5656 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Doctor Strange (Marvel Comics) in the classic costume

Doctor Strange


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Doctor Strange is an early Marvel Comics character, appearing in 1963. He’s one of Stan Lee  and Steve Dikto ‘s most memorable creations. Of special notes are Ditko’s surreal visuals for magic dimensions , and Lee’s invocations for the spells that Strange casts.

Dr. Strange is the premier magician in the Marvel Universe. As the Sorcerer Supreme, he secretly protects everyone from innumerable mystical threats.

Strange has been in almost continuous publication since his beginnings, and has been a major presence in many major crises and cosmic events.

The following is a gisted profile, presenting an overview of the character without focusing on a particular era or aspect.


Background

  • Real Name: Stephen Vincent Strange
  • Other Aliases: Sorcerer Supreme, Master of the Mystic Arts, Stephen Sanders, Captain Universe, Vincent Stevens
  • Marital Status: Married (by Dark Dimension law)
  • Known Relatives: Donna Strange (sister, deceased), Victor Strange (aka Khiron, brother, deceased), Eugene (father, deceased), Beverly (mother, deceased), Clea (wife, estranged), Umar (mother-in-law), Orini (father-in-law), Dormammu (uncle-in-law)
  • Group Affiliation: Defenders ; formerly the Order, Secret Defenders, Midnight Sons ; former disciple of the Ancient one
  • Base Of Operations: Greenwich Village, NYC
  • Height: 6’3” Weight: 180 lbs
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Black, white at temples


Powers and Abilities

Put simply, Dr. Strange is the Sorcerer Supreme, *the* best and most powerful mortal sorcerer in the Earth Dimension. Using a combination of mystical artifacts, sorcerous energy borrowed from benevolent mystical beings, and his own inborn power and discipline, he is able to manipulate Reality itself to suit his purposes.

While capable of casting spells of vast power, he prefers to use less-stressful ritual magic for high-level spell casting when possible. This is particularly important given how quickly his foes would take advantage of any weaknesses on Strange’s part.

Doctor Strange in a dramatic pose

Strange has also become adept at various mental abilities, including hypnosis and telepathy. He can communicate with any mind on Earth and can maintain contact with up to a dozen minds at once.

Doctor Strange is an expert in all matters occult, a mentor to lesser mystics, and though he is no longer a practicing physician, he still has a vast knowledge of medicine. He is also a fair martial artist, trained regularly by his aide Wong.


History

Stephen Strange was a brilliant but heartless surgeon, a money-hungry SOB. However, his career was ruined by nerve damage incurred in an auto accident. He squandered his personal fortune and degenerated into a hopeless derelict, searching the world for a cure to his condition.

He eventually found himself in Tibet at the home of The Ancient One, Earth’s greatest sorcerer, from whom he sought a magical cure. A threat to the Ancient One’s life from his traitorous pupil, the evil sorcerer Baron Mordo, rekindled the long-lost light in Strange’s soul. He accepted an offer to become the wizard’s new student.

He eventually took his Master’s place as the primary mystic guardian of our dimension. He became the Earth dimension’s Sorcerer Supreme, despite many trials and tribulations.

Doctor Strange black and white sketch

Dr. Strange lost most of his mystic power when he refused to fight on the behalf of the Vishanti in the “War of the Seven Spheres”, which was anticipated to last several thousand years. Strange thus renounced all of the abilities derived from invoking those entities.

He was left only with those abilities related to mystic energies he could manipulate directly. The changes Dr. Strange underwent during this time are too extensive to summarize here. However, he recently decided to enlist in the War of the Seven Spheres and returned afterward restored to full power.


Description

Dr. Strange is a tall, handsome and somewhat thin man who appears to be in his early 40s. He has short black hair, combed into a widow’s peak, with white streaks just above the temples. He has an angular face with deep-set eyes, and what is possibly *the* coolest mustache in the entire Marvel Universe =>

Doctor Strange by Steve Ditko

His mystic “uniform” consists of black tights, a bright blue tunic with a gold sash and a lighter blue trident symbol (or a black demonic bat, depending on the artist) on his chest, and gold gloves with a pattern of black leopard spots.

