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Duergar Variant (4e Race)

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Created By
Fenris-moon (talk)
Date Created: February 10, 2009
Status: Complete
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!
Duergar 4e

A standard Duergar scouting party.

Duergar Edit

Vile tyrants, adapted to surviving in the harsh environment of the Underdark.

Racial Traits
Average Height: 4’5” – 5’0”
Average Weight: 170 – 235 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom or +2 Strength
Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares
Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Common, Deep Speech, Dwarven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Religion
Hellish Resistance: You have resistance to poison damage and fire damage equal to 3 + one half your level.
Begrudge the Ground You Give: When an effect forces you to move — through a pull, a push, or a slide — you gain combat advantage against that enemy before the end of your next turn.
In addition, when an attack knocks you prone, you gain a +2 racial bonus to damage rolls against the enemy until the end of your next turn.
Encumbered Speed: You move at your normal speed even when it would be reduced by armor or a heavy load. Other effects that limit speed (such as difficult terrain or magic) affect you normally.
Infernal Quills: You can use Infernal Quills as an encounter power.
Infernal Quills Duergar Racial Power
You pluck the poisonous fiery quills from your beard and hurl them at your enemy.
Usage::Encounter ✦ Fire, Poison
Action Type::Minor Action Close Burst 3
Target: One enemy in burst
Attack: Strength, Constitution or Dexterity Vs. AC, You gain a + 3 bonus to the attack roll.
Increase to + 6 at 11th level.
Increase to + 9 at 21st level..
Hit: 1d8 + Strength modifier or 1d8 + Constitution modifier or 1d8 + Dexterity modifier fire and poison damage and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of your next turn.
Increase to 2d8 at 11th level.
Increase to 3d8 at 21st level.
Special: When you create your character, choose Strength, Constitution or Dexterity as the ability score you use when making attack rolls with this power. This choice remains throughout your characters life.

Distant kin to dwarves, duergar are a sullen, covetous race tainted by a long association with devils and infernal magic. Known also as gray dwarves, duergar share a love of mining and metalwork with their dwarven kin.. Most at home in the lightless depths of the foreboding Underdark, they despise virtually every other race in existence. They hate dwarves above all others, though, and will ally with other creatures temporarily if it means a chance to spill the blood of Moradin's children.

Play a duergar if you want...

  • To be a member of an evil, subterranean race.
  • To be able to throw poisonous quills from your beard
  • To be a member of a race that favors the cleric, fighter, and battlemind classes.

Physical Qualities Edit

Duergar resemble their Dwarven cousins, but they stand slightly taller on average and tend to weigh more. Their skin is grey to sooty black. All duergar have fiery amber eyes. Duergar beards and hair conceal long, stiff spines that carry a burning venom due to their infernal ties. They can pluck and hurl these quills like daggers. Their weapons and armor often depicting leering, demonic faces, images of rival creatures being executed, and similar ghastly scenes meant to demoralize opponents.

Duergar mature more quickly than humans early in life, reaching maturity as young as 14, but then age slowly after that. Though capable of living well past 200 years, most die of unnatural causes long before then.

Playing a Duergar Edit

Duergar have a well-earned reputation as slavers. They rarely perform exhausting or risky tasks, relying instead on the work of slaves. The Duergar recognizes the value of slaves, though, rarely tasking them with jobs that are deadly or unlikely to yield a high reward. Most Duergar slavers capture only those who exhibit physical prowess or exceptional skill. The Duergar has no interest in enslaving the young, the sick, or the elderly; such individuals are often left dead as a result of Duergar raids. Usually, a large number of slaves are overseen by a small number of Duergar taskmasters. When the slaves are not working, they are treated like prisoners. A Duergar keeps its slaves in defensible structures, discouraging outsiders from attempting to rescue them.

