Home >Ancestries >

Dwarf

Dwarven lore tells epic tales of the short, stocky people’s long-ago pilgrimage to the surface—a journey they undertook at the behest of a prophet of the god of dwarvenkind. The people reached their destination and built magnificent fortifications, and many dwarves remain ensconced within these and other ancestral homes to this day. Given the dwarves’ harrowing history, their reputation as a stoic and stern people is well earned.

Overview

The dwarves’ ancient surface empire fell long ago, overwhelmed by orc and goblinoid enemies, but dwarves today retain many of the qualities that propelled their people to greatness in ancient times: fierceness, gumption, and stubbornness in endeavors ranging from battle and craftsmanship to forging ties with family and friends. Dwarves are slow to trust people who are not their kin—a tendency that traces to their history of bloody conflict with foes such as giants, orcs, and the horrors of the deeps.

Trust from a dwarf is hard won, but as strong as iron.

These sturdy people stand about a foot shorter than most humans. Long hair is often a source of pride among them, particularly when braided into intricate patterns. Men are typically broader than women, and many men take pride in their long beards. Dwarves typically reach physical adulthood around the age of 25 and can live to around 350 years old.

The distance between dwarven mountain citadels creates vast cultural divides, but many dwarves share a common passion for architecture, gem cutting, metalwork, mining, and stonework. Dwarves revere honor, justice, and the traditions of their clans and kingdoms. Few dwarves are seen without a clan dagger, a weapon forged just before an individual dwarf’s birth and bearing the gemstone of the clan.

Hit Points 10 | Size Medium | Speed 20 feet

Bonus Languages

At 1st level, if your Intelligence score is 14 or higher, you can also select one of the following languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, or Undercommon.

Darkvision

You can see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can see in bright light, though your vision in darkness is in black and white.

Unburdened

If your Speed would be reduced by armor you wear or the encumbered condition, you ignore 5 feet of that reduction.

Dwarven Adventurers

Some backgrounds are particularly suitable for dwarves. You might consider the acolyte background if you have religious leanings, the nomad background if you’ve traveled far from home, or the warrior background if you were raised to defend a dwarven community. The barkeep, blacksmith, farmhand, and merchant backgrounds also speak to the dwarven way of life.

Dwarves excel at many of the martial classes, such as barbarian, fighter, monk, and ranger, but they also make excellent clerics and druids.

Ancestry Feats

At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). As a dwarf, you select from among the following ancestry feats.

Ancestral Hatred Feat 1

You have shaped your hatred of ancestral dwarven foes into a powerful weapon. Choose two of the following creature traits: derro, duergar, giant, or orc. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to damage rolls against creatures with one of the chosen traits. If a creature with a chosen trait critically succeeds at an attack against you, this bonus increases to +4 against that creature for 1 minute.

Special Your GM can add appropriate creature traits to this list if your character is from a community that commonly fights other types of enemies.

Ancient’s Blood Feat 1

Trigger You attempt a saving throw against a magical effect.

Your ancestors’ innate resistance to magic has manifested in you.

You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the triggering saving throw.

Special Your resistance hampers your connection to magic items.

Reduce your total Resonance Points by 2 (minimum 0).

Boulder Roll Feat 5

Prerequisite(s): Mountain Roots (see below)

Your dwarven build allows you to push foes around. Take a Step into the square of a foe that is your size or smaller, and the foe must move into the empty space directly behind it. The foe must move even if doing so places it in harm’s way. The foe can attempt to block your Step by rolling a Fortitude saving throw against your Athletics DC. If the foe attempts this saving throw, regardless of the saving throw’s result, the creature takes bludgeoning damage equal to your level plus your Strength modifier.

If the foe can’t move into an empty space (if it is surrounded by solid objects or other creatures, for example), your Boulder Roll has no effect.

Giant Bane Feat 1

Your squat stature and your hatred for giantkind give you an edge when fighting them. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your Armor Class against giants; Fortitude and Reflex DCs against giants’ attempts to Disarm, Grapple, Shove, or Trip you; Survival checks to track giants; Perception checks to notice giants; and Stealth checks to avoid being noticed by giants.

Hardy Feat 1

Your blood runs hearty and strong, and you can shake off toxins that would lay others low. You gain poison resistance equal to half your level (minimum 1), and each of your successful saving throws against an ongoing poison reduces its stage by 2, or 1 for a virulent poison. Each critical success against an ongoing poison reduces its stage by 3, or 2 for a virulent poison.

Mountain Roots Feat 1

You can plant your feet on the ground to become nearly immovable. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your Fortitude or Reflex DC whenever anyone attempts to Shove or Trip you. This bonus also applies to saves against spells or effects that attempt to knock you prone. In addition, if any ability or effect would force you to move 10 feet or more in any direction, you are moved only half the distance.

Rock Runner Feat 1

Your innate connection to stone makes you adept at moving across uneven surfaces. When you take the Step action, you can ignore difficult terrain caused by uneven ground made of stone and earth. In addition, when you use the Acrobatics skill to Balance on narrow surfaces or uneven ground made of stone or earth, you aren’t flat-footed, and you treat a success on the Acrobatics check as if it were a critical success.

Stonecunning Feat 1

You have a knack for noticing inconsistencies and craftsmanship techniques in the stonework around you. You gain a +2 circumstance bonus to Perception checks to notice unusual stonework. This bonus applies to checks to discover mechanical traps made of stone or hidden inside of stone.

If you aren’t using the Seek action or searching, the GM rolls a secret check without the bonus and with a –2 circumstance penalty for you to notice unusual stonework anyway (in such cases, this feat takes on the secret trait).

Weapon Cunning (Dwarf) Feat 5

Prerequisite(s): Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf)

Whenever you critically hit using a weapon of the axe, hammer, or pick group, you apply the weapon’s critical specialization effect.

Weapon Familiarity (Dwarf) Feat 1

Your kin have instilled in you an affinity for hard-hitting weapons, and you prefer them to more elegant arms. You are trained with the battleaxe, pick, and warhammer.

In addition, you gain access to all uncommon dwarf weapons.

For the purpose of proficiencies, you treat martial dwarf weapons as simple weapons and exotic dwarf weapons as martial weapons.