Iconic Design: You Better Watch Out….

Welcome to Iconic Design, Private Sanctuary’s source for innovative and evocative character builds for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, written by Everyman Gamer Alexander Augunas. Today, we’re going to be looking at a build for SANTA CLAUS!!!!

Last year, I did an entire week of cool character designs for Christmas. This year, I’m topping ALL of that with one, single Iconic Design that’s so chock-full of holiday cheer that you’re going to EXPLODE from it!

This year, I’m building Santa Claus.

Build Concept

How are we going to make this work? Easy!

  • Human: Saint Nicolas was/is a human, so this seems fitting.
  • Archery: Did you know that in addition to being the patron saint of children and redeemed thieves, Saint Nicolas is also the patron saint of Pathfinder’s most ridiculous damage-dealing weapon style?! Its true!
  • Inquisitor: This is almost the perfect Santa Clause class. Santa knows when you’re away with detect thoughts. He knows if you’ve been bad or good with detect alignment. He only needs a way to see you when you’re sleeping, so to get that we’re going to be dipping into…
  • Pathfinder Savant: This is an awesome prestige class that doesn’t get the credit its due. Among other things, this class will allow us to put scrying onto the inquisitor’s spell list, so we can finally have our dream of a Santa Clause build.

Well, how does this all come together? Take a look and see!

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: Inquisitor (sacred huntsmaster) 7
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Coordinated Shot (Bonus), Friendly Fire Maneuvers (3rd), Rapid Shot (5th), Enfilading Fire (Bonus), Manyshot (7th)
  • Abilities: animal companion, animal focus, cunning initiative, bane, detect alignment, discern lies, domain (Animal), hunter tactics, monster lore, stern gaze, track
  • Inquisitor 3rd-Level Spells Known (2): coordinated effort, nondetection
  • Inquisitor 2nd-Level Spells Known (4): detect thoughts, knock, tongues, ANY ONE
  • Inquisitor 1st-Level Spells Known (4): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor,
  • Inquisitor Orisons Known (6): detect magic, detect poison, guidance, read magic, sift, stabilize

So the basic idea is that Santa Claus has Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer as an animal companion, and shares all of his teamwork feats with him. Use the stats for a moose (which are flippin’ awesome). By level 7, Santa knows if you’re awake (detect thoughts) and he knows if you’ve been bad or good (detect alignment). We’re going to be spending most of the mid levels building Santa up to the point where he’ll be able to see you when you’re sleeping, but he won’t have that for a while yet. Use a Crystal Ball or something.

Moving on!

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: Inquisitor (sacred huntsmaster) 12 / Pathfinder Savant 2
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Coordinated Shot (Bonus), Friendly Fire Maneuvers (3rd), Rapid Shot (5th), Enfilading Fire (Bonus), Manyshot (7th), Craft Wondrous Item or Spell Focus: any (9th), Escape Route (Bonus), Magical Aptitude (11th), ANY TEAMWORK FEAT (Bonus), Deadly Aim (13th)
  • Abilities: adept activation, animal companion, animal focus, cunning initiative, bane, detect alignment, discern lies, domain (Animal), esoteric magic, glyph-finding, greater bane, hunter tactics, improved empathic link, master scholar +1, monster lore, stalwart, stern gaze, track
  • Esoteric Spells: scrying (2nd)
  • Inquisitor 5th-Level Spells Known (2): scrying, ANY ONE
  • Inquisitor 4th-Level Spells Known (4): ANY FOUR
  • Inquisitor 3rd-Level Spells Known (5): coordinated effort, nondetection, ANY THREE
  • Inquisitor 2nd-Level Spells Known (5): detect thoughts, knock, tongues, ANY THREE
  • Inquisitor 1st-Level Spells Known (6): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, ANY TWO
  • Inquisitor Orisons Known (6): detect magic, detect poison, guidance, read magic, sift, stabilize

So how are we going to help Santa see people when they’re sleeping? Well, we need to get scrying onto his inquisitor spell list, and currently the easiest way to do that is with the Pathfinder Savant prestige class. Its 2nd level ability, esoteric magic, allows us to add scrying to the inquisitor spell list as a 5th-level spell. We spend most of the mid levels qualify for the class, but I like the flavor that adding those prerequisites bring to the class; Craft Wondrous Item for making toys and Magical Aptitude for using all sorts of Christmas gadgets. (Note that if you want to use the Pathfinder Savant in PFS, the class requires Spell Focus as a prerequisite instead of a crafting feat.)

