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Lifeforms
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Rating: 4.7
Condition: Normal
ID: 1819

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July 4, 2010, 11:49 am

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Dokoren - The People of Legacy - A new take on Dwarves

By:

A new Take on Dwarves should hit the following key points Short (After all Dwarf means a short person), Underground (traditional living arrangements), Artificers (Maker of things, use of forge), and Good Combatant.  They don’t have to be short vikings.

A new Take on Dwarves should hit the following key points: Short (After all Dwarf means a short person), Underground (traditional living arrangements), Artificers (Maker of things, use of forge), and Good Combatant.  They don’t have to be short vikings. Our other Dwarf New Take ends up being short iron warriors whos souls are shuttled between metal cast bodies.  There are some other variations on Dwarves in our settings area. Look around.

Mine are normally, what if humans were that species. I have done Lyrans (Elves), Orcen (Orcs), True Trolls; I expect to do others. Here are the Dwarves.

Interlude:

Taladan looked up from under the brim of his large floppy hat. Playing with his thick beard, he squinted in the sunlight scanning the road. His skin was ruddy, red with its constant exposure to the untamed sun. Then he knew they were comming. He didn’t see them, but The Earth did not lie. He felt the vibration from down the path.

Then the dust rose. Then everyone saw them.

The Twenty marched in perfect time and formation. Their silver armored bodies moved as if they were unencumbered. Dragon etched Plate and chain rang as they moved. Their heavy hammers were slung over their shoulders, spear on their back, ceremonial gladii (plural of gladius) at their belt. Their faces unseen under their fully encasing metallic helment, which circulated their air and protected them from the heat and light. They were an impressive sight. Even his well travelled companions were "impressed" by them, as they stired to readiness. Few had ever seen a Centuri Battle Unit above ground and lived to tell of it.  Taladan shuffled a few strides forward.

The Centuri commander broke rank and marched up to him.

"Imperia Vide", (Imperium still lives!) he said in that loud voice of a command officer. He banged his left shoulder with his right hand, then slowly raised it, in salute. "Hail Servoi Taladen k’House Polienthi"

Taladen stood up a bit straighter, then returned the salute. "Hail Centuri First.", in a voice a bit louder than he expected. He had been above for years, but old habits die hard.

"Are you prepared to meet your duty, to fulfill your patron’s wish?"

With a deep breath, he nodded. He knew this was his only chance to return to the Underlands. And it was always a good idea to save the world when ever you could. "Do you have the Key?"

The First clapped. The Second came forwards with a small silver inlayed box. He opened it with precise motions. A crystal foci of Atlantean design, old when the Imperium was young, glisten in the sun for the first time in eight centuries. He then snapped the box closed. Turned. The Second took the box and dropped back into formation. 

"We can do this then," Taladen said. He smiled to himself. He was falling into "Traditional" forms, despite being Outlanded thrity years ago.

"I have ... concerns… The Barbarians," The First motioned to the rest of Taladen’s friends.

"They have skills."

"Disposible?"

Taladen sighed deeply. He knew the correct answer to satisfy the Centuri. "If need be".

"The… Breaker?" He meant the Lyran (Elf).
Taladen looked over his shoulder. He saw the Lyran with her thunderstick and mystically enhanced shortsword. It had taken him almost a year to actually trust her. He understood his concerns. They did nearly destroy the world several centuries back. Yet they have done much to repair it.
"It is their world too. They will want to fix it."

The First did not answer in words, but it was the subtle body language, a slight cocking of the head and shrugging of a shoulder. He did not like it, but he had to deal with it. He clapped in the traditional "business is done" manner.

Taladen was suprised, the First reached for his helmet. A centuri never took them off while on duty. With the whish of air, the helmet slid off. The Dokoren’s pale, pale, skin, matted black hair in the short Imperial Style, and large eyes were familiar. Squinting against the light, he reached to his belt pockets and pulled out goggles. With the smoked black goggles in place, he smirked. Taladen was still in shock.

"Well met. Brother."

History

********************************************************
These Dokoren, or under people, are the proud descendents of Imperial Lines and Culture. They believe themselves to be the torch of civilization, that all others are barbarians and primatives. They believe in Duty and Obligation. They will get the job done and move on. They are Dokoren and all others are lesser breeds.

They are a Roman Analog society. When confronted by a needed image or area, that is not covered by another write up, assume it is the least corrupt Roman option.

