Dirge Species in Zheng-Kitar | World Anvil


The abominable children of man and dwarf

Base Racial Traits

Ability Score Modifiers: (+2 Constitution, +2 to any ability of your choice besides Constitution): Dirge are durable and flexible, owing to their dual natures.   Size: Dirge are medium-sized creatures, and gain no bonuses or penalties due to size. Dirge are stocky and broad as a sign of their dwarven heritage, but stand taller than the average human, on average around 6 to 6 1/2 feet tall.   Type: Dirge count as humanoid creatures with both the human and dwarf subtypes.   Speed: Dirge have a base land speed of 30ft.   Vision: Owing to their dwarven heritage, Dirge possess darkvision out to sixty feet.   Languages: Dirge begin play speaking The Regional Language(See Languages of Zheng-Kitar) that reflects their origins, and Dwarven. Dirge with high INT scores can select any non-secret bonus languages they wish, to represent their varied natures and birthplaces.   Dwarf Blood: Dirge count as humans and dwarves for any effect related to race.   Mutant Strength: Dirge are born with unnaturally strong bodies, and gain an additional racial +2 to Strength, though they are staggered for 1 round when they are critically hit due to their mutant biology.   Unnatural: Dirge are rarely born into this world, due to both the infrequency with which humans and dwarves couple, as well as the infrequency with which such a coupling produces a child. When they are born, the natural order of the material plane rejects their very existence. Dirge unnerve both normal and magical animals, and train to defend themselves against the inevitable attacks from such creatures. They take a –4 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks to affect creatures of the animal or magical beast types, and receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against creatures with the animal or magical beast type. Animals and Magical Beasts’ starting attitude toward them is one step worse than normal.   Stonecunning: Dirge gain a +2 bonus on Perception checks to notice unusual stonework, such as traps and hidden doors located in stone walls or floors. They receive a check to notice such features whenever they pass within 10 feet of them, whether or not they are actively looking.   Hardy: Dirge gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.   Skilled: Dirge gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.   Dual-Minded: Dirge are beings frequently born into the world misshapen, hated, and are treated with disdain, mistrust, and suspicion. Being used to rough lives and dealing with two heritages, they are resistant to any effect that would seek to shake them mentally. They gain a racial +2 to all will saves.   Skullplate: Dirge have a thick skull, and gain a Gore attack that deals 1d8 points of damage. This is a primary natural attack, and does bludgeoning instead of piercing as Gore attacks normally do.

Basic Information


Dirge have little unique anatomy that sets them apart from either Humans or Dwarves, and appear to many as "Simply Taller Dwarves". They have the thick bone structure and muscular bodies of Dwarvenkind, but the height and flexibility of their Human ancestry.   They have an abnormally thick skull generally, and they can often appear to many to be misshapen and mutated...the unnatural mixing of Dwarven and Human biology is not wholly compatible, and can often lead to genetic instability that sometimes causes tumors, bone growths, and strange bodily mutations that can sometimes run rampant through their bodies, though the lucky ones can avoid this fate.

Genetics and Reproduction

Dirge have the same reproductive capabilities as other Humans or Dwarves, and reproduce through Sexual Reproduction with another female of the same or a similar species, though because of their Genetic Instability it can be hard for them to successfully reproduce.

Growth Rate & Stages

Dirge inherit the slightly longer lifespans of their Dwarven Ancestry, and age slower than baseline humans. They reach Middle Age around Age 70, become old around age 105, and reach venerable around 140, dying some time thereafter.

Ecology and Habitats

Owing to their Human ancestry, Dirge can thrive in almost every ecology and habitat.

Dietary Needs and Habits

Much like Humans and Dwarves, Dirge are Omnivores.

Biological Cycle

As they age, Dirge often find their bodies growing more and more mutated and unwieldy, while the more lucky among them might avoid most of such a fate others can be horribly mutated and live their final years in agony, their bodies wracked with tumors or strange and possibly cancerous growths that begin to consume them.

Additional Information

Facial characteristics

Dirge have rough-hewn faces that resemble their dwarven ancestors, with a plentiful amount of facial hair and thick, bony skulls that give them unusually large foreheads for similarly sized creatures.

Geographic Origin and Distribution

Dirge, much like Humans, can be found almost everywhere.

Average Intelligence

Dirge are highly flexible, and are almost always as intelligent as baseline humanity or other creatures, and can sometimes be even smarter.

Perception and Sensory Capabilities

Owing to their dwarven heritage, Dirge can see in the dark out to sixty feet.

Civilization and Culture

Naming Traditions

Dirge have no naming culture of their own, and are evenly split between names of humanity, and names of the Dwarves. Some rare few mesh such names to create unique labels for themselves, while the Duergar-born Dirge generally take on the more brutalistic names of the Duergar for themselves.
Alternate Racial Trait List:   Dirge could reasonably have most any alternate racial traits for both the human and/or dwarf races. Ask/Tell your GM which ones you desire so the two of you can figure out what to replace for them.   Dirge Alternate Racial Traits  
Racial Feat List:   Dirge may take any racial feat meant for Dwarves or humans, but please consult with your GM before you do so just to be safe!   Dirge Racial Feats  
140 Years
Conservation Status
Dirge are an incredibly rare sight in the world, both due to the infrequent couplings of man and dwarf and the rarity with which those couplings produce a half-breed child.
Average Height
5.74ft - 6.8ft (1.75m - 2.1m)
Average Weight
132lbs - 209lbs (60kg - 95kg)
Average Physique
Dirge are large and imposing, with thick and durable bodies built to withstand most anything thrown at them. They stand tall if not somewhat mutated, and frequently cut an imposing figure to others.
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Dirge have bodies that are typically dark-skinned like dwarves and tend to have ginger, orange, or reddish hair like many dwarves, though darker colors are also common. Their eyes are gem-like colors such as sapphire, ruby, etc - rarely, they will have ashen grey skin and eyes without pupils - this is an assured sign of Duergar heritage and often leads to persecution and exile from most dwarven settlements.

Mutated and Misshapen

The most rare of all the Half-Breed races, Dirge are an incredibly uncommon sight in the world - Dwarven and Human biology is almost entirely incompatible thanks to the Dwarves' stubborn and inflexible genetics not allowing for breeding with non-dwarves...though thanks to classic human lust and dwarven stubbornness, the natural restrictions of life itself have been circumvented on occasion by certain loving couples - and rarely, Duergar tyrants having unwilling relationships with their slaves. These couplings that result in 'Mongrels', as the dwarves call them, are almost always treated as cursed or unlucky - rather than birth a human or a dwarf, to birth a Dirge is seen as a sign of bad luck or misfortune.   If the potentially mutated dirge is not killed in the cradle to protect their parents from being stripped of their respect, titles, and territory, they lead lives of disguise and shelter - always hiding from their dwarven kin to avoid being shunned as mongrels. Humans, for their part, are much less caring about the mongrel-like nature of the Dirge - and Dirge tend to find much more welcoming homes in the lands of humanity. Thanks to the incompatible biology of humans and dwarves mixing about inside of them, Dirge are often malformed and misshapen - their large skull plates are evidence of this, though some have been historically lucky and emerged looking almost indistinguishable from humans aside from a plethora of muscles and facial hair(for men). As a result, Dirge often lead lonesome, solitary lives - looking for the friends and family they were denied due to their natures, and a place to belong.


Please Login in order to comment!