Pathfinder Dwarves in Dragonlance

What’s Different: Pathfinder dwarves receive a +2 racial bonus to Wisdom. This would certainly reflect the gruff mentor figure of Flint Fireforge or a talented dwarven mystic like Jasper Fireforge, both of whom were hill dwarves. It would also be a logical ability score extension of the highly religious members of the Daewar mountain dwarf clan who gravitate towards the clerical path. Applying this racial bonus to hill and mountain dwarf characters is an easy fit.

Pathfinder dwarves also receive bonus weapon proficiencies in battle axes, heavy picks, and warhammers. Seeing how all of these weapons have common associations with dwarves in the fantasy genre, allowing dwarves in general D&D and hill and mountain dwarves in Dragonlance to use these weapons without penalty seems like a no-brainer. If elves gain proficiencies with longswords and bows, why shouldn’t a dwarf be allowed to use picks, axes, and hammers?

Now we come to the rules differences that are unique to the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. Pathfinder dwarves receive +2 racial bonuses on touch and taste-based Perception skills. Pathfinder merged the 3.5 Listen and Spot skills into a singular skill called Perception. This new skill also accounts for a person’s ability to differentiate tastes, smells, and how things feel to the touch. With their love of strong drink and instinctive understanding of stone and metal workings it seems natural that dwarves of all kinds would be better suited to noticing peculiarities in these areas. Applying these bonuses to all of Krynn’s dwarven races seems appropriate, with the exception perhaps of gully dwarves.

Since the Aghar are actually skilled cooks and talented survivalists the bonus to taste-based Perception roles seems appropriate. Since they lack their more intelligent cousins’ sense of craftsmanship, dropping the touch-based Perception bonus also seems appropriate. In its place I would add a +2 racial bonus on smell-based Perception checks. Given the significant amount of time spent by gully dwarves foraging in trash pits and other disgusting places it would seem natural that they would have developed an ability to differentiate smells that might lead them to less rotten food and the like.

Like the 3.5 Spot and Listen skills Hide and Move Silently were also merged into a new skill called Stealth. Therefore instead of receiving +2 racial bonuses to Hide and Move Silently checks dark dwarves and gully dwarves should now get a singular +2 racial bonus to Stealth checks.

Lastly, Pathfinder dwarves may choose either fighter or cleric as their favored class at Level 1. This change from standard D&D would be especially appropriate for the mountain dwarves. I would replace cleric as a second favored class option with master for hill dwarves, and rogue for dark dwarves and gully dwarves. I would treat half-dwarves like Pathfinder half-elves. They can choose one class as a favored class at Level 1 and once that choice is made it cannot be changed.

Using these easy to implement guidelines players should find it very easy to play a Dragonlance flavored dwarf of any kind using the complete Pathfinder rules set.

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