********************************************************
Long ago, There was The Imperium. This is the great Roman Empire Analog that had great powers of old (now lost) and a client-patron system that will evolve into the psuedo medival system found in most fantasy games. Something bad happened. The Dokoren call it "The Time of Ruin. There was a great disruption of the ecology and the power of magic. Talk to the Elves/ Lyrans, they were there and they caused the problem. The Imperium fell due to missing magics, resources not being transfered, and lack of communication. The reminants of the Imperium are the foundation in which the "current world" is now built.

The Foundation concept is more true than one expects.

In the last days, many Imperials fled the environmental issues and chaos caused by the changes generated by "The Time of Ruin" into underground places. Some of these places were already in made, being used for entertainment or storage or as a novel place to be. Others were fashioned by limited Imperial Magics available at the time. The Imperials originally planned to move below just until things settled down. They were called The Dokor, Under People.

(A few Imperials stuck it out Above, and they became the peoples known today.)

Imperial culture is one built of formal rules of law and duty. Everyone knows their place and what is expected of them. You are a patron of your lessers and a client of one of your betters. This interplay of obligations is the center of Imperial Culture.  They are belivers in ORDER, DUTY, PRIDE in one’s self, ones patron, one’s people, and one’s city, and the skills to back up that pride. While hubris is frowned upon, proper belief is crucial to the Imperial Mentality. Thus it is a halmark of Dokoren thinking.

Imperial Culture had a rank system. Nobles were those of Power and Wealth. Now Imperial Magics were not the combat magics and odd spells that have survived the "Time of Ruin". They are practical magics used for building, communicating, summoning elementals for use, travel, and the occasional duel and crowd control. The Nobles had access to these powers and used for them for the good of the Community in general and their clients in specific. The clients then provided the nobles with things they needed.

Elite Ranks

(Elites had to have both Empowerment (ability to work power) and money to prove their worth. With enough skill and effort, almost anyone could work power).

Sentori (Noble): These are families of wealth, power, and prestige. Each family had country holdings (food production is always an underlying source of income) and business ventures. (Sentori could have arms and were expected to either serve in the Legions OR sponsor Centuri (to fight for them). Sentori ranked individuals were supposed to lead the people, either directly OR as part of the Senate - The Sentori council.

There will be three colors of Sentori sashes, each one red, blue, purple shows the amount of money and you "officially have" (and are taxed upon). Your color determines your power in the Senate

Judicun (Judges): Sentori who sit as judges in a variety of councils. They are stripped of much of their wealth and power, but are independent of many the Sentori rules and restrictions. This allows them to make judgements, but not be influenced. They are paid by all the Sentori in an area by a tax. There will be one to three of them in an area. They wear white sashes.

Centuri (Knights): Those of lessor Sentori rank (red) OR those of Craftiun Ranks sponsored by a Sentori to be "The Arm of the Imperium". Centuri could be officers in The Legions, but many were just in elite units. Classically, the Centuri were a mounted force, but now they are just any professional warrior.

These warriors drill and polish their skills. They have access to centuries old martial traditions and arts. With their armors, and weapons, they protect the Underlands from Uplanders and from the Terrors of the Stones (Deep Earth). 

Zostiun (Priests): This is a rank that stradles the Elite and the Free ranks. Those from any class can become priests, if called. It is an act of great devotion to demote one’s self to a lower rank.

Free Ranks

Craftiun (Craftsmen): Those who follow a trade of some skill. Free to do many things in the Empire. They could become Centuri or even Sentori if they could amass enough wealth and support. They were limited on the amount of land they could own and could only practice businesses in their area of trade.

Magi: Those who can work power, but do not have enough wealth to be elite. This is one of the easiest ways for a non-imperial to become an imperial.

Servori (Servant): These are the people "who serve" Sentori Patrons, but are not specific craftsmen per say. This could be an artist, or common soldiers, or a body guard, or a farmer working a Sentori’s lands. It could even be a Valet.

Slave Ranks

Slaves branded as such until they generated enough wealth to either pay off their debt to society or an indvidual. In the later period of the Empire, the debt was passed to the family, so your children would continue to pay off your debt. These people did the grunt work for everyone. Even a Sentori could become a Slave for a time, if there was some debt or crime to pay off.

There is now two ranks of Slaves- Dokoren/ Imperial slaves and Uplander slaves.

Misc

The Imperial Culture was tradition bound. However, it would accept any immediately practical innovation. So technological innovation was and still is slow. The Higher ranks embraced any technology which means they did not have to use their powers to specifically do "simple things". And Imperial Technology never advanced far enough to truly replace any higher end Sentori power.

