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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  01:00:09  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
I'm working out details related to a character I'm playing who is a dwarf.

I thought I'd like to see other ideas others have about what they have dwarves mining in their own campaigns; but thought I'd also share what I came up with.

Below are the things mined by the dwarves of Clan Horn in the Dragonspines:

Anthracite: good old fashioned coal mined by the dwarves only from deep shafts...anthracite is a "hard burning" coal and can even be used in the home as a heating element. The dwarves also make charcoal from mushroom "trees" in the underdark. This "mushroom charcoal" is made of a mushroom that burns especially fiercely...hotter than even anthracite.

Arsenopyrite: used to produce arsenic and tiny amounts of gold. The arsenic is used by dwarves to treat the small amounts of lumber (mostly "Mushroom Lumber") they use in their mines (only as temporary joists and such) as well as pesticides (to kill off dangerous underground vermin like giant centipedes and so on) and for use in their creation of fine brass. The "Golden Halls" of the King are actually richly gold looking due to the addition of arsenic into the brass sheets the dwarves decorate with.

Baryte: as a white dye for paint. Such paint is used for fine working and not for white-washing walls and such.

Building Stone: granite, syenite, gneiss, sandstone and limestone in plenty all over

Calcite: aka Rock Crystal; semi-precious stones (50 g.p. base)

Chalcopyrite: extraction of copper used for minting coins and creation of copper and brass pottery and utensils.

Cryptomelane: extraction of manganese (called "lesser iron" by the dwarves), they use it to make fine grade steel in their iron alloys.

Dolomite: construction and smelting (used for furnaces, dolomite is a high temperature bearing stone that won't crack under heat stress like other stones might)

Fluorite: ornamental stone (10 g.p. base)

Galena: lead and silver production; the dwarves gain most of their wealth from this silver bearing "stone" and it is the cornerstone of their wealth; although the lead is actually a valuable trade item as well for everything from white dye/paint to using as sling bullets and "siege iron" (which is melted and poured on attackers). The walls of Hornhold are actually white-washed from using lead based paint!

Malachite: ornamental stones (10 g.p. base)

Manganite: the primary source of manganese (aka Lesser Iron) this ore is valued by the dwarves for the creation of their strong armor and weapons which are highly resistant to rust

Niter: used to make soaps

Psilomelane: another "stone" used for the extraction of manganese

Pyrite: used by some dwarves to make cheap jewelry, but also for dying leather, making ink & cleaning

Pyrolusite: another "stone" used for the extraction of manganese

Pyrrhotite: the primary ore for the extraction of iron (at high temperatures it becomes Magnetite).

Quartz: the dwarves pull a great deal of quartz from their mines and from that is produced both Agate and Jasper in plenty. There are also several small veins of gold to be found with the quartz that supplement the great amounts of silver mined by them.

= Agate ornamental stones (10 g.p. base)

= Jasper semi-precious stones (50 g.p. base)

=Amethyst fancy stones (100 g.p. base); there exists an Amethyst mine within the personal mines of the Dwarf King

Sphalerite: the dwarves use this for the extraction of zinc (and some small amounts of iron). The dwarves use it with copper to make brassware that they sell abroad via The Axe By Night and use at home as well.

Talc: used in the creation of pottery making and as powder for workmen and "farmers" both.

Wavellite: ornamental stones liked by druids (10 g.p. base)

There are other minerals in the area as well; but I thought these would be more than sufficient to establish trade and an economy for the dwarves.

I'm not concerned about the bad qualities of lead in the environment. I'm playing a fantasy campaign; not going to get into lead poisoning most likely...especially as dwarves are so resistant to toxins.

EDIT: taking a suggestion from George Krashos, added a bit about gold being mined from the quartz deposits.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!

Edited by - Dalor Darden on 02 Dec 2019 04:51:14

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6898 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  01:43:18  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Dwarven lust for steel and gold is proverbial. But other precious metals (silver, copper, platinum) and gemstones are also highly desired. For craft, for trade, for prestige... not so much for magic.

But mithril and adamant are perhaps prized by dwarves most of all. To make the finest axes and hammers, of course. And to make chisels and chamberpots, gauntlets and goblets, lathes and latches, all sorts of mundane (or magnificent) dwarven wares.

I suppose dwarven strongholds and communities will make use of whatever types of stone or metal happen to surround them. Much like human settlements tend to be built of cedarwood, red bricks, black iron, or whatever other material happens to be easiest at hand. So dwarves will tend to mine and use whatever the mine provides... and each dwarven site might therefore have different kinds of construction, craft, art, and science based on these local materials. (Unless dwarven sites are always built on top of the same primary minerals and surrounded by the same sorts of secondary materials, in which case they'd all look pretty much the same to an outsider's eye.)

[/Ayrik]
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Storyteller Hero
Learned Scribe

USA
193 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  02:22:11  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There was a recent episode of Dr. Stone that demonstrated how one might search for minerals containing specific metals in a primitive age.

Tungsten-containing minerals might be among the most sought-after by dwarves, given the metal's capacity for heat resistance.




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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5640 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  04:33:29  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
With that much quartz, it's likely that there would be gold as well.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  04:48:44  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

With that much quartz, it's likely that there would be gold as well.

-- George Krashos



I thought about adding gold veins as well; but I wondered if it would make them TOO rich. Not all quartz comes with gold (most doesn't); but since this IS a fantasy world where gold is much more common, maybe I should go ahead and add it in as well.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6898 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  06:39:52  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I recall AD&D rules about (dwarven) smelting somewhere. DMGR2 Castle Guide, I think. Overkill in many useful and useless details, sadly deficient in others, at least it's a good starting point.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8411 Posts

Posted - 02 Dec 2019 :  21:53:01  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
salt?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1708 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  12:22:58  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

With that much quartz, it's likely that there would be gold as well.

