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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
607 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2018 :  14:51:01  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I've been thinking alot about dwarf holds. I've read both Races of Stone and Dwarves Deep.

Little if anything is said about dwarven food and drink. Nothing is said about how they grow, make, procure or otherwise have access to any food or water.

I will use Mithral Hall for an example (1350s-1370s).

1. No mention is made of any sort of mushroom fields, rothe, or any kind of system to grow food.

2. Neither the door in Keeper's Dale, nor the exit door on the eastern side can accommodate wagons/beasts of burden, nor can the tunnels leading to/from the doors.

This would seem to preclude the idea of extensive outside trade to obtain foodstuffs and drinks.

3. No accounts or evidence of Underdark food-related trade is given. Food and water both are considered extremely scarce in all levels of the Underdark.

Additionally, any nearby underdark races are known to be hostile toward dwarves (duergar, drow, monster races).

4. No accounts of farming arable land are given (as opposed to say mountain dwarves in Dragonlance.).


How have you dealt with this in your game?

LordofBones
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  15:32:58  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You mean dwarves don't eat rocks or distill rocks into alcohol?

How peculiar.
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  15:39:44  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Mithril Hall, along with the other dwarven citadel on the savage frontier was built during the time of delzoun when dwarves lived in the surface and farmed normal food.

I'm betting the citadel were only there for last ditch defence and so most dwarves would live outside the fortress.

Now that the dwarves have been ousted from the surface they are forced to delve underground to survive. I'm guessing there are fungus farms in the caverns beneath the dwarven fortress. If there is an underground river then they can fish. There are always insects to eat and any other underground lizards and other small animals you can find.

I only ever designed a dwarven city once and I had it situated atop an undergounrd river which fed fungus. Anything that died was tipped onto the fungus farm, any humanoid waste was tipped onto the fungus farm.
Dwarven populations are small and the food limitations may be a major factor in that.

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Clutches at Greatness
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  15:40:51  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I still have to read Races of Stone and Dwarves Deep. If I need a Dwarven Fortress in my game, I developed the tendency to just go to youtube and type "Dwarf Fortress", and skip through the videos until I find a build and a stage I like and copy the map in question with the good old pencil and paper RL app. I so far used games from quill18, arumba and some other guy, who's name I forgot, but somethin with silver...
The advantage is, that all this fortresses come with a quite solid microeconomy. Main food source are usually plump helmets, an edible mushroom types. The disadvantage is off course, that they are not 100% aligned with D&D canon, and sometimes they can be build purposefully weird.
One clear distinction from canon is the Dwarf Fortress dwarves tendency to develop fits of madness, when they start hording random resources to withdraw into closure and produce masterpiece items. I totally adopted that into my games, although only for dwarf NPCs that spend their lives inside their fortresses.
Another distinction from canon is vampirism. Especially the tendency of many gamers to try to keep the vampires alive and recruit them into the city guard is quite atypical, and I either avoid fortresses where that already happened, go back to before it happened or just ignore the vampires when adopting the map.

A possible explanation for dwarves not caring for agriculture could be, that they simply create enough industrial surplus with their mines and forges to trade for food and supply from human settlements. Which admittedly has the lore disadvantage, that that would make them totally dependent from their human neighbors.

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
607 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2018 :  15:45:14  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Clutches at Greatness

I still have to read Races of Stone and Dwarves Deep. If I need a Dwarven Fortress in my game, I developed the tendency to just go to youtube and type "Dwarf Fortress", and skip through the videos until I find a build and a stage I like and copy the map in question with the good old pencil and paper RL app. I so far used games from quill18, arumba and some other guy, who's name I forgot, but somethin with silver...
The advantage is, that all this fortresses come with a quite solid microeconomy. Main food source are usually plump helmets, an edible mushroom types. The disadvantage is off course, that they are not 100% aligned with D&D canon, and sometimes they can be build purposefully weird.
One clear distinction from canon is the Dwarf Fortress dwarves tendency to develop fits of madness, when they start hording random resources to withdraw into closure and produce masterpiece items. I totally adopted that into my games, although only for dwarf NPCs that spend their lives inside their fortresses.
Another distinction from canon is vampirism. Especially the tendency of many gamers to try to keep the vampires alive and recruit them into the city guard is quite atypical, and I either avoid fortresses where that already happened, go back to before it happened or just ignore the vampires when adopting the map.

