Chapter 6: Dwarf Kits
The kits in this chapter allow further individualization of dwarf characters. Each kit is a collection of abilities, proficiencies, advantages, and disadvantages which better define the character.
The kits are entirely optional. A dwarf character can easily be created without them, but the kits will add detail. Only one dwarf kit is allowed per character.
It is possible to incorporate these kits into existing campaigns. A kit must be compatible with a character's past actions, background, and established personality traits. If a fighter has been played as cautious and careful, resorting to combat only when negotiation has failed, it would be unseemly to make him a Battlerager.
Once a particular kit has been assigned, it cannot be exchanged for a new one. The character can abandon it, but gives up all benefits and hindrances.
When designing a new character, first determine his ability scores, class or classes, specialization, and alignment. Once these elements have been decided, choose a kit, proficiencies, money, equipment, and other details.
The kits in this book are unique to dwarves. Although other races may have similar kits, these kits are permitted to dwarf characters only. However, the kits in the Complete Player's Handbook series may be used with dwarf characters, unless explicitly stated otherwise. When using the Complete Fighter's, the Complete Priest's or the Complete Thief's Handbooks, their guidelines should be followed.
Five different character classes are discussed in this chapter. There are kits for warriors, priests, thieves, warrior/priests, and warrior/thieves. A character may only use a kit that belongs to his class. It is not possible, for example, for a thief to use a warrior kit. Multi-class characters are an exception. A player with a multi-class character is not restricted to these options. He may choose any one kit from those relevant to his character. A warrior/priest could choose a warrior, a priest, or a warrior/priest kit. A character may have only one kit.
A multi-classed character is not allowed to specialize in any weapon when selecting a warrior kit. A few of the multi-class kits allow characters to be weapon specialists, but these are the only ones allowed. The Battlerager cannot be used as a multi-class kit, only single class warriors may use this kit.
The Composition of the Kits
Each kit consists of several elements:
First is a description of the background, appearance, and manner of the characters in this kit, including any requirements necessary to take the kit.
Role: The role of the character in dwarf society and in the campaign.
Secondary Skills: If you are using the secondary skills rules from the AD&D® 2nd Edition game, the kit may require your character to take a specific skill instead of choosing or randomly rolling for it. It is recommended that, in order to get the most out of the kits, you use the weapon and nonweapon proficiency rules instead.
Weapon Proficiencies: The kit may require a dwarf to take a specific weapon proficiency, or to choose one from a limited range.
Weapon proficiencies required for a kit are not bonuses unless specified. They must be taken to fill the weapon proficiency slots available to a 1st-level dwarf.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Character kits provide bonus nonweapon proficiencies free, without having to spend any of the slots they would normally be granted. Even if the proficiencies belong to groups other than Dwarf or General, there is no charge for them.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Some Nonweapon Proficiencies are recommended, not required. If the character decides to take a recommended nonweapon proficiency, it still fills one of the slots.
Equipment: Some dwarf characters use specific equipment, while others have limitations or restrictions on the way they acquire or use equipment.
Distinctive Appearance: Many kits have a distinctive appearance, making the character special and more easily recognizable for what he is. These are suggestions only, and not requirements.
Special Benefits: Most kits grant special benefits.
Special Hindrances: Any disadvantages that hinder a character.
Wealth Options: Some kits have special rules regarding wealth. These specify the amount of money received when a character is created and limit how it can be spent.
Warriors make up the majority of any dwarf stronghold, being both craftsmen and soldiers. Other, more specialized dwarf warriors are described below.
The Animal Master has a close affinity with the animals employed to guard strongholds. He looks after and controls them, making sure they are properly fed and exercised. He trains them to act as guards and to attack on command. Animal Masters develop a deep bond with their animals and are reluctant to endanger the animals' lives.
An Animal Master must have a Wisdom of 12 or more.
Role: Well respected members of dwarf society, Animal Masters are usually welcome at any stronghold, though they are treated with wary respect. If they are willing to train others in the art, they are even more welcome.
Animal Masters are responsible for looking after a stronghold's animal guards. These are usually 2d4 brown bears or 5d4 wolves, but other animals such as giant lizards, cave bears, boars, or giant rats may be used. They may train a stronghold's cavalry mounts, if these are present.
Secondary Skills: An Animal Master should have Groom (animal handling) and Trapper/Furrier secondary skills.
Weapon Proficiencies: They may be proficient with any weapon.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Lore, Animal Training (chosen animal), Endurance.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Animal Training (other animal), Appraising, Direction Sense, Dwarf Runes, Etiquette, Herbalism, Hunting, Modern Languages, Rope Use, Sign Language, Signalling, Underground Survival.
Equipment: When created, the Animal Master may have any kind of weapons and equipment. He starts with one fully trained animal of his choice, which he may equip with leather or metal armor.
Distinctive Appearance: Animal Masters frequently dress in the pelts or skins of their animal charges. This helps bond him to his animals and makes them more accepting of his presence.
Special Benefits: An Animal Master gains an Animal Training proficiency. This bonus proficiency is automatically at +1. He must choose the kind of animal he is capable of training upon taking the proficiency. He may buy another Animal Training proficiency but the second does not gain the +1 bonus.
The bonus Animal Mastery proficiency allows him to train four animals at one time, instead of three. For each additional slot spent on Animal Training, one extra animal can be trained.
Because of his affinity with them, an Animal Master reduces the time it takes to train the animals by one week per slot spent on the proficiency, but it never takes less than two weeks. This extra slot includes the Animal Trainer's initial +1 bonus. He can increase the number of tasks he can teach an animal by +1 for each slot spent on Training. One who chooses brown bears as the animals for his bonus proficiency can teach four bears at one time. He can teach them 2d4+1 tricks or tasks in 2d6-1 weeks.
When working with wild animals, he gains a +4 ability modifier to his chances of taming them, if the animals are of a litter whose mother he has trained. When working with such animals, an Animal Master's commands are obeyed on rolls of 1-19 on a 1d20. Only when he rolls a 20 will the animals refuse to obey.
If an Animal Master has the Sign Language proficiency, he may direct his own trained animals with it. They must be able to see his hands for this to work.
An Animal Master with the Signalling proficiency can direct personally trained animals by using simple sound signals. When working with animals other than his own, he may direct them by making a successful Animal Training check.
Special Hindrances: Animal Masters tend to be loners, spending more time with animals than with other dwarves. Consequently, there is always a level of distrust. Most dwarves, obsessed with their crafts, have little in common with Animal Masters who dedicate their lives to creating a rapport with their animals. Other dwarves react to Animal Masters at B2. This does not mean they will be antagonistic, but that they are wary of the trainer and his animals. They will show respect, but without friendship.
Wealth Options: An Animal Master starts with only 4d4x10 gp.
Axe For Hire
An Axe For Hire is a mercenary who is willing to sell his services to the highest bidder. Usually an all-round fighter, capable of engaging in hand to hand combat, he is able to use a crossbow and other missile weapons.
Role: He is frequently a dwarf with a severe case of wanderlust and a strong desire to travel beyond his stronghold. The best way to accomplish this is to hire out as a guard or a mercenary. He may find employment with a merchant who is setting out on an expedition deeper underground, or planning to travel above. He may be working for a dwarf noble who is visiting relatives in other lands, or trying to recapture a mine from orcs or dragons. Perhaps he has traveled to aid a stronghold attacked by monsters.
He may accept employment with another race, providing the money is good enough. He wants to be paid to fight.
