Previous race rework threads:
Vampire Counts- https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/263816/future-race-rework-vampire-counts/p1
Wood Elves- https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/264620/future-race-rework-wood-elves/p1
Dwarfs had the misfortune of being the first game 2 "rework", which essentially consisted of a copy/paste of the Tomb King's Mortuary Cult. They need a proper Rune Forge that let's the player build custom items for their lords and heroes, as well as a Scrap-like system for applying runes to Dwarf units. And while we're here, let's fix the Book of Grudges and the Underway as well.
The current Mortuary Cult clone we have provides a decent starting point for a proper Rune Forge, but it lacks what makes the Dwarfs unique in Warhammer: Runes. An overhauled Rune Forge should let the player create their own weapons, armor, banners, etc. from scratch for their characters. Items forged in this way can have a randomly generated name or be named by the player. The Rune Forge is beholden to five rules of Runesmithing: (1) the Rule of Three, (2) the Rule of Form, (3) the Rule of Pride, (4) the rule against more than one of the same Master Rune used in an army and more than one Master Rune per item (aka Jealous Runes or the Rule of Jealousy), and (5) non-Master Runes may be combined for stronger effects.
1. The Rule of Three states that an item can only carry up to 3 runes, as no item can withstand so much power without breaking. This rule is fairly self-explanatory: any item forged can only bear up to 3 runes
2. The Rule of Form states that only certain runes can be applied to certain items. Armor runes can only be put on armor, weapon runes can only be put on weapons, etc.
3. The Rule of Pride states that no more than one item may bear the same combination of runes within one army. For example, you may not have two thanes in your army with each holding a weapon bearing the same combination of runes. This limitation could be enforced by greying out any items that would violate this rule on a character's item screen and preventing heroes already carrying rule-breaking items from joining an army. Alternatively, the hero joining the army could simply have the item automatically unequipped.
4. The Rule of Jealousy states that any individual Master Runes may only be used once in an army. Multiple Master Runes may be used in an army, but they must all be unique.
5. A permissive rule rather than a restrictive rule, most non-Master Runes may be etched into an item multiple times to increase its effect.
There are five different categories of runes, each of which can only be applied to certain types of items. This is every rune on the Warhammer wiki, some of which are from older editions and may be redundant. I couldn't find rules for some of them. The lists below show the tabletop rule and a (potential translation to Total War).
- Master Rune of Skalf Blackhammer: Wounds on a 2+ and anything in magic armor on a 3+. (Considerable armor piercing damage)
- Master Rune of Smiting: Adds D6 wounds per successful wound. (Considerable base weapon damage)
- Master Rune of Alaric the Mad: Ignores armor saves. (Considerable armor piercing damage)
- Master Rune of Breaking: Successful hits against an enemy with a magic weapon destroy the enemy's magic weapon. (Attacking an enemy disables their item effects for a period of time)
- Master Rune of Dragon Slaying: Always wounds a dragon on a 2+. (Considerable anti-large damage)
- Master Rune of Flight: Can only be inscribed on hammers, the hammer can be thrown at an enemy and automatically hits. (Gives the character a bound magic missile-type spell)
- Master Rune of Snorri Spangleheim: Attacks with this weapon always hit. (Considerable increase to Melee Attack)
- Master Rune of Swiftness: This weapon always strikes first. (Considerable increase to Melee Attack and Charge Bonus)
- Master Rune of Kragg the Grim: Gives the wielder strength 10 and fire damage. (Considerable increase to base weapon damage and gives flaming attacks)
- Rune of Daemon Slaying: Only works on Daemons of Chaos. One rune gives +1 bonus to hit and to wound, two runes give +1 bonus to hit and to wound and multiple wounds, three runes gives +1 bonus to hit and to wound, multiple wounds, and ignore ward saves. (To be added in game 3, only affects daemonic units. One rune increases Melee Attack and base weapon damage, two runes further increases weapon damage, three runes nullifies the enemy's ward save)
- Rune of Fire: One rune gives fire damage. Two runes give fire damage and a breath weapon with fire damage. Three runes give fire damage and a breath weapon with fire damage and multiple wounds. (one rune gives fire damage, two runes gives a bound flaming breath attack, three runes can either give additional uses of the breath attack or increase its damage)
