Mountain dwarves are a breed of dwarves at home in the high peaks and rarified air of the rocky mountains. In many ways similar to their lowland cousins, mountain dwarves are slightly more reclusive and tend to focus on mining, forging, and crafts a bit more strongly -- their closeness to the dwarven deity Moradin is said to be a cause of this. It is said that a mountain dwarf is born in armor, but this is likely just a mild exaggeration.
Dwarves possess the following unique traits
- Resistant to magic
- Resistant to poison
- Ability to see in the dark
- Ability to intuitively judge depth underground and determine the quality, age, secrets, and design of stone construction.
- Bonus to attacks against orcs and goblinoids
- Ability to dodge the attacks of giants.
- Bonus to Wisdom or Constitution
Mountain dwarves tend to be slightly taller and hardier than their lowland cousins, with lighter skin and hair.
Dwarves tend to be a little distant and isolationist. They locate their lairs in solid rock near profitable mines, and carve vast, beautiful complexes into the solid stone there. Dwarven cities are long-lasting things, that stand for millennia.
Dwarves are organized into clans, and each clan plies a trade with metal found in their region. Dwarven clans compete with each other, but don't usually wage war, preferring crafting competitions, art shows, and other shows of dwarfish skill. Dwarves are skilled miners, engineers, smiths, and jewelers. They often trade their raw supplies or finished goods with lowland peoples in exchange for things difficult to grow in dwarven lands, such as certain foods.
Young dwarves train at a specific skill, under long tutelage and apprenticeship. Usually this is a craft, but dwarves consider political and military service to be a similar craft, and spend long years learning it.
Dwarves have an affection for consistency and order, finding things that are stable and unchanging peaceful and soothing in a world where, within a single dwarf lifetime, things can change so dramatically. Dwarves famously have a hatred and fear for the sea, which they see as an ever-changing, chaotic beast, representing everything terrifying to them. This stability is evoked in their crafts: a dwarven tool is designed to last for a dwarven lifetime, and so has little chance of failing in a human one.
Dwarves value wealth as a sign of industrious work, but are rarely gaudy with it, preferring to count their wealth in private. They also see wealth as something to share and strengthen a clan, rather than something to be hoarded for themselves.
Dwarves are lead by fighters, and by fighter/clerics. These clan chiefs often have lower-level fighters and fighter/clerics as acolytes and lieutenants.
Dwarves tend to use swords, crossbows, spears, axes, hammers, maces, and picks. They dress in plate armor, with shields, and so disdain two-handed weapons. Mountain dwarves tend to use more spears and fewer crossbows, and you're more likely to find hammers, maces, and picks amongst them.
Dwarves occasionally domesticate brown bears or wolves, and employ the creatures as guards in their fortresses.
Dwarves will form trade alliances with humans and elves, though they see both races as surprisingly frivolous (especially the elves). These disagreements don't often erupt into violence or hatred of any sort, merely a peery mistrust and skepticism.
Dwarves have made many enemies in their time in the underdark, including orcs, goblinoids, giants, and drow. Many of these people dwarves have developed effective combat tactics against, as dwarves are in a near-constant state of warfare and violence against chaos and evil.