Iconic Design: W.W.T.D.?

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at an Iconic Design for Durkon Thundershield.

I’ve sort of been dreading this article (this one and V’s, anyway) because there isn’t much interesting stuff I can do with Durkon Thundershield, the Order of the Stick’s cleric. Most of what he does in the comic is cast spells. Plus he’s a cleric, and clerics have little interesting design choices inherent to them. So yeah, sorry of this article is boring; I tried to make it exciting, I really did!


Durkon Allotrope Thundershield is the party cleric of the Order of the Stick, hired by Roy Greenhilt. He served as a healer, spiritual adviser and backup melee fighter (often using Thor’s might).

A 55-year-old Dwarf, Durkon worshipped Thor, and his chosen domains were Air and Good (evidenced through his ability to cast Control Winds and Holy Smite, respectively). He is often portrayed as a counter-stereotype to the stereotypical “drunken dwarf brawler.”

Sounds fun.

Build Concept

Well, what do we need to make Durkon? Let’s look.

  • Dwarf: He’s a dwarf. Believe it.
  • Cleric: Like all of my Order of the Stick builds, we’ll be eschewing archetypes for Durkon. However, this DOES have the downside of making Durkon … incredibly boring from a build perspective. Clerics have almost no class features, as well as precious little to choose when making the character. Combined the fact that Durkon doesn’t really fight all that well (he “doesn’t have a head for numbers”) and his Charisma is stated to be low enough to lock him out of many of the channeling options, and I’m left with a VERY boring character build.

Well, let’s get this over with, I guess.

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: cleric 7
  • Feats: Heavy Armor Proficiency (1st), Turn Undead (3rd), Extra Channel (5th), Warrior Priest (7th)
  • Abilities: aura, channel energy 4d6, domains (Air, Good), spontaneous casting

Look at all of those class features, guys! I have no idea how I’m going to talk about them all.

So despite wearing heavy armor, Durkon is primarily seen as a dedicated spellcaster for the Order of the Stick, with Roy going as far as to say that Durkon “doesn’t have a head for numbers.” I took this to mean that Durkon doesn’t have many of the numbers-based feats that exist to make melee combat better, so I’m not giving him Power Attack. He’s also implied to not have a very good Charisma, but given his role in the Order of the Stick, I’m going to assume he’s grabbed Extra Channel to counter that weakness. Plus he’s seen turning undead, so Turn Undead is a no-brainer feat. I also picked up Warrior Priest for Durkon, as it is a very functional feat for a cleric; his focus on casting spells makes this feat great, and +1 initiative is very practical for a slow, dwarven cleric.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: cleric 14
  • Feats: Heavy Armor Proficiency (1st), Turn Undead (3rd), Extra Channel (5th), Warrior Priest (7th), Shield Focus (9th), Combat Casting (11th), Improved Channeling (13th)
  • Abilities: aura, channel energy 7d6, domains (Air, Good), spontaneous casting

Nothing all that interesting here. Durkon’s feats are decidedly defensive, because a living cleric heals better. One (sad) thing to note is that it is very likely that Durkin doesn’t have enough Charisma for Selective Channel, which is sad. Durkon would REALLY benefit from that.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: cleric 20
  • Feats: Heavy Armor Proficiency (1st), Turn Undead (3rd), Extra Channel (5th), Warrior Priest (7th), Shield Focus (9th), Combat Casting (11th), Improved Channeling (13th), Alignment Channel (15th), Weapon Focus: warhammer (17th), Toughness (19th)
  • Abilities: aura, channel energy 10d6, domains (Air, Good), spontaneous casting

Feats! Boring feats!

So obviously, at every level Durkon’s real “features” are his spells, but because of the way cleric spellcasting works (prepare ANY spell that you want from the list each day), its not worth talking about spells, because clerics have supreme flexibility. I’d have to talk about every spell in the game.

So yeah. Durkon heals stuff. And most of his spells are combat buffs when he’s not losing them for combat buffs. He REALLY likes righteous might and divine power (he calls it Thor’s Might instead of the spell proper). And its definitely hinted that Durkon likes having a lot of defense; he doesn’t want to be hurt. Because a dead cleric can’t heal.

Well, that’s all I got for this build this week. I’ll see you next week with my Grenedire Alchemist build that I keep talking about. Take care!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long as 90% of his colleagues. Alexander is an active freelancer for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and is best known as the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series by Radiance House. Alex is the owner of Everyman Gaming, LLC and is often stylized as the Everyman Gamer in honor of Guidance’s original home. Alex’s favorite color is blue, and he’s currently fighting the urge to bash his head into a wal after trying to make this build. Ugh, CLERICS!

Alex Augunas

Alexander "Alex" Augunas is an author and behavioral health worker living outside of Philadelphia in the United States. He has contributed to gaming products published by Paizo, Inc, Kobold Press, Legendary Games, Raging Swan Press, Rogue Genius Games, and Steve Jackson Games, as well as the owner and publisher of Everybody Games (formerly Everyman Gaming). At the Know Direction Network, he is the author of Guidance and a co-host on Know Direction: Beyond. You can see Alex's exploits at http://www.everybodygames.net, or support him personally on Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/eversagarpg.


  1. Sorry that you are crunched for time. You really did a half-assed job on that one. You spelled Durkon wrong at least three times. I hope you get whatever your real job does, done. You are usually fun to read.

  2. Hey Alex, I’m not familiar with the character you are emulating, but I want to thank you for making my PFS cleric seem less boring. 🙂

    Good luck on a Pact Magic stuff, I’m looking forward to my copy.

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