The following rule options are written specifically for both Swords & Wizardry Complete and Core Edition.
|Dwarven healers attend to a patient in need.|
A common theme in OSR game systems, emulating early D&D, has been the split approach on non-human races available to Players. Either these races are treated as separate character classes, or they are presented as a straight package of initial stat adjustments, a few abilities, and then given limited class progression caps. Both systems have their pros, and cons. This article does away with either approach, and gives a third alternative.. benchmark level racial class abilities.
These benchmark racial class abilities rules are based on the standard rules, for non-human Player Characters (PCs) with limited level progressions, but with a few additional benefits and abilities granted at certain levels. This helps encourage players to pursue playing non-human races, and helps alleviate some of the sting of level caps.
Dwarves - The dwarf player character has a +4 on saving throws against any magic, and easily takes note of certain features of stonework: sloping corridors, moving walls, and traps made of stone – in particular: falling blocks, rigged ceilings, and tiny arrow slits designed to release poison gas or darts. They can also identify whether stonework is recent or not. There is no established die roll or rule for using these abilities; exactly what a Dwarf does or does not perceive is up to the Referee. Dwarfs can see in the dark (darkvision), to a limit of 60 feet. This vision is black and white only.
Dwarven player characters may be Fighters, Thieves, Clerics, or multi-class in any two, or all three of these classes. Multi-classed dwarves are limited to 6th level maximum in all three classes. Multi-classed dwarves may not take advantage of any XP bonuses due to high ability scores.
A dwarf that is purely a Fighter may advance beyond 6th level only if the dwarf has a Strength of 17 (maximum 7th level) or 18 (maximum 8th level). Such a fighter may also take advantage of any XP bonus due to a high Strength score to gain experience more quickly.
A dwarf that is purely a Thief may advance beyond 6th level only if the dwarf has a Dexterity of 17 (maximum 7th level) or 18 (maximum 8th level). Such a thief may also take advantage of any XP bonus due to a high Dexterity score to gain experience more quickly.
A dwarf that is purely a Cleric may advance beyond 6th level only if the dwarf has a Wisdom of 17 (maximum 7th level) or 18 (maximum 8th level). Such a cleric may also take advantage of any XP bonus due to a high Wisdom score to gain experience more quickly.
Racial Class Benchmarks:
- At 2nd level, dwarven fighters do not count the weight of any armor worn towards encumbrance totals, nor does it count against them for movement purposes.
- At 4th level, dwarven fighters battle with vigorous ferocity, granting them an additional +1 to hit and damage bonus in hand-to-hand combat.
- At 6th level, dwarven fighters gain an additional +6 to their total hit points, and gain +1 additional hit point for each fighter level beyond 6th if applicable.
- At 8th level, dwarven fighters may build a stronghold, instead of the usual 9th level as per the normal rules for fighters.
- Dwarven clerics do not receive the standard clerical ability to turn the undead.
- At 2nd level, dwarven clerics master powerful runes and may scribe one cleric spell on a scroll. This takes one week of time and costs 150 gold pieces per level of the spell inscribed. These scrolls are only usable by that particular character, and no more than three such scrolls may be carried at one time. The character may only scribe spells that they have access to be able to cast normally.
- At 4th level, dwarven clerics may cast Detect Magic, Find Traps, and Light once per day. These are in addition to their normally allowed spells.
- At 6th level, dwarven clerics add the following magic-user spells; Darkness, 15-foot Radius, Explosive Runes, and Locate Object, to their third level clerical spells list.
- At 8th level, dwarven clerics may establish a religious stronghold, instead of the usual 9th level as per the normal rules.
- Dwarven thieves never gain the standard thief ability to Read Magical Writings.
- At 2nd level, dwarven thieves gain an additional +1 (for a total of +3) on saving throws against devices, including traps, magical wands or staffs, and other magical devices.
- At 4th level, dwarven thieves may make traps, recover traps, and set/re-set traps. The referee will decide on the particulars for their campaigns.
- At 6th level, dwarven thieves gain an additional +10% to their chances of defeating magical traps.
- At 8th level, dwarven thieves may establish a guild, instead of the usual 9th level as per the normal rules.