After the mysterious fall of the great Dwarven Empire, the seven clans were forced to flee the Ironspine Mountains and seek refuge among the fledgling human kingdoms. This great diaspora drove dwarves into human towns and cities, and forced them to adapt to a new way of life. Some dwarves assimilated into the human cultures, and although it is considered a breech of dwarven tradition to marry outside the seven clans, some even took human spouses. Children of these unions are the rare half-dwarves of Hibernia.
Half-dwarves often showcase the best of both of their parents' heritage. Like dwarves, they often place high value on honor and reputation. And, although they are not considered full members of their respective dwarven clans, most half-dwarves will go to great lengths to prevent bringing shame upon the clan of their dwarven parent.
When one of the dwarven clans has less-than-savory business to take care of, half-dwarves are often sought out to handle things. That way, if things go poorly, dishonor is not brought upon a full blooded dwarf. Half-dwarves value family over everything, and will go to great lengths to gain the favor of their dwarven relatives. Refusing to deny their human heritage, it requires great feats of service for a half-dwarf to be officially recognized as a member of their clan.
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, and human, craftsmanship, often ignoring the traditions of master artisans.
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; half-dwarven products are often sought out by those with an eye for quality. Unfortunately, most half-dwarves are never officially accepted into dwarven guilds due to the constraints of dwarven tradition and customs.
Half-dwarves are often given dwarven first names, but either take their human parent's last name, or adopt the bastard dwarf name of Stone. Being officially recognized as a member of their clan is seen as the highest possible honor that can be bestowed upon a half-dwarf.
Half-Dwarves of the Multiverse
Theoretically, half-dwarves can exist in any setting that includes both humans and dwarves. A hardy folk, they sprout up where the two races meet.
In the world of Athas in the Dark Sun setting, half-dwarves are known as Mul. Unfortunately, due to their natural stamina and fortitude they prized as slaves, gladiators, and heavy laborers.
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 go where they please and 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 feet.
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 gain proficiency in one type of artisan's tools of your choice, and you can add double your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make that uses your chosen set of artisan's tools.
Language. You can speak, read, and write Common, Dwarvish, and one additional language of your choice. Half-dwarves often learn the language of peoples they work with.
Variant Rules: Half-Dwarves
Detailed below are additional rule options for half-dwarf player characters. The optional Half-Dwarf Versatility feature, for half-dwarves with various dwarven acestries. The racial feats from Xanathar's Guide to Everything that are available to half-dwarves. Lastly, a new feat, Duergar Magic, for half-dwarves that want to lean into the innate magic of Duergar.
Depending on the subrace of the dwarven parent, half-dwarves can exibit various traits. If you choose to use this rule, one of the traits below replaces the Natural Craftsman feature from the base half-dwarf traits list above.
Dwarven Armor Training. Mountain Dwarf Heritage.
You gain proficiency with light and medium armor.
Dwarven Combat Training. Any Dwarven Heritage.
You gain proficiency with the battleaxes, handaxes, light hammers, and warhammers.
Dwarven Toughness. Hill Dwarf Heritage.
Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and increases by 1 again every time you gain a level.
Duergar Resilience. Duergar Heritage.
You have advantage on saving throws against illusion magic, and to resist being charmed or paralyzed.
Stout Speed. Any Dwarven Heritage.
Your movement speed is reduced to 25 feet, but your speed is not reduced by wearing heavy armor.
Superior Darkvision. Duergar Heritage.
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.
If your group uses the option Feat rule presented in the Players Handbook, the following racial feats from Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and a new feat, Duergar Magic, are available to half-dwarf player characters.
Racial Feats for Half-Dwarves
Xanathar's Guide to Everything published feats exclusive to various player character races. The following racial feats from Xanathar's Guide to Everything are available for a Half-Dwarf to select in place of an Ability Score Improvement: Dwarven Fortitude, Prodigy, and Squat Nimbleness.
Prerequisite: Dwarf (Duergar), Half-Dwarf
You have inherited the innate spellcasting ability of your ancestors. You can cast the 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.
Half-Dwarf Player Race for D&D 5e
Created by /u/laserllama
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