The new dwarf woman

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In case anyone missed, it, I'm talking about the preview about dwarves here.

So... why does the modern American "standard" of female beauty have to apply to everything? Why can't dwarf men find hairy, hirsuite women attractive? We're seeing this trend in much of the new 4e art: male dragonborn are bulky and clearly nonhuman, female dragonborn are slightly muscular human female supermodels with scales and lizard heads. Male tieflings have hideous, demonic faces, female tieflings are supermodels with smaller horns than the men and red skin. Male dwarves are bald, ugly men with bizarre, ritual beards, female dwarves are slightly short and stocky supermodels. If it weren't for the fact that elves and halflings are already on the effeminate side, I'm sure we'd see the same thing there.

Granted, many women don't like playing dwarves, half-orcs, etc. because they're ugly, but this is a double-standard, and I'm not sure that's a good enough reason.

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Im way more concerned about dwarves being now surface creatures...

Althrough I don't care what they say, I have been playing with bearded women in my games for all 3.x (since 2e women had beards) and I don't going to change them now a single bit.

I can understand their reasons (marketing, buy the new Female Dwarf 4.0, more sexy, still crunchy!) but since they have no power over my campaigns I don't care a bit...


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About the art, she reminds me to a mule (in the darksun sense of the term).
I agree, it's rather disappointing and borderline sexist. The 3E dwarf female was hardly ugly, despite having bulky proportions and broad facial features, and that only made them stand out from the other short races. I'm not one to advocate the "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" but this everyone-is-a-comic-superhero thing is really getting out of hand.

Now, I can understand cutting the beard, be that to step away from Tolkien or just to make female dwarves seem less unappealing (and let's be honest, more people have played female half-orcs than bearded female dwarves) but "exotic beauty that no one would think to splash a beard on" is just plain wrong when the males of the same species look like squatting gorillas.

Sure, in the end it's just a game and game-related artwork, but I'd rather adventure in a world where not only people who look like Barbie dolls are worth fighting for.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

Im way more concerned about dwarves being now surface creatures...

Not quite. The difference is that they actually need light to see now, so lighting becomes an issue in their architecture. As a result, while their settlements are mostly still underground, the 'prime real estate' in a dwarven settlement is the area close enough to the surface to have skylights, while deeper parts of the settlement need to be artificially lit.
Novels imply that dwarven settlements have been artificially lit anyway since 2nd Edition at least. Maybe they just prefer viewing their craftsmanship in visible light.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

I sort of agree. Short thickly built women do exist. Not every race has to be teh hawtness. Maybe short and thickly built is hot in its own right?
I sort of agree. Short thickly built women do exist. Not every race has to be teh hawtness. Maybe short and thickly built is hot in its own right?

The dwarf pictured is short, thickly built and hot. She also does not have man-shoulders... unlike most 3E female dwarves.
The dwarf pictured is short, thickly built and hot. She also does not have man-shoulders... unlike most 3E female dwarves.

So fine, nothing wrong with man shoulders on a woman. If she is going to swing an axe and do equal damage, she'll be needing man shoulders. It's like hearing that the're changing the artwork so orc men and women are hot too now. What if somebody wanted to be a humanoid with bad skin, innapropriate hair, tusks and desperate dan chins. An ugly humanoid? Does everybody have to be Paris Hilton? Ugly Betty - isn't actually ugly! Some want a geniune 'ugly Betty'
I like the new female dwarf being short, stout, and good-looking.

Well, hopefully short, since I heard that they are making dwarves taller.

I do agree with the criticism that males and females should look like they belong to the same species, though, or at least like the artists consulted each other on dwarves. Old balding dour males look odd next to the pretty vibrant young females. I hope they pick a single look that covers both sexes.
So fine, nothing wrong with man shoulders on a woman. If she is going to swing an axe and do equal damage, she'll be needing man shoulders.

No, nothing is fine with it and your statement is completely wrong. It is counterintuitive to common tastes (and as much as I do not want to do this, bout you're forcing me to, human (or in this case, near human) genetics and gender dismorphia. Manshoulders on women happen from steroids or disproportionate attention spent working on upper body strength without general fitness training, not physical fitness. Definitely soemthing that would make for a racial standard. I know marine corps women who can bust out more pullups than most men. These women are just as curvey and sexy as any other woman, actually, because of their defined tones and healthy curves, imo they are sexier.

