What Famous Authors Would Look Like as D&D Characters

This is what happens when your Norton Anthology meets your Player's Handbook

Photo by Natik Natik

We know what you’re thinking: “Is there a way to make Dungeons and Dragons even nerdier?” It’s your lucky day, dear reader, because the answer is yes! We’ve assembled the D&D characters we imagine some of our favorite authors playing as, complete with backstory and stats. You can also use this as a guide to play as your favorite author, which will probably be a lot of fun for both you and your DM who wanted this to be a serious fantasy campaign. Get your dice ready, because it’s time to roll for authorship. 

Edgar Allan Poe

Race: Gnome
Class: Warlock
Alignment: Chaotic neutral
Highest stat: Intelligence
Abilities: Arcana, Medicine
Special equipment: Mysterious bag of bricks and brick-laying tools

A small goth who mistakenly became a warlock when he pledged his allegiance to the god of Getting Murdered. He was forced out of his village over allegations that he was a drunk, but really he was just trying to rid himself of the dark god hiding in his floorboards.

Haruki Murakami

Race: Half-Elf
Class: Paladin
Alignment: Lawful Neutral
Highest stat: Intelligence
Abilities: Investigation, Persuasion
Special equipment: A hot younger woman with whom he has a non-sexual relationship

A paladin professor who seeks to educate young paladins in the ways of celibacy and morality. He travels around the coast, respecting women and spreading his surrealist philosophies.  

Stephen King

Race: Dragonborn
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Highest stat: Charisma
Abilities: Survival, Stealth
Special equipment: A new idea for a novel that he’ll have finished in two weeks

A dragonborn who became a sorcerer after a childhood brush with a demonic clown. He spends his time wandering around semataries, casting frightening spells and illusions that leave passersby chilled to the bone. 

Margaret Atwood

Race: Gnome
Class: Wizard
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Highest stat: Constitution
Abilities: Survival, Insight
Special equipment: A great theme for one of Kylie Jenner’s parties

She was raised in a noble house but kicked out for prophesying that her wealthy, patriarchal family would bring about a dystopian turn in society. Now she’s trying to convince others that her visions are true so she can stop her family.

Oscar Wilde

Race: Elf
Class: Bard
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Highest stat: Charisma
Abilities: Performance, Perception, Persuasion
Special equipment: Painting of himself but older

His wealthy parents planned to disown him for his lack of direction in life, but they died under mysterious circumstances before anything could be made official and he inherited a fortune. He enjoys throwing elaborate parties where he convinces his most important guests to divulge their secrets to him.

Carmen Maria Machado

Race: Tiefling
Class: Warlock
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Highest stat: Dexterity
Abilities: Sleight of Hand, Insight, Arcana
Special equipment: Green velvet ribbon (do not touch!)

She grew up alone in a haunted mansion, with only spirits for company. Eventually these ghosts became her closest confidants, and they introduced her to a god of Dark Magic who granted her spellcasting abilities. Spirits still tend to follow her around, asking for favors and demanding their deaths be avenged. 

Alison Bechdel

Race: Human
Class: Sorcerer
Alignment: Neutral Good
Highest stat: Wisdom
Abilities: History, Insight
Special equipment: Raincoat of love

In every mirror, she sees herself as she was in the past. She can even visit certain memories by enchanting large mirrors. An encounter with Death gave her these abilities and more, and she must fight to stay present when the past is so accessible.

Yoko Ogawa

Race: Half-Orc
Class: Wizard
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Highest stat: Intelligence
Abilities: Investigation, Arcana, Perception
Special equipment: Hand-shaped carrots

She looks like a sweet young woman carrying a strawberry shortcake, but in reality she’s a devourer of bodies and souls. All the creatures she consumes leave their stories inside of her, and she enjoys sitting in her garden, running through films of their lives in her mind.

Walt Whitman

Race: Half-Elf
Class: Druid
Alignment: Neutral Good
Highest stat: Wisdom
Abilities: Animal Handling, Nature, Insight
Special equipment: Barbaric yawp

Never fully accepted in either human or elf society, he made his way into the woods and never left. He’s become more tree than creature, with a beard of lichen and mushrooms growing from all his knuckles. His gray beard points in the direction of oncoming threats, so he can defend his forest home from danger.  

Marlon James

Race: Halfling
Class: Fighter
Alignment: Lawful Good
Highest stat: Wisdom
Abilities: Insight, History
Special equipment: National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for The Book of Night Women
Dayton Literary Peace Prize (Fiction) for The Book of Night Women
Minnesota Book Award (Novel & Short Story) for The Book of Night Women
Silver Musgrave Medal from the Institute of Jamaica
National Book Critics Circle Award finalist for A Brief History of Seven Killings
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings
OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature (Fiction category winner), for A Brief History of Seven Killings
Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings
Green Carnation Prize for A Brief History of Seven Killings
National Book Award for Fiction finalist for Black Leopard, Red Wolf

A prize-winning halfling fighter who’s become famous in throughout the world. Unfortunately, his dream isn’t to fight, but to learn to shapeshift. He’s now partially retired and spending his fortune searching for someone who will grant him the magic he needs to become a shapeshifter. 

Shirley Jackson

Race: Gnome
Class: Rogue
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Highest stat: Intelligence
Abilities: Arcana, Stealth, Intimidation
Special equipment: The death-cup mushroom

Her parents died when she was young, and she was raised by her older sister in half-destroyed mansion. As an adult, she left home to track down any men who hurt women and enact justice on them. Often referred to as The Ghost because of her haunting looks and her ability to remain unseen by those she wishes to harm—although she wishes people would call her The Werewolf.

Ernest Hemingway

Race: Human
Class: Ranger
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Highest stat: Constitution
Abilities: Animal Handling, Intimidation, Performance
Special equipment: Fishing rod that he claims he used to catch an enormous fish (no evidence of said fish)

After the war, he began tracking down the rarest animals in the world in order to capture them or their magic. He runs a black-market animal trade and has become successful from that venture, but secretly he hopes to leave the business and search for his true love. 


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