Unconventional Enemies: Dwarves

Rugged, proud, rich, unbending; such are the qualities of dwarves in most fantasy genres. 13th Age is no exception, and the consistency with Tolkien’s vision is what captivates me. To truth is, these little buggers may be more inclined than most to oppose the interest of most PC’s/adventuring parties. Whether its unreasonable paranoia, jealousy or they simply just don’t feel like it, dwarves tend to give those in their lands that aren’t kin a hard time. With them being touchy already, one misplaced word in a sentence can lead to the clash of steel. Dwarves are hardy just like the mountains they call home, perhaps this fight is a little more than you bargained for. Their disdain for elves certainly won’t help you if you’re traveling with one. And so, the perceived and eternal conflict between their race and the world seems to continue. As the last civilized bastion between the horror that comes from the Frost Range, can you blame them for being so bitter? We see some dwarves in the Midgard Bestiary but not really anywhere else. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Adventure hooks:

  • Anvil is buttoned up tighter than a purse in Shadow Port. The Crusader’s forces are knocking on the door claiming there’s a hell hole being opened within the city.  Skodr Ironshank, the overseer of the city appointed by the Dwarf King, refuses to open the doors. Anvil is basically under siege by the Crusader, hoping they can continue their witch hunt. Tensions are high, and that’s the last thing the Empire needs.
  • You’ve been stopped by a dwarf in Glitterhaegen. It seems like he’s never seen a battle in his life, based off the finery he wears, yet he claims the magical sword you carry is an ancestral heirloom. He’s either a pathological liar or you’ve unwittingly stumbled upon the remnants of someone who’s had a less fortunate adventuring career. The shady fellows that watch from the surrounding plaza are eyeing you carefully. This guy’s pockets run deep, the loyalty of his goons deeper.
  • A band of brigands or a secret dwarven task force? The matter is up for debate, but what isn’t is the fact that dwarves have been perusing around Burrow and Old Town. They’ve been asking a lot of questions about the surrounding area and are clearly looking for something. Whatever it is, it smells like trouble and rarely do dwarves travel so close to the Queen’s Wood. Thankfully, dwarves aren’t exactly the best at being completely covert.
  • The Emperor’s forces were working with that of the Dwarf King’s in a recent mission to clear out a thought to be ruined hideout of Orc Lord supporters. A powerful artifact was found in their clutches and the Dwarf King claimed ownership of it before talking it out with the Emperor. It’s now stored in Forge, under 24/7 surveillance. The Emperor has great need of you, terms must be set. The catch? Well, dwarves don’t like being told no, much less the Dwarf King himself.



Dwarf Muscle

They call them muscle because the standard for battle prowess is so high that there’s no difference between a guard and a solider. Unlucky for you that you’re on the wrong side of the ax’s haft.

Initiative: +8
5th level troop

Disproportionate weapon +10 vs. AC – 20 damage
Dwarven cooperation: If one or more dwarves are engaged with the target, when this                 attack misses, a second attack (no more) can be made at a -2 penalty.

Heavy crossbow +8 vs. AC – 15 damage

“Is That Your Best Shot?” – The first time a dwarf is staggered or reduced to zero hit points, it heals one third its max hit points.

AC: 20
PD: 20                   HP: 74
MD: 14


Dwarf Battle Captain

It’s no secret dwarves have no trouble cooperating on the battlefield, but these guys make sure there’s no room for error.

Initiative: +11
8th level leader

Ancestral Weapon +14 vs. AC (2 attacks) – 30 damage
Natural even hit: One nearby ally can make a free move action to engage the target. If               they are engaged with an enemy already, they suffer an opportunity attack at half                   damage.

Battle cry +12 vs MD – The target is vulnerable to dwarf attacks, save ends.
Limited use: The dwarf battle captain can only use Battle Cry twice per battle.

“Is That Your Best Shot?” – The first time a dwarf is staggered or reduced to zero hit points, it heals one third its max hit points.

Unit tactics: For every two dwarves in the battle (round up), one of them can use well-armored as a free action once during the battle. (see Well-armored from Hobgoblin Captain in the core rules).

Nastier Specials:

Battlefield mastery: All dwarves in the battle gain the Escalator ability.

AC: 22
PD: 22                  HP: 135
MD: 16



Dwarven Centurion

At first glance, this hulking, steam-powered contraption is some sort of automaton hellbent on making your day worse. Until you see the braided beard poking out from just underneath the face plate, that is. Some wise guy is piloting that thing!

Initiative: +13
Large 10th level wrecker

Massive fists +17 vs AC (2 attacks) – 70 damage
Miss: 7d10 damage

Steam blast +15 vs PD (all nearby creatures) – 50 fire damage and 20 ongoing fire                            damage.
Natural 16+: The target is popped free from the dwarven centurion

Turtled up: The pilot of the dwarven centurion is not exposed until this creature is reduced to zero hit points. When the pilot is exposed, replace the centurion with a single Dwarf Muscle.

AC: 28
PD: 25                 HP:435


As with the other entries, feedback is hugely welcomed either via Twitter or a message to my Facebook page!


Stay Metal \m/

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