Their traditions of Duty and Pride in ones self, society, and work, makes for an incredible worth ethic. Craftsmen here make things of intricate detailwork and artistic value (as long as the artistic elements do not compromise efficiency).

The Dokoren have a technological headstart over the rest of the world. They never lost the knowledge of Imperial Technology. Therefore they have plumbing, air conditioning, gas pipes, stronger alloys, and optics. It has advanced slowly over the centuries, as new practical challanges occured… thus were met. So now they have steam powered cable cars in mines, light tubes, pumps, fans, and so on.  The most important new development is the self contained breathing apparatus and the sealed suit. This allows the Dokoren to work in conditions that would be impossible for anyone to work in. When this was combined with a suit of armor, it allowed the Dokoren to be an efficient fighter in almost every condition.

Imperial Dokoren are a much more practical and pragmatic people than Imperials of elder times. They see problems and look for solutions. Their environmental issues require people to be that focused.

Imperial Lines were never tall people. Over the years, shortness became an advantage. So the Dokoren are a good head shorter if not a head and a half shorter than the average civilized human.



Additional Ideas (15)

So you see where we have patrons who are supporting local legions.

Their numbers are not great, but larger than Elves.

You could see a reason for disliking Lyrans (if they actually did break the world, or someone else did it).

No Axes, except to peeve Elves off. Hammers are functional tools in an underground environment. (Note: Most of these hammers would be like climber;s hammers). Combine that with spears (poking things in narrow tunnels) that expand and collapse, and a traditional Imperial Weapon, and you get their weapon set.

Crossbows would also be a weapon. Theirs will be small (large one handed pistol-mini-uzi sized), but extremely powerful. In addition to being used for shooting things, such crossbows would be used to shoot lines across ravines/ chasams and up for climbing.

The utility tool belt, with lots of little tools, clockwork trinkets, and handy tools would be a common device. Multiuse items, like the swiss army knife would be popular. Very useful, very functional, little mass.

They are a pale people, living without sunlight. They actually prize this pale, goth like look as beautiful. They would be toga wearing people, except when at work, when they would wear full worksuits to protect themselves.

Those who are exiled to the Uplands, need big floppy hats and beards to protect from sunlight. Their skin will be ruddy. They will need goggles in the begining to see in this ultrabright sunlight. Those exiled without such things will probably die before getting very far, or die of cancers soon after.

Your thoughts? Did I miss anything? Any comments?
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2005-11-27 09:34 PM » Link: [1819#8574|text]
One possible tangent to this is that another (perhaps invading or pseudo-invading) group took over the surface territory after it was abandoned or nearly so following the fall of the empire. Following historic precedent, these "barbaric invaders" can emulate the Dokoren culture, and may preserve traditions that have been long forgotten by the Dwarves themselves. This is much more likely if the Imperium was the dominant power in the region prior to the collapse. For example, the Gothic kingdoms in what is now Spain had a Roman style culture long after Rome itself was no longer a power.
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2005-11-27 09:36 PM » Link: [1819#8577|text]
Short
The Imperial Lines were not not known to be "tall" by local standards. These people did not rule by brawn, but by "brains", precision, and training. So they were shorter than "modern" people. These traits would of been exacerbated by the cramped and smaller living conditions of underground living. So they have slowly grown shorter. They are not "Tolkein Dwarf short" (4 feet supposedly 120 cms), but are around 4' 8" (140) to 5'6 (167)(when most people are around 6' (170-190 CMs).

They were a people of a pale, classic beauty before they went underground. Their hair and eyes were dark, with fair skin. Centuries of living without sunlight has added a more "Goth" look to them. They actually prize this pale, goth like look as beautiful. They would be toga wearing people, except when at work, when they would wear full worksuits to protect themselves.

Those who are "exiled" above ground (or must go above ground for extended time) would be bearded and wearing their hair in a longer, thicker, distinctively UN IMPERIAL style to get some solar protection. Big broad floppy brimmed hats would add to the look. Their skin would be constantly "red", if not burning and peeling, just like many Englishmen do today. This peeling often adds to distortion of facial features; the nose appears more bulbous, cheeks and brows become more pronounced. This makes the "exiled from paradise" Dwarves look like Barbarians... like Surfacelanders.

Most people who have seen Dwarves aboveground would not recognize those from below as the same peoples. This might make them seem a seperate species.
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2005-11-27 09:36 PM » Link: [1819#8578|text]
Underground
Underground.

