The Secret to the Best D&D Character Flaws
Salutations, nerds! A while ago I did a post about 10 flaws you can give your character that won’t bog down your game. Today I want to write about another school of thought regarding fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons character flaws. The goals here are to add another dimension to your character, not make you think too hard about adding something entirely new and avoid complications at the table. Make your 5E D&D character flaw a part of their best quality.
Consider if you will the brave paladin. She is unafraid to forge ahead into dangerous situations and will always lend her shield to those in need. This knight is absolutely unflappable.
…The other side of this coin could easily be she’s willing to charge headlong into danger when it’s really not a smart idea to do so. She’s heedless of danger — these bold actions that could very well get her killed rarely factor into her decision to engage. In doing so she could end up putting the party in danger.
Consider also the clever wizard. He knows many things. He has studied topics immeasurable and is always willing to add his thoughts to the table when the party is trying to decide what they want to do next. Undeniably, this man is a font of knowledge.
…He’s also an insufferable know it all who (perhaps for good reason) thinks he has better answers than everyone else. His highest ability score is Intelligence rather than Wisdom but he tends to scoff at other people’s ideas and is convinced he’s got the best solution to every problem because history has shown him he does.
Finally consider the stalwart barbarian. They live by a strong code of honor and they are always sure they’re doing the right thing when something comes up. Perhaps they are chaotic good but that good part weighs heavier and they are always certain in what is the correct course of action. This wildling’s strongest trait is conviction.
…They’re also stubborn as a mule. When their mind has been made up, good luck to everyone else — it’s going to take a charging dinosaur to change it now. This trait represented a pillar of stability to their friends but can quickly become a liability in the moment.
When you make your 5E D&D characters consider what you find to be virtuous about them and consider moments in which those exact same traits can be undesirable. It’s important to make sure the other people at your table understand it is your character being stubborn or displaying this hubris and you the player are not insisting you take X action instead of Y. Make a small production of it to get your point across but never forget — the point of this game is collaboration.
Now go forth and give it a try for yourself.
*Featured image — In Dinner Party alliances between adventurers themselves get put to the test and the character flaws come out.. [Art by Kim Van Deun]