It's like hearing that the're changing the artwork so orc men and women are hot too now. What if somebody wanted to be a humanoid with bad skin, innapropriate hair, tusks and desperate dan chins.

I'm just gonna skip the line about orcs. Orcs are still XP-bags, they are not a race most players are intended to find something appealing about. Identifying with (and wanting to play as) orcs (which I do) is the aberrant, the minority.

An ugly humanoid? Does everybody have to be Paris Hilton? Ugly Betty - isn't actually ugly! Some want a geniune 'ugly Betty'

You're really bringing up that meatlover as a sign of attractiveness? O_o she makes me wretch... though she does look like she could pass for a half-braindead elf.
Fist off who amongst the posters actually looked at the picture of the Dwarf women? She is hardly a modern American view of beauty. Pretty face sure, but shes far more of a medieval baroque idea of attractiveness. If a girl in America had that body type she would not be seen as a common ideal of beauty. That being said I happen to like women with some more to them but hey. Dwarves are a humanoid race and the are basically derived from Norse myth with a vast evolution since but hey, why not give them a western/Norse idea of beauty? Especially one that fits with their origins in myth (time period wise). I like the idea of the new Dwarven women being attractive, they are a race with a very strong sense of aesthetics so it works for me.
No, nothing is fine with it and your statement is completely wrong. It is counterintuitive to common tastes (and as much as I do not want to do this, bout you're forcing me to, human (or in this case, near human) genetics and gender dismorphia. Manshoulders on women happen from steroids or disproportionate attention spent working on upper body strength without general fitness training, not physical fitness.

What he said was fine, and your statement is completely wrong. First, it really shouldnt matter what common tastes say, its a sad cliche when every Str 18 female has to be a scrawny 110 pounder. Just because society tells us that the ideal woman is a little fragile waife, it hardly means that this meme is something that should always be upheld.

Second, natural bodybuilding clearly proves that "manshoulders" on women arent necessarily the result of steriods. The idea that a woman needs steroids to be muscular is a modern myth that exists to reinforce traditional gender roles with the idea that a woman who looks different is somehow "unnatural" or a "freak". Women can have muscle mass and be very physically fit without resorting to illegal substances.

I know marine corps women who can bust out more pullups than most men. These women are just as curvey and sexy as any other woman, actually, because of their defined tones and healthy curves, imo they are sexier.

Smaller people can have a greater strength to weight ratio than people with greater mass. Its a common phenomenon among powerlifters. This doesnt mean that a woman with a "normal" looking physique is going to be pushing around the same actual weight as our muscular, adventerer male (or swinging the axe as hard). If we are making women with the same Str score as big, brawny men, there is no reason they cant be at least a little brawny as well.

Fist off who amongst the posters actually looked at the picture of the Dwarf women? She is hardly a modern American view of beauty. Pretty face sure, but shes far more of a medieval baroque idea of attractiveness.

QFT. The reason i like the new dwarf woman is because they are attempting to make her sexy without making her look like the standard skinny-ass western ideal. If it were me, i might make take the image a little farther from the normal social standard but i appreciate that they havent made the female dwarf a stick figure model type.
Looking at the dwarf women though, especially the rogue and warlock pics , I'm wondering when half-dwarves are going to be written.

And as a side note, I usually use this rule in D&D and most RPG games - No one is 'ugly' unless the plot specifically calls for it.
In case anyone missed, it, I'm talking about the preview about dwarves here.

So... why does the modern American "standard" of female beauty have to apply to everything? Why can't dwarf men find hairy, hirsuite women attractive? We're seeing this trend in much of the new 4e art: male dragonborn are bulky and clearly nonhuman, female dragonborn are slightly muscular human female supermodels with scales and lizard heads. Male tieflings have hideous, demonic faces, female tieflings are supermodels with smaller horns than the men and red skin. Male dwarves are bald, ugly men with bizarre, ritual beards, female dwarves are slightly short and stocky supermodels. If it weren't for the fact that elves and halflings are already on the effeminate side, I'm sure we'd see the same thing there.