He generally wears his Cloak of Levitation, a red cape with a high-backed collar and yellow trim on the edges. He also carries the Eye of Agamotto, a circular amulet with a gold-filigree fringe and a large golden eye in the middle.


Personality

Dr. Strange’s character is defined by 2 outstanding factors: his extreme dedication to his task as Earth’s foremost mystic guardian, and his need to keep his secrets safe.

He more or less invented the unwritten “Comic-Book Magician’s Code” of not telling your allies any more than they need to know. An encounter with Doc should leave his allies with a lot of questions that they’re a little afraid to ask.

Doctor Strange by Gene Colan (sketch)

That said, Doc is also a very pleasant, polite and compassionate man. He makes friends and allies easily, and is always there when they need him.

Dr. Strange’s adaptability and ingenuity are also noteworthy. He has defeated vastly superior foes by means of his resolve and resourcefulness on many occasions.

Dr. Strange still troubled by the selfish, petty behavior he exhibited as a surgeon. He tries to avoid reminders of that time in his life.


Quotes

By the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth ! I’m struck with my own power ! It can’t be Umar’s doing — she was pressed to her limit, and beyond ! That means — a confederate, some accursed anti-psychic toady lying in wait for my more potent thrust !”


DC Universe History

In a DC/Marvel-combined campaign I was part of a few years back Doc, the Ancient One and some of their allies were part of an ancient order dedicated to protecting the Earth Dimension. They did this by maintaining a perfect balance between the Lords of Order and Chaos, foiling both their plans to gain the upper hand.

Needless to say, this didn’t endear Doc to his colleague Dr. Fate very well.


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Doctor Strange, Master of the Mystic Arts

Dex: 05 Str: 03 Bod: 05 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 12 Wil: 16 Min: 13 Occupation: Sorcerer Supreme, Earth Dimension
Inf: 12 Aur: 15 Spi: 14 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 031 HP: 120

Powers:
Awareness*: 12, Energy Blast (ML): 12, Hypnosis (ML): 12, Force Shield (ML): 08, Magic Blast: 12, Magic Sense*: 12, Magic Shield: 08, Sorcery: 22, Spirit Travel*: 15, Telepathy (ML): 21

Notes:
Many of these Powers receive AP bonuses from Dr. Strange’s Mystic Entity Connections — see the New Rules section for details.

Skills:
Martial Artist*: 05, Medicine: 08, Occultist: 23

Advantages:
Authority Figure, Confidant (Wong), Expansive Headquarters (Sanctum Sanctorum), Insta-Change, Iron Nerves, Languages (Ancient Egyptian, Chinese, German, Latin, Sanskrit, possibly more), Leadership, Magic Background, Magic Rank (Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth Dimension), Scholar (Soothsaying, Spellcraft, Theology)

Connections:
Clea (High), Defenders (High), Mystical Community (High), Rintrah (High), Spider-Man (High), Super-Hero Community (Low); Note: Both Clea and Rintrah were originally Sidekicks to Dr. Strange.

Mystic Entity Connections:
Cyttorak (Low), Ikonn (High), Raggadorr (Low), Seraphim (Low), Vishanti (High)

Drawbacks:
Arch-Enemy (Baron Mordo), Magician’s Code (Order), Miscellaneous (Hand Tremors — When Dr. Strange uses the Surgery Subskill of Medicine add +2 CS to the OV/RV)

Note:
Authority Figure and Arch-Enemy have been modified; see New Rules for details

Equipment:

