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[Let's Read] The Complete Books of Demihumans and Humanoids

MacBalance

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Elves was somewhat epicly done here, wasn't it? Even the author showed up and apologized for some of the weirder bits?

Good to read the dwarf coverage.

I think Dragonlance did some interesting stuff with Dwarves with the exception of the Gully Dwarves: The existing dwarf subtypes were heavily used as clans (or a clan-of-clans arrangement, perhaps?) from what was truly a formerly monolithic race with a single identifiable homeland, and still had roots in that homeland. So in the Dwarven homeland you'd potentially see all sorts of different dwarves living in relative harmony, even if some of them were identified as the General Evil House Slytherin of Dwarfdom.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

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I'm also surprised nobody's commenting on the whole "dwarves are good and yet believe they have the right to pursue genocide and slavery of certain races just because they dub them evil" thing. Especially since I took the line about "work camps" implying a certain... motif. A... solution to an ongoing problem, as it were?
You kind of get numb to it.
 

Naxuul

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I'm also surprised nobody's commenting on the whole "dwarves are good and yet believe they have the right to pursue genocide and slavery of certain races just because they dub them evil" thing. Especially since I took the line about "work camps" implying a certain... motif. A... solution to an ongoing problem, as it were?
I'd say it's your basic problem of that you have to write about a species that has been given Lawful Good as it's base alignment but is also involved in long term blood feuds and who's fantasy archetype is not exactly saintly.

Though a lot of old TSR alignment issues go away if you think of them less as moral behavior and more as particular metaphysical factions.

-Naxuul
 

s/LaSH

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I'd say it's your basic problem of that you have to write about a species that has been given Lawful Good as it's base alignment but is also involved in long term blood feuds and who's fantasy archetype is not exactly saintly.

Though a lot of old TSR alignment issues go away if you think of them less as moral behavior and more as particular metaphysical factions.

-Naxuul
There's something interesting here, actually.

What if dwarves really aren't naturally, or even culturally, Lawful Good? It's an aspiration, and a relatively recent one that they haven't quite got a handle on yet. The old dwarven ways sometimes (often) clash with their understanding of how they ought to behave. But it's very important that they follow this new path, so they're constantly reminding themselves of what is right.

What sort of people need this active aspiration?

Well, monsters, basically.

Once upon a time there were monsters in the deep caverns. Strong and tough and territorial, able to make raids on the surface but likewise at home in the stony dark. Bone-gnawers, spell-breakers, architects of weird and cruel edifices to purposes best forgotten. Some say they were the missing link between goblins and giants, and they certainly welcomed such creatures into their halls.

Then one day the mightiest king of their kind, who we shall call the Conqueror on account of the many crowns he hewed from the skulls of their bearers, sought a way to make his realm last forever. He cast a mighty oracle, a ritual of many surface days. And the result came back to him: Evil shall destroy you.

He pondered this for many years, during which his allies betrayed him many times. On the brink of defeat from traitors and the heroes of the surface alike, he eventually made the decree: Dwarves are monsters no more. We shall renounce our wicked ways and ally with the forces of good.

The rest you know. With the fervour of the converted, dwarves turned against their goblin and giantish allies. They remain cautious of outsiders, because at one point the whole world was turned against them. They mimic demihumans: obviously they took up shaving the women, but what they don't tell you is how they groom the men to look more acceptable too, nor what a real dwarf looks like.

But dwarves always were creatures of the dungeon. They're more at home down there than they care to admit.
 

VoidDrifter

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...And now I realize why nobody had commented on the "dwarven practicing of genocide"; because that's a chapter 3 titbit and I've only posted chapter 2! Boy, do I feel stupid now. Let me make amends for it.

The Complete Book of Dwarves
Chapter 3: Your Life as a Dwarf
At 10 pages long, this densely packed chapter is our longest chapter yet, covering a vast array of information on the dwarven culture and, to a lesser extent, mentality.