- Rune of Fury: One rune gives +1 attack. Two runes give +1 attack and Frenzy. Three runes give +1 attack, Frenzy, and additional attacks on successful hits. (One rune increases Melee Attack, two runes adds Frenzy, three runes adds an ability similar to the Nasty Skulker's Opportunist Murderer)
- Rune of Dismay: One rune gives Fear. Two runes give Fear and Terror. Three runes give Fear, Terror, and an additional -1 leadership to enemies in base contact. (One rune gives Fear, two runes adds terror, three runes adds an additional leadership malus aura)
- Rune of Cleaving: One rune gives Armor Piercing. Two runes give Armor Piercing and +1 strength. Three runes give Armor Piercing, +1 strength, and Killing Blow (One rune increases armor piercing, two runes increases base weapon damage, three runes gives Killing blow independent of the character's skill tree)
- Rune of Might: One rune gives double strength against enemies of toughness 5 or greater. Two runes give double strength against enemies of toughness 5 or greater and multiple wounds. (One rune gives anti-large, two runes increases anti-large)
- Rune of Striking: One rune gives +1 weapon skill. Two runes give +1 weapon skill and re-roll failed hits. Three runes give 10 weapon skill and re-roll failed hits. (One rune increases Melee Attack, two runes further increases Melee Attack, three runes further increases Melee Attack)
- Grudge Rune: Gives +1 to hit and re-roll failed wounds against a designated target. (Increases Melee Attack when fighting a specified target)
- Rune of Parrying: Gives all enemies attacking this unit -1 to hit. (Gives a small aura of Melee Attack debuff)
- Rune of Speed: One rune gives +1 Initiative. Two runes give +2 Initiative. Three runes give +3 Initiative. (Each rune adds movement speed and Melee Attack)
- Master Rune of Adamant: Gives wearer toughness 10. (Considerable increase to health)
- Master Rune of Gromril: Gives +1 armor save (Considerable increase to armor)
- Master Rune of Steel: Opponents must re-roll successful wounds against this character. (Gives considerable physical resistance or ward save)
- Rune of Fortitude: One rune gives +1 toughness. Two runes give +1 toughness and a 5+ ward save. Three runes give +1 toughness, a 5+ wardsave, and negates multiple wounds on a roll of 2+. (One rune increases health, two runes adds a ward save, three runes adds physical resistance)
- Rune of Iron: One rune gives +1 wound. Two runes give +1 wound and +1 toughness. Three runes give +1 wound, +1 toughness, and Regeneration. (One rune increases health, two runes further increases health, three runes adds regenration)
- Rune of Shielding: Gives a 2+ ward save against shooting attacks and magic missiles. (Gives miss resistance)
- Rune of Preservation: 2+ ward save against Killing Blow and Heroic Killing Blow. (Gives war save)
- Rune of Impact: Gives Impact Hits. (Increases charge bonus)
- Rune of Stone: Gives +1 to armor save, is not affected by the Rule of Pride. (Increases armor)
- Rune of Resistance: Allows the wearer to re-roll failed armor saves. (Gives physical resistance)
- Master Rune of Groth One-Eye: Gives stubborn to the standard-bearer and units within range. (Gives aura of increased leadership)
- Master Rune of Stromni Redbeard: Adds +1 to the combat result of the standard-bearer and all units within range. (Gives aura of increases Melee Attack and Melee Defense)
- Master Rune of Valaya: Gives +2 to dispel magic attempts and all Remain in Play spells are dispelled on a 3+. (Gives magic resistance and aura of increased miscast chance for enemies)
- Master Rune of Grungni: Gives a 5+ ward save to all units within range. (Gives aura of ward save)
- Master Rune of Fear: Gives Fear. (Gives Fear)
- Master Rune of Taunting: Forces the enemy to charge the unit bearing this rune. (Gives a targetable rampage, ideally one which forces the enemy to attack this unit)
- Rune of Battle: Adds +1 to combat result score. (Increase Melee Attack and Melee Defense)
- Rune of Slowness: Enemies charging the banner-bearing unit reduce D6 from their charge distance. (Gives aura of reduced speed for enemies)
- Rune of Sanctuary: Each rune adds one dice to to a dispel attempt against spells cast against this unit. (Gives increasing magic resistance per rune)
- Rune of Stoicism: Gives Stubborn (Increases leadership)
- Strollaz's Rune: Gives Vanguard (Gives vanguard deployment)
- Rune of Courage: Gives Immune to Psychology (Gives Immune to Psychology)
- Ancestor Rune: Gives Unbreakable (Gives Unbreakable)
- Rune of Guarding: Gives the bearer as 5++ ward save (Gives ward save)
- Rune of Determination: Gives Stubborn (Increases leadership)
- Rune of Kadrin: Re-roll failed rolls to hit (Increases Melee Attack)
- Master Rune of Kingship: Gives Stubborn and immunity to Fear and Terror (Increases Leadership and gives Immune to Psychology)
- Master Rune of Balance: Runesmiths/Runelords only. On a 4+ remove a power dice from the opponent. (Reduces enemy's starting Winds)
