Anyone who has spent more than five minutes with me will know that I am a HUGE fan of Dungeons and Dragons. Despite my general indifference to most fantasy properties (NEVER talk to me about Game of Thrones), I love D&D and have been playing it on and off for about seven years now. D&D has been experiencing a bit of a renaissance as of late, possibly because more and more people are realizing that pretending to be an elf for a few hours a week is a healthy alternative to punching people who annoy you in the face, and possibly because we as a society are finally realizing that the Satanic Panic of the 80s and 90s was absolutely ludicrous. Either way, I am decidedly A Fan of this recent turn of events.
Since D&D has been so popular lately, one of the big trends that I’ve been noticing is people adapting other pop culture properties into the D&D universe. Thus was born my very desperate desire of wanting to play a D&D one-shot featuring one of my favorite ensemble casts of all time: The Muppets.
There are so many appealing aspects of The Muppets as a franchise, but one of my absolute favorites is the sheer variety of ridiculous personalities and skill sets. In short, The Muppets lend themselves well to a system like D&D 5e that uses character classes (and subclasses). Here I’ve compiled a list of what class I think many of the Muppets would be, based on 5e mechanics. Most of these are taken from official 5e rulesets, but there are a few that could probably benefit from some homebrew content.
Kermit: Monk; Way of Tranquility. I think a lot of people would expect Kermit to be a Bard, given that he’s a performer, but by that logic, the vast majority of The Muppets would be Bards. Despite being charismatic and a skilled musician, I went with Monk for Kermit. He is often the voice of reason for the other characters, which indicates a high Wisdom stat to me. But he also seems like he’d be skilled at jumping and dodging, which makes me think of a Monk. I went with Way of Tranquility (from an Unearthed Arcana publication) because Kermit seems dedicated to maintaining peaceful order amongst his fellow Muppets. He also seems like the best listener of all the Muppets.
Miss Piggy: Barbarian; Path of the Berserker. This is mostly based on Miss Piggy’s infamous temper. I think she’d probably have a Noble background, given her penchant for glamour, but the fact that she routinely gets angry and then pummels people is 100% Barbarian.
Fozzy Bear: Bard; College of Satire. This is clearly the best choice for Fozzy, as a comedian. Unfortunately, his Charisma stat would probably be middling at best, which means that he wouldn’t be the best to play in an actual game. I went with the College of Satire (also from an Unearthed Arcana publication) because that was the closest thing I could find to a stand up comedian.
Gonzo: Warlock; some sort of homebrewed Eldritch Chicken patron. The obvious portion of this is because of Gonzo’s well-documented love of chickens. The less obvious part is that Warlocks have always seemed to me like they’d be the weirdos of the D&D universe. Gonzo seems like the type of Muppet that would be more than happy to sell his soul for powers, mostly just for the novelty of the experience. I suppose Camilla could be his familiar, but I like the idea that she’s her own
person Muppet. For some reason, I see her as a sorcerer but again, with some sort of chicken-based magic. Also if anyone would like to homebrew Pact of the Eldritch Chicken, please let me know.
Rizzo: Rogue; Inquisitive or Thief. Rizzo would be a rogue, partially because of his sneakiness and partially because of his Brooklyn accent. Traditionally, rats and wererats in the D&D universe are sneaky little critters, and I think Rizzo would also follow this archetype. Unlike wererats in 5e , though, his alignment would be good or neutral. As evident in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Rizzo is also good at fitting through small spaces, which would be very helpful for a rogue. I go back and forth on what his subclass would be, though. Thief is the obvious choice, but I do think that Rizzo has a certain amount of innate curiosity that would lend itself well to being an Inquisitive.
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew: Wizard; Technomancy Tradition. Anyone who knows D&D knows that wizards are the mad scientists of the universe. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew would absolutely be a wizard, with an extremely high Intelligence stat and a much lower Wisdom stat. The Technomancy Tradition comes from an Unearthed Arcana publication that focuses on Modern Magic. I picked it because it seemed the most mad-sciencey, but Artificer would also work, or possibly alchemist. It just needs to be something focused on inventing.
Beaker: Wizard; Technomancy Tradition. As a good assistant, Beaker would essentially be the same as his boss/love interest. The major difference, though, is that his Constitution score would have to be astronomically high to counteract all of the ill-effects of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s experiments and inventions. Beaker’s Intelligence and Wisdom would probably be lower than Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s, mostly because of how he seems to have such little regard for his own personal safety. It also might be helpful for him to have some levels in Cleric in order to get access to healing spells.
Swedish Chef: Druid; Circle of Twilight. This is actually the Muppet that took me the longest to categorize. I was initially thinking that he would be a bard, because of his singing, combined with the fact that he has his own cooking segment. Then it hit me, The Swedish Chef is a Druid! Why? You may ask. Well my precious darlings, because he can clearly cast Speak with Plants! Just consider how often he is pictured with talking or singing fruit. However, given his desire to kill and eat most of these talking/singing plants and animals, he is a Druid of the Circle of Twilight.
