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Roleplay the Dwarf Effectively - Moan, Groan and Complain!

Aug 17, 2007
A fantasy role playing game would not be complete without the loud and cranky dwarf in the party of adventurers. His voice fills the silence with complaints, groans, moans and a continuing reminder of his dislike for the pointy eared and often prissy elf.

To successfully role play the dwarf, one must learn to frown more often. Get into this character by peering into the mirror and simply frowning. Come up with a special frown or grimace for your dwarven character.

To make things more streamlined and easier for you to enact, make a list of five items that your dwarf detests. These things could be anything from stale bread to impotent ale. These things should be kept in front of you, listed on your character sheet at all times.

With your list of items in front of you, await one of them to pop out during play. When this occurs, go into a rant that would drive the party crazy about how upset you are over things. This complaining could lead to other complaints.

"This ale is a bit on the weak side. I paid more than I should for this pond water to begin with. I believe that our barkeep here has mistaken my short stature for that of a foolish child. Allow me to explain to you my good bar tender that I take offense to such insolence and ignorance. I detest being looked upon as juvenile simply because I stand many stones shorter than you. I would be more than happy to demonstrate my adult abilities by making your head into a canoe with my war axe. You melon would not be the first that I have split.

"Oh, I see. You see the error of your ways and have taken it upon yourself to exchange this disgusting mug of ale for something with more vinegar. It is good that someone of my patience had come upon this ale before someone of less tolerance."

As you can see, our dwarf is quite the drama lover. Now, a stranger to this dwarf might be repulsed by his loud and obnoxious complaints. But, those that know our dwarf will learn to have quite the affection for him. As a matter of fact, this character would be quite missed if he were to depart the party.

When role playing your dwarf, remember, that too much of a good thing can become quite annoying and bothersome. Do not overdo it. Have a limit. Explode into the complaints and annoyances, but ensure that there lies and end in site. This type of role playing is quite entertaining, but do not continue to place your stature challenged warrior in the limelight at every opportunity. The dwarf can become an overwhelming character in any game and other players could come to resent him.

Dwarves are known for their loyalty to others and to ideas. When a dwarf finds a friend, his loyalty is unstoppable and can become a very entertaining role playable trait. Imagine a devotion to another character, possibly another warrior character that is quite able of taking care of himself.

Our dwarf seems to always come to the aid of this warrior hero even when the dwarf's assistance is not needed at all. If you play this correctly, it can be very funny and add quite the loveable trait to this loud and obnoxious little being.

Again, limit this as well. It can also become quite overbearing and annoying if your dwarf steps between this warrior every single time an adversary comes into view. The idea is to step in when not needed.

Let me give an example of the overprotective dwarf in action.

Out party of heroes is investigating rumors of undead seen about the edge of town. As they venture out, they come upon an underground entrance. Following this takes them into the depths of the earth into unexplored areas.

The hero, Ravenwing, is a human character and known for his great warrior abilities. He leads this party as his experience is beyond comparison. The party also includes a few other heroes and of course, our ruddy little dwarf, Corin, wielding his great battle axe that stands taller then his own stature.

The caverns grow quiet as the party ventures deeper. The loudness of silence becomes more and more unbearable as the party ventures further. Ravenwing begins to pay more attention and seems to be a bit more cautious as he leads the group. Corin, keeps his sharp eyes squinted a bit attempting to observe everything going on around Ravenwing. As a matter of fact, he does this so intensely that he continues to bump into Morluck, the aged and cranky magic user to his front.


A rat the size of a small dog comes screeching down the corridor startling the party. The only identifiable surprise demonstrated in Ravenwing is the tightening of his grip on his broad sword.

Corin the dwarf, notices the grip strengthening of Ravenwing and he raises his hatchet with a bass-like roar that echoes through the corridor like thunder. His undying loyalty to Ravenwing, his leader, propels him passed the party knocking the old and bony Morluck to the ground. Corin's battle axe slices through the air and splits the nasty rat perfectly down the center.

The party freezes a moment, all eyes on Corin. A snicker is heard from the group, but the culprit cannot be identified. Morluck stands dusting off his robes, eyes locked on Corin as if he were summoning up some sort of nasty little spell.

Corin looks up quickly, his eyes a bit watery as the call of battle struck a bit of emotion in him. The snicker from the group causes the hair to stand up along his arms, his neck grows red and anger fills his head.

"I thought this rat to be of the changeling family. It is quite possible that this rat was a monstrous troll or dragon in disguise. I do not waste my strikes!" He booms a little louder than planned.

A few more snickers emit from the party. Ravenwing smiles easing his grip, "I am forever safe with good Corin at my side to defend me against the mighty and treacherous rats that dwell these depths. I am forever indebted my good friend."

The party laughs loudly and the voices echo through the caverns.

Our dwarf grows in character more and more as we hone in on his personality. Remember, these traits and quirks should be enacted sparingly. Overkill makes the attempt and fleshing out the dwarf very obvious.

Good luck and enjoy your role playing and gaming experience.
About the Author
William "Cole" Doggett is an RPG / role playing game addict and will not deny it. He has more years of experience in gaming, writing and creating than he will admit. Visit the RPG Empire for tons of information. www.RPG-Empire.com
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