In most fantasy settings, dwarves are portrayed as master miners and diggers. They typically may their homes underground and mine for valuable metals / gems. We’ve all seen it a million times.
But what else do they find as they dig?
The bones of dinosaurs and other ancient creatures.
“Now Mr. Mixed GM, hold on just a second,” I hear you say, “while you are an intelligent and handsome man, not all fantasy worlds conform to the rules of the real world. In fact, there are many fantasy worlds that still have dinosaurs roaming around.”
You would be correct. But let’s shake up dwarves a little bit anyway. Make them a little more distinct than the norm.
Let’s imagine dwarves dig and find the fossilized bones of ancient creatures. What do they do with them?
Take them to a cleric or wizard for enchanting, obviously!
Here’s a few system-neutral ideas:
This +2 shield contains a fossil of a trilobite embedded in it. Besides the usual properties of a +2 shield, this shield allows the wielder to breathe underwater and see underwater. However, the wielder cannot swim, but sinks to the bottom. The shield allows the wielder to survive the crushing depths of the bottom of the ocean.
I think this idea has been done before, so I won’t claim to be original with it. Essentially, the dwarves take a dinosaur skeleton and make it into a golem-liek creature, with the usual golem immunities. The party cleric will try to turn it, because it looks like a big skeleton, and they will fail, because it is not undead. For stats, pull up your system’s “binder of baddies”* either use a golem or use a dinosaur (and add golem traits).
When this +1 dagger strikes a critical hit on a living, corporeal creature that has 4 HD or less, that creature must save vs. death or die instantly as it is disemboweled.
Now, for those of you who love ACKS: Domains at War or any fantasy wargame… imagine dwarves riding a Triceratops skeleton into battle!
* I hope no one has used “binder of baddies” for their collection of antagonists and sues me over usage of a trademarked term.