Are you stumped for what you want your next D&D 4e character to be? Wish you could somehow adapt one of your favorite characters to a medieval, high fantasy setting? Look no further, in this article I’ll be taking fan favorite Green Arrow and giving him the D&D treatment.

What this is: This is a character progression based on DC’s Green Arrow, it will allow you to create a character that is reminiscent of Oliver Queen, while still jiving with D&D’s very particular feel.

What this is not: This is not a way to simulate Oliver Queen exactly. Dungeons and Dragons doesn’t lend itself to a direct ‘port’ of a character from a comic book. Green Arrow is a modern multimillionaire and D&D characters start out broke and anonymous.

As we go through, keep in mind that if you actually use the character, then the character will be yours. If you decide to not take a power I suggest, or swap out a feat, I’m not going to come find you at night and beat you. Not over this, anyway. This all assumes a fairly standard D&D setting, if your game master has a radically different idea of D&D from the norm you will have to make some adjustments.

The Pitch: The sole heir to his family’s significant fortune, Olem de la Reyna is set to inherit his father’s merchant kingdom. When his father falls ill, Olem begins preparations to take the reins of his family’s caravans. But as his father draws his last breath a group of knights working for the local duke burst into Olem’s ancestral mansion, declare his father a traitor and seize all his assets.

Destitute and enraged, the young man dons a mask and a hood, and arms himself with bow, arrow and all the best knowledge his highly overprized tutors had imparted upon him. Now this young urban ranger scours his home city, attempting to gain some piece of information that will allow him to reclaim his home and his father’s estate.

With the character concept done let’s dive into the progression, a number in parentheses means that page in the Player’s Handbook, (Eb XX) means that page in the Eberron Player’s Guide:

Level 1:
Ability Score Array: 11 STR, 12 CON, 16 DEX, 16 INT, 11 WIS, 8 CHA
Being an archer ranger we want Olem to have high Dexterity, Since we will eventually want him to have artificer powers he also needs a high intelligence. This will also help with the crafting of alchemical ammunition later.
Race: Human
Ability Score Bump: +2 to Dexterity
We will make him human because that gives us a cleaner slate to work with, this way he’s a mysterious archer, as opposed to a mysterious gnome or a dragonborn archer. I put the ability score bump in dexterity, giving him an 18 and a solid +4 modifier to start the game, this also makes him stealthier.
Human Bonus Feat: Alchemist (Adventurer’s Vault p. 21)
For the human bonus feat I gave him ‘Alchemist’ which will allow him to make ice, fire and acid arrows once he gets to level 2.
Human Bonus Power: Twin Strike
Human Bonus Class Skill: Acrobatics
For his bonus class skill I gave him Acrobatics, which I think fits the concept of a roof-bounding vigilante pretty well.
Class: Ranger
Ranger Fighting Style: Archer Ranger (Defensive Mobility Bonus Feat)
For his ranger fighting style the obvious choice is archer ranger, this gives him a bonus feat that increases his defense versus opportunity attacks, making him that much more mobile.
1st Level Feat: Student of Artifice (Eberron Player’s Guide p. 94)
For his first level feat I chose Student of Artifice, making him a multiclass Ranger/Artificer. As you will see later Artificers have a lot of powers that key off of their weapons to hinder their foes and help their allies. This also allows him a one shot healing effect and gives him skill training in Arcana. This means that he starts the game with a whopping seven trained skills.
Trained Skills: Acrobatics (race), Arcana (feat), Dungeoneering (class), Endurance, Perception, Stealth
At Will Powers: Careful Attack, Nimble Strike
Encounter Powers: Evasive Strike
Daily Powers: Hunter’s Bear Trap
The powers I picked for him at first level largely focus on mobility and control. Of special note is Hunter’s Bear Trap, which hinders opponents and can be described as any of a variety of awesome trick shots.
Gear: Hide Armor, Longbow, Quiver (30 Arrows), Adventurer’s kit, 24 gold
Olem starts the game with a longbow, a suit of hide armor, a quiver of arrows and an adventurer’s kit (which contains rope and some rations). Now, you may be asking yourself, if he’s going to be making awesome alchemical projectiles why didn’t he start with alchemical formulas? The answer to that is that they’re hella expensive, Once the character begins his adventuring career he will hopefully have the opportunity to purchase said formulas (Adventurer’s Vault Pg. 21).

Level 2
Utility Power: Crucial Advice (106)
Feat: Skill Training: Streetwise
Not only is our character opinionated, he’s loud about his opinion, ‘Crucial Advise’ gives a mechanical edge to this mouthy know-it-all. Training in streetwise makes him more able to navigate his city.

Level 3
Encounter Power: Disruptive Strike (106)
Disruptive strike works great as both a shoot-from-the-hip moment, as well as some sort of glue arrow, momentarily hindering the enemy.

Level 4
Ability Bump: +1 INT, +1 Wisdom
Feat: Novice Power
Power Swap: Lose Evasive Strike  – Gain Scouring Weapon (Eb 48)
Novice power is a feat that allows you to switch out a power from your primary class (in this case Ranger) for a power from your secondary class (Here, Artificer). Each level you have the option of swapping out a power for another one. Here we’re trading Evasive strike for Scouring Weapon, sacrificing a mobility ranger power for a much more Green Arrow-ish corrosive arrow attack.

Level 5
Daily Power: Excruciating Shot (107)
Excruciating shot works great as both a very well aimed shot, and some kind of poison arrow.

