After the fall of the great Dwarven Empire, the seven clans were forced to flee the Ironspine mountains and seek refuge among the fledgling kingdoms of other races. Most dwarves made their way into human towns and cities, and although it is frowned upon to marry outside one of the seven clans, some dwarves took up human husbands or wives. Their children are the few and far between half-dwarves of Hibernia.
Half-dwarves often showcase the best of both of their parents' heritage. Like dwarves, they place high value on honorable conduct. And although they are not considered full members of their respective clans, they would do anything to prevent bringing (further) shame upon their dwarven parent's clan.
When the clans have less-than-savory business to take care of, half-dwarves are often sought out to "handle things" so as not to bring dishonor upon the clan should things go poorly. half-dwarves will go to great lengths to win the approval of their dwarven relatives, and value family over everything. Refusing to deny their human heritage, it often requires great feats of service to the clan and family to be officially acknowledged with the clan name.
From their human blood, half-dwarves bring the spark of innovation and desire to make something of themselves. Far more individualistic then other dwarves, half-dwarves look to radically improve upon dwarven craftsmanship, often ignoring the advice of master craftsmen.
Though most people will not admit it, half-dwarves are often the best in their respective lines of work. Whether it be smithing, crafting jewelry, brewing, or farming; their products are often sought out by those with an eye for quality. However, most of them are never officially accepted into dwarven guilds due to the constraints of dwarven society, and their customers are hesitant to rock the boat.
Half-dwarves are often given dwarven first names, but either take their human parent's last name, or are forced to take the bastard dwarf name of "Stone". Officiailly being granted the name of their dwarven clan is seen as the highest possible honor for a half-dwarf.
Half-dwarves have some qualities in common with dwarves, and some new abilities thanks to their human blood.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and one other ability score of your choice increases by 1.
Age. Half-dwarves mature at the same rate humans do and reach adulthood around the age of 20. They live much longer than humans however, often close to 200 years.
Alignment. Half-dwarves often share the lawful bend of their dwarven heritage, but some favor more chaotic ways of life. Most tend toward good as well, with a strong sense of fair play and a belief that everyone deserves to share in the benefits of a free life.
Size. Half-dwarves are about the same size as humans, if a little shorter and stockier. You are between 4 1/2 and 5 1/2 feet tall, and weigh over 200 pounds. Your size is medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 ft.
Darkvision. Thanks to your dwarven blood, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.
Natural Craftsman. You either gain proficiency with two types of artisan's tools, or expertise with one type of artisan's tools. If you select one tool proficiency you can add double your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make with that tool.
Language. You can speak, read, and write Common and Dwarvish.
Detailed below are additional rule options for the half-dwarf. The optional Half-Dwarf Versatility feature, and adjusted racial feats available to half-dwarves from Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
Depending on the subrace of the dwarven parent, half-dwarves can exibit various traits. If you choose to use this rule, the traits below replace the Natural Craftsman feature from the half-dwarf traits list above.
Dwarven Combat Training. You gain proficiency with the battleaxe, handaxe, light hammer, and warhammer.
Stout Speed. Your speed is reduced to 25 ft., but your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Dwarven Toughness (Hill Dwarf). Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.
Dwarven Armor Training (Mountain Dwarf). You gain proficiency with light and medium armor.
Duergar Resilience (Duregar). You have advantage on saving throws against illusions and against being charmed or paralyzed.
Superior Darkvision (Duregar). You can see in dim light within 120 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Xanathar's Guide to Everything published feats exclusive to various player character races. Detailed below are the racial feats from Xanathar's that a half-dwarf would be eligible to select in place of an Ability Score Improvement.
Prerequisite: Dwarf or Half-Dwarf
You have the blood of dwarven heroes flowing through your veins. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Whenever you take the Dodge action in combat, you can spend one Hit Die to heal yourself. Roll the die, add your Constitution modifier, and regain a number of hit points equal to the total (minimum of 1).
You have inherited the innate spellcasting ability of your ancestors. This ability allows you to cast enlarge/reduce spell on yourself once with this trait, using only the spell's enlarge option. You can also cast the invisibility spell once with this ability. You regain the ability to cast these spells when you finish a long rest. Intelligence is your spellcasting ability for these spells, and you cast them at their lowest possible levels.
The Half-Dwarf for D&D 5e
Prerequisite: Half-Dwarf, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, or Human
You have a knack for learning new things. You gain the following benefits:
- You gain one skill proficiency of your choice, one tool proficiency of your choice, and fluency in one language of your choice.
- Choose one skill in which you have proficiency. You gain expertise with that skill, which means your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make with it. The skill you choose must be one that isn’t already benefiting from a feature, such as Expertise, that doubles your proficiency bonus.
Prerequisite: Dwarf or Half-Dwarf with the Stout Speed trait.
You are uncommonly nimble for your race. You gain the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Increase your walking speed by 5 feet.
- You gain proficiency in the Acrobatics or Athletics skill (your choice).
- You have advantage on any Strength (Athletics) or Dexterity (Acrobatics) check you make to escape from being grappled.