Dungeons and DotA: A Guide Series for Recreating DotA 2 Heroes in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition

Personally, I find creating a character to be one of the most fun parts of any game. Over the past few months, I’ve found myself creating more and more character builds for Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition (henceforth called DnD 5e). Whether revamping a past character or designing a “horseless cavalier,” the variety in races, classes, weapons, spells, and feats makes character creation a nuanced and in-depth process.

Of course, sometimes you want to play a character other than your own, be they Batman or Robocop. If you have always wanted to play a character from DotA 2 in DnD 5e: you’re in luck. For DnD 5e players who’ve always wanted to get into DotA, you might learn what heroes most closely match your playstyles. For DotA players who’ve always wanted to get into DnD 5e, you’ll get an idea of how you can recreate your favorite characters and play styles in DnD 5e. This series will show you the best way (or at least the best way I found) to recreate characters from DotA 2 in DnD 5e. But first, a few general rules I’ll be following in this series:

General Considerations

  • The characters will be recreated in the closest ways visually and mechanically

The goal for completion is making a character that both looks and functions similar to their DotA counterparts. This means choosing a race that best fits the one seemingly presented in DotA 2, while also picking class combinations that best fit the play style of each DotA 2 hero. DotA 2 identifies heroes as a combination of the following roles: Carry, Disabler, Durable, Escape, Initiator, Jungler, Nuker, Pusher, and Support. For some heroes, there will likely be key elements not perfectly represented in DnD 5e (for instance, gyrocopters). These characters will have much more “fluff” and loose correlations than others.

  • Optimization will not be the main goal, but will be considered

If you want a guide on how to make the optimal DnD 5e character, this won’t be it. Often times, getting the appropriate combinations to recreate characters visually and mechanically involves sacrifices in the realm of optimization. Take note that I will be taking general playability into account. You shouldn’t end up with a character that’s unplayable – you do want to play them, after all.

  • The build will highlight essential aspects and options of the character guide only, up to level 20

While a level-by-level breakdown may seem fun, the character guide will only cover the essential bits.  I will, however, include some must-have spell choices in the guide for emulating the character. Other than this, I won’t include a comprehensive spell list or other such list of abilities to take. This means that these guides will have plenty of room for you to choose some features and abilities for yourself.

  • There will be no use limited use of Unearthed Arcana  and no use of “homebrewed” elements.

“Homebrewing” (making your own DnD rules and other gameplay elements) is a fantastic way to add variety to your games. I think that, for this project, homebrewing is the easy way out. These guides will only mostly include elements accepted by the official Adventurer’s League; items found in the Player’s Handbook, Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Volo’s Guide to Monster’s, and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. For certain characters, I’ll be using the Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron, Eberron: Rising from the Last War, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica, Explorer’s Guide to Wildmount, and other elements from the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Before You Go

I hope you enjoy Dungeons and DotA! In fact, the first article is already up: Dungeons and DotA: Creating Abaddon.

(I plan to go in alphabetical order for this series. If you want to see one character in particular please do comment that – I don’t mind skipping around!)

Disclaimer: Despite how many characters I’ve created, I haven’t been playing Dungeons and Dragons for more than a year. If I miss anything, or if you see a possible combination I’ve missed, I’d love to hear about it in the comments of the respective article.

I edited this article 5/15/2020 to include the fact that there will be limited use of non-Adventure’s League material and Unearthed Arcana material.

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