While most think of dwarves as a relatively homogenous race, many clans have adapted over the years to better survive in harsh and varied environments. The following options represent some of that customization, and can be taken by any dwarf character.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of the standard dwarf racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
- Disease Resistance: Dwarves who dwell in filthy and abhorrent conditions have developed a natural resistance to contagions and infections. Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +4 bonus against contracting diseases. This bonus does not apply to magical diseases. This racial trait replaces defensive training.
- Elemental Resistance: Dwarves who dwell in the most extreme environments, from arctic wastelands to volcanic plains, develop natural resistance to the dangers of their homelands over the course of a few generations. Dwarves with this racial trait gain elemental resistance 5 to acid, cold, electricity, or fire. This choice is made at character creation, and once made it cannot be changed. This racial trait replaces hardy.
- Forest Runner: Some dwarves thrive in the deepest forests and jungles, forever roaming through the trees and heavy vegetation. Dwarves with this racial trait avoid the adverse movement effects of difficult terrain when within jungles and forests, and receive a +4 racial bonus on Constitution checks and Fortitude saves to avoid fatigue, exhaustion, or ill effects from running, forced marches, starvation, thirst, or hot or cold environments. This racial trait replaces defensive training.
- Forest Walker: More at home in the forests and jungles of the world, these dwarves are well adapted to their surroundings. Dwarves with this trait have low-light vision and gain a +2 racial bonus on Climb checks. This racial trait replaces darkvision.
- Knack with Poison: Some dwarves have an instinctive understanding of poisons and their uses. Dwarves gain a +2 racial bonus on Fortitude saves against poison and a +2 bonus on Craft (alchemy) checks to make poison. The bonus on Fortitude saving throws against poisons increases to +4 if the dwarf accidentally poisons himself when applying or readying the substance. This racial trait replaces hardy.
- Woodcraft: Dwarves who dwell in forests and jungles know the deep secrets of the wild like no others, especially secrets of the forests. Dwarves with this racial trait gain a +1 racial bonus on Knowledge (nature) and Survival checks. In forest terrain, these bonuses improve to +2. This racial trait replaces stonecunning.
You can combine various alternate racial traits to create dwarven subraces or variant races, such as the following.
- Arctic Dwarf: Dwarves living in the cold regions of the far north or high mountain peaks have the elemental resistance and xenophobic traits. Arctic dwarves may exchange defensive training, hatred, and stonecunning for the saltbeard trait if they dwell near the coast.
- Jungle Dwarf: Dwarves living in the deep jungles have the forest runner, forest walker, surface survivalist, and woodcraft traits, and often have the knack with poison and xenophobic traits as well.
- Wild Dwarf: Dwarves living in the harsh and isolated regions of the world have the disease resistance, knack with poison, and woodcraft traits, and often have the xenophobic trait as well.