A Guide to All the ‘D&D’ Characters and Classes in ‘Honor Among Thieves’
One of the best things about Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is that it genuinely feels like a campaign you’d play at your tabletop D&D session.
I’ve only played two campaigns with more experienced players in a handful of years, so I appreciated that the film kept things simple, and let me absorb the world without overloading me. I found myself saying, “Ooh! It’s an owlbear!” or “Oh, that’s how a Gelatinous Cube works!” throughout.
Having mostly played Human characters before, I was really into the Tiefling, Doric. I found myself “playing as a Tiefling” as I got more familiar with her abilities, and started thinking about how I’d handle the situations they came up against if I had her skillset. Honor Among Thieves was enjoyable not just as a movie, but also as a kind of game experience.
Are you a first-time player who wants inspiration for building a character? Here are the basics for some of the classes and species you can choose to role play in D&D through the lens of the characters in the film.
Slight spoilers for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves ahead.
Character: Edgin Darvis (played by Chris Pine)
Judging by his facility with a lute and his ability to inspire his comrades, Chris Pine’s character, Edgin Darvis, is the Bard of the party. According to the D&D 5th Edition Player’s Handbook, “whether scholar, skald, or scoundrel, a bard weaves magic through words and music to inspire allies, demoralize foes, manipulate minds, create illusions, and even heal wounds.”
Bards excel at unlocking the magic in songs and words and can cast spells using it. Despite their natural magical ability, using that magic to its fullest potential requires training. Still, bards tend to have a natural aptitude for anything they set their minds to learning. They have a natural desire to travel and never stay in one place very long because they’re always looking for new stories to tell or skills to learn.
In Honor Among Thieves, we absolutely see in Edgin a “Level 1 bard.” He clearly loves his lute, and is really good at inspiring others to execute his elaborate plans (whether or not they work). Like a true bard, he was never great at staying home for very long, and tends to stay on the sidelines during heavy combat. But he’s great at improvising and knowing when to trust the rest of his party to handle a situation.
What we don’t see from him in this film is actual magic. But the ending absolutely sets us up for further adventures, and I’m sure we’ll see Edgin “level up” as his quests continue.
Character: Holga Kilgore (played by Michelle Rodriguez)
The Player’s Handbook describes barbarians as “defined by their rage: unbridled, unquenchable, and unthinking fury.” And that, for every barbarian, “rage is a power that fuels not just a battle frenzy, but also uncanny reflexes, resilience, and feats of strength.”
Barbarians take pride in their primal, animal-like natures. Unlike fighters, who are proficient in multiple fighting styles, barbarians are just really good at punching stuff and throwing people and using whatever they have handy to beat someone to a pulp. They tend to be uncomfortable when hemmed in by fences, walls, or crowds. Like bards, barbarians prefer a nomadic lifestyle.
However, they also value family, whether it’s in the close-knit family structures of their own tribes, or the families they create as they travel.
Michelle Rodriguez’s Holga is a true barbarian. One of the more fascinating things about her is the push-pull between Holga’s rage and her desire for family. She is clearly pulling most of the weight in fights as the “muscle” of the group, but her desire to repair her relationship with her ex-husband and the loving way she helped raise Edgin’s daughter, Kira, points to her desire to maintain close bonds with those she deems family.
Character: Simon Aumar (played by Justice Smith)
Sorcerers, unlike other magical classes (wizards and warlocks), have innate magical abilities. They don’t need spellbooks or scrolls to wield magic. All they need is to harness what’s already inside them—and perhaps a magical item or two.
According to the Player’s Handbook, “Some sorcerers wield magic that springs from an ancient bloodline infused with the magic of dragons. Others carry a raw, uncontrolled magic within them, a chaotic storm that manifests in unexpected ways. […] The appearance of a sorcerer’s powers is wildly unpredictable. Some … bloodlines produce exactly one sorcerer in every generation, but in other lines … every individual is a sorcerer. Most of the time, the talents of sorcery appear as apparent flukes.”
This describes Simon’s journey in Honor Among Thieves. Simon has the lowest self-esteem of all time. He uses basic magic simply to survive, charging people to attend magic shows where he picks their pockets. As the story progresses, Simon has to find confidence to tap into his more powerful magical abilities. When he finally comes into his own and unleashes his full potential, it’s awesome to watch.
Character: Doric (played by Sophia Lillis)
“Druids revere nature above all, gaining their spells and other magical powers either from the force of nature itself, or from a nature deity,” says the Player’s Handbook. Being able to tap into these larger forces allows them to cast spells using the natural energies of the elements, animals, or the heavens—like taking on animal forms.
Since Doric is a Tiefling druid, we should talk about her species, too.
Tieflings are humans who’ve been infused with the essence of a demonic bloodline, so they mostly look human, but have horns and tails, and sometimes have skin and hair that’s a non-human color.
Humans tend to be suspicious of Tieflings and treat them poorly because of their demonic heritage, which makes Tieflings equally suspicious and insular. They typically live in Tiefling neighborhoods in human villages (usually in the seedier areas), or among other non-humans in enclaves where they’re treated with dignity.
In 5th Ed. D&D, their demonic heritage is attributed to a “pact struck generations ago [that] infused the essence of Asmodeus—overlord of the Nine Hells—into their bloodline.” My experienced Dungeon Master wife informed me that she hates this “stupid retcon” because in previous editions, Tieflings just happened, and she liked that better. I’ve only ever played 5th Ed, so … *shrug emoji*
Anyway, Doric’s druid abilities are a highlight of Honor Among Thieves and provide some of the film’s most visually stunning moments. Her love of nature and desire to protect it (and herself) from humans is clear.
Lastly, Doric’s reluctance to trust humans because of how she’s been treated in the past is an important component of the film’s character dynamics.
Character: Xenk Yendar (played by Regé-Jean Page)
Paladins are defined by the oaths they swear to a deity. No matter their mission or the allegiances they make along the way, their loyalty is always to their oath first.
While paladins have martial training and are highly skilled fighters, their true power comes from the magic they wield, bestowed upon them by the deity they’re sworn to. This magic allows them to heal the sick, smite the wicked, and otherwise do what’s needed to protect the innocent.
They tend to be good and honorable people, but their laser-focus on righteousness also makes them a bit of a wet blanket at parties.
Though only in the film for part of the adventure, Xenk embodies a true paladin to hilarious effect. Much of the humor in the film comes from Xenk having none.
As a boy in Thay, Xenk and his family lived under the thumb of the Red Wizard, Szass Tam, who one day came to take the Thayans’ lives so they could serve as his undead army. Xenk escaped, but not before he was touched by Szass Tam’s necromancer magic, which changed him forever.
When the main party in the film seek Xenk out for help, he is clearly a moral, upstanding man whose mission in life is to protect the innocent, and they can only convince him to help by assuring him that their intentions are just as noble. We also see Xenk wield paladin magic and weapons, and there’s one particular fight he’s in that’s just astonishing to watch.
Other notable classes in the film
Wizard: The Red Wizards (basically a wizard cult) feature heavily in the story, and provide one of the film’s main antagonists, Sofina (Daisy Head).
Rogue: Forge Fitzwilliam (Hugh Grant) is a classic rogue, and the other main antagonist in the film.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is a quality story in its own right, but if you’re looking to explore D&D as a tabletop game, this flick can also help you figure out who you want to be in your own adventure!
* In D&D materials that are 5th Ed. or older, species are referred to as “races.” However, Wizards of the Coast recently decided to change their new materials to read “species” instead.
(featured image: Paramount)
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