Mountain Dwarves

Mountain Dwarves are the typical dwarves of fantasy literature. They 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, the dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless craftsmen of the earth. It could be said that dwarven 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.

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 length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. A clean-shaven male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarf.

Society: Mountain Dwarves can be found on most continents. Wherever there are mountains, there one will find dwarves. The great distances between their mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within dwarven 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 a fierce hatred of giants.
All mountain dwarves speak Khuzda, the language of their people. In addition, the dwarves on the fairly isolated island of Seregond have developed their own language, Korobukuru, borrowing heavily from the elves and goblins that share the island with them.

Relations: Dwarves and giants have long dwelt in proximity, theirs a history of violence as old as both their races. Dwarves generally distrust and shun half-goblins. They find halflings, elves, and gnomes 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, and while they are often satirized 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.

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

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

Racial Traits:

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
  • Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and have 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. (see darkvision).
  • Greed: Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on Appraise skill checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
  • Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
  • Giant Hunter: Mountain dwarves train from a young age in the best tactics to fight against giants. As a result, giant hunter dwarves gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against creatures with the giant subtype. Furthermore, they gain a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find and follow tracks made by creatures with the giant subtype.
  • Magic Resistant: Mountain Dwarves are particularly resistant to magic. Mountain Dwarves gain spell resistance equal to 5 + their character level. This resistance can be lowered for 1 round as a standard action. However, they take a –2 penalty on all concentration checks made in relation to arcane spells.
  • Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
  • Stonesinger: Mountain dwarves’ affinity with the earth grants them greater powers. Mountain Dwarves are treated as 1 level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle’s stone mystery. This ability does not give the dwarf early access to level-based powers; it only affects powers the dwarf could use without this ability.
  • 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: Mountain Dwarves begin play speaking Khuzda (mountain dwarvish), Dwergmal (high dwarvish), and any 1 Trade Pidgin appropriate to the region. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Korobukuru, Jotunstein, Jotunalder, Hulgorkyn, Andorian, Terran, or any Trade Pidgin.

Plains Dwarves

Kurit, or Plains Dwarves, are native to the icy northern lands of Ishullnë Veri. Though the plains dwarves have an extensive oral tradition (they love telling stories), no two can ever agree on the exact details of their origins or history. What can be agreed upon is that the plains dwarves are hardy survivors, well adapted to harsh conditions, and used to being treated as inferiors by both humans and other dwarves.

Physical Description: Plains Dwarves are short and squat, averaging fewer than 4 feet in height and weighing around 100 pounds, with females slightly larger than the males. Plains dwarves are physically much like other dwarves, though they are often covered with scars, sores, and filth due to their living conditions. Skin tones range from pale cream to dirty brown, and mottled or splotched skin is not uncommon. Unlike their mountain cousins, plains dwarves have a hard time growing bears, though the oldest may sport impressively bushy eyebrows and sideburns.

Society: Plains dwarves are found almost exclusively on the Northern Continent. The plains dwarves have few cities or holdfasts of their own, instead choosing to live among humans or other races. By far the largest concentration of plains dwarves is in the city of Vornheim. With no cultural homeland, they tend to readily adopt the customs of their chosen homes.

Relations: Plains dwarves make up the lower classes of many northern cities. They are used to being mistreated and are quite amenable to taking orders, seeming to enjoy menial labor. The people of Vornheim insist that they are some of the best cooks in the world. Unlike their mountain cousins, the plains dwarves have no inherent racial prejudices, and can be found living with and working for goblins, giants, elves, and men.

Alignment and Religion: Survival knows no laws and neither do the plains dwarves. The concept of a codified set of “rules” is alien to them. While they are willing to take orders from those who are clearly superior (most everyone), they are strongly inclined toward chaotic behavior, and will often shirk their duties as soon as no one is watching them.

Adventurers: A surprisingly large number of plains dwarves take up the adventuring life, having no ties to a homeland, family, or government. Typically driven by a desire to advance their station in life, plains dwarves take the acquisition of personal wealth very seriously. Because of their famed cooking skills, many plains dwarves take up the Way of the Gourmand, at least briefly.

Names: Plains dwarves are named by their parents, by their “friends”, by their masters, or by themselves. They change their names on a whim if they find a new one that they like. Total strangers may inadvertently contribute to the process. A human who once said to a plains dwarf “Get out of my way maggot!” gave the dwarf a name that was handed down for generations.

Racial Traits:

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity, –2 Strength: Plains Dwarves are surprisingly nimble and can thrive under conditions that would kill others, but are much weaker than their brethren.
  • Small: Plains Dwarves are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus (CMB) and Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD), and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
  • 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. (see darkvision).
  • Defensive Training: Dwarves get a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
  • Survival Instinct: Plains Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on Stealth and Survival skill checks. They may use the Survival skill even in cities to forage for food and basic necessities.
  • Cold Tolerant: Plains dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against cold damage and cold effects. Plains dwarves can also exist comfortably in conditions between –20° and 90° F (severe cold to hot) without having to make Fortitude saves.
  • Hardy: Plains Dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, disease, spells, and spell-like abilities.
  • Stability: Dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
  • Pitiable: Plains Dwarf diplomacy consists of flattery, begging, crying, cringing, and pleading. Plains dwarves receive a +4 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks made to convince an enemy not to harm them.
  • Languages: Plains Dwarves begin play speaking Kurit (plains dwarvish) and Skaevrym. Plains Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Dwergmal, Khuzda, Përbashkët, Pyjeve, Njerëz, Nimedhel, Jotunise, or Krangi.


