Image source: Jnn13, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:US_Flag_Backlit.jpg
I love a good theme (or is this a bad gimmick?). To help our American friends celebrate the 4th of July, I put together a list of famous, iconic Americans who would make great D&D characters.
If you feel any of these descriptions don’t capture the essence of these historical figures, this is your chance to set me right in the comments below.
May your next game be… fireworks.
American: Sitting Bull
Notes: This is a fairly obvious fit – a warrior and leader of a hunter/gatherer nation whose lands are threatened with invasion.
Image source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/SittingBull.jpg
American: Emily Dickinson
Notes: This bard would be a poet, obviously. But more than that, she would be reclusive and eccentric to the point of madness. This, along with many of Dickinson’s poems having natural and spiritual themes, implies a Feywild connection – what ancient fey torment this young bard?
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emily_Dickinson_daguerreotype.jpg
Class: Cleric (War domain)
American: George Washington
Notes: Washington is revered as one of America’s greatest leaders, both as a general and a president. War Clerics are excellent leaders on the battlefield; it’s easy to imagine one as a leader in a broader sense, too.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stuart-george-washington-constable-1797.jpg
American: Erin Brockovich
Notes: How’s this for a backstory – a beautiful woman’s home becomes polluted by a dark wizard’s magic. Nature herself imbues her with the magic needed to fight back.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Erin_Brockovich.jpg
American: Babe Ruth
Notes: A young troublemaker is sent to be educated by priests and nuns. During this time, he discovers a talent for brawling. It starts with street fighting in dark alleys. One of the priests discovers he was a real talent and, soon, the boy is fighting in gladiatorial arenas. He quickly earns a name as one of the best fighters that ever lived.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Babe_Ruth_Red_Sox_1918_headshot_crop.jpg
American: Muhammad Ali
Notes: There are so many ways that to capture Muhammad Ali’s magic. A solider that fights for his own cause of peace and tolerance, but opposes crusades and empire-builders. A brawler with a unique combat style. A convert to a despised religion. A trash-talking fighter.
Image source: https://pixabay.com/en/muhammad-ali-professional-boxer-572571/
American: Benjamin Franklin
Notes: Franklin could fit so many classes. Why a paladin? Well, nothing screams ‘paladin’ louder than the Thirteen Virtues.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Joseph_Duplessis_-_Portrait_of_Benjamin_Franklin_-_WGA06871.jpg
American: Neil Armstrong
Notes: Rangers are excellent explorers. They like roughing it and have terrains they specialise in. Neil Armstrong travelled further than anyone before him did, to a world no being had ever stepped on. His favoured terrain is more epic and hostile than your favoured terrain.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Neil_Armstrong_in_suit.jpg
American: Al Capone
Notes: A notorious, controversial criminal. Some see him as a thug; others see him as Robin Hood. He is connected to all sorts of crimes but good luck proving any of it.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Al_Capone.jpg
Class: Sorcerer (Draconic)
American: Amelia Earhart
Notes: Draconic Sorcerers can sprout wings at level 14 but, honestly, that didn’t occur to me when I made this match. Instead, I realised Amelia was a sorceress from this quote: “I did not understand it at the time, but I believe that little red airplane said something to me as it swished by.”
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amelia_Earhart_1928.jpg
American: Thomas Edison
Notes: He dabbled in eldritch energies (“direct-current electricity”), using them to acquire immense personal power. Also, he fought a turf war between AC and DC electricity – almost as if each had a patron that was conspiring through mortal agents (AC’s agents were, of course, Tesla and Westinghouse).
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edison-at_home_in_Ft._Myers_Florida_1914_detail_LC-LC-USZ62-131044,_adjusted.jpg
Class: Wizard (Enchantment)
American: Thomas Jefferson
Notes: A bookworm with an understanding of magic believes that political power limits individual liberties. Nonetheless, he runs for and is elected to the highest office in the land, twice. Enchantment was done either on him or by him – player’s choice.
Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thomas_Jefferson_by_Rembrandt_Peale,_1800.jpg