Duergar (8 RP)

The duergar, or gray dwarves, are a race of evil dwarves who inhabit large underground cities in Nar-Voth.

Duergar dwell in subterranean caverns far from the touch of light. They detest all races living beneath the sun, but that hatred pales besides their loathing of their surface-dwarf cousins. Dwarves and duergar once were one race, but the dwarves left the deeps for their mountain strongholds. Duergar still consider themselves the only true dwarves, and the rightful heirs of all beneath the world’s surface. In appearance, duergar resemble gray-skinned dwarves, bearded but bald, with cold, lightless eyes. They favor taking captives in battle over wanton slaughter, save for surface dwarves, who are slain without hesitation. Duergar view life as ceaseless toil ended only by death. Though few can be described as anything other than vile and cruel, duergar still value honor and rarely break their word.


A duergar is relatively similar in appearance to a dwarf, except for the lack of hair on its scalp and its ashen-gray skin. Being creatures native to a lightless realm, their darkvision is superior to that of their surface-dwelling brethren, allowing them to see twice as far as dwarves. They have maintained the dwarven resistance to magic, but are also immune to poison and paralytic attacks. Due to their supernatural origins (see History), duergar have the ability to turn invisible and enlarge themselves once every day.


While most of the dwarves left their ancestral homelands in Nar-Voth during their Quest for Sky in the late years of the Age of Darkness, there were many who refused to leave their cities. Those left behind attempted to hold on to their settlements, only to find that their numbers were too few. During the centuries that followed, these dwarves faced constant harassment and attacks from the other encroaching races of the Darklands and slowly had to abandon city after city. When finally faced with their own genocide, the evil dwarven god Droskar offered them a chance for survival; in return he demanded their unquestioning devotion. The dwarves had few other options, and accepted his deal, eventually becoming the duergar (meaning “gray-faced” in Dwarven). Droskar gifted them with a mastery of magic, and in time they learned to train giant spiders and beetles as mounts and guards. These two developments helped them come back from the brink of extinction, and eventually reclaim many of their lost cities.

Habitat and Society

Duergar remain one of the most wide-spread and prolific races of Nar-Voth, inhabiting the cities of Fellstrok, Hagegraf, and Diepkamer beneath the continent of Avistan. They effectively control the longest and widest tunnel system in Nar-Voth, known as the Long Walk, which is heavily patrolled, and which runs between the cities of Hagegraf and Fellstrok.

Having given themselves freely to the Dark Smith, it is not surprising that duergar society is violent and filled with endless work. They train giant spiders and other vermin to serve as mounts and guards, and are among the greatest slavers in the Darklands.

Military service in a duergar army is seen to most as a birthright, and to others as compulsory.


Over the millennia, duergar have recaptured and rebuilt many of the ancient dwarven strongholds, though their architectural modifications run along much more functional, almost brutalist lines. Their cities are remarkably free of extreme poverty and signs of dissatisfaction or rebellion. While this may be impressive at first, it is soon clear that a simple, hard truth lies behind it: grey dwarves do not know the meaning of rest and serve their god by endlessly perfecting everything around them, be it structures, weapons, or magic. The only ones who work harder than the duergar are the countless slaves they keep.

  • Fellstrok: This large duergar town is located directly beneath the orc capital of Urgir in the Hold of Belkzen. It has only recently been retaken and the grey dwarves work night and day to build up its defenses.
  • Hagegraf: The public capital of the duergar lies along the Long Walk and is built in an enormous cavern with gigantic stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Diepkamer: In truth, the duergar nation is ruled not from Hagegraf, but from the secret fortress of Diepkamer, found below Taldor’s World’s Edge Mountains. This heavily guarded settlement is home to the Seven Patriarchs, the seemingly immortal founders of the duergar race who were the first dwarves to dedicate themselves to Droskar.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Racial Traits: Duergar are hearty and observant, but also belligerent. They gain +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, and –4 Charisma.
  • Type: Duergar are humanoids with the dwarf subtype.
  • Size: Duergar are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Base Speed: Slow and Steady- Duergar have a base speed of 20 feet, but their speed is never modified by armor or encumbrance.
  • Languages: Duergar begin play speaking Common, Dwarven, and Undercommon. Duergar with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Orc, and Terran. See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.

Defense Racial Traits

  • Duergar Immunities: Duergar are immune to paralysis, phantasms, and poison. They gain a +2 racial bonus on saves against spells and spell-like abilities.
  • Stability: Duergar receive a +4 racial bonus to their CMD against bull rush or trip attempts while on solid ground.

