Mountain Dwarf

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Obsolete: This article refers to an aspect of the game which has been removed. It is retained for historical reference only.
Mountain Dwarves, as opposed to the subterranean specimen, come from cities far above the Dungeon. They love to fight, and often venture forth to seek fame and fortune through battle. As such, they are very robust and excellent at hand combat, especially favouring axes or bludgeoning weapons, and are good at using armour and shields. They are poor at missile combat, the single exception being crossbows. Polearms usually are too big for them to wield comfortably and so make quite bad weapons for Mountain Dwarves.

In general, they are rather more resistant to magic than capable of using it themselves. However, they are very proficient at earth and fire magic. Thus, many a Mountain Dwarf started a career as an elementalist in those schools. They advance in levels at a similar rate to Deep Elves.

Innate Abilities

  • Bonus when using dwarven equipment. Dwarven armour grants a bonus to their Armour skill while worn (even moreso than with other species) and impedes their spellcasting less. They do slightly more damage with dwarven weapons.

Preferred backgrounds

Mountain Dwarves are best suited as Fighters, Gladiators, Berserkers, Paladins, Priests, Healers, Chaos Knights, Reavers, Conjurers, Fire Elementalists, Earth Elementalists, and Hunters.

Level bonuses

  • +1 strength every 4th level.
  • You gain the base max HP every level, plus 1 on every even level.
  • You gain 1 max MP on every level except on every 3rd level.
  • +4 magic resistance per level.

Starting Skills and Equipment

Mountain Dwarves begin with the skills and equipment listed for their background, with these exceptions.

  • Mountain Dwarves start with crossbows (and bolts) instead of bows (and arrows).
  • Mountain Dwarves start with Crossbows skill instead of Bows.
  • All weapons and armor are of "dwarven" quality, when such variants exist.

Difficulty of Play


Much like the modern Minotaur, Mountain Dwarves are an easy race to play thanks to their prowess of melee combat, with no need for spellcasting. They deal great damage with high STR, have great aptitudes for combat-related skills, and have well above average HP. Overall, Mountain Dwarves are recommended for players who want something tougher than a Human, but don't want the slower leveling and other penalties that most monstrous species come with.

Skill aptitudes

Values are from the most recent version that had both the species and the skill

Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude Skill Aptitude
Attack Miscellaneous Magic
Fighting 2 Armour 3 Spellcasting -3
Short Blades 1 Dodging -1 Conjurations -1
Long Blades 0 Stealth -3 Hexes -2
Maces & Flails 2 Shields 2 Charms -2
Axes 2 Stabbing -2 Summonings -2
Polearms -1 Traps 1 Necromancy -3
Staves -1 Translocations -2
Unarmed Combat 0 Invocations 0 Transmutations -1
Evocations 1
Throwing -1 Fire Magic 2
Ranged Weapons N/A Experience 130 Ice Magic -2
Slings -1 Air Magic -2
Bows -2 Earth Magic 2
Crossbows 1 Poison Magic -2


The dwarven equipment bonus is nice, but bear in mind that Dwarves do not appear as common monsters in this game, so easy access to enchanted/ego dwarven gear (via looting it off their corpses) won't be an option as it is with Hill Orcs and the various species of Elves.

Nemelex Xobeh is a good god for them, since they have a good Evocations aptitude to make most of the decks, and the magical tricks of items are very useful to make up for the lack of magic.


  • Mountain Dwarves were removed in version 0.10, which was met with protest from quite a few Crawl players. They were removed as MD, Minotaur, and Hill Orc were all very similar melee/armour species. Most discussion happened in the #crawl-dev IRC channel; a lack of transparent communication meant that players who liked roleplaying as a Tolkien dwarf were upset at the sudden removal. Ultimately, the decision to axe MD and not Minotaur was somewhat arbitrary. For more context, see the aforementioned announcement and the Tavern discussion about it.
  • Prior to 0.8, Mountain Dwarves received only +2 MR per level.
  • Prior to 0.6, Mountain Dwarves received +4 magic resistance points per level.