Monday, April 29, 2013

Dwarfs of the Dark Country


Dwarfs in the World of Nightwick are a fairy race and thus are fickle creatures known for mercurial moods - though by fairy standards they are fairly predictable.  They are shorter than a man, and typically thinner, though some famously barrel-chested ones are recounted in legend.  They love gold, jewels, and the other treasures of the earth more than all other things.  Due to their constant toil in search of wealth, their skin is often covered in soot and their hands black and calloused, though strangely delicate.  Their noses are universally large and knobby, their ears pointed, and their beards long and spindly.

There is only one dwarf kingdom remaining in the World - the Kingdom Under the Mountain in the Bald Mountains, near the city of Orlock in the Dark Country. They are ruled by the Mountain King, who is supposedly a knotty creature of enormous girth - though still of vaguely dwarfish cast. He is immensely suspicious of visitors, and like all dwarfs he is of the opinion that all of the metals and jewels of the earth belong to him.   For this reason he sends out dwarfs into the World.  He hopes that eventually they will be able to secret back some lucre that truly belongs in the treasurehouse of the dwarfs.

Despite their apparent preoccupation with this world, it is believed that they worship some form or aspect of the God of Law.  Indeed, many human clerics believe this is the reason that of all of the fairy races they are the most stable - though they are far too capricious for human tastes.  Those few who have ventured into the Kingdom Under the Mountain speak of enormous cathedral caverns that are used for the purpose that is their namesake.  In these are laid all sorts of treasures, including great bejeweled crosses and fired stones made into a vivid sort of stained glass.  Still, most clergy - and indeed most humans - mistrust dwarfs, and many believe they lead men away from honest pursuits towards stranger, darker ones such as adventuring.

Dwarf Race Abilities
Ability RequirementsDwarfs must have a Dexterity of at least 13 and a Constitution of at least 15.  They can have a Charisma of no higher than 9.

Alignment Restriction: Dwarfs must be of good or neutral alignment.

Character Advancement: Dwarfs can advance as high as 6th level as a fighter, and may advance further if their Strength is at least 15.  They may advance as a rogue without restriction.

Weapon and Armor Restrictions: Dwarfs posses the restrictions of their chosen class, but due to their size they may never wield a two-handed weapon.

Hereditary Foes: Dwarfs hate goblins and all of their works.  Due to years spent fighting these creatures, Dwarf characters gain a +1 to hit against them.

Keen Detection: Regardless of class, Dwarfs can search for traps, secret doors, and sloping passages as though they were a rogue of equal level.  If the character is not a rogue, this ability only counts for places and traps constructed out of stone.

Green Eyes: Dwarfs are only able to see in tones of black, white, and grey.  This allows them to see in low light conditions up to 5 times the distance a human would in the same light, but only about half as far as a man could see in the light of the Sun.  The exceptions to this rule are gold, silver, and gemstones of all sorts, which they can see in brilliant and vivid color.

Just Enough Magic: If a dwarf is either alone or in a group consisting only of dwarfs, they can surprise or avoid humans in the wilderness on a roll of 1-3 on a 1d6.

Saving Throws: Dwarfs use the saving throw bonuses of their chosen class.

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Inspired partly by this post on Middenmurk and and Zzarchov's take on them in Neoclassical Geek Revival.

2 comments:

  1. Very inspiring post !

    "Keen Detection: Regardless of class, Dwarfs can search for traps, secret doors, and sloping passages as though they were a rogue of equal level. If the character is not a rogue, this ability only counts for places and traps constructed out of stone."

    Dwarf rogues don't have bonuses ?

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  2. Dwarf rogues don't have bonuses?

    Since I'm using a d6 for all rogue skills, I decided against it since bonuses seemed overly potent.

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