A possible explanation for dwarves not caring for agriculture could be, that they simply create enough industrial surplus with their mines and forges to trade for food and supply from human settlements. Which admittedly has the lore disadvantage, that that would make them totally dependent from their human neighbors.




Trade is plausible, however the lack of any entrances or areas for trade purposes, lack of wagons, beasts of burden or anything required for wholesale trade of foodstuff seems to preclude this really being viable in canon.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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USA
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  15:54:57  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77

I've been thinking alot about dwarf holds. I've read both Races of Stone and Dwarves Deep.

Little if anything is said about dwarven food and drink. Nothing is said about how they grow, make, procure or otherwise have access to any food or water.




That stuff doesn't make it into gaming material because it's simply not sexy enough. Gamers want dungeons to explore, gold and magical loot -- anything that isn't those things often gets ignored.

Me, I would assume that dwarves do farm mushrooms and rothé, and have surface farms as well. It just makes sense.

Ditto for means of conducting commerce. If not thru the front door, then a well-secured tunnel leading a long way off to a secluded surface location.

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Hoondatha
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  16:49:07  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed actually answered a bunch of questions about dwarves and elves and their food back in 2005. Here's his response.

* * *

May 28, 2005: Hello again, fellow scribes. Ed tackles dwarves and their feeding for Phoebus, this time:

Hi, again, Phoebus. Okay, dwarves... Dwarves (and gnomes, too) are great fisherfolk, of the 'weir and trap' method more than the hook-and-line or spear technique. They're also great hunters (of the 'herd prey over a killing cliff-fall, and then make a stew, carrying off marrow bones for use as trail food' sort), AND also great ranchers and farmers.

Ranchers and farmers? Yes, ranching rothé, wild boar, and other beasts with edible flesh and usable hides, that can be introduced into confined ravines and steep-sided, 'prison' mountain valleys. Like farmers, allow the growing herds to graze a valley bare, harvesting individual beasts as needed for food. At season end, keep just a few to regenerate the herd and move them to a second valley (or into mountain caverns for warmth and survival, if need be), and harvest the rest, leaving the first valley to regenerate edible plants.

Yes, farming edible cave and subterranean fungi. THIS is the 'neglected secret' of many dwarf and gnome diets: the near-surface Underdark in particular, but all depths of it to some extent, are home to a great variety of fast-growing fungi that can be sliced thin and fried, stewed, boiled to yield glues and teas and gravies, and that give dwarves (again, like elves, possessing metabolisms and chemical internal needs slightly different than those of humans, though they 'work the same way') all the nourishment they need, and a wide variety of tastes and textures [mushroom bread, anyone?].

This food source is self-regenerating unless fire is carefully and persistently used for eradication; think of real-life mildew that keeps coming back in the same spots. Many southern and eastern gold dwarf tribes do breed, control, and harvest herds of grazing animals, and many cave-dwelling dwarves dine on bats, spiders, and various worms as delicacies.

So except in the hearts of frozen glaciers, food's never as scarce as one might think. Dwarves are fierce, daring, and competent hunters (and train their young continuously to replace their elders as such), but they are also patient and persistent gatherers and foragers, who'll happily eat things many humans wouldn't consider food, or would shudder and turn away from as 'emergency edibles only' (maggots, leeches, eels, gnawing worms).

However, you're quite right: with so much trade-metal and gems to barter with, "most food the Dwarves get comes from trading (selling metalworks, weapons, armor, jewelry, etc., for foodstuffs, linen, etc)." Just like the elves, they enjoy the variety and the freedom (in terms of time not lost to foraging activities) buying food wins them. (Dwarves and gnomes distill potent vintages from Underdark materials such as molds, as well as enjoying human- or halfling-crafted beer and strong drink.)

It should be noted here that dwarves and gnomes have very strong digestive systems and tolerances for 'slightly off' tainted food and for strong or foul-tasting or highly-spiced food and drink. They also have the capacity to gorge themselves (become sluggish but not nauseated) incredibly when food is available (so that a dwarf who has six oxen to eat, raw or cooked, plus the expectation that food will later be very scarce, could settle down and stolidly and patiently eat most of those six beasts by himself, before lurching waddling on about his business.

Most dwarves and gnomes smoke fish and meat into dried, hard-to-human-jaws forms for trail use, and season such 'hardscraw' to taste, taking pride in getting 'strong-but-just-right' flavours in their scraw.

