In real life, a dwarf is a small or short person, whose growth has been stunted. In most cases this is caused by some genetic disorder, usually affecting bone development.

There are over 200 different possible diagnosis of dwarfism, but most dwarfs (about 70%) are Achondroplastic dwarfs. A person with achondroplasia will have a normal sized trunk with short arms and legs, and stubby fingers and toes. They may have a slightly enlarged head, and prominent foreheads. Although they have a fully developed trunk, they may also have some degree of spinal curvature.

Achondroplasia is caused by a mutation in a gene (fibroblast growth factor receptor gene 3) that helps limit cartilage growth, making it overactive. (Hence 'a-chondro', meaning 'without cartilage') A normal sized person will have two normal copies of FGFR3; an achondroplasic individual will have one normal copy and one mutant copy. If you have two mutant copies, you will be born dead. It can be passed on from parent to child, but most cases are caused by new mutations of the gene.

Growth-hormone deficiency, AKA Physiologic dwarfism or Pituitary dwarfism, is a form of stunted growth caused by a hormonal imbalance (namely, too little of the growth hormone somatotropin). This condition causes a person to be small all over; small trunk, small arms and legs. This is generally no longer considered a form of dwarfism, nor should one use the traditional term midget. As far as I can find the current PC terminology is 'person with a growth-hormone deficiency'.

Other comparatively common forms of dwarfism include Diastrophic dysplasia, Osteogenesis imperfecta (type III), Pseudoachondroplasia, and Spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita.

Although people with various forms of dwarfism have a wide range of heights, the oft quoted 'official' definition of a dwarf is someone four feet ten inches or shorter, male or female.

Interestingly, prior to the publication of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the accepted plural for "dwarf" was "dwarfs". (Note the Webster 1913 writeup in the dwarf node.)

Tolkien, who was a linguist by profession, preferred to use "dwarves", and pointed out that the infrequency with which the word "dwarf" was used was responsible for it not having developed like "knife" or "wharf".

This is one of the Races of Everquest.

The dwarven race lives in Kaladim, located on the continent of Faydwer. They are a small race, and make good Warriors, Paladins, and Clerics. They are allied with the wood and high elves, and are a good race.
The dwarf is one of the original programs for Core Wars that was described by A.K. Dewdney in Scientific American Computer Recreations starting in May 1984.

In ICWS-88 the code for a dwarf is:

bomb  dat #0         | dat #0
start add #4,bomb    | add #4,-1
      mov bomb,@bomb | mov -2,@-2
      jmp start      | jmp -2
      end start      |

The dwarf is one of the simplest members of the 'stone' class of programs (part of the rock, paper, scissors analogy).

Line by line:

dat #0
The 'dat' statement in Redcode is short for 'data' and is an un-executable opcode (a program will 'die' when trying to run it). The dwarf only needs one 'variable' (called 'bomb') to work and thus this memory location has been given the symbolic name 'bomb' for easier reading.

add #4,bomb
Most instructions are made up of two parts called the 'A' field and the 'B' field. Here, the A-field has the literal (designated by '#') value '4', and the B-field refers to the memory location 'bomb' (which later gets reinterpreted as '-1'.

The instruction here is simply: add four to the B field of the the memory location 'bomb' (which is -1 from the current location).

mov bomb,@bomb
The most difficult to understand, and most useful concept of addressing in Redcode is the indirect which is specified with the '@'. Here, the value of the B-field of the location specified is an offset for the instruction and is also used as the 'source' for computing where the instruction operates.

The 'mov' command in this form takes the memory specified in the A-field (the dat statement at 'bomb') and copies it to the memory location some distance down (from the B-field of the bomb). If this happens to fall in the memory used by another program that is later run, that program dies, and the dwarf wins.

