Based on the first novel of theDie Zwergetetralogy [Eng. The Dwarves] by author Markus Heitz, the goal of the cooperative gameDie Zwergeis to keep evil from flooding Girdlegard. During set-up, players choose one of the dwarves from the novel, each of which is equipped with a unique special ability and different stats for fighting, crafting, and movement.
Before each player's turn, the forces of evil usually break through one of the four big gates – which are guarded by different dwarven tribes – and further the spread of the Perished Land. On his turn a player spends two action points to use two of five actions. He can:
Fight against the advancing enemies (orcs, trolls, and älfar [Ger. albae], i.e. dark elves).
Travel to other locations.
Lobby the dwarven council to give advantages to all players – and without the favor of the dwarven council, everyone suffers disadvantages.
Solve a minor quest for rewards.
Take on the current major quest, revealing the next major quest if successful. Completing these quests is the only way to win the game.
For most of these actions, a player must succeed in a dice-driven challenge. If the players cannot control the flood of evil while simultaneously solving the major quests in time, they will lose.