Average Height: 4’3”-4’9”
Average Weight: 160-220 lbs
Ability Scores: +2 Con, +2 Wis or Str
Speed: 5 squares
Languages: Common, Dwarven
Skill Bonuses: +5 Endurance, +2 Dungeoneering or Streetwise
Resist Poison: +5 to checks to resist Poison effects (alcohol included).
Get on With It!: Dwarves don’t fool around when there’s business that needs attending, and that includes dealing with injuries mid-scuffle. Dwarves may use their second wind as a minor action instead of a standard action.
The Earth Tells All: Don’t try to fool a dwarf by burying anything, be it treasure, a body, or anything in between. They have a preternatural knack to find things hidden in the earth, soil, or stone. All dwarves gain +5 to Perception checks to find a buried object.
Stalwart: Dwarves can’t run so good, so they make it a point not to. If an effect would force a dwarf to move through a pull, push, or slide, the dwarf may move 1 less square than the effect specifies. They may negate effects that force them to move only 1 square.
Exceptional Teamwork: Though innately xenophobic, dwarves are masters of working together with allies to overcome their foes. If a dwarf has Combat Advantage against a target through flanking, both the dwarf and the flanking ally gain +3 to their attack instead of the usual +2.
Pushy: A dwarf may make a bull rush attempt in place of a basic melee attack.
Charging Ram: Gain the Charging Ram power described below.
Twin Faiths: Gain either the Spirit Speak power or the Divine Echo power, both of which are described below. The player must choose which power they gain upon character creation and cannot alter their choice later.
As bull-headed as they come, dwarves have been known to charge enemies much larger than themselves, knocking them down to size.
Target: One creature Large size or smaller
Attack: Str vs Fort and the dwarf must charge the target.
Hit: The target is knocked prone.
Dwarven shamanism predates even the Garaou’s, giving modern dwarves the innate ability to alter the ebb and flow of life around them.
Target: Each ally in burst
Each ally in burst gains regeneration 2 until the end of the encounter. Each ally also gains +1 to all defenses until the end of the dwarf’s next turn.
The Goddess’ message permeates even the solid halls of dwarven stone, granting the boon of light and life to those who listen.
Target: Each ally in burst
Each ally in burst may spend a healing surge. For the rest of the encounter, the dwarf sheds bright light to a radius of 20 squares.
Dwarves resemble short, broad humans. When fully grown, a dwarf stands roughly three-quarters as tall as a human while weighing about the same, perhaps even more. Given that their natural environment is underground, they have light eyes and fair skin – which can quickly become ruddy once their legendary love of drink takes over. Dwarves develop muscle more readily than fat, giving even the most rotund a surprising edge. Hair colors run a similar gamut to humans’, though redheads and russets are far more common. Men grow ponderous beards in the latest styles and women pleat their hair in patterns to show their family loyalty; dwarves don’t bald with age, so a bald dwarf is either a forgemaster or a convicted prisoner.
Young dwarves age at a faster rate than humans do, reaching physical and mental maturity at about sixteen years of age. The aging process dwindles rapidly thereafter. Dwarves live approximately 100-200 years.
Dwarves are known throughout Oros Milav for four things: drink, trade, metalwork, and xenophobia. They’ve been around since before written human records, but only within the past two years have dwarves begun to integrate with populaces beyond their Kurothe and Garaou allies. The great gates of Silabh-Mor on the west side of the Fornfell range now stand open to those who have proved their trustworthiness to dwarven interests, allowing human and Lilithiul into their under-mountain capital. But dwarves are still quick to favor their own people and distrust outsiders, siding with their own in everything from selecting ale to passing a court verdict. To a dwarf, only a Kurothe can be trusted implicitly and on principal; even Garaou must prove themselves, though the werewolves find a much easier time of this than the other races.
Once past this untrustworthy stage, one will find a dwarf to be a steadfast and lifelong companion. A great deal of a dwarf’s inherent xenophobia stems from their unyielding loyalty. To those who have proven themselves in the eyes of a dwarf, the xenophobia disappears completely. A dwarf vouching for an outsider is the fastest – and sometimes only – way to deal with the majority of the dwarven population.
Dwarves are a passionate people. They speak their minds, bellow, shout, weep, rage, sing, dance, and belly-laugh with abandon. They throw out colorful insults and enjoy being given as good as they put out. They relish the finer aspects of life; a good meal, a good drink, a good smoke, and a good roll in the hay before a good sleep. Their love of material wealth is legendary, but so is their generosity to those whom they call friend. They value things for their beauty as well as their practical purposes, spending hours laboring over the smallest detail in whatever they craft. And craft they do – dwarven metalwork and metallurgy is highly prized throughout Oros Milav, widely considered to be the best available. Even the Lilithiul acknowledge the superior quality of dwarven craftsmanship, though they are quick to add that Lilithiul magic infusing a dwarven item makes it even more valuable.