The first subchapter covers Clans, the foundation of the dwarven society. Clans, we're told, are based on extended familial groups who can trace their lineage back to a common ancestor by blood or marriage. Somewhat contradicting itself, we're told first that clans specialize in a particular craft or skill, and then that this is only the case in major strongholds; in smaller ones, clans may practice a number of different crafts. This is a natural extension of the dwarven tendency to focus on specialization rather than generalization; the typical dwarf would rather master a single craft to its peak than master several crafts but not truly excel in others. Strongholds, then, are born out of the need for multiple clans to live in close proximity so they can trade for necessities they can't produce themselves.

Most clans are concerned with the manufacture of goods and services. Other clans specialize in military roles; these tend to produce the dedicated soldiers of a stronghold, and often are the foundation of elite specialist units, such as sharpshooters or hearth guards. Even the overall political mangement of a stronghold is typically considered the responsibility of a dedicated clan, hence the dwarven tendency towards kings and sub-kings. Priesthoods can either be tied intimately into a clan structure, or exist outside of the clan structure and take in dwarves from other clans, depending on the god in question.

Superior even to clans are Guilds, which are extra-clan legislative bodies that govern all matters relating to trade. Weights and measures, quality and pricing, all of this is determined by a given guild and clans that practice that guild's trade had better adhere, or else. Guilds are officially supposed to be politically seperate from clans, who are run by the eldest dwarves of each clan, but when a clan elder is a guild master, the lines can blur. However, guilds are only linked to a singular stronghold, so different strongholds have different Guilds of Bakers - add in the dwarven tendency to think of their way as "the right way", fueled by stubbornness and an innate inability to compromise, and this is why dwarves don't get so well with each other.

This monopoly on craftmanship means that a new clan is born when dwarves seek to learn a craft outside of that practiced by their birth clan; the only way to do this is by apprenticing themselves to another dwarf clan. Vowing to protect the secrets of their former guild, the expatriate relinquishes all membership in their clan; after completing their apprenticeship, the dwarf must either marry into their teacher's clan, or leave the stronghold of their birth and found a new one elsewhere. Such expatriates may share ties of blood, but are no longer considered to be part of the clan proper - their immediate family ties remain strong, but the help they can offer is limited, and certain does not apply to matters of trade or daily life.

Because a clan is fundamentally a vastly extended family, it cares for the sick and injured, but expects them to work to maintain the clan's welfare and reputation; cheats or those who don't pull their weight will be scolded and socially pressured to shape up, then punished by ostracisim, which means that none of their clan will help them and their guild will cut off their ability to work. Those who do not mend their ways will be cast out.

All in all, dwarf clans and the relationships between them are highly complex and convoluted, which the book straight-up admits. It explains that dwarves prioritize their loyalties; family first, clan second, guild third, stronghold fourth, allied strongholds fifth. It's their naturally strong protective instincts and sheer stubborn pride that keeps the race organized as a whole.

After this lengthy examination of clans, we move on to how the dwarven insistence on living underground affects their world-view. For one thing, it has given the race a vast ego; they view themselves as the dominant race in the world, its primary force of civilization and culture. Living in the earth's depths, they are indifferent to the surface, and dismissively regard the other races who squabble over the surface above as their inferiors, not worth paying attention to.

Dwarves have also developed a deep reverence of earth and stone, and through this a cultural love of stability and permanency. They fear the sea for its ever-changing nature and its propensity towards tempests; it is the embodiment of chaos, antithesis of the safe, womblike caverns that are their homes. Because the world is solid and constant, the dwarven viewpoint is that life should be conducted in the same manner, leading to recurring themes of solidity and reliability in their world-view. This love of stability goes hand in hand with a love of law and order.

The dwarven preference to stone and metal over wood stems in one part from this belief, and one part from their longevity; dwarves live long enough to see wooden items rot away, so they believe wood is simply inferior; building well means building to last, and vice versa.

Our next subject is craft and wealth. The dwarven affinity for craftsmanship stems in one part from their cultural definition of wealth - they prize objects for their intrinsic beauty, not commercial value - and in another part from their long, exacting apprenticeships. The average dwarf apprentices for 25 years, being inculcated all the while with the maxim that a job worth doing is worth doing well. Working is no chore to dwarves, it is an almost sacred act; they are making things of beauty that will last, making work an act of artistic expression. They consequently can't understand why other races consider work to be a chore.

