Hill-Mountain-Shield Dwarf

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Hill and Mountain Dwarves, Oerth

The stout, sturdy folk of the mountains are considered by most to be the salt of the earth and the keepers of the realms below the surface. Dwarves prefer to live underground in vast caverns and tunnel systems where they mine precious metals and gems. They usually don't live in human cities for more than a few weeks at a time. Dwarves have a reputation for being taciturn and grumpy (which is partially deserved), but they make excellent allies in any type of battle or warfare. Hill Dwarves are the most common type of dwarf in the Flanaess. They cooperate with the other races and are especially valuable in battles against giants and humanoids. Mountain dwarves are less common, and are said to know secrets of the underground that other races can't even guess at.

Hill dwarves are about four feet tall, broad-shouldered and muscular, with tan, gray or or reddish brown skin and brown or black eyes. Mountain dwarves are slightly taller, averaging 4'6", and have lighter skin and hair, but otherwise have the same appearance. Males and females of both subraces wear beards, though some females are known to be smooth-faced. Dwarves live long lives, though not as long as elves, and they reproduce slowly.

Shield Dwarves, Faerun

Found largely in the northern reaches of western and central Faerun, shield dwarves are the dominant northern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned for their smithwork and craftsmanship, shield dwarves have endured a centuries-long decline in the face of never-ending wars with orcs, goblins, giants, and trolls. Shield dwarves keep to their word, whatever the cost, and are incredibly stubborn, unwilling to concede and inch unless there is absolutely no alternative. Despite their centuries-long decline and deserved reputation for dourness and cynicism, shield dwarves have never succumbed to fatalism.

Shield dwarves average 4'6" tall and weigh as much as an adult human. The skin of a shield dwarf is fair or lightly tanned, and their eyes are usually green or silvered blue. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (along with a few females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from light brown to red, with all shades fading to silver or white as time progresses.

Hill and Mountain Dwarves, Krynn

The dwarves of Krynn are an industrious people, known throughout Ansalon as skilled builders and master artisans. To outsiders, dwarves can seem dour and taciturn, but that is their way with strangers. In truth, the dwarves are outgoing and gregarious when comfortable among friends, quick to roar with laughter at a good joke. Dwarves prefer to live below ground, and many clans dwell under the mountains in mighty halls hewn out of the rock. Since the mountain dwarves have limited contact with the outside world, they have grown self-sufficient and are quick to shut their gates on outsiders. Some dwarves, however, have moved into the foothills, choosing to interact with other races rather than shutting themselves off from the world. The hill dwarves are more accepting of other races and cultures.

Dwarves stand between 4 and 4'6" tall, with rare specimens reaching nearly 5' in height. Their bones and muscles are so dense, however, that they are much heavier than one would guess by appearance. They have light brown skin and their hair ranges from brown to black, gray, or rarely white. Males have long, full beards, of which they are very proud and take great care. Females grow tufts of hair on their cheeks.

Rockborn Dwarves, Mystara

The dwarves of Mystara, often called rockborn dwarves, all came from the same source: the mountains of Rockhome. They claim that Kagyar, their patron Immortal, created them circa BC 1800, and they have since spread throughout the continent of Brun. They are the only race of dwarves that exist on the surface of Mystara. Rockborn dwarves are lawful beings who only change their ways of life after a very, very long period of time. Every dwarven colony still speaks the exact same dialect of Dengar that is still used in Rockhome.

Rockborn Dwarves are stocky and muscular with a deep tan or light brown skin, often with ruddy cheeks. Their hair is often black, gray, or brown, with similar colors for their bright eyes. They vary in height between 4'0" and 4'6".

Dwarves, Cerilia

The dwarves of Cerilia are a strong, enduring folk who enjoy hard living and hard work. They are filled with an irrepressible store of good cheer and song. Dwarven kingdoms are organized around the clan, and clan members' loyalty is to the clan first and king second. Dwarves learn the arts of war at an early age as a part of their self-appointed duty of containing the orogs in the caverns under the mountains. Despite their dedication to this cause, they prefer to lead lives of building and making, not warring. Each dwarf clan specializes in the mining of a certain material.

Dwarves stand only 4 to 4'6" 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 dwarven 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.

Racial Traits

  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma
  • Hardiness vs. Poisons: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poisons
  • Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells
  • Darkvision: Hill dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal *sight, and hill dwarves function just fine wtih no light at all.
  • Stonecunning: +2 racial bonus on Search checks made in subterranean areas
  • Skill Affinity: A hill dwarf receives a +2 racial bonus to the Lore skill
  • Offensive Training vs. Orcs: +1 racial bones on attack rolls against orcs
  • Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus on attack roles against goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears)
  • Defensive Training vs. Giants: +4 racial bonus to AC against giants