The D&D movie has hit our geeky eyeballs, and it’s looking like enough of a hit to kick off a monstrously large (or even gargantuan) series of sequels, tie-in films and even TV shows - but it’s clear something will be different about the party next time around.
Spoilers for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves follow.
In a recent interview with Polygon, directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein cited a wish to see the film’s core cast return as the adventuring party in any sequel - whether called Honor Among Thieves 2 or something else entirely.
However, the directors also said they’d be keen to see those characters progress mechanically, saying, “I think if we were lucky enough to do another one of these, we would want to see our characters level up.”
Levelling-up is a huge source of joy for any Dungeons & Dragons player, marking a moment when you get access to new abilities, features and even spells to mark your increased experience and survivability in a deadly D&D world.
It’s also a clear way to signal the achievements of the party in Honor Among Thieves – after saving Neverwinter from the film’s necromancer villain, it only makes sense that they’re a little more sure in their abilities and have learned a few more tricks in the process.
Simon the Sorcerer is a clear example of this, starting out the film as a laughably underpowered mage before showing off increasingly high-level spells - from his initial cantrip demonstration to 3rd-level Counterspells and even the 5th-level Bigby’s Hand - by the climactic end fight.
The movie’s characters don’t map perfectly onto the D&D 5E system, with Chris Pine’s magic-free bard Edgin and Justice Smith’s ever-improving sorcerer not really matching the same tier of play. But what will our mostly low-level party end up being able to do, if we see a jump in their abilities? Here are our level-up predictions for the D&D movie’s main cast.
Barbarian: Holga Kilgore
Michelle Rodriguez’s barbarian, Holga, is already a proficient brawler – and the most likely upgrade for her in an Honor Among Thieves sequel is bigger, more overpowered fight sequences rather than any particular ability.
However, the most iconic part of any barbarian in D&D is their rage – a heightened state that happens when they enter a frenzy, and it’s possible we’ll see a nod to this elevated bloodlust, even from Holga’s rather grounded personality. We can’t be sure whether potatoes will be involved.
Bard: Edgin Darvis
Chris Pine’s bard, Edgin, is in most need of levelling-up – while he fills the role of the bard in the party, he has no magic to speak of in the film. He’s more of a leader and tactician than the musical magician seen in the D&D sourcebooks, though with some proficiency in the lute and a propensity for inspiring others.
Director Daley has said explicitly that he’d like to see the bard get some spells next time around. Bards are known for their Magical Secrets ability, which sees them take the odd spell from other classes they wouldn’t usually have access to; we could imagine Edgin picking up a single spell or two during their travels, if not taught directly by one of the spellcasters in the party.
The D&D movie is very good at splitting up party roles cleanly - the druid is focused on shapeshifting, while the sorcerer specialises in spells. So we don’t expect to see much from Edgin in the next film, but Tasha’s Hideous Laughter or Otto’s Irresistible Dance (something explicitly related to bardic music) feels likely.
The Druid is a complicated class in D&D 5E, having access to both Wild Shape transformations and nature-themed magic, from controlling the weather to causing earthquakes.
In Honor Among Thieves, Sophia Lillis’s Doric is very focused on the former, shifting from fly to mouse to deer to snake to owlbear with ease. We’d expect to see more of the latter magic next time, but still likely themed around speaking to or summoning animals – rather than taking the appearance of actual spellcasting – or simply more complex and advanced forms of Wild Shape, shifting into a fire elemental or something similarly cinematic.
Paladin: Xenk Yendar
Regé-Jean Page’s paladin, Xenk, is already positioned as ‘the best one’ in the D&D movie’s party, with great combat skills and a touch of blessedness about him, as all great paladins should have. However, we don’t see too many iconic paladin spells or abilities, and a second film would be a great opportunity to show some of them off.
Lay On Hands is a low-level paladin ability that lets you heal allies with the touch of your hand, and would easily fit into Xenk’s heroic repertoire. But we’d also love to see the classic paladin spell Find Steed, which lets you conjure a loyal spirit in the form of a horse to ride through your adventures – and could offer a more interesting twist on the basic steeds that come and go throughout most medieval fantasy fare.
Sorcerer: Simon Aumar
Justice Smith’s hapless, if gradually improving, sorcerer already had quite a power-bump during the course of Honor Among Thieves, moving from basic elemental effects to more intense combat magic (Bigby’s Hand) and even necromancy (Speak With Dead).
Sorcerers have a limited number of spells compared to some casters, but can pick them from a huge variety of options, meaning it’s hard to pin down specific choices for a prospective sequel. The creative team could choose anything from the classic Fireball spell (likely cast by accident in a small enclosed space, as wild magic sorcerers are wont to do) to a Disguise Self spell that masks your appearance with someone else’s visage, or something like Slow that renders affected creatures in slow motion.
However, if we’re talking higher-level magic than what we’ve seen so far, then a 7th-level Teleport spell might be on the cards – even if, in classic D&D fashion, the party ends up waylaid by arriving somewhere they didn’t expect.