Eternity, the “conscience” of the Marvel Universe, describes Doctor Strange as “the mightiest magician in the cosmos” and “more powerful by far than any of your fellow humanoids”. His title is Sorcerer Supreme, primary protector of Earth against magical and mystical threat. As such, he can channel the power of mystical entities such as Agamotto, Cyttorak, Ikonn, Oshtur, Raggadorr and Watoomb. Strange also uses magical artifacts such as the Cloak of Levitation, the Eye of Agamotto and the Book of Vishanti. Besides his arcane might, Doctor Strange is also proficient in many martial arts and with the use of weapons he summons himself. Now that we know what we want to accomplish, let’s open our Player’s Handbook and start building it: Obviously, he looks like a wizard (one with a full arsenal of magic items, at that. We’ll deal with these artifacts in the end).
Version 4.0: Not quite a wizard
The fourth edition of D&D introduced many changes that turned classic classes into unexpected twists. One of the most striking ones (pun intended) was the Monk class: the only psionic striker published officially, but very different to other psionic classes. If you’re wondering why I’m talking about the Monk when this article is about an obvious Wizard, please, hold on and consider this: the 4e monk has a wide enough variety of powers (many of them with energy damage types and effects closer to the arcane source than to the martial or even psionic power source) to represent more than adequately the character we see in the movie. Other editions would require him to multiclass in order to achieve all he does. For the moment, let’s stick to the movie-version of the character.
Anyway, not even I play 4e anymore, so let’s continue and give one step forward.
Version 5.0: Re-flavoring the Bladesinger
Fifth Edition hasn’t given us prestige classes, so we need to rely on our creativity and re-flavor known concepts. Bladesingers, which we can find in its official form in the Sword Coast’s Adventurers Guide, are elves who master a school of sword fighting imbued with a tradition of arcane magic. In combat, they use a series of intricate, elegant maneuvers that fend off harm and allow them to channel magic into devastating attacks and a cunning defense. So, if you want to play a character that will evnetually turn into Doctor Strange, have your DM read this article and approve it for your use.
First of all, we need to change the name of the tradition. We’ll call it, for the sake of Easter Eggs, the “Strangest Tradition”. If you don’t find it funny, you can call it “Tradition of the Masters of the Mystic Arts”. Then we’ll need to lift the “elves only” restriction, which has a hold in Faerun only anyway.
At 2nd level, the “Training in War and Song” feature gives you proficiency in the Performance skill, which is linked to the faerunian elven artistic tradition, and is not only unnecesary but also unfitting to our character. Even if we were tempted to replace it with Medicine, it would only fit the background story of the original Doctor Strange, so we’ll just remove that benefit and not replace it with anything else. Also at 2nd level, you can invoke the Bladesong, which we’ll rename Eldritch Mandala and replace with the ability to summon your own magic shield that you can also use as a weapon. We won’t change any of its benefits or stats.
For the 10th and 14th level features, “Song of Defense” and “Song of Victory” we’ll just rename them as “the Seven Rings of Raggadorr” and “the Seven Suns of Cinnibus” respectively.
Finally, be sure to give your Christmas wishlist to your DM.
- The Cloak of Levitation will have several effects: The first is obviously that it give the wearer a fly speed of 60. The second is that it gives some bonus to AC. I think +2 is appropriate, taken into consideration that the class is already getting a very high AC from the Eldritch Mandala. Given its “personality”, we’ll have a third effect in the form of a permanent Resistance while worn. Every time that d4 gives you just the difference between a hit or a miss, you can interpret it as the Cloak interfering with the attack that targeted you. The Cloak of Levitation will need atunement.
- The Eye of Agamotto will of course be a powerful artifact capable of manipulating time. It will be the focus of very powerful spells unknown to mortals. But its main power can be simple as a Time Stop effect once a week. Depending on the level your DM gives you this powerful artifact, he can add a drawback: for example, an INT saving throw to avoid being the target of the effect, or an Arcana check to be actually able to activate it.
And there it is. Use with caution and don’t forget to add a catchy phrase when casting a spell. Enjoy!