Many unique places were created for public admusement (and Sentori self promotion). Many of these places were underground. Much like underground malls, arcades, zoos, and parks are created in extremely cold or hot places today, such things were created as showy expressions of public need. When "The Time of Ruin" occurs, something(s) motivated some Imperials to hide from it. (The time of Ruin could be a magical catastrophe, an ecological one, an invasion of flying monster barbarians or dragons, or any combination of the above). The moved into these places for shelter. Others fleeing from the Ruin went into tunnels and caves (or made them with Senatori powers). What was supposed to be a temporary move, turned into a permanent one. Using powers and skills, these places were expanded and populations supported. They continued to build in the "classic"/ Imperial style (adapted to the subterranian modes), so there were white columns, supported arches (mock and real), and so on. In certain places, when the right combination of Sentori existed, entires cities/ towns/ manors were moved underground. Those who moved underground were able to keep up some Imperial communications (but the Imperial Gate System was fried), so they were able to share information and support each other.

(Those Imperial peoples who did not go underground mixed with others and are now our modern peoples in our modern cultures of our fantasy world. )

Imperial culture was always quite pragmantic. They took every engineering challange in stride. Thaumaturgy/ Magic was sporatic at this time, so they slowly developed mundane/ technological work arounds for most issues. They found solutions and stuck with them. They shared it with the other underground survivors. Of course, Imperial knowledge was still quite ahead of "modern" knowledge in most areas. A great deal was lost in the Time of Ruin on the surface. Even the Dokoren lost knowledge, slipping a bit behind, because of the Ruin. (The wrong people die before passing knowledge on, a book is lost, and so on). However, knowing what was possible with technology and what was possible with thaumaturgy, allowed them to recapture the lost knowledge and slowly advance.

So the Underplaces have the illusion of being above ground in a classic Imperial village. This illusion is maintained by clever lighting, painting, and architecture. (See http://www.venetian.com/accommodations/GCStours.cfm and the canal shots to see what looks outdoor is actually indoors. Though it will look more like the things at Ceasars Palace). There will be many places where this illusion fades and you can see the worked stones that make up the exterior of this place. Then you will have the feel of being inside a large stone building without windows (or a couple of lighted frames with clever pictures inside made to look like windows).

This of course will totally amaze anyone who visits it from above. It is like they have entered another world and there is sky. If this seems like too much, remember they have had several hundred years to get to this point.

In the less civilized areas, you can actually see underground nature. There are caves (some preserved for their raw beauty), fissures, underground rivers, and caves they have dug out to prepare them for future expansion. This being a fantasy world, there is underfauna here that can be pretty dangerous.

Part of the Underground living is the "WorkSuit". This is a flexible armor with some plating, that acts as an environmental suit. It keeps the Dokoren comfortable in terms of temperature, moisture, and oxygen no mater what the external conditions. Those who are exploring or working in the "wilds" of the underground (or in mines/ forges) wear these suit. Given the Imperial ideal of craftiness, those who used the suits added gimicks and tools to their kit. Thus the Air scrubbers, Air tanks, spanning crossbow (small crossbow to send lines across chasams with or without grapples), expanding poles and spears, night vision lenses, miner light helmets, items that clip on/ off chest plates and belts, analyzers of various types (mini labsticks), sonar cones, and so on. Thus an Imperial explorer team who emerged to the surface from a cave would of been an odd site... appearing as a strange platemailed warrior with odd and magic seeming weapons.

Note: The Legion Armor above is simply a more militaristic version of the worksuit with fewer toys attached.

People in Worksuits keep the underlands safe from monsters, explore the wonder of the place, do mining, and tap the environment for resources. Every now and again, they will goto the surface for resources they want.

Thoughts?
0xp

2005-11-27 09:37 PM » Link: [1819#8579|text]
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Or should I just go on? It is fairly complete, though could be hammered out in sections.

The whole Roman/ Imperial analogs make this easier. It gives me something to "hang things" on.

The Imperium is seen by "modern times" (in the fantasy world) as a Golden Age of sorts, where they had all this magic and a world wide civilization. Except for the gate system, which did allow for a great deal of world wide travel, actual life in the Imperium was not that much better than it is "today". Rich people oppressed poor people, people had to work, people still wanted things. It is just the setting of the day to day struggle was much more magnificent.

And yes, I will write up the Imperium as an ancient culture you can plop into your history to explain psuedo-feudal systems.