So saith Ed, who'll tackle the last Phoebus question (aging and growing up) on the morrow. love to all, THO

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  16:49:15  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Volo's Guide to the Dalelands holds a couple of notes in regards to foodstuffs (page 192) as the Dwarves of Glen have taken to using greenhouses aboveground.

It also details that they import "large, luxurious 'shrooms of the Underdark" via the Long Road. They trade their own "home grown" produce for them from many other deeper communities.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
607 Posts

Posted - 20 May 2018 :  21:06:47  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hoondatha

Ed actually answered a bunch of questions about dwarves and elves and their food back in 2005. Here's his response.

* * *

May 28, 2005: Hello again, fellow scribes. Ed tackles dwarves and their feeding for Phoebus, this time:

Hi, again, Phoebus. Okay, dwarves... Dwarves (and gnomes, too) are great fisherfolk, of the 'weir and trap' method more than the hook-and-line or spear technique. They're also great hunters (of the 'herd prey over a killing cliff-fall, and then make a stew, carrying off marrow bones for use as trail food' sort), AND also great ranchers and farmers.

Ranchers and farmers? Yes, ranching rothé, wild boar, and other beasts with edible flesh and usable hides, that can be introduced into confined ravines and steep-sided, 'prison' mountain valleys. Like farmers, allow the growing herds to graze a valley bare, harvesting individual beasts as needed for food. At season end, keep just a few to regenerate the herd and move them to a second valley (or into mountain caverns for warmth and survival, if need be), and harvest the rest, leaving the first valley to regenerate edible plants.

Yes, farming edible cave and subterranean fungi. THIS is the 'neglected secret' of many dwarf and gnome diets: the near-surface Underdark in particular, but all depths of it to some extent, are home to a great variety of fast-growing fungi that can be sliced thin and fried, stewed, boiled to yield glues and teas and gravies, and that give dwarves (again, like elves, possessing metabolisms and chemical internal needs slightly different than those of humans, though they 'work the same way') all the nourishment they need, and a wide variety of tastes and textures [mushroom bread, anyone?].

This food source is self-regenerating unless fire is carefully and persistently used for eradication; think of real-life mildew that keeps coming back in the same spots. Many southern and eastern gold dwarf tribes do breed, control, and harvest herds of grazing animals, and many cave-dwelling dwarves dine on bats, spiders, and various worms as delicacies.

So except in the hearts of frozen glaciers, food's never as scarce as one might think. Dwarves are fierce, daring, and competent hunters (and train their young continuously to replace their elders as such), but they are also patient and persistent gatherers and foragers, who'll happily eat things many humans wouldn't consider food, or would shudder and turn away from as 'emergency edibles only' (maggots, leeches, eels, gnawing worms).

However, you're quite right: with so much trade-metal and gems to barter with, "most food the Dwarves get comes from trading (selling metalworks, weapons, armor, jewelry, etc., for foodstuffs, linen, etc)." Just like the elves, they enjoy the variety and the freedom (in terms of time not lost to foraging activities) buying food wins them. (Dwarves and gnomes distill potent vintages from Underdark materials such as molds, as well as enjoying human- or halfling-crafted beer and strong drink.)

It should be noted here that dwarves and gnomes have very strong digestive systems and tolerances for 'slightly off' tainted food and for strong or foul-tasting or highly-spiced food and drink. They also have the capacity to gorge themselves (become sluggish but not nauseated) incredibly when food is available (so that a dwarf who has six oxen to eat, raw or cooked, plus the expectation that food will later be very scarce, could settle down and stolidly and patiently eat most of those six beasts by himself, before lurching waddling on about his business.

Most dwarves and gnomes smoke fish and meat into dried, hard-to-human-jaws forms for trail use, and season such 'hardscraw' to taste, taking pride in getting 'strong-but-just-right' flavours in their scraw.

So saith Ed, who'll tackle the last Phoebus question (aging and growing up) on the morrow. love to all, THO




Thanks for digging that up! Very helpful. Some logical holes but nevertheless pretty interesting.

There really isn't any arable say in the Frost Hills or really hardly anywhere in the Spine of the World.

