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Playing With: Our Dwarves Are All the Same
Basic Trope: Dwarves follow a more predictable pattern than most fantasy races.
  • Straight: Dwarves are short, bearded, gruff, alcoholic, industrious axe fetishists.
  • Exaggerated: All dwarves, even the women, not that they'd admit it, look and act exactly the same.
  • Downplayed: The culture of the main dwarven civilization fits the stereotype pretty well, but there are a few other cultures - for instance, dwarves of the North who are adept at sailing and dwarven sorcerors renowned for their systematized studies of magic.
  • Justified:
    • All dwarves are biologically capable of growing beards. Due to a low reproductive rate, they don't bother to restrict social positions by sex. Due to their traditional source of wealth, they would naturally be excellent miners and metalworkers. Their preference for the battle axe is due to not having to fight anything in their own caves, and in the open, their low center of gravity gives them an advantage with the axe against taller opponents. Due to their treatment, historically, at the hands of other races, and their businesslike outlook on the world, they don't waste words, and don't trust foreigners.
    • They spend so much time in pitch-black caves that having different physical characteristics is pointless.
    • They have a naturally high resistance to poisons, including alcohol. So if they want to get drunk and have a good time, they must drink a lot of alcohol in order for it to affect them. Note that while they are portrayed as frequent drinkers, they are also usually portrayed as holding their liquor very well.
  • Inverted:
    • Dwarves have many different cultures around the setting, each of which has its own characteristics.
    • All dwarves are tall, effeminate, and artistic.
    • The dwarves are androgynous and beautiful, and have different colors and styles of hair.
  • Subverted:
    • The dwarves appear this way to outsiders, but it's mainly for show. Once inside their settlements, you get to see all the dwarves that don't fit an outsider's preconceptions. Similar to Real Life racial stereotypes.
    • Most dwarves are disciplined and hard-working. Alcohol consumption is prohibited by their religion, and the prohibition is seldom violated because piety is too a common virtue in dwarven society.
  • Double Subverted:
    • "What? Nay, those be enslaved goblins."
    • ...Which is actually a front, since the dwarves don't want the other noble races to find out about their Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Parodied: All dwarves are exactly identical, wherever they are found.
  • Zig Zagged: All dwarves are shapeshifters.
  • Averted: There are many dwarf cultures in the world, all with distinct features.
  • Enforced: "How else are people going to know they're dwarves?"
  • Lampshaded: "Why do humans always depict us as all being bloody alike?" "'Cause they're damned racists. Now shut up and keep mining."
  • Invoked: A group of seven dwarfs plays a prank on their Token Human by disguising themselves and all acting exactly the same.
  • Exploited: A dwarf can commit many crimes in the human world and not be caught by hiding with other dwarves; the cops can't arrest all of them.
  • Defied: A dwarf decides to move to a human city because he or she is sick of living in the mountains.
  • Discussed: "All these dwarves are the same! What's going on here?"
  • Conversed: "Why are all of you dwarves the same, anyway?" "It be a mystery for th' ages."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Two leading causes of death among the dwarven race are murder and choking on vomit caused by alcohol intoxication. This, and the proud and overly harsh dwarves' nature led to their being universally loathed and isolated from the rest of the world.
    • Dwarf society is extremely repressive and hard on nonconformists, especially those seen as effeminate.
  • Reconstructed:
    • The more reasonable part of dwarven community decides to find a compromise between the need for the development of the trade and tradition, and schools are established where the basics of acceptable social behavior are taught. In spite of the dwarves' natural pride, the schools get popular, since most of the richest dwarves are merchants and traders who had to develop basic communicative skills, and the similarly natural dwarven desire for gold eventually made the majority follow their example, sacrificing some minor principles for the benefits of inter-racial trade.
    • Dwarf society is not that repressive, but most of the dwarves are stickers for tradition, so non-stereotypical dwarves are still few and far between.
  • Plotted A Good Waste: The dwarves all appear to be the same because of an ancient curse.
  • Played For Laughs: The adventuring party keep getting lost in Beard Mountain because they can't tell which dwarf is their guide. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Played For Drama: The main characters can't tell the dwarf king and his imposter apart. The real king is exiled, and the imposter steals valuable dwarven riches.

Back to Our Dwarves Are All the Same

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