Those who know me know that I’m excited about the new Harry Potter movie, though I’ve
yet to see it just watched it today. In honor of the film, and the series, and the fact that everyone scheduled to be in my upcoming D&D 4e Intro game is a Harry Potter fan . . .
I thought I’d take a few moments to explore the subtle connection between the four houses and the four roles in D&D 4th Edition (or any role-playing game, really).
Practically everyone I know has taken a quiz to place themselves into one of the wizarding houses at Hogwarts, so this should work well for those who have taken one. Keep in mind, these are generalizations, and all four roles can be found among any set of house traits.
The Four Houses:
Gryffindor values courage, bravery, loyalty, nerve and chivalry.
A Gryffindor would make a good: Striker, with a secondary emphasis on Defender, then Leader, depending on which virtues are most important to you. Choose powers that drive back the darkness, enhancing your allies resolve and dealing the most damage possible to the forces of evil.
Gryffindor strikers tend to choose classes like Ranger, Slayer or Warlock (especially fey pact), hitting hard and fast.
Defenders of Gryffindor are often fighters, swordmages, or paladins; they stand tall and courageous, knowing that the forces of evil have to get through them first in order to attack their friends. Expecto Patronum?
Godric Gryffindor was most likely a hybrid Swordmage/Wizard, dabbling in both the Defender and Controller roles.
Leaders tend to be drawn toward the Bard and Cleric classes. Bards of any house are dabblers, first and foremost, dipping into a wide array of expertise in order to have exactly the right tool for the job before them.
Gryffindor’s also make good controllers, but generally lean toward Striker as a secondary role when they do, doing their best to solve problems quickly before they become someone else’s problem.
Hufflepuff values hard work, tolerance, loyalty, and fair play.
A Hufflepuff would make a good: Defender or Leader, with Striker being the next best and Controllers in the minority.
Defenders stand up for what’s right, holding the line against evil. Those Hufflepuff’s who recognize most the value of hard work and fair play might like a Defender.
As an Arcane Leader, a Bard might be an excellent choice for those who emphasize loyalty or tolerance. Like Gryffindor’s bards, they will often dabble in an effort to pick up new tricks. Choose powers that hinder your enemies or make your allies more effective over those that ONLY do damage.
Hufflepuff controllers are rare, because it requires a level of tactical thinking that often leads one to Ravenclaw. Those that exist use their powers to level the playing field, forcing their foes to fight fair.
Ravenclaw values intelligence, creativity, learning, and wit. As such, they make good Controllers or Leaders, with Strikers and Defenders being less common.
Ravenclaw Controllers and Leaders will think tactically, organizing their foes into groups that can be dealt with simultaneously using area effects. Wizards and Mages prefer divination, evocation, and conjuration effects, but they dabble in all kinds of magic.
Strikers will dart from foe to foe, taunting them as they move; they tend to be rogues, emphasizing skills and cleverness over the underhanded sneaky aspects, and love pursuing ancient artifacts and the like.
Outside of battle, a Ravenclaw will often be knowledgeable about any number of fields, and will know how to think outside the box. Ravenclaw defenders tend to lean toward Striker as a secondary role.
ALL Ravenclaws pursue their primary skill sets with a fervor unmatched by most other houses, placing such a high value on their studies.
Slytherin house values ambition, cunning, leadership, resourcefulness, and most of all, pure wizard blood.
Their preferred role is that of the Leader, followed by Controller and Striker as a close second. Slytherin leaders are consummate politicians, pulling off the leadership role through sheer force of personality and manipulation. They are rarely clerics.
The Slytherin controller is a consummate manipulator, preferring trickery, enchantment and illusion to flashier displays, though they’re certainly not above a well placed fireball.
Slytherin strikers make good Rogues and Warlocks as well; the sneaky and underhanded nature of a rogue or assassin fits perfectly with their reliance on cunning, and an Infernal Pact Warlock could fit well with Slytherin ambition – as well as offering plenty of angst potential.
Defender often makes a poor choice for members of this house, mainly because they can’t stand the idea of taking a hit for someone else.