Secondary Skills: An Axe for Hire should have the Weaponsmith, Armorer or Bowyer/Fletcher secondary skills.
Weapon Proficiencies: They may choose any weapons they like.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Local Dwarf History, Local History.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Armorer, Bowyer/Fletcher, Direction Sense, Fire-building, Dwarf Runes, Survival, Underground Navigation, Weaponsmith.
Equipment: An Axe for Hire may spend his starting money on whatever arms, armor, and equipment he can afford. When he is created, if it is agreed that he is part of a military force with specific equipment requirements, he is required to buy that equipment, but at half the price.
Distinctive Appearance: These are the most individualistic of dwarves and do not conform to any single standard.
Special Benefits: Fighters receive one free weapon specialization (a hand or missile weapon). It must be one commonly associated with dwarves.
When employed, he never pays for his own upkeep. Rooms at inns, food and drink are all supplied by his employer.
Special Hindrances: Dwarves are clannish folk who distrust anyone with an independent attitude. When reacting with other dwarves in any situation other than military, an Axe for Hire suffers a -3 reaction penalty.
In addition, an Axe for Hire who is part of a military force is subject to the discipline and dictates of its commander. He is no longer free to come and go as he pleases. He is further restricted by the contract he has signed with his employer. Many of these are for a fixed duration, and require him to be available throughout the term. Disappearing before the end of the contract is likely to give him a poor reputation as a mercenary.
There is always a fear that he has been hired to undertake a suicidal mission or to act as a decoy or sacrifice, while others have more important, and safer, duties.
Wealth Options: He receives the standard 5d4x10 gp starting money.
The Clansdwarf is what most people think of whenever dwarves are mentioned. They are the majority in dwarf society, its craftsmen and militia. They are skilled in a craft and receive military training from adolescence.
Role: Clansdwarves are usually closely bound to their stronghold and only leave to conduct their craft somewhere else (at a location that is usually turned into another stronghold). They give dwarf society its particular qualities of kinship and careful optimism.
They are not restricted to the strongholds and may be found living in ghettoes or on the edges of the towns and cities of another race, making a living by selling their services.
While clansdwarves are craftsmen, all dwarf settlements pride themselves on their militia. They are armed and equipped with items of their own manufacture, and train regularly in small unit and large scale tactics. Many clansdwarves are justifiably proud of being expert fighters as well as superb craftsmen.
Secondary Skills: Any suitable craft skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Clansdwarves may be proficient with: axe, hammer, light or heavy crossbow, mace, pick, polearm, short sword, spear.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Clansdwarves gain two craft proficiency slots of their choice. Both must be spent on the same craft. They also receive the Dwarven Runes and Endurance proficiencies.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Artistic Ability, and any related to their first craft.
Equipment: Clansdwarves may buy any equipment they like.
Distinctive Appearance: The craft of a clansdwarf is readily apparent from his clothing. Each clan has a unique emblem or cut of cloth that distinguishes them from all other clans. This may be as obvious as a leather-working apron or as discrete as a small anvil badge.
Special Benefits: Clansdwarves gain a +3 reaction bonus when dealing with others of their clan. They gain a +2 reaction bonus when dealing with dwarves of other clans engaged in the same craft.
Clansdwarves are always sheltered and given aid within their own clan. Unless one is known to have injured members of his own clan, he will be fed and housed gladly.
Special Hindrances: A Clansdwarf is part of a tightly-knit society that never forgets either a misdemeanor or shoddy workmanship. He is expected to be scrupulously honest and professional in his dealings with others. Any dwarf who violates that trust becomes an outcast, no longer welcome at the hearths of his clan. News of bad behavior spreads quickly, and other dwarves, hearing of it, will react to him with a -3 penalty.
A Clansdwarf who becomes an outcast may again be accepted by his kin, but the process takes years. It is better to keep one's nose clean and do the job than to provoke trouble.
Wealth Options: A Clansdwarf starts with the standard 5d4x10 gp.
A Hearth Guard is a female dwarf who has received intensive military training. Frequently a weapon specialist, she fights as well as, if not better than, most males.
Not all strongholds have Hearth Guards. Some see fighting as a male role and do not encourage women to take up arms. In most strongholds, Hearth Guards form a respected, elite fighting force dedicated to defending the stronghold and its children from external threats.
Not all female warriors are Hearth Guards. Any of the kits can be used for female characters, so a player is not restricted to playing a Hearth Guard character just because she is female. No male dwarves, however, may become Hearth Guards.
Role: Hearth Guards were originally formed as a purely defensive force to defend the stronghold in case of attack. In a few strongholds, male dwarves have come to see women as superior and leave all important decisions to them.
Hearth Guards are highly regarded. They form an effective fighting force, well trained in combat and tactics. Outside dwarf society, they are a curiosity, if others are even aware of them. As a result, other cultures are suspicious of Hearth Guards, if not scathingly critical of their abilities. Any who see them in this light are in for a nasty surprise.
Although originally formed to protect strongholds, members are as free as any dwarf to adventure or travel; they are not restricted to a stronghold.
Secondary Skills: She should have Weaponsmith, Armorer, or Bowyer/Fletcher secondary skills.
Weapon Proficiencies: Hearth Guards must be proficient in traditional weapons of battle; axe (one or two handed), spear, and light crossbow. She may only specialize in these weapons.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Fire Building, and Local Dwarf History.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Blind-fighting, Direction Sense, Dwarf Runes, Fletcher/Bowyer, Intimidation, Local Dwarf History, Rope Use, Sign Language, Signalling, Slow Respiration, Weaponsmithing.
Equipment: When a Hearth Guard is created she must be equipped with at least chain mail armor, a battle axe, a spear, and a light crossbow.
Distinctive Appearance: Hearth Guards are distinguished by red surcoats with orange fire badges embroidered on the front.
Special Benefits: A Hearth Guard fighter receives one free specialization in battle axe, spear, or light crossbow. She must pay the initial weapon proficiency, but the specialization is at no cost.
She also gains an additional +1 bonus to attacck and damage when defending her stronghold. When fighting to protect young dwarves, she gains a +2 bonus to attacck and damage rolls. To gain this bonus the attacker must be in a position to physically harm the young, or about to enter a nursery or home.
Special Hindrances: Within dwarf society only the most male oriented strongholds react negatively to Hearth Guards. In the male dominated societies of other races, a female dwarf wearing armor and carrying weapons is sometimes not taken seriously; NPCs react at -3 to the Hearth Guard.
Wealth Options: She receives the standard 5d4x10 gp. If this is not enough to buy the required equipment, the equipment is provided free, but the character starts with no money.
The Battlerager fills a particular niche in dwarf society and culture. He is a fearless warrior, able to create an insane rage within himself which increases his fighting ability and distorts his physical features.
While enraged, a Battlerager's face becomes twisted and his teeth grind together. Spittle flies from his mouth and dribbles down his beard. His eyes enlarge, bulge, and become bloodshot. Size increases (his height by an inch or more) as his muscles swell and his body expands.
His fighting ability becomes awesome, allowing him to fight longer and harder than any other dwarf. While in his rage, he is almost unstoppable. A dangerous enemy, he is a menace to friend and foe alike.
A Battlerager must have a minimum Strength of 15 and Intelligence and Wisdom scores no higher than 10.
Role: He is believed to have been touched by a dwarven deity, and is held in reverence and fear by his fellows. Madness and irrational behavior are commonly associated with Battleragers. Many believe that, if killed in battle, Battleragers return to the earth, to be reborn with more power. Therefore they have no fear of death.
