One of the three initial races of Thepa, the dwarves were created with the idea of law in mind. Initially, they were strictly lawful, adhering to rules where every crime had a punishment. However, these laws were as inflexible as they were detailed and extenuating circumstances were never considered a justification for breaking the law.
This all changed when a dwarven woman named Lartha Mond needed an artifact to fight a great evil that was threatening the dwarves. Despite the fact that she was the only one that could wield the artifact successfully, she was denied access to it even as dwarven casualties mounted. In desperation, she stole the artifact; defeated the evil; and saved countless lives.
Nearly all of dwarfdom hailed her as a hero and was shocked when she was arrested for stealing. They were further enraged when the judges enacted the fullest penalty for her crime…death. A rebellion occurred and new leaders were put in power who promised that the laws would be reviewed and that they would from now on be tempered with compassion.
Initially, dwarves were fighters, clerics, and wizards but this later changed to bards, clerics, and paladins (though fighters are still fairly prominent). Most dwarves believe that laws are needed to ensure society functions well but they also see the need for compassion and understanding when those laws are enforced.
Dwarves generally weigh between 130 to 210 pounds and stand between 4 to 4.5 feet tall (though a few are 3.5). Women tend to be shorter than men by a few inches. Dwarves have brownish or grayish eyes and lifespans that range from 250 to 450 years.
They have peach to tan skin that has a ruddy hue to it. They have reddish-colored hair as well, though brown or black hair with a reddish hue is fairly common. On rare occasion one may have strawberry blonde hair. Men tend to have well-kept, braided beards of a reasonable length and short hair, while women (who cannot grow beards) have braided hair generally worn as long as a beard.
Personality (lawful good)
Dwarves are generous, boisterous, and loud. They are often very friendly but in ways most other races tend to find obnoxious after a while. They are very opinionated and not afraid to voice their opinion or thoughts on any matter. Dwarves do not understand the concepts of lying or keeping secrets very well (though they can learn them) and so often tell the truth or offer up information—whether or not that is a good idea. Though they will respect and obey laws they consider just, they do not see a need to give equal respect to rulers. Within dwarven society all people are considered equals regardless of title. The ruling monarch and local farmer could easily meet and have a conversation.
Though dwarves are generous, they do value private property. It is okay to borrow an item from a dwarf but taking one is not. Dwarves will hunt down thieves and force them to return, pay for, and/or replace the item stolen. Friends who borrow an item can be treated similarly. Usually the item is borrowed for a set time. When the time to return it comes, a dwarf will hound the person until the item is returned. If the item was broken or destroyed, a dwarf will continually pester the person until the item has been replaced or paid for. It should be noted that dwarves still apply a sense of logic when “requesting” his property back. For instance, if a dwarf lent a sword to a party member who was helping to defend them and somehow that sword was destroyed, the dwarf would wait until the person could replace the sword before nipping at the person’s heels.
Envy is looked down upon in dwarven society. Wanting what someone else has is considered to be very dangerous since it can bring about thievery. This is the reason dwarves are so generous with one another or with other races. It should be noted, however, that dwarves considered it bad form to ask for a gift. Most often, dwarves give small gifts to one another as tokens of esteem or thanks for help in small, everyday projects that aren’t actually paid for. Festivals are times when all dwarves give fairly large gifts to family, friends, or the community as a whole.
Because of their association with law, dwarves are naturally attracted to groups. They have a horror of being alone that plays on their minds and eventually causes a nervous breakdown. In a woodland or other open area, a dwarf will become obsessed with finding others to be with. In a cell or similarly closed area, a dwarf will slowly become neurotic and after a few hours will immediately ally with anyone that releases her or him, even if that person was the reason they were there to start with.
Dwarves have a constitutional monarchy. Though kings or queens are technically rulers, they are not treated as particularly special (though, in the past, rulers were expected to be the best smiths and still usually are). Except in times of emergencies, such as war or natural disasters, (when lengthy debate would be disastrous) they generally get things done through a parliament, though the ruling monarch can appoint emissaries.
The parliament consists of elected officials from across a dwarven realm. Inside the parliament area is a circle divided into four sections. A topic is presented by the ruling monarch and the members of parliament sit in one of three areas depending on whether they are for, against, or neutral on the presented topic. The two dwarfs representing the pro and con factions will then meet in the center of the circle to argue out their points, which tends to be rather polite and diplomatic between the two.
