If D&D Classes Were High School Cliques…

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D&D Yearbook

I’m a sucker for “D&D Classes As” lists. You may remember my previous article, The Top Twelve D&D Snacks By Class. Another fun fact about me: I’m a huge fan of the high school movie and television series genre. The silly plots, the cheesy happy endings, and the specific cliques that never existed in reality! Wouldn’t it be fun to see those tropes applied to D&D classes? Below are each class and what trope they would be, along with examples of characters that prove the theories!

Barbarians: The Jocks

There are a lot of stereotypes that surround both barbarians and jocks. Big, dumb, strong…  However in both high school and D&D narratives, these characters are usually explored more deeply to reveal complex personalities. Every party benefits from someone who is brave and willing to throw themselves into the thick of the action.

Examples of characters with Barbarian energy:

Boobie
Miles

Boobie Miles

Friday Night Lights
Path of the Zealot

“God made black beautiful. God made Boobie beautiful. And when I knock someone out, I’m gonna knock ’em out in Nikes and I’m gonna smile while I do it.”

A.C.
Slater

A.C. Slater

Saved By The Bell
Path of the Berserker

“What, no rose for me, preppie? And I thought we were real close.”

Jonathon
“Mox” Moxon

Jonathon "Mox" Moxon

Varsity Blues
Path of the Ancestral Guardian

“If we go out and half-ass it ’cause we’re scared, then we’ll always wonder if we were really good enough. But if we go out there and give it all we’ve got… that’s heroic. You guys wanna be heroes?”

Bards: The Class Clowns

In the Dungeons & Dragons community, bards are often seen as comic relief characters. So why not compare them to the class clowns of the high school genre? The need for attention, the power in their words, the attempts at seduction? It’s all there. This match makes even more sense when you think about spells such as Vicious Mockery or Hideous Laughter!

Examples of characters with Bard energy:

Philip F.
“Duckie” Dale

Philip F. "Duckie" Dale

Pretty In Pink
College of Glamour
“We don’t have none of this stuff in the boy’s room! Wait a minute! We don’t got none of this… we don’t got doors on the stalls in the boy’s room, we don’t have, what is this? What’s this? We don’t have a candy machine in the boy’s room!”

Travis
Birkenstock

Travis Birkenstock

Clueless
College of Eloquence

“I would like to say this. Tardiness is not something you can do on your own. Many, many people contributed to my tardiness. I would like to thank my parents for never giving me a ride to school, the LA city bus driver who took a chance on an unknown kid and last but not least, the wonderful crew from McDonalds who spend hours making those egg McMuffins without which I might never be tardy.”

Kenny
Fisher

Kenny Fisher

Can’t Hardly Wait
College of Whispers

“It means I gots a ninety-two percent chance of embarrassing myself. I roll up on that shorty be like, “What’s up yo?” she be like, “You don’t know 20 different ways to make me call you Big Poppa” cuz I don’t yo.”

Clerics: The Cheerleaders

In the same way a cheerleader supports the team, a cleric supports their party. Clerics draw their impressive array of abilities from a higher power. Similarly, cheerleaders draw their influence, visibility, and popularity from their connection to school spirit. A little support during a tense situation can turn the tide of battle or inspire the team to victory!

Examples of characters with Cleric energy:

Isis

Isis

Bring It On
Light Domain

“You want to make it right? Then when you go to Nationals, bring it. Don’t slack off because you feel sorry for us. That way when we beat you, we’ll know it’s because we’re better.”

Diane Weston

Diane Weston

Sugar & Spice
Trickery Domain
“Bullets? No bullets! Oh my gosh, these are just to scare people. Kinda like a round-off, back handspring, whip back, double full. You never really use it – you just want the opposing squad to know you’ve got it.”

Jennifer Check

Jennifer Check

Jennifer’s Body
Death Domain
“I’m going to eat your soul and shit it out, Lesnicki.