While there is no Battlerager Guild, they tend to band together and occupy outlying sections of strongholds. They are given to drinking, rowdy and boisterous singing, and drunken dancing. Others prefer not to socialize with Battleragers if possible. They are quick to anger and will avenge any imagined insult with a battle axe.
In war Battleragers come into their own. Groups, and even individuals, will charge ahead of the military to attack the enemy with no regard for their own safety.
In a campaign, Battleragers are dangerous not only to others but to themselves. Battleragers players must be reckless, never weighing the odds. They are argumentative, coarse, and definitely not diplomats! "If it moves, kill it!" is the likely response of a Battlerager. Most of them live short, often glorious, lives.
Secondary Skills: Battleragers have no secondary skills of any worth.
Weapon Proficiencies: Battleragers must specialize in battle axe (single or two-handed) and warhammer. Warhammers are thrown at enemies while charging, usually accompanied by a battle cry such as "Stitch that, Goblin!" They cannot start with any other ranged weapon proficiency, and it is forbidden to learn or use a ranged weapon. (Unthinkable! Missile weapons are coward's toys!)
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Intimidation, Singing.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Armorer, Blind-fighting, Dancing, Direction Sense, Sound Analysis, Underground Navigation, Underground Survival.
Equipment: Battleragers must start play with a battle axe and a warhammer. They may wear any type of armor, but it must be slightly larger than required to accommodate the increased size when in battle rage. They usually carry wineskins containing a vile concoction of fermented goat's milk and herbs "gutshaker". They are the only creatures known to drink gutshaker without becoming violently ill.
Distinctive Appearance: Battleragers are the most distinctive of warriors. With rings through their noses, ears, and sometimes lips, they will dye their hair and beards vivid colors. They often shave their faces and heads, sometimes leaving long tufts of hair that are stiffened with lime or thick grease. Tattoos on the face and body in the form of spirals and abstract designs are a source of intense pride for all Battleragers.
Special Benefits: They excel at fighting. Not only are they specialists with battle axe and warhammer, they are able to enter a furious killing rage that endangers friend and foe alike. They have little control over it. Any time one feels insulted, threatened, or when in combat, he will bellow a battle song at the top of his lungs. After five rounds, during which time he can fight or perform other activities, he enters the rage. This lasts until there are no enemies left to slay. Whether enemies are standing to fight or lying wounded on the ground, the Battlerager will hack them apart. He will then turn to anyone left alive, even his friends. During the rage, Battleragers continue to sing, pausing only to scream insults at foes.
A Battlerager can try to come out of the rage at the beginning of each round by making a Wisdom check. If he succeeds, his rage ends and he suffers the effects below. If not, he remains enraged. He may attempt withdrawal each round, until he succeeds.
He may attempt to prevent a killing rage by making a successful Wisdom check. If he succeeds, he can control himself for the rest of the encounter. During the next five rounds, he will gnaw ferociously on his shield rim or grind his teeth together in an effort to control himself. If he fails the check, he enters the rage.
A silence spell will prevent him from entering a rage, but he will attack the character who cast the spell, if he can tell who it was. If not, he will attack all who get in his way.
The Killing Rage: While in a killing rage, the Battlerager receives the following special benefits: +1 to attack, +3 to damage, +10 hp, and -1 bonus to his AC (e.g., AC 4 drops to AC 3).
Killing Rage Disadvantages: A Battlerager suffers the following disadvantages while enraged:
Special Hindrances: Being a psychopathic killer with an axe is a special hindrance in itself, particularly because he is a liability to himself and all who adventure with him. Other dwarves react to Battleragers with a -3 reaction adjustment penalty. But instead of attacking, they will withdraw. Other races automatically sense the latent violence in a Battlerager and react to him with a -2 penalty, though they may not have enough common sense not to attack him.
Wealth Options: The Battlerager receives the normal 5d4x10 gp.
Highborns are members of families who hold political power within a clan. A Highborn dwarf may belong to the ruling family of a stronghold. They are able to trace their lineage back to the beginnings of time. Highborn ancestors include the great warriors and craftsmen of legend. They tend to behave in an arrogant manner to other dwarves, believing their lineage makes them superior to their fellows. They consider themselves the epitome of dwarf culture, the finest members of their race.
Role: Highborn dwarves are the law enforcers of a stronghold. They uphold the law, insuring that they continue to benefit from the order of dwarf society. They expect to be admired and treated with much respect, if not subservience.
Highborns believe that the continuance of dwarf society rests firmly on their shoulders. It is their responsibility to ensure that life continues in a regular, orderly manner, so that clansdwarves may ply their crafts in peace and security.
Highborn dwarf adventurers are the younger sons or daughters of a wealthy family. As part of their education they are expected to travel in order to learn how other dwarf strongholds are managed, and to experience first hand the way other races organize themselves. Usually, this simply increases the highborn's sense of his and his race's importance, as he constantly compares the shortcomings of others to his own inflated opinions.
Secondary Skills: The Scribe secondary skill is suitable for Highborn dwarves.
Weapon Proficiencies: Highborn dwarves must take the sword, hammer, and light crossbow proficiencies. The last proficiency may be used for a weapon of his choice, or to specialize in one of the required choices.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Etiquette, Heraldry, Local Dwarf History.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Artistic Ability, Blind-fighting, Hunting, Modern Languages, Mountaineering, Survival (any).
Equipment: Highborn dwarves must always look their best to set an example to other dwarves. They must start with at least banded mail armor. Since this is worn to reflect status, it costs at least 10% to 25% more than usual, as do the fine weapons Highborns must use.
Distinctive Appearance: Their status is apparent from the fine craftsmanship of weapons, armor, and clothing.
Special Benefits: Dwarves of lawful alignment respect Highborn dwarves and react to them with a +3 bonus. A Highborn may also demand food and shelter from other dwarves, and this is willingly provided for him and his retinue. The Highborns administer justice among members of their clan. In matters involving two clans, only the ruling family of the stronghold can make binding decisions.
Special Hindrances: A Highborn dwarf may administer justice, but his decisions may be later overruled by a Highborn clansman of greater status.
Highborns need to maintain their status by finding and purchasing the best goods available. This means that they always spend an additional 10% to 25% on goods and services. If a Highborn fails to do so, his reaction bonus drops by -1 each occurrence, until it reaches 0. He may only increase his reaction to its former level by engaging in conspicuous consumption. This means a new suit of clothes and new equipment for himself and his retainers, all purchased at 25% above the usual price. He must throw a banquet for his entire clan (costing 1,000 to 5,000 gp), giving gifts to show that he deserves the respect offered him by those of lower status. These gifts are usually craft related, such as a fine set of tools, an anvil, or a loom.
Nonlawfully aligned dwarves tend to be irritated by Highborn dwarves' superiority and react to them at -3.
Highborn dwarves are too proud for their own good, seeing themselves and their race as superior to all others. This attitude causes other races to react to them with a -2 penalty.
Wealth Options: Highborn dwarves start with 400 gp, plus the standard 5d4x10 gp.
The Outcast is the misfit, the dwarf who breaks all the rules governing behavior; he refuses to fit easily into any niche, or to settle at one job for long. His behavior is usually so at odds with others that he is soon ostracized by his fellows. Outcasts can be found wandering deep underground or among humans, elves, gnomes, or monsters.
