Iconic Design: A Link Between Games

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 Link, from the Legend of Zelda.

Today I’m doing one of the most commonly requested characters for Iconic Design. A character who everyone knows, and who needs very little introduction. Today’s character is Link, from the Legend of Zelda series!.

Build Concept

Here’s what we’re going to need in order to build a satisfying Link.

  • Half-Elf: I can’t bring myself around to calling Link human, personally. At the same time, he doesn’t strike me as an elf either. As a result, I’m going to say that the Hyrulians are some sort of true-breeding half-elves. Which I’m perfectly okay with. I can’t really see Link with any of the alternate racial traits from any current Paizo source, so we’re going to use the standard set-up for Link. I think I’m going to go with Skill Focus (Acrobatics) for his free half-elven Skill Focus feat; he’s pretty Acrobatic in most of his games, though I think that Skill Focus (Ride) or Skill Focus (Handle Animal) is also okay.
  • Fighter: Why, a single-class fighter Iconic Design? I too like to live dangerously.

With that out of the way, let’s talk stats!

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: fighter 7
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Power Attack (1st), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: longsword (3rd), Weapon Specialization: longsword (Bonus), Advanced Weapon Training: versatile training (5th), Cleave (Bonus), Great Cleave (7th)
  • Abilities: armor training, bravery, weapon training
  • Advanced Weapon Trainings: versatile training: heavy blades (Bonus)
  • Weapon Training: heavy blades +1 (5th)

Low-levels, Link is a pretty basic switch-hitting half-elf. He’s got some fairly standard melee options (like Power Attack) as well as two ranged feats: Point-Blank Shot and Rapid Shot. In my opinion, Link doesn’t really need a whole bunch of ranged attacking feats because the bow is more of a backup weapon in the games rather than his bread and butter, which is the Master Sword.

One of Link’s iconic abilities is the spin attack, where he rapidly attacks everything close to him by spanning about. We’re replicating that with the Cleave line of feats, s it’s the best way to realize that maneuver. I’m also picking up the versatile training advanced weapon training as Link’s first advanced weapon training ability. I like versatile training because it gives bonus class skills and skill ranks, and for heavy blades the choices are Bluff, Intimidate, Diplomacy, and Knowledge (nobility). I would pick Diplomacy and Intimidate for Link personally, but its really up to you. I can also see an argument being made to ignore this AWT altogether; its really just a preference of mine.

With that aside, let’s look at the mid levels.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: fighter 14
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Power Attack (1st), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: longsword (3rd), Weapon Specialization: longsword (Bonus), Advanced Weapon Training: versatile training (5th), Cleave (Bonus), Great Cleave (7th), Greater Weapon Focus: longsword (Bonus), Cleaving Finish (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: armed bravery (Bonus), Improved Cleaving Finish (11th), Greater Weapon Specialization: longsword (Bonus), Quick Draw (13th), Cut from the Air (Bonus)
  • Abilities: armor training, bravery, weapon training
  • Advanced Weapon Trainings: versatile training: heavy blades (Bonus) focused weapon: longsword (9th), armed bravery (Bonus), trained initiative (13th)
  • Weapon Training: heavy blades +3 (5th)

Alright, let’s talk about more fights! We focus even more on fighting with the Master Sword via Greater Weapon Focus and Greater Weapon Specialization. We’re also going to be replicating Link’s sick ability to knock away spells that are targeted at him with the Master Sword using the Cut from the Air and Smash from the Air (End Game) feats, both of which are Weapon Mastery feats from the Weapon Master’s Handbook. We also start picking up a bunch of advanced weapon training abilities, such as armed bravery (add bravery to all Will saves as well as the fighter’s Intimidate DC) and trained initiative (add bravery on Initiative checks). Cleaving Finish and Improved Cleaving Finish help us assure that Link will be taking his enemies down, but at the same time I can see an argument being made that they aren’t as “spin-dashy” as the Cleave and Great Cleave feats. If you don’t like them, then take Cut from the Air and Smash from the Air in their place and add Penetrating Strike and Greater Penetrating Strike somewhere. I’m sure you’ll make it work. ☺

Onto the End Game!

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: fighter 20
  • Feats: Point-Blank Shot (Bonus), Power Attack (1st), Rapid Shot (Bonus), Weapon Focus: longsword (3rd), Weapon Specialization: longsword (Bonus), Advanced Weapon Training: versatile training (5th), Cleave (Bonus), Great Cleave (7th), Greater Weapon Focus: longsword (Bonus), Cleaving Finish (9th), Advanced Weapon Training: armed bravery (Bonus), Improved Cleaving Finish (11th), Greater Weapon Specialization: longsword (Bonus), Quick Draw (13th), Cut from the Air (Bonus), Advanced Weapon Training: fighter’s reflexes (15th), Smash from the Air (Bonus), Critical Focus (17th), Tiring Critical (Bonus), Exhausting Critical (19th), Improved Critical: Longsword (Bonus)
  • Abilities: armor mastery, armor training, bravery, weapon mastery (longsword), weapon training
  • Advanced Weapon Trainings: versatile training: heavy blades (Bonus) focused weapon: longsword (9th), armed bravery (Bonus), trained initiative (13th), fighter’s reflexes (Bonus), dazzling intimidation (17th)
  • Weapon Training: heavy blades +4 (5th)

Link rounds up his build with bonuses on Reflex saves and improved criticals. He also gets the Smash from the Air feat, which is awesome. I love that one!

Before I sign out, let’s talk about the kind of gear that Link can carry to replicate some of the most common Legend of Zelda ware.

  • Slingshot: I guess grab a sling? Not really all THAT great.
  • Bow: Link uses a shortbow.
  • Bombs: Grab some fuse bombs. They’re the closest thing to Link’s bombs in game. (Plus going alchemist or wizard for the bomb class feature isn’t very appropriate for Link.)
  • Boomerang: Like the sling, this exists in some places but I doubt I would bother taking the item proficiency feat for it. Link uses his boomerang primarily to solve puzzles, not to attack foes.
  • Hookshot: For now, nothing like this exists in the game. A wand of force hook charge is probably the best you’re going to do in this regard.

And that’s that! I hope you enjoyed my Link build, and I hope to see you reading more Iconic design in the future. There’s lots more builds for me to show you, so make sure you stay tuned here at the Know Direction Network!

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.

Know Direction Pathfinder Podcast

5 Comments

  1. Nice build, but I’m curious what kind of stat spread he would have, and what you would use for the master sword?

  2. Useful info. Fortunate me I discovered your web site by chance, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t
    happened in advance! I bookmarked it.

  3. David S. Reply to David

    Really cool build! Well done ….

  4. What about Whirlwind Attack?

    • Alex Augunas Reply to Alex

      Even though it’s iconic to Link, I have a REALLY hard time recommending Whirlwind Attack to anyone. It has a huge list of feat prerequisites that don’t mesh with the end result, and a single attack on a bunch of foes is seldom as useful as a bunch attacks on one guy unless you’re a trip specialist.

Leave a Reply