Uncle Deadly: Warlock; Pact of The Great Old One. Uncle Deadly, like D&D, has recently experienced a bit of a resurgence. In fact, many of you might be wondering who Uncle Deadly actually is. I usually describe him to people as “that blue catfish looking dude”. He was the phantom of the studio in the original Muppets Show if that helps. Uncle Deadly is also known for being vaguely sinister and mysterious, which makes him the perfect candidate for the Warlock. Since he himself kind of looks like a Lovecraftian horror, I thought that Pact of the The Great Old One would be especially fitting.
Animal: Barbarian; Berserker. Like Miss Piggy, Animal is largely defined by his ability to go berserk. However, I do think it’s important to consider that he might multiclass. He might also take a few levels in bard, because he does play the drums, after all. I’m not sure how high his Charisma would be, though, given the fact that most of the other Muppets seem vaguely afraid of him. I suppose instilling fear in others is its own type of Charisma (as evidenced by the Intimidation stat). The other possibility is that he’s just got proficiency in drums because it often seems like what Animal lacks in technical skill, he makes up for in enthusiasm.
Rowlf: Bard, College of Lore. Rowlf is probably the most musical of the Muppets, so I think it makes sense that he’d be a pretty vanilla bard. There is a popular rumor surrounding Rowlf that he was Jim Henson’s favorite and supposed to be essentially retired after Jim’s passing in 1990. In reality, he wasn’t supposed to be retired, but the Muppeteers didn’t think there was a good replacement puppeteer for a while. Rowlf was also the first Muppet who became famous, mostly due to his appearance on The Jimmy Dean Show and in several dog food commercials. I think this gives Rowlf a certain amount of fame and notoriety that is inherently appealing to most bards.
Sweetums: Barbarian; Path of the Ancestral Guardians. Sweetums is a big beefy guy with a heart of gold. I thought he’d be some sort of defender character, but I also think he’s a bit too rough around the edges to be a paladin. Barbarian seemed like the logical choice, and Path of the Ancestral Guardians is the most defender-focused Barbarian subclass. I also think it’s fair to see that Sweetums would have the Chaotic Good alignment, given his habit of switching to the ‘good’ side in multiple Muppets movies. Like most barbarians, his Intelligence would be quite low, but his Strength and Constitution would be legendary.
Scooter: Cleric; Knowledge domain. Scooter is a behind-the-scenes character, which makes him the perfect candidate for a Cleric. Clerics in 5e are EXTREMELY strong and versatile, but a lot of players shy away from them. I think this is because they have a reputation as being “dedicated healers”, and they’re not as flashy as a lot of the other classes. Scooter’s ability to slide in under the radar (and I don’t mean Big Bird’s teddy bear) reminded me a lot of how underrated Clerics are. I picked Knowledge domain for Scooter, because he seems like a very intelligent, capable character. It also might be influenced by the fact that he is portrayed in Muppet Babies as being a bit of a geek.
Sam the Eagle: Paladin; Oath of the Crown. On Muppet alignment charts (there are many), Sam is almost always portrayed as Lawful Neutral. His dedication to order and his over-serious nature make him the perfect Paladin. Stick-in-the-mud paladins are a staple of D&D — I should know, as I currently play one — so this seemed like a pretty natural fit. Given his unwavering dedication to the United States and all things patriotic, Oath of the Crown from an Unearthed Arcana publication seemed like the natural fit. Oath of Devotion and Oath of Conquest would also probably work well. Regardless, you know that he would need to be wearing red, white, and blue plate armor.
Pepe the King Prawn: Rogue, Swashbuckler Archetype. Pepe’s a newer character, and one that a lot of people over 40 might not immediately recognize. That being said, he’s a character I remember from a lot of Muppets movies that I watched as a kid, so I’m including him. Given his desire to be suave and debonair, I originally thought that he’d be a Bard. Then I realized that he wasn’t actually all that successful at being suave and debonair, which means that his Charisma probably isn’t that high. Also, given his often questionable loyalty, Rogue seemed to be a better fit. Swashbucklers felt like a good archetype, because I imagine that Pepe ultimately sees himself as sort of an Antonio Banderas type.
Lew Zealand (aka the Fish Thrower who kind of looks like Ernie from Sesame Street): Ranger; Beastmaster Archetype. Do you remember Lew? I’d like to say that he’s the Ringo of the Muppets, but I think he’s more like the guy Ringo replaced whose name I never remember. His main claim to fame seems to be throwing fish, like those Amadoll has drawn in his quiver. Regardless, Lew is a ranger because no one knows quite what he’s good for, and everyone forgets about him when he isn’t around.
Statler and Waldorf: Bards; College of Whispers. As grumpy old men who heckle constantly, I could see Statler and Waldorf specializing in spells like Tasha’s Hideous Laughter and Vicious Mockery. Thus, the idea of them being Bards was born. I was originally thinking that they’d be College of Satire, but there’s something sort of malevolent about College of Whispers that seemed more befitting of their snarkiness. I also feel like most other Bards in the D&D universe view College of Whispers with the same distrust that most of the Muppets probably have for Statler and Waldorf.
Absolutely brilliant! A friend of mine and I have just done a similar series, though not D&D specific, but just the Muppets in fantasy character roles! I love your choices!