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.
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 gnomes, who get along famously with dwarves, a mild oath is “If I’m ying, 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. Dwarf men are slightly taller and noticeably heavier than dwarf women. 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. 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 400 years old.
Relations: Dwarves get along fine with gnomes, and passably 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. Through many such joint campaigns, 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’re more likely to be those who did not fit perfectly into dwarven society.
Dwarven Lands: Dwarven kingdoms usually lie 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 in such settlements, 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 travel is along a water route. Dwarves in human lands are typically mercenaries, weaponsmiths, armorsmiths, 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 Moradin, the Soul Forger. He is the creator of the dwarves, and he expects his followers to work for the betterment of the dwarf 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 Gnome, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Terran languages. Dwarves often speak the languages of their friends (humans and gnomes) 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, Brottor, Eberk, Einkil, Oskar, Rurik, Taklinn, Torderk, Traubon, Ulfgar, Veit.
Female Names: Artin, Audhild, Dagnal, Diesa, Gunnloda, Hlin, Ilde, Liftrasa, Sannl, Torgga.
Clan Names: Balderk, Dankil, Gorunn, Holderhek, Loderr, Lutgehr, Rumnaheim, Strakeln, Torunn, 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.
“Never again will the clans of the Ironroot serve a master other than themselves.”
—Guldark Mroranon, dwarf diplomat
Dwarves are natural miners and smiths, and they control most of the precious metals found naturally across the continent of Khorvaire. Powerful dwarf families mint coinage and operate banks, issue letters of credit, hold loans, and collect debts. Dwarf bankers and merchants wield a great deal of economic power throughout Khorvaire, and they are well respected as a result. To an extent, they are also feared, since dwarves are known to be ruthless in collecting unpaid debts.
Dwarf Lands: The dwarven homeland is the Mror Holds, a loose-knit federation of otherwise unconnected dwarf clans in the mountainous terrain in the east of Khorvaire. The dwarves have never had a unified empire and thus have never risen to the prominence of the elves or humans, or even the goblinoids, though their control of mineral wealth has always made them important allies of the greater powers. The Mror clans were subject to the king of Galifar before the Last War, but they seceded from Karrnath early in the war, marking the greatest degree of unity and independence the dwarves have ever possessed.
Dragonmarks: The dwarven House Kundarak carries the Mark of Warding, enabling the house to protect its vast stores of wealth and provide security for businesses and precious goods. House Kundarak works closely with the gnomes of House Sivis in the production and verification of important documents and the like.
From a history of barbarism and warfare, the dwarves have risen to a position of enormous economic might. For eight centuries dwarves have dominated banking and finance in the bourgeoning mercantile industries of Khorvaire, leaving their brutal past behind them. They remain a race of proud warriors, and they present an appearance of elegant sophistication—beards cut close, armor trimmed with fur and brocade, and the fury of an ancient barbarian warrior simmering deep beneath the fair façade.
The dwarf clans of the Mror Holds have never had the strong national identity typical of other races. As the great clans strive to unite the holdings into a secure empire based on finance, they continue to fight this legacy. The feuding dwarf clans were too weak to resist being annexed into Karrnath in the early years of the kingdom of Galifar but turned their subjugation to good use. Karrnath’s rule forced the clans to cease fighting each other, allowing them to focus on building a civilization from the tremendous mineral wealth of the Ironroot Mountains. Twenty years after the outbreak of the Last War, the Mror Holds declared their independence from Karrnath and emerged as a new nation—the first true dwarf nation ever seen in the world.
Lands: The Mror Holds stretch throughout the Ironroot Mountains, a dangerous and forbidding range at the northeastern edge of Khorvaire. The dwarves live in a hard and hostile climate. Over the last nine hundred years, the Mror Holds have used the incredible riches of their homeland to build themselves into an economic powerhouse. Still, in their own lands they are faced with ever-present danger, not just from orcs, trolls, and other monsters, but from the cold, barren land itself.
Settlements: Dwarf settlements focus on defense and protection of the natural resources that generate wealth. Built into the sides of mountains and deep underground, each clan lays claim to one or more secure holdfasts.