- Master Rune of Spite: When the unit suffers a wound, the enemy which inflicted that wound suffers a strength 5 hit. (Gives an ability similar to Reliquary Corruption, small aura of damage while in combat)
- Master Rune of Passage: Automatically passes Dangerous Terrain test. (Gives Strider)
- Master Rune of Challenge: Single-use power to force a target to charge the unit. (Gives a targetable rampage, ideally one which forces the enemy to attack this unit)
- Master Rune of Dismay: (Gives a bound ability which gives the unit Terror for a period of time)
- Rune of Warding: One rune gives 6+ ward save. Two runes give 5+ ward save. Three runes give 4+ ward save. (Gives an increasing ward save depending on the number of runes used)
- Rune of Spellbreaking: Single use. One rune lets a Runesmith automatically dispel a spell. A second rune lets a Runesmith automatically dispel a spell and forces the casting wizard to forget the spell for the rest of the game. (One rune gives a bound ability to put one wizard's spells on cooldown, two runes increases the cooldown and increases miscast chance)
- Spelleater Rune: (Increases magic resistance and gives aura of increased miscast chance)
- Rune of Luck: Single use. Re-roll a single to hit, to wound, armor save, ward save, or characteristic test. (Gives a bound ability which increases Melee Attack, Melee Defense, leadership, and ward save for a period of time)
- Rune of the Furnace: Gives 2+ ward save against flame attacks. (Gives resistance to flaming attacks)
- Rune of Fate: 2++ ward save against first wound. (Gives a bound ability which greatly increases ward save for a short period of time)
- Rune of Brotherhood: Gives the skills of nearby units. (Likely untranslatable, but could grant all special abilities present in the army to the character, such as stalk, vanguard, etc.)
Reserved exclusively for war machines
- Master Rune of Immolation: Causes the war machine to explode, dealing magic and flame damage. (Causes the unit to explode upon death, dealing magic and flame damage to nearby units)
- Master Rune of Disguise: Gives hard cover. (Gives missile resistance and Snipe)
- Master Rune of Defense: All incoming missiles hit the war machine on a 1-5, but only hit the crew on a 6. (Considerable increase to missile resistance)
- Master Rune of Skewering: Only available on Bolt Throwers. Once per game, it hits on a 2+. (Increases accuracy)
- Rune of Penetrating: One rune give +1 to strength of shots. Two runes give +1 strength to shots and can re-roll a single failed to hit roll. (One rune increases missile damage, two runes adds armor piercing)
- Stalwart Rune: One rune gives +1 to the crew's combat result score. Two runes give +1 to crew's combat result score and gives them unbreakable. (One rune increases Melee Attack and Melee Defense, two runes adds Unbreakable)
- Rune of Accuracy: Gives +1 to hit rolls. (Increases accuracy)
- Rune of Forging: Can re-roll misfires. (Increases artillery piece health, not the crew)
- Flakkson's Rune of Seeking: Bolt Throwers only. Gives +1 to hit against flying units. (Increased accuracy and anti-large)
- Rune of Burning: Gives flaming attacks. (Gives flaming attacks)
- Rune of Fortune: Can re-roll misfires. (untranslatable by rules or lore)
- Valiant Rune: Gives unbreakable. (Gives unbreakable)
- Rune of Reloading: Can shoot every turn. (Increased firing rate)
Besides characters, runes can also be applied to war machines, such as cannons, organ guns, etc. This could easily be adapted now that we have the Greenskin's Scrap system. CA could opt to expand this option to all Dwarf units, but it would be better to keep this limitation to differentiate the system from the Greenskins and keep the general spirit of tabletop.
Runes for war machines should be limited to 3, as it is in lore and tabletop rules. Ideally we would have access to all available runes for full customization of Dwarf war machines via a similar window to the Runesmith Forge, rather than the 2-3 options the Greenskins get with their system. Would this potentially make for some extremely powerful and possibly overpowered units? Of course, but it would let the Dwarfs assert themselves as the truly dominate artillery faction that they're meant to be.
Anvil of Doom
The Anvil of Doom is one of the most powerful artifacts a Dwarf hold has. They possess the most powerful runes ever struck by Runesmiths, a fact that is not well reflected in-game. The Anvil of Doom needs to be fundamentally changed from its current implementation.
- All Anvil of Doom spells are now bound to the Anvil of Doom itself, rather than the Runelord riding it. While this may drastically weaken a Runelord/Runesmith on foot, it will make the Anvil of Doom comparatively far stronger. While losing access to these runes, Runelords and Runesmiths would make up for it by being properly outfitted with Runeforged items.