Dwergar as said to be the original dwarven stock from which all others derived. Long before men walked the surface of Tel-Avi, the dwergar were great miners, delving deep into the depths of the earth. There are stories of those who dug too deep into the bowels of the earth, spelunkers who opened ancient cities and awakened things from beyond our worst nightmares. There these miners discovered creatures akin to gods sleeping beneath the earth, beings neither demonic nor angelic in their forms and minds. The dwergar of today are descended from clans of dwarves who cast all caution aside, tunneling deep, following richer and richer mineral veins until they found something that shattered their minds, broke their bodies, and remade them in a new image. Those that returned warned of a slumbering deity who would rule over all other deities if awakened. Modern dwergar are reminiscent of the dwarves they once were, in that they are short and broad, of powerful stature, but that is where any likeness is lost. Their ways can seem to be callous and cruel, but it is from their experience deep in the earth that they are motivated. Even actions such as slavery are not only acceptable, but encouraged if it helps to continue the projects that keep That Which Sleeps Beneath from arising.

Physical Description: Dwergar eyes shine with a madness that has touched their entire bloodline. Their ashen skin is devoid of nearly all hair, except on their head and face, although male dwergars tend to have a bald pate. While short and broad, standing roughly 4 1/2 feet tall, the rippling muscles of the dwergar make most people uneasy, for beneath their skin, the muscles move of their own accord, snaking and twisting. Many dwergars have long scars, often caused by their own delusions.

Society: Having witnessed what they perceive to be the truth of this world, there is no joy amongst the dwergar, only eternal toil. Deep underground, deeper than the gnome kingdoms, they toil on deranged constructions that twist and turn in ways that give others headaches and nightmares. Driven by an intense need to create and build, those who stop to listen hear the dwergar humming and singing while building. The dwergar themselves claim they are saving the world by distracting the terrible deity that slumbers beneath the earth, keeping it asleep for the sake of all life. Their society has no joys, no color, no individuality. Everyone wears the same clothes, the same armor, the same weapons, and by birth they seem to know the lullaby chants of the mentally unbalanced.

Relations: To the dwergar, it is the other races who are mad. As a terrible monster that is beyond what words can describe threatens to awaken and devour the world and the gods themselves, the other races squander their lives away, playing useless games and waging meaningless war. Humans, halflings, and gnomes can provoke the insane rage of the dwergar, for their constant activity threatens the dwergar view of how to keep the titanic god sleeping. Other races are most often ignored or disdained for their failure to recognize the truth and the deadly threat. Most other races avoid the dwergars, but there are those who wonder if the dwergar might not be insane, and might actually be correct, and how terrifying that possibility might be. The only allies of the dwergar are the Woh Dak Nag Gram, an equally ancient race who share their homes near the Great Abyss and aid the dwergar in their defense against That Which Sleeps Beneath.

Alignment and Religion: Almost all dwergar worship the sleeping horror by working, building, constructing, and redefining, while humming and singing the twisted lullaby that runs through their minds. All other gods are inconsequential, for the horrid thing, That Which Sleeps Beneath, will consume all if it awakens. Lawful neutral, or perhaps lawful evil, tend to be the natural tendencies of the dwergar, for they see no use in helping others with their pointless daily problems, when they are busy saving the world from the threat of imminent destruction.

Adventurers: Dwergars only become adventurers because their unique brand of insanity plagues them with visions and whispers of the peace that others have in their heads. Driven by a need to fulfill these visions and quiet the voices within, dwergar often seem obsessed with what they are doing. While capable companions, many are scared to adventure with dwergar, for their tendency to whisper in their sleep and their skin’s unusual undulations can be unnerving.

Note On Names: Dwergar abstain from traditional naming conventions, often viewing names as a pointless exercise in a doomed world. When young, they are ‘child,’ and then become ‘woman’ and ‘man’. Amongst the other races, they often take on a name because their companions ask them to; this name is often matter-of-fact and describes their perceived role in the world.

Names: Hammer, Smith, War, Hunter, Tailor, Shieldbearer, Slayer, Hatemonger

Racial Traits:

  • +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Duergar are hearty and observant, but also stubborn and belligerent.
  • Slow and Steady: Dwergar have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
  • Darkvision: Dwergar can see in the dark up to 120 feet.
  • Dwergar Immunities: Dwergar are immune to paralysis, phantasms, and poison. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities.
  • Deep Warrior: Dwergar grow up facing the abominations that live deep beneath the surface. They receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the aberration type and against demons.
  • Relentless: Dwergar are skilled at pushing their way through a battlefield, tossing aside lesser foes with ease. Dwergar receive a +2 bonus on Combat Maneuver checks made to bull rush, grapple, or overrun an opponent. This bonus only applies while both the dwergar and his opponent are standing on the ground.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: Dwergar can cast enlarge person and invisibility each once per day, using their character level as their caster level. Both of these spell-like abilities affect the duergar only.
  • Light Sensitivity: Dwergar are dazzled as long as they remain in an area of bright light.
  • Languages: Dwergar begin play speaking Dwergmal, and Undercommon. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Khuzda, Kurit, Kargi, Krangi, Ellethar, Maanosan, Përbashkët, Terran, or Jotunalder.


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