So I will let this one go for a few days and if nobody answer or has questions, I will continue.
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2005-11-27 09:37 PM » Link: [1819#8580|text]
Maybe you should describe the underground equivilent of Yellowstone Park, the monsters who live in it, and the "Rangers" for want of a better word, who protect tourists and prevent mining and poaching.
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2005-11-27 09:37 PM » Link: [1819#8581|text]
I can imagine that the fauna would be dominated by giant worms,moles and other squirming denizens of the depths. As for the flora,think a variety of overgrown fungus and the like.
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2005-11-27 09:38 PM » Link: [1819#8582|text]
Wilds


If you want to see:
http://images.google.com/images?q=carlsbad+cavern&hl=en

The Imperial Culture was not one known for its enjoyment of wild nature. It is an orderly society, where even nature must be domesticated. So there would be parks and crafted paradises, but no "wild life preserves" or nature reserves. These people like their comforts, when they can get them, so they want concession stands, spas, and lawn chairs in easy reach. So no tourists will be out in uncontrolled territory. Once an area has been fairly pacified, some might come out here with a ton of personal servants and guards. But in general, why risk one's life?

Nobody is down here to poach except Dokoren. Well not true, there are other lesser subterranian races. Some of them even make good slaves after being captured in combat. Not really a threat to a well armed, well coordinated Centuri unit.

The Monsters: Check out your game's monster section, looking for subterrainian critters. There will be giant worms, giant insects, horta like things, subterrainian dragons and other such critters. In a fantasy world, underground is not always a very safe place. If your monster section does not have a good selection of nasty underground monsters, extrapolate them from the monsters the world does have, and put them in.

"Rangers": These would be Servori or possibly Centuri rank. Simply put, they specialize in exploring "wild caves", prospecting underground veins, and removing pesky native flora and fauna. These are masters of the underground world, climbing freehand or with rope and pole, the way others swim or even walk. They understand the intricate underground ecology and geology. They are environmental specialists, who explore and help tame new regions for their Patrons.

Note: Many people will have "Ranger" training, though they might have other professions. Many Warrior Centuri will be ranger trained, as well as many craftun who mine, carve, or collect "wild things".

These people might of existed before The Age of Ruins. They taught their craft to the Dokor who became the Dokoren. Several would of taught their craft to others and the training would of spread out of sheer practicality and need.

They would use environmental suits. They will use a variety of equipment, each one fitting the individual... much like spelunkers today. Unlike spelunkers today, these people always go about in full protective gear, with their own O2 or CO2recycler unit, and suit heaters. The variety goes to the climbing gear (grapples with launchers arm mount or seperate, climbing spikes on boots and gloves, sticky web projectors), lighting (having a light on helmet, lantern, light amplifying lenses, dwarven orblights built in, and so on), and other tools (weapons, radios (of limited use), sensors, analyzers, etc).

The Romans, thus the Imperials, did not really have the scientific method ingrained in their culture. Things were hit or miss. They did not see that just because it worked well once or for this person, that it would work well for others. So individual Dokoren groups will have different approaches to the same basic problems. Being no ONE RIGHT AND TRADITIONAL WAY (except maybe to have an environment suit that served as armor, a climbing/ prospecting hammer, and some climbing gear), they are free to choose what is perfect for them, their training, and their patron's resources. This means that certain individuals are not as effective as others in some areas, and that rangers will very in abilities, but the in their own areas, they will be masters.

Oh. Their technology is "quirky". They do not correspond to straight tech ranking. So they have technology ranging from 1840 to 1930, as long as the technology or item does not require mass production to be effective OR much in the way of third or forth generation tools. (They have blasting liquid (Nitro) but not gun powder) Kind of like in the old Traveller Tech Level - late 20th C Earth was a 7, except in the field of computer science where it was 9+, and social science were it was 6. We were quirky that way. So are the Dorkoren. They have found technology to replace many of the Noble Magickal skills that were no longer prevolent, or to ease the burden of those who had gifts.
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2005-11-27 09:38 PM » Link: [1819#8583|text]
Combat and Craft Excellence

The two remaining key components of "Dwarfness" is Combat and Craft Excellence. for the Dokoren, it stems from the exact same causes - The Imperial Ethos.

The Imperials, and thus the Dokoren, have a strong cultural ethos centered around the following ideas:

1) Society of Order: Everyone and Everything has a specific place in Soceity (and by extention the universe). That place in society has predetermined roles that one must play, obligations they must meet, and dues they are to receive. The world is orderly and stable. (Note: There are rules for changing that place, but they are not easy to impliment. )

2) Duty: Everyone has responsibilities that must be met to their superiors (patrons), inferior (clients), and family. You must do everything in your power to meet those duties or you will be found a failure... both disturbing the natural order of things AND less than adaquite in all manner of things. Failure is not an option. Weakness (real or perceived) is flaw, especially if it gets in the way of duty.

