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What If the X-Men Were in D&D?

We've all thought it, and someone actually made it a reality. What if you could play as one of the X-Men in D&D 5E? Well, you can thank JzaDragon from Reddit who has painstakingly created various X-Men characters from Marvel comics for D&D, trying and succeeding in translating their abilities to the game mechanics we all know and love. You can find the entire list HERE but we're going to highlight a few of our favorites.

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CYCLOPS: As the leader of the X-Men, Cyclops is definitely a character most people would be curious about playing in a 5E setting. For the race, JzaDragon chose Aasimar for the Radiant Consumption racial ability as well as darkvision (Cyclops is not reliant on sight), radiant resistance, light cantrip (letting more brightness out of his visor), and the way Aasimar's eyes light up. Cyclops' concussive blasts are mimicked by the use of Eldritch Blast and augmentations and magic items to enhance that spell. The chosen class is 6 Divine Sorceror/14 Celestial Warlock (First level in Sorcerer, five in Warlock, five in Sorcerer, rest in Warlock). Cyclops is a master tactician and leader, so the Tome of Leadership and Influence would come in handy. With a feat such as Skilled for training in Athletics, Acrobatics, and Stealth, that would account for Cyclops' physical training. This 5E character template was made with leadership, healing, and lots and lots of "blasting" in mind. With Cyclops, you can rally your allies from unconsciousness or the brink of death with your leadership skills (Spare the Dying, Cure Wounds, Mass Healing Word, Revivify - Remember, HP isn't necessarily damage to your character's body until you reach their last Hit Die worth of points, so think of these healing effects as if it's just Cyclops giving his teammates an inspired talk), or you can give them buffs with your inspired pep talks (Guidance, Thaumaturgy, Lesser Restoration, Greater Restoration). Finally, Cyclops' signature attack is with his optic blasts, which essentially is like getting punched repeatedly by a giant's hand, and you can use his blasts in clever ways if you reimagine the spells as various controlled forms of Cyclops' concussive beam from his visor. So, in that sense you start with Eldritch Blast as your primary attack and amplify it in different ways (Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Eldritch Mind, Eldritch Spear, Lance of Lethargy) with Evocations. Then, you take spells and sort of repurpose them visually. Chill Touch is essentially using Cyclops' optic blasts to slow down his enemy. Sword Burst becomes Cyclops' ricochet beam. Message is Cyclops using his comm link to contact his team. Friends is Cyclops trying to reason with the enemy. Bless becomes Cyclops' sound tactical abilities put into play. Shatter is just Cyclops focusing his beam and destroying barrier and foes alike. The complete list is on the link I provided in this section, above.

Now, how might Cyclops look in the world of D&D? He needn't look very different even as an Aasimar. However, without his trademarked visor, he might look totally different from Scott Summers, initially. For maximum effect, you can get a pair of magical goggles eventually, if possible, to at least get the aesthetics of Cyclops more in the right direction and maybe give him a haircut.

JEAN GREY: Jean is one of the most iconic X-Men characters of all-time, even though for a lot of comic book history she's been killed off or absent during large swaths of time. Still, her telekinetic abilities would be awesome in D&D - but how did JzaDragon translate her abilities to 5E mechanics? Well, first he started her off as a Variant human in order to nab the Medicine and Telekinetic feat. Next, he made her an Aberration Sorcerer with all spells and abilities pointing toward psychic or telekinetic applications. Mind Sliver is the go-to psychic attack. Minor Illusion is just Jean telepathically confusing her enemies with implanting sounds and images into her enemies' minds. Mage Armor is just Jean's telekinetic shield which surrounds her. You can telekinetically shackle your opponents with Evard's Black Tentacles. Of course, there's Telekinesis which allows you to lift immense weight. Psychic Scream is also available if you want to put your enemies into a psychic coma, permanently. The Aberration Sorcerer is a perfect fit for Jean Grey and her abilities.