Granted, many women don't like playing dwarves, half-orcs, etc. because they're ugly, but this is a double-standard, and I'm not sure that's a good enough reason.

Yeah it's a double standard, and D&D is not out to pioneer new social trends.

They want people to use the material they print, and females are just attracted to prettier races like Humans and Elves/Eladrin, or exotic races like Tieflings and Dragonborn. They generally don't like gruff, ugly, or more masculine women. So D&D is pretty much giving the larger number of folks out there what they want.

There are some who don't care about looks, and in an ideal world (according to some), nobody would concern themselves with such things, but for right now, that's how it is. D&D is not going to get girls who are turned away from playing ugly races to play ugly races. That's something that has to happen outside of D&D.
"Manshoulders" is more than just muscle development. Shoulder width is a secondary sexual characteristic in humans. Men have broader shoulders than do women as part of their bone structure; no amount of axe-swinging is going to change that (though steroids could influence it if taken early enough). Women have rounder shoulders.

It is theorized that round shoulders evolved as a sexual characteristic to give a similar appearance to the buttocks, which were less prominent due to our upright posture. Same with breasts.

Dwarven sexual dimorphism could be different, but artists (and general aesthetics) tend to drift toward the familiar.
The new dwarf women are, for lack of a better phrase, Really Effing Hot. Though I only saw the rogue, not the warlock.

On the other hand I will admit one of my favouritest characters ever is a woman of the masculine, "in possession of man-shoulders" variety (on top of being six-foot-four with muscles like woven steel cord), but that kind of goes with being as strong as seven men without it being some kind of superpower, so. I can see it both ways, but, yes. (Now, the fact that she managed all of that while be disturbingly attractive in a prettyboy-to-the-max kind of way may have been a superpower.)

But anyway, new dwarf gal is hot, and very much because she doesn't look like the anorexic supermodels that our modern media glamourizes. I mean, look at the rogue--thick thighs, big bum, thick waist, relatively thick arms, big nose, short and stocky--and gorgeous. I love it. It's wonderful. She's as attractive as many people consider those supermodels to be (though I don't find those supermodels attractive, for the most part), without looking anything like them. Lovely. Magnifica. Totally.

Kudos to Bill O'Connor; the man is seriously onto something with this one.
3.x dwarves didn't have beards either. This is not new.

I will handle it the same way I handle hairy hobbit feet, if you want your character to have it, then more power to you. Other halflings/dwarves won't look at you funny, but the majority of the population won't have it.

The female dwarves were a much greater challenge [than male dwarves]. The design team felt that they had been ignored in earlier versions because they are always depicted as so unattractive and masculine. I was directed to make them beautiful, even sexy. Short, stocky and large nosed is not exactly a schema for the classic female beauty. I had no inclination to depict them with beards or soft cherubic faces. Broadening the face and balancing the design with piles of hair and slightly bigger eyes was my solution.

And I think it was a fine one.
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I like the new Dwarf look.
While dwarven women having beards and being kinda... well... ugly, has been something of a tradition... I'm glad to see the change. Maybe they might start appearing more in your average campaign now.
she kinda reminds me of the description for gnome females from the book GNOMES!...you can find it in most libraries.

I always thought dwarven females had that look...just maybe not so....bed-ready?....she has muscle...but not enough to make her grotesque...proportions are about right..

only thing I am having problems with is the "surface dwelling" bit...if i wanted short and surface dwelling, I would play a halfling...but I want gruff, loyal, loveing the stone dwarves....not "hey...look at the pretty sunshine" dwarves
I have to admit the whole "partially surface-dwelling, partially subterranean" bit makes perfect sense, especially now that they lack darkvision. I mean, there are plenty of benefits to having above-ground facilities and dwellings as opposed to just subterranean ones. They describe them in the snippet, and the explanation provided is sufficient for me.

Also, that dwarf rogue gal is really really really hot. Did I mention Bill O'Connor did a positively smashing job?
The dragonborn female looks like lizard headed supermode!?! Not any supermodel I have ever seen. She is meant to be a rogue, so heaven forbid she might look as though she could be graceful.

