Happy New Year 2021! One of the things I’m most impatient about these first days of the year is the premiere of WandaVision, scheduled on January 15th around the world. We know almost nothing about it beyond the trailers, even if it was announced back in April 2019. It will be the first series in Phase Four of the MCU, and it may consist of six to eight episodes (it seems to be only six, but there is still hope!). As we usually do once in a while, let’s turn the two protagonists of this new TV show into D&D characters, even if just by saying their names and thinking of their power sets, the difficulties already arise. Anyway, we’re not gonna let that stop us, right?
“I’m sorry, but this will hurt.”
As usual, before we start, we’ll run a quick reminder of the rules we set as our standard in order to transform 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.
Alright! Let’s start with Wanda, setting our objective. Although much of her true origins remain elusive because of numerous retcons, we know she spent her early days as a child with her twin brother Pietro. The two lived in Eastern Europe, believing themselves born as mutants to a Romani couple named the Maximoffs. She lived for a short time in innocence until local troubles involving her parents separated her and her brother from them and forced her to hide her growing powers.
Which brings us to what we need to reflect into her character. Unlike D&D, having access to magic in comics doesn’t necesarily give you the entire array of spells in the Player’s Handbook. Wanda can manipulate Chaos Magic (not exactly the same as Wild Magic from D&D, but quite similar), which is so powerful, she has been able to generate armies from seemingly nowhere. She is also able to use her abilities to take away the powers of most mutants with a simple verbal command («No more mutants»). Beyond those basics, she has telekinetic powers, enabling her to levitate objects and to take flight herself, and she is able to resist psychic attacks, having notably strong psychic defenses. The most problematic of ther abilities, though is that more than once, Wanda has used her abilities to resurrect the dead (which is way beyond the scope of arcane magic in D&D).
Just as her nickname implies, Wanda Maximoff has access to arcane magic. We can’t think of her as a wizard, but deciding between sorcerer and warlock is a tough one. Defending the sorcerer class, Wild Magic is too reminiscent of Chaos Magic to ignore. On the other, eldritch blast is the quintessential offensive power she uses all the time. Her race is also quite a dispute. She’s clearly human, but as a mutant, she’s feared by humankind. Are you wondering what we decided? Keep reading!
We decided to make the Scarlet Witch a tiefling. They suffer the same prejudice mutants do. As stated in the Player’s Handbook, «to be greeted with stares and whispers, to suffer violence and insult on the street, to see mistrust and fear in every eye: this is the lot of the tiefling.» That sound a lot similar to what mutants go through doesn’t it? The increase to Charisma comes as a swift and welcomed bonus, too! About the class, we’ll keep both elements that caught our attention (Chaos Magic and that arcane bolt ) choosing the Sorcerer class (her sorcerous origin will be, of course, Wild Magic) and we’ll add a little extra via a feat later on. Her proficiencies include:
- Weapons: daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows
- Saving Throws: Constitution, Charisma
- Skills: Arcana and Intimidation
It’s time to determine her ability scores. Being a sorcerer and given the control she exerts on chaos, Charisma is her highest. She is also more resilient than strong or agile, so Constitution will be her second highest, and her resistance to psychic effects come linked with Wisdom, so that will be her third. All the rest our actually dumpable, so we decided on Dexterity, Intelligence and Strength, in that order.
Regarding the background, we must admit that Haunted One (from «Curse of Strahd») seems like a good fit given not only her origin but also the events in «House of M», which have marked her until this day. From it, we have chosen Investigation and Religion as her proficient skills as she’s familiar with grimoires and ancient texts as well as antediluvian deities. Between her race (which gives her access to Infernal) and this background (which gives her two more languages, one of them exotic), we ended up with a true polyglot, even if the original character doesn’t necesarily have that trait.
- Personality Trait: «I don’t talk about the thing that torments me. I’d rather not burden others with my curse.»
- Ideal: «I kill monsters to make the world a safer place, and to exorcise my own demons.»
- Bond: «A terrible guilt consumes me. I hope that I can find redemption through my actions.»
- Flaw: «I am a purveyor of doom and gloom who lives in a world without hope.»
The Scarlet Witch has no signature equipment beyond her red outfit, usually composed of a headband, a cape and high boots. As soon as the DM gives you some magic items, pick accordingly with magic-enhancing ones, such as a Headband of Intelect or Circlet of Blasting, and a Mantle of Spell Resistance or a Robe of Stars or the Archmagi (in fashionable crimson ruby unlike the traditional white, gray or black).
The Final Hex
And now, let’s see where to go as we add character levels. Our main choices are the spell selection, metamagic options and ability increases (or feats).
We start with four cantrips (plus thaumaturgy). There are no true character staples around here, so we have some room for liberties. There are many good first level choices with fitting thematic elements, but having two as the limit, we picked Chromatic Orb and Magic Missile. From there, this is a list of spells by level that we find very Wanda-ish for you to choose from, being the ones in bold the most emblematic ones:
- Feather Fall, Ray of Sickness
- Crown of Madness, Suggestion
- Counterspell, Dispel Magic, Fear, Fly
- Banishment, Confusion
- Finger of Death, Plane Shift, Teleport
- Power Word Stun
- Gate, Power Word Kill, Wish
From the metamagic options, we have chosen the ones related to re-rolls, representing the control Scarlet Witch has over probability: Careful Spell, Empowered Spell, Heightened Spell and Seeking Spell (from «Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything»).
Last but no least, we have our almost-every-four-levels ability score increase or feat selection. We have opted for the feat first and foremost because there are many good options for this character, but also to keep her abilities not as high as the rest of other super heroes we’ve turned into D&D characters, as the Witch herself is reknown for her domnance on magic and not for her extraordinary combat skills, speed or stamina. Our first pick is Magic Initiate -warlock- which will provide access to eldritch blast, mage hand and hex. Lucky and Spell Sniper translate into pure probability control, and Telekinetic (from «Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything») will give mage hand a welcome increase in range, besides that shove option and one point in Charisma just in case we need to round up our score to get a higher bonus.
- Race: Tiefling (PH 42)
- Class: Sorcerer (PH 99, with additional options in TCoE 66)
- Background: Haunted One (Curse of Strahd: Character Options)
- Feats: Lucky, Magic Initiate and Spell Sniper (PH 167 and following), Telekinetic (TCoE 81)
- Archetypes: Wild Magic (PH 103)
And that’s how we round up Scarlet Witch as a D&D character for 5th edition. We hope we have fulfilled your expectations. Do you have a different build, or maybe an unexpected twist? Feel free to leave it in the comments below!
“There is no defense against the Scarlet Witch’s HEX!”
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