Avengers Assemble – Character Builds for D&D 5e

Worldwide, Avengers: Age of Ultron has earned $627 million in just 12 days. Whenever a superhero movie comes out I can’t help but think about how I would build the heroes and villains in Pathfinder, Dungeons & Dragons or FATE. Also, when I read the comic Marvel 1602 by Neil Gaiman, I became obsessed with running a one-shot with powerful Marvel heroes in a medieval or renaissance setting.

Creating builds of superheroes might be a useless exercise and is generally lazy character building (versus creating a original character), but I must do what I must.

  • These builds are inspired by the heroes and focus on being playable in a combat focused, mid level one-shot campaign versus exactly recreating the heroes.
  • These are not level 20 multiclassed, min-maxed builds that try to replicate the exact powers of each hero (but those are awesome too and please share them), but they are all really good at hitting stuff.
  • I haven’t seen the new movie yet, so I avoided building Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
  • I used base stats (27 point buy). I would have liked to have been able use 40 points.
  • I gave each hero some magic items and feats to make them feel more like the hero they are inspired by. More magic items equals less feats and vice versa.

Enjoy or hate… here it goes.

 

Thor

This Avenger is a little less mighty than the Asgardian god of thunder, but Thor still possesses the enchanted hammer Mjolnir (+3). While Thor is stuck on the ground, charging around with his magic hammer makes him a devastating melee combatant, especially when adding smites to his attacks. If you think a cleric might be a better way to go, check out my Thor 5e Cleric build.

Paladin 12 (Oath of Devotion)

Human  (Asgardian), Noble, Neutral Good

Armor Class 19 (Plate Armor +1)
Initiative:
+1
Speed:
30 ft.
Hit Points:
100 (12d10)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 10 (+0) 10 (+0) 16 (+3)

Features & Traits:

  • Skills. Athletics +9, History +4, Religion +4, Persuasion +7
  • Feats. Charger

Attacks:

  • Melee Attack: Warhammer +12, damage: 1d8+9 bludgeoning (1d10+9 bludgeoning if held with 2 hands, reroll 1s and 2s)
  • Range Attack: Warhammer +12, damage: 1d8+9 bludgeoning (at 20 strength I am allowing Thor to throw a warhammer)

Paladin Build:

  • Divine Sense, Lay on Hands, Divine Smite & Improved Divine Smite, Divine Health, Extra Attack,  Aura of Protection, Aura of Courage
  • Fighting Style. Great Weapon Fighting
  • Sacred Oath. Oath of Devotion
  • Spells. Charisma DC 15 or +7
    • Spells Known: Searing Smite Shield of Faith, Thunderous Smite, Wrathful Smite, Branding Smite, Blinding Smite, Command, Divine Favor, Elemental Weapon (Lightning)

Magic Items:

  • Plate Armor +1. Fine Asgardian workmanship provides the wearer with magical protection.
  • Warhammer +3. Mjolnir is a powerful magic hammer that returns when thrown and can be called to the hand of the owner. It can only be picked up by those who are worthy. Thrown, Versatile (1d10).

 

Hulk

To make things simple, Bruce Banner is a Commoner (Sage) with a 20 in Intelligence (or he could be a Wizard of some sort). The Hulk stats are below. I was going to give Hulk some levels in Monk, but it didn’t match his backstory. The Hulk is a human that turns into an angry raging monster (using Goliath for racial stats) that attacks with fists or anything he can grab (including grappled enemies). You’ll notice Hulk breaks the 20 max and has 22 Strength, 4 feats and no real magic items.

