Dwarves are a stoic but stern race, ensconced in cities carved from the hearts of mountains and fiercely determined to repel the depredations of savage races like orcs and goblins. More than any other race, dwarves have acquired a reputation as dour and humorless artisans of the earth. It could be said that their history shapes the dark disposition of many dwarves, for they reside in high mountains and dangerous realms below the earth, constantly at war with giants, goblins, and other such horrors.
Dwarves are lovers of history and tradition, and their long lifespan leads to far less in the way of generational shifts in attitudes, styles, fashions, and trends than shorter-lived races exhibit. If a thing is not broken, they do not fix it or change it; and if it is broken, they fix it rather than replace it. Thrifty as a rule, dwarves are loath to discard anything unless it is truly ruined and unable to be fixed. At the same time, dwarves' meticulous, near-obsessive attention to detail and durability in their craftsmanship makes that a rare occurrence, as the things they make are built to last. As a result, buildings, artwork, tools, housewares, garments, weapons, and virtually everything else made by dwarves still sees regular use at an age when such items would be relegated to museum pieces, dusty antique shelves, or junkyard fodder by other races. Taken together, these traits create the impression that dwarves are a race frozen in time.
Nothing could be further from the truth, however, as dwarves are both thoughtful and imaginative, willing to experiment, if always keen to refine and perfect a new technique or product before moving on to the next one. Dwarves have achieved feats of metallurgy, stonework, and engineering that have consistently outpaced the technological advances of other races, though some non-dwarven races have used magic to supplement and perfect their own creations to achieve the same ends through mystical rather than mundane means. They are also a race typified by stubborn courage and dedication to seeing tasks through to completion, whatever the risks. These traits have led dwarves to explore and settle in extreme environments that would cause other races to quail and retreat. From the darkest depths of the underworld to the highest mountain peaks, from rusting iron citadels along desolate rocky coasts to squat jungle ziggurats, dwarves have established their enclaves and redoubts, holding them against all comers or perishing to the last and leaving only their enduring monuments to stand as their legacy.
While it is said that dwarves are not venturesome or inventive, it would be more accurate to say that they maintain a focus on and dedication to each task they undertake and every change they adopt, vetting such changes thoroughly before adopting them wholeheartedly. When faced with new circumstances and new needs, they react by applying tried and true tools and techniques systematically, using existing methods whenever possible rather than trying to invent novel solutions for every situation. If necessity requires, however, they throw themselves with equal vigor into developing the next perfect procedure for demolishing the obstacles that get in their way. Once their desired goal is obtained, they focus on consolidating each new piece of territory or conceptual advance. Dwarves thus rarely overextend themselves, but they also may miss opportunities to seize the initiative and maximize the advantages they create.
The Dwarves are from a planet they called Dwarfholme located somewhere in the Milky Way. Their resemblance to humans are uncanny, though. They came through the Dragon Gate as explorers during the Chalcolithic Age, and later as colonizers once they found mountains brimming with abundant ore (Iron). They came through, found caves, and started a mining colony.
The Dwarves hid in their mountains, finding the humans to be primitive, and mined the ore and sent back as much as they can through the gate back to their planet of origin. However, when the Lemurians came through and the Dragon Gate was sealed. Suddenly the Dwarves were stranded on the planet Lemurias. Not to be outdone, however, the Dwarves adopted their new home. Unfortunately, their culture grew stagnant and eventually they too, grew primitive and had wars amongst each other, forcing the dwarves to spread out and colonize other mountain ranges.
All dwarves are collectively a mysterious race. They seem to be a race that can forge iron and steel quite easily. However, they are an insular race. They want nothing to do with the world outside the mountains where they settled. Never the less, some dwarves have wanderlust and so they wander. They are small and stocky, compared to a human, so they are a sight when seen in human cities. Their writing is undecipherable, but they can work at it learning human languages.
Ironforge Dwarves: Dwarves with an European appearance. This is the original dwarven clan that came from the original explorers and settlers from Dwarfholme. The Ironforge was once a highly evolved race compared to the primitive natives of Lemurias (humans). However, they devolved back into barbarism and had wars amongst each other causing the formation of other clans.
Goldbeard Clan: Dwarves with primarily blonde hair, they migrated far north. The Dwarves with hair of gold was said to be the finest goldsmiths of the Dwarves, and they settled in the region called Thule.
Earthen Clan: A clan of Dwarves with Asiatic and Mongoloid features. These people resemble the Arabians or the people of the Middle East. The Earthen Clan settled in the mountains far to the East.
Ebony Clan: A dark skinned clan of dwarves that was forced, by discrimination, to settle in the lands South and Westward. The Ebonics, as they are called, settled in the jungles.
