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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Help me with Dwarves

    I have recently worked on LA+1 elves, and was now thinking about doing something similar to some of the other races, namely dwarves. However, this brings about the problem that dwarves, at least in D&D, really aren't all that colourful. Even reading different legends and mythologies containing dwarves didn't really help all that much.

    The basic two dwarf archetypes seem to be already represented by the normal dwarf (stout warrior and miner) and the duergar (sneaky, invisible craftsman).

    Now, what else can be done with dwarves? I mean I could give them a lot of toughness, stability and so on, but that just sounds boring.

    Things I've thought about so far:

    *Stability: basically as it is, but re-phrased to something like "For all effects that would move a dwarf against his will, such as tripping, bullrushing or the effects of strong wind, the dwarf is treated as being one size category larger".

    *I would probably give them endurance as a bonus feat in addition to their armour abilities, because it's a pretty weak feat anyway.

    *Favoured Class: Here, I would probably go with Artificer, instead of fighter, but I'm not entirely sure yet.


    Now, as you see: all of the above are basically what the dwarf already has, but slightly stronger. I'm out of ideas. What else can be done with the basic dwarf framework?
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Full circle. Your +1 LA Elves inspired me to give my Elves and Dwarves, among other races, a Level Adjustment (it's for an E6 campaign setting, so LA is off-set by Point-Buy).

    Dwarves

    Level Adjustment: +1
    Ability Adjustments: +2 Constitution
    Size: Medium
    Speed: 20 ft.
    Languages: Common, Dwarven
    Low-Light Vision: Dwarves can see twice as far as humans in poor light conditions, such as candlelight or starlight (Darkvision is restricted to a far smaller group of monsters, not handed out to every Monstrous Humanoid, Orc, Kobold, and Dwarf).
    Giant Fighting: Since the Khastian War (setting-specific fluff), the Dwarves have trained their own in anti-Giant combat tactics. Dwarves gain a +4 racial dodge bonus to AC and a +2 racial attack bonus against creatures with the Giant type.
    Hardy: Dwarves gain the Endurance feat (Endurance grants +3 Vitality Points in addition to its normal benefits in my setting) as a bonus feat. Additionally, Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poison and disease.
    Master Crafters: Dwarves are renowned for their ability as crafters. Dwarves gain a +3 racial bonus to one Craft skill of their choice.
    Stubborn: Dwarves are generally a stubborn lot. Even if an individual Dwarf is flexible, he can still easily resist attempts to force him to do something he does not want to do. Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against enchantment spells. Additionally, Dwarves gain a +4 racial bonus on rolls to resist trip, bull rush, and overrun attempts.

    My Dwarves still seem to be all over the place on abilities, but I am still working on that. Additionally, I am not really sure if they are balanced as LA +1 or not.
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Endurance: I'm opposed to giving out feats like endurance for free because it's not a weak feat it's a worthless feat and you'd only be padding the class description... Except when endurance is useful in which case it is extremely useful. It all depends on the DM. Either way free endurance is a mess.

    Giant Fighting: People underestimate a +1. IMO polarizing them so much that giant encounters become easy and the rest are unaffected isn't a good idea. Like endurance it's situational and doesn't mean anything 90% of the time.

    +3 HP is extremely useful at level 1, while it does very little at level 10.

    And w/ or w/o those I'd say those dwarves are still LA +0. I mean highly situational abilities and +2 to charisma only does so much, and by that I mean usually nothing. Not that it would take much to bump dwarves to LA +1, they're already fairly strong.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2010-07-27 at 10:15 AM.
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Actually, I think that both the combat bonus against giants and the charisma malus are stupid, even on normal dwarves.

    While I have given out both cultural abilities and charisma penalties to quite a few of my races (see my Planetouched, many of them have both, even), I don't think dwarves deserve the charisma penalty. They may be a little grumpy, sometimes, but very often, they are shown as perhaps unrefined, but pretty friendly, once you get to know them, and certainly not with weak personalities. Similarly for the giant bonus: I just can't see that in the fluff. Why is dwarven culture so strongly anti-giant? I don't think I've ever seen a good reason.
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    How I would do it:

    Dwarves

    Level Adjustment: +1
    Ability Adjustments: +2 Str, -2 Dex, +2 Constitution. Dwarves are strong and hardy in frame, but lack in the grace of body that taller and less stout races enjoy.
    # Medium: As Medium creatures, dwarves have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    # Dwarf base land speed is 20 feet. However, dwarves can move at this speed even when wearing medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load (unlike other creatures, whose speed is reduced in such situations).
    # Natural armor bonus of +2. Dwarves natural resilience lends them to resist attacks better.
    # Dwarves gain Improved Toughness as a bonus feat.
    # Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and dwarves can function just fine with no light at all.
    # Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework, such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings, and the like. Something that isn’t stone but that is disguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A dwarf who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and a dwarf can use the Search skill to find stonework traps as a rogue can. A dwarf can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth underground as naturally as a human can sense which way is up.
    # Weapon Familiarity: Dwarves may treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
    # Stability: A dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
    # +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
    # +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
    # +2 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs and goblinoids and +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class against monsters of the orc and goblinoid subtypes
    (Any time a creature loses its Dexterity bonus (if any) to Armor Class, such as when it’s caught flat-footed, it loses its dodge bonus, too.). Due to generations of malice and fighting, dwarves have developed the skills necessary to fight them.
    # +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks that are related to stone or metal items.
    # +2 racial bonus on Craft checks that are related to stone or metal.
    # Automatic Languages:
    Common and Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Terran, and Undercommon.
    # Favored Class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf’s fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing
    Last edited by ErrantX; 2010-07-27 at 11:47 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Here's what the Playground had to say about Dwarves when I asked.
    You may find more inspiration in that thread.