Level 6
Utility Power: Skilled Companion (107)
Feat: Lethal Hunter (198)
Skilled Companion is another great ‘advice’ feat. And since this guy’s walking around with 8 trained skills he’ll be a wealth of knowledge… whether his party members want it or not.
Lethal Hunter is a feat every ranger should take eventually. A ranger’s job is to do damage and Lethal Hunter accomplishes that job.

Level 7
Power Swap: Lose- Scouring Weapon (Eb 48), Gain- Evasive Strike (105) and Icy Weapons (Eb 51)
Here we’re swapping out our acid arrow for a much stronger power with a similar bent. Also regaining the power we originally swapped out in the process.

Level 8

Ability Bump: +1 INT +1 CON
Feat: Quick Draw
This ability bump puts our character at 18 intelligence, which will make things easier for the artificer side of things. So why not focus on two abilities at 4th and 8th level? This way we’ll get maximum bang out of the +1 across the board we get at 11th level.
You might also be wondering, why we didn’t take the utility power swap feat. Artificer utility powers don’t quite fit the theme. However if you decide your Ranger needs a pet robot, then by all means go for it.

Level 9
Daily Power: Spray of Arrows (108)

Level 10
Feat: Adept power (209)
Utility Power: Expeditious Stride
Power Swap: Lose- Spray of Arrows (108), Gain- Brittle Skin Missile (Eb 51)
Another great de-buff Brittle Skin Missile, can be any of a number of trick arrows, but since it slows down the enemy and makes him more vulnerable I’d like to think of it as some kind of giant boxing glove.

And Level 11?
Paragon tier opens a lot of new options. If you have been playing this character from level 1 then chances are you have a pretty good idea of where you want him to go. Here are a couple of suggestions:

  • Battlefield Archer from the Phb (113) allows you to pick extra targets for your Hunter’s Quarry, allowing you to make the most out of that class ability,
  • Alchemical Savant provides all manner of bonuses for the use of alchemical items, maximizing that aspect of the character (Eb 58).

Hopefully you guys enjoyed this article. Take the character, change him around, use the comment section to make suggestions to each other. If you liked this there may be more Character Concepts on the way.

The Author

Rodrigo

Rodrigo

Nobody really knows what Rodrigo's deal is. He is a perpetual enigma, an unknown quantity, the X factor. He's the new kid in school, the unlisted number, the person all your friends talk about, but you've never met. How can one person be so mysterious, you ask? THAT IS ALSO TOTALLY A MYSTERY! You can try to keep tabs on him on twitter by following @fearsomecritter, but that probably won't help.

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9 Comments

  1. Adam
    June 30, 2009 at 1:10 pm — Reply

    Rangers FTW! I play a duel-wield ranger, cause I like swords, and it kicks ass. Nothing like unleashing ungodly amounts of damage with just your at-wills.

    And at the upper levels, it’s just not fair, we’re talking 200-300 per hit :)

  2. Slappy
    June 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm — Reply

    I creatde Olliequeen as a Ranger in Dark Age of Camelot. Attaired in all green.

  3. Crash
    June 30, 2009 at 7:51 pm — Reply

    You know what would make this even better? If it wasn’t crappy 4ed stuff.
    If you want a real fun build make a Spider-Man character by making a rouge and finding ways go give him Spider Climb and Web. Also he gets nice abilities like Uncanny Dodge and Improved Uncanny Dodge if you’re a rouge. You might also think about multiclassing into a few levels of monk so that you don’t have any restrictions on your jump. Then finally finish it up and take some levels in the prestige class Acrobat-Thief.

    I’ve gotten really bored and made everyone from Spider-Man to Wolverine to Captain America to Green Lantern on 3.5. Plus 3.5 gives you much more resources to pull from as it’s been around longer and there are so many more books.

  4. Juggo
    June 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm — Reply

    Great article, I’d love to see more! I’d suggest Batman as an Avenger… the 4e designers made a lot of Batman comparisons when Players Handbook 2 launched. The challenge is to come up with a way to make the guy play like Batman’s fisticuffs, and not a swordsman that happens to practice dark vengeance.

  5. July 1, 2009 at 2:47 am — Reply

    Nice concept.

  6. Cliff
    August 3, 2009 at 8:58 am — Reply

    Wow, I think I found my next character. Can’t wait to see more :]

  7. Joshua "Webmetz" Metzelaar
    February 2, 2010 at 1:16 am — Reply

    You forgot one class skill. I entered this into the character builder and the Ranger class gives you 1 limited skill and 4 class skills. The limited skill has to be dungeoneering or nature.
    So you are left with 1 class skill which can be Athletics, Heal, or Nature.

  8. Brian
    February 18, 2010 at 8:34 pm — Reply

    I’d love to see you revisit this one with the new Seeker class from Dragon #380. When I read about the new class, i immediately thought of Green Arrow, and you wouldn’t have to multiclass.

  9. TheChino
    February 11, 2011 at 10:26 pm — Reply

    I love the design elements this edition lends to flavoring your PC. While most of GA is in his personality (and roleplaying) his powers/arrows are what your left remembering about him the most. We have a group as the avengers. We lost Hawkeye, tragically, and Dr. Strange as well. My favorite personally is the shifter marauder ranger Wolverine. If you revisited this idea, perhaps a seeker build for Speedy or Artemis? Keep up the great work.

    ~Chino

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