DC Fandome took the entertainment industry by storm some days ago, filling the void that San Diego Comic Con left unfilled this year. Among the many previews, announcements and featurettes was the new Wonder Woman 1984 trailer. The movie was scheduled to premiere in May but was postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, having now October 7th as official date in the US. While we wait to watch the movie as cinemas slowly re-open, let’s have some fun and welcome the Amazing Amazon to the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
“I will fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”
As usual, before we start, it’s best if we are reminded of the rules we set as our standard in order to turn pop culture icons into D&D characters:
- This will be done following the rules for the 5th Edition. Core rules, official supplements and Unearthed Arcana content are fair game.
- Sometimes we’ll pick a rules element for mechanic purposes. If it’s just for that, we’ll probably suggest flavorful re-doings for such elements.
- The build is not meant to be optimized, but to reflect the character as much as possible.
- Finally, we will follow the step-by-step character creation process as it is shown in the Player’s Handbook, but brace up for the unexpected when it comes to going beyond first level.
And now let’s set our goals. Wonder Woman is princess Diana, the daughter of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons and Zeus, the mightiest of the Gods of Olympus. Diana volunteered to leave behind her home of Themyscira and champion the Amazons’ message of peace, fighting for justice and equality in Man’s World. Her DC Comics profile describes her as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules” which is a lot to cover for a D&D character.
After leaving Paradise Island, Diana was gifted with various powers by the Gods of Olympus. Diana possesses far greater strength than the finest human athletes, as well as a high resistance to damage and magical attacks. She is also able to think, react, run and move at superhuman speeds. Her reflexes, agilitys stamina and senses are also above human standards. Let’s not forget that Diana is the finest warrior ever born among the Amazons of Themyscira. She is a master of armed and unarmed combat and is highly skilled in the exotic martial arts styles of the Amazons.
Finally, she is always well-equipped with her powerful tiara, bracelets, sword, and unmistakable Lasso of Truth. We’ll keep the invisible jet for a different game, I guess.
Challenge of the Gods
Having been born from the Queen of Amazons and the Father of the Olympian Gods, choosing Diana’s race is the easiest of the choices we’ll make as we build her character sheet. Aasimars are “born to serve as champions of the gods, their births hailed as blessed events” and the Protector subrace gives us nice features that resemble Diana’s abilities: longevity, darkvision and resistance to both necrotic and radiant damage. We also get Healing Hands, Light Bearer and Radiant Soul, but as far as I remember, Wonder Woman doesn’t possess powers like those. Finally (or first?) we have a Charisma and Wisdom scores increase, which will be extra useful considering the classes we have chosen for her.
When it’s time to pick a class, though, easy things are over. I’ve seen many buillds around there, but none of them really made me feel entirely satisfied. We had te decide between Fighter, Cleric, Paladin and Monk. we discarded Fighter mostly because Wonder Woman combat skills are mostly disarmed, and Cleric because she doesn’t cast spells. Why did we keep Paladin, then? Mainly because her spells will be mostly fuel for her smite attacks. Our main choice was Monk, even though considering the subclasses presented a new set of hesitation. In the end, we went for mainly Paladin (but we’ll splash some levels of Monk later), obtaining the following proficiencies at 1st level:
- Armor: All armor, shields
- Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
- Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
- Skills: Persuasion and Religion
We get Divine Sense and Lay on Hands as well. The first may be a little stretch on Diana’s super senses, and the second one is definitely something beyond her common set of abilities, but we’re not complaining.
A peacemaker at heart, Wonder Woman uses combat as a last resort, trying always to find a consensus with amazing diplomatic and leadership skills but both are equally formidable. That’s why we’ll be placing her highest scores at Dexterity and Charisma. Constitution and Strength follow close, and her hopes in finding good in everyone, no matter how wicked, made us think about dumping both Wisdom and Intelligence. It’s not that she isn’t smart or insightful, it’s just she prefers to trust most of the times. Keep in mind that you’ll need to keep Wisdom at a 13 minimum in order to multiclass into monk.
Spending her early years on Paradise Island constantly training to become the best Amazon warrior, we can take advantage of the new background featured in Mythic Odysseys of Theros: the athlete. The fact that Theros is a greek-themed setting for D&D is a great fit for our character, by the way. This gives her proficiency in Acrobatics and Athletics, besides some social recognition (that she probably deserves for something more than winning olympic competitions).
- Personality Trait: “Because no matter how small an act of kindness or generosity or simple positivity you put out into the world, it will make a difference.”
- Ideal: “If it means interfering in an ensconced, outdated system, to help just one woman, man or child…I’m willing to accept the consequences.”
- Bond: “What one does when faced with the truth is more difficult than you’d think.”
- Flaw: “Don’t kill if you can wound, don’t wound if you can subdue, don’t subdue if you can pacify, and don’t raise your hand at all until you’ve first extended it.”
