Ever since I began playing D&D 8 years ago it has been one of my favorite hobbies, but within the last two years it's become an even bigger part of my life. Since I've been having so much fun with it recently, I decided it was finally time to try something I'd always wanted to do: combine two of my favorite interests and turn the Disney Princesses into D&D characters.
Over the last year I've been slowly creating D&D characters based off of the DPs, and I spent so much time on them that I really wanted to share them here. I'll be posting a series of articles, one for each DP, in which I explain why I chose the classes, subclasses, etc. for each princess, and share the backstory I wrote for each. I'll also be crossposting these articles to the Disney Princess club. All the characters will be level 3 to ensure that they all have a chosen subclass. Sourcebooks used to build these characters include the Player's Handbook, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. Anything written in italics
is an author's note explaining my reasoning behind certain character choices.
Human Fighter - Arcane Archer / Background - Noble
Merida was one of the easiest for me to make. I know there are many different ways to make a great archer in D&D, but with Mer Bear's fixation on weapons I really felt like fighter was the best fit for her. Plus, it's the only class I can think of that has a subclass dedicated to archery: Arcane Archer. Since she was born and raised a princess I gave her the noble background.
+2 (14) DEX
+3 (16) CON
+2 (15) INT
+1 (13) WIS
-1 (9) CHA
I used the standard array to generate stats. I tried to assign them in a way that would allow for a strong D&D character while still remaining mostly true to the attributes of the character in the film.
AC 16 (leather + shield)
Speed 30 ft.
Saving throws: Str +4, Con +4
Skills: Acrobatics +5, Athletics +4, History +3, Nature +3, Persuasion +2 (For her class skills I gave her Acrobatics and Athletics. She demonstrates excellence in both in her film. For her Arcane Archer skill I gave her Nature because we see how much she loves to spend time outside in the natural world. History and Persuasion were granted by her background.)
Languages: Common, Elvish, Sylvan (Since she lives in a forested area there are probably nearby elven kingdoms, so I bet she would've been forced to study Elvish as part of her princess schooling. And then through her encounters with will o the wisps and other fey creatures perhaps she learned some Sylvan.)
Tools: Dragonchess Set
Features and Traits
Fighting Style: You adopt a fighting style specialty.
- Archery: You gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls you make with ranged weapons.
Action Surge: You can take one additional action on your turn. This can be used 1 times per short rest.
Arcane Shot: Twice per short rest and once per turn when you fire an arrow from a shortbow or longbow as part of the Attack action, you can apply one Arcane Shot option of your choice to that arrow. You decide to use the option when the arrow hits a creature, unless the option doesn’t involve an attack roll. Arcane Shot Options:
- Bursting Arrow: Immediately after the arrow hits a creature, the target and all other creatures within 10 ft. of it take 2d6 force damage each.
- Piercing Arrow: Creates a line 1 ft. wide and 30 ft. long and each creature in that line must make a DEX saving throw (DC 11). On failure, a creature takes damage from the arrow plus 1d6 extra piercing damage (half damage on success).
Cantrips (at will): Druidcraft
This spell was granted by her subclass. I could choose between Prestidigitation and Druidcraft and the latter felt more Merida to me.
Crossbow, Light: +7 to hit, 1d8+3 piercing damage
Longbow: +7 to hit, 1d8+3 piercing damage
Shortsword: +5 to hit, 1d6+3 piercing damage
Second Wind: Once per short rest, you can use a bonus action to regain 1d10 + 3 HP.
Backstories have been created with a combination of the stories from the films and rolling randomly on the random tables in the "This Is Your Life" section of Xanathar's Guide to Everything, which is why some of these backstories have some wild things that really come out of left field lol.
CW: forced marriage
I was born to King Fergus and Queen Elinor of clan Dunbroch. From the moment I first opened my eyes I was expected to be a perfect princess, always comporting myself with dignity and grace. This did not suit me however, and since a young age I always took an interest in weapons and fighting, in particular the beautiful and deadly bow and arrow. Though I lived an aristocratic childhood in the family's castle, others saw me as being different or strange, and so I had few companions beyond my trusty steed Angus. I chafed at my responsibilites and was always jealous of the freedoms possessed by my three younger brothers, Harris, Hubert, and Hamish.
My father would take pity on me, and taught me to shoot, despite my mother's scolding. I was good at it. Very good. I began to shirk my duties as much as possible to sneak off to the forest and practice. My mother grew more and more discontent with my behavior, until one day she declared I was old enough to be married. I had no say in the situation, and was furious. There was to be a competition of my choosing, and the winning suitor would win my hand. I chose archery, entered the competition in secret, and outshot all the competing princes.
I had never seen my mother so wrathful as that day, and I fled into the forest, where I encountered a witch's cottage. I asked the old crone for a spell to change my mother, and she obliged. She gave me a little cake, which I took back with me to the castle. Under the guise of making amends, I gave it to my mother, but never having been the best liar she realized my intentions before I could convince her to eat it. Utterly enraged, she locked me in my room and kept me there.
When I was finally allowed to emerge days later, she announced I would be married that very day to a goblin prince known as Gex. She kept a close watch on me, and there was nothing I could do. I was carted off with my new husband that very evening to his fortress deep in the goblin caves.
Though he was as kind to me as he knew how to be, I could never be content deep within the bowels of the earth, smothered by the gluttony of his court and never able to see the sky again. I had long nursed a dream of running away to the elven kingdoms of the forests, where I could learn their arcane archery skills that surpassed any other warrior. Unfortunately, I knew they would only take boys as students.
With the help of some of my trusted servants, I disguised myself as a man and managed to sneak out of the goblin caves and into the forest. I was quickly found by a scouting party of elves and questioned as to why I was trespassing. I demonstrated my archery skills for them and revealed that I wanted to learn their ways.
With my already significant talent with a bow I was quickly admitted to their school, and I began to learn rapidly. Disguised as a boy, I experienced true freedom for the first time in my life. I managed to keep the ruse up for a better part of a year, but I was recently discovered and expelled from the institution. I am now wandering the land looking for adventure and trying to make some coin with my bow and arrow when I can.
Yeeaaahhh... I did kinda turn Elinor into the villain. At least she makes a better villain than Mor'du lmfao. When I rolled on the Life Events table in XGtE I got that Mer fell in love or got married. I reeeaaally didn't want to make her fall in love because her rejection of romance is so key to her character, but I thought that if Elinor had been just a bit more evil then a forced marriage could've been a real possibility for her, so I went that route instead. Tbh I kinda like it, and the disguising herself as a boy thing gives me Alanna the Lioness vibes.