BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

Let’s Play D&D With Netflix’s ‘Shadow and Bone’

3 Minute Read
Mar 15 2023

This week we’re taking our adventuring party back into the fold as we invite Alina and Mal from Shadow and Bone to play D&D.

The popular young adult series turned Netflix show returns tomorrow, and we’re pretty excited to see where the Grishaverse takes us next. Aside from the inspired magical setting and social politics, the series has a stellar cast who would all separately fit in perfectly in any D&D campaign. In fact, the entire series could easily have been somebody’s ongoing adventures between the long backstories, expansive setting, and characters who are each expert in their specific and different fields.

It’s been a little while since some of us have taken a trip to Ravka, let’s review a few of the characters as we figure out where’d they fit into a Dungeons & Dragons setting.


There were a lot of possible directions to go in with Alina, but there is one decision I changed at the last minute and it caused me a few re-writes: I swapped her race from Human to Half-Elf. In game the differences are subtle, but within the story, she is easily recognizable as being at least partially Shu and it causes her a few issues along the way. I wanted to give her a small difference in game that would be instantly recognizable to other people.

After wedging that reference into her sheet, the biggest question was class, and I opted for a Sorcerer / Warlock mix. Divine Sorcerer with an Otherworldly Warlock patron both represent a kind of magic that comes naturally but also is gifted from some kind of greater being. Like some sort of a magical light deer, for example. I had considered some kind of Druid for the deer angle, but none of them remotely worked for her sun and light magic, so I quickly moved on.

Physically, she doesn’t have a ton of capabilities and in the show, Alina proves to not be the most competent in a hand-to-hand fight. Instead, her skills lie in magic and problem-solving, which is always a boon in your adventuring party. For magic, I tried to stick to light or fire spells for the most part, but I added some random ones like Shatter because it felt like the powerful sort of spell she might get mad enough to use toward the end of the season.




Spellcasting and Spell Save should read +3 / 11 / +3. I apologize for the oversight.

Mal is a much easier character and may as well have been pulled directly from the Player’s Handbook. He’s a famously good tracker and hunter (quintessential Ranger) and just proficient enough at fighting to get in (and then out of and then back into) trouble. I gave him “monstrosities” as a favored enemy because I frankly couldn’t think of another way to describe the shadow monsters and those should be everybody’s top priority Grishaverse enemy to kill. But everything else is straightforward and to the point. Fighters aren’t difficult or complex, but they are insanely fun to play. And that’s what we have with Mal’s sheet; a character who looks simple on paper but could be very fun and useful in-game.

Which characters are your favorite and who would you play in your own D&D campaign? Should I make sheets for The Crows, too? What TV shows, games, or movies should I make sheets from next? Let us know in the comments!

Happy adventuring!


  • D&D: Five Best Cantrips For Beginners