Elisha was a Druid, and other hypotheses

Elisha was a Druid, and other hypotheses

What if well known figures from the Bible were really characters from D&D?

Elijah (Cleric, NG): The most famous prophet of all, Elijah is the archetype of the Cleric. A holy man, raising the dead, creating food and water – what more could one ask for? Culminating, of course, in the scene on Mount Carmel, a classic Flamestrike if ever there was one. But if Elijah is a Cleric, his disciple, Elisha, is a bit different.

Elisha (Druid, NG): At first sight, its tempting to pigeon-hole Elisha as a Cleric also. After all, he’s also a holy man of God and a miracle-worker. The incident with the bears, however, gives it a way: a divine spell-caster who summons bears to devour his enemies? Clearly a Druid.

King David (Paladin/Bard, LG): Israel’s greatest king could hardly be anything other than a Paladin: a great warrior, a follower of God and a righteous man. Even his sins follow a redemptive arc: compare the incident with Bathsheba, and subsequent intervention and penance imposed by Nathan upon David’s repentance with the spell Atonement. But a Paladin isn’t all he is. The writer of dozens of psalms and a figure who, in his younger days, was known for playing the harp so well it could ease madness can surely be nothing but a Bard. The eagle-eyed among you may note that a Bard who becomes lawful does not lose their Bard abilities.

Jacob (Rogue, TN): Could Jacob be anything other than a Rogue? He tricks his brother out of his blessing and his birthright, has numerous battles of trickery with Laban and, when faced with the potential of conflict with Esau, does everything he can to avoid it. He’s not completely chaotic – he seems to keep his word, even when cheated – but in most other ways he’s a classic Rogue.

Joshua (Fighter, LG): The great warrior who led the Israelites into the Holy Land. I was tempted to suggest he should have a level of Rogue, being one of the 12 spies sent out by Moses, but unlike the spies sent by Joshua himself into Jericho, these seem to be much more explorers than the spies, and were in any case ‘leaders of the Israelites’, so clearly chosen for other qualities than strength.

Pharaoh’s Magicians (Wizards, LE): The name says it all really. They can turn sticks into snakes and the river into blood. They’re clearly quite low-level, though, because they run out of spell slots after the Plague of Frogs.

Noah (Expert, NG): Noah is essentially known for being the only good man on earth, building an enormous boat and sailing it for days. He may seem like a PC but honestly, it’s hard to class him as anything other than an Expert. Neutral rather than Lawful for the drunken incident.

Samuel (Cleric/Loremaster, LG): I always think Samuel is underrated. Certainly, he didn’t have as many spectacular miracles as some of the other prophets, but he guided Israel for years and anointed both of its first two kings. Given his predilection for wisdom and counsel over spectacle, the Loremaster prestige class seems appropriate.

Samson (Barbarian, CN): A mighty warrior who slays dozens of his foes, often with fairly crude weapons (the jawbone of an ox, for example) when he flies into a rage, what else could Samson be but a Barbarian? Even the hair fits the image.

This post is not intended to be taken seriously and is intended to be a light-hearted attempt at humour, no more. No offence is intended to any followers of any religion.

4 thoughts on “Elisha was a Druid, and other hypotheses

  1. Nice! Agree with many of these choices, but I think Samson should probably be chaotic evil – he’s very self centred.

    1. I did wonder about that, but I tend to associate selfishness with neutrality (on the Good/Evil scale) and malice with evil. Though clearly unchecked selfishness could spill over into evil.

      In his defence, Samson doesn’t generally commit evil deeds for direct personal gain in a Naboth’s Vineyard kind of way, seems to mainly lash out in frustration or anger (which is more chaotic than evil), and tends to at least direct his murderous sprees against his people’s enemies rather than his friends, allies or neighbours, all of which suggests a level of moral restraint which fits chaotic neutral better than chaotic evil.

      1. I certainly take your point that Sampson could be more evil, and is in some ways quite a mixed character. I think we have different interpretations of the good/neutral/evil spectrum. I would have said
        selfless = good
        mixed/balanced/other = neutral
        selfish = evil

        I can see that your system
        selfless = good
        selfish = neutral
        malicious = evil
        Makes just as much sense, though in my experience Lawful Evil characters are often not malicious, it’s just that killing you and all your friends is the most efficient way to achieve their goal of world domination (I wonder if this is another one where my view is 2nd ed, and yours is 3rd ed?).

        1. I think that’s a very good analysis. There’s a challenge as you say on LE where it can be hard to distinguish between selfishness and malice (the evil overlord’s loyal lieutenant is clearly working for an evil cause and so is evil; if the evil overlord is working for themselves, selfishly, I still wouldn’t put them as neutrally).

          I think this can be resolved because generally the LE character’s quest for world domination will be either evil due to its purpose (enslaving others, making zombies) or through its means (killing lots of people, torture, etc.). Simply wanting power in itself isn’t evil (a Roman senator scheming to get elected Consul); it seems neutral. To me the True Neutral character is the epitome of selfishness, with no care for good, evil or causes except as it’s convenient to him. But yes, I think that is probably 3rd ed.

          I do agree that ‘mixed’ can also end up being neutral.

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