Power Groups: The dwarves of the Mror Holds remain a loose confederation of clans rather than a unified nation. The great clans rule through a body called the Iron Council, a group of lords made up of representatives from various clans. Each clan, however, continues to govern its own holds and acts, in many ways, as an independent state in negotiations with the other nations of Khorvaire.
Other powerful groups, particularly House Kundarak, the holders of the Mark of Warding, influence the council and the nation from the periphery. Although House Kundarak does not have a seat on the Iron Council, many of the council’s decisions seem to hint at Kundarak influence.
Beliefs: Many dwarves pay homage to the Sovereign Host, and worship of the Host has grown steadily in recent generations. The deity most favored among the dwarves is Kol Korran, god of trade and wealth. Other deities are popular as well, including Boldrei, Olladar, Onatar, and Dol Dorn. Many far-seeing dwarves hope that devotion to the Sovereign Host might serve as a unifying force within dwarf culture, but such religious influence is unlikely given the independent nature of dwarves and the growing influence of mercantile interests among dwarf clans.
Language: The dwarves remain a grim and survivalminded race. They are slow to reveal emotion or information, and stoic around anyone not of their immediate family. Dwarves choose their words deliberately, careful to avoid giving away information that could be used against them. They speak Dwarven among themselves, though they are literate in the languages of those races with which they trade.
Relations: With a wealth of natural resources, forbidding natural defenses, and a long history of bloodshed, the dwarves present an impressive image to the outside world. It is easy to see why the other nations of Khorvaire find it more prudent to call the dwarves friends than to raise their weapons in an attempt at conquest.
Dwarf characters have much to be proud of. Their race has grown from a collection of feuding barbaric clans to a mighty economic force in Khorvaire in just a thousand years’ time—a handful of generations to the long-lived dwarves. Even so, the bloody past of those barbaric clans has left the dwarves with a brutal and direct sense of honor and the physical skills to back their views.
Adventuring Dwarves: Most dwarves adventure to increase their own wealth and prestige, carving a life and fame out of the world the same way the barbaric clans of their ancestors carved space for themselves in their mountain holds.
The increasingly mercantile culture of the Mror Holds also breeds adventurers, merchants, and traders who travel the world in the name of commerce. These sturdy crafters must be adept at both the social activities of trading and bartering and the physical demands of travel throughout Khorvaire. Many a dwarf adventurer builds his skills at the side of a trading caravan in the name of one of the great clans.
Dwarves have a long and violent history, and they respect the independence and personal power required to become a successful adventurer. As the Mror Holds become entwined with human culture, more and more dwarves are drawn to exploration and adventure as a way to make names for themselves. As a growing and vital culture, the allied clans of the Ironroot Mountains view these explorers as an increasingly important way of staying in communication with the human kingdoms of Khorvaire.
Character Development: Slow afoot and able to withstand great physical punishment, dwarves excel at melee combat. Dwarf characters should look to feats and spells that increase their melee abilities, strengthen their already hardy bodies, or overcome their limited movement abilities. As a dwarf character advances in level, a high Armor Class is crucial in maximizing the character’s ability to withstand the dangers of melee combat.
Character Names: Dwarf names usually feature heavy consonants and several syllables. Every dwarf has a given name, which is often the name of a grandparent or great-grandparent, and a clan name identifying his home holdfast. Sample given names are provided below.
Male Names: Bruennen, Durnnam, Greddark, Kellark, Turanank.
Female Names: Annaka, Gerthin, Karkanna, Menna, Zranakarak.
Clan Names: Kolkarun, d’Kundarak, Mroranon, Narathun, Soldorak.
Dwarves are at their best in melee combat, and the statistics block for the dwarf warrior below is useful in a variety of encounters. Large groups of the warriors can back up higher-level NPCs to challenge midlevel characters, and smaller groups make interesting encounters for lower-level heroes. The statistics below can be used to represent either those dwarves who have joined the bulk of human culture in Khorvaire or a soldier in the rough armies of the Mror Holds.
