Ruins of Adventure
Just another ill-fated dwarven explorer in Phlan. He is a master of knowing how not to get buried by falling rubble.
Olaf Gloinson Griff of Clan Griff, or, you know, just Olaf, is a young and troubled dwarf. Very young for a dwarf in fact, having not even made his first half century. Troubled in that he tends to get into a lot of it. Very troubled in that he has fallen in love with a human!
Yeah, you heard that right, Olaf likes his women beardless. Tall and beardless. Pale, tall, and beardless. Pale, tall, and beardless, with white hair, a scar on their cheek, and named Hazel.
Yeah, THAT HAZEL (hot isn’t she)!
Olaf grew up in the Galena Mountains, like most Griff, and lived there for most of his life (up until the last couple months), aside from the occasional trips down to Glister to trade. He was always trouble…stealing from his uncle Colimbifur, stealing from angry ogre mages in Glister, and otherwise taking things that don’t belong to him. In fact, while versed in rune-magic, masonry, and mining like all Griff dwarves, the thing he really is best at is larceny.
He’s so good at larceny, in fact, that he thought he would try his hand at THE BIG ONE! And, as every dwarf knows, THE BIG ONE means stealing from a Dragon. Preferably a very big, very old, very rich dragon. A dragon like Pendreth Cleartalon, who made his home not more than a day’s hike from his clanhold (thankfully for the Griff dwarves, Pendreth was of the old AND LAZY variety of big, old dragons).
So, Olaf went down to the dragon’s cave to see what he could abscond with, only to find THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CREATURE HE’D EVER SEEN running headlong out of the cave, loot in hand. Aaaaaand to find that she had woken up old Pendreth Cleartalon, gotten her face half-ripped-off, and made it practically impossible for anyone else to get in without getting eaten. On consolation though, he did manage to talk the girl into fleeing with him to his clanhold (yeah, yeah, the dragon might kill his whole clan, but there was a hot chick involved) to get herself patched up.
When Hazel left, Olaf followed. She ran. He followed. She stopped in Glister, he followed. She ran some more. He followed. By the time the two of them got to Phlan, she seemed mostly reconciled to having the young dwarf following her around like a puppy.
A puppy who just happened to be really good at getting people who need their asses kicked to come looking for her (him really, but they usually found her).
And a fun time was had by all.
Homeland: Griff Clan
Next Level: 10000
Max Level: 15th
Hit Points: 23
Armor Class: 16 (4 Dex, 2 armor)
Base Attack Bonus: +1
- Paralyzation/Poison/Death: 13
- Rod/Staff/Wand: 9
- Petrification/Polymorph: 12
- Breath Weapon: 16
- Spells: 10
|Weapons||# Att||Att Bonus||Dmg||Dmg (L)||Speed||Range||Special|
|Heavy Crossbow||1 per 2 rounds||+1||1d4+1||1d6+1||10||80 / 160 / 240||carried loaded|
Thief Skills: (leather armor)
Non-Weapon Proficiencies: General, Rogue
|Modern Languages (Common) [B]||15||Detect grade or slope in passage||17|
|Modern Languages (Dethek) [B]||15||Detect new tunnel/passage construction||17|
|Modern Languages (Thieves’ Cant) [B]||15||Detect sliding/shifting walls or rooms||15|
|Modern Languages (Tharian) [B]||15||Detect stonework traps, pits, and deadfalls||13|
|Modern Languages (Burrowing Mammals) [B]||15||Determine approximate depth underground||13|
|Dwaven Runes [B]||17||Stonemasonry [B]||11|
|Mountaineering [B]||NA||Blind-Fighting [B]||NA|
|Endurance [B]||19||Close-Quarters Fighting [B]||18|
|Slow Respiration [B]||NA||Dwarf History||14|
|Tracking [B]||5||Lock Smithing||18|
Short Blades Group
- club, dagger, dart, knife, lasso, short bow, sling, quarterstaff, any crossbow, or any one-handed sword
- Leather, Padded, Studded Leather, or Elven Chain
- In melee, dwarves add 1 to their attack rolls orcs, half-orcs, goblins, and hobgoblins.