Role: Outcasts are typically of neutral or chaotic alignments. They may be good or evil, but the one thing they have in common is an aversion for the regimented lifestyles of their fellows. Evil Outcasts are likely to become racial traitors and lead the dwarves' enemies against them. Good-aligned Outcasts are likely to find the company of other races more in line with their own natures.
Although Outcast dwarves are normally not found in strongholds, whole communities of them have grown up at the edges of certain strongholds. They have usually been given unpleasant jobs that no one else wants, such as cleaning sewers or disposing of garbage.
Secondary Skills: Outcasts may choose any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: They often pick weapons that are not normally associated with dwarves, such as the short bow, quarterstaff, sickle, sling, or whip. They may have any weapon they choose.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, one craft proficiency (player choice), Endurance, Survival (any).
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Blind-fighting, Direction Sense, Dwarf Runes, Intimidation, Modern Language, Riding (pony).
Equipment: Outcast dwarves may have any kind of equipment.
Distinctive Appearance: Many who live among other races follow their adopted race in matters of dress. They often wear bright colors. Near strongholds they are usually poorly dressed, wearing only rags and castoffs.
Special Benefits: By paying an additional 10% experience cost to increase in level, an Outcast may Move Silently as a ranger of the same level. For example, a warrior needs 2,000 experience points to reach the 2nd-level. If he takes the Move Silently option, he pays an additional 10%, or 2,200 experience points to become a 2nd-level warrior. This ability must be taken when the character is first created, or it is forever lost. The XP penalty must be paid at every level.
Special Hindrances: The Outcast suffers a -3 reaction penalty from all other dwarves with the exception of other Outcasts and Wayfinders.
Wealth Options: Outcasts start with only 3d6x10 gp.
Rapid Response Rider
Rapid Response Riders are the dwarves' equivalent of cavalry. Mounted on suitably sturdy beasts, they are capable of moving faster than other dwarves, and packing more punch when they attack. Ponies or mules are commonly used as mounts, but creatures such as bears, boars, and dire wolves are sometimes used. Flying creatures, griffons, hippogriffs, or pegasi, may be employed. In such cases, Land Based Riding Proficiency references should be changed to Airborne Riding.
Rapid Response Riders are found in only a few strongholds. They are not extensively used and appear chiefly in strongholds that are under constant threat of attack.
They are often quite tall, as dwarves go, and that extra height helps a lot when riding.
Role: They are well trained, but something of an anomaly in a military based on infantry units. While respected, they are considered odd by other dwarves. They stick together and consider themselves both elite and superior to other dwarves, whom they see as lowly foot sloggers.
Secondary Skills: The character should take the Groom (Animal Handling) secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Rapid Response Riders must be proficient, and ideally specialized in, the lance (any, according to mount's size). They may use any other weapons they see fit.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Training, Endurance, Riding (Land Based). The type of mount must be noted for proficiencies.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Armorer, Blind-fighting, Intimidation, Leatherworking, Sign Language, Signalling, Tracking, Underground Direction Sense, Underground Navigation.
Equipment: They may wear any kind of armor except plate mail. They must start play with a lance, but otherwise may have any kind of weapon.
Distinctive Appearance: They will usually wear some form of leather trousers to protect their legs. They tend to select fierce looking armor, with studs, protruding hooks, or horned helmets.
Special Benefits: A Rapid Response Rider starts with a fully grown mount that has at least 75% of its possible hit points. Roll hit points normally; if they come to less than 75% of the possible total, increase it to 75%.
Their mounts are highly trained and respond to all commands given by their masters. They do not have telepathic rapport with their mounts, and if the mount is killed, they lose only the mount.
Rapid Response Riders gain a +1 to attack and damage rolls when fighting mounted.
Special Hindrances: Because of their close affinity to their mounts, most dwarves react with a B2 penalty.
Wealth Options: Rapid Response Riders start with 5d4x10 gp.
A Sharpshooter is highly skilled with either the light or heavy crossbow. He has spent the majority of his youth training as a Bowyer/Fletcher, and has had regular practice with his crossbow. He is skilled in rapid loading and expert at inflicting the most damage possible with his weapon. Exuding confidence in his abilities, he tends to disdain those who resort to hand-to-hand combat.
Role: Sharpshooters form either part of a crossbow unit or make their living shooting for prize money at fairs. When in battle, a Sharpshooter's targets are enemy officers, wizards, and clerics, to prevent them from coordinating attacks or casting spells.
Secondary Skills: He should have the Bowyer/Fletcher secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: A Sharpshooter must be a specialist with either a light or heavy crossbow (and, therefore, must be a fighter). He may not begin play with any hand weapon specializations, but may learn them later in his career. If gunpowder weapons are used, a sharpshooter may specialize in the arquebus. All the special benefits for crossbows are available for arquebuses; the character has a supply of perfectly molded arquebus balls and superior gunpowder.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Artistic Ability, Bowyer/Fletcher, Endurance.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Appraising, Direction Sense, Rope Use, Sign Language, Signalling.
Equipment: Sharpshooters start with the crossbow of their choice, at no cost.
Distinctive Appearance: They are set apart from other dwarves by the care they lavish on their crossbows and bolts. The crossbow is made of the finest materials and the butt is often inlaid with intricate patterns. The bolts have only the finest flights, and they burnish the points to a fine, razor sharpness.
Special Benefits: In addition to his crossbow specialization, he gains a further +1 to attack rolls. He fires faster than other specialists as shown on the Sharpshooter Attacks Table.
Sharpshooter Attacks Table
Level Crossbow Crossbow
1-6 3/2 1/1
7-12 2/1 3/2
13+ 5/2 2/1
This increased rate of fire assumes that the Sharpshooter has time to lay out his bolts in easy reach, minimizing the time required to nock a bolt. He gains these advantages only with the type of crossbow in which he has specialized.
When using his personal weapon and sharpened bolts, a Sharpshooter can inflict extra damage. In his hands, a light crossbow causes 1d6 damage vs. any size creatures. A heavy crossbow causes 1d6+1 vs. S/M, and 1d8+1 against larger creatures. He only gains these bonuses when he uses his personally built and maintained crossbow and his own sharpened bolts.
Special Hindrances: Sharpshooters may not start with any hand weapon specialization, and are limited to short weapons, daggers, and hand axes.
If a Sharpshooter loses his custom-built crossbow or has no time to sharpen his bolts, he loses his ability to increase damage. He cannot just pull out another crossbow previously built; it must first be used for 1d4 weeks to "break it in." In addition, it takes one hour to sharpen each bolt and they must be carefully stowed, if they are not to become dulled.
Wealth Options: Sharpshooters start with 5d4x10 gp, plus their own customized crossbow.
The creation myths of the dwarves described in Chapter 1 can be used as the basis for designing numerous dwarf religions. Players will benefit from the Complete Priest's Handbook that describes 41 priesthoods that may be used with dwarf characters. While recommended, the Complete Priest's Handbook is not essential. The priest and warrior/priest kits work as well with clerics from the Player's Handbook.
Barred: This paragraph applies only to dwarf priests (single or multi-classed) using the Complete Priest's Handbook. It refers to priesthoods in the handbook and details which of the priest classes (plus cleric) may not take the kit. If it is not being used, the section may serve as a guide to the kind of religion the kit should have.
Crafts priests are those who are dedicated to the patron deities of one of the dwarven crafts. Although they frequently will have a temple in a stronghold, they usually preside over a shrine or chapel in the workshops where their craft is practiced. They are usually members of that craft's clan.
