log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General Make Your Dwarves More Interesting


log in or register to remove this ad

MatthewJHanson

Registered Ninja
Publisher
3. Although dwarves are comfortable underground, most dwarves actually live above ground. Some groups stay for extended periods underground, of course, but even if a community has an extensive underground network, most will reside above ground and have several other buildings there as well.
This is similar to what I do in my games. For me there's too many world building challenges to an all-underground civilization (what do they do for food), thought they frequently build fortresses/shelters into mountains because they have a history of being attacked by dragons, and the traditional motte and bailey won't stop a dragon.
 

delericho

Legend
1. Do NOT have darkvision. Nearly every media/book/image of dwarves (even underground) shows them with light sources; and personally I think way too many races have darkvision (so others have lost it as well). YMMV, but that is my experience.
Yeah, I tend to agree. IMO, it's really unfortunate that WotC decided to merge darkvision and low-light vision. Plus, I tended towards giving out fewer 'special' visions altogether - of the PHB races, I would give dwarves low-light vision, tieflings and drow darkvision, and that's it. My few experiences with truly dark places were quite an instruction in just how much we take good lighting for granted.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I doubled down on darkvision with dwarves having blindsight to adjacent squares due to their beards and epic eyebrows being literal whiskers.

They were also made by dragons and are subterranean out of spite for their creators who built them for mining only to have the dwarves lock them out of said mines. Their favored element is air because of social pressure to learn air magic to circulate air in the deeps. This has led their magitech to be pneumatics instead of steam or clockwork.
 

I doubled down on darkvision with dwarves having blindsight to adjacent squares due to their beards and epic eyebrows being literal whiskers.

They were also made by dragons and are subterranean out of spite for their creators who built them for mining only to have the dwarves lock them out of said mines. Their favored element is air because of social pressure to learn air magic to circulate air in the deeps. This has led their magitech to be pneumatics instead of steam or clockwork.
you could give them the music obsession of the dwemer if you want?
 


They have a bardic tradition for throatsinging.
I speak of a culture that has tonal architects who use songs to bend metal till it never rusts nor tarnishes who used a drum of a heart to power an artificial god bard could be so much more than what it is when all the world is a song, also have a death song a great song to unmake things why should bard not have forbidden lore?
 


DND_Reborn

Legend
Yeah, I tend to agree. IMO, it's really unfortunate that WotC decided to merge darkvision and low-light vision. Plus, I tended towards giving out fewer 'special' visions altogether - of the PHB races, I would give dwarves low-light vision, tieflings and drow darkvision, and that's it. My few experiences with truly dark places were quite an instruction in just how much we take good lighting for granted.
For a while many of the races that lost darkvision in my game were giving Shadowsight, which turned dim light into bright light, but darkness remained darkness.

Now, only elves have shadowsight 60 ft., half-elves have shadowsight 30 ft.
Tieflings and Dragonborn have darkvision 60 ft., half-orcs have darkvision 30 ft., drow, deep gnomes, and duergar have darkvision 120 feet.


Other dwarves and gnomes, halflings and humans have no special vision.
 

Bupp

Adventurer
On my World of Eska, the dwarves were driven from their Great Halls by the drow during the Kinslayer Wars.

Now forced to live on the surface, the clans have lost their ancient connection to the earth. This has left them a bit crazy, and most of them have some sort of twitch, stutter, or other other tick. Barbarian is a favored class.

I had found this picture, and loved it for dwarves.
1641961856355.png

So the clans wander the surface, mounted on axebeaks. Those aren't actually bolas they are swinging, they are grenkarat.

These “poison stones” are a lump of burning charcoal, treated with foul chemicals that are carried in censers around the neck or swung around in battle. They give off a sickly green smoke that puts down as many foes as dwarven axe and hammer. The dwarves are also affected by the smoke, but with their high Constitution, Advantage on poison saves, and resistance to poison damage, they are rarely harmed by them.

Grenkarat. Anyone within 5 feet of a grenkarat is surrounded by smoke. The creature must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.

 

Stormonu

Legend
A homebrew I did years ago had dwarves who were essentially minor earth elementals native to the prime material plane. They reproduced by carving new dwarves from stone, and using a Ritual (“Moradin’s Breath”) to give them true life.

And the stone from which the dwarf was carved determined their favored class.
I did similar - made of stone, new dwarves were carved and animated by ritual.

Also, mine are German, not Scottish.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
On my World of Eska, the dwarves were driven from their Great Halls by the drow during the Kinslayer Wars.

Now forced to live on the surface, the clans have lost their ancient connection to the earth. This has left them a bit crazy, and most of them have some sort of twitch, stutter, or other other tick. Barbarian is a favored class.

I had found this picture, and loved it for dwarves.
View attachment 149774
So the clans wander the surface, mounted on axebeaks. Those aren't actually bolas they are swinging, they are grenkarat.

