Edition #359 of the Dragon Magazine presented a list of notable villains (across many settings) in the article 1d20 Villains: D&D's Most Wanted; Preferably Dead. It included Strahd von Zarovich and Tiamat in the list, among others.

Was there a similar list for canonical heroic characters published by official sources? Be it one of the magazines or online articles by the Wizards of the Coast. Guys like Elminster and Mordenkainen, for example, notable characters of novels and established on the lore of the settings. No interest on non-notable, non-canon player characters.

I know that the Hall of Heroes and Heroes' Lorebook supplements exists and can be treated as such list, but they are focused on Forgotten Realms only.

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    \$\begingroup\$ To Kuerten's point, there are still plenty of D&D heroes featured in novels, etc. So saying D&D doesn't contain notable NPC heroes is demonstrably false and his question could potentially have a positive answer. Said list might also not exist. To Oblivious Sage's point... a great many of the notable heroes from the novels and lore were at one point Player Characters (including Mordenkainen and the main party of the original Dragonlance series) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2019 at 14:19
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think some of the info in these comments should be left as answers instead; e.g. link to the lists of heroes TigerDM posted, and explain that that there aren't quite as many as there are villains for the reasons Oblivious Sage and Wesley Obenshain explained. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 4, 2019 at 14:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ <comments removed> Please use comments for administrative purposes. Debating the topic of the question isn’t what comments are for. Answers to the question should be submitted as answer posts. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2019 at 15:35

2 Answers 2


The Rogues Gallery, published in 1980, has a list of (and stats for) characters used in some TSR campaigns back in the day.

Included are Bigby, Mordenkainen, and Tenser - probably the only names out of the 18 listed that most would recognize, and the highest level is only 16 (Mordenkainen).


Not a list, but certainly a collection of four qualifying characters.

Issue #71 of Dragon (March 1983) has an article by Gygax (p 19-22) which presented heroic characters that he had elevated "quasi-deities" in the world of Greyhawk. Gygax states that the characters are all PCs or NPCs from his Greyhawk campaign and implies than any PC elevated to quasi-deity must be "retired." Their inclusion in the article alone makes them canon and as quasi-deaities, they are inarguably notable.

One of them, Murlyand, had been the PC of Don Kaye, Gygax's childhood friend. Kaye helped develop D&D and co-founded TSR with Gygax, but tragically died not long after (early 1974, I believe). The fact that Gygax had to buy out Kaye's wife made him take the Bloom brothers as partners, which ultimately led to his ousting fom TSR.

Another of these characters is Keoghtom, named after Gygax's childhood friend Tom Keogh. I cannot find confirmation that Keogh played D&D with Gygax or had a character named Keoghtom, though many early D&D PCs has names veryy close to their players (e.g., Tenser is an anagram of Ernest and was Ernie Gygax's character).

The other characters in the article are Heward and Kelanen.


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