Dwarf Technology

From: David Ingram (D.M.Ingram@mmu.ac.uk)
Date: Fri 17 May 1996 - 09:32:23 EEST

I am in the process of begining a campaign based on the Endless Games
complete Dungeon master series. The first of these ``The halls of the
Dwarven Kings'' deals nicely with an abandond dwarven settlement which
has been over run by northern barbarians. In the senario their is a
workshop containing bits and peices of machinary and items such as an
attempt at a robot. This technological miscelleny has been created by
two drawven craftsmen who are considered to be extremely eccentric by
the other dwarves. Their fascination with machinery such as steam
powered water pumps, davincian flying machines etc is considered to be
a sign of mental instability and they are permitted to continue their
"harmless" work by the comunity as a sort of therapy whereby they may
the futility and error of their ways!

I must say that I whole hartedly agree with dwarven technology being
kept as far away from the European industrial revolution as
possible. I feel that the bysantian steem engines which can work the
massive temple doors as if by magic accompanied by fire and steam
effects from the vents are much more likely. Military technology such
as black powder weapons, cannons, match/wheel lock musketry are
permissible if rare, the mettal working skills to accurately
cast/manufacture reliable barrels are extremely difficult and must
entail a large amount of higly specialised rune magic. If it goes
wrong you can end up with ``Mons Meg'' the enourmouse seige cannon
made of segments of metal bound together which was only ever fired as
a salute, never in anger (by the time the gun had arrived the seige was
over!) and then burst its breach.

From personal experience I can only say that black powder weaponry
although potent in large numbers is wildly inaccurate (barn door at
fifty paces), unreliable (they often missfire) and unpredictable (a
gun once went off two minuets after the pan had been ignited). Is this
realy the kind iof technology a self respecting Mostali commander
would use?

- --
Dr David M Ingram
Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Flow Analysis
Department of Mathematics and Physics
Manchester Metropolitan University
Chester Street
Manchester M1 5GD
United Kingdom

E-Mail: D.M.Ingram@mmu.ac.uk


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