Duergar (Grey Dwarf)

This race is restricted and must be applied for

Duergar, also known as Gray Dwarves, are a subterranean race, closely related to Dwarves and Devils, that carve out their existence in the Underdark, often near volcano strongholds. They are an offshoot of citadel dwarves who delved too deep in their quest for wealth, and were changed through the strange powers that they encountered in the depths, and through occasional interbreeding with infernal beings, with whom they eventually found they had more in common than their fellow dwarves.

Where other dwarven subraces can be unfriendly and prone to loving their work and wealth more than loving other creatures, the duergar take these personality traits to their logical extremes, while at the same time rejecting the stereotypical dwarven love for good song, better beer, and the very best of company. While duergar are as bound by honor as any dwarf can be, they prefer to live their lives by a rigid, unbending code of conduct and hierarchy of rule that resembles a cross between the more unpleasant aspects of a feudal system and a guild's organization. Duergar are intensely insular, though they are happy to make deals with other races, ranging from trade to mercenary work, where their code of conduct tends to make them reasonably trustworthy.

The one major exception to all rules of conduct among the duergar is anything involving wealth. Greed is the grand vice of duergar, so deeply-ingrained into their culture that it might as well be a trait of the race. While duergar will do everything they can to use legitimate means to get and keep their wealth, they are not in the least bit above using any underhanded, dirty means available to acquire more or to hang on to what they have. While they keep the appearance of civility, at least, which helps to maintain their society and their relations with others, they can become truly deadly backstabbers the moment that a ripe opportunity arises.

Lawful Evil is a common alignment for duergar, and Lawful Neutral is usually as open-minded as the vast majority of Gray Dwarves will allow. Exceptions to this rule are usually banished, if they are not killed outright (though the two tend to be the same when one is thrown out alone into the Underdark). Despite these faults, duergar are also incredibly tough, their singlemindedness letting them endure suffering to extremes that even other dwarves would find troubling at best, and they are almost fearless in battle.

Physical Description
Like their Dwarven brethren, Duergar are typically stocky figures, though beyond this there are many differences. Both male and female duergar are typically bald, with females also lacking the capacity to grow facial hair. When they are not bald, however, Duergar grow spiny quills like those of a porcupine rather than typical hair, both along their scalp and in their beards. Normally duergar hair is as washed-out and grey as their skin. However, duergar often dye their hair in bright colors, especially orange and red, when they are expecting to go into battle, and for other special occasions.

Averaging 4 feet tall, Gray Dwarves weigh nearly as much as an adult Human. While other Dwarves tend to be round-bodied and stoutly muscled, Duergar are wide of shoulder but wiry and lean, their limbs corded with tough muscle. The skin of a Gray Dwarf is light or dark gray, and their eyes are dull black.

About Duergar
There is a cautionary tale told by dwarven mothers everywhere on Therafim that warns of the evils of greed. The duergar are the physical example of the end fate of those who followed this dark path, forsaking the realms above permanently in their desperate, joyless quest for the treasures of the depths. Life for the duergar is intended to be one of perpetual toil, toil which is intended to continue even past death. For generations, the duergar have been digging deeper and deeper into the crust of Therafim, until the effort has literally drained most of the color from their skin and hair.

The duergar have started, through their delving and interbreeding with devilish entities, a process that is very likely to split them permanently from their dwarven side, though it holds for the time being. It is perhaps this gradual drift that causes some duergar to flee from the tyrrany of their homes, and set up shop elsewhere, in an effort to retain some vestiges of what they sense in their hearts they are supposed to be, regaining the balance that their race has lost. These duergar are a minority, however, as such persons are killed by other duergar whenever they are detected. Exile is a more common cause for duergar to leave their homes, for whatever crimes a given community of duergar might devise, as is greed so great that it cannot be contained by a single community, leading some duegar among other races in search of even more opportunities to gain wealth.


  • Require 15 REP to play.
  • +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma.
  • Darkvision up to 120 feet.
  • Immune to paralysis, phantasms, and poisons.
  • +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like abilities.
  • +4 racial bonus on Move Silently and Hide checks at night or underground. Gray Dwarves excel in stealthy movement and taking advantage of the darkness they dwell in.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: 1/day—Enlarge person and Invisibility as a wizard of the Duergar's level. These affect only the Duergar and whatever it carries.
  • Light Sensitivity: Duergar suffer a -1 circumstance penalty to attack rolls, saves, and checks in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
  • Automatic Languages: Giant, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Common, Draconic, Goblin, Infernal, Wildlander, Terran.

Special Racial Feat
Light-Hardened (Racial)
Some creatures, especially beings that normally live in the Underdark, have a hard time dealing with the raw, merciless light of the surface world. Other creatures, most notably undead, actually take damage from such exposure, and from related effects. However, it is possible for many of these creatures to overcome their weakness to light through careful, steady doses of exposure. While these methods of gradual exposure can be grueling, and even potentially deadly in some instances, those who make it through the training process are hardened against what was once a great danger.

Prerequisites: Light-related weakness.

Benefit: Creatures with light sensitivity (such as orcs) are able to function in sunlight without any penalties. Creatures that are actually damaged by sunlight (such as vampires) suffer only half the effects, or are able to last twice as long if there is a time duration of survival listed rather than a damage amount, and do not suffer any movement penalties for exposure.