Magical Racial Traits

  • Enlarge Person Spell-Like Ability (Sp): A duergar can use enlarge person once per day, using its character level as its caster level and affecting itself only.
  • Invisibility Spell-Like Ability (Sp): A duergar can use invisibility once per day, using its character level as its caster level and affecting itself only.

Senses Racial Traits

  • Superior Darkvision: Duergar have superior darkvision, allowing them to see perfectly in the dark up to 120 feet.

Weakness Racial Traits

  • Light Sensitivity: Duergar are dazzled in areas of bright light.

Alternate Racial Traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

  • Blood Enmity: Duergar have long warred against their dwarven cousins and the hated drow. Duergar with this racial trait receive a +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against humanoid creatures of the dwarf or elf subtypes. This racial trait replaces the invisibility spell-like ability.
  • Daysighted: The cruel light of the sun harms some duergar less than others. Such duergar lack the light sensitivity racial trait, but have darkvision of only 60 feet.
  • Deep Magic: Duergar spellcasters labor long to overcome the inborn spell resistance (SR) held by so many of their underground foes. Duergar with this racial trait receive a +2 racial bonus on caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance and a +2 racial bonus on dispel checks. This racial trait replaces the enlarge person and invisibility spell-like abilities.
  • Dwarf Traits: Duergar can select any dwarf racial trait that replaces stability. They can select dwarf racial traits that replace the hardy dwarf racial trait by giving up duergar immunities instead.
  • Magical Taskmaster: Some duergar demonstrate magic of a more insidious kind than the rest of their kin. They can use charm person once per day as a spell-like ability. The save DC is equal to 10 + 1/2 duergar’s Hit Dice + duergar’s Wisdom modifier. This racial trait replaces the invisibility spell-like ability racial trait.

Favored Class Options

The following favored class options are available to all characters of this race who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.

  • Cleric: Add a +1/2 bonus on checks made to craft magic items.
  • Fighter: Add +1 to the Fighter’s CMD when resisting a bull rush or trip attempt.
  • Inquisitor: Add +1/6 to the number of times per day the inquisitor can use the judgment class feature.
  • Kineticist: Add 1/5 of an Extra Wild Talent feat that must be spent on an earth element wild talent.
  • Psychic: The psychic treats her Wisdom bonus as 1/3 point higher for the purpose of determining the number of uses or rounds per day of her discipline powers.

Racial Archetype

The following racial archetype is available to duergar:

Racial Feats

The following feats are available to a duergar character who meets the prerequisites.

Duergar Tyrants

Duergar tyrants are defined by their class levels—they do not have racial Hit Dice. A duergar tyrant’s Challenge Rating is equal to her class level. Duergar tyrants have all of the racial traits of duergar characters except spell-like abilities, in addition to the following.

  • + 2 Strength, + 4 Constitution, + 2 Wisdom, – 2 Charisma: Duergar tyrants are strong, hardy, and willful. These ability score modifiers replace the standard duergar ability score modifiers.
  • Telekinetic Adept: A duergar tyrant has access to the basic telekinesis, kinetic form, telekinetic finesse, telekinetic haul, and telekinetic invisibility kineticist wild talents with an effective kineticist level equal to her total character level.
  • Psychic Magic: Duergar tyrants can cast ironskin (2 PE) and mind thrust I (1 PE) as per the psychic magic universal monster rule. The caster level is equal to the duergar tyrant’s total character level. Duergar tyrants have a reservoir of 5 PE per day.

Random Duergar Starting Ages





40 years

+ 3d6 years (43 – 58 years)

+ 5d6 years (45 – 70 years)

+ 7d6 years (47 – 82 years)

1 This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
2 This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.
3 This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.

Random Duergar Height and Weight


Base Height

Height Modifier

Base Weight

Weight Modifier


3 ft. 9 in.

+2d4 in. (3 ft. 11 in. – 4 ft. 5 in.)

150 lbs.

+ (2d8 x 7 lbs.) (164 – 262 lbs.)


3 ft. 7 in.

+2d4 in. (3 ft. 9 in. – 4 ft. 3 in.)

120 lbs.

+ (2d8 x 7 lbs.) (134 – 232 lbs.)


Table: Race Point Costs

Racial Traits


Race Point Cost


Humanoid (dwarf)





Base Speed


- 1

Ability Score Modifiers

Weakness (+ 2 Con, + 2 Wis, – 4 Cha)






Duergar immunities





Spell-Like Ability




Darkvision 120 ft.



Light sensitivity

- 1






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