Duergar (4e Race)

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Vile tyrants, adapted to surviving in the harsh environment of the Underdark.

Duergar warriors are among the most feared combatants in the Underdark.
Racial Traits
Average Height: 4’5” – 5’0”
Average Weight: 170 – 235 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom
Size: Medium
Speed: 5 squares
Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Deep Speech, Dwarven
Skill Bonuses: +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Stealth
Stand Your Ground: When an effect forces you to move — through a pull, a push, or a slide — you can move 1 square less than the effect specifies. This means an effect that normally pulls, pushes, or slides a target 1 square does not force you to move unless you want to.

In addition, when an attack would knock you prone, you can immediately make a saving throw to avoid falling prone.

Expansion: You can use expansion as an encounter power.

Expansion Duergar Racial Power
With a ferocious cry, your body rapidly grows and expands until you tower over your foes.
Encounter Star.gif Polymorph
Minor Action Personal
Effect: You become Large until the end of your next turn, occupying 4 squares instead of 1, and you gain reach 2. Any creatures in the squares that you come to occupy are pushed 1 square. Whilst you are large any weapons you carry also grow in size, increasing the damage of your weapon by one step.
Special: You must be bloodied to use this power.

Equally skilled in both deception and combat, duergar are a repulsive offshoot of the dwarven race. Most at home in the lightless depths of the foreboding Underdark, they despise virtually every other race in existence. They hate dwarves above all others, though, and will ally with other creatures temporarily if it means a chance to spill the blood of Moradin's children. Duergar are sometimes called gray dwarves by natives of the Underdark.

Play a duergar if you want...

  • To be a member of an evil, subterranean race.
  • To be able to alter your size.
  • To be a member of a race that favors the cleric, fighter, and rogue classes.

Physical Qualities[edit]

Duergar greatly resemble their dwarf cousins, but they stand slightly taller on average and tend to weigh more. Their skin is grey or pale white, with the darkest possessed of skin that seems almost ebon in hue. Their eyes are equally dull, with any shade of grey or brown being the norm. The vast majority of duergar are naturally bald, including the females, and those that aren't often shave off their hair anyway, it being viewed as nothing more than a detriment in combat. Their weapons and armor often depicting leering, demonic faces, images of rival creatures being executed, and similar ghastly scenes meant to demoralize opponents.

Duergar mature more quickly than humans early in life, reaching maturity as young as 10, but then age slowly after that. Though capable of living well past 200 years, most die of unnatural causes long before then.

Playing a Duergar[edit]

Duergar are cruel and heartless beings, claiming to have been robbed of their former glory by the vile dwarves, though none can name exactly what measure of glory it is they once possessed. They owe allegiance only to those who can enforce it, and seek to control all those weaker than themselves. Their culture is bland and lacking in traditions, owing in part to their exceedingly strict militaristic lifestyle. To a duergar, anything that does not directly contribute to its own survival or power is nothing more than a useless trinket. Accordingly, they have no appreciation of artistic expression, and their dwellings are roughly hewed from stone and furnished with the sparsest of accommodations.

The duergar are goal-oriented and adhere strictly to their hierarchical society, though its exact structure can change drastically over time. Though they enjoy inflicting pain on others, they are practical individuals and will kill anyone too dangerous to risk keeping alive. An individual's standing within the community is greatly influenced by his battle prowess and, most importantly, the number of foes he has slain in combat. The leaders of duergar society are almost always powerful warlords and battle veterans.

They toil daily under the unending watch of Laduguer, their cruel and joyless deity, who demands that the duergar be prepared against any possible threat; to let your guard down for even a moment is to welcome death. It is Laduguer who freed the duergar and the dwarves form the giants, so he claims, and that the ungrateful dwarves repaid their debt by turning their backs to him and his people. As retribution for their sacrilige, he demands that the duergar slay dwarves whenever they can and urges his people to annihilate all others who stand before them: in Laduguer's eyes, mercy is weakness, and weakness is punishable by death.

Duergar lack a true central city, their militaristic mindset driving them to expand outward at an almost constant pace. Often the duergar come to occupy the former city of a downed enemy for a short time before moving on to future conquests. Perhaps the best known of such occupied cities, however, is Elwynvanar, once a major elven city. Though not necessarily larger than any other city the duergar occupy, Elwynvanar is unique in that it is situated directly between three allied elven cities. Despite their considerable military strength, the elves have been unable to reclaim their city in over thirty years since it was first captured, much to their despair.

The names of duergar are decidedly dwarven in origin, but their syllables are often much harsher and lack the references to ancient heroes common in dwarf heritage. Clan names play an important role in duergar society, as an individual's role is all but interchangeable with that of any of his direct kin — that is, if an individual holds a position of power then so, theoretically, does each of his family members, provided they can enforce it on others.

Duergar Characteristics: Conniving, scheming, bland, biased, unforgiving, treacherous, spiteful, untrustworthy, militaristc.

Male Names: Asder, Bregg, Drek, Grogak, Meht, Odarth, Silek, Thar, Uldir, Zern.

Female Names: Alumm, Erbeth, Frega, Holn, Kasdi, Lokta, Norda, Skula, Sontra, Vil.

Clan Names: Ameth-adan, Drekhenn, Esregga'tor, Jormyulnar, Mardredeim, Memnagra, P'erthul, Qolnir-attar, Thras'holnir, Zortulgand.

Duergar Adventurers[edit]

Three sample duergar adventurers are described below.

Grogak is a duergar rogue who looks after the most important thing in existence — himself, of course. He is quick to suggest alliances with those more powerful than himself or who possess skills necessary for him to complete a mission; he is even quicker to plant a dagger in anyone foolish enough to accept. He is driven to take anything and everything that he wants from whoever happens to have it, and has already amassed a small fortune in illicit goods. Yet his insatiable greed continually pushes him to stage ever-grander robberies; those few who have met him and lived believe that it is only a matter of time before he sticks his fingers into the wrong pocket.

Erbeth is a duergar wizard nearly unique amongst her people, insomuch as she is dazzlingly beautiful by the standards of most races. Ever the pragmatist, Erbeth has surrounded herself with powerful warlords, politicians, and many individuals of ill repute, all drawn by her irresistible looks and the elusive promise of a place in her bedchambers. Though lacking in physical prowess, few would dare cross her, if only because there are so many who would rush to her defense.

Meht is a legendary warlord and a leader of his people, as cruel and sadistic as he is skilled with a blade. For many years he has waged war on the vile dwarves, rarely returning from a campaign with less than four dozen kills to his name. But Meht is no longer young, and he knows that it is only a matter of time before one of his lieutenants decides that they are better fit to hold his position. He is desperately searching for some means to offset the effects of old age, and is willing to sacrifice everything in pursuit of it.

Duergar Racial Feats[edit]

The following feats are exclusive to the duergar race.

Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Powerful Growth
Paragon Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Invigorating Growth
Epic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Titan Form

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