Dwarves are tough humanoids that live on Athas. They are short but extremely powerful.
By nature, dwarves are nonmagical and never use magical spells.
Athasian Dwarves are shorter than most humans, average 4 1/2 to 5 feet in height and tend to have a very large muscle mass -a full grown dwarf weighs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds.
Lives of hard work in the hot sun leave them with a rich tan and rugged, calloused hands and feet.
They always have a complete lack of hair.
Dwarves are equally at home above and below ground. Thanks to their extraordinary toughness and their psychological focus, they can withstand punishing work conditions.
A dwarf's chief love is toil. A dwarf is never happier than when there is a cause to work or fight for, something he can approach with stoic singlemindedness for weeks, months, years, or even decades at a time. Once a dwarf's mind is committed to a certain task, he'll only set it aside after a great deal of grumbling and coercion. The fulfillment he achieves upon completion of a lengthy, difficult task is what he strives for.
Dwarves are commonly used as slave labor. And in extreme cases as breeders for Mul slaves.
Many congregate into tribes outside of civilization. Unlike other nomadic races, dwarves are content with staying put as much as possible. They have even been known to live above old ruins that they once called home in ancient times.
The task to which a dwarf is presently committed is referred to as his focus. A dwarf's focus must be a feat requiring at least one week to complete. Shorter term goals cannot be considered a focus.
When a Dwarf makes something their focus, they will not rest until it is completed.
Actually, a dwarf's commitment to his focus is based in his physiology —those who complete their lives before they complete their foci live out their afterlives as Banshees in the wastes of Athas, haunting their unfinished works, for penance for not being strong enough to complete it!
An Athasian dwarf takes notice of other beings based upon his focus. If the other being is also actively committed to the dwarf's focus, the dwarf will consider him a sensible and dependable companion. If, however, the other being is vehemently opposed to the dwarf's focus, the two will be irrevocably at odds until one or the other is dead. There is very little room for compromise in the mind of a dwarf.
While performing tasks that are directly related to his focus, a dwarf receives a + 1 bonus to all his saving throws and a +2 bonus to all his proficiency rolls (or + 10 to any percentile roll).
The notes given on roleplaying each race are also very important, since a character earns additional individual experience point awards when played according to these racial descriptions.
- Dark Sun Boxed Set. 2nd Edition. TSR Inc.