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  1. #1
    Site Moderator Magian's Avatar
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    To Conquer A Dwarven Realm

    To conquer a dwarven realm seems no different than a realm with castles in every province. At least that is according to the domain rules I've read. From the discussions I've come to the conclusion that this understanding sells the dwarves short. How have you dealt with developing dwarven realms to give them their special feel and flavor?

    An idea that comes to mind could be the Thermopylae bottleneck effect as the dwarven stronghold is narrow and the corridors to stretch probably the entire time making it a slow and costly attack once the initial defenses are breached.

    Supply lines could be stored up and rerouted through secret entrances so cutting them off may be near impossible. Starving them out may not be an option.

    Say if the Gorgon tries he has access to his own dwarves who know the strengths and weakness let alone he conquered them. Also he could use orogs to tunnel in and flank the inner workings of the stronghold.

    I am sure they are a tough nut to crack, but through domain mechanics how would you deal with it?
    One law, One court, One allied people, One coin, and one tax, is what I shall bring to Cerilia.

  2. #2
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I see this as a gap in the rules - far from the only one.

    A few thoughts on advantages that they might have.

    1.1. Dwarves are methodical and live a long time leading to investment and planning. I'd give them numerous structures which give bonuses if attacked - from 'mountain dam: once per year can trigger a flood attacking 1 unit per structure level for 1d4-1 hits of damage each', or 'rigged bridge: can remove retaining pins to cause bridge to collapse when heavy weight crosses it, 1 action and 3 GB to reset, destroys first regular unit to cross'.

    1.2. Technology - particularly architecture and metalwork. I'd make construction cheaper for them, and reduce the extra cost of building in remote/mountainous areas. I'd also increase their maximum castle/fort level beyond the province level.

    1.3. Karamhul can subsist on earth and obtain supplies from underdark tunnels - I'd say that any seige which doesn't block the underdark has no effect on reducing fortifications.

    1.4. Skilled warriors. If 1-2 decades of military service are normal - quite possible for a people who live for centuries, are militant and socially oriented - then rather than raising illequipped untrained rabble as militia like their neighbours, the Karamhul could raise elite veteran units potentially - they couldn't afford to keep them for long but they probably wouldn't have to.

    1.5. Spying and ambush. Building a network of tunnels to allow spies to move freely, ensure disruption of invading supply lines, etc could give the Karamhul significant advantages against invades from cheap/free espionage actions.

    1.6. Icebergs. Unless their conqueror can move freely in the depths, meaning at least that they have a good sense of underground direction and are not even remotely claustrophobic, they are reliant on karamhul information to know what the karamhul are doing in the depths. I'd give the would-be ruler a huge penalty to actions, and the Karamhul major bonuses on espionage. I'd probably only tell a conquering (N)PC about the surface settlements frankly and leave discovering the depths to espionage.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ryancaveney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewTall View Post
    I'd probably only tell a conquering (N)PC about the surface settlements frankly and leave discovering the depths to espionage.
    Actually, I've often wondered whether there are other dwarven realms hidden elsewhere in Cerilia which allowed their useless surface portions to be conquered centuries ago, the better to help the dwarves live in peace and quiet underground without any surface dweller knowing it.

  4. #4
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    > Actually, I`ve often wondered whether there are other dwarven realms hidden elsewhere
    > in Cerilia which allowed their useless surface portions to be conquered centuries ago,
    > the better to help the dwarves live in peace and quiet underground without any surface dweller knowing it.

    There`s one mentioned, I believe in the Khinasi box, as having been
    lost for a long time. I imagined it to be in those southeast mountains
    somewhere.

    Hey, I did remember the name, and it`s on the wiki.

    http://www.birthright.net/brwiki/index.php/Kheleb-izhil

    Given dwarven demographics, I figured one hidden kingdom on the
    continent was about all that was possible.

    --
    Daniel McSorley

  5. #5
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    A lot depends on how you see the Karamhul. If you see them as living underground mainly for defense, etc but harvesting their food from the surface then they can't go to far down. If you allow a proper underdark ecosystem - magical light, water pumps, etc - then the Karamhul could be everywhere.

    As the only real enemies that the Karamhul have are orogs, they have good relations with the human tribes and sidhe, and they breed quicker than the sidhe they have always seemed under-represented in Cerilia to me. Good technology in sanitation, cohesive social networks with priests and naturally tough constitutions should lead to very low child mortality so you only really have war to cut their population - and historically war isn't very effective at doing that - barring catastrophe the only fatalities are likely to be soldiers, so as a wealthy healthy population able to use land that other races can't make much use of (hills and mountains) I'd expect their population to grow generation on generation.

  6. #6
    Usually I construct dwarven defensive systems with these things in my mind:
    Dwarves are short and other people long. So all defensive tunnels have 5 feet height at most. Tall people, fight in cramped condition, please!
    Dwarves have darkvision/IR-vision and most surface-dwellers lack this quality. Fighting in the darkness is ideal condition for the battle against intruders from surface.
    Dwarves are relentless workers and have stonecunning. They can dig amazing defensive complexes under the rock. And all this spare stone can be used for building of aboveground fortifications. If dwarven fortress looks big - that's only because underground defence is much bigger. Simple balanced trapdoor, which can serve to block the way forward (and open wa-a-ay down ) or can be turned back to give way to another volley of ballista arrows - that's nice. But if you have corridors with stairs up and down, combined with flooding and drainage systems and dropping portculisses... Well, I played once short guy named Diirk.
    Idea for building dwarven province both on surface and underground isn't mine - it was here on the forums for some time. I can only suggest that dwarven units always must have +1 to defence against surface races and +2 if these races lack darkvision. Only imagine these people with the torches, standing in 5' high corridor, when dwarves suddenly turns ventilations off... (evil laughter)

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