Ever since I read The Hobbit I've been fascinated by dwarves. I love the stunty little guys! As I mentioned in the last D&D podcast, I've been messing around with some dwarf sub-types. Here's one of them:
Hailing from the deepest reaches of the mountain depths, iron dwarves are basically redneck dwarves. They seek out the furthest veins of precious minerals and even venture down into the Underdark in pursuit of precious metals. Few non-dwarves have even seen an iron dwarf, as these greedy, grasping creatures only show up in civilized realms (usually dwarf towns) long enough to sell their ores and invariably spend all their accumulated wealth on strong drink and similar diversions.
Iron dwarves rarely become adventurers. After all, life on the fringe of the Underdark is an adventure unto itself. Between dodging drow and mind flayers, surviving cave ins, and digging mine shafts that could suddenly open up to a cave filled with dire corbies or ochre jellies, iron dwarves have enough problems to deal with without seeking out trouble.
Iron dwarves that do become adventurers are invariably derided as soft and weak by their kin. Sure, charging into a dragon's lair might be dangerous, but real dwarves earn their fortunes the hard way: by ripping them out of the earth with pick and shovel.
Iron dwarves use all the normal rules for dwarves, but with two exceptions:
+2 Strength instead of +2 Wisdom
When an iron dwarf uses his second wind, he can choose to forgo regaining hit points. Instead, he may regain the use of one his expended encounter attack powers.
Clark Ashton Smith in all his glory
2 days ago