Gold isn't valuable to dwarves because it's worth money; it's because it's naturally beautiful and pliable. Gold lends itself to the kind of ornate, intricately detailed crafting that dwarves revere, and thus they value it so. Gemstones are similarly prized because they are so inherently tied to the earth, perfect symbols of its unchanging beauty - dwarves do not sell gold for less than its current value, but value gemstones by their beauty.

Incidentally, dwarves do not value pearls, and shun them, as they are born of flesh rather than earth and tied to the treacherous sea. Pearls are gathered by dwarves only for their trade value.

But, in general, dwarves value all metals, for different qualities, from platinum having gold's quality but greater rarity to the iron ore from which they construct everything they need.

Now we take the time to discuss individualism. Despite their cultural emphasis on the need to respect privacy and to sustain order, they are considered a fairly individualistic race. They just don't share their views very often, and when annoyed that their views are not being heard, attempt to bear their distress stoically... in reality tending to become sullen, which all together explains their reputation as a grumpy, taciturn race.

Strangely, folded into this topic is the dwarven view of wealth. Namely, dwarves view it as a private matter, something that should be hidden; flaunting wealth is an act of extremely bad manners, as one should keep one's personal wealth for private delights. Displaying a dwarf's wealth is an act extended only to their closest family or cherished friends, unless they are powerful and respected enough that they are expected to make some open display of their wealth (even then, dwarves loath ostentatious displays). A dwarf revealing his wealth to another is not only sharing the joy he takes from his beautiful possesions, but he is saying "I trust you, friend, I believe that you will not steal from me or harm me; you are a true friend". This is quite different to the human or elven viewpoint, where displaying one's wealth is an invitation for others to admire its beauty.

One exception to displaying wealth is when it is done through excellent craftsmanship in utilitarian items. To a dwarf, a beautifully crafted axe that is function is not ostentatious, even despite its gilding and its inlaid gems. The book notes that other races find it hard to follow the reasoning, despite dwarves claiming the distinction is not subjective.

And now we come to emotions; dwarves are a private people, who have difficulty expressing emotion, as their culture is structured to make displays of anger, envy, jealosy and hatred unneccessary; when they are felt, it's usually directed outside of the stronghold. Due to their very different cultural perceptions on what is mannerly, dwarves find the other races greatly distressing, but because they bottle up their resentment until it explodes, this has given rise to the reputation of dwarves as grumpy, taciturn, stubborn and unyielding.

And now scaling back a page or two, let's talk about dwarven humor: it does exist, but dwarven jokes are... cultural. As a culture fixated on order and stability, pranks are not funny - they are assaults on another's dignity, and inherently disrespectful - and nor do they see the amusement in jokes about personal suffering or failure (though they do have a very black humor when it comes to their racial enemies). What dwarves find entertaining are clever stories... the problem is that ALL dwarf stories follow a very standard narrative pattern, which is long-running, and bogged down with an abundance of minutia about genealogies and catalogs of dwarven concerns, making them hard for other races to follow and the actual "punch paragraph" hard to "get". In a nutshell, dwarven humor does not rely on the delivery of one liners, but on the slow presentation of a chapter - if not an entire book.

Dwarves are basically good people, seeking to harm no one and preferring to be left alone. But they are highly critical of the other races; they are willing to perservere in the face of what they see as "insults and inexplicable behavior", but they have little patience for the "failings" they see in the other races. Humans "simlply do things wrong", elves "lack the simplest of virtues (patience, diligence, consistency)", and the gnomish obsession with practical jokes is a huge source of friction. A slightly later sidebar addresses dwarven isolationism, noting that dwarves are so clannish by nature that they frequently distrust other strongholds - mountain dwarves in particular dislike hill dwarves, who they view as tainted by their willing proximity to other races.

So, naturally, we have to move on from there to the dwarven attitude towards the evil races they frequently battle; orcs, goblinoids, drow and giants. And that attitude can be summed up in just one word: genocide. Dwarves view themselves as being in a racial war in which there can be no peace until one side has been completely exterminated. It's said that some strongholds will even enslave their traditional enemies and work them in labor camps! ...Yeah, this is clearly based on Gygax's own views on Lawful Good, and you can tell this was written by a man who once described orcs using the "lice make nits" analogy.