Dwarves are deeply rooted in tradition. They have long lives and long memories; they remember the Fall of the Lilithiul, they remember when the Kurothe took in the wounded Garaou race, they remember the rise of humans. Yet for the most part dwarves are content to sit and watch, recording everything and adding it to their labyrinthine network of archives that extend for miles deep beneath the Fornfell. It is a testament to the changing of the times that they have chosen to emerge from their rocky strongholds. And while shamanism has been the traditional form of spirituality, the Goddess has been known to them for generations thanks to the Garaou. With more dwarves going out into the world and more foreigners coming into Silabh-Mor, Goddess-worship has found a stronger foothold within dwarven society. It’s unclear how well the outside religion will last and adapt, but for now it seems to be growing.
Much to the shock of outsiders, Sliabh-Mor has a vast standing army. Dwarves take battle very seriously, always ready to defend their holdings from whatever trespassers foolish enough to try and best them. Even civilians undergo combat training as part of their basic education. Dwarven tactics emphasize teamwork; that, and unrivaled knowledge of their mountain home has held off threats both real and imaginary since time immemorial.
A less well-known aspect of the dwarves – to non-dwarves – is the dwarven love of politics. With long memories and even longer grudges, dwarves have been known to weave plots and sow intrigues that take decades to unravel. They rarely if ever engage in such machinations with non-dwarves, feeling that non-dwarves couldn’t appreciate the beauty and subtlety of their intrigue. But among family houses, members of the senate, rival shopkeeps and craftsmasters, or even friends, politicking runs rife. A good deal of this is good-natured; it’s considered an insult not to have been involved in a friend’s scheme at least once, whether or not that scheme is directed at the party in question. Very rarely do the machinations lead to lasting disgrace or bloodshed; dwarves appreciate the art of the intrigue but do not condone loss of life or livelihood to what they consider “good, clean fun”.
Relations with Other Races
Humans: Dwarves watched the human nation coalesce from warring tribes. On one hand they’re impressed with the fledgling race, and on the other they still feel the lil’ whippersnappers have a way to go. Still, humans are eager to both profit and learn, and the dwarves are happy to teach them – for a price. Dwarven shops have begun springing up in human settlements all over the map, inflating dwarven coffers and making for rousing tales at the tavern after hours. In a dwarf’s mind, that’s an agreeable arrangement all around.
Lilithiul: Dwarves knew of Lilithiul, but never had any real contact other than outside observation. When news of the Epoch Gate crisis reached the dwarven senate, the dwarves were quick to record it, preserving the tale for all of posterity. Now the “big, blue flamin’ pixies” are poking about. Most of them are polite enough. But what cinched the Lilithiul for the dwarves was their common love of a good drink. Lilithiul produce some of the best liquor the dwarves have ever tasted – an admission dearly-won! Not only can they produce it, but they can handle even the dwarven beast with equal aplomb. Dwarves may not understand why the Lilithiul care so little for money or their arcane jibber-jabber, but they know how to relax at the end of the day and toss a few back. Good enough.
Garaou: Garaou and dwarves have known each other for centuries and share a common bond through shamanism. The more social tribes maintain good relations with the dwarven senate, but the immense, stone-enclosed cities often chafe the werewolves’ need to run free and see the sky. Racial claustrophobia aside, dwarves are quick to warm up to a Garaou, particularly if they have the backing of a Kurothe – and just as quick to put down a benyem or other mad dog. Dwarves are very aware of the inter-tribal tension among the Garaou, and they do not take sides. Everyone behaves on dwarven turf, or else.
Kurothe: Ask a dwarf about their relations with the Kurothe, and don’t expect to go anywhere for a few hours. Dwarves and the Kurothe go back so far, they can often chafe even a Kurothe’s patience just by telling the assiduously long tale. Kurothe have served as the dwarven advance guard by simple living arrangement, and the Kurothe know that the full might of the dwarven military is behind them should the dire need arise. Needless to say, only Kurothe are taken at their word, for their word. Right or wrong, this often serves as a V.I.P. pass for other races attempting to gain access to dwarven communities. And depending upon the merchant, sometimes a dwarf will even skim a little off the sale price of an item for a Kurothe.
Gnomes: Fewer gnomes make it into dwarven cities, but those who do find a warm welcome. Gnomes tend dwarven households just as they do human or Kurothe, and find themselves influenced accordingly. As dwarves are often a much more passionate, vocal people, dwarven gnomes are often more passionate, vocal gnomes. Gnomes are more open about their existence in dwarven communities, often openly helping in tasks or sharing meals at the table with the rest of the family. Dwarven gnomes often find difficulty adapting to gnomish ideals outside of dwarven citadels, where not being seen is considered the finest craft of a gnome’s skills.