Creature Feature (5e): Dwarf Powderguard

Individually, a member of the powderguard is a lethal individual capable of devastating far larger groups of enemies if given only a few minutes to secure a distant position with a decent vantage point. But the powderguard always travel united: at fewest in a squad of four and, within the Capital, in forces of twenty or more. Numbering somewhere between 100 and 150, they are an elite force trusted with one of the most guarded weapons of the dwarven war machine: the C12 rotary rifle. They are a force of shock and awe; meant only to be a decisive deathblow or the final and unbreaking line. A powderguard will never release their rifle except in death or as ordered by a superior. They are perhaps the ultimate modern soldiers. 

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Dwarf Powderguard

Medium dwarf, lawful neutral

Armor Class 18 (plate armor)
Hit Points (19d8 +57)
Speed 25 ft.

16 (+3) 18 (+4) 16 (+3) 12 (+1) 16 (+3) 11 (+0)

Saving Throws Dexterity +10, Constitution +9
Damage Resistances Poison
Skills Acrobatics +10, Athletics +9, Perception +9
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 19
Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • C12 Rotary Rifle. A dwarf powderguard’s C12 rotary rifle has the revolver (5) property and must be reloaded every five shots. The powderguard’s C12 rotary rifle attack and longshot attack both consume one round of ammunition per shot.
  • Dwarven Resilience. A dwarf powderguard has advantage on saving throws against poison.
  • Powderguard’s Will. A dwarf powderguard has advantage on saving throws versus all mind-affecting magic.
  • Hold the Line. Any creature a dwarf powderguard damages via an opportunity attack has its speed immediately reduced to 0 for the remainder of their turn.
  • Master’s Hands. A dwarf powderguard can reload their rotary rifle (and any other weapon with the revolver property) as a bonus action.


  • Multiattack. A dwarf powderguard makes up to three attacks with either its C12 rotary rifle or its +3 shortsword. The dwarf powderguard cannot use the longshot action when making a multiattack.
  • Take Aim. A dwarf powderguard gains advantage on all ranged attacks made on its next turn, first ignoring disadvantage if it would normally apply.
  • Longshot. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 200/800 ft., one target. Hit: (2d8+4) piercing damage.
  • C12 Rotary Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 100/400 ft., one target. Hit: (2d8+4) piercing damage.
  • +3 ShortswordMelee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, one target. Hit: (1d6+7) piercing damage.


When in the capital, powderguards look quite resplendent in plate armor gilded in gold and trimmed in mithril. They wear capes of white and stand still as statues. Their silence is legendary, only speaking when necessary for an assigned task, the safety of themselves or civilians, or when addressed directly by a relevant party. In fact, with their faces completely obscured by their helms, some even mistake them for constructs because of how still and stoic they are.

When away from the capital and in times of war, the powderguard are instead equipped with less ostentatious armor, although it serves the same practical purpose. They wear plate armor of steel, sometimes tinted black or dark blue for the purposes of camouflage, and carry whatever other gear is necessary for their mission. Their characteristic quiet nature tends to remain unchanged, of course. 

All powderguards can be seen with their C12 rotary rifles, the latest and greatest model of firearm that sparked the creation of their order. These rifles have a simple beauty: they are unadorned but made of the highest quality metals and woods. Even when sleeping, a guard’s rifle will always be within one foot of their person. They value these weapons even more than their lives. 

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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