So, after that cheery little divergence we, strangely, move on to topics covering dwarf family life. We learned earlier about clans, but now we're presented with the immediate dwarf family unit, the hearth; patriarch and matriarch, children, and grandchildren, all living in the same dwelling. Taht said, it only traces a single line of descent; ones cousins, uncles and aunts aren't part of the hearth, but instead part of the greater clan. This breeds an extremely close-knit family unit.

Dwarves are not a romantic people. Arranged marriages are the norm, handled by clan elders. But this anti-romanticism is a cultural trait, enforced by biology; female dwarves make up only a third of the population, which poses issues when dwarven culture expects lifelong monogamy. But this itself is tempered with practicality; widowers are forbidden to remarry, but widows are always remarried after a year of mourning. Divorce is prohibited; couples that grow apart simply settle into a loveless marriage, focusing on rearing their children and otherwise stoically tolerating each others' presence.

For obvious reasons, a third of all dwarves will never marry - other sourcebooks, namely "Dwarves Deep", which addresses the issue of dwarves in the Forgotten Realms, will claim that these dwarves often seek gnome, halfling or human spouses, as the progeny of such couples of functionally indistinguishable from pureblood dwarves. Mind you, dwarves in that setting also suffer from widespread infertility issues, a result of catastrophic internecine wars where different factions exploited a monster called a deepspawn to generate an endless legion of clones to replenish their depleted ranks.

Dwarves reproduce "slowly" by human standards, taking a full year to gestate, and never birth more than twins at a time. Most families will only ever have one or two children, which is seen as a virtue because it allows them to focus on giving the best care and education to that single child - quality over quantity. Dwarf children spend the first ten years of their life cared for in their hearth, learning the rudiments of their clan's craft, how to speak, their traditions and their history. The children of a clan are typically gathered into a single nursery, for practical reasons.

From the age of 10 to 25, children undergo formal education; at their 25th birthday, they come of age and are formally recognized and then presented to a clan's guildmaster to begin their twenty five years of apprenticeship. They live in either a dormitory or with their master at his or her hearth, but are allowed 1 day a week to visit their family.

Dwarves are not considered adults until they have completed their apprenticeship at the age of 50. At this point, they become eligible for marriage; female dwarves are mostly expected to get married at this point, although females from the military clans frequently delay marriage. Young males are rarely chosen; dwarf elders prefer to select male spouses who have amassed a suitable level of stability and respect, so it usually isn't until a dwarf is at least in his 60s that he has a chance of being picked as a husband, although prodigious workers may be picked earlier.

This, incidentally, is a frequent source of dwarven adventurers; seeking to enhance their chances of scoring a bride by returning with great wealth and powerful magical items. This is especially true for males from the military clans.

An adult dwarf works 8-12 hours a day, though those with children are limited to 8 hours; they're expected to spend those extra four hours being with their children. They also sleep for eight hours a day. Time in between work and sleep is theirs to do with as they please; they usual visit the hearths of married relatives or go to the great halls for feasting, stories, and entertainers - jugglers, acrobats and other skillful performers.

On the subject of entertainment, dwarves love to sing, although their culture emphasizes group singing over singular performances; common themes include the beauty of the earth, famous deeds of valor, the construction of magnificent edifices, or lamentations - the death of loved ones or great heroes, or the falls of strongholds. Though they take a long time to perform, the combination of the rich baritone dwarven voice, the acoustic harmonics of their halls, and the well-written story behind each song makes them a masterful experience. Dwarves also play instruments, predominantly flute,s horns, bagpipes, drums and other percussion instruments, with their music having either martial or mournful characteristics. Generally, they keep song and music separate, although a few special songs are made to be combined with instruments.

Finally, we examine the dwarven diet and clothing. Dwarves have a preference for meat, but supplement their food with grain, vegetables and fungi. They avoid spices or heavy seasoning, which gives them a reputation for bland but wholesome food. The staple meal is thick, hearty stews and bread. It's noted that gully dwarves are wretched scavengers who eat anything indiscriminately, making them prone to indigestion and other abdominal disorders - later Dragonlance sources will contradict this, stating that whilst the food they have to work with is... less than inherently appealing, gully dwarves are actually very skilled chefs, since food is about the only crafting skill of worth they have to take pride in.

