Forging the City of Anvil for 5E D&D — City Dwarves
Take something core to the understanding of fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons and creating something new with it represents one of the joys of worldbuilding. A fresh perspective on an old topic tends to light a fire under other forms of creation. The trick is creating something new without breaking the logic of the setting you’re creating for your 5E D&D games like I’m doing for the City of Anvil. Once your world has a theme or consistency creating within these guidelines is key.
Great 5E D&D stories start with worldbuilding
Additions to a setting should feel like a texture or flavor within the world both reacting to the place and being reacted upon. Beings like the thri-kreen scream Dark Sun because they are core to it like warforged to Eberron and kender to Dragonlance. Finding the magic can be difficult but this discovery or evolution can be equally rewarding.
Building on the suggestions and hints within the other City of Anvil worldbuilding posts this is the first examination of the people and places who call the city home. A full quarter of the city is dedicated to a particular culture I would be remiss not to include Anvilite dwarves to lead this effort. Introducing the city dwarf in all their opinionated, hard working, intellectual and over planning glory.
City dwarf for 5E D&D
Dwarves are famously a proud people rich in tradition and distinct culture in 5E D&D lore. This culture is not a singular defining entity though. Environments, history and shared communities all create and define cultures just as the people of those communities define the environment and shape the history of the region.
Refugees With A Cause. Anvilite dwarves or city dwarves as they are colloquially called are originally refugees of a losing war. They were drawn to the sight of what would become the City of Anvil by the legend of the artifact itself.
Hrothgrim Eisenhand, who lead the remaining dwarves to safety after the fall of Ultgaard during the War of the Harrowed, heard whispers of an indestructible anvil. This seemed like a divine signal all was not lost to a devout follower of Moradin. Hrothgrim lead his people to what was only a tent city at the time. Uniting his people with the varied causes and craftsmen already there these dwarves helped found what would eventually become the City of Anvil.
A New Way of Thinking. City dwarves are the product of centuries of surface life and building. They see purpose more in building up and less in digging down. This led to a new way of thinking as the Anvilite dwarves fine tuned their lives into an expertise in masonry, architecture and planning. Their culture has become known for incredible structures, educating the masses and no shortage of showing off their skills. They are a proud people after all.
Put Your Money Where Your Beard Is. Like other dwarves Anvilites are not afraid or shy of hard work and apply their teachings to action. Many Anvilite dwarves discover joy in demonstrating their point of view. They love being correct. Challenging an Anvilite dwarf to prove their point may result in more than the challenger bargained for and they had best be prepared for either a long argument or being recruited into a plan to prove a point. This is not to say they are more stubborn than any other race or any other dwarf but they are certainly willing to prove their point.
City Dwarf Traits
Ability Score Modifiers
Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Eye for Structure
City dwarf culture prizes expert builders and you gain proficiency in carpenters tools. In addition your Stonecunning trait applies to woodwork as well as stone.
Find the Weak Spot
Anvilite dwarves are expert builders with an eye for structural weakness. As a bonus action you can examine a construct you can see within 10 feet and make an Intelligence (History) check with the DC equal to the Constitution score of the construct. On a success the next time you deal damage to the construct before the end of your next turn it takes an extra 1d8 damage of the same type. This extra damage ignores any resistances the construct has. [NERDITOR’S NOTE: For an alternative calculation use a DC equal to the 8 + the construct’s Constitution modifier + the construct’s proficiency bonus]
You can speak, read, and write one extra language of your choice. City dwarves’ exposure to the varied peoples of the land who visit or live in the City of Anvil has it’s benefits.
If you enjoyed this worldbuilding post for 5E D&D check out the City of Anvil category for more. Next installment covers rulers and important people of the City of Anvil. Until then, stay nerdy!