An unfortunate name: Dwarven Spelunker

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YourSwordisMine
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Joined: 2012-03-12 09:41
An unfortunate name: Dwarven Spelunker
I'm not trying to sound negative, as I really like the idea of this class. However, I feel that it has been given a rather unfortunate name and would be completely unplayable at my game table... My gaming group is all in their mid 30s to mid 40s and have been gaming together for a very long time. As adults, our collective minds are in the gutter and the unfortunately named Judges Guild supplement "Glory Hole Dwarven Mine" still elicits quite a bit of snickering even today... While I'm sure my group is in the minority here, I am sure we would not be the only ones to think it. Maybe Dwarven Surveyor would be a better name? Since that is what they do basically... Just a thought. Nike
luftmensch
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Joined: 2012-02-10 14:21

For what it's worth, I have a pretty dirty mind and "Spelunker" never made me think of anything but a cave explorer.

Lauguz
Joined: 2011-07-11 13:26

I once created a character class for AD&D very similar character to the Spelunker and named it "Dwarven Sapper".

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Hmmm. I'll have to defer to community consensus on this. I'm notoriously bad at determining whether something has too much subtext. In the first Auran Empire campaign, "sinkholes of evil" were called "taint". Rather than demonstrate the menace of such regions, this reduced my players to laughing and giggles. So, yeah.

James S
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Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

I think it's fine as is. It's much more evocative than the fairly pedestrian sounding Surveyor (sorry..).
To me, the class felt like a Dwarven version of the Explorer, so Spelunker is perfect.
If someone is going to be looking for double entendres they're going to find them anywhere and everywhere, so you might as well give them one...

moorcrys
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Joined: 2012-02-22 22:34

I can see the *snicker* potential. I was never huge on the name spelunker either.
Sapper is a cool name... I don't know if it defines the class too specifically but I like it.
Dwarven delver, scout, deepdweller, wanderer?

Charlatan
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Joined: 2011-08-08 15:20

Like James, I am actually kind of fond of the Spelunker class name, for the parallel to Explorer. Sapper connotes something more specific to me. Wanderer sounds nice, but to me it suggests something about wide open roads- more of an above-ground class.

Asaris
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Joined: 2011-07-15 15:02

I personally like Spelunker a lot. Sounds like the noise you get when you drop a pebble into a deep lake. Delver and sapper sound to much like people who work the stone rather than explore it, while scout and wanderer aren't specific enough.

sean wills
Joined: 2011-07-07 19:39

My vote's with Spelunker - it's the perfect name for the class.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

I think Dwarven Delver is a credible alternative. Sapper is too militaristic and the others are too broad. That said, I like Spelunker, obviously.

Beastman
Joined: 2011-11-11 08:23

i don't mind: spelunker is as good as delver.
some more: cavecrawler, trailblazer, or pioneer...

moorcrys
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Joined: 2012-02-22 22:34

It's all good. Whenever I see the word spelunking, I always hear yodeling in my head. But that's, obviously, just me.
I hope.

Radioactive Ape...
Joined: 2012-02-02 19:39

I like Dwarven Delver, but that's because it rolls off the tongue better than Spelunker rather than because of some double entendre.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

Of a random sampling of respondents asked about the "spelunker", enough have said it refers to a sexual practice that I am persuaded it is a sub-optimal name choice.
I'm going to switch it to Dwarven Delver. This has two additional merits as a name: 1) It is pleasantly alliterative, and 2) It means all dwarven classes have two syllables - fur-y; craft-priest; del-ver; vault-guard. This pleases me aesthetically.

YourSwordisMine
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Joined: 2012-03-12 09:41

Delver does roll off the tongue better and the fact it had the two syllables, really does fit with my need for symmetry. Much better than my 3 sylable suggestion of Surveyor.

James S
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Joined: 2011-07-29 12:36

Dwarven Delver is aesthetically attractive because of the alliterative appeal, so it's a suitable substitute for Spelunker.
That said, I'd like to offer a gentle warning about changing names because they *might* be interpreted as suggestive by those of us with puerile senses of humour (including myself..).
Dwarven Fury becomes Dwarven Furry (and if you don't know what a Furry is, I suggest you don't look it up, save yourselves).
The Bladedancers have already started to get a rep for being 'Hot but dumb' because of their stat requirements, which isn't really a positive reinforcement of good female stereotypes in RPGs.
There's a Sacred Courtesan template for the Priestess which has dreadful potential to simply devolve into jokes about prostitutes.
There is nothing inherently wrong with anything that's in ACKS that I can see. To change things to avoid making gamers smirk because they can make a double entendre joke really isn't going to work. We're gamers, we'll find them anyway, no matter what you do. In fact, for some of the gamers I know, Dwarven Delver is just as suggestive. Don't change things just because it could be interpreted a certain way. Change them because changing them makes them better.
(And as I said at the top - Delver is better)

Ronin84
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Joined: 2012-02-11 13:52

It really didn't matter to me but I think Delver just sounds more appropriate to the genre to be honest.

Maliki
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Joined: 2012-02-28 20:23

I much prefer Delver over Spelunker, it just sounds better.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

James - your point is well taken. In my mind, I differentiate between an extrapolation of something in-universe that players find amusing, versus an unintentional subtext created by a label easily fixed with another label.
There's no particular way to express the concept of a sacred courtesan in a way that contemporary players won't be able to run with. (Same with the Japanese concept of geisha, I think, based on recent Oriental Adventures experiences.) On the other hand, Delver v. Spelunker is just picking from two synonyms, one of which happens to have a naught subtext.
To put it another way, if I were running RECON Vietnam War RPG, I probably ought not make a Viet Cong antagonist called Phoc Ng, even though that's a common Vietnamese name. I can find another common Vietnamese name that won't trigger chortles.

Stainless
Joined: 2012-02-04 22:36

From the point of view of dwarven society, I would imagine them calling these individuals "pioneers" as they find new tunnels/cavers/etc. probably with the aim of finding new riches and territories. "Delver" probably could be used for all dwarves. Thus, I'd vote for "Dwarven Pioneer" (still two syllables I think).

prongbuck
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Joined: 2011-07-28 21:08

I like the name Dwarven Spelunker personally.
I dread the day one of my players gets a bard to level 4 however.