|Date Created:||May 31, 2007|
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When it comes to racial and ethnic diversity, not even the unshakable foundations of Dwarven culture are immune to change. And change it did. With eons of racial interaction and despoliation of norms and values, many different Dwarven clans left the mountainous regions of their homes and the depths of their dungeons. They abandoned their crafts, and their forges ran cold, forgotten effigies of their lost skills as they continued on their way to nature bound existence.
Also see the Chromatic Dwarf race listing.
Chromatic dwarves are offshoots of regular Dwarven culture which have distinctly developed into three very different main sub-races. Unlike their ancestors, they are less seriously inclined, and favor freedom over valor and chivalry. Chromatic Dwarves often have a very firm personal code, and tend to have less patience for matters that require discretion and preparation. It is here, however, that the similarities end. Chromatic Dwarves have spread all over the world in search of a new life, where millennia worth of evolution have given them an unusual communion with nature. Chromatic dwarves have taken on certain aspects of their new territories, which have had strange effects on their physiology and the way they deal with obstacles in their way.
Chromatic Dwarves still speak Dwarven, although through their mouths the language has undergone some content and dialect changes. Other characters that speak Dwarven must succeed a DC 10 Intelligence check to understand the full contents of what is being said. As chromatic dwarves often live in a tribal or nomadic fashion and share their land with various other races – especially humans, gnomes and Half-Orcs, they tend to know the Common tongue. Even though chromatic dwarves do not share the usual resentment for most Orcish races, most don’t readily interact with them.
Chromatic dwarves come in all shapes and sizes and thanks to their dislike of politics and social policy, the various settlements, cohorts and tribes of chromatic dwarves readily leave one another alone. If they deal at all with their kin, it is most usually with those that share their nature or heritage, as they are naturally distrustful, with good reason. Their individual civilizations were forged with difficulty and the establishment of their tribes and settlements did rarely go unchallenged. But even before all this happened, all chromatic dwarves share a common recollection that on the first colonization attempt of their forebears, they were nerely decimated and their numbers irrevokably spread all over the world. It is due to this that all races of chromatic dwarves mistrust one another and view them as part of what went wrong with their ancestry.
Azurns are the most purely physical of all chromatic dwarves, and even for dwarves they are of extremely buff stock. Azurns possess a bluish gray, sharklike skin, which is renowned for its toughness. Their eyes are a deep black and their hair resembles thick black tendrils that are about a quarter of an inch thick. An almost unique feature amongst Dwarves, Azurn males have no beards. They average about four and a half feet and usually weigh quite a bit more than adult humans do. The Azurn's communion with nature is aquatic and primitively oriented and despite their considerable bulk they can swim as fast as they can walk. Their limbs have undergone an evolution to help them both on land and in the water. They possess innate physical strength and their toes and hands are webbed. Even their spine shows a slight rim where evolution might eventually grow a dorsal fin. Loyalty to their friends, and large, hedonistic feasts that involves all members of a tribe who have come of age mark some of the more intriguing facets of Azurn society. Some are even rumored to use their amphibian nature to create underwater settlements.
Rutilan are immediately recognized from their firebranded skin, which is a shiny crimson. They have a communion with the volcanic areas and deserts in which their hidden culture slowly developed. They are short and have a quite adonic build. Their likenesses are marked with perfection, and their bodies are often ornamented by black tattoos. Rutilans prefer a well tended appearance, possessing short black hair and a well trimmed beard. They wear refined clothing, and they are very passionate about their race and legacy despite their lack of charisma and have, amongst the three main subraces of chromatic dwarves, managed to establish the most sophisticated civilization, some of its facets still directly derivative of normal Dwarven culture. Despite this unique likeness to their predecessors, Rutilans favor the free study of the arcane. Rutilans make excellent evokers, especially centered on fire magic. They are the most good aligned of chromatic dwarves and their chief deity is Onatar. Those who specialize in divine spellcraft, however, are often the backbone of Rutilan law enforcement.
Veridin are the most shunned and least trusted of all chromatic dwarves. For Dwarven standard, their builds are positively gaunt and they spurt a veridian skin as well as unkempt and often rugged facial features. Veridin live a life hidden away within marshes, forests and jungles, and have adopted to these climates very well. Their continuous interaction with many shapes and forms of toxic wildlife has proofed them against poisons completely. In fact, they themselves have become quite poisonous, an effect which they quite expertly put to use. Their weapons are always doused in a slight sliver of their own blood, which can bestow upon the unwary a number of very unpleasant effects. Next to this, they are also undisputed masters of alchemy, which they perform regardless of magical education. It is also said that they inherited the forked tongue and the guile of the poisonous creatures that so frequently beset their path. Most of the Veridin that frequent the societies of other races relish ignominous thievery and crime. Thanks to their blatant lack of morals, they are the most evil aligned of chromatic dwarves.
Although not all chromatic dwarves share their forebears' expertise in combat and strategy, they are mostly equal of stock and quite hardy, the one more than the other. Azurns, Rutilans and Veridins however each prefer different avenues of confrontation. Most of them however are less inclined to prepare, and more inclined to handle the battle in their own favorite matter.
Chromatic Dwarf Traits (Ex): All subraces of chromatic dwarves possess the following racial traits.
- +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma.
- Medium size.
- Base land speed is 20 ft.
- Darkvision out to 60 ft.
- Weapon Familiarity: Chromatic dwarves treat dwarven waraxes and dwarven urgroshes as martial weapons, rather than exotic weapons.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison. This is not reflected in the saving throw bonus given here.
- +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects. This is not reflected in the saving throw bonus given here.
- +4 dodge bonus to Armor Class against creatures of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls and hill giants)
- Automatic Languages: Common, Dwarven. Bonus Languages: Giant, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Undercommon.
