Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thematic Pathfinder Race - Dwarf

OK, now Dwarves

...but first, another house rule that I’d implement if using these new racial traits: Ability Score improvements gained due to leveling should be either a +2 bonus to one stat or +1 bonus to 2 stats (I believe D&D 5E does that). I’m not sure how much this scrambles with Pathfinder’s RAW balance, but the option above should fit better with my racial talents.

The only part about this take on Dwarves is that I found nothing to do with was the “+2 to Wisdom” aspect of the original mechanics. I thought about a some racial talent that allowed dwarves to gain a kind of daily short rest (from D&D 5E) in order to recover perhaps a spell slot or daily class ability but found the idea too complicated/powerful. I also wasn’t satisfied with giving Dwarves any boost to divine spells in specific (they aren’t that pious in my mind).

Also, as mentioned in a previous post of this series, the idea is that Ability Score bonus are now something given by the character’s class taken at 1st level (like 13th Age). There’re no Ability Score racial adjustments, bonuses or penalties. Instead of the later, I tried to come up with a more flavorful mechanic (and ended with something closer to FATE… hope you don’t mind).

You can check here and here for the first posts.


Dwarves are Medium-sized humanoids [dwarf] with speed of 20 ft.

Starting 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.

Racial Traits

Slow and Steady: your speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance. Enemies trying to bull rush or trip you must roll twice and pick the worst result.

Hardy: once per day, you can reroll a Constitution check or Fortitude save roll. You ignore the first time each day that you’re fatigued, exhausted or poisoned.

Stonecunning: once per day, you can reroll one Ability or Skill check directed related to a rocky terrain or stonework, like a Perception check to note a secret stone door or a Survival check to find tracks in a cave  (the GM has the final word, the idea is that Dwarves are spiritually attuned to stone).
You can tell when you’re within 1 mile of the surface (either the “true Surface” or just a big underworld or vault) and which way is up or down (you can’t be fooled by artificial gravity and can always feel if you’re moving up or down).
You have darkvision up to 60 feet.

You must choose also either the Greed or Gruffness Racial talents at 1st level. These are special talents that reflect either the dwarves’ legendary gruffness or their often/sometimes mistaken greed

Greed: once per day, you can choose to suffer an attack of opportunity or otherwise spent a full-round action trying to get (or just staring hungrily at) any valuable object made of precious metal or gems. Outside of combat, you must get into to trouble in an attempt to fetch a valuable item of precious metal or with gems. If your GM accepts the trouble, you gain a new daily use of any of your racial traits.

Gruffness: once per day, at the start of any non-combat encounter, you can automatically worse an NPC (or group of NPCs) attitude toward you (and the party) by one step (from Indifferent to Unfriendly, or from Unfriendly to Hostile, for example). If the GM accepts, you gain a new daily use of any of your racial traits. Just seeing or hearing you bring up some unpleasant memories or prejudices about “dwarven honor and sincerity”.

Finally, also at 1st level, you can choose Dwarvencraft, Dwarven Fighting Style, Dwarven Grudge, Giantslayer or Wisdom of Rock and Root as a bonus Racial Talent.

Dwarven Racial Talents

Racial Talents are exclusive abilities that can be acquired during advancement. You can substitute an Ability Score increase for one of the following Racial Talents.

Dwarf-Friend Oath: you consider your party members to be Dwarf-Friends, a rare honor (and a yet rarer attitude among dwarves). Once per day, as an immediate action, you can switch places with an adjacent Dwarf-Friend as if you’re the original target of the attack.

Dwarvencraft: when rolling an Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Spellcraft or Use Magic Device check on a dwarven-made object or on an item forged with precious metals or gems, you can roll twice and pick the best result.
Instead of rolling twice, you can choose to roll a Spellcraft skill check (even if untrained) do determine if any one of the above items are magical (as if casting detect magic).
Finally, with your GM approval, this racial talent allows you to buy item creation feats using your character level instead of spellcaster level (if you’re not a spellcaster, you’ll probably have to buy the necessary scrolls or otherwise acquire a spellcaster’s help to fulfill other item’s requisites). Remember that you can only craft dwarven items or objects forged with precious metals and gems.

Dwarven Fighting Style: you are proficient with battleaxes, heavy picks, and warhammers, and treat any weapon with the word "dwarven" in its name as a martial weapon.
If you are already proficient with any of the weapons above due to a class feature, you gain a daily reroll to attack rolls, combat maneuver checks or damage rolls with those weapons.

Dwarven Grudge: once per day, you can reroll one attack roll, combat maneuver check or damage roll against humanoid creatures of the orc and goblinoid subtypes. Instead of a reroll you can choose to automatically confirm a critical hit (If you want to incite/provoke your dwarven players, add the elf subtype to the above list).

Giantslayer (Version I): creatures of the giant subtype must roll twice and pick the worst result with attack rolls and combat maneuver checks made against you (What if an ogre try to bull rush your dwarf with Giantslayer and Slow and Steady racial talents… I don’t know the math, but roll 3d20 and pick the worst).

Giantslayer (Version II): once per day you can choose to suffer half damage from any extraordinary, spell-like or supernatural attack used by a creature of Large size or bigger against you.

(I really can’t decide which version of Giantslayer to use… maybe I’ll keep both. In this case, you can buy either version – or both. I expanded the trigger range of Verson II because otherwise I think it wouldn’t be of much use)

Stoneblood: the good news is that you’re immune to poison. The bad news is that you’re literally so attuned to stone that once asleep you’re only awaken by damage or after some 16-32 hours (you still requires only 8 hour of sleep to recover hit points, class abilities and such).
Requisite: Dwarf character level 8th.

Wisdom of Rock and Root: once per day, you can reroll a Sense Motive skill check or Will save roll (dwarves are famous for being suspicious and stubborn).

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