Over my many years of roleplaying, particularly under the Dungeons & Dragons rules, I have created and developed more “dwarves” than any other single race.
I don’t know why I make and play more dwarves than other races. To be fair, I’ve played a lot of humans too. In fact, I may well have built and played a lot more humans than dwarves, but either the adventures don’t last as long or the characters just aren’t as memorable. I’ve made some elves and some other things, just not as many.
The Fifth Dwarf and Beyond
While developing pre-generated characters for my 4e deathmatch tournament, I stumbled into the knowledge that dwarves are the ideal race for more than half of all published classes in 4e D&D.
This is largely based upon the fact that their particular ability score combination — Constitution plus Strength or Wisdom — enables them to be effective in any of the Martial, Divine, or Primal classes — which constitute the majority of all classes.
I built a “fifth” dwarf for a 4e campaign, to serve as leader. His name is Flintheart Glomgold, and the campaign has its own page — “Flintheart’s Heroes.”
Unnamed Dwarf Monk
I played a dwarf monk in a one-off adventure that ended after its first session. His name is lost to time, but he was a memorable character for a number of reasons, due in part because he proved a unique and fascinating individual (no beard, didn’t drink). Also, I got to play alongside a friend who discovered DnD independently of me.
My dwarf monk also had a number of awesome moments to set him apart: when attacked by a group of heavily-armed city guard, he held his own the longest of the group despite his pathetic defense scores, outlasting both the party’s half-orc barbarian and (half-elf?) ranger, who were both better warriors.
Additionally, in what would prove the final encounters of the adventure, he attempted to defend himself in court (it was a case of mistaken identity), failing due to poor dice rolls, whereupon he attempted to start a prison riot and free his companions from the “obviously corrupt” legal system. He was summarily defeated and executed.
I created Redguard (pronounced “Reggar”) for a Third Edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Redguard is one of the few characters I’ve made who didn’t change much as I played him, and he’s one of a few “boisterous bruisers” I’ve played in my time (he was a lot of fun, too). If memory serves, he was built for a 3rd-level party.
Redguard didn’t have an especially long time to develop. He died shortly before I left the gaming group (convenient timing), falling victim to a cockatrice’s petrifying bite. His claims to fame involve bull-rushing a vampire spawn to save a small boy (and virtually soloing said vampire), and beating down a full-blooded, armored vampire.
It’s worth noting that while being hot-headed and prone to picking fights and causing trouble, Redguard was a team player who never got the party into a fight the game master hadn’t planned for – while obnoxious and provocative toward his fellow party members, he never deliberately assaulted another, nor threw the first punch.
For a few weeks, I played a dwarf cleric (his first name escapes me at the moment) in a Forgotten Realms campaign. My character and his brother were “Thunder Twins” (my ‘brother’ was controlled by another player) whose clan was all but destroyed while they were enslaved – both prior to the events of the campaign.
Though the twins eventually escaped captivity, my character’s brother met his end during a troll attack one night. Of all the dwarf characters I’ve played, this one was honestly the most difficult for me to remember. I’ve played him longer than most others, but I can’t even recall his first name. I think it was “Gorm,” or maybe “Karn.”
Despite his somewhat lackluster career, one of his notable accomplishments was fashioning a unique holy symbol, “wondrous item” and actually a holy relic, to represent his devotion to his deity (this after his brothers’ death, I believe). While he helped mastermind an attack on the slave trade, his plans never came to fruition.
After I developed single-player rules for Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons, it occurred to me that I might record my experiments in “true solo play,” the results of which you can find the links to here: Scales of War. My character was a dwarf warden.
Vandal has an interesting background I developed for exploration in the game, but if memory serves I never so much as discussed it beyond the basics: “woodsy dwarf,” “warden,” “war smith,” “fey beast tamer,” and maybe “missing clan.” I would love to develop the character further but I’m unlikely to create new videos anytime soon.