These “poison stones” are a lump of burning charcoal, treated with foul chemicals that are carried in censers around the neck or swung around in battle. They give off a sickly green smoke that puts down as many foes as dwarven axe and hammer. The dwarves are also affected by the smoke, but with their high Constitution, Advantage on poison saves, and resistance to poison damage, they are rarely harmed by them.

Grenkarat. Anyone within 5 feet of a grenkarat is surrounded by smoke. The creature must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 poison damage.

It didn’t involve DWARVES, but years ago, I helped another ENWorlder round out a plains Indian style culture for a homebrew campaign in which raptor dinos or moa/axebeaks replaced horses. It’s a fun concept to work with.

I‘d link to it, but it was lost to internet gremlins.
 


Bupp

Adventurer
It didn’t involve DWARVES, but years ago, I helped another ENWorlder round out a plains Indian style culture for a homebrew campaign in which raptor dinos or moa/axebeaks replaced horses. It’s a fun concept to work with.

I‘d link to it, but it was lost to internet gremlins.
I wanted to break tropes with Eska and getting rid of horses and other usual mounts was one of them.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Look up Troika! , the game has a very interesting take on Dwarves.

Basically, dwarves have no gender, and don't reproduce "normally" - instead, they make other dwarves by building them. This is why all dwarves are great craftpersons - if they weren't, they couldn't make other dwarves.
 

Baron Opal II

Adventurer
My dwarven write-up:

Dvergar

The followers of Lord Neander fled deep underground at the beginning of the Wrathful Epoch, fleeing the strife consuming Creation. They discovered and accepted the patronage of Lady Mharg, Mother of Mountains (1).

The Bahamric dvergar of the Seabourn have Group II complexions, much like their Gavinlander compatriots. The lost Umbarim from the Holdfast Unfailing were Group III, but they seem to have become a ghost people. The Morlocks of the Great Rift tend towards albinism and have Group I complexions. They have abandoned Lady Mharg, searching for a new truth among the Quondam Ruins.

Dvergar tend to be about 6-8 inches shorter than the adan (2), but have stocky builds and greater muscle mass. Thus, their weight tends to be the same. They are also rather hirsute when compared to the adan.

In token to the reverence the dvergar hold Lady Mharg, they carry a small stone with them. This is a small chip from their home, often sewn into their hat or helmet. It comes from their holy writings where it is recorded that Lady Mharg spoke to Lord Neander, “I will shelter you under My hand while you keep faith with Me.” (3)

While they are relatively populous, the dvergar have fewer cultural differences among them than other mortals. Their reverence for their singular Patron is a culturally stabilizing force. Also, they have a strong clan structure reinforcing family ties with cultural methods of polite interaction. Others are more accepted if a network of friends and relatives can be traced back to known acquaintances. It's not what you can do it's who you know in common that forms the basis of beginning conversation.

+2 to Strength attribute

True Omnivore - Can eat nearly anything organic except wood or bone. Effectively have free iron rations, although prolonged eating of non-standard food causes Charisma to be halved due to vile-smelling sweat and worsening vitamin deficiencies. Dvergar are immune to all but mineral or alchemical poisons and venoms.

(1) One of the twelve main deities, and not one of the common seven.
(2) Adan = Human
(3) Lord Neander and his people were "ur-Adan", the root stock of those who became the human races of Adan, Dvergar, and Henggren (Human, Dwarf, Halfling)
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
With dwarves, it's not really about the stone or the forges or any of that.

It's all about the beards.

Whenever a right and proper dwarf trims their facial hair, they save it all in a community "harbox", which looks more or less like a sarcophagus. When the harbox is stuffed full of follicular flotsam, its contents are liberally seasoned with dwarfy stuff like gravel and stout ale, and then allowed to ferment. At the end of the process, the sarcophagus is pried open to reveal (usually) a brand new dwarf, albeit a very moist and ripe-smelling one. Once aired out, this dwarf (usually) proves to be fully functional, and ready to contribute its own beard trimmings to the next generation.
 

Stalker0

Legend
One little thing that my players really like is that my dwarves sleep standing up. They have that whole "hard to prone" thing, so it made sense that they could just stay standing no matter what.

Dwarven bedrooms therefore are very different than normal, and many many dwarves will often sleep in the same room together.
 

While I agree that there is too much darkvision in D&D, I would not pick the prototypical subterranian race to be where I draw the line.

Humans don't spend all of their time in the minimal amount of light they need to function, so I don't know why we would assume fantasy races do.
Elves! Make elves lose Darkvision. I don’t care if a few famous fictional characters can see well, there are plenty of things with good eyes that still can't see squat in darkness.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Interestingly, in Troika!, you can also be a poorly made dwarf. To everyone else you seem just like a normal dwarf, but dwarves have a hard time accepting you are a real person. You get stealth bonuses against them.

Oh and you have the typical "brawling dwarf" set of skills, and no crafting/artistic skill whatsoever. a poorly made dwarf indeed :D
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top