Note: Traditional societal duties are always fairly vague, rather than specific. That way they can be interpreted for the times and events, rather than sheer tradition. In short Higher Ranks run things for the lower ranks to increase the size and glory of society and the comfort of living for all, the lower ranks support the higher ranks with their craftsmenship and following their directions.


3) Mastery: Everything you do you must do well, or as well as you possibly can. "Good enough" is the nemesis of perfection. If society is perfect, then you must strive to be perfect in your place. You must achieve mastery (a high level of profiency) in as many things as your can. You must try to achieve perfection in the things that are your duty and place.

Wealth is related to this. If you master your world, you will achieve wealth and the power that comes with that wealth.

4) Pride: You must believe in yourself if you are ever going to achieve mastery and complete your duties. Failure is not an option. In fact, it is seldom contemplated (though a successful man might have possiblities worked out to achieve success in the end). While Hubris is frowned upon, a proper believe in ones self and one's abilities is key to success.

In addition to having pride in ones self, one shall have pride in ones patron, one's people, and one's city, and the skills to back up that pride.

5) Discipline is an ideal that the Imperials and Dokoren prize. It is a combination of things that allow for Mastery and Duty. A person with discipline can accomplish anything they put themselves towards.

6) Tradition: The phrase, "The more things change, the more they stay the same," would bring great comfort as a truism to an Imperial. The Dokoren worship the past more so than the Imperials did. It was a golden age that they can only hope to emulate. The way things have been done is always the guideline for how things should be done. Note the guideline. When given the choice of between the two, they would choose the traditional. Yet if an argument could be made against the traditional on the grounds of duty, mastery (success), and social order, the new way will be performed. If successful it might be embraced as the new tradition.

These five points define Imperial/ dokoren thought. It goes a great deal to explain their striving for excellence in both combative and craft.

For Combative Folks
The Imperials have a great tradition for warriors. They did have an Empire after all. They conquered all the disorganized and uncivilized people everywhere their borders touched. They are a disciplined people, and that discipline showed in their military. They are highly motivated and highly trained. They have tried and true martial arts. They have excellent equipment. Their martial traditions help make them a more effective force.

Even someone who is not a Soldier, because of the culture's martial tradition and key idea of Mastery, will be fairly good at military arts.

And remember, they are a pragmatic people. Just because something is traditional, if it doesn't work they will do something else.

For Craft Folks
Mastery, Pride, and Discipline makes for a potent combination. Add to that the tradition of excellence for the entire Craftiun class, and they will be excellent crafters. They have discipline and an incredible worth ethic. Craftsmen here make things of intricate detailwork and artistic value (as long as the artistic elements do not compromise efficiency). They also have access to technologies and techniques that are unavailable to others in the world. So they can make mundane things that seem almost magical to those who do not understand them.

Notes on technology- Imperial culture was always quite pragmantic. They took every engineering challange in stride. Thaumaturgy/ Magic was sporatic at this time, so they slowly developed mundane/ technological work arounds for most issues. They found solutions and stuck with them. They shared it with the other underground survivors. Of course, Imperial knowledge was still quite ahead of "modern" knowledge in most areas. A great deal was lost in the Time of Ruin on the surface. Even the Dokoren lost knowledge, slipping a bit behind, because of the Ruin. (The wrong people die before passing knowledge on, a book is lost, and so on). However, knowing what was possible with technology and what was possible with thaumaturgy, allowed them to recapture the lost knowledge and slowly advance.

The Dokoren have a technological headstart over the rest of the world. They never lost the knowledge of Imperial Technology. Therefore they have plumbing, air conditioning, gas pipes, stronger alloys, and optics. It has advanced slowly over the centuries, as new practical challanges occured... thus were met. So now they have steam powered cable cars in mines, light tubes, pumps, fans, and so on. The most important new development is the self contained breathing apparatus and the sealed suit. This allows the Dokoren to work in conditions that would be impossible for anyone to work in. When this was combined with a suit of armor, it allowed the Dokoren to be an efficient fighter in almost every condition.

The Romans, thus the Imperials, did not really have the scientific method ingrained in their culture. Things were hit or miss. They did not see that just because it worked well once or for this person, that it would work well for others. So individual Dokoren groups will have different approaches to the same basic problems. Being no ONE RIGHT AND TRADITIONAL WAY (except maybe to have an environment suit that served as armor, a climbing/ prospecting hammer, and some climbing gear), they are free to choose what is perfect for them, their training, and their patron's resources. This means that certain individuals are not as effective as others in some areas, and that rangers will very in abilities, but the in their own areas, they will be masters.

