D&D Dwarf

D&D Dwarf Lore – Do Dwarven Women Have Beards

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D&D Ideas -- Downtime

Today’s article and video focuses on the D&D Dwarf and their beards. Specifically dwarven women and do they have beards or not in D&D.

D&D Dwarf Lore – Do Dwarven Women Have Beards Video

D&D Dwarf Lore – Do Dwarven Women Have Beards Video Transcription

Dave: “We wanted to do is talk about something D&D lore and we’re going to dwarves in this case and we’re going to talk about primarily dwarf beards.”


Ted: “Yeah. It’s apparently a big thing you know here on the the Nerdarchy channel.”


Dave: “Yeah. We might be known for a pension for liking dwarves and beards, so fantasy dwarves. There is a long history of beards and you have D&D before that you had Tolkien and obviously there’s mythologies as well. Yeah. More recently you had the Image comic Rat Queens and also then we can look at Warhammer fantasy as well as well as Warcraft . All of these are hugely popular and they have dwarves in them.”


Ted: “and I mean we even, we have multiple editions of D&D to to look at and see how the lore kind of ebbs and flows. You know what the times.”


Dave: “Alright , so I feel like one of the big things we kind of really want to talk about is dwarf, Dwarf beards and culture. Right. And also do your dwarven women have beards or no beards That is the question down in the comments. Let us know, how do you do in your game You know home brew or whatever you’re playing. We’ve mentioned Tolkien and D&D and Warhammer fantasy rat queens as well as WoW. And it’s mixed up between, you know, some of them have beards for their women and some don’t.”

D&D dwarf
In The Hobbit, the dwarves of Thorin’s Company clearly took their beard coutre very seriously.

Ted: “I mean even D&D throughout the ages, they’ve kind of shifted back and forth. You know, if you look at the, the current 5th Edition Player’s Handbook, you know, it talks about how meticulous, you know, dwarven dwarves are with their beards in the very beginning of the game. And then there’s, there’s even a quote from Gary Gygax and talked about, you know, female dwarves have beards and they care about them just as much as the men.”


Dave: “So kind of the breakdown is, you know, AD&D up to third edition, definitely dwarves had beards, fourth edition, they Kinda, they kinda got rid of it fifth edition. They, they’re leaning that direction. But there’s a footnote that says it’s a rarity that sometimes female dwarf, we’ll have beards. And this one, this is a lot of really interesting questions, right We’ve mentioned some other games and worlds that also have dwarves and war craft as well as Warhammer fantasy, they’re female dwarves do not have beards. D&D , we’ve already kind of covered Tolkien Tolkien . The women had beards in it. There’s even, there’s even a famous line line. And from that, from it that we were just kind of riffing on. Uh, and then there’s the image comics rat queens, which I think is based off of the D&D game. Well Violet, the female character and in the comic, uh, she, she actually goes against her family tradition and shaves her beard. So, you know, so you can be you, you can go all over the place with whether or not dwarf in women have beards or not.”


Ted: “I guess this really comes down to like, why is it important, you know, what does it say about the race What does it say about the culture and what does it add if you put, you know, dwarven women with beards.”


Dave: “First of all, it’s kind of important. Um, no matter which gender you’re talking about culturally to two drawers, right It’s a sign of prestige. It could also be a sign of wealth. It could be a sign of power, their prowess. So a really comes up time and time again and for playing D&D and role-playing. It definitely gives you an area to, to delve into. It does raise some interesting questions though about masculinity and femininity in the D&D world when it comes to dwarves. And that’s actually one of the reasons why I really liked the idea of women dwarves having beards because it really turns the idea of beauty on its head, right It’s completely different than anything else. And it lends itself more to this being a fantasy world and not being, you know, just they’re just short humans.”


Dave/Ted: “Right.”


Dave:  “And so from that standpoint alone, I kind of really dig it.”


Ted: “That comment in the player’s handbook where it talks about the dwarves taking care of their hair and their beards. I mean, how often do you see, you know, the, the, the braids and the decorations of things in it, you know, both in men and women, you know, it, it gives them something else. And as you said, if it turns the whole concept of, of beauty, masculinity, femininity on its side, because now you have some other angle to play, some of the other thing to look at. And I was like, alright , well, dwarves are generally, you know, squatter stouter than, than humans. The concept of what is beautiful, what is the stereotypical attractive is going to be different for other races. And that does give something to look at and, and, and a new mindset to play with when you’re role-playing another race.”


Dave: “I am 100% agree. Also, it gets into like the intricacy that dwarves spend in their grooming of the beard, the presentation of the beard, even the protecting the beard and battle, right So we have an article over on nerdarchy.com By My Beard Tricks and Tips for D&D Dwarf Beards. You can go check it out. It was written by Eli. He did a great job, fantastic job with it. And it really kind of, there’s some items over there and it really delves into how important the beard is to the dwarf.”


Ted: “So you know, the link is down in the description below if you want to go check it out, highly recommended if you’re interested in playing a dwarf character or anyone who really wants to rise up. The concept of beard items.”


