Dec 242010

In part 3 of the 4 articles that deal with races in the Classic Fantasy setting, we look at taking certain D&D 4e races and reflavoring them into dwarves.  After this, we’ll be converting halflings.  Still to come are articles dealing with monsters and the setting.

For each of the following racial or subracial choices, all of the actual mechanical stats, powers, and traits are unchanged. It’s the flavor and descriptions that have been altered to describe a dwarf. Some of the traits or powers might need to be interpreted… creatively, but for the most part, mechanics are not affected. Again, take any of the following descriptions as a subrace, or rewrite one of your own design.


  • COMMON DWARF (Dwarf) – The common dwarf uses the entry for Dwarf. He or she can be found in any dwarven settlement or region, living among any of the dwarven subraces.
  • BLOODRAGE CLAN (Longtooth Shifter) – These dwarves are part of a long line of warriors bred for the rage and glory of war, and it is rumored that they are descended from the dwarven god of war and wrath. They are found on the front lines of any battle, axes in hand.
  • BATTLEHAMMER CLAN (Bugbear) – This family of dwarves is surprisingly skilled at gaining an edge with their oversized weapons. They are known for forging massive war-hammers, and for wielding them in battle. Replace Goblin with Giant on the list of languages known.
  • DARK DWARVES (Duergar) – a faction of dwarves who forsook the honor of their kin to follow evil gods, these grey skinned dwarves live deep beneath the surface of the ground, far deeper than most dwarven mines. When the dwarves dig too deep, they find their evil kin waiting for them.
  • IRONGUT CLAN (Hobgoblin) – Working long hours in the most hostile regions of the dwarven forges, these dwarves are able to shrug off the worst effects of the distressing atmosphere.
  • THUNDERFIST CLAN (Half-Orc): These hard-hitting dwarves from the barbaric great planes of the world are best known for their martial tradition, emphasizing the discipline and loyalty so valued by dwarven society as a whole, and are welcome additions to any dwarven community they find themselves in. Their speed in battle is shocking to witness for their size.
  • STONEBLOOD CLAN (Fire or Earthsoul Genasi): These dwarves are so in tune with the elements they work with daily that the magic of the mines has worked its will upon them further than most. They are most commonly found in areas near volcanic activity, or any dwarven mine that runs deep enough to encounter the molten earth below.
  • DWARVEN MAGISTER (Dragonborn): Those few dwarves who embrace the arcane arts never do anything halfway. Their spells focus heavily on evocations and transmutations, both of which can be practically applied in the forge.
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Jonathan Baldwin

Jonathan is a firm believer that the best way to make friends is to game with them, and that nearly any problem can be surmounted with a well rolled d20 and a sense of humor. Regrettably, his professors do not agree with him, which leaves him with the challenge of balancing his gaming habits with his studies. Profile Page / Article Portfolio

  3 Responses to “Reflavoring the Races for Classic Fantasy – Dwarves”

  1. Dwarves have long been my favorite character to portray, so I mean what I say when I say thank you for this. I’m going to bring this to my DM and ask if I can play either a Battlehammer dwarf or Dwarven Magister.

    You’ve breathed new life into my love of dwarves.

  2. Thanks, Tabitha – I’m glad you like them, and I hope your DM goes for it! Happy Christmas, and happy gaming. 🙂

  3. I’ve often considered myself the world’s biggest Dwarf at 6′ 2″ and 300lbs with a great red (well, it’s gray now) beard. The Dwarf is the cornerstone of any party and once you earn their loyalty you have a companion for life!

    Samuel J. E. Trawick, Author of The Frostbourne Chronicles

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