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Inspiration for Women Characters: Part 2

John Hutton continues to explore interesting women throughout history and into the modern era.



So many awesome women, so little time.  Please forgive me if I keep my descriptions a little shorter so I can include as many as possible.  Let’s continue with our list of some amazing women from history everyone can add into their games.

Amanda Ruller

Ok.  I admit this one is for me.  Full disclosure, she’s been my trainer and very good friend for the last 6 years.  She is a former skeleton bobsledder, football player, Olympic powerlifter hopeful, and even won a car on the Price is Right.  These days, she’s a personal trainer, coach for the McMaster Marauders, model for a local Saskatchewan BMW dealer, and a game day broadcaster for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.  I’ve never met anyone so driven and so passionate. 

Suggested D&D classes: Bard, sorcerer

Amanda Serrano

As of me writing this article, she is pound for pound, one of the best female boxers in the world today.  She is the current unified featherweight champion and holds nine titles over seven different weight classes.  Her current boxing record is 42-1-1 with her only loss over 10 years ago.  She also has a 2-0-1 record in mixed martial arts.  The two best words to describe her are fearless and feared.

Suggested D&D classes: monk, fighter

Hedy Lamarr

Truly a remarkable woman.  An actress of great renown from such movies as Samson and Delilah and Algiers.  She was also a great inventor.  When she dated the famed Howard Hughes, she was influential on the redesigns of his airplanes.  During World War II, she developed a radio signal for torpedoes that couldn’t be jammed.  That technology is very similar to today’s Wi-Fi, bluetooth, and GPS.  Her later years she became a famous recluse much like Howard Hughes as she retreated from everyone until her death.  She is the only woman to be honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

Suggested D&D classes: bard, artificer

Trieu Thi Trinh – Lady Trieu

Lady Trieu is sometimes referred to as the Vietnamese Joan of Arc.  In the 3rd century, she led a band of partisans against Chinese invasion.  The tales of her riding into battle on top of a war elephant struck fear into the hearts of all she encountered.  It’s hard to say what was more frightening: the elephant or Lady Trieu’s death stare.  She never married and would raid Chinese commanders.  According to historian, Tran Trong Kim, the first person Lady Trieu killed was her abusive sister-in-law and that led to her life of violence.  No matter the conflicting stories, she was said to be unwaveringly brave and loyal.  To this day, there’s a temple in Phu Dien, Vietnam dedicated to her memory.

Suggested D&D classes: barbarian, beastmaster

Florence Nightingale – The Lady with the Lamp

The founder of modern day nursing, she was a British nurse during the Crimean War.  She was from a rather well-off family but she never fit in at social gatherings.  Instead she was passionate about nursing and even turned down a marriage proposal in order to dedicate her life to medicine.  Her compassion for the sick and injured is legendary.  She got the nickname, The Lady with the Lamp came from her doing rounds at night holding an oil lamp and many patients took great comfort in seeing it.

Suggested D&D classes: cleric

Julie D’Aubigny

She lived a short life, but it was one of grand adventures.  She was said to be the equal of anyone with a sword and enjoyed dueling.  She was also an accomplished opera singer.  She lived a flamboyant lifestyle even for 17th century France.  It wasn’t until she romanced a woman some male suitors fancied did her dueling become a problem for King Louis XIV.  She killed three men in an honor duel at a royal gala and went right back to the party.  She was the very definition of a rogue and unfortunately died very young in a convent.

Suggested D&D classes: rogue, fighter (duelist), bard

Zheng Yi Sao – aka Ching Shih

The young prostitute turned dread pirate queen.  She took the name Zheng Yi Sao (literally translates to Zheng Yi’s wife) after her husband died.  When he died, she took over her husband’s pirate fleet in the South China Sea.  At the height of Zheng’s power, she had a fleet of 400 ships and 60,000 pirates at her disposal.  Her raids brought her into conflict with the Portuguese in Macau, the British East India Company and even the citizens of Canton. Her days of piracy were brief, but she is still considered the most successful pirate in history.

Suggested D&D classes: rogue, druid

While the list could go on and I will likely continue exploring and expanding this list, below are just a handful of other names you should aquaint yourself with if you haven’t already. I hope this has given you a some insight and a foundation to build your next female character off. Power, cunning, intelect, strength. Truly legendary.

Honorable Mentions: Hua Mulan – fighter, Joan of Arc – Paladin, Marie Curie – alchemist, Nadia Comaneci – rogue, Sacajawea – ranger, Sojourner Truth – cleric, Annie Oakley – artificer, Jane Goodall – beastmaster, Eleanor of Aquitaine – paladin, Boudicca – barbarian, Mary Seacole – cleric, 

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