World of Amistade
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.
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. Dwarves are proud warriors highly driven by honor that never forget a slight.
Dwarf society is mainly monarchistic and organized into strongholds each governed by a king. The kings of each stronghold are largely independent, but during times of trouble or war it is The High King who takes ultimate charge. The High King can often be seen at the forefront of the battle, fighting on the front line and leading by valiant example.
Outside of strongholds Dwarves are organized into clans. Clans are like an extensive family group, all sharing common ancestry although mostly not directly related.
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. Dwarf men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarf women. Their bodies seem purposely built for manual labor, solidly muscled, broad shouldered and large thick fingered hands that belie considerable manual dexterity. Dwarves’ skin is typically deep tan or light brown, and their eyes are dark. Their hair is usually black, gray, or brown, and worn long. Dwarf men value their beards highly and groom them very carefully. Since Dwarves have a deep in-built respect for age, so it would be unthinkable for a dwarf to cut off or even trim their beards. Dwarves favor simple styles for their hair, beards, and clothes. Dwarves are considered adults at about age 40, and they can live to be more than 250 years old.
In the past female Dwarves were very rarely seen outside Dwarf realms, which led many people to believe that Dwarf males could have babies or that Dwarf women had beards. Dwarf females, like their male counterparts, are heavily built, armed and armored; are muscular and grim, but instead of long beards have long hair wound into similar braids, worn beneath their bonnets and helmets, which they treasure as greatly as males do their beard.
Relations: Dwarves get along fine with Halflings, and passably with White Elves, Lapin and Codeil. 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 friendship is often between a human and a Dwarf who liked the human’s parents and grandparents. Dwarves fail to appreciate White Elf subtlety and art, regarding them 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. Luckily, Dwarves are fair-minded, and they grant individuals 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: Dwarves now found every from the fallen human empires to the hills and mountains where they have their ancestral strongholds, and continue to mine gems and precious metals, and forge items of wonder. Substantial numbers of Dwarves have settled in the fallen human empires of old Amistade. Trustworthy members of other races are welcome in these new settlements, though some parts of these lands are off limits even to them.
Their empire once ran as a series of holds throughout the mountain ranges joined by tunnels. During “The Great Fall” some strongholds have fallen and the tunnel ways lost so the strongholds are more isolated. The loss of the strongholds has been attributed to the Orpheum, Orcs and Skaven.
Whatever wealth the Dwarves can’t find in their mountains, they gain through trade.
Wandering Dwarves are typically mercenaries, weaponsmiths, armorsmiths, jewelers and bodyguards. Dwarf bodyguards are renowned for their courage and loyalty, and they are well rewarded for their virtues.
History: Little is known about early dDwarf history but, they are rumored to have been assisted in their development by the mysterious and enigmatic Old Ones. It is said that the Dwarves were foretold of the “The Great Fall” that befell the human empires by their patron god, Grungni.
Religion: Dwarves venerate their ancestors and their deities are the “Ancestor Gods” which are said to have been formed from the very stone of the world itself. There are three main ones: Grungni, Valaya and Grimnir.
Grungni is the patron of the forge and miners, and is depicted as the wisest of the Ancestor Gods, typically taking place as the “head” of the gods.
Valaya is the patron of Runesmiths. It is said she is sleeping deep within the mountains until a time when she is needed again.
Grimnir is a great warrior with two rune axes. He helped the White Elves defeat the beastmen in Southern Petra, and although no evidence of his fate exists, it is assumed that he died there, or perhaps some far more sinister fate befell him. All that is known is that Grimnir’s axes have turned up from time to time in the hands of a worthy Dwarf to help turn the tide of a battle in the Dwarves favor.
Magic: Magic in its usual forms is distrusted, and even loathed, by a great many of the Dwarven population. The general consensus is that magic is too erratic and volatile to fool around with, let alone rely on in battle.
However, Dwarves do place considerable emphasis on embedding magic within certain items e.g. axes, hammers, shields, and armor suits through Runesmithing. Aspiring Runesmiths will spend years and years as an apprentice to a Runelord who will gradually teach them to inscribe items with symbols that have great magical power.
Language: Dwarves speak Dwarven, which has its own runic script. The Dwarves are extremely proud of their tongue, which they rarely speak in the company of other races. 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, Orc, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends and enemies. Some also learn Terran, the strange language of earth-based creatures such as xorn.
Names: A Dwarves 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 Dwarves 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: Alaric, Alk, Dolgrin, Edrukk, Garagrim, Gotrek, Grimnir, Grombrindal, Grunyar, Harsk, Igmar, Josef, Kazador, Kazmuk, Losk, Malakai, Morgrym, Nils, Odol, Padrym, Rogar, Snorri, Stigur, Thorgrim, Truddig, Ungrim
Female Names: Agna, Bodill, Dalbra, Erigga, Gonild, Ingra, Kotri, Lupp, Morstra, Paldna, rusilka, Stinna, Torra, Ulrikka, Yangrit
Animals and Pets: Dwarves favor crows and small lizards as pets and familiars. Perches and rookeries throughout their lands and kingdoms testify to the Dwarves fascination with crows. The Dwarves train these birds to mimic common speech and have become the favorite pets of Dwarves. Many Dwarven kings have royal rookeries with extensive roosts and cages for their trained birds.
They use pack lizards and donkeys as beasts of burden. Dwarves commonly employ riding lizards as steeds, which are now the norm due to the lack of horses.
Dwarves of the Undervale employ dire bats as steeds (fitted with exotic military saddles) as well as riding lizards to navigate the subterranean caverns they call home. Dwarf barbarians and battleragers often employ dire boars as steeds.
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.
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 move 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 also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is 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 (see Chapter 7:Equipment) 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.
- Dwarves are immune to the effects of Witchwood.
- +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 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 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, Goblin, Hardic, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. Dwarves are familiar with the languages of their enemies and of their subterranean allies.