Let’s get this out of the way first: Pathfinder’s latest big sourcebook Ultimate Intrigue is not all about making superhero vigilantes. We swear. There are all sorts of great things for Game of Thrones-style political intrigue, excellent GM advice for running a more political game, and a set of killer rules for social combat. (So yes, your Pathfinder character can now have a literal rap battle.)
But let’s be real; we want to play Batman.
It’s been said that Batman could defeat Superman given proper information and adequate prep time—and Superman can here be extrapolated to mean “any character from any universe.” There have been a lot of attempts at making the perfect “always-prepared” Batman character in D&D and Pathfinder, usually by finding builds for (already hyper-competent) wizards that are good in nearly any reasonable circumstance.
These attempts always focus on the utility belt, aiming for mechanical superiority by picking the right spells. That’s a valid and fun way to play, especially if your whole RPG group is on board for powergaming. But the designers at Paizo Publishing took a different route when creating the new Vigilante class for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: give them a secret identity and a host of classic superhero powers and archetypes to choose from. Some of our favorite archetypes include the Brute (a la the Incredible Hulk), the Cabalist (sort of like Raven from Teen Titans), the Magical Child (THIS IS SAILOR MOON IN PATHFINDER. WE AREN’T KIDDING), and the Wildsoul (which has a little bit of everything from Beast Boy to Spider-Man).
So with all these cool character ideas at our disposal (and that’s not even counting all the feats!), let’s do something cool. We’re gonna make a Pathfinder character that you can use in your home game or even in the Pathfinder Society, if you want! Let’s do this.
Aylen Adarr, the Ebon Knight
Who will this great hero be? Let’s start with the basics. Race, class, alignment, name. I’ll roll some special dice…
Okay, so she’s definitely chaotic good. We know the class already—she’s a vigilante—so we’ll ignore that die. So, race. Well, we could reroll, but let’s just choose. We’re in this deep already, what would be fun for a socialite, Bruce Wayne-ish character? A half-orc you say? Excellent. We’ll use the point-buy system to get our ability scores, so this character is Pathfinder Society-legal. We want her to be a butt-kicker but also have the charisma to be Bruce Wayne at fancy galas in Absalom City. Here are the ability scores we settled on, including the half-orc’s +2 racial modifier:
Strength 10 (+0)
Dexterity 17 (+3)
Constitution 10 (+0)
Intelligence 14 (+2)
Wisdom 8 (–1)
Charisma 16 (+3) (15+2)
Superhero stories love alliterative names, and we want something that evokes Batman’s persona of dark justice. How about Aylen Adarr, the Ebon Knight? So Aylen a chaotic good half-orc vigilante. Green skin, agile… she’s basically Gamora (Guardians of the Galaxy) or Garona (Warcraft) already, but let’s finesse that into—as Tony Stark would say—a billionaire playboy philanthropist. With these stats, Aylen’s suave, nimble, and pretty clever, though she’s not too great at reading people. In order to remain PFS-legal, we’ll have to start as a 1st-level character, but that’s no big deal.
If you have Ultimate Intrigue, you can follow along starting on page 10. If not, check out the (unofficial) d20 Pathfinder System Reference Document. As a 1st-level vigilante, Aylen starts with a Dual Identity, as well as the seamless guise, social talent, and vigilante specialization class features. Also, mechanical details like saving throws and base attack bonuses will be skipped in this write up, but will be filled in properly on the character sheet below.
Dual Identity: Just like the Caped Crusader, Aylen has a secret identity. By day, she is Lady Aylen Adarr, a minor noblewoman in the metropolis of Absalom. By night, she is Gloomhawk, the Ebon Knight. Aylen is a law-abiding, Lawful Good courtier, and she uses her money and political influence to keep her district safe. As Gloomhawk, she is a fearsome defender of justice, a Chaotic Good hero who takes the law into her own hands to stop evil wherever it may be. In Aylen’s case, it’s important to remember that Chaotic Good doesn’t necessarily mean Chaotic Nice.
Seamless Guise: In short, both Aylen and Gloomhawk have a +20 circumstance bonus on Disguise checks to resist their secret identities from being suspected while disguised as the other.
Social Talent: Every odd level, Aylen gains a new social talent. Her talent at 1st level is Social Grace, which grants her a +4 circumstance bonus on all Diplomacy checks while in her social identity.
Vigilante Specialization: At 1st level, vigilantes choose a specialization, choosing to be an “avenger” or a “stalker,” though certain archetypes can create a wide variety of other vigilantes. As a Batman-like night hunter, Gloomhawk will take the stalker specialization, giving her a rogue-like Sneak Attack ability. She deals 1d8 extra damage when she strikes enemies who aren’t aware of her or consider her an ally.
The heroic Gloomhawk isn’t feared throughout Absalom quite yet—Aylen is still 1st level, after all—but her reputation is growing. Give her a few levels and the name of Gloomhawk, the Ebon Knight, will be feared by wrongdoers throughout the Inner Sea.
You can find her character sheet here; use it however you like!
Have you played a vigilante or another character from Ultimate Intrigue? Tell us about your love for Pathfinder in the comments or tweet to @GeekandSundry!