Maybe you’re taking advantage of Wizards of the Coast offering free Dungeons & Dragons starter material to tabletop your way through the covid-19 pandemic. Want a cool bit of character inspiration but maybe want to lean on a hero you know, rather than one fully of your own making? This great YouTube channel might help.
Tulok the Barbarian’s twice-weekly series “Building Character” takes characters from across popular culture—mostly video games, but plenty of geeky anime, comics, TV, and movie heroes too!—and lays out a path to try and replicate those characters as if you were building a Fifth Edition Dungeons & Dragons character all the way up, from level one to level 20.
After running through the stats, feats, and skills you’d want to take (rather breezily, so if you’re not at least loosely familiar with D&D concepts they might be a lot to take in at first), he then offers a brief evaluation of the build to see what their strengths and weaknesses would be if you actually tried to use them in D&D. It leans less on straight game theorycrafting and more on evoking the fantasy of the character they’re based on.
If you’re purist you might scoff at attempting to replicate a non-traditional, already established character to tabletop rules. But even from a purely theoretical standpoint, it’s fun to watch as Tulok translates characters you might not anticipate working in a tabletop fantasy setting at all. For instance, gun-toting killers like the Doom Slayer from DOOM or John Wick himself, superpowered characters like Captain America or Sailor Moon, and even zany picks like Isabelle from Animal Crossing and Stranger Things’ Steve.
If you’re new to tabletop roleplaying and feel intimated planning out a character, these videos might at least provide you with the inspiration, if not an outright chance to go “Yes, it is my time to basically make Wanda Maximoff go on a fantasy adventure.”
If you’re a hardcore adventurer, Tulok’s breakdowns of how he translates the fantasy of these heroes into the rulesets of D&D is some stat-nerdery delight. Either way, they’re a fun time to while away between reading those rule and sourcebooks on your shelf.
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