Dwarven Technology

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Havard
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Dwarven Technology

Post by Havard » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:10 pm

We know that Dwarves are able to create spectacular technology and devices. By the aid of the Forges of Power, Dwarves are able to create Rockships that can pass through Earth. The Dwarves of Rockhome are also able to create machines that allow planar travel.

1) Is Dwarven technology limited to the Dwarves of Rockhome? We know Moulder Dwarves (Gaz7) are able to use Dark Elf rituals to create magical items, but that seems to be arcane magic rather than technology (if we can distinguish these on Mystara). What about the dwarves of Karameikos, Darokin, Thyatis, Northern Reaches (Non-Morigsvergs)?

2) How does Dwarven Technology differ from Gnome Technology? The Rockhome gaz does not speak of Gnomes at all, but Top Balista says Gnomes are found wherever Dwarves are found, so I assume Rockhome has plenty of Gnomes as well. Could we assume Gnomes are also involved in the more spectacular of Dwarven devices?

3) What type of technology can we assume Dwarves have mastered? What devices are mentioned in published material? What are other ideas for Dwarven technology in your campaigns?


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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by CommanderCrud » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:25 pm

I've always considered Dwarven tech more magical in nature and Gnomish tech more realistic/scientific in nature, with some overlap. The more amazing Rockhome inventions are kept there, not for any reason except secrecy and selfishness. Some of the more amazing devices would require (reluctant) Dwarf/Gnome cooperation for those parts the one race simply can't complete on their own, subcontracting out some work while not divulging the whole scheme to the other.

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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Robin » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:55 pm

the 2300BC campain setting of Chimpman had the dwarves using the Radiance in a more or less technological way as learned from Blackmoor,

The difference of Dwarven technology in my opinion is that Dwarves make, sometimes excessifly large, yet still realistic, logical, functional items (or remake them as the Dwarven Thane from The Book of Wondrous inventions, The Dwarven Drill (from the Gazetteer), Dwarven underground rolling or pushed railways or monorails(from the underground maps of Bruce-Alphatia, and others...on the Monorail I will come back, elsewhere later), and the giant forges, oildrills, , metal shapers to build their standerd housings modules(as per gaz), or the warmachines, or intricate transport systems (see The Hobbit Movie in their fight with the dragon), but also their use of doors and rooms, and even traps (Dragon /Dungeon Magazine gave some awesome nasty dwarven traps like ankle breakers, sahifting rooms, elevators and such.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uaMCZVTwcP8/V ... BWagon.jpg

While gnomes merge magic and technology more and make illogical items still working, of ridicylius proportions and functions. And nobody (but gnomes, and maybe Kobolds and Gremlins) would be able to recognize it for its use/function
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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Sturm » Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:57 pm

IMC dwarves have tech and gnomes too. The latter are more prone to dangerous experimenting and sometimes not ideal results, in the line of AC11 The book of Wondrous Inventions. In my The Kingdom of Highforge article in Threshold Magazine issue 16 http://pandius.com/highfrgk.html I populated the place with AC11 devices. Here is the sidebar I wrote in that article:

