HD&D: The Dwarf II

A while ago I published my take on the HD&D dwarf. Well, Graham’s been playing a dwarf in my ongoing campaign for the best part of nine years, so he thought he’d take a stab at them as well. This post illustrates something Daniel and I have been discussing in the comment thread of the HD&D Gnome, namely that my take on the HD&D mechanics is far more extreme and 4e-like than Daniel’s. Graham’s ideas here are also much more understated. Have a look, compare the two and see what you think.

The only comment I’ll add at the moment is that Dwarven Resolve needs to give 4 hit points instead of 3. It was 3 on earlier drafts, so Graham may be working from that. It should also only apply to talents and not feat. I’m pleased to see that Graham remembered to include Stonecunning, as I completely forgot about that! I’ll add further comments when I get the chance. Busy, busy at the moment!

The HD&D Dwarf

I present my attempt at the Dwarf. A sturdy race that are slow to laugh or jest and suspicious of strangers, yet generous to those they trust. Dwarves as a race are a varied people ranging from fierce warriors to master craftsmen. They value fine art, jewellery, gems gold and simply a good fight.

Average Height: 4’-4’6”
Average Weight: 160-230lbs

Ability Scores: +2 to Con and +2 to Str or Wis
Size: Medium
Speed: 25 feet
Vision: Low-light

Unarmed Attack: Punch or Kick (Strength)
Unarmed Damage: 1d6 + Strength Modifier

Languages/Scripts: Any four
Skills: +2 to Craft (Stone and Metal) and +2 to Survival
Defence: +1 to Fortitude

Racial Traits

Stout Body
The dwarven immune system is adept at fighting off poisons of all kinds
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect:  You gain a +2 racial bonus to Fortitude Defence versus poison.

Stout Mind
The dwarven mind  is practiced at resisting magic
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect:  You gain a +2 racial bonus to Will Defence versus spells.

Racial Talents

Appraisal
You are skilled at determining the value of items
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 bonus on checks to determine the value of items.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Homeland Defender
You have trained long and hard to protect the dwarven homelands from their traditional enemies
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 morale bonus to weapon skill rolls against orcs and goblinoids.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Stability
You are exceptionally stable on your feet
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +5 bonus on checks to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing firmly on the ground.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Stonecunning
Years of living around stone have heightened your senses at spotting the unusual
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf
Area of effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 bonus on checks to notice unusual stonework. Merely by coming within 10 feet of unusual stonework allows you to make a check to notice it as if you were actively searching.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Racial Feats

Art Critic
You know how to value fne art
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf: Appraisal talent
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 bonus on checks to determine the value of fine art, jewellery and gems. This stacks with the bonus from the appraisal talent.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Dodge Giants
A history of enmity with the giantish races has given you the happy knack of avoiding the attacks of larger foes.
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf or Gnome
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 racial bonus to Reflex Defence against the attacks of Large or larger foes.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Underground Explorer
Years of living around stone have taught you how to navigate through it
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite: Dwarf: Stonecunning talent
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You can sense approximately how far underground you are as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. You gain a +2 bonus to survival when navigating underground.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Weapon Familiarity
You know how to use the weapons of your people
Continuous Effect | Mundane
Prerequisite:
Dwarf
Area of Effect: Personal
Effect: You gain a +2 racial bonus to weapon skill rolls for dwarven weapons.
Dwarven Resolve: You gain 3 additional hit points when you choose this talent.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “HD&D: The Dwarf II

  1. What I like most about this are the racial traits. The poison save is definitely right (although I think Neil’s +5 is better value as poison is not that common). I was going to suggest replacing the Dwarven Stability trait with Stonecunning. I think Stout Mind is a much better choice, though. Resistance to poison and magic are intrinsic characteristics of the Dwarven race. All the other things Dwarves would traditionally get (Stonecunning, bonuses to hit Orcs etc) are culturally significant, learned skills and behaviours. I think these are more suitable for talents. I think stability is part physical and part skill so I would prefer it as a feat (it’s not really good enough for a talent). It’s not really a central feature of being a Dwarf. Stout Body and Mind are definitive aspects of Dwarfhood. To me, that is what traits should aim to represent.

    Quite a few of the abilities will suffer from the general rejection of bonuses to skills, in favour of re-rolls (see the Gnome post for more discussion). I like Appraisal and Art Critic. I’ve fancied playing a cleric of Vergadain for quite a while and being able to take a feat called Art Critic just encourages me more. I think Appraisal needs beefing up to become a talent though. I think it would be fine as just a feat though.

  2. Daniel, I’ve replied to your comments about racial traits over in the discussion for the Gnome, so I won’t repeat myself here. But there are things to be said about the dwarf.

    Personally, I would question whether a dwarf’s resistance to magic really is an intrinsic characteristic. It was back in second edition, but back then it meant they couldn’t cast spells either. Third edition introduced the concept of dwarven wizards. The Derro are fantastic spellcasters, and of course dwarves have always been great clerics. So is the resistance to magic a physical trait, or is it just a learned prejudice.

    In the talent, Unflinching Fatalism I tried to give the dwarf bonuses against magic that made sense in a cultural context. Personally, I don’t think a blanket bonus against “spells” is actually that desirable. We don’t have spell resistance in HD&D, after all.

    Stonefooted Stability probably has what it takes to be a Talent. Maybe a little tweaking. I too am thrilled with dwarves being able to select a feat called “Art Critic”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s