Usually the neutral area is the fullest at the start and as cases are stated, more dwarves move to one side or another. Whichever side has the most dwarves after a set time (generally two hours) wins. It should be noted that all dwarves in the parliament can shout or jeer at the center two or at one another, though the monarch is in charge of making sure things don’t become too rowdy.
The fourth area of the parliament is where the king or queen sits. Though they have no more sway in the vote than anyone else, they can break any ties. Generally, the parliament can decide on up to four issues in a day. In some cases, very strongly opinionated individuals may end up quarreling in the center. Normally, such quarrels do not result in physical violence. When they do, the offender is usually punished. Hard feelings tend not to last, however.
Dwarves, being social, love to eat and drink. When they drink they become increasingly boisterous, often breaking out in rowdy songs but never become destructive. They love having parties, the larger the better. They have several major celebrations a year and willingly create reasons to throw a celebration.
Though they have a lust for gold and a love for gems, they use this to beautify their surroundings instead of creating a personal hoard. They perfect their skills with gems and metals to merge function with beauty, making them the best blacksmiths on Thepa.
Though they are famous for being miners and smiths, dwarves do farm the hills and mountain plateaus near where they live as well as hunt various mountain animals. They will also venture into the darklands for the strange plants and fish that live there. However, their frequent festivities require more than they are able to produce so they trade their wares for food and supplies.
Overall, dwarves are willing to be with anyone. Any friends are preferable to none, and a dwarf will go out of her or his way to find some reason to be friends. Though they are aware of racial tendencies, they are at least willing to give an individual from a given race a chance to prove her or himself before making any judgments. Still, dwarves are able to get along with some races better than others.
Arden: Dwarves are never sure exactly what to do with arden. They are completely sympathetic to an arden’s need to belong, but their cowardly attitude is a constant source of frustration. The idea that they were once dwarves is usually dismissed despite any evidence to the contrary. Generally, dwarves will get along with the arden as a whole and don’t mind a community of them living near-by so long as they respect dwarven property.
Amoraq: Dwarves and amoraq get along almost as well as dwarves get along with one another. While dwarves may never understand the amoraq nomadic lifestyle, they are more than happy to have them over for drinks and parties or establish trade with them. The idea that they were once elves highly amuses most dwarves, who tend to see the amoraq as a distinct improvement.
Drow: Dwarves and drow tend not to get along. While an individual drow will still be given a chance to prove her or himself, the two have such a different view on things that any friendship is usually a remarkable one. Still, the drow know the darklands better than anyone and do not wish to share it, thus dwarves and drow are normally at war with one another.
Duergar: Dwarves get along fairly well with duergar most of the time. It’s actually hard for them to really feel strongly about the duergar one way or another, though they are loath to admit it. The whole of duergar society reminds dwarves of their own before the Lartha Mond incident, and so they tend to be slightly uncomfortable even if they objectively understand. Dwarves are constantly hoping to bring the duergar out of their self-imposed isolation, though their efforts are not always appreciated.
Elves: Dwarves and elves have fundamental differences based on their creation (dwarves are fundamentally lawful while elves are fundamentally chaotic). Their societies are so different that the two rarely can find something in common. Still, as long as a dwarf is willing to give an elf room and the elf is willing to put up with the chumminess of a dwarf, there’s no reason the two can’t get along.
Fenodyree: Dwarves like fenodyree and tend to feel protective of them. They may not understand their wanderlust any more than they understand the amoraq’s, but they do understand their sentimental attachment to things and appreciate their honesty as merchants. Dwarves also appreciate fenodyree singing and entertainment and will go out of their way to make them feel welcome.
Goblins: The inability of goblins to understand either laws or the value of money causes dwarves endless frustration. Further causing issues is the wild areas that tend to sprout up wherever they settle, making dwarves see them as menaces best gone. Still, dwarves will give a goblin a chance on an individual basis.
Humans: Dwarves and humans get along reasonably well most of the time. They share enough interests and hobbies that they can at least hold a friendly conversation. Dwarves particularly like humans in communities with local pubs and breweries, though they disdain bar room brawls, seeing them as barbaric. They also get along fairly well with human smiths and jewelers.
Kel: Kel are loathed by dwarves on an almost instinctual level. It is very hard for a dwarf not to attack a kel on sight, let alone enter into any sort of long-term relation. Still, no matter how much they hate the kel, dwarves will at least hear one out if it comes to talk or adventures in a party. That doesn’t mean the dwarf won’t be keeping a weapon close to hand, however.