  • Cloak of Levitation [BODY 13 STR 03 SPI 10, Flight: 12, Sealed Systems: 10, Snare: 07, Telepathy: 10, Bonus: Telepathy is Mystic Linked, Limitation: Telepathy only allows cape to respond to Dr. Strange’s mental commands. Doctor Strange is usually encountered wearing this large red mystic cloak with an upraised collar and orange trim. It gives him the power of flight, responds to his mental commands, and protects him against the rigors of high-speed travel]
  • EYE OF AGAMOTTO [BODY 12 SPI 17, Dimension Travel: 19, Mystic Freeze: 17, Truesight: 20, Bonus: When the wearer uses Spirit Travel, a spirit version of the Eye goes with him, with the same stats as above at -5 APs. This amulet is part of Doctor Strange’s standard uniform, and expresses its powers by having the eye “open” and shine mystic light upon its target]
  • ORB OF AGAMOTTO [BODY 12 SPI 17, Remote Sensing: 30, Extra-Sensory Tracking: 18, Advantage: Stabilization (usable on wielder), Bonuses: Extra-Sensory Tracking has Range enhanced to 23 APs (+1), Both Remote Sensing and Extra-Sensory Tracking can be used to look and track, respectively, into other Dimensions with an Action Check (i.e. it’s Inter-Dimensional), using the APs of Remote Sense as the AV/EV and the Travel Distance of the target dimension as the OV/RV.
    This is a large crystal ball in a three-legged stand. The Orb is usually covered with a hood when not in use, supposedly to make it less noticeable to visitors as well as to prevent any sort of visible back-tracking of previously viewed targets back to the mansion.]
  • The Sanctum Sanctorum contains an Occult Laboratory rated at 40 APs, and various artifacts and books such as the Book of Vishanti and the Darkhold. The books should have a high BODY and SPIRIT and appropriate Scholars, possibly Powers or even Sorcery at a low level. The two main books are :
    • The Book of Vishanti [BODY 15 /SPIRIT/ 18, Sorcery: 15, Scholar (Divine Magic, Soothsaying), Bonus: Sorcery adds to owner’s Sorcery, AP-math, as long as the book is in possession]
    • The Book of Darkhold [BODY 15 INT 02 /SPIRIT/ 20, Sorcery: 15, Scholar (Necromancy, Darkness Magic, Demonology, Voodoo), Bonus: Sorcery adds to owner’s Sorcery, AP-math, as long as the book is in possession, Note: The Darkhold’s INT represents its limited ability to defend itself with its Powers]

Doctor Strange and the Eye of Agamotto


Previous Statistics

At the start of his adventuring career, Dr Strange suffered Guilt over his insensitive behavior during his years as a surgeon, and only had Magic Rank (Master), meaning he did not have the benefits of being Sorcerer Supreme (see New Rules). He also had a High-level Connection to the Ancient One, his mentor and the Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth Dimension at that time.

This lasted until the Ancient One ascended to the status of a mystic entity, at which point he lost his Guilt, was raised to the Magic Rank of Sorcerer Supreme, and his Connection to the Ancient One turned into a High-level Mystic Entity Connection.


The following two Drawbacks are not new, but have been re-written for better playability.

Arch-Enemy (75 HPs)

The Arch-Enemy is the hero’s primary nemesis. They frequently oppose one another, and the Arch-Enemy is often linked to the Hero’s origin in some significant way. When the Arch-Enemy appears in the campaign and what his goal is at any given time is up to the GM.

The hero doesn’t get HPs for fighting the Arch-Enemy directly, as it is assumed that he received them “in advance” for taking the Drawback, but still receives the standard HP awards for the adventure as a whole.

For example, if Dr. Strange and several other mages went through a scenario where the group battled Baron Mordo, Dr. Strange would not receive the HPs for defeating a powerful foe, but he would still receive the HPs for foiling his plans and successfully completing the adventure. The Arch-Enemy Drawback should also be considered when awarding HPs for role-playing during the session.

Authority Figure (25 HPs)

The Authority Figure feels the weight of his office, official or unofficial, very keenly. If he does not participate in at least one Subplot involving his responsibilities as an Authority Figure once every game week, he must forfeit 5 Hero Points as if he possessed the Guilt Drawback. It is up to the GM’s discretion whether a given adventure relates to the Authority Figure’s responsibilities.

For example, an adventure with an Area of Consequence: Worldwide (A super-villain threatens to destroy the Earth) would relate to a King’s responsibility to care for his people (unless he has a plan to relocate his nation to another planet/dimension!)