Something to note here is that the dwarf is only 4 memory units long and thus neatly bombs clear of itself as it loops around the core.

jmp start
After one bomb pass, the jmp sends the program back to the memory named 'start' (two memory cells backwards) and begins another iteration of the infinite loop that is the dwarf.

end start
This isn't a "real" instruction in the Redcode language but rather is a instruction to the MARS simulator to tell it where the program begins and ends. The program begins running at the 'start' location rather than the 'dat #0' which would kill it even before it ran the first instruction. Furthermore, the end tells the Redcode assembler to stop there and nothing after that point gets assembled.

With ICWS-94 the code for a dwarf becomes slightly more clear - many of the operations in ICWS-88 change how they behave depending on the addressing forms of the instructions. add #4,foo will add 4 to the B-field of the instruction foo while add foo,bar will add the A-field of foo to the A-field of bar, and the B-field of foo to the B-field of Bar (storing the result in bar). This is only one example of the confusion that may occur in trying to read and understand the source.

An ICWS-94 dwarf is:

ORG start
bomb    DAT.F  0,0
start   MOV.I  bomb,3
        ADD.AB #3044,start
        JMP.B  start
Here, each instruction has a modifier which tells how the instruction behaves. MOV.I has the entire Instruction as what it does rather than just one field. The ADD.AB has the A-field of the instruction read and the B field written to (note that this form of the dwarf doesn't go right in a line but scatters its shots around a bit and actually modifies the MOV instruction instead of using indirect addressing).

Experimental forms of Core wars that place limitations on the maximum distance that can be read from or written to have made the solo dwarf a warrior of days past. However, one can often find parts of a dwarf in other programs.

While elves in fantasy often represent magic and art, dwarves represent technology and practical thinking.

Dwarves have had various different faces in the fantasy settings, but the image that J.R.R. Tolkien presented us in his works has not been significantly changed by people.

While it isn't really obvious to outsiders how the dwarf society works, what is known is that the dwarf males are the part that most outsiders revere the most and see most often. When you think of a dwarf, you most often think of a male dwarf. Short, stocky guy with a beard. People often don't even have a picture of what a female dwarf even looks like. In the view shown in most serious fantasy settings, female dwarves are actually not much different than what one would expect - no beards here, and young male dwarves supposedly don't have beards either. Dwarf women and children are just not that often seen in the outside world, and often play no role at all in the games! Sillier fantasy settings go on suggesting that dwarf gender doesn't really matter - they all look and sound the same, beards and all. Dwarves are an ancient race, but they are still mortals, even though their life is usually much longer than human life.

Dwarves are, as everyone who has seen Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs knows, miners. As such, they live mostly underground in their own mining colonies, unearthing massive riches. (Again, sillier settings often go on about the usual dwarf obsession with the riches: Dwarf drinking songs that go like "Gold, gold, gold, gold, gold...") Once the mines are emptied of riches, they're furnieshed into luxurious, grand caverns that are equal in splendor to any palace in the surface. They're typically good at all sorts of crafts, only being second to elves what comes to making of weapons, armor, and jewelry. And everyone who has ever done business with them knows that they're very good at negotiating, especially what comes to getting more money. Dwarven cuisine is world-famous and dwarven drinks much more so; even though it seems unfairly stereotypical to say so, a sober dwarf is a dangerous dwarf in combat, a drunk dwarf triply so.

Dwarves are typically excellent fighters and known for their strength and perseverance. In battle, dwarves typically use axes. Dwarves are not particularly known for their magic, though, except (of course) in the craft side.

There's always been some grudges and distrust between dwarves and the rest of the world. Dwarves seem to particularly distrust elves and hate orcs (of course, everyone hates orcs, but none as much as dwarves). However, the elf relationship is more of a suspicion: dwarves can cooperate with elves if it's absolutely needed, and over long period of time, even become friends.

(Not many sources to mention, all of this from the top of my head...)

(Myth units)

So the Generic Fantasy Dwarves are miners, right? Well, Myth cuts right to the bone of the issues: Mining is primarily about blowing stuff up.