Dwarven clothing, finally, is heavy, somber-colored, and serviceable. Made from thick wool or spun strands of fungi, paired with tanned leather boots, belts and hats, its primary function is keeping dwarves warm in the cooler parts of their underground homes. It's stated that dwarven clothing seems uniformly drab, as it's based on grays and browns, but the dwarven language has over 500 words for rock, and almost as many to describe different rock hues; as such, this seemingly bland color scheme can convey much about a dwarf's clan and status.

Closing Thoughts:
In terms of sheer quantity, this is our best chapter yet, brimming with social details. In terms of quality... eh. It has its high points, its low points, and its "my god did you really just say that?!" points. There are good ideas and there are bad ideas here.

For starters, the complex hearth-clan-guild-stronghold structure only really makes sense if the dwarves are themselves a very numerous race, because how else would they have the numbers needed to allow for such hyper-specialization in clan production? But then you have the combination of an extremely long gestation rate and a markedly unbalanced gender ratio, so how did they ever amass the numbers to form such a complex society in the first place? Plus, I don't really like the idea of dwarf women as this marginalized branch of the species, where biological imperative compels them to remain in the stronghold focused on breeding. I think I saw a argument somewhere that one of the reasons female D&D players tend to not like dwarves is because of the "dwarf women are stay-at-home moms and/or bearded freaks" narrative associated with D&D. There's a reason 3e stripped both of those aspects away, even if I think 4th edition had more attractive female dwarf art.

As an aside, I really like the two sketches in this chapter, where the dwarf women are presented as respectable, natural and fitting into the obvious slice-of-life scenarios; a shot of a market street and a smaller piece of a dwarf lady dancing on a table to the raucous approval of the tavern-goers. It's amazing how much more natural this feels than the awkward bearded women artwork of other dwarf-related splatbooks for the Forgotten Realms.

One thing that really bugs me in this chapter is the underlying tone of dwarf supremacy. People have called the Complete Book of Elves out for its tone of "elves are the best race and can do no wrong", but this book, to me, seems to give it precedent by applying the same treatment to dwarves. Which is clearly not justified, given the obvious racial flaws of self-righteousness, arrogance and hypocrisy on display.

Despite its flaws, there are interesting ideas here, so long as you want to just do the monoculture that AD&D branded all of its dwarves with.
 

Theodoric

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Plus, I don't really like the idea of dwarf women as this marginalized branch of the species, where biological imperative compels them to remain in the stronghold focused on breeding. I think I saw a argument somewhere that one of the reasons female D&D players tend to not like dwarves is because of the "dwarf women are stay-at-home moms and/or bearded freaks" narrative associated with D&D. There's a reason 3e stripped both of those aspects away, even if I think 4th edition had more attractive female dwarf art.

As an aside, I really like the two sketches in this chapter, where the dwarf women are presented as respectable, natural and fitting into the obvious slice-of-life scenarios; a shot of a market street and a smaller piece of a dwarf lady dancing on a table to the raucous approval of the tavern-goers. It's amazing how much more natural this feels than the awkward bearded women artwork of other dwarf-related splatbooks for the Forgotten Realms.
Yeah, it's complicated, 'though at least this book goes a bit beyond the cliches. One of my favourite things in 5e's Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes section on Dwarves is art of a two kids jumping on their well-armored mother by a hearth (page 66; still trying to find a link to it). It's very obviously Dwarven, tells a lot about their values, without any cliché sullen stocky guys with beards.
 
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Silvercat Moonpaw

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After reading about the clan structure and holding their emotions in and whatnot it's occurred to me that dwarves shouldn't have combat bonuses against goblins and giants......they should have bonuses against dwarves! I'm imagining something like the Warhammer dwarf reputation for grudges combined with the narrative of feuding clans: dwarves just don't "talk it out" till they reach bursting and do something that inspires one of those epic lamentations that gets an entire clan riled up to take revenge and etc. And it's going to be dwarves who are the targets no matter what the other races do because taking revenge on someone of another race is beneath dwarven dignity.

(Mostly it's just a way to replace the skeevy feeling of racism the usual "vs goblins and giants" bonuses give me.)
 