Azurn in Combat
Azurn use their exceptional strength and physical toughness as they throw themselves headfirst into battle with anybody that threatens them.
- +2 Strength
- An Azurn's land speed remains 20 ft., even when carrying a medium or heavy load.
- An Azurn's swim speed is always equal to her land speed.
- Dipnoid: Azurns have both lungs and gills, and can survive indefinitely both on land and under water. When she dives in the water or when she surfaces from it, the bronchial pathways close off and the gills open, or vice versa. This process takes one round's worth of time and the round that an Azurn surfaces from or dives into water, she loses her Dexterity bonus to Armor Class, if any.
- Natural Armor: An Azurn's skin is very tough, like a shark's. She has a natural armor bonus of +3.
- Planar Calling (Water) (Su): An Azurn may call forth an amount of HD worth of Water Elementals equal to her character level per day. They may call forth as many elementals as they like, within the aforementioned limitations. They may choose from any size of Elemental whose HD does not exceed this number. They may also choose to spread the HD over elementals with different sizes. Lastly, these HD may be spread out over multiple callings. 1st Level Azurn may call upon one Small Water Elemental (2 HD) only once every other day. Using this ability requires a standard action. Duration 1 minute/level.
- Stability: Azurns are exceptionally stable on their feet. An Azurn has a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped when standing on the ground (but not while climbing, flying, riding or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
- Unaccommodating Physique: Azurns are unable to wear shoes, boots or any form of footwear, and their webbed fingers prevent them from wearing rings.
- resistance to cold 10.
- Azurns adopt all Strength based skills as class skills, no matter what class they take (Climb, Jump and Swim).
- +2 racial bonus on Climb and Jump checks.
- +4 racial bonus on Hide and grapple checks that are made while underwater.
- An Azurn has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. She can always choose to take 10 on any swim check, even if distracted or endangered. She can use the run action while swimming, provided she swims in a more or less straight line.
- Additional Bonus Languages: Aquan.
- Favored Class: Barbarian or Ranger.
Rutilan in Combat
Rutilan make full use of their exceptional evoking abilities in combat.
- +2 Intelligence.
- Automatic Metamagic: All spells with the Fire descriptor cast by a Rutilan are empowered, but do not require a higher level spell slot.
- Improved Familiar: Rutilan that are entitled to a familiar may choose a Fire Mephit whether or not he has the Improved Familiar feat.
- Planar Calling (Fire) (Su): A Rutilan may call forth an amount of HD worth of Fire Elementals equal to his character level per day. They may call forth as many elementals as they like, within the aforementioned limitations. They may choose from any size of elemental whose HD does not exceed this number. They may also choose to spread the HD over elementals with different sizes. Lastly, these HD may be spread out over multiple callings. 1st Level Rutilan may call upon one Small Fire Elemental (2 HD) only once every other day. Using this ability requires a standard action. Duration 1 minute/level.
- Stonecunning: This ability grants a Rutilan a +2 racial bonus on Search checks to notice unusual stonework such as sliding walls, stonework traps, new construction (even when built to match the old), unsafe stone surfaces, shaky stone ceilings and the like. Something that isn't stone but that is dieguised as stone also counts as unusual stonework. A Rutilan who merely comes within 10 feet of unusual stonework can make a Search check as if he were actively searching, and he can use the Search skill to find stonework traps like a rogue can. A Rutilan can also intuit depth, sensing his approximate depth as naturally as a human can sense which way is up. Rutilan have a sixth sense about stonework.
- resistance to fire 10
- +2 racial bonus on Intimidate checks.
- +4 racial bonus on Spellcraft checks made to learn spells with the fire descriptor.
- Additional Bonus Languages: Ignan.
- Favored Class: Wizard or Cleric.
Veridin in Combat
Veridin use their innate knack for stealth and subterfuge, as well as their poison related abilities in combat.
- +2 Dexterity.
- Blood Ritual: A Veridin's blood acts like an acute poison to other creatures, with a DC of 10 + ½ character level + Con modifier. Etching a weapon in their blood gives a Veridin an unusual bond with that weapon. To etch a melee weapon successfully in their blood, they first need to siphon a sufficient amount of blood from their bodies (1d6 temporary Con damage), which is better done in private or with friends. This procedure and the etching itself is called the 'Blood Ritual'. Etching a blade in their blood requires them to craft the equivalent of a 'masterwork element' (300 gp, DC 20). When the Veridin is finished crafting, the weapon is permanently poisoned, dealing 1 point of Constitution damage on a failed save. The poison's DC does not change, though, even if the Veridin gains further levels. To increase the weapon's poison DC, he will need to perform the Blood Ritual again. For the sake of craftsmanship, a Veridin may enlist the aid of a better craftsman.
- Planar Calling (Earth) (Su): A Veridin may call forth an amount of HD worth of Earth Elementals equal to his character level per day. They may call forth as many elementals as they like, within the aforementioned limitations. They may choose from any size of elemental whose HD does not exceed this number. They may also choose to spread the HD over elementals with different sizes. Lastly, these HD may be spread out over multiple callings. 1st Level Veridin may call upon one Small Earth Elemental (2 HD) only once every other day. Using this ability requires a standard action. Duration 1 minute/level.
- Spell-like ability: poison 1/day
- Immune to poison.
- A Veridin counts Craft (alchemy) and Craft (poisonmaking) as class skills no matter what class he has, and may create alchemical items even if he is not a spellcaster.
- +2 to Bluff and Survival checks.
- +4 to Hide checks while in forests, jungles and other 'green' environments.
- Additional Bonus Languages: Terran
- Favored Class: Rogue or Druid.
Chromatic Dwarves as Characters