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View Full Version : Reimaging Dwarves



Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2007-12-22, 08:05 PM
Everyone knows dwarves. Short, drunk, bearded, and always carrying an axe.

When I first homebrewed dwarves, I made 2 varieties to replace the dwarves in my setting.

Wizard dwarves, and barbarian dwarves.

However, I did away with those subraces, as with the rest of the setting.

In my first setting, I was trying to break all the stereotypes. Now, I do not care anymore. When I first invisioned dwarves in my new setting, they were very much the same, except with spears instead of axes, and a welsh accent instead of scottish, and very reclusive.

Recenty I read an article somewhere on the web that was doing much the same thing as I am now; reimagining the dwarf. They gradually turned stereotypical Dwarf into a gangly, long-clawed goblin like creature. I agree with this gradual "Evolution of the Dwarf", you might call it. (Could someone link this article please?)

My new dwarf for this setting is going to look a lot like that. They would still be short, but also thin, not stout. They would live underground, in big cities carved from stone. They would use broadbladed spears, and have large claws on their hands.

However, in my mind, they do no longer use tools do dig, but their claws, and would they really use their claws to dig stone? If you tried that, your nails would break off. So the choices would be to either move them from big cities carved from stone, or make their claws unnaturally hard.

If you look at a tiger's claw, or that of a mole, you would notice that in fact they are much harder than a human nail. So maybe them clawing their way through solid stone is not that far out. However, I cannot imagine a large group of these new dwarves working together and clawing their way through stone, slowly shaping a building. I will worry about this later.

Mechanically, what have we got?
Small: As a Small creature, a gnome gains a +1 size bonus to Armor Class, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, and a +4 size bonus on Hide checks, but he uses smaller weapons than humans use, and his lifting and carrying limits are three-quarters of those of a Medium character.
Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet.
Dwarf dig speed is 5 feet.
+2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone items.
+2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone.
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 isnít 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.
+Str They are strong. Iffy on this one
+Con they are very hardy, and tough, like a tough leather.
-Cha they are not pretty
-Int mostly for balancing
Possibly a claw natural attack. If so, d6.
Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat greatspears as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
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.

I will clean this up once i get off the laptop. Stupid laptop.

Edit 1: Cleaned up the Mechanics.