Barbarian 12 (Beserker)

Goliath, Outlander, Chaotic Neutral

Armor Class 16 (Natural Armor, Unarmored Defense)
Initiative:
+2
Speed:
40 ft.
Hit Points:
137 (12d12)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
22 (+6) 14 (+2) 18 (+4) 8 (-1) 12 (+1) 8 (-1)

Features & Traits:

  • Racial: Stone’s Endurance, Powerful Build, Mountain Born
  • Skills: Athletics +10, Perception +5, Survival +5, Intimidation +4
  • Feats: Tavern Brawler, Athlete, Durable, Resilient

Attacks:

  • Melee Attack: Unarmed +10, damage: 1d4+6 bludgeoning
  • Melee Attack: Maul +10, damage: 2d6+6 bludgeoning (use this option for when Hulk grabs big things to hit enemies with)
  • Range Attack: Anything he wants to throw as an improvised weapon +10

Barbarian Build:

  • Unarmored Defense, Reckless Attack, Danger Sense, Extra Attack, Fast Movement, Feral Instinct, Brutal Critical, Relentless Rage
  • Fighting Style. Great Weapon Fighting
  • Primal Path. Berserker (Frenzy, Mindless Rage, Intimidating Presence)

Magic Items:

  • Purple Leggings. As Banner converts into the Hulk he increases in height and weight, yet these pants rip but hold.

 

Iron Man

I looked at creating a Warforged Wizard or Artificer, but an Eldritch Knight who created his own magical armor and blasts stuff works for me. A medieval Anthony Stark would most likely be the son of a rich lord and perhaps trained like other nobles to be a knight. This martial training combined with his interest in the arcane (like his father) has created Tony’s Iron Man.

Fighter 12 (Eldritch Knight)

Human, Noble, Chaotic Good

Armor Class 21 (Plate Armor +3)
Initiative:
+1
Speed:
30 ft.
Hit Points:
100 (12d10)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
15 (+2) 10 (+1) 12 (+2) 20 (+5) 14 (+2) 16 (+3)

Features & Traits:

  • Skills: History +9, Insight +6, Perception +6, Persuasion +6
  • Feats: Heavy Armor Master

Attacks:

  • Melee: Longsword +6, damage 1d8+2 (more of a back-up weapon and rarely drawn)

Fighter Build:

  • Fighting Style. Defence
  • Archetype. Eldritch Knight
  • Spells. Intelligence DC 17 or +9
    • Cantrips: Firebolt, Shocking Grasp, True Strike
    • Spells Known: Magic Missile, Shield, Witch Bolt, Featherfall, Levitate, Scorching Ray, Shatter, See Invisibility

Magic Items:

  • Plate Armor +3. Magical armor created by Tony Stark himself. The suit is his arcane focus.

 

Captain America

The First Avenger, Steve Rogers (and his magic shield) was enhanced by the Super Soldier Serum during World War II. A superior knowledge of tactics allows Cap and his allies to control the battlefield. Cap’s stats are really well rounded, but I’d like all of them to be higher. Especially his Intelligence, but I’m going to handle that as him being more practical than book smart.

Added (June 4, 2016): If you want Cap’s armor to match his look in the comic you can try out regular scale mail, which will work out to the same AC (thanks Trampas Whiteman for the idea).

Fighter 12 (Battle Master)

Human, Soldier, Lawful Good

Armor Class 16 (21 with Shield)
Initiative:
+3
Speed:
30 ft.
Hit Points:
100 (12d10)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 16 (+3) 14 (+2) 13 (+1) 14 (+2) 14 (+2)

Features & Traits:

  • Skills: Athletics +8, Acrobatics +7, Perception +6, Intimidation +6
  • Feats: Shield Master

Attacks:

  • Melee Attack: Shield +11 damage: 1d8+7 bludgeoning
  • Range Attack: Shield +10, damage: 1d8+3 bludgeoning

Fighter Build:

  • Fighting Style. Protection
  • Archetype. Battle Master
    • Superiority Dice. 5d10 – Save DC 15
      • Commander’s Strike
      • Distracting Strike
      • Maneuvering Attack
      • Sweeping Attack
      • Rally
      • Precision Attack
      • Parry
    • Student of War
    • Know Your Enemy
    • Improved Combat Superiority

Magic Items:

  • Studded Leather Armor +1. Blue, red and white leather armor
  • Shield +3. A powerful shield constructed from magical Vibranium. Returns when thrown.

 

Black Widow

Natasha Romanov is a powerful striker who combines ranged, melee and sneak attacks to defeat any enemies she faces. Natasha was trained from an early age in espionage and assassination. Her hand crossbows are enhanced and can sting her enemies while making ranged attacks and her superiority dice and sneak attack can be added to melee.

