Inside the world of Dragon’s Dogma, the player takes on the role of the Arisen who is accompanied by their own created pawn, called a Main pawn. They are able to put their own likes and particularities into the main pawn during the creation phase. The main pawn will be traveling with the player on this long journey and the player will select everything on behalf of the main pawn, including appearance, vocations, equipment and skills. In this game, the player does not just single handedly decide the main pawn's actions. The main pawn learns from the player’s moves, orders, and when the Arisen's decisions are made. So, if the player is an aggressive type that always jumps into battle first without thinking, then the player's pawn will mirror that play style. If the player goes for the weakest or strongest foe first, the pawn will again mirror how the Arisen acts. Every time the player does something, this will have an effect on the pawn’s thoughts and movements. The main pawn is a custom AI tailored to how the player plays the game.
Initially, the pawn AI will improve based on the player’s job and the decisions the player makes; The Arisen's play style will shape the pawn's AI. The main pawn will attempt to match the player’s actions and fighting patterns and start to do things on their own. If the player would like to change any of their pawn's speech patterns and inclinations, the player can go to the Pawn Guild or certain rest camps across Gransys, where they will find a Knowledge Chair. In the Knowledge Chair, the main pawn will then ask the player on what and how they should improve. For deeper, more lasting changes in behavior, the player can purchase inclination potions from Johnathan at the Encampment.
Customizing the appearance of the main pawn will also affect gameplay. If the pawn is heavier set, then the amount of weight that the character can carry is increased. If characters are overencumbered it will take more stamina to perform any movements and overall speed will be reduced. The character's base weight also has an effect on how soon spent stamina can be recovered; larger characters use stamina slower and replenish it more slowly while small characters use it more quickly and replenish it faster. Bigger characters will have a longer reach when they attack, but have a proportionately larger hitbox, so they are a little easier to hit. Smaller characters have a shorter hit range, but are more difficult to hit, and move a little faster than their larger counterparts. The gender of the character can also have an effect on gameplay, since a woman's body mass is typically less than that of a man of similar height.
Since character reach and stamina are a major part of the game, every detail put into the main pawn will shape how the pawn interacts with the game's world.
Main pawns can be hired by other Arisen to help them during their journey and can thus be in multiple games at once. While spending time aiding another Arisen, the main pawn will receive Rift Crystals as pay for their support. Main pawns "return" from other players' worlds after sleeping at a resting place. They can come bearing gifts from the other player, along with a rating and comment, if one is given. Pawns will remember their actions in other worlds, allowing them to gain knowledge on how to kill foes and offer insight into completing quests the player has not yet undertaken.
- Art of Metamorphosis at The Encampment. Johnathan sells it from his Rift Shop (Caution: This can only be used once per save file).
- After completing the quest The Final Battle, during Post-Game the player can purchase the Secret of Metamorphosis at the Encampment which will allow them to freely change the appearance of the Arisen and the Main pawn as often as desired. This function is accessed at the Main Menu screen.
- The hairstyles and facial details including voice of both characters can be altered at Devyn's Barber Shop in Gran Soren, although one cannot change gender or alter their body. Every time this is done, the player must pay a fee in Gold.
- Inclinations determine the pawn's behaviors. Some inclinations work better on particular vocations and not so well on others.
- Make sure to alternate your main pawn's job class in order to properly manipulate their stat growth. For example, if you keep your main pawn as a Sorcerer for all 200 levels (the level cap), your pawn will have a very high magic attack stat, but extremely low physical defense, very low physical attack strength, low HP, and low Stamina. Study the appropriate Vocations to increase each stat for a well balanced pawn.
- A Mage pawn equipped with a Legion's Might staff is virtually immortal. Whenever such a pawn is killed it will auto-revive without any assistance from the Arisen - there are exceptions including being consumed by the Brine and being hit by Death 's scythe.
- The Suasion augment stacks. Having all four party members with the Suasion augment will maximize the price of anything the Arisen sells.
- The secret augment Fortune equipped on the main pawn will produce a significant increase in Rift Crystal drops.
- "My kind grows better able to serve the more we learn."
- "This place must have seen a ferocious battle."
- "So, what do you propose?"
- "Its dark... where do we go from here?"
- "It seems all roads lead to Gran Soren."
- "Remember to save enough for lodging."
- "The path splits..."
- "I do dearly miss the sun..."
- "A boat....?"
- "What an incredible view."
- "The views extends for leagues along the shore."
- "The canyon floor is an apt spot to find ourselves surrounded. We'd best be careful."
- "Given the looks of things, we'd best be prepared afore pressing on."
- "I'll ill miss this dank place when we move on..."
- "Shall we jump? It might shorten our path ...Or our lives"
- "Am I alone in wishing to be out of here?"
- "So many beds."
- "Look Arisen, a rope! Looks suspicious..."
- "Let us light this beacon, if just for the present."
- "Yet there is much to find in these unexplored lands, Master."
- "I'll full search this area."
- "Do watch your funds."
- "A cave entrance hides behind the falls."
- "Shall we rest afore pressing on?"
- "'Tis a portcrystal. With a ferrystone, you could reach it from anywhere."
- "We made it... Thank goodness."
- "Watch your footing, master. A fall can kill ready as any beast."
- "The hairs on my neck stands on end..."
- "'Tis a Portcrystal, Master."
- "Mark your footing well!"
- "Soaked to the bone!"
Looting or opening chests
- "What's this?"
- "This looks interesting."
- "Hm? What's that?"
- "Let's have a look..."
- "This may provide aught of use."
- "I'll take that."
- "Treasure, perhaps?"
- "Do you suppose this dried fish keeps long?"
- "Appears this grocer is responsible for much of the village's provisions."
- "The sea appears calm at least."
- "A smithy, I should think."
- "The Enlistment Corps scours the land for soldiers to man the frontier holds."
- "Such a magnificent fortress was useless in the end."
- "A force unseen calls out from the depths. It beckons..."
- "Or so they say. In truth, no one knows for sure who built this place, or why."
- "'Twas a place of worship and training, once, for clerics of the old gods."
- "Scholars of the Faith gave the Watergod's Altar its name, not long ago."
- "A stronghold, here? What could it be meant to defend?"
- "Aiding one another is our only hope in surviving such a place."
- "It looks a rotten billboard."
- "Beyond those gates lies the duke's castle, I'd warrant."
- "Under his guidance, Gransys has known peace and prosperity."
- "Even now, the people worship him as their savior."
- "'Tis said he was named duke afore his cavalcade reached Gran Soren's gates."
- "The pawns that fought alongside him must be about somewhere..."
- "But where, this pawn cannot say."
- "It seems no one knows just how he managed to defeat the beast."
- "Bards the land over sing of his exploits...albeit in the broadest terms."
- "It seems the Olra we met was but the soul within another's flesh."
- "Seems her mind is in precarious shape..."
- "It seems even she herself knows little of this place."
- "I'd ne'er believed in the transmigration of souls... Or is this some other force at work?"
- "Even in numbers, a weakling is a weakling still!"
- "Fire works well!"
- "It hates fire!"
- "Burn them to ash!"
- "I must away!"
- "Falling back!"
- "'Tis our chance!"
- "No interruptions!"
- "With practice, precision strikes and enchantment use will become routine."
- "I have it!"
- "I'll grab hold of it!"
- "Leave these to me."
- "You cannot let it win!"
- "Do not go quietly! Keep struggling!"
- "On my way, master! Be strong!"
- "Hold on!"
- "Have at you!"
- "The ranged ones are mine!" (Challenger)
- "I'll catch you!" (Guardian)
- "Just wait. We'll see a weakness."
- "Out of the way!"
- "It's over!"
- "An opening!"
- "Rrgh!" (Ordinary)
- "Don't stop, friends! Attack!"
- "Move, afore its spell hits!"
- "I'll take care of the weak." (Mitigator)
- "I'll leave the weak foes to you." (Scather)
Aiding or buffing the Arisen and other Pawns
- "I grant you Ice's Bite!"
- "I grant you Fire's Blaze!"
- "I'll embue your weapon with Holy light!"
- "I grant you sacred radiance!"
- "Don't worry, I am here." (Ordinary)
- "...you'll be fine now."
- "There is no need to be reckless!"
- "There is no need to be reckless, Master..." (Confident)
- "A mite old for children's games aren't you, Master?"
- "I'm coming to help!"
- "Holy magick will end its wicked existence!"
Triumph over the enemy
- "I...I'll have nightmares from that one." (Timid)
- "Perhaps we could avoid further battle..." (Timid)
- "Did it!" (Ordinary)
- "We have triumphed!" (Ordinary)
- "Strength in numbers, Arisen." (Ordinary)
- "That's all? Barely worth the effort." (Arrogant)
- "Are you unharmed, master?" (Meek)
- "That was hardly a warmup!" (Aggressive)
- "Is that all?" (Arrogant)
- "What did you expect, with my help?" (Arrogant)
- "I only hope we survive the next encounter..." (Meek)
- "You shall not cast!"
For Enemy Person
- "Armed rogues!"
- "They're armed, master!"
- "Armed bandits, Arisen!"
For enemies of the Goblin family
- "Careful, a goblin!"
- "'Tis far stronger than a common goblin!"
For enemies of the Wolf family
- "Wolves hunt in packs!"
- "A white wolf. It will be red soon enough!"
- "Certainly its pack draws near."
- "They're nimble. Watch your back."
For enemies of the Saurian family
- "Sulfur Saurian!"
- "The tail is severed!"
- "Strike the tail!"
- "Taste my wrath, reptile!"
- "It spews a white sickness!"
- "Shield your eyes! they spew a blinding fog!"
- "Those scales and spears are an unwelcome combination."
For enemies of the Skeleton family
- "Bones...Walking bones!"
- "It has but one eye! Strike it!"
- "Shall we leave it be? ...Please?" (Meek)
For Ogre and Elder Ogre
- "'Tis more brutish still than a normal ogre!"
- "Seems the beast hungers for men!"
- "They attack men with especial zeal!"
- "It grows frenzied!"
For Harpy, Snow Harpy, Siren and Succubus
- "There, Master! Harpies!"
- "Snow Harpies!"
- "Beware the harpy's song!"
- "Focus your attacks as it hovers."
- "It bears the head of a cock!"
For Chimera and Gorechimera
- "The goat is casting death spell!"
- "Defeating the goat's head makes a chimera wild."
- "As you like it."
- "Very well." (Ordinary)
Death or severe injury
- "'Tis but a flesh wound!" (Confident)
- "What a gaffe..." (Ordinary)
- "...Bah." (Reticent)
- "After this... comes the fun part." (Confident)
After being aided
- "I Suppose I went too easy on it..." (Confident)
- "Not this pawn, not this day..." (Aggressive)
- "Not bad... That actually hurt." (Arrogant)
- "Stay with me!"
- "Open your eyes!"
- "No... No!"
- "...Let us proceed."
- "Ah, Master, you're back!"
- "I do not relish the sight of you in such peril, Master."