Barred: Crafts priests usually worship the god of crafts, but they may belong to most other religions. In such cases, they are the priests who prepare ceremonial and sacrificial items. Priests of the following gods may not be crafts priests: birth and children, death, evil, disease, fertility, justice, marriage, love, mischief, trickery, and trade.
Role: Crafts priests are more concerned with their crafts than with the welfare of fellow dwarves. They will seek out the finest raw materials and are often engaged in expeditions to discover new mines or found new strongholds. Their expertise in these matters is highly sought. Rarely tied to a central temple, they are free to go where they please.
Secondary Skills: Crafts priests may choose any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: They may be proficient with any of these weapons: axe, hammer, light or heavy crossbow, mace, pick, polearm, short sword, spear.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Artistic Ability, any Craft proficiency, Endurance, and Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Dwarf Runes, Etiquette, Local Dwarf History, Underground Navigation.
Equipment: Crafts priests must have access to the tools required for their craft. If these are large, such as a forge, the priest is not required to own one, but the DM should inform him where he can go to use one. Apart from that, Crafts priests may use any kind of equipment.
Distinctive Appearance: According to the specific religion.
Special Benefits: A Crafts priest gains a +3 reaction bonus when dealing with dwarves of his own clan, and a +2 reaction bonus with dwarves from other clans engaged in the same craft.
Unless a Crafts priest has injured members of his own clan, he will gladly be given food and shelter by his clansmen.
Special Hindrances: Crafts priests have no special hindrances.
Wealth Options: They start with 3d6x10 gp.
A Pariah is a priest who has left his stronghold, either voluntarily or under pressure. His practice of religion was so repulsive that other dwarves expelled him. He will often worship gods of an evil alignment, but may worship chaotic good or chaotic neutral gods.
Pariahs may be priests who have turned to one of the darker gods of a pantheon, or he may be part of a group of Pariahs, within or on the fringes of dwarf society. Priests from evil strongholds are usually pariahs.
Barred: Priests of the god of community and most good aligned deities may not take this kit. However, pariahs may be priests of chaotic gods.
Role: They may be the priests for a community of Outcasts, in which case they are the spiritual leaders of such communities. These may be situated on the outskirts of strongholds or within a ghetto of another race's town or city.
Pariahs may also exist in a dwarf community, where they keep their power hidden from those who do not share their religion. They are secretive, and often fearful of discovery. Even so, their religion may have a substantial number of adherents among the otherwise lawful good dwarves. In an evil campaign, they may engage in kidnapping and sacrifice.
They may be wandering priests who join adventures for financial reward or to pursue some personal goal.
Secondary Skills: Pariahs may choose any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: A Pariah may use any weapon that is not forbidden by his religion.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Disguise, Endurance, and Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Any.
Equipment: A Pariah must spend all of his starting funds on equipment. Any money not spent is lost.
Distinctive Appearance: Pariahs have no distinctive appearance, as they have no desire to be singled out.
Special Benefits: By paying an additional 10% experience cost to increase in experience level, a Pariah may Move Silently as a ranger of the same level.
If a Pariah is of chaotic or evil alignment, he may elect not to have any superiors.
Special Hindrances: Unless he lives in a community of Outcasts, a Pariah is not free to openly worship his deity. Priests of other dwarf religions will actively prevent him from doing so, even by imprisonment or execution. They are more likely, however, to try to persuade him of the error of his ways by engaging him in interminable religious debates.
Wealth Options: A Pariah starts with the standard 3d6x10 gp.
A Patrician is a priest of a Highborn clan. He often acts as the voice of his family in religious matters and sees to their spiritual welfare. The priestly equivalent of the Highborn warrior, he traces his lineage to the very beginning of time.
Because of their backgrounds, Patricians often rise quickly in the hierarchy until they gain a position commensurate with the political clout of their families. They have little to do with everyday religion and have little contact with the mass of dwarves. With the exception of other Highborns, Patricians are frequently arrogant and patronizing toward others.
Barred: A Patrician is not barred from being a member of any religion. However, he will not join a religion that calls upon him to give his money away or to dress in a common fashion.
Role: Patricians can be aggravating individuals who shirk religious duties. They expect and demand respect, if not subservience. Their patronizing manner can be fun to play, but should be tempered with a willingness to heal or to aid others in times of need.
Secondary Skills: Patricians may choose any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Patricians may choose any weapon permitted by their religion.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Etiquette, Local Dwarf History, Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Artistic Ability, Blind-fighting, Herbalism, Hunting, Modern Languages, Mountaineering, Reading/Writing, Survival (any).
Equipment: They must dress according to their station and start play with at least banded mail armor. This costs 10% to 25% more than usual, the same as for any Highborn. Patricians must also have fine weapons costing 10% to 25% more as well.
Distinctive Appearance: They are clothed in the finest regalia of their religion, even when performing mundane tasks.
Special Benefits: Dwarves of lawful alignments respect Patricians and react to them with a +3 bonus. Other dwarves willingly provide food and shelter for Patricians.
Special Hindrances: Although a Patrician is primarily a political appointee, he is sometimes asked by the high priest of his religion to undertake dangerous missions. The Patrician is expected to organize and equip a party of dwarves out of his own funds.
As a Highborn, he is expected to keep up appearances, buying only the finest equipment for the party and spending 10% to 25% more on equipment and services. If a Patrician fails to do this, his reaction bonus drops by -1 for each dwarf that he fails to adequately equip until it reaches 0. He may increase his reaction bonus to its former level by donating large amounts of money to his religion and by undertaking some hazardous mission.
Nonlawfully aligned dwarves are irritated by the Patrician's superior airs and react to him at -3.
Wealth Options: A Patrician starts with 350 gp, plus 3d6x10 gp.
The Ritual Priest is the most common priest in dwarf society. He officiates at religious meetings and insures that worship is properly conducted. He presides over marriages, deaths, and name-giving ceremonies for children.
Adept at fighting, the Ritual Priest is often willing to give his life in the defense of his stronghold.
Barred: There are no barred religions for a Ritual Priest.
Role: He devotes most of his time to the worship of his gods and the needs of his fellow dwarves. He is often called upon to intercede with his deity on their behalf. His deity may call upon him to perform some quest or he may be granted a vision. He may be ordered by his superiors to perform a special task. A party of adventurers is then formed.
Secondary Skills: He should have the Scribe secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: A Ritual Priest may be proficient in any of the weapons available to priests, plus: battle axe, crossbow, hand/throwing axe, morning star, military, and warhammer.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Dwarf Runes, Endurance, Local Dwarf History, Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Ancient History, Astrology, Healing, Herbalism, Local History, Reading/Writing.
Equipment: Ritual Priests may have any kind of armor.
Distinctive Appearance: According to his religious custom.
Special Benefits: He is always respected by other dwarves, and may ask and be granted shelter in any stronghold. He receives a +1 reaction adjustment when dealing with dwarves.
Special Hindrances: A Ritual Priest has no special hindrances.
Wealth Options: A Ritual Priest receives the standard 3d6x10 gp.
Warrior/priests are common in dwarf society. They combine the fighting abilities of the warrior with the spiritual powers of the priest. They may be part of a religion comprised of warrior/priests or they may complement a religion, providing it with additional muscle.
A Champion is a member of a religion who has been selected to undergo intensive training as a warrior. He is expected to defend his creed at all times, and may be called upon to do so in single combat against an evil monster or members of an enemy religion.
A Champion must have Strength and Wisdom scores of at least 15. He must also have a Charisma of at least 14.
