How To Make Harley Quinn as a D&D Character
Let’s get ready for the opening of Birds of Prey tomorrow by making everyone’s favorite psychologist-turned-super-villain into a playable D&D character.
If I don’t have a very clear image of what I want to play when I sit down to make a new tabletop character, my go-to solution is to recreate one of my favorite existing fictional people. My current D&D character was based heavily on Doctor Aphra from Star Wars and when I made my Edge of the Empire character I pulled most of her inspiration from Holtzman from Ghostbusters. It gives you a solid jumping-off point and I think makes the character more instantly understandable and playable.
This week to celebrate Birds of Prey hitting the big screen, I wanted to take a swing at creating a version of Harley Quinn that I would want to play at the D&D table:
Harley is a character who exists in a world where there are super beings from space and magic users but she manages to hold her with mostly just some creativity and gymnastic skills. When I had to make a choice with a blank character sheet in front of me, I chose human for this reason. As for her class, honestly rogue was the only choice as far as I was concerned.
There was a little consideration between Arcane Trickster and Assassin for archetype, but in the end, I went with what I would have the most fun playing and what felt the most like Harley. I also considered giving her three levels of Ranger as an excuse to incorporate Lou or Bud. While hyenas aren’t standard ranger companions, they fit the bill as a medium creature with a 0 challenge rating and would be fabulous flavor text. I eventually decided against it, but if you make your own Harley definitely know that that’s an option for her.
For her stats and skills, I actually did roll some dice. A few of the feats and features allowed me to increase some of those; her strength went up by one and acrobatics and athletics took a nice boost, for example.
Features and Feats
Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough space to write out what each of the features does, but they come with the rogue class as the character levels up and are on pages 95 & 96 of the Player’s Handbook. The Arcane Trickster archetype also gave her Mage Hand Legerdemain, which among other things makes mage hand invisible, and allows you to pick locks or disarm traps at range. While I’m torn regarding whether that’s particularly Harley-esque, it’s a fun feature to have.
Feats were a more difficult choice. Actor would have been fun and given the character, a more dramatic flair and Mobile would have added to her agility and speed, very in character given her athletic history. In the end I went with Athlete to give Strength another boost (and because of her athletic background) and Savage Attacker because deep down I knew she’d want that damage reroll.
Weapons and Spells
I had some fun with Harley’s weapons. Her baseball bat, mallet, and very large mallet from the cartoons are all iconic in their own right. Unfortunately “cartoonishly large mallet” doesn’t exist in the world of Dungeons and Dragons so I had to be a little creative. I attributed club stats to the bat and warhammer stats to the mallets, but if you were to use this character in a game talk to your GM about what stats they think are fair or the possibility of home-brewing you something special.
As for the spells, I honestly picked ones that I thought Harley would think are fun and would want to use.
That’s how I would write Harley Quinn for my own D&D games, but the options are almost limitless. How would you design her for dungeon crawling? Will you be seeing Birds of Prey this weekend? What characters would you like to see next?