Why can't I have magical dwarf grogs?

I was developing a covenant, and it was supposed to be in a regio with magical dwarfs as covenfolk, taking the Inhuman covenfolk boon. The dwarfs would have been the original inhabitants who accepted leadership of the magi in return for the magi dealing with the outside world for them, this way they could concentrate on mining and smithing. Anyway, I started to write the template up using Realms of Power, Magic, but ran into a problem.

Presumably dwarfs would be magical humans with one level of the Miniature Inferiority. But it is a major inferiority and grogs can't have it.

I am pretty sure the answer is "It is your game, just ignore it" but if anyone has any other answer, I would be glad to hear it.

It's because the list was designed for player characters, not NPCs, really, and for player characters, being small is a major problem in a game where combat is emphasised.

Which is to say: I remind you of the cardinal rule of flaws: "A Flaw which is not a flaw is not a Flaw." That is, if it has no play effect, it is not a flaw, and therefore is a zero value choice.

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The actual height of something has little to do with their Size. Tolkien's dwarfs would be at least +0 Size; short but stocky and strong.

But if that doesn't work for you, just give them a Personal Power that lets them be small when they want to be (i.e. most of the time).

I'm away from my books, but as I recall the Miniature inferiority says something about the subject being magically shrunk. So, that would suggest that out there in the magic realm, or world that there are an example of their race that aren't miniature.

Also, Dwarf Blood (as in the Faerie Blooded virtues) doesn't automatically make the character small, does it? I don't think it makes the Dwarf General Flaw compulsory.

For the same reason why you can't have Outlaw grogs. Which, in my opinion, eliminates an option that would be a much more common choice in covenant creation. To address this, one of the very few House Rules we have is:
You can assign any Major Flaw to a grog, counting it as a Minor Flaw.
Note that RAW already sort-of do this with the Outsider Flaw; and in any case, the "prohibition" against grogs starting with Major Flaws is worded in "weaker" form than that against (e.g.) grogs starting with more than 3 points of V&Fs.

When designing magic animals, you can just set their Size to whatever you want, and there is even a slight boost to the creature's Might Score. I suggest you do the same for your magic humans in this case.

Also, I have to say, when writing for Realms of Power: Magic I tried very hard not to base rules on whether a character is a PC or an NPC. I think the character design rules should work the same way for every character, because it is so common for magical characters to start out as NPCs and then become PCs, like familiars, and their role shouldn't change their stats.

Yes! An excellent design choice!

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I thought dwarves would be Faerie creatures?

Also, Flaw size is based on saga influence more than power, the way I see it. I would allow most Major Flaws/Inferiorities as Minor ones as long as no significant problems/time expenditure come of it. Like, a Mute grog is fine, as long as there aren't stories arising from the complications of their voicelessness and they aren't trying to steal the spotlight from the major characters by dedicating stories to their search for a way to regain their voices or something.

That's not to say a grog's Flaws can't affect change in the direction of the saga; a grog's side interests can put interesting spins on stories that often fall into the regular pattern of "magi want something, challenges are overcome, they get what they're after, and it's foreshadowed that the way they overcame a challenge will have story-altering consequences later." But grogs should almost never be the focus; they're minor characters for a reason.

So yeah. If their being especially small is going to have major complications, leave it Major and don't build them as grogs. If not, make it Minor and don't worry too much.

Personally I rule that a grog can have a single major flaw that is a non-story, non-hermetic flaw, if the concept is one I like. Hence we've a couple of dwarf grogs at our covenant. And a couple of giants, because the inverse is also true, a grog may have a major virtue under the same conditions.

You can't have Magical dwarf grogs for the same reason I can't play a Hermetic dragon... Sometimes mechanical practicality is the difference between an unused concept sitting on your mental shelf, and your dreams all coming true. :frowning:


Oh, and a constant MuCo Personal Power could totally make them smaller, though it costs a Minor Quality or Virtue. Maybe dreams can come true sometimes.

There's nothing in the rules that excludes a Hermetic dragon. :slight_smile:

Indeed. Anything might have the Gift.

As I understand it, Grogs are player characters, they are just characters that are not to have story focus. The reason they are not allowed to have Major Flaws is that this causes the story to be about them.

However, when creating a race of magical creatures, if they all have the same magical inferiority, it won't be like that.

As for a flaw not being a flaw if it does not have a game effect. Magical inferiorities are not exactly the same as flaws. For instance, a magical grog is not limited in the number of inferiority he can take. Someone decided that Major inferiorities were not acceptable for grog level characters, which becomes logically equivalent to The only magical humans of size -2 or smaller have to be individually the focus of stories. Which seems like a strange thing to do.

The dwarves I am imagining are Narnian dwarves. In The Horse and HIs Boy, Shasta wears the dwarf armor without any difficulty, and in the illustrations I have seen from when C.S. Lewis was alive have the dwarves solidly in the -2 category.

My understanding is that Miniature Inferiority and Gigantic Quality shift your species away from the Platonic Forms normal size, whereas Giant Blood Virtue and Dwarf Flaw shift your specific character away from the average of your species. All the examples of Giants bought Gigantic multiple times, because while they were normal for their species of Giant, the species of giant they are differs from the Platonic form of humans. I have to think it would work the same way for getting smaller.

So, here is my solution,

When you take the Magical Human Virtue, you automatically get the Monstrous Appearance Inferiority. That means you look strange and gives you a horrible penalty when interacting with normal humans.

The Miniature Inferiority provides a Size -2, which does the following

Reduces the Wound levels from increments of 5 to increments of 3
Reduces Strength by 4
Increases Quickness by 2
Increases Magical Might by 2.

It seems like I might be able to separate those two things. What if for the purposes of combat stats and so forth, the dwarves don't have the minature flaw, but for the purposes of weight and height and so forth, they do?

So, if it is a question of being hit with an arrow and not dying, they are treated as Size 0, but in terms of being carried away by a large bird, their weight is calculated as Size -2. The armor they wear fits a nine year old child and is not interchangeable with an adult human, but they are not as weak as the normal human child would be.

As far as I can see you can have both dwarf grogs and outlaw grogs (but not outlaw dwarf grogs :slight_smile: ) since the main rulebook doesn't restrict grogs from taking major virtues and flaws, but restricts the number of "points" taken to three.

The last part of the sentence in RoP:Magic p 36 "... but characters who are intended to serve a grog role in a saga may not take Major Qualities and Inferiorities, just as they cannot take Major Virtues and Flaws" must be wrong and is probably food for errata.

Mea culpa! So that means no grog may be a cripple, deaf or poor. I can't understand the rationale behind a rule like that. But at least I understand the reason for this thread :slight_smile:

The rationale is to not making grogs major characters. All of the major virtues and flaws have a habit of elevating the characters into something above and beyond bit players that grogs are meant to be.

John Post has this concept of an Uber-grog, something not quite a companion, using to 6 V&F points that moves beyond the standard Grog limits.