Dwarven Artillery

I never bought the Gnomes as tinkers bull crap that I think DragonLance introduced and was perpetuated aggressively in the Forgotten Realms (the briny coast that most DL characters washed up on after they had capped out) and ultimately put on steroids thanks to the cultural phenomena of World of Warcraft. Dwarves, not gnomes, were always the tinkering engineers in my head-canon. And speaking of cannons (see what I did there) if anybody was likely to have mastered boom-powder and militarize it, it would be dwarves.

Assuming a gunpowder-free setting though, Dwarven ingenuity lends itself to mechanized artillery just the same, at the large end with elaborate siege-engines, and at the personal scale with crossbows. Not just any mundane crossbows either, but elaborate ones with complex lacings of cables on wheels and limbs, amplifying power in compact forms suitable for use in narrow corridors and interior spaces where flatter trajectories of faster projectiles are ideal.

Speaking of projectiles, the bolts fired by these devious dwarves are not going to be simple iron points. No, they will be death machines in their own right, displaying the same sort of fiendish ingenuity that their launchers exhibit, and in settings with gunpowder or similar magic and technology, dwarves are likely to have crafted explosive bolts and bullets for their crossbows.

Finally, unlike the popular culture that tends to cast Dwarves with Scottish accents, I tend to think of mine as having a more Eastern European accent and curiously, a lot of patents for crazy crossbow designs like these have been taken out by inventors with names penned in Cyrillic alphabets.