- Locus of Power: Fine as implemented (magic resistance)
- Rune of Sorcery: Siphons the Winds of Magic, reduces the enemy's available Winds.
- Rune of Hearth and Home: Gives Immune to Psychology, fine as currently implemented.
- Rune of Oath and Steel: Increase armor army-wide for a period of time.
- Rune of Wrath and Ruin: Currently neither wrathful, nor ruinous. Said to darken the sky and crack the earth, erupting fire and sulphur. Retooled to be a small AOE explosion-type spell.
It also needs an animation of the Runelord striking the Anvil whenever one of the runes is used.
Book of Grudges
The Dammaz Kron holds a record of all of the greatest wrongs against the Dwarf race. Many of these grudges have existed in the Book for centuries, something which is not currently represented in-game. In addition to the grudges players accumulate during the course of a campaign, there should be a list of Ancestral Grudges, grudges which are already written in the Book. These grudges should be a series of goals which give rewards once accomplished, including unique items, faction-wide buffs, unlocked landmarks, and large sums of money.
Some Ancestral Grudges: For most of these I'm unsure of what specific rewards they could grant.
- Grudge of Eight Peaks: Reclaim Karak Eight Peaks. (Gives option for immediate confederation with Belegar Ironhammer.)
- Grudge against the Warlord of Eight Peaks: Kill Skarsnik in battle.
- Grudge of Karak Azul: Destory Clan Mors. (Unlocks the Runic Armory of Karak Azul landmark)
- Grudge of Karag Durak: Avenge the grudge of Grimnir Halfhand by killing Queek Headtaker in battle.
- Grudge against Malekith: Avenge the betrayal of Snorri Whitebeard by killing Malekith in battle.
- Grudge of Vengeance: Caledor II is long dead, but many of his wrongs remain in the Book. Raze Vaul's Anvil in Caledor.
- Grudge of Fort Kreighof: The Elector Count of Ostermark has shortchanged the Dwarfs who built his fort by 2 1/2 pennies. Raze Essen. (Gives 2 gold)
- Grudge against Neferata: Kill Neferata in battle.
- Grudge of The Silver Pinnacle: Occupy Silver Pinnacle.
- Grudge against the Lord of Undeath: Kill Krell in battle, assuming that he is eventually made a proper hero.
- Grudge against Grimgor Ironhide: Kill Grimgor Ironhide in battle.
Additionally, grudges gathered over the course of a campaign can now be resolved through payment of gold by the offending party. This will allow players to maintain relations with factions that they do not wish to go to war with.
The Underway was a massive underground highway connecting Dwarf holds along the entirety of the World's Edge Mountains and beyond until it was shattered in the Time of Woes. Now travel via the Underway is severely limited by the damage caused by the shifting tectonic plates. The Underway, like all of the teleportation stances in-game, does not reflect this lore. Instead of being a basic teleportation stance which works everywhere, the Underway should be reworked as part of a greater overhaul of these kinds of stances.
Rather than a simple teleportation, the Underway should be a network of tunnels which connects all current and former Dwarf holds. These tunnels are in various states of repair, ranging from perfect condition, to damaged, to completely destroyed and impassable. The Underway can be repaired and utilized by any faction holding a Dwarf hold, but can only be repaired to perfect condition by the Dwarfs. Travel via the Underway would be limited to between Dwarf holds and possibly areas nearby the hold.
- Repaired Underway: Allows full speed travel underground, fully safe from any interception except by enemies occupying a Dwarf hold. Travel speed is far greater than movement above ground, possibly up to three times more movement per turn than an army in force march stance.
- Damaged Underway: Allows half speed travel underground, vulnerable to interception by enemies in the same way interception works now.
- Destroyed Underway: The Underway is not passable and no bonuses are available.
The Underway has a separate tab from your city, similar to Skaven Undercities. Besides the Underway building, you can construct economic buildings for increased tax and trade income, defensive buildings to make it harder for enemies to intercept you or give advantages in Underway battles (as well as helping during sieges, like summoning miners), or travel buildings to further increase movement range per turn.
Potential Lord Pack
The Dwarfs have several lord choices and missing units to choose from in a lord pack and likely have enough missing content for 2 lord packs. The most appropriate lord to come with this rework would be Thorek Ironbrow, Master Runelord of Karak Azul, although there are not many units that fit the theme. Other likely lord options include the Master Engineer Grimm Burloksson and the Slayer Engineer Malakai Makaisson.
The Runelord and The X.
Legendary Lord: Thorek Ironbrow
Generic Hero: Dragon Slayer
Mount: Shield Bearers