Monday, 11 July 2016

Urban Dwarf House

Does your city have dwarves in it? Then they need houses! Here's an idea for an urban dwarf house design you can use in your campaign.


The outside of the most common type dwarven house is a 10' cube of large smooth stone bricks. The flat roof is made of tin and sloped to allow rain to run off to the side. The stone door is about 5' high and wide set in a prominent brick doorway. An ornate keystone above the door features a family or professional mark. Some families use a historical occupation no longer practised in the city as their mark. The house features a letter slot but no windows.

A short square stone chimney protrudes from the ground to the side of the house. Some olde timey fundamentalist dwarves grow all their food indoors but most enjoy the act of gardening in open soil and maintain a small garden plot to one side of the building.

Ground Floor

The gallery is a single room dominated by a square descending spiral stairwell in the centre. The flagstone landing around the stairwell is about 3' wide. The walls are decorated with heirlooms or objects d'art and the family shield is normally mounted on the wall facing the door. The gallery is lit with coal braziers and reflective quartz.


Spirals inwardly, turning at right angles along the interior shaft of the house. Constructed of flagstones arranged in a pattern of earthen colours. Lit by candles set in crystal sconces. A single room extends off to one side of the stairs on each level, each stacked atop each other.

Lower Levels

Naturally dwarves prefer to live underground. Each level consists of a single 10' x 10' room off to the side of the stairwell. The rooms are carved from solid bedrock or constructed of large stone blocks. Ceilings are about 5' high. Thick angular pillars are set into the stone walls. A heating duct extends along the outer wall from the hearth in lowest level to the small chimney on the ground floor.

Children's Bedroom

The highest subterranean room. Contains two small stone beds and the children's' personal items, potentially including weapons and 1d100 gp of coinage or gemstones. Childless dwarves usually keep this room sealed.

Master Bedroom

The next room down from the children's room. Features a large stone bed with a thin but comfortable mattress and heavy poster drapes. A locked chest of family jewels, most valuable heirlooms and critical documents is usually hidden in the back of the wardrobe or beneath the matress.

Household treasure

Rich 2d12 gems and/or jewellery worth 1d10x100 gp each
1d10x500 gp coins
Comfortable 1d12 gems and/or jewellery worth 1d10x100 gp each
1d10x100 gp coins
Hard Working 1d6+1 gems and/or jewellery worth 1d10x10 gp each
1d10x10 gp coins
Necessitous 1d4 gems and/or jewellery worth 10 gp each
1d10 gp coins
Impoverished 1d6 gp coins


Optional feature of the largest and richest houses. Contains whatever possessions a wealthy dwarf might own  that don't fit in any other room.

Family Room

Lowest room of the house. Dominated by a large coal burning hearth in the cooking area to the farthest end. Features low stone couches with heavy velvet cushions, a stone dining table, heavy crystal candle holders, and a religious shrine. Family tools and arms and armour are held in a locked cabinet. A single piece of family treasure is often displayed prominently above the hearth.

Household arms

Rich Four suits of platemail, four helmets, six polearms, four daggers, axes and heavy crossbows
Comfortable Two suit of platemail, two suits of chainmail, four helmets, heavy crossbow, six polearms, four daggers and axes
Hard Working Suit of platemail, four helmets, daggers and axes
Necessitous Three axes, two daggers and an iron helmet
Impoverished A small axe

Dwarf Family

The household consists of an adult male and female dwarf with two children. The husband and wife's relationship can be determined by a roll of 1d4.

Regardless of how they feel about each other, the couple's loyalty to each other against external adversity is determined from a roll of 1d12, minus the score on the relationship roll (e.g. -4 if hostile) to a minimum of 1.
1-5Very loyal
6-9Ridiculously loyal
10-11Unbelievably loyal

Dwarf children remain at home until they marry or join some kind of guild or order. They may be any age from babes to young adults. Children of both sexes always share a room, to their perpetual consternation. In some cases older children (most often male) remaining at home past the normal age of leaving as “groundward dwellers” refusing to marry or pay much attention to the outside world.

Sibling relationship 1d6

6Major rivalry

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