I have been hoping to put something on the DM’s Guild for a while now. I know elves are kind of the flagship race for the Realms, but I have always liked dwarves more and I think Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes gives some wiggle room to write something a little more in-depth about them. What is included here is not a complete list, but is part of a larger work in-progress. What you get in exchange for these quirks is a +1 to one ability of your choice.
Clumsy: The gods definitely hate you. You fall prone whenever you roll a 1 on a skill check, regardless of what the activity entails. Also, when you roll a 1 on an attack roll, you make an attack roll with disadvantage to attack yourself.
Dim-sight: Your beady eyes provide poor vision in dark conditions. You have normal vision and you have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in darkness or shadows.
Disoriented: You feel as if you are going to fall into the sky whenever you don’t have a ceiling above your head. You have disadvantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks and on saving throws or skill checks against being knocked prone when above ground.
Feisty: You never back down, especially from a fight. You can’t take the Withdraw or Dodge action.
Gentle Stomach: You lack your race’s renowned tolerance to toxins. You have disadvantage on saving throws against poison, and you are vulnerable against poison damage.
Glutton: You are only at your peak when your voracious appetite is sated. You must eat a meal or a days’ worth of trail rations in order to gain the benefits of a short or long rest and begin suffering from exhaustion if you go more than 4 hours without eating.
Grounded: Gravity seems to pull you closer to the ground. Your base walking speed is 20 feet and you have disadvantage on Strength (Athletic) checks to climb and jump.
Meek: You lack any kind of warrior spirit. You do not gain weapon proficiencies from your race or class and suffer a -1 penalty to AC.
Slumberer: You sleep like a stone. You must take damage before waking up and disadvantage on saving throws against sleep. You also suffer from exhaustion if you do not gain at least 10 hours of sleep.
Spell Allergy: You take to magic like stink on an orc. You have disadvantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic.
Squat: You are stocky, even for a dwarf. Your size is Small.
Stubby Fingers: Your digits end one knuckle sooner and are the size of sausages, making manipulating even simple tools quite difficult. You do not gain tool proficiencies from your race or background and have disadvantage on all Dexterity-based checks based on manual dexterity.
Tangle-beard: Your long, gnarly beard is always catching on things and makes it especially difficult to run. You can’t take the Dash action and have disadvantage on skill checks and saving throws against becoming grappled and restrained. Also, your beard is nearly impossible to shave off, dulling any sharp object used to cut it.
Unintelligible: It’s not that you can’t speak Common, it’s that no one can understand what passes for your “accent.” You can only communicate clearly while speaking Dwarvish and have disadvantage on all Charisma-based checks when not speaking Dwarvish.