- Dwarves gain a +4 bonus to their AC against attacks made by ogres, trolls, giants, titans, or similar creatures.
- Dwarven infravision enables them to see up to 60 feet in the dark.
- Dwarves are miners of great skill. Dwarves gain the following special “Detection Proficiencies”. Detection proficiencies may be used any time a dwarf is underground, within 15 feet of the particular phenomena. Determining depth underground is the exception to this rule and may be attempted any time. To use a detection proficiency, a dwarf must concentrate for one round. These otherwise work as normal non-weapon proficiencies, and can be improved beyond these initial values by spending proficiency slots. If successful, the dwarf sees the phenomenon or becomes aware of his approximate depth underground. If he fails, he cannot try again within that 15-foot area.
- Griff Clan dwarves are highly skilled masons. They gain a +2 bonus on all proficiency checks when attempting to craft any stone item or structure.
- A tunnelrat takes no penalties in combat conducted in areas as small as 2 feet across so long as he uses stabbing, piercing hand-held weapons (dagger, knife, and short sword). He even gains a +2 bonus to attack rolls with these weapons, if chosen. He can fling darts for full effect with only 1 foot of throwing space in front of him or to one side. He also gains a +2 bonus to punching or wrestling attack rolls in these confined spaces.
- A tunnelrat can crawl on hands and knees at the same movement rate as he can normally walk, but he does so only through tunnels he is familiar with; movement is reduced to MV 3 when checking for traps, dangerous fungi, ambushes, or monsters. Belly crawling at a rate of MV 1, with full abilities to check for traps, can be done through tunnels only 18 inches wide (a tunnelrat does not let himself get fat.) Those who aren’t tunnelrats move at half the above rates at best, and take a -2 penalty on attack and damage rolls in the spaces described. Silent movement is possible even when belly crawling at normal speed. A visible light source must be present in order to check for traps, or monsters.
- From long practice, a tunnelrat is so skilled at hiding against underground terrain that, when not moving, he imposes a -4 penalty on their opponents surprise rolls. This bonus is effective only against opponents who do not have infravision. However, the tunnelrat has learned to lie so still that he can cool his body temperature and thus even fool creatures with infravision a bit; against infravision users, the surprise penalty is -2. It takes a full hour for this body cooling to take effect, making it useful only for planned ambushes. A tunnelrat can lie perfectly still for as many hours as his Fitness points, and he can hold his breath for up to half his Fitness score in rounds if able to prepare himself for one turn beforehand.
- The tunnelrat also gains a +4 to his surprise roll against any underground plant or animal having an Intelligence of 4 or less, detecting it ahead of time by sight, sound, or smell. A light is not required for this talent to work.
- A tunnelrat is immune to normal attacks of claustrophobia, as he is so accustomed to small, tight spaces. The tunnelrat gains a +6 bonus to saving throws against any magical attack or disease attempting to induce claustrophobia. He also gains a +2 bonus vs. other fear-based attacks.
- Backstab: When attacking someone by surprise and from behind, a thief can improve his chance to successfully hit (+4 modifier for rear attack and negate the target’s shield and Dexterity bonuses) and greatly increase the amount of damage his blow causes (2x damage).
To use this ability, the thief must be behind his victim and the victim must be unaware that the thief intends to attack him. If an enemy sees the thief, hears him approach from a blind side, or is warned by another, he is not caught unaware, and the backstab is handled like a normal attack (although bonuses for a rear attack still apply). Opponents in battle will often notice a thief trying to maneuver behind them—the first rule of fighting is to never turn your back on an enemy! However, someone who isn’t expecting to be attacked (a friend or ally, perhaps) can be caught unaware even if he knows the thief is behind him.
- Because of their prolonged exposure to lead and the corrupted nature of the Stojanow River (a.k.a. the Barren River), the dwarves of the Griff Clan are much more susceptible to poisons than their kin. They do not gain the normal dwarven bonus on saving throws against poison.
