How to Role Play a Dwarf Character in a Dungeons and Dragons Campaign

By Ty Arthur
Wizards of the Coast

The pen and paper role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons allows players to take on the role of the races made famous in fantasy literature such as dwarves and elves. Role-playing a dwarf character can be a serious challenge, as they have a very different mindset than the average person.

Pick an appropriate sounding name for your dwarf character to help keep you focused in the game world. Dwarf names should be tough and sturdy like the mountains they live in.

Come up with a back story for the character that will help you understand how your dwarf has acted in the past. Determine where the character grew up, what his living conditions were like, what his relations with family or friends are like, and what sort of profession he has taken up.

Decide if your dwarf leans more towards the gruff exterior with a heart of gold stereotype, or if she is instead more like the stereotype of a miserly and greedy dwarf that will do anything to get her hands on more gold and gems.

Be immediately suspicious of orcs and half-orcs, the ancestral enemies of the dwarf people. Unless there is a compelling reason not to do so, your character would probably attack these creatures and others like them on sight. This racial hatred generally extends to goblins, bugbears and kobolds as well.

Keep the party focused and always be the one to remind them they have work to do or spur them on to continue exploring an ancient ruin even when they are tired and need to rest. Flip that hard work ethic around after completing a particularly hard task by reveling in celebration and drinking as much ale as possible.

Place a special emphasis on family ties and bonds between long time friends. Most dwarf characters, even if they are evil, will have a healthy amount of respect for their elders in their clans and for other characters who have proven themselves trustworthy in battle.

Show a religious fervor that would shame even the most holy of paladins if your dwarf is a cleric or follower of a specific dwarf deity, as dwarves have a strong connection to the divine.

Maintain a wary attitude towards magic and spell casters unless your dwarf comes from a society that embraces magic.

About the Author

Ty Arthur has been writing technical and entertainment-related articles for a variety of online sources since 2008. His articles have appeared on Metalunderground.com and many other websites. Arthur attended the Great Falls College of Technology and studied both computer science and creative writing.