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General Should Bearded Female Dwarves be the Default?

Should Bearded Female Dwarves be the Default?

  • Yes

    Votes: 27 19.0%
  • No

    Votes: 40 28.2%
  • A possible trait, but not universal

    Votes: 61 43.0%
  • No opinion

    Votes: 14 9.9%

  • Total voters
    142

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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
But what differentiates dwarfs from humans when humans already range from 4 to 8 ft tall?
Again, species. You might as well be asking what separates a dog from a coyote. They have the same basic body plan and span a similar range of sizes, but they are different species.
 


Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In a world without DNA testing, what makes something "a different species"?
Depends on the setting. Often it’s having been created by a different god. Sometimes it’s not being able to have children together, though elves and humans tend to be the exception. Universally, different races are predisposed towards different physical traits - dwarves are, on average, shorter and stockier than humans. Frequently, they have different innate, often magical abilities.

The character in question has the female dwarf character model, which is shorter and proportionally broader than the character models for any other race (though narrower than the male dwarf character model). She’s also unable to use magic and resistant to lyrium (a magical mineral vaguely analogous to residuum, except that it occurs naturally and is highly toxic to non-dwarves and mildly toxic to dwarves) which are traits shared by all dwarves in the setting.
 

Depends on the setting. Often it’s having been created by a different god.
How would you tell? You are basing your definition of species on myth?
Sometimes it’s not being able to have children together, though elves and humans tend to be the exception.
Closer to the real world pre-DNA definition of species, but you go on to explain why that doesn't work in fantasyland.
Universally, different races are predisposed towards different physical traits - dwarves are, on average, shorter and stockier than humans.
I'm shorter and stockier than the average human, does that make me a dwarf?

Members of the Mbuti tribe have an average height of less than 4 foot 11', but are definitely human.
 

BRayne

Explorer
How would you tell? You are basing your definition of species on myth?

Closer to the real world pre-DNA definition of species, but you go on to explain why that doesn't work in fantasyland.

I'm shorter and stockier than the average human, does that make me a dwarf?

Members of the Mbuti tribe have an average height of less than 4 foot 11', but are definitely human.
The definition changes based on setting so the delineation isn't clear when speaking as a generality? Women having beards wouldn't be any more clear of a line than height and build.
 

The definition changes based on setting so the delineation isn't clear when speaking as a generality? Women having beards wouldn't be any more clear of a line than height and build.
None are particularly distinctive, but the idea of "species" is completely meaningless. Culture really matters more, especially in a role playing game. Carrot Ironfounderson is a dwarf, despite being over six foot tall.

So, it doesn't matter if dwarf women can grow a beard, what matters is if they choose to have one or not.
 

Blackrat

He Who Lurks Beyond The Veil
Of course it should be the default. It is a decades old ”fact”* that dwarven women are bearded. It also is not a universal truth, and depends on the setting, players and the GM, So my choice would have been ”default, but optional”.

*A quote from one of my favourite d&d supplement books, Dwarves Deep (’90):
A non-dwarf seeing a shaggy-bearded dwarf in heavy armor and furs that conceal the betraying lines of the female figure may have trouble determining the dwarfs sex.
Most dwarven females dress walk and fight as males do and have similar low-pitched gruff husky voices. Like males they naturally grow beards and only some shave. Dwarves of both sexes may trim perfume or even hang their beards with gems or gold ornaments. The latter is particularly true in the south
among surface-dwellers near the Rift.
 
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PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
How would you tell? You are basing your definition of species on myth?

Closer to the real world pre-DNA definition of species, but you go on to explain why that doesn't work in fantasyland.

I'm shorter and stockier than the average human, does that make me a dwarf?

Members of the Mbuti tribe have an average height of less than 4 foot 11', but are definitely human.


Like it or not, she's a Dwarf according to Dragon Age's definition of a dwarf, now can you please go argue something less based on semantic nitpicking?
 


PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
I.e. she is a dwarf because she identifies as a dwarf. Species has nothing to do with it.
Harding's a dwarf because she's a dwarf because the game says so. She's just as much not a human as Iron Bull isn't a dwarf.

There is merit in picking apart the metatextual themes of a text, film, or game in order to interrogate the political and social views that it espouses whether or not the author intended them, bit there is no point in denying the worldbuilding assumptions of the setting. Or else you start looking the 5 year old who keeps asking "why" beyond all reason.

Next you're gonna be telling me that Draconblood aren't dragonborn because they have tails, or Teu-tel-quessir aren't elves because they have blue skin.

But yes, Minister Zhao Gao, the deer that you have presented in front of me is quite obviously a horse.

/s
 




Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
I.e. she is a dwarf because she identifies as a dwarf. Species has nothing to do with it.
I'm really not sure how "species" got dragged into this... I'm not even sure that humans, elves, dwarves and orcs are different species, since in some settings they can all reproduce with each other. Yes they create very different looking children, but that's like saying that two different types of dogs are different species (they're not, they're different breeds).

This is part of the reason why D&D refers to them as different races, not species.
 

PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
5 year olds have a very good reason for asking "why". It's a shame adults forget it.
Only if you're a solipsist. To otherwise engage with the world in any sort of meaningful way requires accepting some metaphysical propositions as axiomatic foundations, if only for the sake of convenience.
 



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