EL 3: As the dwarves of the Mror Holds shed the trappings of their barbaric past, their armies have become more and more organized and therefore more dangerous. The warrior presented here is a veteran of several skirmishes and therefore more dangerous than the standard dwarf described in the Monster Manual.
Dwarf Warrior: Male dwarf warrior 3; CR 2; Medium humanoid;
HD 3d8+6; hp 20; Init +0; Spd 20 ft.; AC 19, touch 10, flat-footed 19;
Base Atk +3; Grp +4; Atk or Full Atk +6 melee (1d10+1/×3, masterwork dwarven waraxe)
or +4 ranged (1d10/19–20, masterwork heavy crossbow);
SQ darkvision 60 ft., dwarf traits; AL LN;
SV Fort +5 (+7 against poison), Ref +1, Will +0;
Str 13, Dex 11, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 6.
Skills and Feats: Climb –1, Craft (armorsmithing) +2, Craft (weaponsmithing) +2, Listen +2, Spot +2; Alertness, Weapon Focus (dwarven waraxe).
Dwarf Traits: Dwarves have stonecunning, which grants them a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of such a place can make a Search check as if actively searching.
When standing on the ground, dwarves are exceptionally stable and have a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped. They have a +1 racial bonus on attacks against orcs and goblinoids. Dwarves have a +4 racial bonus to Armor Class against giants. Their race also gives them a +2 bonus on Appraise or Craft checks that are related to stone or metal items.
Dwarves have a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like effects.
Possessions: half-plate, heavy steel shield, masterwork dwarven waraxe, masterwork heavy crossbow with 10 bolts, potion of cure moderate wounds, 25 pp.
The violent past and great treasures of the Ironroot Mountains make the Mror Holds some of the most interesting places to adventure.
- House Orien sees increasing profits in the Mror Holds, and its dealings there continue to grow in scope. Orien scouts have found a new potential trade route to a distant dwarf holding. The rough trail crosses over a high mountain pass, and the area must be cleared of orcs and other more dangerous monsters.
- Ancient evils slumber in the subterranean realms. When the dwarves discover an immense Khyber dragonshard, they also unchain a powerful legion of demons that has been trapped since the end of the Age of Demons. Although sluggish after their millennia-long captivity, the demons are vulnerable only for a short time. The dwarves are desperate for help against them. In return, they promise adventurers portions of the great Khyber shard.
ROLEPLAYING AN EBERRON DWARF
Here are some tips and ideas to use when playing an Eberron dwarf. Feel free to incorporate any or all of these ideas into your character’s personality and mannerisms.
- Never accept an initial offer, regardless of the situation (trading, bargaining with an enemy, and so forth). There’s always room for negotiation.
- Keep a grim face while in public. Never reveal anything that could give anyone an advantage. When you are safely hidden with friends and family, you can let down your guard, relax, and enjoy yourself.
- Hard work and material wealth are both highly respected among dwarves. They enjoy fine things, though they usually keep their greatest treasures hidden from outsiders. Because of this, you should be thrifty. Always look for good deals, even on things you don’t need right now. Prepare for rainy days and winter. When hard times come, you will be ready for them.
( If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Finely crafted weapons, jewelry, clothes—showing your wealth is a way of proving the success and power of your family to the world.
- The Mror Holds are a new nation, and the dwarves are touchy about their independence. Be proud of your race and your nation, and whatever you do, don’t let anyone insult your family.
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.
- +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 (including half-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, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon. Dwarves are familiar with the languages of their enemies and of their subterranean allies.
Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.
Adulthood: 40 yrs.
Barbarian, Rogue, Sorcerer: +3d6
Bard, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger: +5d6
Cleric, Druid, Monk, Wizard: +7d6
Middle Age: 35 yrs.
Old: 125 yrs.
Venerable: 188 yrs.
Maximum Age: +2d% yrs.
|Random Height and Weight||Base Height||Height Modifier||Base Weight||Weight Modifier|
|Male||3'9"||+2d4||130 lb.||x(2d6) lb.|
|Female||3'7"||+2d4||100 lb.||x(2d6) lb.|
Source: Player's Handbook, Eberron Campaign Setting