Dwarves

Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like orcs and goblins. More than any other race, dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless artisans of the earth. It could be said that their history shapes the dark disposition of many dwarves, for they reside in high mountains and dangerous realms below the earth, constantly at war with giants, goblins, and other such horrors.

Dwarves are lovers of history and tradition, and their long lifespan leads to far less in the way of generational shifts in attitudes, styles, fashions, and trends than shorter-lived races exhibit. If a thing is not broken, they do not fix it or change it; and if it is broken, they fix it rather than replace it. Thrifty as a rule, dwarves are loath to discard anything unless it is truly ruined and unable to be fixed. At the same time, dwarves’ meticulous, near-obsessive attention to detail and durability in their craftsmanship makes that a rare occurrence, as the things they make are built to last. As a result, buildings, artwork, tools, housewares, garments, weapons, and virtually everything else made by dwarves still sees regular use at an age when such items would be relegated to museum pieces, dusty antique shelves, or junkyard fodder by other races. Taken together, these traits create the impression that dwarves are a race frozen in time.

Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as dwarves are both thoughtful and imaginative, willing to experiment, if always keen to refine and perfect a new technique or product before moving on to the next one. Dwarves have achieved feats of metallurgy, stonework, and engineering that have consistently outpaced the technological advances of other races, though some non-dwarven races have used magic to supplement and perfect their own creations to achieve the same ends through mystical rather than mundane means. They are also a race typified by stubborn courage and dedication to seeing tasks through to completion, whatever the risks. These traits have led dwarves to explore and settle in extreme environments that would cause other races to quail and retreat. From the darkest depths of the underworld to the highest mountain peaks, from rusting iron citadels along desolate rocky coasts to squat jungle ziggurats, dwarves have established their enclaves and redoubts, holding them against all comers or perishing to the last and leaving only their enduring monuments to stand as their legacy.

While it is said that dwarves are not venturesome or inventive, it would be more accurate to say that they maintain a focus on and dedication to each task they undertake and every change they adopt, vetting such changes thoroughly before adopting them wholeheartedly. When faced with new circumstances and new needs, they react by applying tried and true tools and techniques systematically, using existing methods whenever possible rather than trying to invent novel solutions for every situation. If necessity requires, however, they throw themselves with equal vigor into developing the next perfect procedure for demolishing the obstacles that get in their way. Once their desired goal is obtained, they focus on consolidating each new piece of territory or conceptual advance. Dwarves thus rarely overextend themselves, but they also may miss opportunities to seize the initiative and maximize the advantages they create.

Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the long length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. Clean-shavenness on a male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarven man.

Society: The great distances between dwarves’ mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within their society. Despite these schisms, dwarves throughout the world are characterized by their love of stonework, their passion for stone- and metal-based craftsmanship and architecture, and their fierce hatred of giants, orcs, and goblinoids. In some remote enclaves, such as those areas where these races are uncommon or unheard of, dwarves’ fixation on security and safety combined with their rather pugnacious nature leads them to find enemies or at least rivals wherever they settle. While they are not precisely militaristic, they learned long ago that those without axes can be hewn apart by them, and thus dwarves everywhere are schooled to be ready to enforce their rights and claims by force of arms. When their patience with diplomacy is exhausted, dwarves do not hesitate to adopt what they call “aggressive negotiations.” In addition, all dwarves focus strongly on clan ties. Dwarven Clans are as old as the world itself and they often have their own specialized places in dwarven society.

Relations: Dwarves and orcs have long dwelt in proximity to one another, and share a history of violence as old as both races. Dwarves generally distrust and shun half-orcs. They find elves, gnomes, and halflings to be too frail, flighty, or “pretty” to be worthy of proper respect. It is with humans that dwarves share the strongest link, for humans’ industrious nature and hearty appetites come closest to matching those of the dwarven ideal.

Alignment and Religion: Dwarves are driven by honor and tradition. While they are often stereotyped as standoffish, they have a strong sense of friendship and justice, and those who win their trust understand that while they work hard, they play even harder—especially when good ale is involved. Most dwarves are lawful good.

Adventurers: Although dwarven adventurers are rare compared to humans, they can be found in most regions of the world. Dwarves often leave the confines of their redoubts to seek glory for their clans, to find wealth with which to enrich the fortress-homes of their birth, or to reclaim fallen dwarven citadels from racial enemies. Dwarven warfare is often characterized by tunnel fighting and melee combat, and as such most dwarves tend toward classes such as fighters and barbarians.