Other then those elements, there isn’t a whole lot that we NEED to make a good Santa Claus. The teamwork feats in particular are tough because Santa has basically all of the feats that are super useful to him. (There are some exceptions, but not many.) I personally like the idea of taking selective invisibility as a 3rd-level spell so Santa is invisible to everyone save the children (sweet and sentimental), but its really up to you.

Let’s finish off Santa’s build so everyone can get back to their holiday festivities.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: Inquisitor (sacred huntsmaster) 18 / Pathfinder Savant 2
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Precise Shot (1st), Coordinated Shot (Bonus), Friendly Fire Maneuvers (3rd), Rapid Shot (5th), Enfilading Fire (Bonus), Manyshot (7th), Craft Wondrous Item or Spell Focus: any (9th), Escape Route (Bonus), Magical Aptitude (11th), ANY TEAMWORK FEAT (Bonus), Deadly Aim (13th), ANY TEAMWORK FEAT (Bonus), Boon Companion (15th), Additional Traits: magical knack if you don’t have it already (17th), ANY TEAMWORK FEAT (18th), FREEBIE (19th)
  • Abilities: adept activation, animal companion, animal focus, cunning initiative, bane, detect alignment, discern lies, domain (Animal), esoteric magic, exploit weakness, glyph-finding, greater bane, hunter tactics, improved empathic link, master scholar +1, monster lore, raise animal companion, second animal focus, slayer, stalwart, stern gaze, track
  • Esoteric Spells: scrying (2nd)
  • Inquisitor 6th-Level Spells Known (4): find the path, legend lore, overwhelming presence, ANY ONE
  • Inquisitor 5th-Level Spells Known (4): scrying, ANY THREE
  • Inquisitor 4th-Level Spells Known (5): ANY FIVE
  • Inquisitor 3rd-Level Spells Known (6): coordinated effort, nondetection, ANY FOUR
  • Inquisitor 2nd-Level Spells Known (6): detect thoughts, knock, tongues, ANY THREE
  • Inquisitor 1st-Level Spells Known (6): bless, cure light wounds, divine favor, ANY TWO
  • Inquisitor Orisons Known (6): detect magic, detect poison, guidance, read magic, sift, stabilize

I have nothing else to say here save, “Come on, EVERYONE would bow before Santa Clause as though he were a god. EVERY. ONE.”

And that’s this week’s build for this special Christmas installment of Iconic Design. What did you think? How would you build old Chris Kringle? Would you do something differently, or stay the same? What sort of Iconic Designs do you want to see in the new year, and who do you want to see writing them? (I can totally try to get Ryan or Perram to write an article if people are interested in seeing their take on character building for an episode.) Leave your comments below, and I’ll see you back next week for our first Iconic Design of the new year! 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.

4 Comments

  1. What no mythic? He is one of the Guardians after all, you need to top this sundae with some mythic syrup.

    • Alex Augunas Reply to Alex

      I haven’t added mythic components to my builds in a LONG time.

      Its mostly extra words that can’t be used by the vast majority of players that end repeating themselves. (There’s a very small selection of mythic powers that are “So good I have to take it,” then there’s everything else.)

      At the very least, however, Santa would have a minimum of 1 mythic tier so he could be immortal. 😉

  2. Joe Collins Jr Reply to Joe

    I would love to see the characters, past and present, of all members of the PS/KD family, especially some that Ryan has been telling us about for years.

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