But how would Jean Grey look in the world of D&D? Unlike others on this list, Jean's race still remains human, so her appearance need not change much, if at all. She can just wear normal, specially tailored clothes that reflect Jean's stylistic choice for whatever area you wish. (Note: This is not "Phoenix" or "Dark Phoenix" Jean Grey)

WOLVERINE: Wolverine is another very iconic member of the X-Men. A ferocious and almost unstoppable warrior, Wolverine dominates the battlefield with his invulnerable healing factor, adamantium claws and skeleton, and feral battle experience. But how can he be translated to D&D 5E? Well, it isn't perfect and doesn't seem like it was easy, but I think it was largely a successful translation, nailing several aspects of Logan's character. First off, and most jarring (trust the process) - He needs to be a Mountain Dwarf, because in the comics, Logan is rather short and stout. Mountain Dwarves are on the tall end as far as Dwarves go, so it should work for the most part. Next, we make him a 4 Totem Barbarian/16 Long Death Monk (Start with 1 level Barbarian, then 5 in Monk, then 3 in Barbarian, then the rest in Monk). The Totem for the Barbarian is Bear but you can reskin it to be a Wolverine, and that enables you to take Rage, Unarmored, Reckless Attack, Bear Totem, and another ASI. Monk lets you grab all Monk features, an extra attack, and even though you'll miss out on the highest monk abilities they aren't really necessary. His adamantium is hard to replicate as far as mechanics go, but you could equip him with Adamantine armor which ignores crits if you want, and if you are able to get your hands on some magical Adamantine claws (preferably with the Sword of Sharpness qualities), that solves the claw issue since this build focuses on Strength. Touch of Death is really important as a bonus ability from the Long Death Monk subclass because that means you'll be able to regain 17 health with each melee kill, which is huge. With this build, you also won't age, and you'll be immune to disease and poisons, and you'll be super agile - able to Deflect Missiles, use Evasion, and you'll have lots of resistance to certain attacks. You can also really amplify the healing effects available to you by obtaining a Periapt of Wound Closure, and taking feats which maximize your Constitution and healing abilities.

How might Wolverine look in the world of D&D? Turns out, even as a Dwarf he need not look completely different. Perhaps not decked out in a yellow and blue costume of any sort but wearing furs and still sporting his trademarked facial hair and hair "wings" on his head. As long as he still gets to say "Bub" every once in a while, I think that's all that really matters.

STORM: Storm is one of the most powerful characters in the X-Men, with her mutant ability to control and manipulate the very forces of nature. So how well does she translate to being in D&D 5E? Well, beginning by making her an Air Genasi, we give her the trademarked white hair automatically, as well as being able to hold her breath indefinitely (Storm can split H20 into breathable air in the comics), and levitate. Give her the Criminal Background so she has access to the Thieves' tools to reflect her past as a "rogue" and make her a 14 Storm Sorcerer/6 Tempest Cleric (Start with 8 levels in Sorcerer, 6 in Cleric, then finish the rest in Sorcerer). Storm in the comics is an extremely capable leader and she helps Cyclops in leading the X-Men. So, to reflect all her abilities, just give her lots of storm-related spells and spells that deal in the elements. Have her become a literal priestess of the weather, and focus on lightning spells (Thunderclap, Lightning Lure, Thunderwave, Guiding Bolt, Scorching Ray but change with metamagic to lightning damage, Shatter but reskin the aesthetics to a lightning bolt, Lightning Bolt, Call Lightning, etc), and powerful wind spells like Whirlwind. Ideally equip her with Cloak of the Manta Ray when you can, Ring of Feather Falling, and an Elemental Essence Shard (Wind) to round out her fringe abilities. Like Scott, you could also equip her with a Tome of Leadership and Influence if you really want to focus on her high charisma and leadership qualities, which in this build, will bring her Charisma to over 20+.

Not really surprisingly, Storm fits really well into the D&D universe along with other storm-powered magic users and clerics. Air Genasi have some room for interpretation with their looks, so conceivably, Storm could look much the same as she usually does in the comics, save for the clothing and armor she may choose to wear.

