Dwarf (Class)


Class Description: Dwarves are a demi-human race. Like most demihuman races, they are less flexible than humans, and all dwarf adventurers are represented by a single class.

Physically, dwarves are slightly shorter than humans but are similar in weight due to their stockier build. Skin and hair colour shows the same range as humans, although both male and female dwarves tend to have slightly more facial and body hair than humans and both sexes usually sport beards.

Traditionally, dwarves live in mountainous areas near humans, where they live underground and use their mining and metal-working skills to make goods and tools that they can trade with the humans for food and textiles.

Dwarves are an inherently non-magical race, and possess no magic users or clerics of their own—not even being able to produce the lesser shamans that goblins and giants—their traditional enemies—are able to field in battle. However, this lack of magical ability makes dwarves much more resilient and able to resist magical attacks.

Dwarven adventurers make tough warriors who are at home in underground environments.

Equipment Restrictions: Dwarves can wear any armour or shield, and can use any small or medium weapon. They cannot use large weapons due to their stature.

Dwarf Abilities (See Table 4-3)

Hit Points: Dwarves gain 1d8 hit points per level of experience until 9th level. They add their Con bonus to each of these rolls. After 9th level, dwarves gain 2 hit points per level and do not add additional Con bonuses (but do retain the bonuses to previous rolls).

Base Attack Bonus: A dwarf’s attack bonus is based on their level. See Chapter 10: Combat for details of how this translates into to-hit numbers for different armour classes.

Table 4-3: Dwarf abilities by level

Saving Throws
LevelExperienceHit DiceBase Attack BonusSkillsWeapon FeatsDeath Ray / PoisonMagic WandsParalysis / PetrifyBreath WeaponRod / Staff / SpellSpecial Abilities
101d814489101312Heatvision / Stonelore
126600009d8+686823443Multiple Attacks/Smash/Parry
1612500009d8+14107922322Spell Resistance
2018500009d8+221381022222Multiple Attacks (3)
3642500009d8+5423121522222Multiple Attacks (4)

Skills: A dwarf starts with 4 skill points plus extra points equal to their Int bonus. These points can be used on the same skill or different skills. Dwarves gain more skill points as they rise in level. See Chapter 5: Skills for the list of available skills.

Weapon Feats: Dwarves start with four weapon feats, which must be spent immediately on basic proficiency with four different weapons. See Chapter 6: Weapon Feats for a description of how weapon feats work. Dwarves gain more weapon feats as they rise in level, but these weapon feats can not be spent immediately upon gaining the level. See Chapter 11: Gaining Experience for further details.

Saving Throws: Dwarves make saving throws using the target difficulties listed on table 4-3.

Heatvision: Dwarves have the ability to see not only the colour of things but also their temperature. When a dwarf is in the dark (and only then—normal light overloads a dwarf’s heatvision and prevents it from working) they can use their heatvision to navigate and even to fight. However, heatvision doesn’t allow the dwarf to see pictures and writing unless they are carved into the surface that the dwarf is looking at.

Stonelore: A dwarf’s experience with masonry and stonework—in particular underground stonework—gives them a chance to detect irregularities in construction. If a dwarf examines an area looking for irregularities, the Game Master should secretly roll 1d6 for each feature in the area being searched that is one of the following:

In each case, if the 1d6 roll is a 1-2, the dwarf is able to detect the feature. If the roll is a 3-6, then the dwarf in unable to detect the feature (and the dwarf’s player should not be told whether this was because the roll failed or because there was no feature to detect).

Multiple Attacks: At 12th level, a dwarf is able to make two attacks per round against any creature that they are able to hit by rolling a 2+ on the attack roll (after modifiers). At 20th level, this rises to three attacks and at 36th level it rises to four attacks. See Chapter 10: Combat for details of multiple attacks.

Smash: At 12th level, a dwarf gains the ability to make smash attacks in melee. At the beginning of the round, the dwarf’s player declares that their character is making a smash attack. The dwarf automatically loses initiative, and takes a –5 penalty to their attack roll for the attack. However, if the attack hits then the dwarf gets to add their strength score to the damage done by the attack as well as their strength bonus. See Chapter 10: Combat for details of smash attacks.

Parry: At 12th level, a dwarf can choose to use the parry action. The dwarf’s player declares that their character is parrying at the beginning of the round before initiative is rolled. The dwarf makes no attacks during the round (and therefore needs no initiative score), but all incoming attacks are made at a –4 penalty.

Spell Resistance: At 16th level and higher, a dwarf only takes half damage from all spells and spell-like abilities. If the attack normally allows a saving throw for half damage then the dwarf only takes a quarter of normal damage if they save successfully.