D&D Dwarves

D&D Dwarves – What 5e Character Class Should You Play

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We’ve got a brand new series over on the Nerdarchy YouTube channel and we are kicking it off talking about D&D Dwarves. Nerdarchy is known for it’s love of the bearded folk. We are going to run through all of the 5e D&D races and match them up with what we feel would be the best character class.

D&D Dwarves – What 5e Character Class Should You Play Video

D&D Dwarves – What 5e Character Class Should You Play Video Transcription

Dave: “ You know what, Ted, I noticed something about all the 5e D&D player races.”

Ted: “What’s that there Dave?”

Dave: “All the best races in 5e D&D have only one to three sub races and I have proof.”

Ted: “ Oh yeah. Where’s the proof?”

Dave: “Dwarves, gnomes and a halflings.”

Ted: “How is that evidence?”

Dave: “Look at elves and tieflings with six and 10 sub races prospectively. They’re still trying to get it right.”

Ted: “I don’t know if I follow your logic there, Dave, but it does kind of fit with today’s topic. That’s D&D dwarves and the best character classes for them.”

Dave: ”Welcome to Nerdarchy . I’m Nerdarcist Dave, and as always I’m hanging out with this nerd.”

Ted: “Nerdarchist Ted.”

Dave: “ Hey, maybe this is your first time hanging out in Ted’s basement with us. It’s a place where we’d like to share news, views and home brews for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons, and sometimes we talked about other role playing games too.”

Ted: ”If you don’t want to miss a single video that don’t forget to crit hit that subscribe button and to attune that notification bell.”


Dave: “Today’s video, we’re going to be talking about D&D dwarves and the best character class to play them. We have just recently finished up our series where we took each of the 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons character classes and we picked the best races for them. But surprisingly people still wanted us to kind of do the reverse process and look at each of the character races and figure out what would be the best character class for them. So we’re going to do that and we’re going to do it a little bit differently than we’ve done in the other series because we don’t, we don’t want to just like regurgitate the same information.”

Ted: “Well, I mean for one, not every, not every one of the races is going to fall into the most optimal choice when it came, when it came to best race for a class. So if you have a specific race that you’re really interested in playing, now there’s a lot more racist than there are classes. So you’ve got, you’ve got a lot of options to work with, especially when you look at all the sub races.”

Dave: “Yeah. So I guess what we’re going to look at is like the most optimized a character classes for the particular race. And then what we can do is we can go and look at what are some unexpected choices or even an orthodox choices that would be fun for playing that race either because of certain features they have or maybe thematically.”

Ted: “ Absolutely. So let’s actually break down the core race first. So what does it mean to be a dwarf?”

Dave: “It can mean a lot of things, but I think you’re talking mechanically here.”

Ted: “Yeah.”

Dave: “All right, So mechanically what it means to be a dwarf, you’re going to get a bonus to the constitution that you know that is the prime race itself. Without going into the sub races.”

Ted: “Right.”

Dave: “You’re also going to get a tool proficiency. You’re going to get some martial weapon training. They’re proficient and hammers and axes pretty much. They get everything but the mall and the great acts, which means I get Warhammer light hammer, battleaxe and hand axe.”

Ted: “So beyond those proficiencies that are also going to get stone cunning a, which is an automatic proficiency when it comes to, you know, worked and unworked stone really, it really dives down on, you know, what, what that to be a dwarf and being around stone all the time. And of course you know you’re going to break down and get the languages of dwarven and common.”

Dave: ”Absolutely. All dwarves get dark vision and also dwarven resilience, which is basically a dwarves are hardy. So I don’t know if it’s because of all the drinking they do or just their high constitution, but they get resistance to poisons as well as advantage on the saving throws versus poison.”

Ted: ”This breaks down, no matter what type of dwarf, if you’re going to play, you are hardy and you are martial. And now even if you decide to go with a dwarven wizard, you have spent time using weapons and that that’s going to have to speak a lot to the mindset of a dwarf.”

Dave: ”That may come from actual like service. So maybe there’s a soldier background involved or you know, maybe the, because they’re a tradesman naturally there they’re just used to using hammers and axes so, so they’re just felt really natural to them. So that can inform some decisions you’re going to make a lot along the way. Now like you mentioned, they’re naturally hardy, they had that con bonus as well. There is not a single character class that doesn’t benefit from a high constitution. So that’s always going to be a good stat. It’s just generally never a prime stat for anybody.”

Ted: “ That is the weak point of a, of the constitution. But nobody, nobody is looking for that low con unless you’re looking for like a Raistlin and build, you know there’s, there’s just so many advantages to constitution. It is one of the premier saving throws a because there’s a lot of saves that specifically target constitution. And as you said, it brings up hit points. So having more hit points adds to your survivability.”


Dave: “So I guess a little bit too, we can like delve into like the culture of dwarves and what it, what it means to be a dwarf beyond mechanics.”

