Dashiel King at Comic Resources had the funny idea of trying to adapt the hero of The matrix films in a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons character. Rather than drop off the full, finished character sheet for you, King walks you through the character creation process, offering advice on how best to recreate Neo’s characteristics and abilities in a 5E context. Example :
A player wishing to replicate Neo would likely want to multi-class, especially with a Way of the Open-Handed Monk and a Battlemaster fighter.
An optimal build would probably start as a Monk, taking only three levels in Fighter, then continue to level up Monk, eventually culminating in a Level 17 Way of the Open Hand Monk / Level 3 Battlemaster Fighter. Neo’s martial arts prowess is the first display of combat to be seen in The matrix, suggesting that he started out as a monk. He can dodge and possibly deflect projectiles, which Monks can do with their Missile Deflect feature. Neo can attack and defend with superhuman speed, represented by Flurry of Blows and Patient Defense. The One can even hit Agent Smith so hard that he explodes, which is arguably reflected in the open hand path’s trembling palm technique acquired at level 17.
The decision to level up in Fighter, and specifically Battlemaster, is a bit more involved.The Matrix Reloaded includes combat sequences where Neo rotates through weapons, using each of them with equal skill, executing high-level maneuvers without hesitation. This would suggest a level of martial skill which, in J&D, is reserved for the most combat-oriented classes. His calm and composure during a fight prevent him from lose control like a barbarianwhich makes the fighter class a better option. Considering the variety of techniques he uses during a fight, it seems safe to suggest Battlemaster, as he disarms, goads, and thwarts all of his opponents during the smash.
It’s a cool exercise, and it reminds me of that time in high school where I adapted Ash from army of darkness for my Warhammer Mordheim warband. I should see if he’s still somewhere in my parents’ basement…
How to Build Neo in Dungeons & Dragons [Dashiell King / CBR]
Picture via Youtube