-- George Krashos



I thought about adding gold veins as well; but I wondered if it would make them TOO rich. Not all quartz comes with gold (most doesn't); but since this IS a fantasy world where gold is much more common, maybe I should go ahead and add it in as well.


Depending on which edition of D&D you use, gold is worth 10 gp to 50 gp per pound on Toril.

This means that a pound of gold is worth somewhere around one to three swords and can't buy any kind of horse. By D&D 3e rules, a draft horse costs four avoirdupois pounds of gold or forty avoirdupois pounds of silver, which is roughly 50-100 times what it would have cost on medieval Earth.

This makes D&D gold much less valuable than real world silver and D&D silver worth so little that dirt poor peasants can use it as decoration. Literally any one horse town could exchange that one horse for enough silver to deck every townsman in jewelry.

A pound of gold in most historical periods would be an astronomical sum of money. In D&D, it's not enough to buy a draft horse, something most farmers own.

In general, think of gold and silver in a D&D world as you would think of copper and lead in a historical world.

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Edited by - Icelander on 03 Dec 2019 12:24:35
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32527 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  14:39:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There have been many, many discussions about D&D economics being problematic, at best.

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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
8411 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  15:22:24  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One way to counter why gold and silver is so "common", just as an idea to put forth... in order to make magic items, many of them require exorbitant amounts of cost in the form of gold. Normally, we say that this is because it requires some special components that must be bought (i.e. a displacer cloak may need a displacer beast hide). Some spells may use up some small figurine or jewelry, etc... What if those things were true, but also the creation of these things ALSO actually requires gold and/or silver… which disappears into the weave... and it "rematerializes" elsewhere relatively nearby. This might also explain ideas like why certain races can be mining in an area for millenia without running out of material. Similar concepts might be used for certain base gems/crystals used commonly in basic rituals.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Icelander
Master of Realmslore

1708 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  15:32:40  Show Profile  Visit Icelander's Homepage Send Icelander a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

There have been many, many discussions about D&D economics being problematic, at best.


Note that gold and silver being worth much less (in terms of buying power) than on historical Earth is not in itself problematic.

Indeed, on some level, it is an expected consequence of the existence of magic that makes mining and smelting much more efficient and prospecting far easier than at any time in real history.

Not to mention the abilities of truly powerful people to fetch gold and silver from the Elemental Plane of Earth or the Quasi-Elemental Plane of Minerals.

The problematic part comes when some authors nevertheless assume that a fantasy world where gold and silver are so much more accessible (whether or not they are more common) would have economics in any way similar to medieval Earth.

Simply put, in any plausible Realms, a single gold coin is not, as it was for most of history on Earth, great wealth for anyone, not even the meanest peasant. How could it be? An otherwise unremarkable noble in Ravens Bluff owns six million gold pieces, according to Ed Greenwood.

DMs should not be afraid to include orders of magnitude more gold and silver in their campaigns than were usually involved in historical economies on Earth. Which, naturally, makes gold and silver much less valuable on Toril than on Earth.

Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Forgotten Realms fans, please sign a petition to re-release the FR Interactive Atlas

Edited by - Icelander on 03 Dec 2019 15:35:19
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
588 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  15:48:19  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It is much easier in Realms to get any material from the ground as you have dwarves, gnomes and all kind of underground creatures mining it deeper than any common mine could get. If you live in Underdark I can imagine that most materials are almost worthless as anybody can get them if needed. The same devaluation would spread into the surface as there is a trade. There is much more focus on finished products as they add the value.
Salt is also much easier to get as is said somewhere in the books.
So there is much more metals, gems, ... but not everyone can make something useful from it. Humans still make crude iron gadgets like huge locks and it have to be replaced often. Fine elven, dwarven or gnomish work is much sought after and have nice price.
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  16:22:38  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In nearly all of my own games, the Realms included, I change the way I do coinage as shown HERE.

It makes things much easier for me to rationalize as far as rarity of coins. It also makes it necessary for me to change numbers in published products; but in the end it feels much better doing it this way.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6898 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  16:40:39  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'd always imagined that dwarves are driven to mine deeper because they're always searching for stuff like mithril and adamant which isn't really found anywhere else. They just happen to bump into lots of gold nuggets and silver veins along the way.

[/Ayrik]
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Renin
Learned Scribe

USA
214 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  17:23:47  Show Profile Send Renin a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

In nearly all of my own games, the Realms included, I change the way I do coinage as shown HERE.

It makes things much easier for me to rationalize as far as rarity of coins. It also makes it necessary for me to change numbers in published products; but in the end it feels much better doing it this way.


Pathfinder 2e went to silver piece based wealth system as well.
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
689 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  19:55:33  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Gold is almost always found in quartz veins when mining hard rock. There are no exceptions. More gold is found in water bodies (streams and rivers) however that gold eroded from quartz veins and other minerals cohabitant with gold.

The reason is because gold was in solution with quartz, and when cooled it fell to the bottom based on gravity. When the quartz cooled, the layer of gold was laying right next to the quartz vein.

Silver, gold, platinum, mitral and adamantine would be especially valued. Also, minerals containing arsenic and cyanide are used to process gold ore.

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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  20:01:17  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would have to disagree about gold always being found with quartz.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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Cards77
Senior Scribe

USA
689 Posts

Posted - 03 Dec 2019 :  20:04:38  Show Profile Send Cards77 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dalor Darden

I would have to disagree about gold always being found with quartz.



There are no absolutes. Native gold can be found hanging out anywhere, in many forms.

But, commercially viable quantities mined from hard rock are nearly always, whether it's some kind of granite quartz matrix or whatever.

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