There are very few if any accounts in the canon of shield dwarves hunting anything....except maybe dragons

Races of Stone mentions "roast mole", but no mention of how such is obtained.

neither are shield dwarves considered herdsman or shepards. Lack of a arable land in the high mountains would make it marginal grazing at best. Likely to support only a few animals.

"above tree line" is the term that comes to mind. Not only is there a lack of vegetation, the growing season and thus the grazing season would be extremely short.

These ares are only without snow for perhaps 4 months at the most. With at least 1 of those months passing until sufficient vegetation would begin to appear.

I guess a more extensive underground trade with Silverymoon would be the only explanation.
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Hoondatha
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  21:25:01  Show Profile  Visit Hoondatha's Homepage Send Hoondatha a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Cards, that's from Ed. It is, by definition, canon. And Ed can get into more details here on the unsexy, how-people-live stuff here at the Keep than any of the authors can in published works. So yes, trade plays a part, but not as big a part as local dwarven production. After all, many dwarf holds are Hidden, and purposefully try to stay isolated from the outside world.

Doggedly converting 3e back to what D&D should be...
Sigh... And now 4e as well.
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Lord Karsus
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Posted - 20 May 2018 :  22:53:55  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-When Bruenor reclaimed Mithral Hall, the FRCG (4e) says that he replaced the main door with two "huge" granite doors and that the entry hall was a "wide, high roofed room". Those are all very subjective, but huge, wide, and high can all compensate carts and wagons if you want them to.

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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
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Posted - 21 May 2018 :  00:40:42  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
EG Presents Elminister's FR p 91 has 5 paragraphs on dwarven cuisine -- roasts, tons of salt, ale, orc blood, rothe, der, root veggies, worms. Of course, the berserkers drink gutbuster.
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moonbeast
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USA
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Posted - 22 May 2018 :  09:01:40  Show Profile Send moonbeast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the D&D online game Neverwinter (which is somewhat canon material?) — there is the existence of the Gauntlgrym Brewery in Gauntlgrym, an underground dwarven city similar to Mithral Hall. Underground water sources, of course, would be required for something like this.

D&D artist Chris Dien has the illustration on his Artstation site:

https://www.artstation.com/artwork/RnZLD



Edited by - moonbeast on 22 May 2018 09:02:33
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 22 May 2018 :  12:43:00  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FR11: Dwarves Deep has some snippets:
"Almost all Gold Dwarves are rich beyond the wildest dreams of most humans, but one can't eat gold. Gold Dwarves of the Deeps have grown accustomed to many foods that cannot be grown below the surface (especially fruit), and spend money constantly on such produce."
"Cloakers and aboleth lurk on the fringes of the Deeps, scheming to control key rivers, lakes, and mines. Intelligent fungi are plentiful, and this ready source of food has made the Deeps sought by many."
"Dwarves are usually pessimists ... As such they always prepare for the worst, preparing back-up weapons, food caches, escape routes, and 'booby traps' for potential enemies."

I imagine that every dwarven clan or stronghold maintains storehouses and caches filled with more than enough food to survive through every practical (and imaginable) calamity. Probably enough foodstuff to last through years or decades of hard siege.

I've seen many references to adventurers half-jokingly describing dwarven rations as being made of stone, heavy and dense, impossible to chew, tasting like gravel, and lasting forever - though I'm not sure if these are proper Realmslore, and they're probably (slightly) exaggerated descriptors in any event. Still, it suggests that dwarves can stock up on food in times of abundance and survive on it somewhat indefinitely when times are leaner. Dwarven endurance and constitution are legendary, they can survive long periods of deprivation or harsh conditions which would kill weaker (and more reasonable) species ... if needed, dwarves can even survive by eating things other races would probably find toxic or indigestible and certainly find unappealing and inedible or disgustingly repulsive, they'll chew leather, they'll fill their bellies with dirt and worms and refuse, if there's any way to survive then dwarves will survive. To be sure, every dwarf worth his beard will happily complain about such grim hardships, but he will also stubbornly refuse to die so long as he can lift a hammer or hold an axe. Dwarven tenacity is instinctive and, just as importantly, it's proven quite successful.

Dwarven priests can create food and water at low levels. Not enough to feed a large clan, but enough to keep clan warriors/champions in fighting shape or to keep precious dwarven children alive, perhaps enough to prevent a small clan from dying of starvation. Dwarves tend to be proactive anyhow, they generally aren't inclined to wait around until they die of starvation, they'd rather head out to confront the problem or at least die fighting, one less mouth to feed (along with a dozen dead orcs) means their clan has that much of a better chance at survival. Dwarven culture is strongly inclined to encourage (and venerate) the sacrifice of the individual towards the prosperity of the group.