- Because of their nonmagical nature dwarves have trouble using magical items. All magical items that are not specifically suited to the character’s class have a 20% chance to malfunction when used by a dwarf. This check is made each time a dwarf uses a magical item. A malfunction affects only the current use; the item may work properly next time. For devices that are continually in operation, the check is made the first time the device is used during an encounter. If the check is passed, the device functions normally until it is turned off. Thus, a dwarf would have to check upon donning a robe of blending but would not check again until he had taken the robe off and then put it on again. If a cursed item malfunctions, the character recognizes its cursed nature and can dispose of the item. Malfunction applies to rods, staves, wands, rings, amulets, potions, horns, jewels, and all other magical items except weapons, shields, armor, gauntlets, and girdles. This penalty does not apply to dwarven clerics using priest items.
- Agoraphobia: A special roll must be made each time the character finds himself under an open sky or in an enormous chamber. The player must roll a Willpower check on 1d20, with a penalty equal to the tunnelrat’s level (in other words, the condition worsens as the character gets better at his job). A roll greater than the tunnelrat’s Willpower score means the character is suddenly paralyzed with fear and stops dead or falls down, no matter what else is happening at the time. Remove fear eliminates the immediate symptoms of agoraphobia if the character makes a new Willpower check with a +4 bonus. The condition reappears as soon as the character goes out of doors again, with another Willpower check required. Remove fear and cloak of bravery, if cast on the tunnelrat before he goes outdoors, function normally. A heal spell removes agoraphobia permanently but only if cast on the tunnelrat after the condition has appeared; the condition never appears again.
- Upper-class individuals regard a tunnelrat with disdain unless the character performs some widely regarded heroic act. Tunnelrats suffer a -1 penalty on NPC reactions against upper-class characters (nobles, wealthy merchants, etc).
- Thief and Bard tunnelrats do not gain the ability to use magical scrolls at 10th level.
- Tunnelrats do not gain any followers at higher levels, regardless of class.
Runes: as 4th-level Runecaster
- Griff Clan dwarves are all taught at least the rudiments of the ancient arts of rune magic. A Griff dwarf begins knowing a single rune at 1st level, and learns 1 additional rune at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.
Scribing a rune is a three-step process known as skapeng (shaping). The first step is the gormeng (planning). During this stage, the caster begins to concentrate on the essential truths and modifies the rune’s ideal image in his mind in accordance with the circumstances. The second step is the skrapeng (scraping), during which the rune is actually carved, drawn, or inscribed. No special tools or items are necessary to shape most runes (any old carving knife or quill will do). The third step is the virkreng (activation); only then does the caster summon forth the rune’s power. The final step in any activation is wetting or “baptizing” the rune to release its energies. Any non-poisonous liquid is quite suitable for this purpose (ale, water, blood, or even saliva will do). Any rune not baptized within five rounds of its shaping loses its potential and becomes useless. After baptizing the rune, the caster makes a save vs. spells (the “activation roll”). If the save succeeds, the rune becomes active. If it fails, the rune is useless and the caster must begin all over again.
Unlike other magical writing, once a rune has taken effect, it does not disappear. Once its effects are exhausted, however, the rune becomes an ordinary carving with no magical properties. To renew the rune’s power, the caster must shape it all over again. Unless otherwise specified, a rune may be used one time only, though the rune may stand ready in its activated state for years before its power is called upon. A Griff Dwarf that is not a Runecaster may have only a single active rune at any given time. Should the caster shape more runes, the power automatically fades from one of his earlier runes.
- Shaping Time: 1d4 hours
- Prerequisites: None
- The image of the crafty Coyote, inscribed upon a weapon, amulet, or piece of clothing brings bad luck to enemies. The first enemy to strike the bearer of the rune suffers a -1 penalty to attack rolls, saving throws, and AC for 24 hours.
- Gain 30 points for Thief skills per level.
- Increased Backstab multiplier at 5th, 9th, and 13th level.
- A Griff dwarf learns 1 additional rune at 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels.