5E Dwarf Subraces Part 2: Cloud Dwarves

Cloud Dwarf:

Personality: Cloud Dwarves are much more carefree and aloof than their counterparts in the mountains. They often travel to wherever life brings them. They are usually happy and friendly, but when sad or angry can barely control their tears and their rage.

Physical Description: Cloud Dwarves are much smaller than typical dwarves, and weigh very little even for their size. They are usually between 3 and 3.5 feet tall and weigh very little, from 5-20 pounds. Their skin and hair is white and their hair is usually fluffy and puffy. They have white or grey pupils but their eye color is as diverse as a human. When enraged or depressed, a Cloud Dwarf’s skin skin and hair darken to grey, and they often start to cry uncontrollably. Their voice when content is high pitched and easy to understand. However, when angry/upset and grey, a Cloud Dwarf’s voice becomes thunderous and deep, a voice befitting a dragon or thundercloud rather than a Dwarf. Their blood is clear like water.

Relations: Cloud Dwarves generally love meeting new people and races, and other races enjoy trading with Cloud Dwarves for their strange, cloud-made tools and equipment. Cloud Dwarves enjoy exploring and new lands can be intriguing a Cloud Dwarf.

Alignment: Cloud Dwarves, generally very happy and helpful, tend to lean towards the good alignment. They still retain their lawful clan system, city style, and craftsmanship, but they are much more carefree and chaotic than your typical Dwarf. Thus, many Cloud Dwarves are neutral when it comes to the axis of law and chaos.

Lands: Cloud Dwarves build large cities on top of clouds and on the peak of tall mountains. Cloud Dwarf cities are constantly changing shape and shift along with the clouds that they reside on. Cities tend to become an entirely different place after a week in the sky. Cloud Dwarves rarely are able to stay in communication with other Cloud Dwarves unless they are part of the same clan, and thus, the same cloud. When two clouds, or rather, two clans collide together and form one cloud, their is typically much rejoicing with a lot of feasting, drinking, and celebration. With their ability to solidify clouds, Cloud Dwarves can manage to keep buildings from drifting apart, and keep friendly clans together. However, often Cloud Dwarves will bid other clans farewell to continue to satisfy their wanderlust. When Cloud Dwarves become of age, most choose to partake in a special rite of age ritual. The next time that their cloud becomes stormy, young Cloud Dwarves fling themselves off and travel down to the mainland with the rain from their cloud. After they land, they explore the new land around them and eventually make their way to the top of a tall mountain so they can rejoin Cloud Dwarf society in the clouds. Some of these mountain peaks have become Cloud Dwarf cities in their own right, as they wait for cloud cities to come by for trading and relations. These cities make it easy for Cloud Dwarves to make their way back onto clouds. Unclaimed clouds are occasionally claimed by Cloud Dwarves who wish to start their own clan, possibly with the pilgrim Cloud Dwarves that they have been travelling with.

Religion: Most Cloud Dwarves worship Moradin, god of the Dwarves. They also worship other gods as they choose, but generally at least pay some respect to gods of the sky.

Language: Cloud Dwarves pick up all sorts of languages as they drift around the world, and many Cloud Dwarves pick up Auran, the language of the sky.

Names: Cloud Dwarves names are typically very easy on the ears, and their clan names typically have something to do with the sky that they live in.
Examples of Clan Names: Skyfall, Thunderstruck, Fluffy-Born, Puffy-Beards

Racial Traits:

These traits are in addition to base Dwarf stats:

+1 Dexterity: Cloud Dwarves are smaller and naturally more agile than one would typically expect in a Dwarf

Cloud Born: A Cloud Dwarves natural home within the cloud cities above impart it with several benefits. Cloud Dwarves are always under the effect of the feather fall spell, though they can suppress or re enable the effect as a reaction. Cloud Dwarves can walk upon clouds and fog as if it was solid ground. They are also immune to any negative effects of being at extreme altitudes.

Design Notes:

The primary feeling you should have while playing as a Cloud Dwarf is the lack of actual weight your character has. The heaviest Cloud Dwarf is less than 20 pounds, so their racial ability, Cloud Born, tries to reflect the insanely low weight this subrace has. Effectively, Cloud Dwarves are immune to fall damage (barring mind control or GM shenanigans), much like how if you were to drop an ant out of a plane, it would live with no actual damage from the fall itself.

Cloud Dwarves can also walk upon clouds are highly acclimated to extreme altitudes. These are ribbon features to add a little more flair to the subrace and differentiate them further from their typical mountain dwelling brethren.

5E Dwarf Subraces Part 1 – Volcano Dwarf

Volcano Dwarf:

Personality: Volcano Dwarves are similar to Mountain Dwarves in that they both have gruff, tradition rich lives. Volcano Dwarves are usually more stable in their emotions than other dwarves, but they reach their tipping point, they erupt with emotions far stronger than almost any other race. A raging Volcano Dwarf would be a terrifying sight. Like other dwarves, a good time often includes a strong drink and crafting metal objects.

Physical Description: Volcano Dwarves are as black as the soot they surround themselves in. Their hair, generally very dark in color, is very rough and often curly due to the intense heat that surrounds them. Volcano Dwarves are slightly taller than other dwarves, but not by much. They generally weigh slightly more than a Mountain Dwarf of the same height. Volcano Dwarf eyes are generally black, orange, or red. A Volcano Dwarf’s blood is hot to the touch, glows slightly and is bright red-orange in color. Their hair is generally a dark red or orange color, but an older Volcano Dwarves’ hair turns black instead of white.

Relations: If a Volcano Dwarf never leaves his home volcano, then he is likely to never meet another friendly race, as few can withstand the heat of the volcano cities Volcano Dwarves inhabit. However, seeing how Volcano Dwarves make high quality metal tools, aspiring Volcano Dwarf entrepreneurs leave their home to sell high quality gear to other races.

Alignment: Like other dwarves, Volcano Dwarves lean heavily towards lawful. Unlike the Mountain Dwarves, however, Volcano Dwarves don’t lean towards good or evil. Having few natural enemies, at least in their volcano homes, a Volcano Dwarf usually has no reason to fight for good or evil. Volcano Dwarves usually only have deal with others of their own kind.

Lands: Volcano Dwarves live in volcanoes, with cities built out of stone, hardened ash and extremely durable metals. They often use the lava in the volcanoes to their own purposes, such as bathing, metal crafting, and on occasion, use in very strong, very hot drinks. Their volcano homes tend to be rich in precious metals and gemstones.

Religion: Volcano Dwarves, like other dwarves, mainly worship Moradin, the god of Dwarves. Other Volcano Dwarves may worship fire gods, blacksmithing gods, or gods of great strength.

Language: Being secluded, Volcano Dwarves generally have experience with fewer languages than the typical dwarf. They do often learn Ignan, to speak with the few creatures that live nearby.

Names: Volcano Dwarves name themselves very similarly to Mountain Dwarves, except that their clan names often have some reference towards heat.

Clan Names: Flameburn, Magma-maned, Smokestucked, Molteneer, Eruptators

Racial Stats:

These stats are in addition to the base Dwarf Stats:

+1 Strength – Volcano Dwarves are strong in body, but not to the extent of their mountain cousins

Immunity to fire – A volcano dwarf is immune to fire damage, due to the terrible heat that is found in and around active volcanoes. A little too hot feels just about right for Volcano Dwarves

Vulnerability to cold- Volcano Dwarves have vulnerability to cold damage. Any temperature below extreme heat feels a bit chilly to a Volcano Dwarf, and any amount of actual cold can be unbearable to them.

Design notes:

Immunity to a damage type is extremely potent as far as racial abilities go, with only Yuan-Ti Purebloods having immunity to poison damage to go off of at the time of writing. However, total immunity to heat and fire does give the Volcano Dwarf an identity of it’s own, completely separating this subrace from the other Dwarf subraces.

Vulnerability to a damage type is also unusual in a player race, and will be a devastating weakness if a Volcano Dwarf adventurer were to go against a powerful creature of winter such as a White Dragon.

The small strength bonus ensures that Volcano Dwarves aren’t objectively better than Mountain Dwarves, who have the distinction of being one of very few races who has a net +4 to stats compared to the standard +3.