Ted: ”Alright well dwarves spend most of their life underground, whether they’re mining, you know that you know or you know just living a lot of times dwarves are in the mountains or in the hills there underground. It doesn’t matter which sub race you go with. You spend a lot of time away from, you know the out the outside almost like you’re crawling around a dungeon. You know normally”

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Dave: “Not only that, because we’ve partnered with Dungeonfog, they gave us a promo code for 10% off any annual purchase with the Promo Code nerdarchy. It’ll be in the description. You can go check that out.”

Ted: “So now that we’ve done exploring Dungeonfog, why don’t we explore the a the sub races and you know what, what particular classes that these guys are going to be good at.”

Dave: “Okay, we’ve got three sub races for the dwarf. We’ve got duergar , we got hill dwarf and we have the mountain dwarf.”

Ted: “All supreme choices if you ask me as a lot of a lot of mechanical benefits and a lot of fun thematics built into those races.”

Dave: “Okay, we’ve got three sub races for the dwarf. We’ve got duergar , we got hill dwarf and we have the mountain dwarf all supreme choices if you ask me as a lot of a lot of mechanical benefits and a lot of fun thematics built into those races. Okay, so our duergar the gray dwarf if, if you would, it’s kind of like the evil dwarves and they are an underdark are subterranean race. They, they have sunlight sensitivity, so they do not like to come above ground. They kind of epitomize you know, all of the traits of dwarves but to to such such a degree that it turns them into almost negatives.”

Ted: “ So these guys are emotionless. They’re not, they don’t really get to feel the joy of what it is that they do. And you know this, this is a detractor and it, it does take away a little bit from role-playing them, but you can still have a lot of fun with it.”D&D Dwarves

Dave: “No, I disagree. I think it totally leaves you an area to role play them all. Dwarves are generally portrayed as being dour, right Well, they ratchet this up to like 20 you know, on a one through 10 they’re supremely Dour. But that being said as mechanically there are a great race they get, they get a bonus to strength a plus one. They get some spell like abilities. They get even more resistance than then regular dwarves. Not only are they resistant to poison and get advantage on their saves, they also get advantage on saving throws versus charm, paralyzation illusion in their history. They were enslaved by illithids. This has mentally made them very tough.”

Ted: “That is a lot to to work with. Spell like abilities, extra resilience. Resilience is uh, so what kind of things would you, would we say these guys are designed to do.”

Dave: “Well mechanically with that plus one to strength and con any of your warrior classes, they’re going to really excel at barbarian and fighter primarily they could still make decent rangers and Paladins, but both your ranger and your paladin and rely on other stats, wisdom and charisma, which they don’t get now, doesn’t mean you can play those that have a lot of fun with it. It’s just that they’re not going to be the optimal choices. I would have to say barbarian fighter.”

Ted: “Awesome. But we also talked about, you know, going with some unexpected character classes, you know, that these, that these races might wind up working with. So we kinda had some discussion off camera as to where these guys might fit in and you know, there was talk of like, oh well they get spelled like abilities so you know, would that compliment anything in particular And you know, nothing really settled in except for using those, those spells, you know, invisibility primarily and that’s going with rogue.”

Dave: “They get access to enlarge at third level and in visibility at fifth level they are actually two spelling abilities that are going to kind of compliment you almost no matter what you’re doing. Uh, and large is great for those martial type classes. Even, you know for your rogue like you mentioned, because it does give you extra dice of damage, it’s going to give you an extra D4 that you could add to your sneak attack and your weapon damage and invisibility for a rogue is a great spell to have. And for these guys, I think we decided, it’s not just about the, the spell like abilities for going with rogue but it’s the idea that they get so many resistances. So if you have to deal with traps and, and things of that nature that’s going to help them out. But not only that, of all the dwarves, these seem like the most rogue like to me.”

Ted: “So dwarves have the, have the natural affinity for you know, admiring and acquiring treasure. And while you know the duergar is not going to enjoy the possession, the possession of well, it’s mine. And I want, or you had it and I want, that does fit in with a rogue mentality. And I really feel that of all of them, of all the races, the dark dwarf, the gray dwarf the duergar , however you want to say it, is the most inclined to go rogue.”

Dave: “Yeah, they fully embrace avarice to the ninth degree.”

Ted: ”All right, so what is next Dave.”


Dave: “ Yeah, they fully embrace avarice to the ninth degree. All right, so what is next Dave. Well, next we’re going to go with the hill dwarf the hill dwarf gets a plus one to wisdom and addition to that, plus two to constitution and they also their extra hardy, they get an extra hit point per level.”

Ted: “ All right, so what is next Dave.”

Dave: “Well, next we’re going to go with the hill dwarf the hill dwarf gets a plus one to wisdom and addition to that, plus two to constitution and they also their extra hardy, they get an extra hit point per level.”

Ted: “uh, that, you know, we already talked about how great hit points are. So, uh, getting more hit points is, has got to be a good thing.”

Dave: “It doesn’t really matter what character class you’d go with. Your, you’re never going to be like, oh my God, God, I’ve got too many hit points. Just not gonna happen. So hill dwarves, they start off as being extra tanky. Uh, so now let’s look at what are the classes that you feel like they would excel at?”