There is apparently a rich ecosystem beneath the surface Realms. Many other intelligent races (including drow) live in the Underdark with little need to eat each other. There are fungi and mosses and lichens, all kinds of plants which don't require sunlight (or which might grow near natural and artificial sources of magical light/energy), all sorts of animals (livestock like rothé, bats, fish, small or giant insects and spiders, monsters, and vermin). There are caverns with their own lush natural or magical ecosystems. And, of course, whatever foodstuffs can be obtained from the surface (through raiding/marauding, purchase/trade, or theft), the Underdark is not completely isolated and has many connections to the surface world.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 22 May 2018 13:06:27
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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 26 Jul 2018 :  01:24:02  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I wouldn't put too much into having small doors to strongholds. An axe can make a side of beef fit through a dwarven door (just in a few pieces). Plus, in a world where you have the reversible Enlarge spell or even the Item spell, oversized objects can fit without getting chopped up. I wouldn't bet against dwarven determination in any case.

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bloodtide_the_red
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Posted - 26 Jul 2018 :  18:47:10  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Underdark book says Bluecap fungus was the main staple grain of the Underdark and is cultivated by nearly all of the Underdark races. Drizzt's guide to the Underdark and Races of Fareun both say dwarves herd animals. Dwarves keep lizards, bats and spiders as pets and food.

I'd say most dwarves are trappers, not hunters. Griffons and hippogriffs are mentioned as southern dwarf steeds, but I also think they would make good food for all dwarves planetwide. Both can also live in mountains.

In the most classic sense, every dwarf hold had to have some surface farmland. Though not always nearby the hold. At worst some dwarves would need to stay there and tend the land, but at best the dwarves would find a friendly race of gnomes or humans to take over for them.
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Cards77
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Posted - 28 Jul 2018 :  15:49:52  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-When Bruenor reclaimed Mithral Hall, the FRCG (4e) says that he replaced the main door with two "huge" granite doors and that the entry hall was a "wide, high roofed room". Those are all very subjective, but huge, wide, and high can all compensate carts and wagons if you want them to.



I did catch this in the book. However there is no way for carts or wagons to make it down into Keepers Dale at least not by the description of the stairs.

We could just assume they finally built a road from Settlestone to Keepers Dale for trade purposes.
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Cards77
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Posted - 28 Jul 2018 :  15:54:48  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

The Underdark book says Bluecap fungus was the main staple grain of the Underdark and is cultivated by nearly all of the Underdark races. Drizzt's guide to the Underdark and Races of Fareun both say dwarves herd animals. Dwarves keep lizards, bats and spiders as pets and food.

I'd say most dwarves are trappers, not hunters. Griffons and hippogriffs are mentioned as southern dwarf steeds, but I also think they would make good food for all dwarves planetwide. Both can also live in mountains.

In the most classic sense, every dwarf hold had to have some surface farmland. Though not always nearby the hold. At worst some dwarves would need to stay there and tend the land, but at best the dwarves would find a friendly race of gnomes or humans to take over for them.



Thanks, I remember the bluecap but not the other points.

Surface farming just doesn't make sense. Due to lack of arable land anywhere near the Spine of the World/Frost Hills. It would make much more sense for them to be trading out of Rivermoot etc.

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TheIriaeban
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Posted - 28 Jul 2018 :  16:21:32  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They could have surface farming, just not in the traditional sense. There are plants on our planet that thrive in arctic regions. The problem is meat. Dwarves aren't widely know for their vegetarianism. Although, I suppose they could use mountain goats as a source with some additional types brought in as trade items.

http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/polar-plants/plants-of-the-arctic-and-antarctic

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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Cards77
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Posted - 31 Jul 2018 :  03:53:54  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

They could have surface farming, just not in the traditional sense. There are plants on our planet that thrive in arctic regions. The problem is meat. Dwarves aren't widely know for their vegetarianism. Although, I suppose they could use mountain goats as a source with some additional types brought in as trade items.

http://beyondpenguins.ehe.osu.edu/issue/polar-plants/plants-of-the-arctic-and-antarctic




Of course vegetation is present in every environment on every planet.

