When it comes to inspiration for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, Netflix’s The Witcher series has a lot to offer a Dungeon Master looking for ideas.
When it comes to inspiration for a Dungeons & Dragons campaign The witcher Netflix series has a lot to offer. For fans of the video game novels and series, it was no surprise to see such a rich display of high fantasy on screen. The original works by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski have received worldwide acclaim and are considered to belong to the same category as titles like Game Of Thrones. It’s no wonder that a Dungeon Master wants to incorporate aspects of such a rich setting into his D&D 5th campaign.
[Warning: Spoilers for The Witcher show below.]
The easiest way to incorporate The witcher in D&D campaign would just use the parameter itself. Players could then interact with Geralt of Rivia and venture into The Great Kingdoms in search of monsters for real money. However, some DMs may want to create something more original, by creating their own map and D&D framework that is simply inspired by The witcher. The series offers an endless supply of inspiring moments and concepts to choose from.
As for the way the monsters in The witcher translate into Dungeons & Dragons, that’s the easy part. The witcher is full of terrifying monsters, just like the Monster Manuathe. A ghost is a ghost, and a witch is ultimately a witch. For other monsters, it is better to use something similar from the Monster Manual and rename it. An example of this would be the Sylvan from Season 1, Episode 2 of The witcher, because it is not represented directly in the D&D 5th Monster Manual. Using a Satyr Thorn Bearer model and renaming it could be a good starting point for a DM. Then they can just increase the size category and change some stats to suit their needs.
D&D Campaign Ideas: Using Geralt & The Witchers
The main protagonist of The witcher series is Geralt of Rivia. For those unfamiliar with the series, it’s important to explain that he’s a witcher and what that means. The witcher candidates are taken like children and subjected to intense training, alchemical treatments and secret rituals. The Witers are each students from different schools. Named after the animals, there is even a Viper School, while Geralt himself belongs to the Wolf School. The end result is an extremely capable and feared monster hunter.
For a DM wishing to place a Witcher-type order in his D&D country setting, there is a lot to work on here. Secret orders and companies are nothing new to D&D 5th campaigns. A guild or order of monster hunters isn’t that far-fetched either. Both could certainly work well in a bad D&D campaign. Maybe the order is dedicated to hunting a specific type of monster that will be more prevalent in the countryside – like constructions, for example. For a more versatile hunter, there might be a unique set of schools based on the colors of the Chromatic Dragons. It could also play into the party being outcasts as these dragons are generally bad, but the order of the hunters may not be.
As for the Witchers themselves, this is a bit more difficult task to translate into D&D 5th. A more experienced DM might sit down and take the time to create a new custom playable class. If the Witcher type characters are NPCs, that makes things a bit easier. In The witcher series, before fighting monsters, Geralt usually drinks a small potion, his eyes turn black, and his powers are enhanced. The DM can just create regular class-based NPCs and add something like lycanthrope (and call it something else) to represent the transformation when the character swallows the potion. An even cheaper solution for this is a barbarian who can wear armor and gain some magic resistance.
The Witcher In D&D: Added Aretuza and Magic
The witcher The series features another special type of character in Vengerberg’s Yennefer. Discovered at a young age for her innate magical abilities, she is bought and taken to Aretuza, a magical school for young girls. Once there, through a series of difficult trials, she learns to tame her magical ability and becomes a very powerful witch. Wizards literally translate as D&D 5th and it wouldn’t be too difficult for an interested group to seek out undiscovered talents through some sort of magical divination.
Make these characters special in a D&D campaign, however, can depend entirely on the level of magic and politics of the campaign setting. In the series, the students of Aretuza are not unique in their magical ability as the setting itself is of high magic. They are unique for their types of spells. An DM could make his wizard students masters of a specific spell school such as illusion. What sets women apart in The witcher is that once they have completed their training, they are assigned to cities and kingdoms as advisers. This idea might work well in a campaign where everyone in the party is a magic user.
Include something similar to Aretuza in a D&D campaign sounds intimidating, but in reality it should be pretty straightforward. It’s basically just a very dark and brutal predecessor to Hogwarts. Aretuza is so brutal that he turns his failed students into eels. Alternatively, putting a wizarding council in control of a city-state with an academy and secret rituals is very adjacent to Aretuza. A good way for a DM to reproduce the trials of such a school by D&D is to have players who fight monsters with a limited spell list. They have to pick spells that players typically don’t use and take them outside the box.
D&D: Using The Witcher’s Politics and Fame in a 5th Campaign
The witcher the series sees Geralt at the table and with everyone from royalty to peasants. He is the quintessence D&D adventurer when it comes to the extent of his interactions. Depending on the timeline depicted on the screen, he is also famous as himself or just infamous for being a witcher. This level of notoriety is something easily borrowed for a D&D 5th campaign. A group, whether experienced or not, could come up against many role-playing opportunities to be part of an infamous hunter group.
Bard Dandelion’s song “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” is one of the most catchy tunes in a fantasy series (perhaps since Game Of Thrones introduction). The tales and songs the bard tells for Geralt are something an MD could easily fit into the game. Letting a party get a little notoriety is a double-edged sword, especially if it’s a small one. D&D gone and easily outnumbered. Some NPCs they meet will like them and some not. Additionally, the characters they meet may have expectations that the group simply cannot meet. This puts them in a difficult position and may force them to think on their feet.
When creating a Dungeons & Dragons campaign inspired by The witcher for 5th, there are many choices. One good thing to remember for a DM is that not everything will translate directly. Getting as close as possible to a “substitute” for a monster or character class may be the best thing. Getting the wrong challenge rating or spell level isn’t the end of the world, either. As long as the DM can adapt and the players are happy, any inclusion of fantastic witcher imagery should be a win.
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