Stonehearted Campaign - Classes
Unlike the aimless, wandering minstrels of other races, dwarven bards (known as skalds) are a dedicated, purposeful lot, valued as keepers of dwarven history and lore. Many skalds serve as historians and oral record-keepers, educating others on the noble deeds of historical paragons and of traditional dwarven values. Other dwarves serve within the military, rousing their companions to battle with war songs, music, or heroic tales of their ancestors.
Dwarves are not fond of wind or string instruments, favouring heavier percussion, horns, or the sound of their own deep, baritones. Altough dwarves do, in fact, love to dance as much as any other race (barring, of course, the prancing pointy-ears), dwarven dance is an expression from the heart rather than an art form, and as such they do not formerly study it like other races. Dwarves do not enjoy theatre, considering it a frivolous waste of time better spent hearing worthy stories of dwarven history. Many skalds are quite proficient in dwarven comedy, though they also focus on skills more practical for the community. Skalds therefore specialise in one or more of the following performance methods: Comedy, Horn, Oratory, Percussion, Song.
Class Changes: All skalds lose spellcasting ability, but get additional skill-based feats, skill tricks, and additional abilities based upon bardic performance.
Party limitations: Maximum one
All dwarves are fierce fighters, but a small number take this to the extreme, revelling in killing and the violence of combat. Profoundly dangerous and ill-suited to following orders, these dwarves have no place in normal dwarven society. Ever practical, dwarves do not cast out these individuals, but rather harness their blood-lust for the good of the community. Segregated from society as a whole, they are trained as battleragers, the most feared members of the dwarven forces. With no fear of death, battleragers are used as shock troops in the bloodiest of missions, where the body count on both sides will be high and finesse is of no importance.
Battleragers are looked upon with a mixture of awe and pity by other dwarves – few would claim to want one as a friend, but all respect their abilities. They hold low status in dwarven society, and mostly keep to themselves, both for the safety of others, and out of a general lack of social skills. Battleragers are renowned for their appearance, often painting their face, hair, and armour with vibrant designs – either to demoralise their opponents, or simply because they feel like it.
Class Changes: All battleragers begin literate, but loose ride as a class skill.
Party limitations: Maximum one
Cavers patrol the wild edge of the dwarven realms, serving as advanced scouts and watchmen for the community. Though all dwarves feel a personal affinity for the stone wherein they live, only cavers place that affinity within the broader context of nature as a whole. While mountain dwarf cavers spend the bulk of their time patrolling the far reaches of the Underdark, hill dwarf cavers are equally at home in the wilds of the surface lands, a claim few dwarves can make.
Frequently working alone or in small groups for long periods of time, cavers occupy a role on the fringe of dwarven society, loners amongst a race that values community. Though well-respected by all, they are generally acknowledged a strange lot, lacking something that truly makes a dwarf a dwarf.
Class Changes: Ranger spells are replaced by additional abilities. Caver animal companions differ from those in the druid table.
Party limitations: Maximum one
Fighters form the core of the dwarven army, an efficient and well-disciplined force. While fighters amongst other races are little more than swords for hire, dwarven fighters are often leaders, both within adventuring parties and dwarven society as a whole. As such, most fighters have higher intelligence, wisdom, and charisma than one might expect. Warriors make up the top tier of dwarven society, held in even higher regard than priests. Virtually all dwarven nobility are trained as fighters and are tasked with protecting the communities they lead.
Most dwarven fighters favour heavy, hard-hitting weapons such as hammers and axes over traditional swords, though there are certainly exceptions. Dwarves universally disdain bows, preferring crossbows and throwing axes.
Class Changes: -
Party limitations: -
Though not unheard of, dwarven paladins are a true rarity, for only those that follow the path of Arawn, god of virtue, may become a paladin. The vast majority of dwarves instead worship the Stoneborn, the pantheon of dwarven racial deities. Only a dwarf who has spent a considerable amount of time living amongst outsiders is likely to find himself drawn to give up the traditional worship of his people and turn instead to the path of Arawn.
While viewed as a bit of an oddity (and possible outsider) by his own people, paladins are deeply respected, both by other dwarven warriors and by the clergy of the Stoneborn. Arawn’s alignment closely matches with that of the Stoneborn, and they have often worked together to achieve the goals of good. Likewise, the honourable bent of the order of paladins fits well within a dwarven society that is lawful by nature.