Druids: The Makeover Girls

Not a clique in the traditional sense, but what high school movie would be complete without a girl getting a completely unnecessary makeover? Druids are advocates for nature. Likewise, makeover girls usually are activists dedicated to a cause or ideal. Also, makeover girls undergo a “magical” physical transformation, much in the same way druids can wild shape. Coincidence? I think not!

Examples of characters with Druid energy:

Laney
Boggs

Laney Boggs

She’s All That
Circle of Dreams
“I feel just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. You know, except for the whole hooker thing.”

Willowdean
Dickson

Willowdean Dickson

Dumplin’
Circle Of The Land
“Well, unfortunately, my mom’s not home all that much. She’s either at pageant meetings or at the nursing home wiping old peoples’ butts. It’s what happens to a lot of ex-beauty queens.”

Olive
Penderghast

Olive Penderghast

Easy A
Circle of Wildfire
“I told everyone! Well, actually I told one person, but you know how these things work. It’s like wildfire.”

Fighters: The Basic Kids

There’s always at least one basic kid in a friend group to balance it out. In a movie or show, this is usually the new kid in town or the main character who is just discovering their true selves. They spend the majority of their lives trying to blend in with the crowd. However, when triggered by events out of their control, they learn who they really are and what they really want.

Examples of characters with Fighter energy:

Clark Kent

Clark Kent

Smallville
Eldritch Knight Archetype
“When you sent me here, you had no way of knowing how I would use my abilities. You trusted me. When I betrayed that trust, you were willing to sacrifice your only son to save this planet. But now I know what it truly means to protect people, not just my family and friends.”

Bella Swan

Bella Swan

Twilight
Psi Warrior Archetype

You can’t protect me from everything, at some point something’s going to separate us. It’s gonna be an accident, or illness, or old age… as long as I’m human. And the only solution is to change me.”

Simon Spier

Simon Spier

Love Simon
Champion Archetype
“I am done being scared. I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story.”

Monks: The Cool Kids

Popular and aspirational, the cool kids usually define the culture of a high school. Like the monk class in D&D, they seem to know some secret of life that makes them powerful. Also like monks, cool kids hold on to deep convictions that help them guide themselves and others through life. This conviction usually accompanies a skill or discipline that they are particularly gifted in.

Examples of characters with Monk energy:

Samantha
“Sam” Button

Samantha "Sam" Button

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Way of Mercy
“You can’t just sit there and put everyone’s lives ahead of yours and think that counts as love. You just can’t. You have to do things.”

Derek
Reynolds

Derek Reynolds

Save The Last Dance
Way of the Open Hand
“He’s my friend, Sara. You don’t have to understand.”

Veronica
Sawyer

Veronica Sawyer

Heathers
Way of the Shadow
“It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of Liquid Drano.”

Paladins: The Preps

Paladins are paragons of the virtues of their sacred oaths. Similarly, preps uphold the values of their high school cultures. The preppy cliques in movies and shows usually have wealth, style, or just a general aura of class that “normal” students aspire to. However, both paladins and preps can suffer from rigidity in their thinking.

Examples of characters with Paladin energy:

Lara Jean
Covey

Lara Jean Covey

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
Oath of Conquest 

“I always fantasized about falling in love in a field… I just never thought it would be the kind where you played lacrosse.”

Sandy
Olsson

Sandy Olsson

Grease
Oath of Devotion
“But now there’s no way to hide, since you pushed my love aside. I’m outta my head, hopelessly devoted to you…”

Nathaniel
“Nate” Archibald

Nathaniel "Nate" Archibald

Gossip Girl
Oathbreaker
“Affairs With Married People, Threesomes: It Just So Happens Everyone’s Problems Are Within My Area Of Expertise.”

Rangers: The Loners

Being ostracized by the general population is something that D&D rangers and high school loners have in common. Sometimes this exclusion is by choice, other times it is due to the rejection of their peers. However, this distance allows both rangers and loners a unique perspective and fresh outlook on life. They live inside their heads and their unique, outsider’s point of view has a way of putting things in perspective.

