Saturday, April 15, 2017

Dweren Dragonsblood, The Goldsniffing Dwarf

So, last Fall I decided to try something a little different in my Unusual Character Concepts posts. Rather than writing up a general idea that players could put their own spin on, I decided to put together a post all about a specific character. Gaspar Dell'Amore, the Black Rose of Edme, was a two-fisted enforcer with the divine on his side. Folks seemed to like him, so I figured I'd give the format another try.

Allow me to present Dweren Dragonsblood, the Goldsniffing Dwarf.

Mmm... smells like a Chellish cache. They cut their coins with lead to maintain weight.

A Nose For Treasure

Some dwarves are known for smithing steel and iron, but the Dragsonsblood clan are renowned for their skill with gold, silver, and other precious metals. Their mines yield only the purest of noble metals, and their artisans possess a near supernatural skill. Even the members of the clan who aren't smiths, though, tend to work in the precious trade. Security experts, forgery detectors, gem cutters, merchants, and miners give the Dragonsblood clan a firm hold from the time the ore is found, until it is put up at auction.

The legend goes that the clan draws its name, and its prowess, from a smattering of draconic heritage. Though where that heritage comes from depends on whom you ask. Rivals to the clan claim their need for dominance, their arrogance, and their greed tie them directly to the worst examples of dragonkind, whom they have made ancient pacts with. The clan itself tells several different tales. Some may tell you they were blessed by a good dragon they once aided, others that they uncovered an ancient artifact that is used to bless the clan's children, and still others will say they are, in fact, descendants of a forge-keeper dragon.

So, when Dweren was born, he was expected to follow in the family's trades. Broad-shouldered and strong, his hands were too blunt for the fine work of gem cutting, and he wasn't suited to gold or silver smithing. Ever since he was young, though. Dweren had a nose for treasure. The fine scent of gold was like spun sugar in his nose, and chaste silver was the candy smell of honey cakes. All he had to do was hold an ingot to his nostrils to tell whether it was cut with lead, or if there was an impurity. And if he was walking down a tunnel? He could smell the veins of metal, and find them with uncanny accuracy.

Check the bodies, they've got gold on them. No I don't know where!

Chasing The Dragon

The easiest place to start off with Dweren is with the alternative dwarf trait Treasure Sense. It gives you scent regarding precious metals, and replaces stonecutting and stability. Then you give him a few levels of fighter to represent the rigorous training dwarves go through to determine which ones will make good soldiers, and which ones should pursue other trades. Familiarity with the military pick gives him a weapon of choice that always feels comfortable in his hands. And if that weapon happens to be made of adamantine, well, then there is no stone it won't breach.

Of course, he may have more dragon's blood than he knows in him. While sorcerer is not an ideal class for a dwarf, given their racial negative to Charisma, it is a good place to begin manifesting his heritage. Especially if the goal is to eventually enter the Dragon Disciple prestige class, which allows you to mix martial might with magical muscle. But which of the myths are true? Are they the noble descendants of gold dragons? The domineering children of reds? Or something else entirely? Only the scales on his arms, and the weapon in his breath, will say for certain.

And then the dragonslayers come.
So what is Dweren's job? Well, when his family needs his nose, he seeks out new lines of ore, and he helps them detect forgeries. With his magic, his inherent toughness, and the gifts of his draconic forebears, though, he is an ideal enforcer on treasure hunting missions. Even better, though, there is no mimic that can fool his schnoz unless it chooses to fill itself with treasure.

Fortunately for him, most shape-shifting chests really aren't that smart.

That's all for this week's Unusual Character Concepts entry. Tell me what you think, and if you would like to see more of this particular format. Or if you like the idea of the Dragonsblood clan, let me know how you use them in your game. If you want to keep up on all my latest updates, then follow me on Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Or, if you would like to support Improved Initiative, go to The Literary Mercenary's Patreon page. All it takes is a $1 a month pledge to help me keep doing what I do, and to get some sweet swag for yourself.


  1. I imagine him somewhat taller than other dwarves haha but great concept ! I love it!