Barred: A Champion cannot belong to a religion that has restrictions against violent behavior.
Role: The Champion defends his religion with his life and superior combat ability and maintains a clear head to promote it. As a defender of his creed, he must always act in its best interest, even when doing so causes him distress or physical harm.
Secondary Skills: He should have the Armorer and Weaponsmith secondary skills.
Weapon Proficiencies: He may have any weapon proficiency. Unlike other warrior/priests, he may specialize in one weapon. This weapon must be chosen when the kit is taken and cannot be changed. He may never specialize in any other weapon.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Intimidation, Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Ancient History, Blind-fighting, Dwarf Runes, Hunting, Local Dwarf History, Musical Instrument, Singing.
Equipment: A Champion is allowed one weapon specialization (this is an exception to the restriction against multi-class characters). This weapon is specially blessed and acts in all respects as a magical weapon +1; it can even harm monsters that can only be hit by magical weapons. The weapon may be +2 or higher and/or have added bonuses when used to attack certain types of monsters, such as undead. The blessed weapon belongs to his church and he is charged with its care. It may never be lent and, if lost, his paramount duty becomes its recovery.
A Champion who finds a superior weapon and decides to keep it must return his blessed weapon to the main temple of his religion as soon as he is able.
Distinctive Appearance: Champions are marked by their role and have an air of superiority. They usually dress in fine clothes, unless specifically forbidden to do so by their religion.
Special Benefits: See Equipment and Weapon Proficiencies.
Special Hindrances: He may never a refuse a fight related to his religion. He must defend it at all times. He may be requested to perform tasks set by his superiors. If he refuses to accept a challenge or a quest, he loses his weapon specialization and his religion will send another Champion to reclaim his blessed weapon.
Wealth Options: A Champion starts with 6d4x10 gp.
Temple Guards are warrior/priests normally stationed in a religion's temple. They have a good mix of abilities from both classes, and form the elite of a religion's warriors.
Barred: If The Complete Priest's Handbook is used, Temple Guards cannot belong to a religion that has poor fighting abilities.
Role: A Temple Guard has a number of roles in a campaign. He guards the precincts of his temple, protecting its members from attack. He is the weapon instructor for priests of his religion, and it is his duty to train them in the use of the religion's chosen weapons.
He may act as a representative of his religion and may rise in its hierarchy, like any other priest. His duties, however, are concerned with organizing defenses and outfitting and leading expeditions, rather than with religious services.
Secondary Skills: A Temple Guard may have any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: He must be proficient in a weapon that is representative of his religion. If he worships the god of war, his proficiency would be battle axe.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Religion.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Blind-fighting, Dwarf Runes, Etiquette, Intimidation, Modern Languages, Sign Language, Signalling.
Equipment: After he has bought his weapons and holy symbol, a Temple Guard must buy the best armor he can afford.
Distinctive Appearance: Temple Guards dress according to their religion, but always have a more martial appearance than other priests. They always carry a weapon and shield.
Special Benefits: Any time the Temple Guard is fighting in defense of his temple or other holy place of his religion, he gains a +2 to attack and damage rolls and a +2 to his saving throws.
Special Hindrances: A Temple Guard is rarely a free agent and is usually given his orders by a High Priest. This may lead to long periods of temple duty, interspersed with special missions.
Wealth Options: Temple Guards start with 5d4x10 gp.
The Vindicator is imbued with the spiritual power of his deity. When this power is manifested, he becomes a fearless and powerful warrior. He is able to enter a rage similar to that experienced by Battleragers; his face becomes contorted and he grinds his teeth together. See Battlerager for details concerning changes in appearance.
A Vindicator must have a minimum Strength of 15, Intelligence no higher than 10, and Wisdom no higher than 14.
Barred: Vindicators cannot belong to any religion that is concerned with peace or love. They worship gods of war, death, elemental forces, lightning, fire, strength, or thunder.
Role: They are often the most potent force of a religion, expected to give their lives for their religion. Most are well aware that their lives are likely to be short, though sometimes glorious.
Secondary Skills: Vindicators may choose any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: They must be proficient in battle axe (one or two handed) and warhammer, regardless of the restrictions imposed by their religion. They cannot start play with any ranged weapon other than warhammer, and may not have any other ranged weapon proficiency.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Intimidation, Religion, Singing.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Armorer, Blind-fighting, Dancing, Direction Sense, Healing, Herbalism, Sound Analysis, Underground Navigation, Underground Survival.
Equipment: Vindicators must start play with a battle axe and a warhammer. They may wear any type of armor, but it must be slightly larger in size than normal to accommodate their increased size when in a killing rage (see Battlerager).
Distinctive Appearance: They usually have facial and body tattoos.
Special Benefits: Vindicators gain all the special benefits of Battleragers, but are not allowed to specialize in any weapon.
Because of their higher Wisdom, Vindicators are usually able to exert more control over their own actions.
Special Hindrances: Vindicators have the same hindrances as Battleragers, except that members of their own religion do not react to them with a negative penalty.
When enraged, Vindicators cannot cast any spells, but may benefit from spells cast prior to becoming enraged.
Wealth Options: Vindicators start with 5d4x10 gp.
True dwarf thieves who steal from other dwarves to make a living are almost nonexistent in dwarf society. Dwarves caught stealing are heavily fined and may be banished if they continue. True dwarf thieves are usually found plying their illegal trade among other races. The Complete Thief's Handbook contains kits for them. Here we look at characters who, while technically of the thief class, are a part of lawful dwarf society. They may be of any alignment.
Diplomats are found only in strongholds that have dealings with other races. They act as middlemen, translators, and spokesmen. They must rely on their wits to smooth the way, particularly when negotiations sour. A Diplomat's minimum Charisma is 13.
Role: Diplomats may represent their stronghold, act as interpreter for the stronghold's leader, or be employed by a dwarf merchant. Sometimes a Diplomat will be hired by humans or other races to assist making deals with the dwarves of a particular stronghold.
Many use their position to spy upon other race's defenses. Most races consider such activities as espionage, but dwarves view it as merely taking necessary precautions.
Secondary Skills: A Diplomat should have the Trader/Barterer secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Any kind of weapons normally permitted thieves.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: The Diplomat starts with any four modern languages.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Blind-fighting, Disguise, Gaming, Local History, Reading Lips, Sign Language, Tightrope Walking, Ventriloquism.
Equipment: Because of the sensitive nature of their missions, Diplomats should dress as unobtrusively as possible and possess easily concealed weapons such as daggers and darts.
Distinctive Appearance: Diplomats tend to look like everyone's idea of a typical dwarf. Even though different races or cultures see them in different ways, Diplomats know how to dress in order to match the preconceptions of others.
Special Benefits: Diplomats gain a +10% modifier to Detect Noise and a +5% modifier to the Open Locks ability.
They gain a +3 reaction bonus dealing with other races, except racial enemies; then the reaction bonus drops to +1.
Special Hindrances: Diplomats suffer a B10% penalty to their Pick Pockets ability.
Wealth Options: Diplomats receive 3d6x10 gp instead of the normal 2d6x10 gp.
Dwarves enjoy entertainment during leisure hours, although other races are surprised there are dwarves whose trade is to entertain. There are dancers, singers, jugglers and tumblers, musicians, tightrope walkers, and fire eaters. They rarely tell jokes.
To be an Entertainer, a character has to have a minimum Dexterity of 14.
Role: Like most dwarf trades, Entertainers are governed by a guild. They are trained from an early age and are very adept at what they do.