    Me, I came up with a whole bunch of feats that you might like to look at:
    In that system, Dwarves can have special blocking and defending moves, an extra step on the fatigue scale, and blindsense/sight.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    To be quite honest, I always disliked the idea of most racial combat feats... why can't a human learn to block like that, or a gnome? I can see the other two categories, but race-specific feats really aren't anything I think makes that much sense. If I included something like that, I'd perhaps tie the fluff to dwarves, i.e. ...this set of moves is only thought at the Deepstone academy of Blackdelve, and rare is the outsider who... but leave them available to anyone in the crunch.
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Neither idea is original, but I can't remember where I saw them.

    * Instead of larger bonuses vs. the giant type, a +1 bonus vs. all creatures at least 2 size categories larger. Maybe it's a morale bonus - some subconscious thing instead of taught anti-giant tactics.

    * The ability to craft magical weapons and armor even if they have no levels as a spellcaster - artificer 'lite'. Limit it to the flat numerical enchantment. So, something like:
    Master Smith: For the purposes of creating magic armor and weapons, a dwarf is treated as having a caster level equal to their character level.
    And perhaps give them a free feat: one of the three from the Eberron setting that cuts either gold, xp or time required by 25%

    Of course, that assumes you don't houserule Craft.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    I'd be inclined to give them 2 or 5 points of Fire resistance from all the time spent around the forges.

    I'd reduce any natural armor bonus to +1.

    I would also make the following change for all dwarves regardless:

    +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects that allow spell resistance.

    I think it odd to give them a bonus on saves against an effect or substance that could be considered non-magical once conjuered.
    Last edited by Andion Isurand; 2010-07-27 at 10:07 PM.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    I think I'd actually give them spell resistance,
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    To be quite honest, I always disliked the idea of most racial combat feats... why can't a human learn to block like that, or a gnome? I can see the other two categories, but race-specific feats really aren't anything I think makes that much sense. If I included something like that, I'd perhaps tie the fluff to dwarves, i.e. ...this set of moves is only thought at the Deepstone academy of Blackdelve, and rare is the outsider who... but leave them available to anyone in the crunch.
    You might equally ask why dwarves get a bonus against giants.

    I see your point however. While it may have no effect on your project, I'll change the prerequisite to allow other races to take the feat - just with a "Dwarven Combat Training" feat prerequisite.

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Another potential direction is to to make them more like the Urdunnir (RoF) and tone back from there. They should be able to do a limited form of Stonewalk or perhaps have limited Stone Shape abilities.

    Perhaps their racial enmity could be shaped to be less Favored Enemy and more size oriented, as their low-to-ground combat enables them to hack beneath where those of similar size would normally defend, taking out knees and ankles.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Quote Originally Posted by Altair_the_Vexed View Post
    You might equally ask why dwarves get a bonus against giants.
    I did actually ask that

    Anyway, new idea: instead of giving them boni against larger enemies, how about making them small sized, but with powerful build? That would be a quite unique combination, I think.
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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I did actually ask that
    Why the bonus? Could be instinct. Could be some trait that causes larger creatures trouble. Perhaps inherent magic.
    Why are there fighting styles only they can learn? Could be slightly different bone structure or build.

    That would be an interesting combination of abilities though.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Try these:

    * Live underground/in mountains: See in the dark.
    * Incredibly tough: Con +2, Endurance & Imp. Toughness.
    * Incredibly hardy: +2 to Fort saves (that's why they're so resistant to poison & alcohol).
    * Incredibly stubborn: +2 to Will saves (+4 when saving vs. fear) and +4 to oppose any and all Cha-based skill checks.
    * Indomitable: +4 stability on steady ground
    * At one with the earth: Stonecunning, +2 to all stone/metal/Gem related skill checks (which includes Appraise, Craft (mining) etc).

    * Clumsy: Dex -2.
    * Slow: speed 20.
    * Earth Bound: lose stability and take -4 to Balance when not standing on steady ground - including sailing ships.
    * Cannot make the distance ("you'll have to toss me"): -4 on jump checks.
    .
    Last edited by nonsi; 2010-07-29 at 07:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    * Incredibly hardy: +2 to Fort saves (that's why they're so resistant to poison & alcohol).
    * Incredibly stubborn: +2 to Will saves (+4 when saving vs. fear) and +4 to oppose any and all Cha-based skill checks.

    * Slow: speed 20.
    * Cannot make the distance ("you'll have to toss me"): -4 on jump checks.
    +2 to all Fort and Will saves? That's pretty powerful. I agree, it is annoying to have conditional saves (like my Dwarves have), but I think a flat +2 bonus to 2/3 of saving throws is a bit much.

    Also, I would reconsider the -4 to Jump checks, as creatures with 20 ft. base speed already suffer a -6 to Jump checks. However, if you really want to keep Dwarves from jumping, a -10 penalty would do it.
    Last edited by Darkxarth; 2010-07-29 at 08:16 AM.
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    Anyone casting a ninth level spell should not be just bending the fabric of reality, but chewing up the fabric of reality and spitting it out. It represents an expenditure of raw magical force that should be momentous, and should have similar shock value as the events following Grand Moff Tarkin's "You may fire when ready."

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    Default Re: Help me with Dwarves

    I would recommend looking into the World of Warcraft RPG book - they do something somewhat fun with dwarves being descended from old earth gods or something.

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