Iconic Design: Its Not Easy Being Green

Welcome to Guidance, Private Sanctuary’s source for tips and techniques for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, I’ll be sharing a Kermit the Frog Iconic Design.

When I originally came up with the title of this article, I was going to do a Gamora Iconic Design to finally end my Guardians of the Galaxy series. But really? This quote? Nah, man. I had a change of heart. There’s only one character that I could POSSIBLY stat up with a quote like that.

The puppet who made that quote, of course!

Background

From Wikipedia (Because You Knew Most of This Already Anyway):

Kermit the Frog is Jim Henson’s most famous Muppet creation,[1] first introduced in 1955. He is the straight manprotagonist of many Muppet projects, most notably on Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show, as well as in movies, specials, and public service announcements throughout the years. Henson originally performed Kermit until his death on May 16, 1990; Steve Whitmire has performed Kermit since that time. He was voiced by Frank Welker in Muppet Babiesand occasionally in other animation projects.
Kermit performed the hit single “Rainbow Connection” in 1979 for The Muppet Movie, the first feature-length film featuring Henson’s Muppets. The song reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100. Kermit’s iconic look and voice have been recognizable worldwide since, and in 2006, the character was credited as the author of Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons, which is an “autobiography” told from the perspective of the character himself.

Build Concept

So, how do we build Kermit the Frog. Well, actually, it’s pretty easy.

  • Grippli. Pretty obvious, right?
  • Oracle. Basically, the idea is to make Kermit REALLY good at prismatic spells as an homage to his song, Rainbow Connection. And literally NO ONE is better at color spray than oracles with the Heavens mystery. The heavy Charisma-focus will also synergize well with….
  • Secondary Class–Bard: What? Kermit NEEDS to be able to sing and dance, man. Plus Kermit is always full of answers, so bardic knowledge is great for him. His versatile performance can be either act or string (I’m going with string so my grippli can play the Banjo, thank you).
  • Spirit Guide: Remember this archetype from my Shaman King Build? Well, its back, and this time its going to be revolving heavily around the Lore spirit. I am going to pretend that this spirit is the spirit of Jim Henson. Or perhaps God, because there’s an episode where Kermit means God. (Hint: She’s Whoopie Goldberg.)

So, this is shaping up to be a rather boring build. Let’s see if I can’t liven it up a little bit.

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: oracle 7
  • Secondary Class: bard
  • Feats: Spell Focus: illusion (1st), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (5th)
  • Abilities: heavens mystery, oracle’s curse (tongues), orisons, revelations
  • Secondary Class Features: bardic knowledge (3rd), bardic performance (7th)
  • Revelations: awesome display (1st)
  • Oracle 3rd-Level Spells Known: cure serious wounds, daylight; prayer, any one.
  • Oracle 2nd-Level Spells Known: cure moderate wounds, hypnotic pattern; any three.
  • Oracle 1st-Level Spells Known: color spray, cure light wounds; bless, know the enemy, moment of greatness, obscuring mist, any one.
  • Oracle Cantrips Known: create water, detect magic, guidance, light, purify food and drink, stabilize, virtue

Be prepared to see a lot of “any three” on this list of spells; Kermit obviously doesn’t use magic, so you have a LOT of freedom to choose what fits you best. Personally, I’d pick a lot of buff-based spells, so you’ll see me recommend those often.

Now, one of Kermit’s real strengths is knowing stuff. Knowledge. Starting at 3rd level, he gains the bardic knowledge class feature as a secondary class feature, using his full character level as his bard level. In addition, Kermit’s primary spirit from the spirit guide archetype is the Lore spirit, so starting at 4th level he gets to pick a Lore spirit hex each day. This spirit is going to give him the monstrous insight spirit ability, which allows him to make a special Knowledge check as a standard action with an insight bonus equal to his shaman (now oracle) level. Now, the +2 bonuses on attack rolls and to AC from this ability are nice, but the real draw is that insight bonus; between it and bardic knowledge, Kermit is looking at a massive bonus equal to 1-1/2 times his character level on his Knowledge check before factoring in skill ranks and the like. If this wasn’t overkill enough, starting at 4th level he can pick Benefit of Wisdom as his Lore spirit hex, which lets him use his Charisma modifier instead of his Intelligence modifier on all Intelligence-based skills. Again, all before skill ranks or favored class bonuses. Obviously, you’re going to want to make sure that you find a way to make as many of the important Knowledge skills class skills as possible to benefit from this and you’ll likely want a decent Intelligence so you have the class skills to invest in some of those key Knowledges.

Kermit’s other trick would make Jim Henson proud: he’s REALLY freaking good with the game’s prismatic-based spells thanks to his Spell Focus feats and the awesome display revelation. Starting at 1st level, Kermit lowers all enemy Hit Dice by an amount equal to his Charisma bonus for the purpose of determining how his foes are effected by his pattern spells, such as color spray (2nd level) or hypnotic pattern (4th level). For his curse, I thought tongues would be fun because Kermit always speaks in gibberish as he’s flailing about when he’s under stress. I figure combat is one big Kermit freakout with rainbows firing off in all directions. Even better, Kermit can choose to take the Arcane Enlightenment hex instead of Benefit of Wisdom in order to add sorcerer/wizard spells to his list of spells known! That’s right, Kermit can actually grab almost ANY illusion spell he wants for use with his Spell Focus feats. That’s VERY powerful.

And of course, Kermit can make bardic performances, so he can sing Rainbow Connection (in Grippli) while he’s freaking out with rainbows shimmering all over the place (which they will be thanks to his coat of many stars revelation, which he gains in the mid levels).