Outremer

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I rather like duergars. They're definitely not very nice, but they're not super-evil like the drow. You can hope to interact with them peacefully (though you should never trust them, obviously). And in general, they seem very close to "normal" dwarves in many ways : it's just that they're more distrustful, more bitter, more xenophobic, and almost entirely without compassion for members of other races.

The sundered dwarves remind me a bit of the Fianawar of Taladas.

Regarding female dwarves, Pratchett did some very interesting things with the idea that they're nearly impossible to distinguish from males. But in general, I much prefer them to be beardless.
 

Crinos

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I kind of go halfway on the Dwarves with beards thing. The fact is that their standards of beauty regarding facial hair are the complete opposite of hiumans, where Males are expected to have beards, and a beardless male is considered ugly or unseemly, but meanwhile female Dwarves have no real taboos regarding facial hair, so they can wear beards or not wear beards as their preference.
 

VoidDrifter

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Alright, it's been a while, so have a two-for-one; the meaty Chapter 4, and the briefly detailed chapter 5.

The Complete Book of Dwarves
Chapter 4: Character Creation
Opening with a bit of flavor text, a hill dwarf describing the other dwarf races that is hilarious in how incredibly racist he is and how oblivious he is to his own hypocrisy, this starts addressing the mechanics for making dwarf PCs.

The first segment of the chapter lists the unique racial traits of each of the dwarf subraces from back in chapter 2. These will also tie into the racial limits on class level, but those are deeper into the chapter, making referencing harder than it should be. Same deal with the racial adjustment to thieving skills.

Hill Dwarves get +1 Constitution and -1 Charisma, they require minimums of Strength 8 and Constitution 11, and have maximums of 17 in Dexterity and Charisma. They have infravision to 60 feet. They can reach 15th level as Warriors, 10th level as Priests, and 12th level as Thieves. Speaking of which, hill dwarf thieves get +10% to Open Locks and +15% to Find/Remove traps, but suffer a -10% penalty to their Climb Walls and -5% to Read Languages. They live for 350 years.

Mountain Dwarves are... all but identical! Their Charisma maxes out at 16, but their Constitution can reach 19. They can reach 16th level in Warrior and they live 400 years, a good 50 years on their hill dwarf relatives.

Deep Dwarves are more powerful than either of the aforementioned. They get +2 Constitution, and -2 Charisma, with a minimum Constititon of 13 and Strength of 8. Their Dexterity and Charisma are capped at 16 and 15, respectively, but they can reach 19 Constition. They gain a +1 bonus to their Constitution-based magic/poison saving throw ability, but suffer a -1 penalty to all rolls within bright sunlight or continual light. They can reach 14th level as Warriors, 12th level as Priests, and 10th level as Thieves. Deep Dwarf thieves get +5% to Pick Pockets and Hide in Shadows, and +10% to Find/Remove Traps, but suffer a -10% penalty to Climb Walls and a -15% penalty to Read Languages. Due to their power, deep dwarf characters have an experience growth penalty of +10%, so they need to gain that much more XP to gain levels. They live for up to 380 years.

Duergar are even more powerful than Deep Dwarves. Though they share the same -2 Charisma, their Constitution bonus is only +1. Their Deterity, Intelligence and Charisma are capped at 17, 16 nd 15 respectively, whilst they require a minimum of 8 Strength and 11 Constitution. They have infravision to a range of 120 feet. Highly stealthy, duergar at least 90 feet away from non-duergar gain a surprise bonus (enemies suffer a -2 penalty to their surprise rolls). Duergar themselves get a +2 bonus on their surprise rolls. Alongside the standard dwarven resistance to magical attacks and natural poisons, they are completely immune to magical and alchemical poison, paralysis, spells of the illusion and phantasm types. Once per day, a duergar can both Enlarge Self and become Invisible as per a spell cast by a wizard with level twice to his own. However, they suffer a much greater weakness to sunlight, which negates their enhanced stealth, reduces their dexterity by -2, and inflicts a -2 penalty on their attack rolls. Even just going after a target covered in bright light gives them a -1 penalty to their attack rolls Naturally, all other dwarves hate duergar, so they suffer a -3 reaction penalty, which is cumulative to that imposed by kits. Because of their malevolent nature, they have no traditions of battling orcs and goblinoids, so they don't gain the traditional dwarven attack bonuses against them. They can reach 12th level as Warriors and Priests, and 14th level as thieves, but their experience requirements are increased by +20%. Duergar thieves get all of the same bonuses as Deep Dwarf ones, but they also get a further +10% to Move Silently and Detect Noise. Duergar have the longest lifespan, living for up to 400 years.

