D&D 5e: Dwarven Wizard Guide

D&D 5e: Dwarven Wizard Guide

Sick of your fragile ancient elven wizard getting pounded to death every single encounter? You won’t ever have that issue with our dwarf wizard. 

An enduring and hardy people, dwarves are more comfortable in mines and mountains where precious metals and gems are plentiful. If they leave their mountain homes to set out on a life of adventure, oft is such a quest motivated by their want for treasure. Why would a dwarf, swinging around his heavy battle hammer, mingle with the arcana? It’s simple. We’re going to roll a ‘spellsword’ – or more accurately, a ‘spellhammer’. 

How to Make a Dwarf Wizard

We’re not in 3.5e anymore. There’s no such thing as arcane spell failure, so nothing is stopping us from getting some armor proficiency, a nice hauberk, loading up on STR, and using our arcane knowledge to better swing our hammer at pesky goblins. 

The two core subraces of dwarf are hill dwarf (+1 WIS) and mountain dwarf (+2 STR). As a wizard, we have no real mechanical use for WIS (although the +1 hit point maximum may be handy). However, our mountain dwarf subclass offers us both +2 STR for swinging our hammer around (Dwarves racially receive hammer and axe proficiency), and Dwarven Armor Training which handles both of our above goals. 

Because wizards only have a d6 hit dice, we’re going to need to stack a bit of CON for added health and we’re going to need some INT for our spellcasting. DEX and WIS should never be negative because of the rolls that rely on these stats, but we don’t need much CHA – especially because our gruff and withdrawn smith isn’t exactly an extroverted partygoer anyway. 

How to Play a Dwarf Wizard

We’re not playing a typical wizard, hiding 30ft away from the combat and throwing the occasional magic missile at the baddies. We’re playing a spellhammer, clad in medium armor! We’ll hang back for the first couple of rounds so we can imbue ourselves and our hammer with some defensive and offensive magicks, and then we’re once more unto the breach, dear friends. 

There are a few different ways we could play this character, but the most attractive schools of wizardry for us are Abjuration or Conjuration. Abjuration gives us an Arcane Ward that will cushion some damage for us, and Conjuration (at 6th level) gives us an ability to teleport up to 30ft, which means we can either rough up some baddies after we buff up, or if things turn sour we can use that to expedite our retreat which will make up for the low speed we get as a dwarf. This low speed is also countered at 5th level when we get the Haste spell. At 11th level, we get access to Tenser’s Transformation, and that’s when we start shining. 

How to Roleplay as a Dwarf Wizard

dwarf wizard sorcerer
Ulfgar Firehammer by butterfrog on DeviantArt

Dwarves typically don’t pursue the arcane arts. Our bright little hero probably saw an opportunity to increase his smithing ability through the use of magic. A little bit of study, although his clan wasn’t on board at the start, resulted in some really fine craftsmanship. When his mountain home was attacked, he realized he could use this magic to imbue his hammer with great power to crack skulls as well as improve his smithing. 

 Ulfgar Firehammer by butterfrog on DeviantArt 

Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/540361655262829139/

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