Duergar: Then we come to the Deurgar. A group of Deurgar came from Dwarfholme followed by a strange race of fat things called Derros, which were driven underground by the humans. The Duergar is a race that seemed to have gone mad. However, the source of their madness isn't found on Lemurias, but the derros keep the race going mad. A race of deep delving dwarves, the duergar keep mostly to themselves. Recently, there is a split amongst the clans of deurgar.
Wildfist Clan: The Wildfist clans live in the hills and forests as primitive dwarves seeking to commune with nature.
Dwarven Racial TraitsEdit
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, –2 Charisma: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff.
- Medium: Dwarves are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
- Slow and Steady: Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Defensive Training: Dwarves gain a +4 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the giant subtype.
- Greed: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of nonmagical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
- Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes because of their special training against these hated foes.
- Hardy: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.
- Stability: Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus to their Combat Maneuver Defense when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt while standing on the ground.
- Stonecunning: Dwarves gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.
- Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word "dwarven" in its name as a martial weapon.
- Languages: Dwarves begin play speaking Common and Dwarven. Dwarves with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.
Alternate Racial Rules While most think of dwarves as a relatively homogenous race, many clans have adapted over the years to better survive in harsh and varied environments. The following options represent some of that customization, and can be taken by any dwarf character.
Alternate Racial TraitsEdit
The following racial traits may be selected instead of the standard dwarf racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
Ancient Enmity: Dwarves have long been in conflict with elves, especially the hated drow. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the elf subtype. This racial trait replaces hatred.
Craftsman: Dwarves are known for their superior craftsmanship when it comes to metallurgy and stonework. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on all Craft or Profession checks related to metal or stone. This racial trait replaces greed.
Deep Warrior: Dwarves with this racial trait grew up facing the abominations that live deep beneath the surface. They receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against monsters of the aberration type and a +2 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks made to grapple such creatures (or to continue a grapple). This racial trait replaces defensive training.
Giant Hunter: Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls against humanoids with the giant subtype. Furthermore, they gain a +2 bonus on Survival checks to find and follow tracks made by humanoids with the giant subtype. This racial trait replaces the hatred racial trait.
Lorekeeper: Dwarves keep extensive records about their history and the world around them. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (history) checks that pertain to dwarves or their enemies. They can make such skill checks untrained. This racial trait replaces greed.
Magic Resistant: Some of the older dwarven clans are particularly resistant to magic. Dwarves with this racial trait gain spell resistance equal to 5 + their character level. This resistance can be lowered for 1 round as a standard action. Dwarves with this racial trait take a –2 penalty on all concentration checks made in relation to arcane spells. This racial trait replaces hardy.
Minesight: Dwarves with this racial trait increase the range of their darkvision to 90 feet; however, they are automatically dazzled in bright light and take a –2 penalty on saving throws against effects with the light descriptor. This racial trait replaces darkvision.
Mountaineer: Mountain dwarves are skilled at climbing and navigating narrow ledges. Dwarves with this racial trait are immune to altitude sickness and do not lose their Dexterity bonus to AC when making Climb or Acrobatics checks to cross narrow or slippery surfaces. This racial trait replaces stability.
Relentless: Dwarves are skilled at pushing their way through a battlefield, tossing aside lesser foes with ease. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to bull rush or overrun an opponent. This bonus only applies while both the dwarf and his opponent are standing on the ground. This racial trait replaces stability.
Rock Stepper: Dwarves with this racial trait can skillfully negotiate rocky terrain. They can ignore difficult terrain created by rubble, broken ground, or steep stairs when they take a 5-foot step. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.
Saltbeard: Dwarves occasionally found iron cities along rugged seacoasts, and natives of such cities gain a +2 bonus on Profession (sailor) and Survival checks while at sea. They gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls and a +2 dodge bonus to AC against creatures with the aquatic or water subtype. Their greed racial trait applies only to treasure found in or under the water, but applies to all such treasure regardless of whether or not it contains metal or gemstones. This racial trait replaces defensive training, hatred, and stonecunning.
Sky Sentinel: As creatures with a deep affinity for the ground, dwarves are wary of attacks from above. Enemies on higher ground gain no attack roll bonus against dwarves with this racial trait, and they gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls, a +2 dodge bonus to AC, and a +2 bonus on Perception checks against flying creatures. This racial trait replaces defensive training, hatred, and stonecunning.
Stonesinger: Some dwarves' affinity for the earth grants them greater powers. Dwarves with this racial trait are treated as one level higher when casting spells with the earth descriptor or using granted powers of the Earth domain, the bloodline powers of the earth elemental bloodline, and revelations of the oracle's stone mystery. This ability does not give them early access to level-based powers; it only affects the powers they could use without this ability. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.
