Thursday, August 25, 2011

Why Do Dwarves Get (S)hafted in AD&D?

Compared to other demihumans, Dwarves get the short end of the stick in AD&D.

Elves get +1 to hit with bows and swords, resist sleep and charm, move softly, etc

Halflings get a bonus with bows, or slings or thrown weapons depending on your source (Monster Manual or Player's Handbook).

Gnomes - no one plays them, so why bother.

Dwarves - +1 to hit some cheap and cheesy evil races and an AC adjustment when fighting giants and such and some good saves vs poison and magic. Oh, and stonework knowledge.

Why no weapon combat bonuses, such as with weapons that are often associated with them, like battle axes and war hammers? Heck, why would then even use an axe or a hammer, when a long sword works much better against large creature - d12 is much better the a d8 or less for the war hammer.

Aren't Dwarves a bit more militaristic then elves and halflings?

30 years later and questions like this can still keep me up at night ;)


  1. And don't get me started on the downtrodden half orc. BtB, pretty screwed over: level limits on everythnig but assassin (& how many DMs allow evil PCs?). Str bonus but a lower max than humans. Infravision and speak orcish, but limited to 2 additional languages so even a smart half-orc assassin never gets the bonus languages the class gets at higher levels.
    4th level limit on cleric ... no 3rd level spells, crippled HD even if multiclassed, and the worst attribute limits of any race.
    But subject to all the idsads of orcs, so dwarves and gnomes kick their butts.

  2. Seriously though, the problem is just that elves are SOOOOOOOOOOO good compared to the other races. Surprise, spell immunities, the other things you already mentioned, elves were always the munchkin's first and last choice.


Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow,
and Humble Bundle as well as Patreon. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the
lights on and the taps flowing. Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar

Blogs of Inspiration & Erudition