Oh. Their technology is "quirky". They do not correspond to straight tech ranking. So they have technology ranging from 1840 to 1930, as long as the technology or item does not require mass production to be effective OR much in the way of third or forth generation tools. (They have blasting liquid (Nitro) but not gun powder) Kind of like in the old Traveller Tech Level - late 20th C Earth was a 7, except in the field of computer science where it was 9+, and social science were it was 6. We were quirky that way. So are the Dorkoren. They have found technology to replace many of the Noble Magickal skills that were no longer prevolent, or to ease the burden of those who had gifts.
0xp

2005-11-27 09:40 PM » Link: [1819#8584|text]
Sentori Magic

This is not your normal fantasy magic. Most game's spell lists read like a combat mage's wish list. This is a practical useful system of spells taught to those with the power. Sure some of them are useful for combat inadvertantly, they are designed to promote the good of society.

The basis of these magics are primal, elemental. So there will be listings of the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, Fire. There will be spells of mentalism: communication, truthfinding, and farseeing. There will be spells of the Warp: this is no longer a useful set of spells; as the loss of The Warp was one of the reasons the Imperium Fell. Of course there will be one listing of battle spells, those which will enhance a weapon in its use.

The elemental powers are mostly LARGE SCALE, not small or personal. Once you have The Power, doing large messy magic is easy. It actually takes more skill and finesse to control small amounts than it does large ones.

Earth
The ability to move and shape the Earth. This will be used for large scale construction, earth works, and other grand projects. They will also be able to sense the shape of the Earth and the composition of it for a good distance (which is much more useful now that they live underground). Earth can also be enchanted with this study to be more stable and durrable (or less if needed), making for strong foundations.

Metal will be a substudy of Earth. The mystic shaping of metal has been replaced by good craftsmenship in most cases. However the ability to scry for metals makes mining easy.

Water
Shaping and moving water. Purification and irrigation. The ability to summon water forth (or banish it from a lower level) makes underground living easier. Sensing water allows for efficient well and cistern creation, as well as avoiding

Air
Weather control was its original use. However purification and ventilation is what it is used for by the Dokoren. While their standard technical methods meet the requirements most of the time, a noble will sometimes maintain things while they are being repaired or in times of special need. The dispersing of natural gas (or transformation into other air) makes mining and digging better.

Fire
Used to heat and distribute the heat to all a hall. Useful in industry. This has combat applications, but everything is "large scale".

Mind
Mind is mostly used for the implimenation of Justice. So there will be truth reading, truth binding, sensing of mental manipulation, and some less savory uses... that nobody actually talks about.

Mind is also used for far seeing and telepathic communication.

Command
Command is a sub section of mind, it is the power of mental charisma. This will enhance the voice (in terms of volume and timber) and speaking ability of the user (enhancing their knowledge). It will sway emotions of the listeners, calming the crowd or firing up the troops. It will allow for the enhancement of group synergy (making the group more efficient). There will be some far seeing and limited mental communication.

Warp is mostly a lost art: It was used for teleportation, communication, and more effective control of weather and other complex systems.

Battle Magics were developed by Sentori who were Centuri. It includes the classic Master Weapon (plus to hit, plus to damage), flaming weapon, archer force (makes a mystic bow to shoot fire arrows), and other simple classic weapon enhancements.

Magic using Dokoren are seldom seen by topsiders. They are too important and numerically too few to be risked outside the Dokoren homecaves. While they do not use their magic a great deal, when it is needed... it is really needed by these peoples.
0xp

2005-11-27 09:42 PM » Link: [1819#8585|text]
Two questions that have come up

How long do the Dokoren live?
I would estimate in the 200 year range, between Dwarven biology and good medical practices of the Dokoren.

Are you born into Dokoren classes?
Yes and No. You are born either free or slave. You can be noble if you can work magic. But it is not just the ability to work magic, you have to have wealth and resources to be noble. So you can work your way up from magicker to any of the noble lines. If noble child can't work magic, they can fall to Centuri line or Craftum (and be comfortably "set up" by their richer parents.


