

Check out the BBC radio version.
Yes! It's excellent.
 
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Dausuul

Legend
I vastly prefer the movie versions of Aragorn, Boromir, and Faramir to the books. (Book Faramir is nothing but Aragorn Lite: Same bland heroism, 40% less lifespan. Yearning for Aragorn, but you can't compete with a hot 3000-year-old elf, even though you slew the Witch-King while she was sitting around in Rivendell? Just pick up an Aragorn Lite and your single days are over!)

I did feel that the movie gave Denethor short shrift, though. We only got to see the madness, not the greatness, which means we lose the sense of tragedy in his fall. Which I suppose is mostly a function of running time, and I agree that it would be awesome to have a LotR TV series.

As far as female dwarves in D&D go, I would generally leave it up to the player, but if I had to pick a default, I'd pick "no beards."
 
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Given that the Return of the King had 45 or so false endings (at least, that's how it felt in the theater), the only thing I think the movies are really missing is the Sharkey sequence. But, to me, the Lord of the Rings is mostly about the hobbit people coming into their own, which the Sharkey stuff completes.
 
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