An adventure with an Area of Consequence: City/Local (A super-villain threatens to poison the water supply of Empire City) would not relate to the responsibilities of another city’s self-appointed guardian. (Vinnie, JD)

Doctor Strange by Geoff Isherwood (sketch)


For more information on the following new rules, see Chapters 3 and 4 of the Marvel Universe Magic Sourcebook.

Magic Rank (Sorcerer Supreme) (100 HPs)

There is only one Sorcerer Supreme in each dimension, who is the focus of magic energies and attention and often that dimension’s protector or defender. A Sorcerer Supreme can only loose his title if he is formally challenged by a Master, who, if he defeats the Sorcerer Supreme, takes over the title.

Doctor Strange is the current Sorcerer Supreme of the Earth dimension. If Strange ever loses the title of Sorcerer Supreme he will lose 4 APs from Sorcery and Occultist as well as 1 AP in each Mystical Attribute. The new Sorcerer Supreme gains these APs, which will return to Strange if he regains the title.

Scholar (Spellcraft) (20 HPs)

When researching existing spells (in a magic library, an old tome, etc), the character rolls his Occultist Skill vs. the APs of the Ritual; when trying to recognize or understand a new ritual, the character makes a Perception/Detective check vs. the APs of the Ritual. In both cases, the character gets a bonus of -2 CS to the OV/RV.

Additionally, characters with this Scholar can easily come up with new rituals “on the fly” during adventures. This enables such characters to buy rituals for various attacking powers (with low casting time and no components needed, but still paying the HPs for it) in the middle of combat.

When creating a new ritual, the character has a +2CS higher Ritual Casting skill. The Spellcraft bonus only applies to ritual creation — casting rolls does not benefit from Spellcraft.

Mystic Entity Connections (Equal to a Powerful Connection plus 5 HPs for every two Powers listed)

The benefits of invoking entities fall into two categories. The first is an AP boost for Powers. If a Power is used while invoking the appropriate entity, a Low Connection garners a +1AP to the Power, while a High Connection gets + 2APs. If Sorcery is being used to mimic the Power in question, calculate any Mystical Bashing Damage by the APs of the Power BEFORE the boost.

For example, a sorcerer with a High Connection to Agamotto who invoked him before mimicking an Energy Blast with Sorcery could use a 10 AP Blast but only take MBD as if an 8 AP Blast were used. The second benefit applies to rituals. Any Ritual that invokes an entity decreases the OV/RV for Ritual Casting by 1CS for a Low Connection and 2CS by a High Connection.

Dr. Strange has Connections to the following mystic entities:

  • Cyttorak (High): Force Manipulation, Glue, Magic Shield, Projectile Weapons, Snare
  • Ikonn (High): Hypnotism, Illusion, Mind Blast
  • Raggadorr (Low): Control, Snare, Sound Nullify, Systemic Antidote
  • Seraphim (High): Detect (Evil), Dimension Travel (Travelling), Extended Hearing, Eye of the Cat, Flight, Force Field/Shield, Magic Field/Shield, Mind Field/Shield, Neutralize (vs. Glue/Snare only), Postcognition, Precognition, Reflection/Deflection, Remote Sensing, Skin Armor
  • The Vishanti —
    • Agamotto (High): Energy Blast, Exorcism, Flash, Hypnotism, Iron Will, Neutralize (vs. chaotic creatures only), Mind Probe, Telepathy, Truesight
    • Hoggoth (High): Claws, Cold Immunity, Dimension Travel, Ice Production, Neutralize, Omni-Arms
    • Oshtur (High): Crystal Production, Mystic Freeze, Neutralize, Telekinesis

By Kevin Mulder and Dr. Peter S Piispanen

Source of Character: various Doctor Strange comic series (Marvel Universe)

Helper(s): The entire list, particularly Vinnie, Jackson, Bob Malooga, Chris Cottingham, Sébastien Andrivet for stats suggestions as well as history and background notes, Sean MacDonald and John Colagioia for rules discussions and Roy Cowan for editing ; Gareth Lewis. DC History section by Kevin Mulder.

Subscribe to our newsletter!