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Thread: What Level Wizard Is Dumbledore?

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    What Level Wizard Is Dumbledore?

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    I started this thread on www.wherethegamesare.com and it was a lot of fun. Take your favorite fantasy character from TV, movies, or literature and speculate on what level, stats, skills, alignment, etc, they would have if they were D&D characters. And don't feel obligated to restrict your character choices to those from the Harry Potter books and films. The title of this thread could just as easily have been "What Level Fighter Is Xena Warrior Princess?" or "What Level Barbarian Is Thundarr?" or "What Level Ranger Is Aragorn?" or "What Level Wizard Is Gandalph?"

    So put your thinking caps on, be creative, and have fun! Use any fantasy resource you want. Xena Warrior Princess, Willow, Dragonheart, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, Kull The Conqueror, Thundarr The Barbarian, The Lord Of The Rings, The Pirates Of The Caribbean, the list goes on and on and on. Have fun and I'm looking forward to reading your responces.

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    Didn't someone say Gandalf was only a 5th-level Wizard by D&D standards? (Except maybe the whole coming-back-from-the-dead thing.)

    The problem with comparing magic-users is that each author's concept of magic varies so wildly that trivial powers in D&D are rare in low-magic worlds, while in others ordinary mortals can sometimes wield what would be world-shaking powers in D&D.

    Describe Paul Atreides in D&D Psionics terms. I dare you.
    "On two occasions I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question."
    - Charles Babbage (1791 - 1871)

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    What he said. It's a frustrating exercise in that the magic systems do not line up. Middle Earth is low or epic magic, Potterverse is common but few have it.

    Garry AKA --Phoenix-- Rising above the Flames.
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    It can be frustrating translating wizards from one world or another to the D&D system, but it's the challenge that makes discussions like this fun. Remember the whole point of this thread is to have fun speculating, not to lay down the law and say "This is (enter character name here)'s class and level, and that's that!" Just think about what fantasy characters you enjoy watching in movies and TV or reading about in novels and give them the D&D treatment. You think wizards such as Gandalph or Dumbledore are too tough? Try writing up stats for Aragorn, The Scorpion King, Madmarteggan, Captain Jack Sparrow, Xena, or any other fantasy warrior you can think of.

    On my original thread we wound up debating whether the characters from the Harry Potter books would be classified as Wizards or Sorcerrors in the D&D game. My opinion is that they're sorcerrors. In D&D wizards have to learn their spells through countless hours of study and meditation, while sorcerrors are born with the ability to cast spells. In Harry Potter witches and wizards are born with their powers and simply go to schools like Hogwarts to learn to control them (rather like mutants going to Professor Xavier's School For The Gifted in The X-Men). We also debated the use of wands in the Harry Potter stories. Some gamers were trying to instill D&D rules to the use of Harry Potter wands (each wand is made to cast certain spells and has X number of charges, etc). I say all spells in the Harry Potter Universe have three components: Vocal (Occulus Repairem); Somatic (Swish & Flick); and Focal (The Wand). Creating and charging wands in D&D fashion doesn't happen in the Harry Potter Universe.

    Anyway, like I said before, don't worry about world magical compatibility. If wizards are too tough, do fighters or rogues. If Gandalph doesn't translate well to D&D terms because Middle-Earth is too low magic, do Queen Bavmorta from Willow (she turned 500 men into pigs, that should be some clue as to her level). Just have fun with it. If someone disagrees with your interpretation they can say so and suggest the changes they think should be made to your entry (you made him too high/low a level, you made his stats too high/low, I think his alignment should be this not that, etc). The whole point is to have fun in the speculation, so start speculting.
    Last edited by Tony Misfeldt; 04-17-2008 at 07:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post
    Describe Paul Atreides in D&D Psionics terms. I dare you.
    As I'm unfamiliar with that character, I'm afraid I can't. But feel free to give it a try yourself.

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    Paul Atreides was the primary character in Dune. "The sleeper has awakened!"

    Problem is that he's sci-fi, not fantasy. You'd have to use a different game system like Alternity, Traveler 2k, or such.

    I find it can be quite hard to translate fantasy to Sci-Fi.

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    Okay, I'll give you guys an example.

