Heroes of Barrows Edge
Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their knowledge of the earth’s secrets, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale. Their mysterious kingdoms, carved out from the insides of mountains, are renowned for their marvelous treasures that they produce as gifts or for trade.
Personality: Dwarves are slow to laugh or jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those few who earn their trust. Dwarves value gold, gems, jewelry, and art objects made with these precious materials, and they have been known to succumb to greed. They fight neither recklessly nor timidly, but with careful courage and tenacity. Their sense of justice is strong, but at its worst it can turn into a thirst for vengeance. Among gnomes, who get along famously with dwarves, a mild oath is “If I’m lying, may I cross a dwarf.”
Physical Descriptions: Dwarves stand only 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall, but they are so broad and compact that they are, on average, almost as heavy as humans. Dwarf men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarf women. Dwarves skin is typically deep tan or light brown and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black, grey, or brown, and worn long. Dwarves value their beards highly and groom them very carefully. Dwarves favor simple styles for their hair, beards, and clothes. Dwarves are considered adults at about the age of 40, and they can live to be more than 400 years old.
Relations: Dwarves get along fine with gnomes, and passably with humans, half-elves, and halflings. Dwarves say, “the difference between an acquaintance and a friend is about a hundred years.” Humans, with their short life spans, have a hard time forging truly strong bonds with dwarves. The best dwarf-human friendships are between a human and a dwarf who liked the human’s parents and grandparents. Dwarves fail to appreciate elves’ subtlety and art, regarding elves as unpredictable, fickle, and flighty. Still, elves and dwarves have, through the ages, found common cause in battles against orcs, goblins and gnolls. Through many such joint campaigns, the elves have earned the dwarves grudging respect. Dwarves mistrust half-orcs in general, and the feeling is mutual. Luckily, dwarves are fair-minded, and they grant individual half-orcs the opportunity to prove themselves.
Alignment: Dwarves are usually lawful, and they tend toward good. Adventuring dwarves are less likely to fit the common mold, however, since they’re more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.
Dwarven Lands: Dwarven kingdoms usually lie deep beneath the stony faces of the mountains, where the dwarves mind gems and precious metals and forge items of wonder. Trustworthy members of other races are welcome in such settlements, though some parts of these lands are off limits even to them. Whatever wealth the dwarves can’t find their mountains, they gain through trade. Dwarves dislike water travel, so enterprising humans frequently handle trade in dwarven goods when travel is along a water route.
Dwarves in human lands are typically mercenaries, weapon-smiths, armorsmiths, jewelers, and artisans. Dwarf bodyguards are renowned for their courage and loyalty, and they are well rewarded for their virtues.
Religion: The chief deity of the dwarves of Moradin, the Soul Forger. He is the creator of the dwarves, and he expects his followers to work for the betterment of the dwarf race.
Language: Dwarves speak Dwarven, which has its own runic script. Dwarven literature is marked by comprehensive histories of kingdoms and wars though the millennia. The Dwarven alphabet is also used (with minor variations) for the Gnome, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends (humans and gnomes) and enemies. Some also learn Terran, the strange language of earth-based creatures of xorn.
Names: A dwarf’s name is granted to him by his clan elder, in accordance with tradition. Every proper dwarven name has been used and reused down through the generations. A dwarf’s name is not his own. It belongs to his clan. If he misuses it brings shame to it, his clan will strip him of it. A dwarf stripped of his name is forbidden by dwarven law to use any dwarven name in its place.
Male Names: Barendd, Brottor, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Torderk, Traubon, Ulfgar, Veit.
Female Names: Artin, Audhild, Dagnal, Diesa, Gunnloda, Hlin, Ilde, Liftrasa, Sannl, Torgga.
Clan Names: Balderk, Dankil, Gorunn, Holderhek, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, Ungart.
Adventurers: A dwarven adventurer may be motivated by crusading zeal, a love for excitement, or simple greed. As long as his accomplishments bring honor to his clan, his deeds earn him respect and status. Defeating giants and claiming powerful magic weapons are sure ways for a dwarf to earn the respect of other dwarves.
Dwarf Racial Traits
- +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma: Dwarves are stout and tough but tend to be gruff and reserved.
- Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet. However, dwarves can more at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or whose speed is reduced in such conditions.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
- Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human sense the way up. Dwarves have a sixth sense about stonework, an innate ability that they get plenty of opportunity to practice and hone in their underground homes.
- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons rather than exotic weapons.
- Stability: Dwarves are exceptionally stable on their feet. A dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison: Dwarves are hardy and resistant to toxins.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects: dwarves have an innate resistance to magic spells.
- +1 racial bonus to attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears): Dwarves are trained in the special combat techniques that allow them to fight their common enemies more effectively.
- +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants): This bonus represents special training that dwarves undergo, during which they learn tricks that previous generations developed in their battles with giants. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to giants. Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too. The Monster Manual has information on which creatures are of the giant type.
- +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items: Dwarves are familiar with valuable items of all kinds, especially those made of stone or metal.
- 2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal: Dwarves are especially capable with stonework and metalwork.
- Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. Dwarves are familiar with the languages of their enemies and of their subterranean allies.
- Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.