Tradeskills Associated with Dwarves

Among the various iterations of fantasy dwarves, a few trade skills are common associations. I figured that we could use a thread for information and images. This doesn’t relate directly to the battles which we all love, but they form the fluffy lore which enriches the flavor of our evil armies.

What I wanted to start with, in this specific post, are resources about the tools of the trades. Specifically, three trades.

Blacksmithing is the obvious first choice, as dwarves are considered master smiths in most fantasy settings. The article “Is Blacksmithing a Good Hobby?” contains a section about the basic tools needed by a smith, though some of them are modern tools.

Next is mining, as dwarves are often associated with mines. They might dig the mines themselves, or they might oversee groveling slaves, but either way, mining is an important trade. The Gezahe are an early modern collection of tools used by individual miners.

Finally, and less common, is stone masonry. This is often implied rather than stated, as dwarves are portrayed as dwelling in great underground cities which must have taken decades to carve. Even ziggurats are a form of stone work. D&D Basic went further and gave dwarves characters advantages on noticing sloping passages and secret doors in walls. Either way, a good place to start is the 13 Essential Masonry Tools list.

I’d like to eventually find good quality images for these various tools before moving on to other topics in this area, but I’m hoping that others can contribute as well. It’s a nice little extra lore piece.

ADDENDUM TO AVOID CLUTTER: how precisely could dwarves perform many of these functions without wood? Masonry requires scaffolding, smithing requires fuel, and even mining requires support beams. Check out the first answer to this question on Stack Exchange for clever solutions.

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