Saturday, April 11, 2020

[Labyrinth Lord] 20-Level Dwarf Class

Requirements: Constitution 9+
Prime Requisite: Strength
Hit Dice: 1d8 (1d10 Advanced Edition Option)

Artist Larry Elmore
Dwarves have a reputation for having surly attitudes and are particularly gruff with elves. Dwarves value precious metals and stones, and usually live underground or in semi-subterranean structures. Dwarves are stout, short, bearded* demi-humans who average a height of approximately 3’10” to 4’ and weigh about 120 to 150 pounds. Dwarves typically live for 350 to 450 years. Dwarves have skin, hair, and eye colors in earth tones. * Consult your Labyrinth Lord regarding dwarf women and beards in her campaign.

Male dwarves have a base height of 4’0”, females 3’10”. To this (d6) 1-3 Subtract or 4-6 Add 1d6”. 

Male dwarves have a base weight of 150 pounds, females 120 pounds. To this (d6) 1-3 Subtract or 4-6 Add 3d6 pounds.

Dwarves generally start out at 35+4d6 years of age, but, consult with your Labyrinth Lord to see if there are options to begin play older.

Age provides the following modifiers to 1st level characters:

  • Adolescent (35 to 55) -1 to Wisdom and +1 to Constitution. 
  • Adult (56 to 149)  +1 to Strength and +1 to Constitution. 
  • Middle-Aged (150 to 249) +1 to Intelligence and +1 to Wisdom. 
  • Elderly (250 to 349) -2 to Strength, -1 to Dexterity, -1 to Constitution, +1 to Intelligence, and +2 to Wisdom. 
  • Venerable (350 to 450) -3 to Strength, -2 to Dexterity, -2 to Constitution, +2 to Intelligence, and +3 to Wisdom.
These numbers include all cumulative adjustments.

Doughty Warriors: At 2nd level dwarves gain a +1 bonus to hit humanoids (kobolds, goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, and half-orcs); this bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, +3 at 14th, and +4 at 19th. Dwarves gain additional attacks when wielding a battle axe or war hammer: at 1st to 4th level they have the usual 1 attack per round; 5th to 9th they have 3 attacks every 2 rounds; at 10th to 14th 2 attacks per round; at 15th to 19th 5 attacks every 2 rounds; and at 20th level 3 attacks per round. Beginning at 3rd level a dwarf can tinker with his crossbow such that he can attack with it every round, rather than every other round; this requires one day of work and materials equal to the cost of the crossbow (this only works for the dwarf, and the crossbow is ruined if he rolls a “Natural 1” to hit).

Dwarven Senses: Due to their habit of living underground in mines, dwarves have the ability to see in the dark with infravision up to 60’. This increases to 90’ at 6th level and 120’ at 17th level.

Hardy Folk: Dwarves are hardy beings, resistant to magic and poison, and as such they have better saving throws to defend against these effects. In addition, their small size grants them better chances to finding cover and avoiding breath attacks. Dwarves do not have to rest after forced marches. At 13th level dwarves suffer half damage on a failed save versus Breath Attack and one-quarter damage on a successful save.

Languages: Dwarves speak their alignment tongue, Common, and Dwarvish. Because of their frequent interaction underground with these creatures, dwarves also speak Gnomish, Goblin, and Kobold.

Short & Stout: Due to their short height, dwarves cannot use two-handed swords or longbows. However, they can use any other weapons or armor. At 4th level ogres, trolls, giants, and titans suffer a -1 penalty to hit the dwarf in combat; this penalty increases to -2 at 7th level, -3 at 12th level, and -4 at 16th level.

Stonecunning: From their experience underground, dwarves have a 2 in 6 (1-2 on 1d6) chance of detecting traps, false walls, hidden construction, or noticing if passages are sloped. Dwarves must be actively searching for these abilities to function. This chance increases to 3 in 6 at 11th level, and 4 in 6 at 18th level.

Reaching 9th Level:  When a dwarf reaches 9th level, he has the option of creating an underground stronghold that will attract dwarves from far and wide. Dwarves usually live in clans, so dwarves of the character’s clan will be attracted to live under his roof, but dwarves from other clans will also come and live nearby to be ruled by the character. A dwarf ruler is able to hire dwarven soldiers or mercenaries, but, may only hire members of other races for other tasks, such as human alchemists or elves for spell casting.

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Note: In the Original Edition, all dwarf saving throws were at 4 levels higher than those of a fighter. Thus, a 1st level dwarf fighter made saving throws as though he were a 5th level fighter. As this increase did not exactly match the three-level steps of the fighter class, the dwarf did not receive the full benefit of their saving throw bonuses with the basic progression. Also, the Cook Expert Edition further caused issues by starting dwarves and halflings at 1st to 3rd level with the saving throws of 7th to 9th level fighters, instead of only 4th to 6th level fighters (whereas the Moldvay Basic Edition had the proper starting levels for dwarf and halfling saving throws)! The Dwarf Saving Throws (Corrected) chart below has been corrected from the original errors in calculating dwarf saving throws. It is not as generous, but it more closely fits the intent of the original design.

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