Kobolds: Dwarves neither like nor understand kobolds — their entire society seems alien to them. However, they are well-aware that kobolds can be different individually and are often amazed by the various mechanical devices that they create, so dwarves will trade with kobolds and even try to learn from them. If they get friendly enough, dwarves will even turn a blind eye toward any missing baubles.
Nalu: Nalu usually live too far from dwarven holdings for the two races to interact much. In fact, most dwarves treat nalu like humans, even after they learn otherwise, since they have trouble keeping a mental distinction. The idea that there is an important distinction between surface and sea humans escapes dwarves, who see so many cultural differences in humans that one more added bit is of little consequence.
Sobekites: Dwarves get along extremely well with sobekites once they get used to them. Much like with goblins, dwarves have a hard time understanding a race with no concept of money. However, the sobekite family and community structure is one that dwarves can deeply respect and understand. In fact, dwarves often find themselves much more comfortable around sobekites than almost any other race.
Dwarves will adventure from their mountain homes to search for inspiration for their crafts. Before becoming a journeyman, dwarven apprentices are encouraged to go out and see what there is, for only adventuring can help to inspire new creations. Similarly, dwarves are always on the look-out for new foods, drinks, or entertainment for their parties and finding them can only encourage a dwarf to look for more.
Dwarves make the best party members most of the time. To a dwarf, the very idea of adventuring is tied to the idea of “going off with your friends to find something”. That the group has members of different temperaments does not upset a dwarf: it’s much like home, and a dwarf will often see a group as a family away from family.
Class Preferences: bard, cleric, paladin
Religious Preferences: Adaska, Askii, Ibidi, Ivaidin, Lugial, Zenaket
Racial Traits (PF)
When creating a dwarven character, a player uses all the base traits presented below; these traits are inherent to the dwarf and cannot be altered. A player then selects alternate traits to flesh out his dwarven character. The total number of alternative traits may not exceed 4 racial points (RP). Each alternative trait has its RP cost listed after its name.
+2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: A dwarf is both tough and wise, but lacks tact.
Medium: A dwarf is a Medium creature and has no bonuses or penalties due to his size.
Slow Speed: A dwarf has a base speed of 20 feet, but his speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
Darkvision: A dwarf can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Greed: A dwarf gains a +2 bonus on Appraise checks to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
Hardy: A dwarf gains a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
Stability: A dwarf receives a +4 racial bonus to his CMD when resisting bull rush or trip attempts while standing on the ground.
Stonecunning: A dwarf receives a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. He receives a check to notice such features whenever he passes within 10 feet of them, whether or not he is actively looking.
Weapon Familiarity: A dwarf is proficient with heavy picks and warhammers.
Languages: A dwarf begins play speaking Common and Dwarven. A dwarf with a high Intelligence score can choose from the following: Celestial, Duergar, Fenodyrean, Giant, Terran, and Undercommon.
Cave Dweller (1 RP): A dwarf gains a +1 bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival checks made underground.
Craftsman (1 RP): A dwarf gains a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks to create objects from metal or stone.
Defensive Training (1 RP): A dwarf gets a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
Hatred (1 RP): A dwarf receives a +1 bonus on attack rolls against kel and drow subtypes due to special training against these hated foes.
Mountain-Born (1 RP): A dwarf gains a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics checks made to cross narrow ledges and on saving throws against altitude fatigue and sickness.
Skill Bonus (1 RP): A dwarf gains a +1 racial bonus on Climb skill checks.
Terrain Stride (1 RP): A dwarf can move through naturally-occurring difficult terrain at his normal speed while in hills and mountains. Magically altered terrain affects him normally.
Ferrous Growth (2 RP): Once per day, a dwarf can cause a touched piece of iron or steel to grow into an object weighing up to 10 pounds, such as a sword, crowbar, or light steel shield. This object remains in this form for 10 minutes or until broken or destroyed, at which point it shrinks back to its original size and shape.
Treacherous Earth (2 RP): Once per day a dwarf can will the earth to rumble and shift, transforming a 10-foot-radius patch of earth, unworked stone, or sand into an area of difficult terrain centered on a square he can touch. This lasts for a number of minutes equal to the user’s level, after which the ground returns to normal.
Racial Traits (DD)
Ignore the racial traits above and use all the Dwarf statistics in the Player’s Handbook.
First Artwork Provided by Mates Laurentiu
Second Artwork provided by Joseph Garcia
Return to Races