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Shield Dwarf

Shield Dwarf

( Races of Faerûn, p. 17)


Size: Medium
Base speed: Land 20
Strength: +0
Intelligence: +0
Dexterity: +0
Wisdom: +0
Constitution: +2
Charisma: −2
Level adjustment: +0
Space: 5 feet
Reach: 5 feet
Automatic languages: Common , Dwarven
Bonus Languages: Chondathan , Draconic , Giant , Goblin , Illuskan , Ore


Found largely in the northern reaches of western and central Faerûn, shield dwarves are the dominant northern branch of the Stout Folk. Renowned for their smithwork and craftsmanship, shield dwarves have endured a centuries-long decline in the face of never-ending wars with orcs, goblins, giants, and trolls.

Shield dwarves are descended from the founders of Shanatar, a legendary dwarven empire that once ruled the caverns beneath modern-day Amn, Tethyr, and Calimshan. After Shanatar fell, the shield dwarves migrated north, founding kingdoms such as Ammarindar, Delzoun, Gharraghaur, Haunghdannar, Oghrann, and Sarbreen. Although those kingdoms have also largely fallen, the Stout Folk of the North endure. The Thunder Blessing has served as a welcome reprieve for the beleaguered shield dwarves, giving hope that the descendants of ancient Shanatar may one day reclaim the glory of their forebears.

Taller by half a foot than their gold dwarf cousins, shield dwarves average 4 1/2 feet tall and weigh as much as an adult human. The skin of a shield dwarf is fair or lightly tanned, and her eyes are usually green or silvered blue. Both genders wear their hair long, and males (and a very few females) have long, carefully groomed beards and mustaches. Hair color ranges from light brown to red, with all shades fading to silver or white as time progresses.

Shield dwarves keep to their word, whatever the cost, and are incredibly stubborn, unwilling to concede an inch unless there is absolutely no alternative. Such intransigence has enabled dwindling shield dwarf populations to hold on to ancient strongholds with just a fraction of their original defenders. However, it has also led to clan feuds and long-standing misunderstandings with other races that have sapped the strength of the Stout Folk. Shield dwarves love worked beauty, seeing the world as raw material to be forged and shaped into something more than the original.

Shield dwarves have the life expectancy and age categories defined for dwarves in Tables 6—4 and 6—5 of the Player's Handbook, but use the following random height and weight characteristics instead of those described on Table below:

Gender Height Weight
Shield dwarf, male 4'2" +2d4 145 lb. x (2d6) lb.
Shield dwarf, female 4'0" +2d4 110 lb. x (2d4) lb.

Regions: Damara, Dwarf (shield), Impiltur, the North, Silverymoon, Vaasa, the Vast, and Western Heartlands.
Racial Feats: Azerblood, Batrider, Hammer Fist, Oral History, Stoneshaper.
Racial Prestige Class: Battlerager.


Racial Traits

Shield dwarves have all the dwarven racial traits listed in the Player's Handbook, except as follows:

  • Automatic Languages: Dwarven, Common, home region. Bonus Languages: Chondathan, Draconic, Giant, Goblin, Illuskan, Ore.

Also appears in

  1. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting

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