Examples of characters with Ranger energy:

Clay Jensen

Clay Jensen

13 Reasons Why
Monster Slayer Conclave
“We live in the society that they made for us, and shit is broken! Shit is wrong! And they can’t fix it. They won’t! So it’s our turn now. We’re gonna make it right if we have to burn it down and start over.”

Jughead Jones

Jughead Jones

Riverdale
Horizon Walker Conclave
“Whether you believe in order or chaos, in the end, it’s the same. We are either in control of our lives, or merely think we are.”

Allison Reynolds

Allison Reynolds

The Breakfast Club
Hunter Conclave
“I don’t have to run away and live in the street. I can run away and I can go to the ocean, I can go to the country, I can go to the mountains. I could go to Israel, Africa, Afghanistan.”

Rogues: The Rebels

High school rebels live outside of the normal social circles and play by their own rules. The same can be said of the rogue class. They love a little danger, and are great at getting themselves into and out of trouble. Rebels tend to cause a lot of friction in a high school group. However, underneath the social stigmas, they are usually dependable friends and great additions to any party!

Examples of characters with Rogue energy:

Cassandra
Edelstein

Cassandra Edelstein

Saved!
Thief Archetype
“Did I ever tell you about the time I shoplifted a frozen turkey out of the Piggly Wiggly wearing only a tube top and some Daisy Dukes?”

Ferris
Bueller

Ferris Bueller

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Arcane Trickster Archetype

“Incredible! One of the worst performances of my career and they never doubted it for a second.”

Jim
Stark

Jim Stark

Rebel Without A Cause
Scout Archetype
“If I had one day when I didn’t have to be all confused and I didn’t have to feel that I was ashamed of everything. If I felt that I belonged someplace. You know?”

Sorcerers: The Mean Girls

You’ve got to love a high school “mean girl”. So manipulative, calculating, powerful and unpredictable. Just like the D&D sorcerer class, they are imbued with dangerous forces to accomplish their goals. A sorcerer bends spells with metamagic powered by their sorcerous origin. Likewise, a mean girl schemes and backstabs using her popularity and social clout.

Examples of characters with Sorcerer energy:

Kathryn Merteuil

Kathryn Merteuil

Cruel Intentions
Aberrant Mind Origin
“You were very much in love with her. And you’re still in love with her. But it amused me to make you ashamed of it. You gave up on the first person you ever loved because I threatened your reputation.”

Santana Lopez

Santana Lopez

Glee
Wild Magic Origin
“Ha. See here’s what’s gonna go down. Two choices: you stay here and I crack one of your nuts, right or left, that’s your choice, or you walk away and live to be a douchebag another day. Oh, and also? I have razor blades hidden in my hair. Mhmm. Tons, just all up in there.”

Regina George

Regina George

Mean Girls
Shadow Magic Origin
“Gretchen, Stop Trying To Make Fetch Happen. It’s Not Going To Happen.

Warlocks: The Alternative Kids

A deep connection to something dark and sinister? Check! Extreme appearance and personality? Check! Drawing their power from unconventional sources? Check! A twisted backstory that causes them to act out? Check! Alternative kids align with warlocks so well. They are the edgy members of any D&D or high school party that can be found on the sidelines flinging out sarcasm.

Examples of characters with Warlock energy:

Nancy Downs

Nancy Downs

The Craft
The Great Old One Patron

“Have you ever heard of invoking the spirit? It’s when you called him… Manon. It’s like… it’s like you take him into you. It’s like he fills you. He takes everything that’s gone wrong into your life and makes it all better again.”

Donnie Darko

Donnie Darko

Donny Darko
The Celestial Patron
“Sometimes I’m afraid of what you might tell me. Sometimes I’m afraid that you’ll tell me that this is not a work of fiction. I can only hope that the answers will come to me in my sleep.”