Ted: “While getting, getting a constitution and wisdom. This is definitely going to lead us more towards those divine spell casters. So whether you go cleric or whether you go druid, you’re going to have those hit points. You’re going to have that superior wisdom. Definitely more in line with those.”

Dave: “ There’s one other choice that might work out really well. You might want to be a Doodad, a Doodad.”

Ted: “Well dwarven Doodad has been known to be used before.”

Dave: “So with that you know cleric and druid they’re super optimized for, they make awesome clerics. You slather on that heavy armor, you have that high wisdom, you get that extra hit point, they’re really going to excel at it. Even if you go with a cleric that doesn’t get more any martial weapon proficiencies, they’re still going to get the battle axe, hand axe, light axe, and Warhammer. So you’re going to have some choices. The really like flesh out that character.”

Ted: “Absolutely. So unexpected. Where are we looking to go here ? I know you, uh, you enjoyed, you know, coming up with this one.”

Dave: “All right, this is actually a character that I made in the past and I would really like to play and that is a draconic sorcerer hill dwarf. Now granted you don’t get the, you don’t get the Christmas that which would be super helpful, but that extra hit point per level, you’re going to be able to Max out your con at 16 at first level right there. That’s an extra four hit points per level. But if you actually take the draconic sorcerer origin, that’s another hit point per level. We’re at five hit points for the sorcerer that’s, that’s actually almost as much as the Max die they get for being that character class.”

Ted: “But you wanted to take this even it even further by once you get the fourth level taking tough.”

Dave: “Yes. If you wanted to go crazy with it, you take tough whether you do it at fourth level or you do it at eighth level cause it, you know you’re going to get those retro hit points anyway, but you’re now getting seven hit points per level without increasing your con. That’s a big deal. That’s actually bigger than your die.”

Ted: “You know with that four on average as you might be taking, that’s 11 hit points per level as a sorcerer.”

Dave: “Yeah. That’s literally, that’s fighter hit points right there in my opinion.”

Ted: “So you can have a lot of fun with that. But you know that’s going to bring us down to the last and final sub race for dwarf and that’s a mountain.”

Dave: “So our final race or sub race I should say is the mountain dwarf like you said. The mountain worth is unique of all the other races or sub races in the 5e D&D Player’s Handbook in the sense that they actually get a plus four bonus total plus two to constitution plus two to strength, I should say. It is tied for the highest after the non variant human.”

Ted: “So with that plus two to strength, they’re also going to get a medium and light armor proficiency. So it doesn’t matter what character class you’re going to be working with, you got armor to choose from.”

Dave: “Yeah. I, the biggest downfall of the mountain dwarf for the of this race is the character classes your most optimal for really don’t benefit from your abilities of martial training or armor proficiency. Unfortunately, because the mountain dwarf for just excels at being a fighter excels at being a barbarian. Heck, even a paladin will work out really nice. You’re just not going to have a super high charisma to start with.”


Ted: “But with those classes, you’re going to get all those weapons, you’re going to get all those armor. So your race is actually adding nothing to the character class.”

Dave: “But with those classes, you’re going to get all those weapons, you’re going to get all those armor. So your race is actually adding nothing to the character class. That being said, I still have to, we still have to put those martial classes as these are your go to races for, for playing a mountain dwarf. With that, let’s jump to the unexpected.”

Ted: “But with those classes, you’re going to get all those weapons, you’re going to get all those armor. So your race is actually adding nothing to the character class. That being said, I still have to, we still have to put those martial classes as these are your go to races for, for playing a mountain dwarf. With that, let’s jump to the unexpected. Uh, so the unexpected for the mountains dwarf is, you know, as you would expect anything that doesn’t actually get an armor proficiency , uh, you know, being able to play a, you know, a sorcerer or wizard, uh, and, and running around with this armor that you wouldn’t normally be able to use is awesome.You don’t have to worry about spending feats to acquire them. You get them from are from a race. So wizard, sorcerer top on the list, in my opinion.”

Dave: “I would even say rogue bard, you know, getting the have that medium armor is, is going to help. It’s going to make your character survivability even greater than it would be otherwise. Armor just helps a means. You can also not worry about dexterity as much. Medium armor, you’re only going to get a maximum of plus two plus three if you take a feat anyway. So, so that’s that. You, you worry about not focusing on, so the stats that you need it like maybe charisma. If you’re a charisma caster, you can then put those, put those Asi is there instead. And it also just makes for an interesting character. When you’re, when you’re building, say a lore bard that is now has access to medium armor has some martial weapons they can use plus all the other bard, stuff that’s going to be a really well rounded character. ”

Ted: “So there you have it rounded out best class for this race. Uh, which one do you want us to do next Leave your comments down below while you’re down don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.”

Dave: “On your way down to those comments and your liking and you’re sharing and you’re subscribing and all that good stuff. Why don’t you check out the description where you can find a link to get that Promo code for Dungeon fog. Hey, even if you don’t want to buy it, go sign up for free and check it out and see if it’s something you would use in your game or not.”

Ted: “So until next time.”

Both: “stay nerdy!”

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My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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