Gnomish (and Dwarven) inventions

Gnomes (and dwarves too) love to build machineries of various kinds. While dwarves prefer to build practical and reliable machines and will avoid using anything which is not fully tested and safe, gnomes are much more adventurous and willing to experiment (and risk). Several canon Mystara supplements contain gnomish inventions, in particular AC 11 The Book of Wondrous Inventions, CM4 Earthshaker!, Gazetteer 6 The Dwarves of Rockhome and PC2 Top Ballista, which include flying machines, automatons, war machines, a lot of contraptions to transport people or merchandise and to travel or dig underground, water pumps, systems for long distance communication, and much more. Here is a (probably not exhaustive) list of gnomish and dwarven inventions mentioned in canon products:
(CM 4) Earthshaker, (AC 11) Golem muscle machine, Pedal transmission mover, Spring loaded machine, Steam machine, Wind cycle water pump, Wind cycle elevator, Dorfin’s organ, Dorfin’s throwing stones pipes, Hammer basher, Hunting ballista, Net thrower, Pedal crossbow, Wheel of flails, Watershoes, Firepack, Halting device, Express delivery network, Cloaking device, Dorfin’s giant mower, Relentless spy, Falling softener, Secure sighting system, Ever glowing beam, Gnomobile, Hopping ornothopter, Dorfin’s lepidopter, Motor night wings, Paddler-wheeler, Fleabottom’s Brick Mac, Oddwaddle Centipede, The Fiendish Exercise Machine, The Dreadnought, The Thaumaturgical printing press, The Barber’s aid, The Money changing machine, (GAZ6), The Proto Zeppelin, The Steam powered Dimension launcher, The Drill-nose mole digger, (PC2) Airplanes, Bumber-chutes, Cloud clippers, Skychairs, Hot water, Lamps, Garbage disposal, Steam washing, drying and ironing clothes machine.
For simplicity’s sake, the DM could just assume that every gnomish house or public building, or any street in the city, may contain 1d3 odd inventions which are simply the gnomish versions of machine common in modern or futuristic settings. These machines could malfunction or broke with a 10% chance per day.
Some inventions however have been tested and used so much they are now quite reliable, in particular public illumination in the Lower and Upper City (even if the gnomes always try to “improve” it), the aqueduct reaching almost every house (but hot water is random and occasionally dangerous) and drainage system (which may explode rarely, so many dwarves prefer to use the common bucket and many gnomes have house toilets with sealed iron covers). The train in the Lower City, being of the utmost importance to gnomes and dwarves, works quite fine and breaks very rarely, usually without too many disastrous outcomes. In AC11, page 34, appears The Train of the Dwarven Thane, a steam train which uses a red dragon to heat the boiler. The Eveskyr train should look similar, but has a “normal” steam engine to heat the boiler. See also in the Vaults the work done by Robin about the original train in AC11 http://pandius.com/dwrthane.html.

So I believe steam tech is well known and used by dwarves and gnomes of Mystara. Electricity on the other hand could still be on an experimental level, but anyway the tech level of gnomes and dwarves cities could be quite similar to mid XIX century, i.e. much more advanced than the tech level of human and other races towns.

Also Bruce Heard had a train in Denwarf Hurgon https://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... world.html
The gnomes of Oostdok also should have extensive steam technology.
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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:13 am

Havard wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:10 pm
By the aid of the Forges of Power, Dwarves are able to create Rockships that can pass through Earth. The Dwarves of Rockhome are also able to create machines that allow planar travel.
I wonder if these Forges of Power are supposed to be the same as the Forges that the dwarves in the Spelljammer campaign setting install into Dwarven Citadels that fly around in Wildspace.

Is Mystaran Dwarven Technology something that predates the original Spelljammer boxed set?

How many Mystaran products have rules on this stuff?

Is it just hints at how things work (like how Spelljammer did it) or are there detailed rules for making Dwarven Technology (like the rules that Dragonlance Adventures has for Gnomish Technology)?
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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Havard » Sat Oct 05, 2019 12:11 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:13 am
Havard wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:10 pm
By the aid of the Forges of Power, Dwarves are able to create Rockships that can pass through Earth. The Dwarves of Rockhome are also able to create machines that allow planar travel.
I wonder if these Forges of Power are supposed to be the same as the Forges that the dwarves in the Spelljammer campaign setting install into Dwarven Citadels that fly around in Wildspace.

Is Mystaran Dwarven Technology something that predates the original Spelljammer boxed set?

How many Mystaran products have rules on this stuff?
I don't know how the Forges from Spelljammer work, but Forges of Power are a uniquely Mystaran concept. Each demihuman race on Mystara has a type of Relics given to each clan of that race (although some clans don't have them). Elves have Trees of Life, Halflings have the Crucible of Blackflame and Dwarves have Forges of Power.

I would say Dwarf and Gnome technology predates both Dragonlance (1984) and Spelljammer (1989):

Gnomes are said to love machinery in the 1981 Moldvay Cook Basic Set and in the 1983 Mentzer Basic Set.

Forges of Power are introduced in the 1984 D&D Companion Set (Mentzer), but aren't directly tied to technology or machines. They are able to produce magical and wondrous inventions such as the Rock Ships.

Gaz6 the Dwarves of Rockhome (1988) expand on Forges of Power and also details a number of contraptions made by the dwarves including more mundane things like mechanical traps and the more extreme inventions like the plane travelling devices.

Gaz 7 the Northern Reaches (1988) includes an adventure exploring a lost Gnome Kingdom which has a number of mechanical gadgets left behind by the Gnomes.

Earthshaker! (1985) features a gigantic construct created by Mystaran Gnomes.

Book of Wondrous Inventions (1986) is a mostly humorous book detailing spectacular magical and tecnological inventions found in Mystara and Greyhawk. I believe Dwarves, Gnomes and Wizards are mentioned as cretors or many of the different devices detailed in that book.