Jane Lane

Jane Lane

Daria
The Archfey Patron
“I don’t like it when I say people should die and then they do. I don’t want that kind of responsibility. At least not until I’ve got a job in middle management.”

Wizards: The Geeks

A class in which all of their powers are derived from books? Wizards would absolutely be the geeks in our D&D high school! Every series in the genre has at least one geek. They could be really intelligent, too into a hobby, or just overly “uncool”.  Whether they are relatable or pure cringe, geeks are the perfect foil to the more “popular” cliques.

Examples of characters with Wizard energy:

Willow Rosenberg

Willow Rosenberg

Buffy The Vampire Slayer
School of Necromancy

“I know you were happier when you were in the ground. The only time you were ever at peace in your whole life was when you were dead. Until Willow brought you back.”

Liberty Van Zandt

Liberty Van Zandt

Degrassi
School of Evocation

“Oh I’m edgy, I’m on fire.”

Sam Weir

Sam Weir

Freaks And Geeks
School of Conjuration

“I don’t need another friend. I already have two. I mean, how many more friends does a guy need?”

Artificers: The Stoners

Remember those kids in highschool who could make a bong out of literally anything? Just give them an apple and 5 minutes later they’re smoking from it? This kind of ingenuity and creativity is mirrored in the artificer class of D&D! And like artificer infusions, a high school stoner would be very knowledgeable about different marijuana strains and their various effects.

Examples of characters with Artificer energy:

Ron Slater

Ron Slater

Dazed and Confused 
Alchemist Specialist

“Didja ever look at a dollar bill, man? There’s some spooky shit goin’ on there. And it’s green too.”

Jerri Blank

Jerri Blank

Strangers With Candy
Artillerist Specialist

“You know, high school is a lot like the slammer. The food sucks, they tell you where to go and how to do it. And if someone tries to make you their bitch, you just stick them with a shiv in the showers.”

Chris Miles

Chris Miles

Skins
Armorer Specialist

“Do you remember them coloring-in books from when you were little, Jose? I hated them. If I’m gonna do a picture of a house, I don’t want someone else telling me what it should look like, do you know what I mean?”

Bonus: Multiclassing!

Examples of characters with Multiclassed energy:

Fern “Vylette”
Mayo

Fern "Vylette" Mayo

Jawbreaker
Druid (Makeover Girl) +

Sorcerer (Mean Girl)
“This is high school, Detective Cruz. What is a friend anyway?”

Ronald
Miller

Ronald Miller

Can’t Buy Me Love
Wizard (Geek) +
Monks (Cool Kid)

“Nerds, jocks. My side, your side. It’s all bullshit. It’s hard enough just trying to be yourself.”

Peyton
Sawyer

Peyton Sawyer

One Tree Hill 
Cleric (Cheerleader) +
Rangers (Loner)

“If I say that I like it then I’m just another cheerleader. But, if I say that I hate it, then I’m either a liar or a fraud. Either way I lose.”

Jim Levenstein

Jim Levenstein

American Pie
Fighter (Basic Kid) +
Bard (Class Clown)

“You realize we’re all going to go to college as virgins. They probably have special dorms for people like us.”

Luke Ward

Luke Ward

The O.C.
Barbarian (Jock) +
Paladin (Prep)

“Welcome to the O.C., bitch. This is how it’s done in Orange County.”

Patrick Verona

Patrick Verona

10 Things I Hate About You
Rogue (Rebel) +
Warlock (Alternative Kid)

“Don’t let anyone ever make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want. Go for it.”

Disclaimer: I don’t own any characters, character images, or quotes.


Until next time, stay creepy and happy gaming!

Dan
Dan

Dan is a creator, game enthusiast, former goth, designer, nerd, blogger, and meme historian. He has always loved creating experiences through art, writing, design, and collaborative storytelling. His career is in the creative industry, specifically focusing on graphic design, marketing, and user experience.

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