However, the presence of vegetation is not the same as arable land. Arable land must have the inherent capacity to produce excess biomass when farmed.

This includes enough natural rainfall, sufficiently long growing season, fertile soil, etc.

This is why nearly all farmland occurs in valleys, or plains of fertile soil derived from loess or other origination with plenty of rain fall.

The only thing that I could approximate this to would be certain areas of the Andes and other terrace farming areas.

However, no such thing exists in the Realms for dwarves, at least as described in current Canon.

The environment and latitude described for the areas held by the Shield dwarves just doesn't describe anything that could realistically produce a surplus of any crops to feed any significant group of medium creatures.

Essentially the analog would be northern regions of Canada above tree line.

Sheep and goats? Yes. Surface farming? No.
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  01:25:26  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As noted above, Eds says they eat root veggies. Potatoes can fill many a need, not to mention carrots, onions, garlic, yams, etc. It easy enough to imagine the dwarves growing some sort of underground root vegetables.
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bloodtide_the_red
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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  02:21:26  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cards77
Surface farming just doesn't make sense. Due to lack of arable land anywhere near the Spine of the World/Frost Hills. It would make much more sense for them to be trading out of Rivermoot etc.



Well, why do you think the whole Spine of the World is nothing but super high mountains? Is there some reason you think there are no valleys? That is where the farm land would be.

It's not like a dwarf hold in some mountains would only have one door on a mountain peak.

Approximately 1,700 species of plants live on the Arctic tundra, including flowering plants, dwarf shrubs, herbs, grasses, mosses, and lichens. The tundra is characterized by permafrost, a layer of soil and partially decomposed organic matter that is frozen year-round. Only a thin layer of soil, called the active layer, thaws and refreezes each year. This makes shallow root systems a necessity and prevents larger plants such as trees from growing in the Arctic.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  02:29:00  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by bloodtide_the_red

quote:
Originally posted by Cards77
Surface farming just doesn't make sense. Due to lack of arable land anywhere near the Spine of the World/Frost Hills. It would make much more sense for them to be trading out of Rivermoot etc.



It's not like a dwarf hold in some mountains would only have one door on a mountain peak.




That is exactly how it's described which is the reason for this thread.

There ARE valleys on every land scapd, just not the kind suitable for farming. Arable land must have a sufficient growing season, sufficient natural rainfall, etc.

The description of the Spine of the World is as a inhospitable alpine mountain range, comparable to the Himalayas.

This would be were reality and fantasy divert I suppose.

I just wanted to give my players a reasonable explanation for how a legion of dwarves living inside a mountain with one small door as the only entry can access enough food.
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Cards77
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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  02:33:14  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

As noted above, Eds says they eat root veggies. Potatoes can fill many a need, not to mention carrots, onions, garlic, yams, etc. It easy enough to imagine the dwarves growing some sort of underground root vegetables.



Root vegetables are reasonable and as indicated a preferred food.

But the plants would require natural light to grow.

Fungi would be viable underground with no light and using only guano/dung/detrius as a growing bed (similar to Donigarten).

I can easily see wholesale trade with surrounding farming hamlets for any and all foodstuffs. There just doesn't appear to be a way to get them inside other than carried by hand.

It's just a bit of a idiosyncrasy in the design of the Halls.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  03:16:13  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Natural light would be easy enough to replicate/duplicate with magic.

One of the Dragginglance novels I read said that Thorbardin -- the dwarven kingdom, positioned appropriately under a mountain -- had giant crystals that went to the surface, and channeled sunlight within the mountain.

A third possible alternative... A lot of materials in the Realms can have magical properties, without having been crafted by magic. Mayhaps there is a type of crystal that naturally absorbs sunlight, and when taken into dark spaces emits that sunlight. Enough of those, regularly rotated, would provide ample sunlight. (And they could be recharged in otherwise inaccessible surface areas)

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sleyvas
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Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  04:32:42  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
As a advancement of idea 3 above by Wooly, perhaps certain crystals can have certain spells cast upon them that make them absorb light for a specified period of time and then later give off said light. So, its not necessarily a property of a certain type of crystal, its a property of the spell. Thus, dwarves might haul wheelbarrows full of simple quartz to the surface to absorb light, etc...

I must say, that idea intrigues me. I can see there being raids on settlements to acquire their crystals as they're returning, etc...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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