NIGHTCRAWLER: It's really a no-brainer that Nightcrawler would fit really well into the D&D universe. With his forked tail and elven features, we'd just have to turn him into a half Drow/ half Tiefling in order to give him the base aesthetics and abilities he'd need. Also, his class would be 12 Swashbuckler Rogue/8 Shadow Monk to reflect his penchant for swordplay and dexterity (Take 4 Rogue to start, then 8 Monk, then the rest Rogue). Nightcrawler in the comics is able to teleport, is an expert fencer, can see perfectly in the dark, and is extremely charming. So, with his half-Drow nature in the 5E version his racial abilities grant him Darkvision, Perception skill, Scimitar Proficiency, and he can cast Darkness once per day. His Tiefling blood grants him only aesthetics, with golden eyes, a tail, and sulfuric smell - his base race will still be Drow for mechanical purposes. Give him an Entertainer background from his time in the circus, and you've got a nice base build for a 5E Nightcrawler. With various Monk abilities like Stunning Strike (perform multiple rapid teleports with your target in tow to render them unconscious), Evasion (BAMF), and Minor Illusion (create a small BAMF cloud to cover your retreat) along with the Shadow Arts, you can use them in conjunction with the Swashbuckler's Sneak Attack or Fancy Footwork to accurately depict Nightcrawler's iconic fighting style. Add in some magic items such as a magic scimitar, Ring of Obscuring, Slippers of Spider-Climbing, Cape of the Mountebank, or the Eversmoking Bottle and Nightcrawler becomes a very versatile character indeed.

But what would Nightcrawler look like in the D&D universe? Decidedly not too different from how he looks in the comics. In fact, he could look almost the exact same as he does but the Tiefling features have a particular style, so he may look a little different as he does in this image. Overall, he'd fit right in with his swashbuckling aesthetic and witty banter and swordplay.

ROGUE: Rogue is a heavy hitter in the Marvel Universe and is one of the main powerhouse tanks of the X-Men. However, most people don't remember that her flight, super-strength, and invulnerability are all from the time she absorbed Captain Marvel's powers and aren't actually her own. Her main and most iconic mutant power is to draw powers and abilities and even sometimes personalities from other beings, and in some cases, she can kill them or seriously injure them by touching them for too long. So, this build focuses primarily on those abilities. First off, she's a Variant Human so she can take Athletics. And for the class you want to go 19 Spirits Bard/1 Sorcerer (Take 1 Sorcerer right away and then the rest Spirits Bard). You'll need to give her the Dark Gift known as Deadly Touch so she can use Death Touch, Inescapable Death, and Withering Contact in order to replicate the dangers of touching her bare skin. As a Storm Sorceress she also gets a bonus action 10' flight reposition that doesn't trigger opportunity attacks if you take the Storm Origin. As a Spirits Bard, she can use Tales from Beyond to give Hit Dice and small boons to herself or her teammates which you can "reskin" to reflect the various X-Men's abilities that she's accumulated such as Gambit (melee spell attack for 2(bardic dice)+cha force damage), or Emma Frost ( wis save or 2(bardic dice) psychic damage and incapacitation until end of their next turn), or Wolverine ( heal 2(bardic dice)+bard level, end one condition) or others. And with the spells, it's up to the player and what they feel is appropriate in terms of roleplay for what she'd be carrying. This one, so far, seems to have been the most difficult to simulate for 5E but if you add some magic items like the Belt of Giant Strength, and/or Winged Boots it would help to round her out a bit more and feel more like the comic book Rogue we all know and love.

Rogue in D&D would be very different than the Rogue in the Marvel Comics, but using spells that might reflect other heroes and villains she siphoned powers from is at least thematically appropriate and would be a fun way to reskin the bard spells. Since she's just a human, it wouldn't be a problem to make her appear pretty much as she does in the comics, aside from her clothing. But you can create a nice approximation.

GAMBIT: Remy LeBeau is everyone's favorite mutant card shark known as Gambit. In the comics, he has the ability to kinetically charge any object he wishes, which will cause it to explode. He's also an expert fighting with a staff and is an expert trick thrower of cards and other items. First, unfortunately there is no D&D equivalent to the Cajun people so Gambit, to reflect his multicultural heritage and his ability to see in the dark, is a Half-Elf here. With a Criminal Background, 5E Gambit really starts to take shape. As a class, he is a 5 Hexblade Warlock/15 Swords Bard (Start with 5 Warlock, then the rest Bard). With the first level of Warlock, he can have a collapsible staff, and you can give him some medium armor to reflect his partial metal armor that can still work with his dexterity stat. Give him the Cartomancer feat and make cards his spell focus. Eldritch Blast can be reskinned to be Gambit throwing his cards. Shield can be reskinned to be Gambit spinning his bo staff to block attacks. Adding magic items like the Staff of Power or Cloak of Displacement will really hammer home the Gambit aesthetic.