The dwarf lady looks nice, not my type (even though I like short women) but apparently the idea of humans digging dwarf girlies will not be a problem from some of the comments here! I see no reason why dwarven ladies can't be attractive, she's definitely not a lithe waif, she's quite solidly built and personally I see no issue with how she looks.
i agrree with what most everybody has said here.A dwarf woman most defantaly must be short and stocky. maybe a little dirt on her face for working under ground, but facial hair i dont think so. she may be a dwarf but shes still a woman.
I see no reason why dwarven ladies can't be attractive, she's definitely not a lithe waif, she's quite solidly built and personally I see no issue with how she looks.

Dwarf women certainly can look attractive (to humans), the issue is how the article suggests that dwarven women should look sexy as a rule.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

If you don't want your female dwarf character to be pretty, then have her be not-pretty. If you want your female dwarf character to be gorgeous, have her be gorgeous.

There is no issue here.
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The issue is the direction the game is taking. The 3.5 book had a beardless dwarf woman, who looked similar to the dwarf guy - and didn't look like a human. This 4th ed pic looks like a 5ft or slightly less woman.

I said man shoulders not hulk shoulders. Though it is considered unattractive its not uncommon. I've known women who struggled to keep their shoulders and arms small, any amount of exercise giving them shape and definition most men would kill for. Just like some men have girlish figures.

This is a pic of an attractive short human. Yes she is stocky - but much less so than 3.5. She really doesn't look anything like the dwarf typical in fantasy. This matters, these things shouldn't be just thrown away. Might as well have fat elves, blue orcs, 10ft smurfs etc.
So fine, nothing wrong with man shoulders on a woman. If she is going to swing an axe and do equal damage, she'll be needing man shoulders.

Are you suggesting that female elves should do less damage? (or female human, eladrin, halfling and tieffling for that matter)
That's more a matter of Strength... and it's up to you how strong your girls are (within the limits of your ability score allotments, of course) and just how they carry it. Personally, my really strong girls (I currently play one that's Str 24 in an MnM2 game; that is pumping-iron Strength, not superpower-Strength; I also had an Str 18 battle sorcerer in a short-lived stint in an evil Eberron campaign) do tend to be very built (think maybe six and a half feet, broad-shouldered, big-boned--ridiculous physical strength has a way of showing), but I can see some people wanting them more compact. I think it's a little silly to have a woman that's as strong as seven men looking waifish--or even average, generally speaking--but that's just me.
If you don't want your female dwarf character to be pretty, then have her be not-pretty. If you want your female dwarf character to be gorgeous, have her be gorgeous.

That is how it should be done, not go and state "there are no unattractive dwarf women in D&D".

Maybe I am in the minority in this, but something like this is not what I consider a proper portrayal of the dwarven race, or any race for that matter. It is a fantasy game, fine, but to me D&D has always been about imagining an alternate reality with fantasy elements, not a cartoon universe where over-sexed, shiny cardboard models never grow old or hungry or tired.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

Also that link just posted does not look like a dwarf woman should look, IMO. On the other hand, the dwarf rogue gal linked to (in a slightly roundabout way) by the OP looks wonderful. She is short, stocky, broadly built, big-nosed, and absolutely gorgeous.
On the other hand, the dwarf rogue gal linked to (in a slightly roundabout way) by the OP looks wonderful. She is short, stocky, broadly built, big-nosed, and absolutely gorgeous.

It is a wonderful representation of an absolutely gorgeous dwarf woman. It fails miserably to represent the average dwarf woman, unless of course all the normal-looking female dwarves went extinct with the introduction of the new and improved super-dwarf:

The design team felt that they [female dwarves, not the design team] had been ignored in earlier versions because they are always depicted as so unattractive and masculine. I was directed to make them beautiful, even sexy.

Am I taking that too literally? Probably. I should hope so.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

It is a wonderful representation of an absolutely gorgeous dwarf woman. It fails miserably to represent the average dwarf woman, unless of course all the normal-looking female dwarves went extinct with the introduction of the new and improved super-dwarf:.

Why does an artistic representation of a heroic specimen of a species have to look average?
Am I taking that too literally? Probably. I should hope so.

