Dwarves Who Can Smell Gold from DCC

Some time back I was reading Dungeon Crawl Classics, there the Dwarf class has the following boon: “Additionally, a dwarf can smell gold and gems. A dwarf can tell the direction of a strong concentration of gold or gems within 100’. Smaller concentrations, down to a single coin, can still be smelled but require concentration and have scent ranges as low as 40’ (for a single coin or gem).” (Dungeon Crawl Classics page 52-53) Obviously this is very cool, so here’s my first draft at making a custom Dwarf Trait to add it to Burning Wheel. I’m looking for suggestions on Obstacles and pricing. It seems to me that it’s supposed to be pretty easy for the dwarf to find gold in DCC, but I tried to shift that to make it more in line with BW.

Current Draft (v2):

Gold Sense
Dt 3pt
Occasionally dwarves are taught how to hone their sense of smell to detect gems, gold, or other precious metals. A successful Perception test will reveal the direction, if not the location, of these valuables.

A sack of gold in the same room, Ob 1.
A clump of silver ore in an exhausted mine. Ob 3.
A jade pendant in a field, Ob 4.
A purse of coins in a crowd, Ob 5.

+1 Ob for an opposing strong smell, like waste or the sea.
+1 Ob if it is beyond a door or thin wall.
+2 Ob if the gold is more than 50 paces away.
-1 Ob for an exorbitant quantity.

Because this trait can be strong I toyed with the idea of including the following side effect.

Those who have been taught skill feel its burden: the knowledge of the gold around them they don’t own. Dwarves with this trait increase their starting Greed by +1.

Click here to see older draft of this trait.

1 Like

I loved the conceit in DCC, and that seems like a pretty good BW implementation to me. I especially like the feel of the starting Greed bump.

Instead of it just being gems and metals, you could just make them be able to smell their greed.

Sounds kind of like the Weather Sense die trait, but with gold.
I would use low Ob (2 x die value) for small amounts/vague area.

Another way would be to use it as a call on for Mining or Scavenging for gold or precious gems.

Either which way, it wouldn’t mean the gold or gems would be unguarded.

(Imagine the poor dwarf living up wind of a Dragons hoard)

Except for the diamond example, here’s it written out with factors.

Smelling precious mineables is Ob 0 just like smelling flowers. Add factors below.

Material (start at 2): not gold, not metal
Amount: an ordinary amount, a very small amount
Distance: more than 10 paces, more than 50 paces
Impedance: door, wall, paces of rock
Information (start at 0): direction, location

If you haven’t played Torchbearer, the way this works is you add to the base Ob per relevant factors. Your examples:

A sack of gold in the same room, Ob 1

  • an ordinary amount
    (could be Ob 2 if the room is large enough)

A clump of gold ore in an exhausted mine, Ob 3

  • an ordinary amount
  • more than 50 paces

One gold coin in a field, Ob 4

  • a very small amount
  • more than 50 paces

A purse of gold in a crowd, Ob 5

  • an ordinary amount
  • more than 50 paces
  • location (direction isn’t very helpful when the target may be moving)

A cut diamond in an urn full of ash, Ob 6

  • not metal
  • a very small amount
  • “door” (ash covers the scent?)
    I guess sniffing diamonds is way harder than sniffing gold rather than the +3 Ob I’ve given it, I can only get to Ob 6 = 0 + 3 Material + 2 Amount + 1 Impedance. Is the ash supposed to be super disguising? So more like paces of rock than a door? It’d still only hit Ob 8 in my writeup.

If you want a counter-smell to make it harder, I think that’s standard disadvantage.

Get rid of the diamond example… or open it to all precious metals and gems. For instance, if the latter, include silver and mithril.

Dwarves can smell all precious metals straight through earth and stone… except mithril. That’s part of why it’s so rare and valuable: the Dwarves can’t find it.

You’re right, when you break it down like that the Ob for the urn example is too high. The idea was that the scent of the diamond was blocked by both the ash and the urn and it’s very small. Any case, I still would like to have an example of a very high Ob test.

The intent is to be open to other precious gems and metals. I have tweaked some of the examples to better represent that.