Karameikos and Beyond
The dwarves living in the Grand Duchy are either members of the Stronghollow clan up in the gnome community, or are dwarven professionals who have immigrated into Karameikos – often acting as professional soldiers in the service of the Duke or one of his barons.
Build: Short, stocky, strong, with exceptionally strong limbs. Males average 150 pounds; females, 135.
Coloring: Black, red or dark brown hair. Fair to ruddy complexion.
Endurance: Tremendous. They can carry great burdens over long distances with little rest.
Height: Males average 4’9"’ females, 4’5".
Lifespan: 200-400 years.
Resistance: Dwarves are inherently resistant to magic and poisons.
Special Abilities: Dwarves see well in extreme darkness.
Clothing & Decoration: Beards, sometimes braided. Long hair. Heavy garb with colorful hooded cloaks. Crenelated trim-work is popular.
Fears & Inabilities: Open water and the Vala Ulmo (Lord of Waters). They do not normally swim.
Lifestyle: Dwarves are superb miners and craftsmen, and unsurpassed stoneworkers. They live in tightly-knit groups and favor underground cities which are usually cut into rugged hills or mountains.
Marriage Pattern: Monogamous. Only a third of the race is female. The line is traced through the male.
Religion: Dwarves believe that each lineage has a common spirit which permeates them all and ties them together. They revere their ancestors above all other things but Mahal, their maker, and believe that in each King exists a part of his predecessors.
Demeanor: Sober, quiet, possessive, suspicious, pugnacious, introspective, and often very greedy. Tenacious warriors, they fight without quarter and never retreat. Each Dwarf treats his kind as brothers and non-Dwarves as lesser beings who, one way or another, are a constant threat. Their blood is thick and their bonds are deep. They enter into agreements with extreme care but, once made, honor them to the letter. The old adage is true: “no friend ever did a Dwarf a favor, no enemy a wrong, without being repaid in full.”
Language: Among themselves, Dwarves speak Khuzdul (Dwarvish), a guarded tongue known by virtually no one but themselves. When in public or about in the wild, Dwarves speak the Common Speech, or one of the local languages.
Prejudices: Orcs, Wargs and Dragons are the sworn enemies of all Dwarven-kind. Above all other races, they despise these the most, although they are extremely suspicious of mages and Elves. They have suffered too much as a result of magic. When they do express a preference between Traladarns and Thyatians, the dwarves tend to prefer the company of Thyatians, who are practical people, and not superstition-ridden like the Traladarans.
Restrictions on Professions: No Dwarf will ever become a Magic-User … ever. It is also extremely unlikely that a Dwarf would take the mantle of Druid or Ranger as their entire species was made from and focused on the elemental earth rather than living earth. Taught and blessed by the Vala Smith Mahal, Dwarves practice a plain, practical Earth-magic. They know of spells and enchantments, but generally scoff at the ways of Elves or other conjurers, preferring instead to use such power in the making of permanent physical items. Traditional Magic-Users are unheard of; instead they produce alchemists and engineers.
Game Mechanics Summary
|Ability Requirements:||CON 9 or higher, CHA 17 or lower|
|Classes:||Cleric, Fighter, Thief|
|Weapons:||Large weapons require two hands. No 2-handed swords, pole-arms, or longbows.|
|Special:||Darkvision 60’; Double encumbrance rates (can carry twice as much as normal); Detect new construction, shifting walls, slanting passages, traps w/ 1-2 on d6|
|Save Bonuses:||+4 vs. Death Ray or Poison; +4 vs. Magic Wands; +4 vs. Paralysis or Petrify; +3 vs. Dragon Breath; +4 vs. Spells|
|Languages:||Thyatian, Traladaran, Dwarvish; +1 / point of INT bonus|
|Description:||Typically about 4’ 9" tall, stocky, lifespan of 200-400 years. Thick hair and beards.|
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