    In the animated feature The Lord Of The Rings, Borimir was depicted as a viking. As fantasy barbarians are based heavily on viking culture, we can assume that Borimir is of the D&D barbarian class. Obviously he's of good alignment, but easily corrupted by the power of The One Ring, thus I'd guess his alignment to be Neutral Good. He single handedly slew several uruk-hai (which in D&D are called orogs), thus he's quite strong and of some skill. In 2nd Ed he'd have a strength somewhere between 18/76 and 18/100. In 3rd Ed he'd have a strength score of at least 18, likely more if he's over 4th level (which he likely is). When he was trying to rescue Merry and Pippin, it took seven arrows to take him down. The arrows were imbedded in his chest up to their fletchings, so we can assume they did max damage. They were also likely to be sheaf arrows, which means Borimir took 56 hit points of damage before he fell (7 X 8 = 56). Subtract 12 from the damage he took and divide the remainder by 6 and add 1 and you'll have his aproximate level (56-12=44, 44 divided by 6 = 7.7), so Borimir is roughly 8th level. So the character is...

    Borimir (Human Male NG 8th Level Barbarian)
    Hit Points: 56; STR: 20; DEX: 16; CON: 10; WIS: 10; INT: 13
    FEATS: Simple Weapon Proficiency, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Light Armor Proficiency, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword), Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword), Power Strike, Cleave

    Skill: Standard Barbarian Skills.

    There! That's not so hard is it? Now that I've got the ball rolling, go ahead and make your own additions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Misfeldt View Post

    There! That's not so hard is it? Now that I've got the ball rolling, go ahead and make your own additions.
    That one is easy, he gets killed so you have an objective measure of his power level in D&D terms.

    What about Gandalf? He fell down the inside of a mountain and fought for three days and nights before defeating his foe (A demon every Orc in creation was running from) and perishing himself. And then he got better. Gandalf is not a mortal being, simple. You are looking at at least A 0 level defic, Level 1 after he comes back. Power level? What is appropriate to your world? Middle Earth counts wizards on the fingers of one hand. D&D they are common as weeds.

    Dumbledore is another matter. They don't quite fit the D&D mold. The idea hovers somewhere between the Sorcerer, the Wizard and a touch of Warlock. They never seem to lack magic. We have never seen a Potterverse character to exhausted to do magic. They require training, Wizard like. They have the power from birth, Warlock and Sorcerer like. The magic for the most part is vastly unexplained. It is common and used for nearly everything and kids can do effects that would be major spells in the D&D universe (transformations) but you see none of the mass combat magic. Conclusion, Take a look at your game world and put Dumbledore in the top 1% of Wizards on said world. If that is 11th level so be it, if it's 50th level, then go with it.

    You pretty much have to decide where they stand in their own setting as to relative power level and adjust accordingly. In Thindacarulle Both Gandalf and Dumbledore would be wizards of stunning power. Gandalf would be a minor Vala, a godling in short. Dumbledore somewhere over 30th level, possibly even a rare and much feared Century Mage (the number of which can be counted on one hand)

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    It seems to me that a character like Dumbledore is better represented by a system like Ars Magica or Mage than d20 systems. Like Tesral said, he never seems to lack magic resource like the typical D&D spell caster do. A system where magical feats are quite limitless in quantity but where risk involved is greater seems more pertinent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    Dumbledore is another matter. They don't quite fit the D&D mold. The idea hovers somewhere between the Sorcerer, the Wizard and a touch of Warlock.
    Good point. Perhaps if you were going to build this character in the framework of the D&D system, you'd make him multi-classed. Part sorcerer, part wizard, and perhaps part some kind of wild mage as well -- particularly for Potter himself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by InfoStorm View Post
    Paul Atreides was the primary character in Dune. "The sleeper has awakened!"

    Problem is that he's sci-fi, not fantasy. You'd have to use a different game system like Alternity, Traveler 2k, or such.
    Dune is really fantasy with science fiction trappings. Force shields that stop all projectiles? Feudal families? Prescience? Knife-fights?

    Actually, Dune's prescience is the one thing which would frustrate any game system. A GM who told the prescient PC exactly what was about to happen, and what kind of moral choice he'd have to make at critical points, would qualify as a railroad magnate. Plus, like many authors, Herbert allows his characters to pull powers out of their nether regions -- prescience can let a blind man see? -- and dismiss them just as readily.

    J. K. Rowling is particularly guilty of this, but every author does it to a degree.

    What D&D classes and level is Door or the Marquis De Carabas from Neverwhere? What kind of monsters are Mr. Kroup and Mr. Vandemar, or the Angel Islington? D&D is just the wrong system to model that particular work ... not because it's urban fantasy, but because Neil Gaiman didn't think in D&D classes and monsters when he wrote it.

