NaBloPoMo 2015- Entry 13 – Gnomes and Dwarves and Warlock, Oh My!
This is not a news blog, or a political blog. I’ll only say that the events in Paris are horrible, and I am saddened by what has happened. About half of the below was written before news of the attack reached the US, and I continued afterward.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about the roles of gnomes and dwarves in the StarSea. Currently, gnomes are fae creatures with an insectile cast, pixieish creatures with antenna eyebrows and chitinous “peaked caps”. I’m seeing them as mischief makers and comic relief, which I don’t like doing. It feels like they’re being relegated to a second class position, like they were in Dragonlance. On the other hand, Dragonlance actually gave gnomes an independence from first edition dwarves, in whose shadow they lived. But that was due to their creative tendencies, which are mythologically the bailiwick of dwarves.
Mythology has been a basis for a lot of things I’ve created in the StarSea, even if it might not show. The giants and dragons are definitely things I’m trying to give a legendary feel. I want that to exist in all the races. I think the Dragon Elves will do that, now I need to do that for gnomes and dwarves.
Dwarves are currently earth and stone and metal brought to life, almost living golems. My initial thoughts were that they would be very natural oriented, as they came, literally, from the earth. Now, I’m reconsidering this. This is more appropriate for gnomes. Back when I was much younger, DC Comics published a Super Friends comic, of which I bought a few issues. They included a group of brainwashed folk who had ancient elemental powers, and they had code names based on the works of Paracelsus, a 15th Century alchemist. The Earth elemental was called “Gnome.” So, I think the gnomes should maybe return to that concept, and dwarves should return to their mythology.
In myth, dwarves were miners and crafters, especially of weapons (like Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir) and armor. They were also greedy beasts, one being transformed into the dragon, Fafnir (which was, in fact, his dwarven name).
Both races fit the “little guy who does big things” role in gaming, but they need distinction from one another. Not as much as a world with hobbits does, but they still need something to make each race unique.
Another thing that’s been on my mind a lot is the disposition of the Arcane Order. I can easily see how the Divine Order can be both “Good” and “Evil” at the same time. They are an order that has factions (at the very least) that are oriented on providing at least some measure of support to the common man. The Psionic Order is also oriented on the common man, but could easily become a Big Brother organization.
The Arcane Order is based on a very self-centered belief system: “I have the ability to take power, and I am morally obligated to do so”. Part of that is bargaining with demons, beings of pure corruption and malignancy. How do I make that organization “Good”? Or at least have good members
I ask this question because, while I could make the Arcane Order very monolithic and universally villains, why is that group the only monolith? I can make the other orders exhibit shades of gray, but not these guys? So, somehow, I need to find a way to show that these guys could have good members.
So, that’s all for tonight. Tomorrow is a Kids’ D&D game, so I need to head off and get some sleep.