Sundered Dwarves suffer -1 Charisma, but get +1 Constitution and Strength. They have the same minimum stats as hill/mountain dwarves, and suffer an ability score cap of 17 Dexterity and 16 Intelligence and Charisma. Due to their surface-based lifestyle, their infravision has withered to only 30 feet in range, and their lifespan has shortened to 250 years. Worse, they suffer claustrophobia; entering dungeons, caves, tombs or other underground locations requires a save vs. death to master their fear. Once underground, they need to make this save each day, and on a failed roll will become obsessed with getting back to the surface. Furthermore, a sundered dwarf suffers a -2 penalty to all of their attack rolls, which increases by -1 per day underground if they ever fail their claustrophobia check. If they are stuck underground, they can try to overcome their claustrophobia by continuing to make saves, but they suffer the same penalty as their current attack rolls. Sundered dwarves can reach 14th level as Warriors, 10th level as Priests, and 15th level as Thieves. Sundered dwarf thieves gain +5% to their Open Locks, Move Silently and Hide In Shadows skills, and +10% to Find/Remove Traps, but they suffer -10% to their Read Languages skill.

Gully Dwarves suffer -2 Charisma and +1 Strength and Dexterity. They require minimums of 6s in Strength and Dexterity and 8 in Constitution. Only their Strength and Dexterity can reach the traditional 18; their Constitution caps at 16, Intelligence at 12, Wisdom at 14 and Charisma at 12. They have an infravision of 60 feet and a 250 year lifespan. They have a special ability to grovel shamelessly and make themselves appear too pitiful to be worth hurting, which forces enemies to succeed on a save vs. spells (with a penalty for the dwarf's level) or be incapable of lethally harming them. They have a roleplaying disadvantage of enforced stupidity, and a mechanical disadvantage of a base 40% chance that magic items will malfunction for them. They can only reach 8th level as Warriors or Priests, but can reach 16th level as Thieves. Gully dwarf thieves are quite penalized; though they do get a +10% to Pick Pockets and a +5% to Find/Remove Traps, they suffer -5% to Open Locks, Hide in Shadows and Climb Walls, and a -25% to Read Languages.

From here, we move on to general dwarven racial abilities. This includes their Constitution-influenced bonus to saves against poison and magic, their base 20% chance that any magical item they wield which doesn't fit the right categories (weapon, shield, armor, gauntlet, class-specific) won't work on that attempt, their underground detection abilities, their combat bonuses against orcs and goblinoids (which it notes could be changed to reflect a stronghold's unique history), their movement rate and how they handle encumbrance. All finishing up with how the subraces interact with classes - level limits, thieving skill adjustments - and tables for generating names, height, weight and age.

Closing Thoughts:
I'm not a huge fan of AD&D mechanics - I prefer later games for my crunch and, frankly, a lot of my lore as well - but... all in all, I guess my overall impression here is "meh".

I said this before in the subraces chapter in part 2, but I think a big issue with dwarves in AD&D is that they feel so... samey. Interchangeable. Each dwarf race is more or less the same as all the others. Sundered dwarves in particular could have been much more interesting; imagine if the trauma of their flight had caused them to disconnect from their racial gods, abandoning the priest class and their resistance to magic to instead embrace wizardry as a tool of offensive protection?

Oh, and gully dwarves remain atrocities who should never have been put to paper, but we all knew that.


Chapter 5: Proficiencies
This chapter is dedicated to examining the non-weapon proficiencies most commonly seen amongst dwarves.

...I can't expand upon too far. Most of it is pretty generic stuff, with maybe a handful of new proficiencies, like Fungi Recognition, Dwarf Runes, Slow Respiration, Sound Analysis and Underground Survival. It's just... not really that interesting a chapter. I'll come back and revisit this chapter if people insist, but, for now, I'm moving on.
 
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