Class Changes: Paladins spells are replaced by additional abilities. Dwarven paladins receive great war-rams for their mounts.
Party limitations: Only one of either a paladin or priest of a universal deity.
Dwarven priests traditionally worship the Stoneborn, the pantheon of dwarven deities that instruct and watch over the dwarven race. Particularly powerful priests (9th level or higher) earn the title of “High Ones”. Led by Moradin, the pantheon guides the dwarves in the traditional areas of community life – family, building, crafting, mining, and warfare. All priests of the Stoneborn venerate the pantheon as a whole, spreading the teachings of all its gods and giving proper tribute to each in the areas that concern them. However, each priest feels the calling of one amongst the Stoneborn more strongly than the others, drawing her strength from that deity in particular. The Stoneborn include:
• Moradin – The Maker (creation, smithing, engineering)
• Berronar Truesilver – The Protector (guardians, safety, home, honesty)
• Sharidlar – The Mother (healing, mercy, love, fertility)
• Vergadain – The Merchant (luck, wealth, trade)
• Clanggedin Silverbeard – The Warrior (war, battle)
• Dumathoin – The Sage (secrets, suspicion, mining)
• Marthammor Duin – The Wanderer (exploration, travel, direction)
• Hanseath – The Reveller (festivity, food, alcohol)
• Abbathor * – The Corruptor (greed)
(*Abbathor was cast out of the Stoneborn after turning to the path of evil)
Deities suitable for adventuring PCs (and associated domains) include:
• Moradin (creation, earth, good, law) – priests of Moradin are not trained in the use of heavy armor, but are capable of creating and controlling the fearsome golems, backbone of the dwarven armies
• Berronar (community, good, protection, healing) – priests of Berronar are well balanced in both spell-casting and combat ability, and may qualify for the Dwarven Defender prestige class.
• Clangeddin (war, protection, law) – priests of Clangeddin have no power over the undead, but gain the ability to deliver powerful smites against giants.
• Dumathoin (dream, earth, knowledge, trickery) – priests of Dumathoin are not trained in the use of heavy armor, but select an extra domain and may qualify for the Earth Dreamer prestige class.
While the vast majority of dwarves venerate the Stoneborn, those who live amongst outsiders for a great period of time may come to worship one of a number of universal deities, those who accept followers of any race. Priests of a non-dwarven deity are allowed to preach within dwarven lands, so long as their religion espouses neither evil nor chaos. They are viewed as something of an oddity, and do not receive the same positions of authority or official endorsement as those of the Stoneborn do. Worship of the Stoneborn is a fundamental aspect of the dwarven community, and priests of other deities will always find themselves on the outside looking in. Against the weight of tradition, it will be difficult to convince their peers of the need for gods beyond that have served them well for millennia.
Universal deities suitable for dwarven worship include:
• Arawn (virtue)
• Ariel (mercy)
• Tyr (bravery, combat)
• Heimdall (order)
Class Changes: All priests cast spells spontaneously. Priests of specific deities may begin with less armour/weapon proficiencies and more granted powers. Priests of Clangeddin must use the 1st level racial substitution level outlined in Races of Stone. Priests of Moradin may choose to use the 4th level racial substitution level. Priests of Dumathoin must use the 8th level racial substitution level.
Party limitations: Maximum of one priest in a four-player group. Maximum of two priests in a five player group. Only one of either a paladin or priest of a universal deity.
Dwarven rogues are less common than in many other races, as there is little room in a society that values honesty and hard work for chaotic, self-centred individualists. Habitual thieves are quickly cast out from the community, and as such are not typically found amongst the ranks of dwarven adventurers. Likewise, few dwarves choose the path of “face rogues”, being both poorly suited to it by nature and finding those skills of little use in typical dwarven society. Dwarven rogues typically fill the role of either lightly-armoured scouts for the dwarven forces, or experts at traps and mechanics.
Dwarves are not prone to dabbling like other races, and tend to attend mastery in a smaller number of skills, rather than lesser proficiency in a broad range of talents. Such skills are valued by dwarven society in much the same way as those of a master craftsman, though a rogue will never earn the same level of prestige as a warrior or priest.
Class Changes: Dwarven rogues gain proficiency with throwing axes, hand axes, and bucklers, but are not proficient with rapiers and short bows.
Party limitations: -