Dwarves are a short stocky race standing half the height of a Human but considerably broader. Dwarves are found throughout the world and are a welcome sight in most civilized lands. Dwarves build small settlements above ground where they grow crops and provide areas for their livestock to graze. Usually these towns are ringed with short stone walls and a few guard posts. These small settlements do not seem very impressive but they are just a small part of the truth, for beneath these settlements large towns and sometimes vast cities are tunneled through the very earth. To be allowed to visit these underground masterpieces is a great honor and should be regarded as such. Here the Dwarves carve out districts of stone for residences, shops, places of worship and gigantic memorials to their ancestors. Thousands of Dwarves will live in these interconnected cities and in case of trouble those above ground retreat into the underground stronghold to serve in its defense. These cities and towns are centuries old and have served the clans of Dwarves faithfully providing shelter, defense and access to their vast mines of ore, gems and the elusive substance known as mithril.
Dwarves are hardworking and industrious and take enormous pride in their craftsmanship. Usually Dwarves will only pursue a single craft such as stonemason, weaponsmith or jeweler although they often know a little about several crafts. Dwarves are thought to be the finest miners and smiths in the world and their wares are highly sought after. Each weapon crafted by Dwarven hands tells the story of its crafter, original wielder and often times is amended with some of the deeds of each. To mock Dwarven craftsmanship is a great insult whereas to praise it can make you a friend. Dwarves are often stubborn and uncouth by the standards of other races, are easily agitated and have long memories of insults. Despite these character traits Dwarves are extremely loyal to friends and if one is in trouble there is no better ally to have than a Dwarf. For the most part they get along well with the other civilized races but have a deep hatred for all things Goblinoid. They also sometimes become agitated by Elves due to a centuries old misunderstanding.
Dwarves have an aptitude towards several professions, making especially fierce warriors, and devout clerics and monks. Dwarves have little if any talent with the magical arts. The one school of magic Dwarves can begin the game with is Rune Magic, although it is rumored that other types of magic can be wielded by the wisest of Dwarves. Dwarves also do not perform well as rogues, but do make exceptional bards, at least by Dwarven standards. Dwarves appreciate music but this often consists of bawdy tunes and drinking songs. Dwarves also enjoy epic poetry and the retelling of battlefield heroics and the stories of the ancestors. Most Dwarves can name their male ancestor back at least 8 generations. Dwarves express their artwork through crafts such as carving, brewing, jewelry and weapon making. Dwarves are very fond of drink especially strong ales and bitter stouts.
Physically, Dwarves are half the height range of the typical human. They have broad shoulders and great strength. Dwarves are known for their stamina and can continue on under harsh conditions long after other races collapse from exhaustion. Dwarven armies have been known to march for days with minimal rest and rations and still win the day of battle. A Dwarf’s most apparent distinguishing feature is their long beard. ALL Dwarves have beards including the females, and it is a great source of pride and reverence. A Dwarf will never willingly shave his/her beard although females will often shape theirs or wear ribbons in them. The eldest of Dwarves are known as Longbeards. The length (and often times color) of a Dwarf’s beard is often the symbol of age and wisdom. Longbeards are revered and respected.
• Advantages – Health +4 • Free purchase of Burst of Strength • 1 Free Slay against a full-blooded goblinoid target
• Disadvantages – Costuming: Dwarves (including females) must have beards. Typically a fake beard is worn but if the player has a sufficient length beard it may be deemed acceptable by ROA. Role-playing: The very sight of Goblinoids (Goblins, Orcs and Bugbears) enrages you. If you encounter these creatures and there is no reasonable excuse not to (ex- They greatly outnumber you, a nobleman orders you not to etc.) you must attack.
• Classes Available – Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Mage (Rune Mage ONLY), Merchant-Artisan, Monk