    About the only works where you can figure out a neat D&D class and level are books based on D&D, or books that directly influenced D&D (e.g. LotR, Conan, or Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser). Most other works have radically different assumptions about what magic can do, what the human body can do, and why people have adventures.


    P.S. Yes, I know I'm being a wet blanket. I don't see the point of the exercise. For those that do, this will be my last post on this thread.
    Last edited by fmitchell; 04-17-2008 at 01:43 PM.
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    For Dumbledore, I would think that he would be at least 15th level. As for Gandalph, I am thinking somewhere along the lines of 8th level before the fall and at least 10th when we next see him.

    I have to use the higher level for Dumbledore because there is a vastly greater number of mages/wizards in the Harry Potter setting than there is in the Lord of the rings setting.

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    What about Legolas though? What level would you place him at? I think that clearly by D&D standards he was an epic archer considering the things he could do. That would probably place him at a higher comparative level than Gandalf or most of the other characters for that matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Farcaster View Post
    What about Legolas though? What level would you place him at? I think that clearly by D&D standards he was an epic archer considering the things he could do. That would probably place him at a higher comparative level than Gandalf or most of the other characters for that matter.


    Yes, I agree that Legolas was an epic archer, in my untrained knowledge. I would need to consult with tesral in the matter of archery, my knowledge lies in rifle marksmanship and hand to hand combat. So I would probably list him as 14th level, pending talking with tesral.

    I also have to look at each class separately. Trying to judge a fighter and a wizard by the same standards, I feel would be like comparing apples to elephants.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tesral View Post
    That one is easy, he gets killed so you have an objective measure of his power level in D&D terms.

    What about Gandalf? He fell down the inside of a mountain and fought for three days and nights before defeating his foe (A demon every Orc in creation was running from) and perishing himself. And then he got better. Gandalf is not a mortal being, simple.
    For Gandalph, I think his level of power depends on exactly which source you're using as inspiration. In the books he really uses very little magic. But in the movie they make him somewhat more powerful (obviously for dramatic purposes). In The Fellowship Of The Ring, Gandalphs duel with Saroman was pretty much a case of them throwing each other around with Telekenisis spells. Later he uses either a Light or Continual Light spell to light their way through the Mines Of Moriard. Then when he fought the Balrog he protected himself from the demon's fiery sword with some sort of Shield or Wall Of Force spell. Then he broke the bridge with his staff, perhaps a version of the priest spell Earthquake. Check the caster levels for these spells and that should give you some indication of Gandalph's level were he a D&D character.

    Quote Originally Posted by cplmac View Post
    For Dumbledore, I would think that he would be at least 15th level. As for Gandalph, I am thinking somewhere along the lines of 8th level before the fall and at least 10th when we next see him.

    I have to use the higher level for Dumbledore because there is a vastly greater number of mages/wizards in the Harry Potter setting than there is in the Lord of the rings setting.
    I'd actually guess Dumbledore to be higher level, 20th perhaps even epic. Reason being is he's the only wizard Voldemort fears. Voldemort was powerful enough to pass beyond being a mortal wizard and become a lich. Liches have at least 18 hit dice (unless they have vastly changed since 2nd Ed) and I find it hard to believe that Voldemort would be afraid of a wizard of lower level than he.

    If you're using the LOTR movies as your inspiration of Gandalph's experience level, I think he may be of higher level. Remember, in The Two Towers Gandalph releases King Theodin from Saroman's Domination spell (in the book there was no spell, Gandalph just had to talk him up). Domination is a pretty powerful spell (6th level I think) and it would have had to take quite a powerful wizard to dispell it.

    Quote Originally Posted by fmitchell View Post

    P.S. Yes, I know I'm being a wet blanket. I don't see the point of the exercise. For those that do, this will be my last post on this thread.
    The point is to think about things like this and state your opinion for the hell of it. With my old D&D group back home, if we didn't have enough people for a game or we just weren't in the mood for D&D that night we'd put a fantasy movie into the VCR (Willow, Conan, Red Sonja, Beastmaster, whatever) and watch it making these kinds of speculations. The debates that ensued were often as entertaining as the movies themselves, sometimes more so. And now we finally have some people willing to play.
    Last edited by Farcaster; 04-18-2008 at 02:22 PM. Reason: AO compels you to use Multi-Quote

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