Gambit fits in really well with the greater D&D universe. His Cajun background, of course, wouldn't exist because it's not part of the D&D lore - so this Gambit would be a horse of a different color, but his sensibilities would no doubt remain the same. Using various Bard and Warlock spells to simulate his card blasts and kinetic abilities could be a fun way to reskin them and bring this charming mutant to your game table.

PSYLOCKE: An expert martial artist, as well as being able to wield her trademarked Psychic Knife, Psylocke is an opponent not to be trifled with, and makes a near-perfect port into the 5E universe of D&D. First, she'd have to be a Kalashtar to reflect the dual minds she has trapped within her. Second, her training is reflected in all the various skills given as a Rogue, such as Evasion. The Soulknife archetype is a great stand in for her Psychic Knife abilities as well which lets her use Psychic Blade and that is her only class with no multiclassing here. Her ideal place on the battlefield would be to attack spellcasters, as her attacks are mostly related to the mind. On top of that, all of her rogue abilities such as Sneak Attack can make short work of many of her enemies in a relatively short amount of time if she's given the opportunity to use them.

Overall, Psylocke would feel quite at home in the world of D&D. Her rogue background grants her some powerful abilities later on since she's not multiclassing like some of the others and with her Psychic Blade, she becomes a formidable agile fighter with a mind-shattering edge, just like in the comic books.

BEAST: We couldn't have a post about the X-Men without including Hank McCoy aka The Beast. The Beast in the comics is amazing in almost every category including strength, intelligence, dexterity, and so forth but he's known for being covered in blue fur and for being, well... a beast. So, to start we'll say he's a Bugbear with blue fur. For his class, it's a multiclass of 14 Cobalt Soul Monk/6 Knowledge Cleric (Take 14 Monk and then 6 Cleric). His ability scores should all be relatively close to 20 if not at 20 to be a "realistic" interpretation of Beast. Giving him some magic items will help with that. Some of his spells can be reskinned as "gadgets" such as Lesser Restoration being Beast applying antidotes, etc. With his enhanced strength and Step of the Wind, he can jump 45' after a 10' running start which is thematically appropriate. The Monk class gives him his core kit and then some, and the Cobalt Soul subclass from Wildemount fills it out even more and compliments it nicely. With his high INT score, he should also be quick to destroy any knowledge checks that come his way.

Bugbears aren't typically a race most players would gravitate to, but perhaps this will give a good enough reason for trying it out. The Beast is certain to bring that X-Men feeling home to your table if you or the other players decide to play him. Ironically, Beast would be more at home in the land of D&D than he is in our own world, where he's feared and hated for being scary and grotesque.

ICEMAN: Bobby Drake is one of the most powerful and longtime members of the X-Men as Iceman. With his ability to cover his body in impenetrable ice, craft ice transportation enabling him to slide all across the battlefield as well as create other ice constructs to shield his allies or attack his foes, Iceman would be a powerful force to reckon with in the D&D universe. To get his build, we've got to make him a Variant Human with the Resilient: Constitution feat early on, followed later by the Elemental Adept: Break Cold Resistance. His classes are 18 Abjuration Wizard/2 Warlock (Take 5 Wizard, 2 Warlock, then the rest Wizard). At level 2 you get your "ice form" with Arcane Ward. With Warlock you also gain the Seeker patron so you can use Shielding Aurora. Other than that, just make sure to take all the suggested ice spells and abilities listed on the entry. Once you get a gander at all the spells within, you'll see that the D&D Wizard version of Iceman is no less formidable than his Marvel counterpart.

Iceman in the D&D universe most likely wouldn't be covered completely in ice like his Marvel namesake would be, so he may appear a bit different than he does in the comic books. However, it's not to say that he wouldn't eventually get a hold of a magic item that would encase him in protective ice eventually.

Well, that's enough for now. There are still plenty of other X-Men and even X-Men Villains listed in the links I've provided. All D&D versions of the superheroes were created with Bing Image Creator (this isn't for profit, but for fun only) and are just loose interpretations of how the characters might look if they were in the D&D world. Let us know in the comments what you think, and most of all make sure you read all the content over on Reddit where I found this because it's just pure gold! As always, thanks for reading! - Joe

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