Gods and Empires
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 the marvelous treasures that they produce as gifts or for trade.
Dwarves ruled vast kingdoms beneath hill and mountain long before humans were introduced to Faeregoth. Often called the Children of Lithos, dwarves rank among the oldest of the common races, as well as one of the longest-lived.
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 a careful courage and tenacity. Their sense of justice is strong, but at its worst it can turn into a thirst for vengeance. Among halflings, a mild oath is “If I’m lying, may I cross a dwarf”.
Physical Description: 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. Dwarven men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarven women. Dwarven skin can range from pale to a deep tan or light brown, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black, gray, or brown, and worn long. Dwarven men value their beards highly and groom them very carefully. Male dwarves of any type take pride in their beards, the most remarkable of any race. Dwarves favor simple styles for their clothes. Dwarves are considered adults at about age 40, and they can live to be over 300 years old.
Relations: Dwarves get along reasonably well 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. They fought together for their very survival against the corruption of the Valinor, for which 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 are more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.
Regions: Dwarven kingdoms are usually deep beneath the stony faces of mountains, where the dwarves mine gems and precious metals and forge items of wonder. Trustworthy members of other races are welcome here, though some parts of these lands are off limits even to them. Whatever wealth the dwarves can’t find in their mountains, they gain through trade. Dwarves dislike water travel, so enterprising humans frequently handle trade in dwarven goods when traveling along a water route.
Dwarves in human lands are typically mercenaries, weapon-smiths, armor-smiths, 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 is Lithos the God of Earth and Stone. He is the creator of the dwarves, and he expects his followers to work for the betterment of the dwarven race.
Language: Dwarves speak Dwarven, which has its own runic, script. Dwarven literature is marked by comprehensive histories of kingdoms and wars through the millennia. The Dwarven alphabet is also used (with minor variations) for the Giant, Goblin, Orcish, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends (humans and halflings) and enemies. Some also learn Terran, the strange language of earth-based creatures such as 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 or 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, Belur, Brottor, Durin, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Traubon and Ulfgar.
• Female Names: Artin, Audhild, Dagnal, Diesa, Gunnloda, Hlin, Ilde, Liftrasa, Sannl, and Torgga.
• Clan Names: Bloodaxe, Darkforge, Gorunn, Holderhek, Ironhammer, Lutgehr, Rockbreaker, Shatterstone, Stonefist, Torunn, and Ungart.
Adventurers: A dwarven adventurer may be motivated by crusading zeal, a love of 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.
• +2 Constitution, –2 Charisma.
• 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 move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).
• 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 also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.
• Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
• Stability: 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.
• +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
• +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids.
• +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the giant type. Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.
• +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items.
• +2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal.
• Automatic Languages: Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Goblin, Orcish and Terran.
• Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf ’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing