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DnD Races Dwarves of Darkness (Shadowbound)

Dungeons and Dragons – Mystara

Races – Dwarf of Darkness (Shadowbound)

NPC Only Race

Sourcebooks: Mortigainens Tome of Foes (mtf81), Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (scag104)

Also known as Duergar or Dark Dwarves.

These are not the same as the ones in AD&D, little is known of them on the surface world.

Happy to live their lives underground and never seeing the sky. They are associated with the sphere of entropy, the element of necrotic, and the colour of black.

  • Attributes – Dwarven Traits:
    • Ability Score Increase: Constitution +2
    • Alignment: Dwarves are Lawful in general
    • Size: 4 to 5 ft tall and average about 150 pounds. Medium size.
    • Speed: base walking is 25 ft and your speed is not reduced by heavy armour
    • Darkvision (Dwarf) you can see in dim light within 60 ft as it was bright light, and darkness as if it was dim light. You can’t discern colour in darkness, only shades of grey.
    • Dwarven Combat TrainingWeapons Mastery: Gains proficiency with five weapons of significance of your choice. If you have proficiency with these weapons, they are upgraded to skilled. Standard Weapons – Battleaxe, Handaxe, Throwing Hammer, and Warhammer
    • Tool Proficiency: You are proficient with the artisan’s tools of your choice: Smith’s tools, brewer’s supplies, or mason’s tools.
    • Stonecunning (Dwarf) Whenever you make a Intelligence (History) check related to the origin of stonework, you are considered proficient in the History skill and add double your proficiency bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
    • Prophecy: Each dwarf is given a prophecy from their birth that describes how they die.
    • Languages: You speak, read and write Common (Thyatian) and Dwarvish.
    • Pantheon: Dwarven and Gnome

Shadowbound Nationalities

  • Broken Lands: Duergar Clan as colony.
  • Rockhome: Hurwarf Clan as homeland
  • Shadowlands: Duergar Clan as homelands and Hurwarf Clan as colony.


  • Duergar (Broken Lands, Shadowlands)
  • Hurwarf (Rockhome, Shadowlands) Dwarven clan name means “Caverborn”. They believe in isolationism

Shadowbound Heritage

The Shadowbound people are an evolution from the Old Dwarves. They are connected to darkness and shadowlands.

  • Height – men and women 3’ 7″ to 4′ 7″.
  • Complexion – Grey skinned.
  • Colouration – skin is grey to black and hair black with eyes of glittering obsidian.
  • Known Locations – Rockhome, Shadowlands.
  • Traits – based on the Duergar and meets any requirements requiring that race.

Shadowbound Traits

  • Ability Score Increase: Strength +1.
  • Heart of Shadow: Resistance to Necrotic and Psychic, with resistance to healing magic. Weakness to Radiant damage They also receive half the effect of healing magic (resistance to magical healing).
  • Duergar Resilience: You have advantage on saving throws against illusion and against being charmed or paralysed.
  • Duergar Magic: When you reach 3rd level, you can cast the enlarge/reduce spell on yourself once with this trait, using only the spell’s enlarge option. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the invisibility spell on yourself once with this trait. You don’t need material components for either spell, and you can’t cast them while you’re in direct sunlight, although sunlight has no effect on them once cast. You regain the ability to cast these spells with this trait when you finish a long rest.
  • Extra Language: You can speak, read, and write undercommon.
  • Sunlight Sensitivity: You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, or the target of your attack is within direct sunlight.
  • Superior Darkvision: Your Darkvision goes out to 120 ft
  • Evolution (1st Evolution): Counts as the Old Dwarf and Genasi races for the purposes of effects and magical items. As a 1st evolution, there is a 25% chance for any offspring to be a Genasi.

Most Shadowbound have the Air Aspected Traits, to select other elemental traits please gain the game masters permission.

Elemental – Darkness Aspected Traits

  • Ability Score Increase: Charisma +2
  • Touch of the Darkness (Darkness aspected) While taking a short rest in an enclosed space without light, you can spend 1 HD to roll two dice and take the results of both.
  • Power of Entropy Darkness aspected) When using (or effected by) Necrotic or Psychic you add your proficiency bonus to the damage (or reduce damage taken) and cause your eyes to turn completely black till the start of your next turn
  • Danger of the Competing Elements (Darkness aspected) When hit by both Energy (fire or radiant) and Time (cold or force), or both Matter (acid or poison) and Thought (lighting or thunder) damage types in the same round you are considered to have weakness to the second energy type. If you are hit by both energy types of Energy, Matter, Thought or Time in the same round you take additional damage equal to your proficiency. If you use an energy type against those with the same aspect, you have your attack, damage and saving throw reduced by your proficiency instead of increased by it.
  • Dark Evolution: Counts as a Genasi for the purposes of using Darkness Genasi effects and magical items, but not as a Darkness Genasi. With every offspring there is a d20 roll to determine their elemental aspect:
    • 80% chance of an Darkness Aspected child (1 to 16)
    • 5% chance of an one of the other elements aspects. Air (17), Earth (18), Fire (19), Water (20)

Shadowbound Character Options

Shadowbound Campaign Examples

Shadowbound Dwarf Racial Magical Items

Dwarves associated with living underground. See all (Shadowbound) items listed below as your relic magical items. You can also treat (Dwarven) as relic items as well. See Genasi Overview for (Darkchild) genasi items you can use is if you were a genasi.

  • Shadowbound – The items from these people have a tendency to deal with living underground style items.
  • Dwarven – The items from these people have a tendency to deal with a mining and crafting style. A Dwarf (and all Dwarven subtypes) can use the base dwarf relic trait of all Dwarven items.
  • Genasi (Darkness) – These are elemental darkness based items. A Shadowbound can use the relic trait of the item is if they are a base Genasi, just not the Darkness aspect relic trait.

Designing the Shadowbound

This is a expansion of the Duegar, and I have made them not evil, unlike the AD&D version I have taken some of the details from. They live underground, shun the light and have to deal with the other denizens of the shadowlands.

So I have made the more insular dwarves of this type.

Also granting dwarves the ability to change from one clan to another and take on the subrace traits of that clan was part of the ongoing narrative of the storyline to come. I have a precedent in the game for this where a character was cursed and changed race. In my notes I have it set up that a dwarf can change from a subrace once per subrace, as long as the one they change to is one they have not been yet.

Content Updates

  • 2021-08-18 – Updated the classes and magical items.
  • 2021-08-05 – Updating the layout.
  • 2021-02-28 – Linking into region information.
  • 2020-05-07 – Added in Heart of Shadow trait to match the other dwarves.
Mystara Races

The Races Overview

Dragonkind Overview: Air (Crystalborn, Silverborn, Whiteborn), Darkness (Blackborn, Brassborn, Onyxborn), Earth (Copperborn, Emeraldborn, Greenborn), Fire( Amberborn, Goldborn, Redborn, Rubyborn), Water (Blueborn, Bronzeborn, Sapphineborn)

Dwarven Overview: Air (Hillbound), Darkness (Shadowbound), Earth (Stonebound), Fire (Craftbound), Water (Seabound)

Elven Overview: Air (Nomadfey, Skyfey), Darknes (Bloodfey, Shadowfey), Earth (Wildfey, Woodfey), Fire (Spiritfey, Sunfey), Water (Seafey), Elements (Seasonfey)

Genasi Overview: Air (Airchild), Earth (Earthchild), Darkness (Darkchild), Fire (Firechild), Water (Waterchild)

Giantkind Overview:

Gnome Overview: Air (Skykin), Darkness (Shadowkin), Earth (Forestkin), Fire (Tinkerkin), Water (Tradekin)

Halfling Overview: Air (Southshire), Darkness (Eastshire), Earth (Highshire), Fire (Heartshire), Water (Seashire)

Human Overview: Air (Hattian, Heldannic, Kerendan, Thyatian), Darkness (Nuari), Earth (Atruaghin, Ethengarian, Makistani), Fire (Alasiyan, Thothian, Traladaran), Water (Makai)

Inner World

Humans Overview: Fire – Nithian

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By thedarkelf007

I am a long term gamer, I run 6 RPG's a fortnight, host board game, card game and LANs each about once a quarter and have an addiction to buying more games. Games I am currently running are Pathfinder (1st and 2nd Edition) and Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition).

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