Fighter 8 (Battle Master), Rogue 4 (Assassin)

Human, Criminal (Spy), Neutral

Armor Class 19 (Studded Leather +2)
Initiative:
+5
Speed:
30 ft.
Hit Points:
80 (8d10, 4d8)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
12 (+1) 20 (+5) 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 13 (+1) 16 (+3)

Features & Traits:

  • Skills: Athletics +5, Acrobatics +9, Stealth +13, Deception +11, Intimidation +7
  • Feats: Crossbow Expert

Attacks:

  • Melee Attack: Club (Baton) +10, damage: 1d4+6 bludgeoning, plus additional 2d4 lightning damage
  • Range Attack: Hand Crossbow +11, damage: 1d6+7 piercing

Fighter Build:

  • Fighting Style. Two Weapon Fighting (Add +5 to damage of second weapon)
  • Archetype. Battle Master
      • Superiority Dice. 5d8 – Save DC 16
        • Disarming Attack
        • Distracting Attack
        • Precision Attack
        • Trip Attack
        • Sweeping Attack
      • Student of War
      • Know Your Enemy
      • Improved Combat Superiority

Rogue Build:

  • Expertise: Stealth & Deception
  • Proficiencies: Thieves Tools
  • Sneak Attack. 2d6
  • Thieves’ Cant
  • Cunning Action
  • Archetype: Assassin

    • Proficiency with Disguise Kit, Poisoner’s Kit
    • Assassinate

Magic Items:

  • Studded Leather Armor +2
  • Widow’s Strike +1 (x 2). Charged baton (club), add additional 2d4 lightning damage.
  • Widow’s Bite +2 (x 2). Hand crossbow mounted to wrist guard.

 

Hawkeye

An orphan who ran away to the carnival, Clint Barton learned his expertise with the bow by performing trick-shots as Hawkeye “The World’s Greatest Marksman”.

Ranger 12

Human, Entertainer (Acrobat), Neutral Good

Armor Class 18 (Studded Leather +1)
Initiative:
+5
Speed:
30 ft.
Hit Points:
76 (12d10)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
14 (+2) 20 (+5) 11 (+0) 10 (+0) 16 (+3) 13 (+1)

Features & Traits:

  • Skills. Athletics +6, Acrobatics +9, Stealth +9, Perception +7, Performance +5
  • Feats. Sharpshooter

Attacks:

  • Melee Attack: Bow Strike +6, damage: 1d4+2 bludgeoning
  • Range Attack: Longbow +13, damage: 1d8+5 piercing

Ranger Build:

  • Fighting Style. Archery
  • Archetype. Hunter
    • Hunter’s Prey – Horde Breaker
    • Defensive Tactics – Escape the Horde
    • Multiattack – Volley
  • Spells. Charisma DC 15 or +7
    • Spells Known: Ensnaring Strike, Hail of Thorns, Hunter’s Mark, Cordon of Arrows, Pass Without Trace, Conjure Barrage, Lightning Arrow

Magic Items:

  • Studded Leather +1
  • Longbow +2
  • Quiver of Ehlonna
  • Arrows +1 (20)

 

More Avengers & Villains to Build

Can’t get enough Avengers, try creating some of these other heroes and villains. Check out my Guardians of the Galaxy PCs or Fantastic Four NPCs.

  • Ant-Man / Giant-Man
  • Wasp
  • Vision
  • Quicksilver
  • Scarlet Witch
  • Spider-Man
  • Falcon
  • Wolverine
  • Black Panther
  • Ultron
  • Chitauri
  • Baron Zemo
  • Loki
  • Red Skull
  • Enchantress
  • Thanos
  • Kang the Conqueror
  • Kree
  • Skrulls

Let us know what you think of the builds above and how you’d improve them in the comments below (and please link to your own superhero builds).

Check out some other articles for previous editions of D&D:

The Avengers and all characters mentioned in this article are the property of Marvel.

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Shawn Ellsworth

Shawn is an author and co-founder of Tribality.com. He first got into tabletop RPGs through ninjas and then by playing a Kender in Dragonlance. Years later, he can be found running games in the Nentir Vale and his own Seas of Vodari campaign setting.