For the last few years, I have spent a significant amount of my free time playing Dungeons and Dragons as a game master. As it eats into my writing and reading time significantly (though I still highly recommend it) I was searching for a way to turn my D&D experiences into content. Thus the idea was born to come up with a list of lesser-known book recommendations for readers who vibe with the different D&D classes. If you are unfamiliar with the classes, no worries, I have provided a brief summary of their vibe along with the books. May this guide help you achieve maximum immersion with your class of choice. Happy Reading.
Barbarian: Emotional, violent, and plagued by inner turmoil, these barbarian picks dive into stories about physicality and the emotions we try to bury. There is simmering anger to each of these as our barbarians struggle with the power that gives them strength while it strips away their humanity.
Bard: Unsurprisingly this was one of the easiest classes to come up with picks for. Stories about stories are common, and stories about storytellers are only slightly less so. These bard picks all feature characters telling their own version of tales and using their bardic prowess to bring their voice to life.
Cleric: Clerics was a tricky one because stories about gods in the fantasy genre tend to not cast them in a favorable light. But there are some, and a number of wonderful stories about the power of faith as well. These picks revolve around the conviction that there is a higher power out there and it can help.
Druid: In tune with nature, and often able to command it, druids have an earthy vibe that is a lot of fun. That essence can be whimsical, protective, and wrathful depending on what elements of nature are at play. Regardless, these stories are about those who love the land and care for it.
Fighter: Physical prowess, mastery of arms, and intense training are the essence of fighters in my mind. These stories focus on zero-to-hero protagonists who hone their bodies into weapons through intense training and mastery of physical arts.
Monk: Spiritual, zen, and philosophical. Monks are warriors who adhere to a higher code and internal mantras that give conviction to their fights. These elite warriors only use their skills when it brings balance, peace, and positivity to the world. But can they quiet the discordance inside themselves and reach tranquility? Or will they find something else?
Paladin: Paladins are defined by their convictions and oaths. These stories tell tales with steadfast protagonists who keep to their ideals through thick and thin and find empowerment in their connection to principles.
Ranger: For me, ranger stories were one of the harder ones to pin down (so forgive the easy Hobb pick). When I envision a ranger I think of survivors. Rugged individuals who can live off the land, live beside its inhabitants and can read its ways—also tracking, lots of being really good at tracking. And animal companions. You get the idea.
Rogue: Charismatic cheats, sinister subterfugests, and talented thieves. The rogue is one of the most prevalent archetypes in fantasy, coming in all sorts of fun flavors. They are scrappy protagonists that are easy to get behind. Their brilliant exploits follow them through myth and legend and burn themselves into your memory.
Sorcerer: Sexy spellcasters with innate power and a penchant for making magic their own is the vibes I am looking for in a sorcerer story. It is always satisfying to see a spellcaster put their unique mark on magic and shape the world around them using their arcane power and imagination. Sorcerers are definitely the class I would want to take on a date or a night on the town.
Warlock: Powerful patrons with contracts too good to pass up. Warlocks are beholden to bigger things but often aren’t happy about it. The relationship between the protagonist and all-powerful magic overlords is one I wish I saw explored more, but here are a few books that do it really well for now.
Wizard: The OG fantasy archetype, wizards are defined by their hard work and study in the arcane arts. There are a lot of wizard stories in fantasy and their popularity made it hard to find some lesser-known recommendations. But, if we stretch what it means to study the arcane a little bit you might find wizard vibes in unexpected places.