After a quick combat playtest of three 13th Age characters up against 3 basic orcs I am understanding much better now. As my Tentacle Dwarf was really rather gruff and we had a Wizard and a Bard I elected to build him as a Fighter to give us some combat staying power. One thing that was painfully apparent is that missing in combat is no fun at all – so will look more closely at the traits and maybe take one that lets him deal with failure better. Our little party survived that test encounter ok and I liked being very tanky, holding things at bay while the escalation die pushed things in our favour.
Here are a few concept sketches of dwarven weapons inspired by the history of the tentacle dwarves. You can see the iconography of the tentacle on the warhammer and the sinking mountain and the tunnels beneath on the shield. I like the double-helix on the hammer – slight nod to the mutation that afflicts their people.
The mace was an idea where the dwarf liked to build in pieces of rock, gems, crystals, metal and bone into the surface and then thump things with it (more a cleric weapon though)