Long ago, mind flayers conquered the strongholds of clan Duergar of the dwarven kingdom of Shanatar. After generations of enslavement and cruel experimentation at the hands of the illithids, the duergar (or gray dwarves) rose up against their masters and regained their freedom. They emerged as a new subrace of dwarf with limited mental powers. The gray dwarves are an evil and bitter race, but retain the superior skill and workmanship of dwarvenkind. They have found themselves a niche in the Underdark, creating armor and weapons to trade with the warring races of that realm.
Duergar on the whole are evil, but some turn their backs on their fellows and seek a different sort of life. Male and female duergar are bald, and women do not grow beards. They are much thinner than other dwarves, with severe facial expressions, gray hair, and gray skin.
Level adjustment: +1. Duergar are more powerful and gain levels more slowly than other races. It will take more experience for a duergar to reach level 2 than it would for normal races, for example.
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: Gray dwarves can see in the dark up to 120 feet.
- 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).
- Spell-like abilities:
- Light Sensitivity: -2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls, saves and skill checks when within bright sunlight. This penalty is always present when travelling outdoors(day or night) making Daylight Adaptation a useful feat to grab.
- Duergar make arguably better rogues than Halflings, due to Move Silently being harder to come by than Hide as well as possessing invisibility as a racial spell, darkvision, and their immunity to poison.
- While listed as a (negative) feat for the PC and reflected on the info tab for the player, the -2 circumstance penalty to attack rolls and saves for Duergar are not enforced in game play. The penalty to skill checks does, however, always apply while outdoors.
- Contrary to in the in-game description, Duergar PCs are not required to be bald or have beards; all normal appearance settings for hair in character creation remain available.
DnD 3.5 comparison
- Dwarven urgroshes are not included in NWN2 and are therefore not included in 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).
- Instead of full immunity to poison, a duergar normally receives +2 racial bonus on saving throws against poison and immunity to alchemical poisons (not normal poisons).