Humans and elves often find the sight of dwarf Entertainers gamboling around a stage hilariously funny, much to the annoyance of the Entertainers and dwarves in the audience. The performance of an Entertainer is meant to display the physical prowess of the dwarves in an edifying manner. They are certainly not meant to be laughed at!
Secondary Skills: Any.
Weapon Proficiencies: Entertainers may use any weapon.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: An Entertainer may choose two of the following skills: Dancing, Juggling, Local Dwarf History, Musical Instrument, Rope Use, Singing, Slow Respiration, Tightrope Walking, Tumbling, Ventriloquism.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: All of the above, plus Alertness.
Equipment: Entertainers start with rope, juggling balls and skittles, and a musical instrument. These are provided by the Entertainers' Guild.
Distinctive Appearance: Entertainers usually dress in sober dwarven colors; dark browns or slate grays. They can easily be identified by their equipment, which they take everywhere.
Special Benefits: Entertainers gain a +1 ability modifier when using the Singing, Dancing, Juggling, and Rope Use proficiencies.
Special Hindrances: Entertainers tend to be laughed off stage when they perform outside dwarf society. This makes them reluctant to perform for any audience not made up of dwarves.
Wealth Options: Entertainers start with only 2d4x10 gp.
Locksmiths are masters at building and taking apart locks. These craftsmen are well respected in dwarf society. In many ways the true thief's worst enemy, locksmiths make it hard for a thief to exercise his trade.
Role: They are expert in making and opening locks. They are also expert at finding and disarming traps. Their craft safeguards homes and builds strong locks for the gates of dwarf strongholds.
To adventurers, there are many benefits to having a locksmith along. They can find and remove traps, open locks, and have all of the other skills of thieves.
Secondary Skills: Locksmiths often have technical skills, such as Mason, Miner, or Woodworker/Carpenter.
Weapon Proficiencies: They usually carry axes and hammers. Practical dwarves, they know that not all locks can be picked. Sometimes it is necessary to break a door down instead.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Carpentry, Locksmithing.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Engineering, Stonemasonry.
Equipment: Locksmiths should have one set each of lock making and lock picking tools.
Distinctive Appearance: No distinctive appearance.
Special Benefits: They gain a +10% modifier to their Open Locks ability in addition to that provided by the Lockpicking proficiency, and a +10% bonus to their Find/Remove Traps ability.
Special Hindrances: Locksmiths have a -10% penalty to their Climb Walls ability and a -5% penalty to their Pick Pockets ability.
Wealth Options: They start with 4d4x10 gp.
Pest Controllers keep a stronghold free from rats, giant spiders, centipedes, carrion crawlers, kobolds, and other pests. They are experts at setting traps and in eradicating minor animal and monster nuisances.
Role: Pest Controllers are members of the Pest Control Guild. Through experience they learn all of a stronghold's tunnels, passages, and sewers. Although they perform an invaluable service keeping underground settlements habitable, their true worth becomes apparent when a stronghold is under attack. Then they use their expertise to rig traps along passages of expected enemy advance to slow and kill the invaders. Enemies entering a dwarf stronghold are likely to find their way beset with deadly traps.
As members of an adventuring party, Pest Controllers are useful to protect the party's camp area and to find and disarm traps set by others.
Secondary Skills: They should have the secondary skill of Trapper/Furrier.
Weapon Proficiencies: Pest Controllers usually carry daggers and darts, but may use any type of weapon normally permitted to thieves.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Animal Lore, Pest Control.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Blacksmithing, Blind-fighting, Carpentry, Direction Sense, Set Snares, Sign Language, Signalling, Stonemasonry, Tracking, Underground Survival, Weaponsmithing.
Equipment: Pest Controllers should equip themselves with cages and other traps. If one has the blacksmithing or weaponsmithing proficiencies it can be assumed he has built 1d4 traps before starting play.
Distinctive Appearance: Pest Controllers wear shiny black leather armor and black leather helmets.
Special Benefits: They gain a +5% bonus to their Move Silently and Find/Remove Traps abilities.
Special Hindrances: They have a -10% penalty to their Pick Pockets ability. Other dwarves, except Vermin Slayers and Wayfinders, consider them to be unsavory characters and react to them with a -2 penalty.
Wealth Options: They start with the standard 2d6x10 gp.
Multi-class warrior/thieves fill many specialist roles. With their ability to fight effectively, coupled with their thieving abilities, their services are much in demand. Warrior/thieves are often more than just the sum of their parts. The kits below describe some of the ways in which they fit into dwarf society.
Ghetto Fighters live in the ghettos of nondwarven towns or cities. Generally from poor families, they have had to look after themselves from an early age. The typical Ghetto Fighter has a hardbitten, self-centered attitude, developed in order to survive the rigors of the ghetto.
Ghetto Fighters may come from dwarf strongholds. In such cases they would be from poor clans with bad reputations. Such characters are always suspect to other dwarves, and they find it difficult to make a living by honest means.
Role: The Ghetto Fighter never forgets his lowly origins and may harbor resentments against dwarves who are better off. However, he stays true to his roots, and will try to better the lives of ghetto children.
Secondary Skills: A Ghetto Fighter may have any secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Weapon proficiencies available to Ghetto Fighters are determined by the campaign background. If the Ghetto Fighter is from a repressive city, most weapons may be forbidden to citizens, and dwarves may be especially restricted. It may be illegal for dwarves to possess any weapons within the city, with stiff fines or imprisonment the usual punishments. In such a city, a Ghetto Fighter would be restricted to concealed weapons; daggers or darts. In other societies, Ghetto Fighters may be allowed to be proficient in any weapon.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Disguise, Endurance.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Blind-fighting, Forgery, Gaming, Local History, Lip Reading, Sign Language, Tumbling, Ventriloquism.
Equipment: Ghetto Fighters should start play with thief's picks and a rope. Otherwise, they may equip themselves as they see fit.
Distinctive Appearance: Ghetto Fighters do not have a distinctive appearance, but many bear scars or have amputated fingers from street fighting. Some wear an eyepatch.
Special Benefits: A Ghetto Fighter gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage when using a dagger or knife. When attacking with two weapons, he does not suffer any penalty with his primary weapon, and only a -2 attack penalty with his secondary weapon (see the Players Handbook, page 96). If his secondary weapon is a dagger or knife, he still gains the +1 to attack and damage.
He gains a +5% modifier to his Pick Pockets and Hide in Shadows skills.
Special Hindrances: Ghetto Fighters have bad reputations with the authorities of the town, city, or stronghold in which they live. Law enforcement agents of the same town, city, or stronghold react at -3 to a Ghetto Fighter.
He suffers a -5% penalty to his chance to Find/Remove Traps.
Wealth Options: A Ghetto Fighter starts with only 3d4x10 gp.
Dwarf merchants who trade mainly with other races, the Traders seek to drive the hardest bargain they can. They usually deal in dwarven weapons, armor, and other metal goods, but will trade in uncut gems, iron, or other ores when there is a glut of them.
Traders transport their wares on mules or ponies, taking their goods to human and elven towns or cities where they sell them to local merchants. Some traders have established their own shops in such places, eliminating the middleman.
Role: They are often willing to travel vast distances in search of bargains. Some Traders deal with the races of the Underdark, particularly deep gnomes, and sometimes with drow or duergar. Others act as the only contact some mountain dwarf strongholds have with the outside world. Traders are vital to the strongholds, bringing in goods that local dwarves are unable to manufacture themselves.