Stubborn: Dwarves are renowned for their stubbornness. Dwarves with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on Will saves to resist spells and spell-like abilities of the enchantment (charm) and enchantment (compulsion) schools. In addition, if they fail such a save, they receive another save 1 round later to prematurely end the effect (assuming it has a duration greater than 1 round). This second save is made at the same DC as the first. If the dwarf has a similar ability from another source (such as a rogue's slippery mind), he can only use one of these abilities per round, but he can try the other on the second round if the first reroll ability fails. This racial trait replaces hardy.
Surface Survivalist: Some dwarves have dwelt so long aboveground they have lost their ability to see at night. However, their adaptation to extreme environments allows them to treat wind conditions (when determining whether or not they are checked or blown away) and either hot or cold climates (choose one) as one step less severe. This racial trait replaces darkvision.
Xenophobic: Isolationist dwarves despise non-dwarven humanoids. They speak only Dwarven and do not gain any bonus languages from possessing a high Intelligence score. In addition, they learn only one language per 2 ranks of Linguistics they possess. However, their untrusting nature gives them a +1 bonus against mind-affecting effects, except for fear affects. This racial trait replaces a dwarf's normal languages.
Wyrmscourged: Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +1 bonus on attack rolls and a +2 dodge bonus to AC and on saving throws against the exceptional, supernatural, and spell-like abilities of dragons. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on Knowledge (arcana) checks to identify dragons and can make such checks untrained. This racial trait replaces defensive training, hatred, and stonecunning.
You can combine various alternate racial traits to create dwarven subraces or variant races, such as the following.
Deep Delver: Dwarves living far below the earth have the minesight and deep warrior racial traits. Deep delver spellcasters may exchange stonecunning for the stonesinger trait.
Elder Dwarf: Traditionalist dwarves of ancient lineage have the ancient enmity, lorekeeper, and either the magic resistant or stubborn racial traits.
Exiled Dwarf: Dwarves who have lost their homelands usually have the relentless and stubborn racial traits, and often have wyrmscourged as well.
Mountain Dwarf: Dwarves living atop high peaks have the mountaineer racial trait and often surface survivalist as well. Mountain dwarves are also trained to defend their homes, and may take the sky sentinel and xenophobic traits instead.
Favored Class OptionsEdit
Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, dwarves have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon the character's favored class. The following options are available to all dwarves who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed favored class reward.
Alchemist: Add +1/4 to the alchemist's natural armor bonus when using his mutagen.
Barbarian: Add +1 to the barbarian's total number of rage rounds per day.
Bard: Reduce arcane spell failure chance for casting bard spells when wearing medium armor by +1%. Once the total reaches 10%, the bard also receives Medium Armor Proficiency, if he does not already possess it.
Cavalier: Add +1/2 to the cavalier's bonus to damage against targets of his challenge.
Cleric: Select one domain power granted at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the cleric's Wisdom modifier. The cleric adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that domain power.
Druid: Select one domain power granted at 1st level that is normally usable a number of times per day equal to 3 + the druid's Wisdom modifier. The druid adds +1/2 to the number of uses per day of that domain power.
Fighter: Add +1 to the fighter's CMD when resisting a bull rush or trip.
Gunslinger: Reduce the misfire chance for one type of firearm by 1/4. You cannot reduce the misfire chance of a firearm below 1.
Inquisitor: Add +1/2 to the inquisitor's level for the purpose of determining the effects of one type of judgment.
Magus: Select one known magus arcana usable only once per day. The magus adds +1/6 to the number of times it can be used per day. Once that magus arcana is usable twice per day, the magus must select a different magus arcana.
Monk: Reduce the Hardness of any object made of clay, stone, or metal by 1 whenever the object is struck by the monk's unarmed strike (minimum of 0).
Oracle: Reduce the penalty for not being proficient with one weapon by 1. When the nonproficiency penalty for a weapon becomes 0 because of this ability, the oracle is treated as having the appropriate Martial or Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat with that weapon.
Paladin: Add a +1 bonus on concentration checks when casting paladin spells.
Ranger: Add a +1/2 bonus on wild empathy checks to influence animals and magical beasts that live underground.
Rogue: Add a +1/2 bonus on Disable Device checks regarding stone traps and a +1/2 bonus to trap sense regarding stone traps.
Sorcerer: Add +1/2 to acid and earth spell or spell-like ability damage.
Summoner: Add a +1/4 natural armor bonus to the AC of the summoner's eidolon.
Witch: Add +1/4 natural armor bonus to the AC of the witch's familiar.
Wizard: Select one item creation feat known by the wizard. Whenever he crafts an item using that feat, the amount of progress he makes in an 8-hour period increases by 200 gp (50 gp if crafting while adventuring). This does not reduce the cost of the item; it just increases the rate at which the item is crafted.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Advanced Race Guide. © 2012, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors: Dennis Baker, Jesse Benner, Benjamin Bruck, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, Jim Groves, Tim Hitchcock, Hal MacLean, Jason Nelson, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Owen K.C. Stephens, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor.