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Let’s Roll up an Avenger for Each and Every D&D Class!

Art by Jack Kirby!


I have a life-long love of Marvel Comics. I have a life-long love of Dungeons and Dragons. ’nuff said. Let’s do this!

Avengers as D&D Classes

Black Knight – Fighter

Black Knight isn’t a super well-known Avenger unless you know comics like the underrated Gatherers Saga. But Black Knight actually had two fairly significant stints with the Avengers, one beginning in the early 60s, then a later 90s run, and Dane Witman’s appearance in The Eternals will soon increase his visibility.

Black Knight is an excellent swordsman and fighter in general, able to hold his own in combat alongside the likes of Cap. But the Arthurian legend surrounding his armor and his Ebony Blade give Black Knight additional D&D flavor.

Black Knight D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Human
  2. Class: Fighter
    ––Proficiencies: Athletics and History. While history sounds boring here and it’s tempting to go with Acrobatics, History honors Black Knight’s Avalon heritage.
    ––Fighting Style: Dueling. “When you are wielding a melee weapon longsword Ebony Blade in one hand and no other weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls with that weapon.” Perfect.
  3. Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
  4. Background: Knight of the Order (from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear with a longsword. Your first upgrade should be a magical sword to approximate the superpowered swords used by Black Knight in the comics. Plus, get this man a horse. That’s part of his comic book mythos as well.
  6. Martial Archetype: At 3rd level, Battle Master for your Martial Archetype, not necessarily for an Avengers-related flavor but just because it’s generally much more fun to play than the other archetypes. That allows you 3 Maneuvers:
    ––Commander’s Strike: Dane Witman was the unofficial leader of the Avengers in the 90s, so this is a flavorful add.
    ––Goading Attack: Black Knight would often leap first into combat in order to grab the attention of the Avenger’s enemies.
    ––Maneuvering Attack: Fits the teamwork feel of the Avengers.

Doctor Strange – Wizard

Although he is Marvel’s “Sorcerer Supreme,” Doctor Strange works best as a Wizard due to his magic being learned and not being born with it as a mutant might be. Otherwise, let’s have some fun with his build.

Doctor Strange D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Elf (Eladrin variant to give that “astral plane” flavor)
  2. Class: Wizard
    ––Proficiencies: Aracana and Insight.
    ––Arcane Tradition: School of Divination. “…all seek a clearer understanding of the past, present, and future. As a diviner, you strive to part the veils of space, time, and consciousness so that you can see clearly. You work to master spells of discernment, remote viewing, supernatural knowledge, and foresight.” There are 14,000,605 options and this is the correct one.
  3. Ability Scores: Intelligence, Wisdom, for the heck of it.
  4. Background: Sage (Specialty: Astronomer)
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear for a wizard, but buy the man a cape. And when you are thinking magical items, think about these.
  6. Higher Levels: At level 10, the Divination tradition gives you the Third Eye, which allows Ethereal Sight. Perfect.

[If you play the excellent Pathfinder 2nd Edition, look here for a full Doctor Strange build from our Staying in Character series.]

Black Widow – Rogue

Eberron is a D&D setting known for espionage, so we’re looking there for Black Widow. The race of Changling is perfect, for example, as it highlights Black Widow’s ability to “blend in” as a spy.

Black Widow D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Changling (from Eberron: Rising from the Last War)
  2. Class: Rogue
    ––Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Persuasion, Deception, Stealth.
    ––Expertise: Acrobatics (for combat) and Deception (for spy-related stuff)
  3. Ability Scores: Dexterity, Intelligence.
  4. Background: House Agent (from Eberron: Rising from the Last War)
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear, thieves’ tools, leather armor, daggers. At some point, consider replicating her wrist stingers as a magical item.
  6. Higher Levels: At level 3, choose Mastermind (from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything) as your Roguish Archetype, which is a focus on people and on the influence and secrets they have.

[If you play the excellent Pathfinder 2nd Edition, look here for a full Black Widow build from our Staying in Character series.]

Hulk – Barbarian

I can’t imagine a D&D class more on the nose for an Avenger than Hulk as a barbarian. Let’s make him angry.

Hulk D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Half-Orc (Goliath is a “strong” option, but the skin coloring was just too good to pass up.)
  2. Class: Barbarian
    ––Proficiencies: Intimidation and Survival.
  3. Ability Scores: Strength, Constitution
  4. Background: Hermit
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear. Clothing optional.
  6. Higher Levels: At 3rd level choose Path of the Berserker.

Shang-Chi – Monk

I came to age in comics after Shang-Chi was on Drug Store spinner racks, so I had to get to know the character through tracking down old issues. A huge Karate Kid fan as a kid, I’m really glad I did.

Once Shang-Chi stars in his own Marvel movie, he’ll quickly become a household name, but fans of the Avengers probably know he has served some small stints with the team. He also gained the ability to create mirror images of himself, which is very D&D.

Shang-Chi D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Air Genasi
  2. Class: Monk
    ––Proficiencies: Acrobatics and Athletics.
  3. Ability Scores: Dexterity, Constitution
  4. Background: Far Traveler: Kara-Tur (from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear.
  6. Higher Levels: Choose Way of the Open Hand as Shang-Chi’s Monastic tradition at level 3.

Captain America – Paladin

If you haven’t enjoyed Chris Evans’ portrayal of Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), then I honestly don’t know what you want out of life.

Cap stands up for what he beliives in and this is true even in iconic comic book runs like Gruenwald’s Cap run that explored a disillusionment with ideals and institutions. That’s a paladin through and through.

Captain America D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Aasimar (or Human)
  2. Class: Paladin
    ––Proficiencies: Athletics and Persuasion.
    ––Fighting Style: Protection (at 2nd level)
  3. Ability Scores: Strength, Charisma
  4. Background: Knight of the Order (from Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide)
  5. Accoutrements: Get this man a shield.
  6. Higher Levels: “The Oath of Devotion binds a paladin to the loftiest ideals of justice, virtue, and order.” Choose that at level 3.

Iron Man – Artificer

Now we’re having fun. A technological hero in D&D isn’t fully a thing, but if you squint at an Artificer, that’s exactly what you get.

“Masters of unlocking magic in everyday objects, artificers are supreme inventors,” says the opening line for the Artificer class in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Nerds, that’s Tony Stark.

Iron Man D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Rock Gnome
  2. Class: Artificer
    ––Proficiencies: Arcana and Insight.
  3. Ability Scores: Intelligence, Constitution
  4. Background: Guild Artisan
  5. Accoutrements: Tinker’s and Artisan tools to support 1st level Magical Tinkering. You have medium armor proficiency, so grab some scale mail! You take some disadvantages, but it’s flavorful!
  6. Higher Levels: Choose Artillerist for your Artificer Specialty at 3rd level.

Hawkeye – Ranger

Another one that is one the nose.

Hawkeye D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Aarakocra (Let’s give him a twist!)
  2. Class: Ranger
    ––Proficiencies: Athletics, Survival, and Perception.
    ––Favored Enemy: Celestials. He’s coming for you, Thanos.
    ––Natural Explorer: Underdark. It makes absolutely no sense for a character that can fly, but why not give a nod to Ronin’s knowledge of the criminal “underground.”
  3. Ability Scores: Dexterity, Constitution
  4. Background: Criminal / Spy. This honors Hawkeye’s comic book origins.
  5. Accoutrements: A quiver and a bow. What more do you need?
  6. Higher Levels: Here are the basics:
    ––Fighting Style: Choose Archery at 2nd level.
    ––Ranger Archetype: Choose Gloom Stalker at level 3 as another nod to Ronin!

Scarlet Witch – Sorcerer

Scarlett Witch’s stints with the Avengers have always been emotional roller coasters, her interactions with the X-Men have been even more so.

She fits a D&D Sorcerer perfectly, plus gives you tons of opportunities for interesting roleplay. So let’s get at it!

Scarlet Witch D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Tiefling
  2. Class: Sorcerer
    ––Proficiencies: Arcana and Religion.
    ––Sorcerous Origin: Wild Magic
  3. Ability Scores: Charisma, Constitution
  4. Background: None fit well, so have fun with it.
  5. Accoutrements: Basic adventuring gear. Not much more than a bright red cloak is needed to add flavor to the character.
  6. Higher Levels: Try to select spells that have a bit of wildness and unpredictability to them.

Spider-Man – Bard

Spider-Man wasn’t known as an Avengers until the Bendis New Avengers era, but his inclusion has been all but solidified by the MCU. And in the words of Nerds of Earth Creative Director Abram, “With all those jokes and flips, Spider-Man is a bard.”

Spider-Man D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Wood Elf
  2. Class: Bard
    ––Proficiencies: Acrobatics, Athletics, and Insight. (His Peter Tingle.)
  3. Ability Scores: Charisma, Dexterity
  4. Background: Entertainer (Sure, this is like being a photographer for the Daily Bugle, but we’re talking about make believe here.)
  5. Accoutrements: Web slingers aren’t straightforward to replicate in D&D, so I recommend this be a thin characterization where you simply choose some flavorful spells.
  6. Higher Levels: Again, Spider-Man as bard isn’t an exact analog, so… go College of Valor at level 3 for your Bard College?

Mantis – Cleric

The Avengers are exactly known for their healing or spiritual nature. Guys like Cap are hammers, so they see everything as a nail, even often their teammates.

But although Mantis is a deep cut as an Avenger, as she is now primarily known as a Guardian of the Galaxy, her powers as an empath actually fit best the D&D cleric class. So, hang with me here.

Mantis D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Kalashtar (From Eberron: Rising from the Last War; it was tempting to go with elf, because while we couldn’t match antenna, we could’ve at least had long ears.)
  2. Class: Cleric
    ––Proficiencies: Medicine and Insight (for empathy).
    ––Divine Domain: Knowledge (While it’s not exactly the precog powers of Mantis, it’s maybe the closest we get in D&D 5e with no psionics.)
  3. Ability Scores: Wisdom and Constitution
  4. Background: Acolyte
  5. Accoutrements: Typical adventuring gear associated with a cleric.

Ant-Man – Druid

Sure, transforming into an ant doesn’t really help you much in D&D and will likely get you stomped upon, but let’s just pretend for a moment that our D&D Druid gets his powers via Pym Particles!

Ant-Man D&D “Origin Story”

  1. Race: Swiftstride Shifter (From Eberron: Rising from the Last War; let’s go deep with this!)
  2. Class: Druid
    ––Proficiencies: Animal Handling and Arcana (for Pym Particles)
    ––Druid Circle: Circle of the Moon (Because you can’t convince me that any of the other Druid Circles are more fun to play than this.)
  3. Ability Scores: Wisdom and Constitution
  4. Background: Hermin
  5. Accoutrements: Typical adventuring gear associated with a druid. You know, like twigs and stuff.
  6. Higher Levels: The Enlarge / Reduce spell is a must at some point.

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