A League of One
As we mentioned above, Wonder Woman’s combat style (including that famous bullet ricochet) made us think she also shares some of the Monk features.
After three levels of Paladin, Diana will multiclass as a Monk, and from there, she will be alternating three levels of Paladin with one of Monk. The three times she gets an ability score improvement, she will instead pick a feat (Athlete, Charger, Resilient -Constitution). The progression we suggest goes as follows:
- Pal1 – as described above
- Pal2 – Fighting Style (Protection), Spellcasting, Divine Smite
- Pal3 – Divine Health, Sacred Oath: Oath of Glory (Peerless Athlete, Inspiring Smite)
- Mnk1 – Unarmored Defense, Martial Arts
- Pal4 – Feat: Athlete
- Pal5 – Extra Attack
- Pal6 – Aura of Protection
- Mnk2 – Ki, Unarmored Movement
- Pal7– Sacred Oath Feature: Aura of Alacrity
- Pal8 – Feat: Charger
- Pal9 – no additional features
- Mnk3 – Deflect Missiles, Monastic Tradition: Way of the Kensei (Path of the Kensei: whip and boomerang)
- Pal10 – Aura of Courage
- Pal11 – Improved Divine Smite
- Pal12 – Feat: Resilient (Constitution)
- Mnk4 – Slow fall
- Pal13 – no additional features
- Pal14 – Cleansing Touch
- Pal15 – Sacred Oath Feature (Glorious Defense)
- Mnk5 – Extra Attack, Stunning Strike
We have picked these archetypes because in our not-so-humble opinion they fit pretty well into Wonder Woman’s combat techniques:
The tenets of Glory include “Actions over Words” and “Challenges are but Tests”. Paladins who take this Oath believe they are destined to achieve glory through deeds of heroism. We didn’t really pay much attention to the list of spells: as we said above, her spell slots will be more fuel for her smite attaks than anything else, though heroism, magic weapon and haste can be roleplayed as prayings to her parents for special blessings.
The Channeel Divinity options included in this subclass reflect very well what we see Wonder Woman doing both in comics and movies (I’d have to re-watch the legendary Lynda Carter’s show to know for sure if she has them also there, though). Peerless Athlete allows her to lift twice as much weight as normal, for example, and Inspiring Smite helps her companions to resist some damage when joining her into battle in the form of temporary hit points. Aura of Alacrity at level 7 gives her the chance to share speed increase, which is cool, but it’s Glorious Defense at 15 that puts that bracelet-bullet-block into game mechanics to perfection.
Way of the Kensei is a stretch, we know, but given the other choices, we think you’ll agree it was the only option. Besides, we use it only for a few levels, which gives her only the first of the subclass benefits, and this particularly seems fitting if we choose the melee weapons as the whip representing her lasso and the ranged one as the boomerang representing her throwing tiara. We must admit that the Way of the Brush feature is absolutely unrelated to Diana’s skills. Sue us.
As for her equipment, a pair of Bracers of Defense and one of Boots of Striding and Springing seem very ubiquitous for her. Her sword, though, is totally baffling, as it seems to be just a magic sword. If your DM wants you to excel, don’t be afraid to ask for a Holy Avenger, nothing beats it.
- Race: Aasimar (VGtM 104)
- Classes: Paladin (PH 82), Monk (PH 54)
- Background: Athlete (MOoT 31)
- Feats: Athlete and Charger (PH 165), Resilient (PH 168)
- Archetypes: Oath of Glory (MOoT 29), Way of the Kensei (XGtE 34)
Gods & Mortals
You thought we were forgetting that magnificent lasso, right?
New magic item: the Lasso of Hestia
Magic weapon (whip), legendary (requires attunement)
Also known as the Lasso of Truth and the Golden Perfect, the Lasso of Hestia is a sacred relic of the Amazons and was given to them by the Gods of Olympus. It was bestowed to Wonder Woman when she embarked to Man’s World. The Lasso’s most known power is to force anyone ensnared by it to speak only the truth.
While using it as a weapon, you get a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. When used to to grapple someone, you can make the attack roll with advantage. A sentient being that is grappled by the lasso is subject to the charmed condition and also becomes under the effects of a zone of truth spell, with the same DC as the grapple check. Succeeding in the saving throw deals 1d6 psychic damage for each successful one of them while grappled (the third successful saving throw will deal 3d6 psychic damage, for example). As long as you’re holding the lasso, you can understand and be understood by the grappled creature as if subject to the tongues spell. Additionally, there is no size limit to the target you want to grapple, but it won’t get the grappled condition if it’s two sizes bigger than you; it will only be useful for the zone of truth and tongues effect. Finally, the lasso can also be used as a magic 100-ft. rope.
And there you have her, Wonder Woman in all its glory as a D&D character for 5e. Is there anything you’d change? What is your build? What super hero you want to see next here at Codex Anathema? All comments welcome!