I think you're misinterpreting it. These were instructions to an artist. It's the same as if they said "Make all the human girls look totally hot." Upon reading the PHB and seeing sexy human women, you aren't supposed to come to the conclusion that in D&D, every human woman is a supermodel. It's just artwork. Also, their example dwarf woman doesn't look anything like Lineage 2's dwarves. She's got a dwarven build, and I really don't think she's some sort of hypersexual supermodel... she's got nice eyes maybe, but I think it's sort of odd that so many people seem to find her so sexually attractive that she's unrealistic. Maybe she's just not my type.
The image of the Dwarf portrays a hero - she should be visually appealing. Sorta like actors dont represent average people, but represent various ideals that people want to be.

I like the image. It convincingly represents a Dwarf and is visually appealing. Personally, I dont assume the image implies all Dwarves are beautiful. After all, depictions of Human heroes tend toward goodlooking, and it doesnt imply all Humans in D&D are.

In any case, the female Dwarf needs to be extra goodlooking to counter the opposite assumption.

When most people 'get it' that Dwarves can be goodlooking, therel be more room for a range of images of Dwarves.

Also part of the problem is the erroneous tradition that Charisma refers to physical features, so the Dwarfs negative Charisma adjustment made people imagine them as uglier, wrongly.

In sum, shes cool.
Problem with pictures of a race that portray them as generally ugly is that it's harder to dispell a negative sterotype than a positive one. It's hard to polish a turd.

However, making all female Dwarves more attractive makes it easier for your character to suggest you're not ugly . That's why most people who value attractiveness in races go for Elves and Humans, who are naturally prettier, instead of taking one of the less attractive races and trying to gussy up their Dwarf, Orc, or Goblin. Trying to pass yourself off as an attractive member of a usually unattractive race often comes across as a joke or simply playing against type. I've seen the female Half-Orc in the PHB get plenty of chuckles compared to the others (who get none).

If females want to play a less physically attractive female Dwarf, they're more than welcome to, and chances are, nobody will say a thing. Just like nobody makes a big deal when they meet a less attractive Human, Elf, or Half-Elf.
It is a wonderful representation of an absolutely gorgeous dwarf woman. It fails miserably to represent the average dwarf woman, unless of course all the normal-looking female dwarves went extinct with the introduction of the new and improved super-dwarf:

Ok I am a little scared for you. You realize that within the continuum game-world when they release a new archetype it is what it has always been a revision of history as it were. In the new game world there never would have been ugly bearded Dwarf women, they will have always looked this way. Nothing went extinct, nothing disappeared and no one was replaced, this is a 'normal' looking dwarf women now, it is what all 'normal' dwarf women will look like (albeit this is most likely an extremely attractive version of a dwarf women). Dwarf women in the new game world do not have beards, never have had beards, they do not have nor have ever had man shoulders, huge midsection or any of the other physical traits you most likely are associating with 'normal'. When designing a new concept for a race in a new world you aren't changing them you are designing them ground up. You are aware its a forum for the new gaming system right? thats why it says 4th edition. just want to make sure.
Look, all I'm saying (well, not really all, but the core message) is that it is at the very least questionable how, apparently, 4E dwarves are a race of fat and ugly guys with doll-faced sex kittens for women.

And you're scared of me?

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

So fine, nothing wrong with man shoulders on a woman. If she is going to swing an axe and do equal damage, she'll be needing man shoulders. It's like hearing that the're changing the artwork so orc men and women are hot too now. What if somebody wanted to be a humanoid with bad skin, innapropriate hair, tusks and desperate dan chins. An ugly humanoid? Does everybody have to be Paris Hilton? Ugly Betty - isn't actually ugly! Some want a geniune 'ugly Betty'

I think this is relevant at this point...
Look, all I'm saying (well, not really all, but the core message) is that it is at the very least questionable how, apparently, 4E dwarves are a race of fat and ugly guys with doll-faced sex kittens for women.

And you're scared of me?

Have you looked at the art for men? They're hot little asskickers!
This guy doesn't much look like a male supermodel to me:

IMAGE(http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/360_Gallery/dragon360_03.jpg)

Though arguably he's not really fat either.

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."

This guy doesn't much look like a male supermodel to me:

Who said supermodels were the only type of hot in the world?

Arnold Schwartzenegger is an attractive man, he is not a supermodel. He looks a really tall dwarven fighter without a beard.