Argonnessen: A Draconic Exaltation
A staple of the fantasy genre Dwarves are long-lived, short and stout humanoids with a penchant for fine craftsmanship, precious stones, and ale (though not neccesarily in that order). Inhabiting deep caverns and caves amongst mountain ranges. Dwarves in Eberron are stern, cautious, and rather staunch in attitude. They prefer wealth, business, trade, and power; much over adventuring, and fighting in wars. Dwarven culture tends to be suspicious of outsiders though they generally get along well with most civilized races, with the exception of giants, goblins, and orcs which seem to be a universally hated foe.
In the history of Eberron, dwarves are said to have originated in the Frostfell, an icy continent north of Khorvaire. There, they were slaves of the various giants (probably Frost Giants from Xen’drik) who had colonized the icy terrain. Since then they have migrated to any continent where there are mountains to be mined.
Dwarves are rampant across Argonnessen but the average humanoid may never see one. The reason is that they stick to their mountain fortresses and only leave to trade. Citizens of the cities of Io’lokar, New Sharn, Rav Magar and Verthicha’vivex may come into contact with dwarven traders on a regular basis, the rest of the lesser races may only see one or two in their entire lifetimes – if they are lucky.
Physical Description: Dwarves are a short and stocky race, and stand about a foot shorter than most humans, with wide, compact bodies that account for their burly appearance. Male and female dwarves pride themselves on the long length of their hair, and men often decorate their beards with a variety of clasps and intricate braids. Clean-shavenness on a male dwarf is a sure sign of madness, or worse—no one familiar with their race trusts a beardless dwarven man.
Society: The great distances between dwarves’ mountain citadels account for many of the cultural differences that exist within their society. Despite these schisms, dwarves throughout the world are characterized by their love of stonework, their passion for stone- and metal-based craftsmanship and architecture, and their fierce hatred of giants, and orcs. In some remote enclaves, such as those areas where these races are uncommon or unheard of, dwarves’ fixation on security and safety combined with their rather pugnacious nature leads them to find enemies or at least rivals wherever they settle. While they are not precisely militaristic, they learned long ago that those without axes can be hewn apart by them, and thus dwarves everywhere are schooled to be ready to enforce their rights and claims by force of arms. When their patience with diplomacy is exhausted, dwarves do not hesitate to adopt what they call “aggressive negotiations.”
Alignment and Religion: Dwarves are driven by honor and tradition. While they are often stereotyped as standoffish, they have a strong sense of friendship and justice, and those who win their trust understand that while they work hard, they play even harder—especially when good ale is involved. Most dwarves are lawful good.
Standard Racial Traits
Ability Score Racial Traits: Dwarves are both tough and wise, but also a bit gruff. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –2 Charisma.
Size: Dwarves are Medium creatures and thus receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Type: Dwarves are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
Base Speed: (Slow and Steady) Dwarves have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
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. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
Defense Racial Traits
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.
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.
Feat and Skill Racial Traits
Greed: Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Appraise checks made to determine the price of non-magical goods that contain precious metals or gemstones.
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.
Senses Racial Traits
Darkvision: Dwarves can see perfectly in the dark up to 60 feet.
Offense Racial Traits
Hatred: Dwarves gain a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the orc subtypes because of their special training against these hated foes.
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.