Shield dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale. Dwarves are slow to jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those who earn their trust. They stand just 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall, but are broad and compactly built, almost as wide as they are tall. Dwarven skin varies from deep tan to light brown, and their hair is black, gray, or brown. Dwarven men value their beards highly.
The dwarven kingdoms of long ago became locked in eternal wars with goblin-kind and other dwellers in the Underdark. One by one, the dwarven empires of the north failed, leaving only scattered survivors in the mountains or unconquered sections of the Underdark. The clans that survived these battles are the shield dwarves, and they are the most common type of dwarf seen throughout the Realms.
Shield dwarf features do not differ from standard dwarf features.
Favored class: Fighter. A multiclass dwarf's fighter class does not count when determining whether he takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing. Dwarven culture extols the virtues of battle, and the vocation comes easily to dwarves.
- Darkvision: Dwarves can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
- Stonecunning: This ability grants a dwarf a +2 racial bonus on Search checks when inside.
- Skill Affinity (Lore): +2 bonus to Lore checks.
- Weapon Proficiency: Dwarves are proficient in using dwarven waraxes.
- Hardiness vs. Poisons: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison.
- Hardiness vs. Spells: +2 racial bonus on saving throws against spells and spell-like effects.
- Battle Training vs. Orcs and Goblinoids: +1 racial bonus on attack rolls against orcs (including half-orcs) and goblinoids (including goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears).
- Battle Training vs. Giants: +4 dodge bonus to armor class against monsters of the giant type (such as ogres, trolls, and hill giants).
- Dwarven urgroshes do not exist in NWN2 and consequently are excluded from a dwarf's weapon familiarity.
- The racial feat stability has been excluded: A dwarf gains a +4 bonus on ability checks made to resist being bull rushed or tripped (see knockdown) when standing on the ground (but not when climbing, flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly on the ground).
- The +2 racial bonus on appraise and craft checks that are related to stone or metal items seems to be replaced by the Lore affinity bonus.