IM3 The Best of Intentions includes an outer plane of Industrial Age Dwarves which I assume were abducted from Mystara by the Immortal Mazikeen.
Is it just hints at how things work (like how Spelljammer did it) or are there detailed rules for making Dwarven Technology (like the rules that Dragonlance Adventures has for Gnomish Technology)?
Gaz6 does include rules for how non-spellcaster dwarves can create magical items using the Forges of Power. Dawn of the Emperors (Boxed Set) includes rules for making huge magical items like Flying Ships and Flying Castles. These are based on the rules for making magical items in BECMI though.

PC2 Top Balista (1989) has rules for creating Gnome technological devices with the Fantasy Physics skill.





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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Havard » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:13 pm

Sturm wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:57 pm
Gnomish (and Dwarven) inventions

Gnomes (and dwarves too) love to build machineries of various kinds. While dwarves prefer to build practical and reliable machines and will avoid using anything which is not fully tested and safe, gnomes are much more adventurous and willing to experiment (and risk). Several canon Mystara supplements contain gnomish inventions, in particular AC 11 The Book of Wondrous Inventions, CM4 Earthshaker!, Gazetteer 6 The Dwarves of Rockhome and PC2 Top Ballista, which include flying machines, automatons, war machines, a lot of contraptions to transport people or merchandise and to travel or dig underground, water pumps, systems for long distance communication, and much more. Here is a (probably not exhaustive) list of gnomish and dwarven inventions mentioned in canon products:
(CM 4) Earthshaker, (AC 11) Golem muscle machine, Pedal transmission mover, Spring loaded machine, Steam machine, Wind cycle water pump, Wind cycle elevator, Dorfin’s organ, Dorfin’s throwing stones pipes, Hammer basher, Hunting ballista, Net thrower, Pedal crossbow, Wheel of flails, Watershoes, Firepack, Halting device, Express delivery network, Cloaking device, Dorfin’s giant mower, Relentless spy, Falling softener, Secure sighting system, Ever glowing beam, Gnomobile, Hopping ornothopter, Dorfin’s lepidopter, Motor night wings, Paddler-wheeler, Fleabottom’s Brick Mac, Oddwaddle Centipede, The Fiendish Exercise Machine, The Dreadnought, The Thaumaturgical printing press, The Barber’s aid, The Money changing machine, (GAZ6), The Proto Zeppelin, The Steam powered Dimension launcher, The Drill-nose mole digger, (PC2) Airplanes, Bumber-chutes, Cloud clippers, Skychairs, Hot water, Lamps, Garbage disposal, Steam washing, drying and ironing clothes machine.
For simplicity’s sake, the DM could just assume that every gnomish house or public building, or any street in the city, may contain 1d3 odd inventions which are simply the gnomish versions of machine common in modern or futuristic settings. These machines could malfunction or broke with a 10% chance per day.
Some inventions however have been tested and used so much they are now quite reliable, in particular public illumination in the Lower and Upper City (even if the gnomes always try to “improve” it), the aqueduct reaching almost every house (but hot water is random and occasionally dangerous) and drainage system (which may explode rarely, so many dwarves prefer to use the common bucket and many gnomes have house toilets with sealed iron covers). The train in the Lower City, being of the utmost importance to gnomes and dwarves, works quite fine and breaks very rarely, usually without too many disastrous outcomes. In AC11, page 34, appears The Train of the Dwarven Thane, a steam train which uses a red dragon to heat the boiler. The Eveskyr train should look similar, but has a “normal” steam engine to heat the boiler. See also in the Vaults the work done by Robin about the original train in AC11 http://pandius.com/dwrthane.html.

So I believe steam tech is well known and used by dwarves and gnomes of Mystara. Electricity on the other hand could still be on an experimental level, but anyway the tech level of gnomes and dwarves cities could be quite similar to mid XIX century, i.e. much more advanced than the tech level of human and other races towns.

Also Bruce Heard had a train in Denwarf Hurgon https://bruce-heard.blogspot.com/2012/0 ... world.html
The gnomes of Oostdok also should have extensive steam technology.
This is great! I would probably add a wide range of Golems and Juggernauts as things dwarves could create?

I also like the idea of Dwarves being closely tied to the Elemental Plane of Earth and that more of their devices might draw power from that plane specifically.

I wonder if the principle of Rock Ships, ie being able to pass through Earth could be applied to other types of devices?

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Re: Dwarven Technology

Post by Sturm » Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:56 pm

I'm quite positive they must have a variety of golems and juggernauts. Also alliance with earth elementals beings are likely too.
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