The Duergar made pacts with Asmodeus and his kind in order to free themselves from the Mind Flayers. They embrace this mutually beneficial agreement with the infernal forces. Many of the fortress like cities that Duergar inhabit have places that serve as embassies for devils. Throughout these cities, devils travel openly in the streets. Humanoid devils, particularly succubi, are the most common visitors. Sometimes a powerful devil ascends to power in a duergar settlement, taking an active hand in the compact with its residents and granting boons in exchange for service.

A Duergar outpost near the surface might host a significant Tiefling population. A Tiefling who embraces his or her infernal heritage often allies with Duergar, who use the Tiefling as an agent on the surface. A Tiefling might become a member of a surface settlement, identifying choice victims for duergar slavers. The Duergar that live in outposts near the surface tend to actively raid settlements. Duergar are commonly sighted in borderland regions, where few patrols or militias can stand up to their attacks. Duergar living near the surface usually sells its slaves to markets in the Underdark or trades the slaves to duergar living deeper underground, where the slaves are more useful. A Duergar slaver often learns the traditions and routines of surface-dwellers, putting those lessons to practice in its raiding techniques. A Duergar raider might wait until fall harvest to attack, taking advantage of the large number of isolated, able-bodied workers in the fields.

Deep-dwelling Duergar make their homes in highly defensible areas of the Underdark, such as on islands in the middle of underground seas, in caverns surrounded by moats of lava, or on the edges of deep chasms. Duergar are typically slow to trust outsiders; an endorsement from a powerful devil is one of the few ways to gain the trust of a Duergar. Duergar are always wary of attacks from Mind Flayers, Aboleths, and other creatures that threaten to enslave them once again. Squads of a half-dozen or more soldiers patrol Duergar strongholds, sometimes accompanied by devils or by Duergar that have the psychic talent to detect Mind Flayers or Aboleths. Duergar might seem defensive or cautious, but they quickly take advantage of their enemies' weaknesses, whether in combat or in social encounters.

Duergar Characteristics: Conniving, scheming, biased, unforgiving, treacherous, spiteful, untrustworthy, militaristc.

Male Names: Asder, Bregg, Drek, Grogak, Meht, Odarth, Silek, Thar, Uldir, Zern.

Female Names: Alumm, Erbeth, Frega, Holn, Kasdi, Lokta, Norda, Skula, Sontra, Vil.

Clan Names: Ameth-adan, Drekhenn, Esregga'tor, Jormyulnar, Mardredeim, Memnagra, P'erthul, Qolnir-attar, Thras'holnir, Zortulgand.

Duergar Adventurers Edit

Three sample duergar adventurers are described below.

Grogak is a duergar rogue who looks after the most important thing in existence — himself, of course. He is quick to suggest alliances with those more powerful than himself or who possess skills necessary for him to complete a mission; he is even quicker to plant a dagger in anyone foolish enough to accept. He is driven to take anything and everything that he wants from whoever happens to have it, and has already amassed a small fortune in illicit goods. Yet his insatiable greed continually pushes him to stage ever-grander robberies; those few who have met him and lived believe that it is only a matter of time before he sticks his fingers into the wrong pocket.

Erbeth is a duergar wizard nearly unique amongst her people, insomuch as she is dazzlingly beautiful by the standards of most races. Ever the pragmatist, Erbeth has surrounded herself with powerful warlords, politicians, and many individuals of ill repute, all drawn by her irresistible looks and the elusive promise of a place in her bedchambers. Though lacking in physical prowess, few would dare cross her, if only because there are so many who would rush to her defense.

Meht is a legendary warlord and a leader of his people, as cruel and sadistic as he is skilled with a blade. For many years he has waged war on the vile dwarves, rarely returning from a campaign with less than four dozen kills to his name. But Meht is no longer young, and he knows that it is only a matter of time before one of his lieutenants decides that they are better fit to hold his position. He is desperately searching for some means to offset the effects of old age, and is willing to sacrifice everything in pursuit of it.

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