What Next? Do you have any questions about these "Dwarves"?
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2005-11-27 09:42 PM » Link: [1819#8586|text]
In the Roman model, if you weren't part of a core group of 14 families (if I recall correctly), you weren't really a Roman citizen. You could have something similar, so that the Dokoren wouldn't really be nobility, but those without the right social class/ancestry would be excluded from certain government positions.
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2005-11-27 09:42 PM » Link: [1819#8587|text]
The Imperium, as I see it, is a Rome with a few of its excesses. These people impart noble status to anyone with magical ability (figure about 10% of the population). Unlike most nobles, these people "earn" their place in the system of things by doing magical works and utilizing their money for "the good of the people" (mostly to garner support for their political aims, which sometimes includes stopping others from gaining power).

So I am sure, originally, there was a small number of "families" that were noble. However, this Imperium grew to accept all magic users as nobles.
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2005-11-27 09:45 PM » Link: [1819#8588|text]
Two great ideas that could go together

Dokoren and the Wastes... these are two ideas that could go together. (They do not have to, but they do work together).

The Wastes are sometimes thought of as where a Calderonian city was left (or where one crashed).

However, what if the Time of Ruin occured at The Wastes? Perhaps something is in The Wastes, below the surface, is disrupting "the magic of the world". (Note: modern magic is a pale immitation of Imperial magics, however Imperial Magics are unproducable in modern times). Perhaps there is a city buried here, or a great temple, or a great university.. something under the muck. This means that Dokoren could be swarming all over The Wastes... looking for legends would be all they say.

There could be knowledge there. There could be technology there. There could be an Alchemical treasure. Insert McGuffin of your choice.

Now imagine if that "great place" has magical lifesupport running, so it is not ruined by the acidic madness that is The Wastes.

Anoter option:
The Dokoren could be under The Wastes. Perhaps a few centuries have passed and the Dokoren are just now finding a safe way to the surface, only to find the Barbarians living in "mobile cities" and towns in The Borderlands. This could be a dramatic culture clash.
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2007-08-18 01:10 AM » Link: [1819#29417|text]

http://delanceyunderground.org
 
http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/11/22/imagine-an-underground-park-in-nyc-it-could-become-reality/

Now you will get a feel for a Dokoren space.  Mostly, they would be powering their lighting by old magics, but they had the tech to do this without magic.

0xp

2011-11-28 05:21 PM » Link: [1819#79745|text]
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Comments ( 11 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

EchoMirage
November 27, 2005, 21:35
0xp
They are Fallout vault-dwellers.
But: they are cool.

I'll think of something to add. Whether I succeed is a different matter
MoonHunter
November 27, 2005, 21:35
0xp
Well, yes. They are post appocolypse Romans. Their world ended- the Surface world and its grand society ended. They see the modern world above as a bunch of barbarians scrambling over the left overs, building up a small fraction of what society was. No matter what happens, they will see the upper world as a cheap copy of the Real Civilization.

They will someday emerge from their undergrounds and re-establish Real Civilization. However, the probably will never do it. Their world is now underground. They have traditions binding them there. Unless something happened to "break" their underground world, they will probably stay there, safeguarding Real Civilization.

(I had not really played up the Morrow Project aspect of this, but maybe we should.)
Voted KendraHeart
December 21, 2005, 9:02
0xp
Woah! to quote The One. This I like. It takes people and makes them take the place of silly DnD Dwarves. It has details. It has places to go with the information. I like the crafters finally having cool tech. Rather than just being good smiths, these people can actually do something with their technological edge.
Voted valadaar
March 2, 2007, 13:31
0xp
Here's a gem buried in the underworld. One whole vote? Travesty!
MoonHunter
March 2, 2007, 23:49
0xp
Thank you. I appreciate it when people actully respond to my posts or even add to them.
Voted manfred
March 3, 2007, 6:39
0xp
And you are not alone in this, MoonHunter, we all appreciate it.

Nowadays, I could wish for a slightly nicer organized format, but I do know where it comes from, so that is no objection. It is a solidly explored New Take On.
MoonHunter
March 27, 2009, 14:45
0xp
Updated: Updated a spelling error
Voted Strolen
September 23, 2012, 2:17
0xp
The Roman parallel is quite fitting I find. I will admit my eyes glazed over with the lack of formatting and, with permission, I would be willing to add a bunch of much needed organization to it. That alone would push it even higher in usability and readability.

Awesome.
MoonHunter
September 27, 2012, 14:33
0xp
There once was better formatting, but a site revision ate it. I fixed some of it. If you want, go to town.
Strolen
September 29, 2012, 23:27
0xp
Update: Updated some formatting
Voted Gossamer
July 18, 2013, 9:06
0xp
Very nice. You certainly managed to maintain the core of what is dwarven while approaching it in a much more meticulous and realistic manner. A full score and HoH.

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