Dwarves in Myth games are the really heavy artillery that really helps your cause. Dwarves carry a lot of Dwarven Cocktails, bottles filled with explosives - essentially Molotov Cocktails that are a lot more explosive. They also carry a small number of satchel charges that are set on a place and detonated with a cocktail.

Typically, dwarves are very good at slow-moving opponents such as Thralls (a single dwarf can kill half of the huge bunch of Thralls headed your way!) and are particularly effective against Stygian Knights.

However, dwarves require a lot of care in the game, particularly because in their absolute love of gigantic explosions, they often throw their explosive bottles right among your own troops! I'd definitely place them into the front or front corner flank, in front of the archers, and tell them to get the hell out of the fray once the situation escalates into a full-blown melee between the warriors and the enemy.

Other Dwarf units include Mortar Dwarves (regrettably not entirely competent yet in the games) and ultra-super-secret Pathfinders (in the game, they're invisible to the enemy until they attack, and apparently they're also capable of reading minds to some extent...)

Since there are no elves or orcs in the Myth world, their enemies in these games are Ghôls, with whom they have had a lot of clashes, recently particularly about the city of Stoneheim.

Gene Seabolt. GURPS Myth, 1999. Steve Jackson Games, 1999. ISBN 1-55634-413-9.
Matthew Soell, Doug Zartman and Max Hoberman. Myth II: Soulblighter game manual. Linux version. Bungie Software Products Corporation and Loki Entertainment Software, 1998.

Dwarves are short, stocky fellows, easily identified by their size and shape. They average 4 to 4-½ feet tall. They have ruddy cheeks, dark eyes, and dark hair. Dwarves generally live for 350 years.

Dwarves tend to be dour and taciturn. They are given to hard work and care little for most humor. They are strong and brave. They enjoy beer, ale, mead, and even stronger drink. Their chief love, however, is precious metal, particularly gold. They prize gems, of course, especially diamonds and opaque gems (except pearls, which they do not like). Dwarves like the earth and dislike the sea. Not overly fond of elves, they have a fierce hatred of orcs and goblins. Their short, stocky builds make them ill-suited for riding horses or other large mounts (although ponies present no difficulty), so they tend to be a trifle dubious and wary of these creatures. They are ill-disposed toward magic and have little talent for it, but revel in fighting, warcraft, and scientific arts such as engineering.

Though dwarves are suspicious and avaricious, their courage and tenacity more than compensate for these shortcomings.

Dwarves typically dwell in hilly or mountainous regions. They prefer life in the comforting gloom and solidness that is found underground. They have several special abilities that relate to their underground life, and they are noted for being particularly resistant to magics and poisons.

(AD&D Player's Handbook)

Dwarf (?), n.; pl Dwarfs (#). [OE. dwergh, dwerf, dwarf, AS. dweorg, dweorh; akin to D. dwerg, MHG. twerc, G. zwerg, Icel. dvergr, Sw. & Dan. dverg; of unknown origin.]

An animal or plant which is much below the ordinary size of its species or kind; especially, a diminutive human being.

⇒ During the Middle Ages dwarfs as well as fools shared the favor of courts and the nobility.

Dwarf is used adjectively in reference to anything much below the usual or normal size; as, dwarf tree; dwarf honeysuckle.

Dwarf elder Bot., danewort. -- Dwarf wall Arch., a low wall, not as high as the story of a building, often used as a garden wall or fence.



© Webster 1913.

Dwarf, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dwarfed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Dwarfing.]

To hinder from growing to the natural size; to make or keep small; to stunt.


Even the most common moral ideas and affections . . . would be stunted and dwarfed, if cut off from a spiritual background. J. C. Shairp.


© Webster 1913.

Dwarf, v. i.

To become small; to diminish in size.

Strange power of the world that, the moment we enter it, our great conceptions dwarf. Beaconsfield.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.