Let’s see how much more ridiculous I can make Kermit, shall we?

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: oracle 14
  • Secondary Class: bard
  • Feats: Spell Focus: illusion (1st), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (5th), Spell Penetration (9th),
  • Abilities: heavens mystery, oracle’s curse (tongues), orisons, revelations
  • Secondary Class Features: bardic knowledge (3rd), bardic performance (7th), versatile performance: strings (11th)
  • Revelations: awesome display (1st), coat of many stars (11th)
  • Oracle 7th-Level Spells Known: mass cure critical wounds; any one.
  • Oracle 6th-Level Spells Known: mass cure moderate wounds, chain lightning; any three
  • Oracle 5th-Level Spells Known: mass cure light wounds, overland flight; breath of life, any two.
  • Oracle 4th-Level Spells Known: cure critical wounds, rainbow pattern; blessing of fervor, any three.
  • Oracle 3rd-Level Spells Known: cure serious wounds, daylight; prayer, any three.
  • Oracle 2nd-Level Spells Known: cure moderate wounds, hypnotic pattern; any five.
  • Oracle 1st-Level Spells Known: color spray, cure light wounds; bless, know the enemy, moment of greatness, obscuring mist, any two.
  • Oracle Cantrips Known: create water, detect magic, guidance, light, purify food and drink, stabilize, virtue, any two.

Honestly, mid-levels is more of the same for Kermit. He doesn’t gain anything new from his spirit and aside from getting coat of many stars at 11th level there aren’t many new class features for Kermit to look forward. He gets versatile performance as promised and a whole bunch of new spells, but that’s about it.

That said, I do feel like I’m underselling the EXTREME FLEXIBILITY that Kermit has from the arcane enlightenment hex, and honestly, if the mid levels are boring its because this build is set up and ready to go by Level 4. Currently, its just purring smoothing without needing much more work.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: oracle 20
  • Secondary Class: bard
  • Feats: Spell Focus: illusion (1st), Greater Spell Focus: illusion (5th), Spell Penetration (9th), Greater Spell Penetration (13th), Extra Bardic Performance (17th)
  • Abilities: final revelation, heavens mystery, oracle’s curse (tongues), orisons, revelations
  • Secondary Class Features: bardic knowledge (3rd), bardic performance (7th), versatile performance: strings (11th), lore master (15th), additional performances (19th).
  • Revelations: awesome display (1st), coat of many stars (11th), moonlight bridge (19th)
  • Oracle 9th-Level Spells Known: meteor swarm; any three.
  • Oracle 8th-Level Spells Known: mass cure critical wounds, sunburst; any three.
  • Oracle 7th-Level Spells Known: mass cure serious wounds wounds, prismatic spray; any three.
  • Oracle 6th-Level Spells Known: mass cure moderate wounds, chain lightning; any three
  • Oracle 5th-Level Spells Known: mass cure light wounds, overland flight; breath of life, any two.
  • Oracle 4th-Level Spells Known: cure critical wounds, rainbow pattern; blessing of fervor, any three.
  • Oracle 3rd-Level Spells Known: cure serious wounds, daylight; prayer, any three.
  • Oracle 2nd-Level Spells Known: cure moderate wounds, hypnotic pattern; any five.
  • Oracle 1st-Level Spells Known: color spray, cure light wounds; bless, know the enemy, moment of greatness, obscuring mist, any twp.
  • Oracle Cantrips Known: create water, detect magic, guidance, light, purify food and drink, stabilize, virtue, any two.

Kermit picks up some more new abilities at this tier, but again, he doesn’t gain anything that really defines him the way that his previous choices did (besides several freaking awesome new spells like prismatic spray, of course). He also gets the moonlight bridge revelation, which I am choosing to flavor as a rainbow bridge. Or a … RAINBOW CONNECTION!

Yeah. That was bad. But not as bad as the lore spirit’s greater spirit ability, which Kermit gets at 15th level. That ability is … automatic writing. Bleck.

Mechanically, this is one of those builds that’s designed for a specific kind of player. The one who wants to have a good time and support his party. This isn’t a power house build (although it keeps spells like color spray and prismatic spray viable for a surprisingly long time), but its certainly a fun one that’s work investigating!

And that’s it for this week. What do you think? If you were designing this character for your own use (or for use as an NPC, what sort of spells would YOU pick to know? Leave your answers in the comments and I’ll see you next Monday for another installment of Guidance! 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 also cohosts the Private Sanctuary Podcast, along with fellow blogger Anthony Li, and you can follow their exploits on Facebook in the 3.5 Private Sanctuary Group, or on Alex’s Twitter, @AlJAug.

Alex Augunas

Alexander Augunas lives outside of Philadelphia, USA where he tries to make a living as an educator. When he's not shaping the future leaders of tomorrow, Alex is a freelance writer for esteemed Pathfinder Roleplaying Game publishers such as Paizo, Inc, Radiance House, Raging Swan Press, and more, and also acts as a co-host and blogger on the Know Direction Network, where he has earned the nickname, "The Everyman Gamer." Recently, Alex has forayed into the realm of self-publishing through his company, Everyman Gaming, LLC.

1 Comment

  1. Alex, though there has been no official FAQ, the consensus on the boards seems to be that Spirit Guide Oracles cannot us the Arcane Enlightenment hex, because it only relates to *prepared* spells and oracles are spontaneous casters. Though that makes me sad as well, it really does make sense because it is way too powerful, especially in comparison to the Arcane Archivist revelation that Lore Oracles get.

    Did you consider makeing Kermit a Skald? His rages are quite legendary and often highly motivational for the other muppets.

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