Traders are adventurous by nature and are always looking for a good deal. Entire campaigns may be based around the activities of a Trader and his companions, transporting goods through hostile lands or in search of lost treasure.
Secondary Skills: Traders should have the Trader/Barterer secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Traders should be proficient in light crossbow and a concealable hand weapon such as a dagger, knife, or hand axe. Otherwise, they may be proficient in any weapon they choose.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Appraising, Endurance, Navigation.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Animal Handling, Direction Sense, Hunting, Local Dwarf History, Local History, Riding (Land Based), Survival (as appropriate), Underground Navigation.
Equipment: A Trader starts his career with a mule and packs and panniers for carrying goods and equipment.
Distinctive Appearance: Traders do not have to belong to a guild and have no standard appearance.
Special Benefits: A Trader gains a +1 to attack and damage only when protecting his goods or animals.
A Trader also gains a +1 reaction bonus from merchants and other traders. This bonus is based on his reputation as a fair and honest Trader. If he cheats on a deal and is later discovered, the bonus changes to a -2 penalty.
Special Hindrances: Traders have no special hindrances.
Wealth Options: A Trader starts with 4d4x10 gp.
The Vermin Slayer is a highly skilled specialist who enters the tunnel systems of monsters such as kobolds, goblins, and jermlaines, with the intention of eradicating them. Vermin Slayers are also adept at negotiating the constricted passages created by giant rats, centipedes, and other pests and vermin.
They are used to fighting in confined spaces and are experts at hiding in shadows, where they wait to surprise their prey.
Vermin Slayers are similar to Pest Controllers, but where a Pest Controller uses traps to catch his prey, Vermin Slayers actively hunt victims with light crossbows and hand axes or hammers.
A Vermin Slayer must have minimum scores of 14 in Strength and Dexterity.
Role: They belong to their own guild, which sells their services to those who require them. Many operate as freelancers, selling their skills to humans and other races who are experiencing problems with "vermin."
Within dwarf societies plagued by pests, Vermin Slayers are highly regarded. Their willingness to enter narrow tunnels is seen as commendable by other dwarves. In strongholds where they are not constantly employed, they are often viewed with suspicion and distaste. Many have been known to turn to illegal activities in order to support themselves, but their willingness to enter even sewers has proved their worth as recoverers of lost items and has earned them a reputation for being incredibly tough.
Outside of dwarf society, Vermin Slayers are something of an enigma. They do not readily fit the image other races have of the trades. Most humans are amazed that a skill as specialized as Vermin Slayers even exists. Even so, they easily find work in human cities as pest exterminators, and their services have often been called upon to eradicate bands of raiding kobolds and goblins from their lairs.
Secondary Skills: A Vermin Slayer should have the Hunter secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Vermin Slayers must be proficient in light crossbow and hand axe, hammer, or dagger. Many favor the specialist weapons of the close combat fighter. Generally, Vermin Slayers should choose fast weapons that require little space.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Endurance, Tracking, Underground Navigation.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Direction Sense, Sign Language, Underground Survival, Pest Control, Blind-fighting, Intimidation, Set Snares, Swimming.
Equipment: Vermin Slayers may spend their money on any kind of equipment. Depending on the current job, they have a wide variety of armor options available. If stealth is required, they should wear no more than leather armor. When seeking to destroy the opposition, metal armor may be worn, even though this causes their thief skills to be negated.
Most Vermin Slayers carry at least two light crossbows, allowing them to fire two shots before having to reload.
A new Vermin Slayer character receives a light crossbow, 10 bolts, and a quiver free of charge.
Distinctive Appearance: They are distinguished by the bandannas around their heads, and by their habit of hanging the dried heads or skulls of their vermin victims about their waists.
Special Benefits: Vermin Slayers receive a +5% bonus to their Find/Remove Traps, Detect Noise, and Move Silently skills. Because of their special training, Vermin Slayers receive a +1 bonus to attack and a +2 bonus to damage with one chosen hand weapon, when fighting small sized creatures. They receive a -1 initiative bonus anytime they are fighting in a restricted tunnel or passage.
Special Hindrances: Vermin Slayers have a -10% penalty to their Pick Pockets skill and a -5% penalty to their Read Languages skill.
They are not trained to fight large creatures, so ogres, trolls, ogre magi, giants, and titans find them easier to attack than other dwarves. Large creatures are only penalized -2 when attacking Vermin Slayers.
Wealth Options: Vermin Slayers receive the standard 5d4x10 gp starting gold, plus their free light crossbow, 10 bolts, and quiver.
The Wayfinder is a hardy mix of warrior and thief who usually operates independently of other dwarves. He cares for himself, acting on his own initiative, and is able to survive for long periods of time on a minimum of food.
A Wayfinder must have a minimum Intelligence of 12.
Role: Wayfinders are traditionally employed as underground explorers and spies. They chart the best routes underground, note supplies of food and water, and mark down the location of any mineral deposits they find.
Wayfinders are frequently employed to explore new areas for mining and to chart underground waterways. This is the only dwarf kit with Swimming as a bonus proficiency.
The dwarven military employs them as underground scouts and guides. These intrepid explorers frequently venture into monster-infested caverns in order to learn the numbers and positions of guards, and any weakness in the monster defenses. Once they have reported their intelligence, they guide the dwarf troops to the locations, following their own mapped routes.
In human society the Wayfinder has found employment with mine owners, prospectors, and parties of adventurers. The Wayfinder's combat and thief skills make him doubly useful to his colleagues.
Some Wayfinders have become very rich discovering lodes of the finest silver, gold, and even mithril during their explorations. Their ability to find alternate routes makes hiding the discovery from their employers a simple task, and then they can exploit it themselves.
Secondary Skills: A Wayfinder should have the Navigator secondary skill.
Weapon Proficiencies: Wayfinders may chose any weapon proficiencies permitted to warriors and thieves.
Bonus Nonweapon Proficiencies: Endurance, Swimming, Underground Navigation, Underground Survival.
Recommended Nonweapon Proficiencies: Alertness, Blind-fighting, Direction Sense, Fungi Recognition, Herbalism, Local Dwarf History, Locksmithing, Mining, Modern Languages, Rope Use, Set Snares, Sign Language, Signalling, Slow Respiration, Tracking.
Equipment: Wayfinders should start with a suit of leather armor and a shield. They should carry basic survival equipment such as ropes, pitons, a hammer, food supplies, waterskin, etc.
Distinctive Appearance: They usually dress in black leather armor and carry black shields. Unlike most dwarves, their beards are either worn very short or braided into tight ringlets, which give their chins a jagged appearance.
Special Benefits: They gain a +10% bonus to their Hide in Shadows and Move Silently skills. They are also able to learn languages easily. Each language learned by a Wayfinder costs only half its listed number of slots. So, for the cost of one slot, a Wayfinder could learn both the Sign and Goblin Language proficiencies.
Special Hindrances: Wayfinders have a -10% penalty to their Pick Pockets and Read Languages skills.
They are not quite trusted by other dwarves due to their independent nature. The fact that some Wayfinders have cheated on their employers in the past has deepened the distrust. As a result, Wayfinders have -2 reaction penalty when dealing with other dwarves. This penalty is ignored in situations where a Wayfinder's services are being actively sought; then their independent nature is viewed more positively. Other dwarves will remain suspicious of a Wayfinder's motives.
Wealth Options: Wayfinders start with the usual 5d4x10 gp for multi-classed warriors.