Dave:  “Now, uh, I’ve recently played in Torg Eternity, which is um, a different role- playing game. It was a, it was a ton of fun. My first character died. We were just using the pregens . So I just grabbed the next pregen , which happened to be a dwarf woman and Tworeck. And I played her as having a beard because I just liked the idea of dwarven women having beards. I think it’s different. I, you know, I think it just changes things up like we said earlier and create, you know, creates some more of a personality for dwarves I don’t think in Torg, they really do have a beards. But you know, one of the thing and Torg is like there from other worlds and they’ve kind of been disgraced. There is a feature that you later can take when you get enough XP. And yet I’ve had certain things in a game happened that, uh, that basically gives back their honor and so that they can have like, you know, you the, the amazing braids that they used to have or beards that they used to have because they kind of like stopped keeping up with that stuff because they, cause they fell into disgrace or dishonor. So that to me that’s a cool angle, but you can take that concept into your D&D game, you know, have, have it affect your character and how you role- play.

Not quite the hardy warriors other dwarves are typically known as, gully dwarves have a culture all their own.

Ted: “I mean, it’s absolutely a great point. I’m going to gives a, gives the, the character a story arc to play with and you know, regardless of what rule setting you’re playing in, what a campaign setting you’re playing in, you know, you can always have a conversation with your DM and say, hey, you know, can I do this Can I work with that And it gives you essentially a goal and you know, for you, it gave you something that like, Hey, this is, this is a belief, this is what I want to work towards. And you know, now you’ve got an arc to play with.”


Dave: “Not only that too, like what happens in the game when you’re playing a dwarf and something comes up that you need to disguise your character. So maybe you need to foul beard or something along those lines and you’re the dwarf characters. Just like, I would rather die then, you know, do anything like that to my beard. Yeah. Their beard is like come on like an extension of their honor.”


Ted: “Yeah. And it could even go. So, you know, so much farther. Uh, I who have actually had, uh, my, my beard nearly catch on fire. I’ve actually set my hair on fire before, uh, not, not, not recommended. Um, you know, so in the presence of magic and that kind of stuff, like we gloss over, you know, damage to clothing and damage to hair. But honestly like different things that happened in the game could easily affect your beard and the, and the, the things that you could do to be like, oh, you know, can I do steps to avoid that if, uh, if I think I’m going up against a wizard, can I put, you know, some kind of, you know, non flammable, ah, you know, grease or something in my beard. It might look dirty, but I’m not going to have my, I don’t want my beard burnt.”


Dave: “Well, it doesn’t so much look dirty, but especially as special of reagents or beard oils to protect it. I mean that article has different things in there to kind of protect the beard, uh, which are, which are really cool. So there’s definitely things that you can do that will enhance the role-playing.”


Ted:  “Uh, but then, you know, role-playing choices like you were talking about of hey, this is the mission we have to do. It’s like, look, is there a magical means of disguising myself cause I’m not cutting my beard for nothing. I mean, that’s, that’s uh, you know, uh, there’s, there’s just as many people who are not willing to participate in, you know, the like the, Oh, we’re not going to shave for the month of November as there are people who are like, hey, you know what, don’t cut my beard for anything. I like it the way it is.”


Dave: “I like it the way it is in the Warhammer fantasy novels Gotrek and Felix were Gotrek is a slayer. And basically when dwarves do something to dishonor themselves, they take this oath and they become slayers. And most of them basically shaved their heads, except for a Mohawk, they grow the Mohawk and they go to seek their doom. They try and find a way to die in battle, die honorably. One of the, one of the slayers that was introduced, uh, had his beard destroyed some how. He couldn’t grow it back. And that was cause for him to become a slayer and go seek his doom cause he was dishonored because without a beard he was, he didn’t consider himself a dwarf.”


Ted: “Uh, that’s pretty awesome. You know, talking about the, you know, not having a beard long ago and on the early stages of, you know, the, the get to get together, that became Nerdarchy. Uh, you ran a game and I played a dark dwarven psionicist this is back in second edition. Uh, and I had a dark dwarf who was horribly burned and that was kind of the same, same kind of aspect. He was considered the beardless. Oh, I had this character Grevin the Beardless and”


Dave: “If he was a regular dwarf he would of went it would have drove him to evil. But it was a duergar.”


Ted:  “So he was already kind of evil. But you know, it was, you know, uh, an amusing fun character. And I think had I decided to play that, uh, that kind of character now where my role- playing has stepped up, it would have been a much bigger thing for that character. But it was something that, you know, even in my early stages of a, of gaming, it was a big factor of, hey, it’s a dwarf without a beard because those things don’t typically exist.”


Dave: “You know, speaking of, you know, role-play and how it’s been used in games, even the D&D movie, as bad as it was, made sure to include a quote in it, you know, about, about dwarf women and beards.”


Ted: “All right. So, uh, Elwood was the dwarf in that one. And you know, the, they made, made a comment about, you know, some other, some other woman that was there, you know, so the quote is, she’s too skinny lad, you need a good dwarven woman with a beard that you can hang on to. So it’s, it’s amusing. It’s a, it was comical. I really think that, you know, that dwarf was there as a comedic effect.”


Dave: “But yeah, poor dwarves. But that being said, what do you folks think. How do you use dwarves in your games? Again, we asked the question, do your dwarf women have beards or not? Let us know down in the comments below.

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Follow Dave Friant:
My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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