Males Names: Dolgrin, Grunyar, Harsk, Kazmuk, Morgrym, Rogar.

Female Names: Agna, Bodill, Ingra, Kotri, Rusilka, Yangrit.


Hill Dwarves:

Hill Dwarves are the most common variety of dwarves. The Dwarven race as described above typically refers to Hill Dwarves.
Hill Dwarf Traits:
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.

Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.

Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.

Greed: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.

Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes because of their special training against these hated foes.

Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.

Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.

Stonecunning: Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.

Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word “dwarven” in its name as a martial weapon.

Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.

Mountain Dwarves:

These dwarves live deep in mines beneath the mountain’s surface but not so far down as their Deep Dwarf cousins. They believe themselves to be the one true dwarf race, and as such look down their nose at other dwarves. Their attitude makes them fairly isolationist by nature, although individual clans and towns might be more willing to trade with surface dwellers.
Mountain Dwarf Traits:

Xenophobic: Isolationist dwarves despise non-dwarven humanoids. They speak only Dwarven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, their untrusting nature gives them a +1 bonus against mind-affecting effects, except for fear affects. This racial trait replaces a dwarf’s normal languages.

Gold Dwarves:

The Dwarves of Emeritt have tan to bronze skin and lighter hair than their comrades. The dwarves of Gnoz Dursk are among the most friendly towards nondwarves and even lack their brothers hatred towards goblinoids. These dwarves however possess a keen hatred of the Giants that try to share their territory unsuccessfully.
Gold Dwarf Traits:
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Dexterity, Gold Dwarves are not as agile as their brothers but much friendlier and still just as tough.

Giant Hunter: Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoids with the giant subtype. Furthermore, they gain a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find and follow tracks made by humanoids with the giant subtype. This racial trait replaces the hatred racial trait.

Relentless: Dwarves are skilled at pushing their way through a battlefield, tossing aside lesser foes with ease. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to bull rush or overrun an opponent. This bonus only applies while both the dwarf and his opponent are standing on the ground. This racial trait replaces stability.

Deep Dwarves:

These dwarves rarely ever surface, they refuse to deal with nondwarves and live their lives in nearly perpetual darkness in the deepest delves around. Their skin is ruddy or pale and their hairs tend to be grayed or red.

Deep Dwarf Traits:
+2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, and -4 Charisma. Deep Dwarves are quite smart and still very hardy, but they often have such off putting personalities that none see fit to deal with them but their own.

Minesight: Dwarves with this racial trait increase the range of their darkvision to 90 feet; however, they are automatically dazzled in bright light and take a –2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor. This racial trait replaces darkvision.

Xenophobic: Isolationist dwarves despise non-dwarven humanoids. They speak only Dwarven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, their untrusting nature gives them a +1 bonus against mind-affecting effects, except for fear affects. This racial trait replaces a dwarf’s normal languages.

Bond to the Land: Members of this race gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC when underground, this bonus only applies when fighting in this favored terrain.

Cliff Dwarves:

These dwarves are tall and gangly for dwarven standards, though still not as tall as humans. They are used to adroitly clambering over the cliffs and rocks that make up their home on Tylonse. They have fairly pale skin and slanted eyes.

Cliff Dwarf Traits:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma. Cliff Dwarves share the wisdom and outlook of their brethren, but are much more nimble and lack some of their hardiness.

Rock Stepper: Dwarves with this racial trait can skillfully negotiate rocky terrain. They can ignore difficult terrain created by rubble, broken ground, or steep stairs when they take a 5-foot step. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.

Mountaineer: Mountain dwarves are skilled at climbing and navigating narrow ledges. Dwarves with this racial trait are immune to altitude sickness and do not lose their Dexterity bonus to AC when making Climb or Acrobatics checks to cross narrow or slippery surfaces. This racial trait replaces stability.

Sky Sentinel: As creatures with a deep affinity for the ground, dwarves are wary of attacks from above. Enemies on higher ground gain no attack roll bonus against dwarves with this racial trait, and they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls, a +2 dodge bonus to AC, and a +2 bonus on Perception checks against flying creatures. This racial trait replaces defensive training, hatred, and Greed.

Dwarven Clans


Dwarves prefer to live in the underground cities that they build around the mines. Occasionally they raise surface outposts or citadels to trade with the other civilized nations that live there. Dwarven society is built strongly upon the clan system, a dwarves loyalty to his own family and clan is not easily broken. These ties to family have helped the dwarves survive for thousands of years.

Dwarves

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