Iconic Design – Getting the Gaang Back Together 2: The Blind Bandit

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 Toph, from Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Someone said, “Its gotta be Zuko or Sokka. Who on earth would pick TOPH as the most requested character from Avatar: The Last Airbender?”

Uh, everyone. That’s who. Toph is AWESOME, and today we’re going to build her! Huzzah!

Build Concept

Alright, so before we get started let’s talk Toph.

  • Human: There really aren’t any other races in TLA, so this makes sense.
  • Geokineticist: Also a “duh.”

Super straight-forward, just how I like it! Let’s get started!

Book 1: Water (Off Screen; 1–7)

  • Classes: kineticist 7
  • Feats: Toughness (Bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Weapon Focus: kinetic blast (3rd), Combat Casting (5th), Improved Initiative (7th)
  • Abilities: burn, elemental defense, elemental focus (earth), elemental overflow +2, expanded element (earth), gather power, infusion specialization 1, infusions, internal buffer 1, kinetic blast, metakinesis (empower), utility wild talents
  • Blast Talents: earth blast (1st)
  • Composite Blast Talents: metal blast (7th)
  • Defense Talents: flesh of stone (2nd)
  • Infusions: kinetic blade (1st), pushing infusion (3rd), bowling infusion (5th), rare-metal infusion (7th)
  • Utility Talents: basic geokinesis (1st), earth walk (2nd), kinetic cover (4th), tremorsense (6th)

Toph doesn’t join the cast until halfway through Book 2, but we need an early level build for the character so let’s do it. The hardest part of playing Toph is her blindness; oracle is the only class in the game that does the “I’m blind but only at ranged,” thing well, and try as I did I couldn’t add a level of oracle to this character in a way that felt meaningful. I might need to write some generic drawbacks or something so blind characters can actually work well, but that’s not my concern here. As a result, Toph doesn’t really become Toph until Level 6, when she gets the tremorsense utility talent.

This build isn’t bad, but I also think it’s a rather straightforward geokineticist build. Few tricks or surprises. Of course she has earth walk. Of course she has kinetic cover. Of course she has bowling infusion. Nothing really surprising here. And definitely, we HAD to take expanded element: earth for this build. Toph unlocking the secrets of metalbending is one of the defining scenes of book 2’s finally, after all. (Which is why its sort of awkward to have it at Level 7, but mechanics are mechanics.)

Speaking of Book 2, let’s go there. Now.

Book 2: Earth (8–14)

  • Classes: kineticist 14
  • Feats: Toughness (Bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Weapon Focus: kinetic blast (3rd), Combat Casting (5th), Improved Initiative (7th), Extra Wild Talent: extended range (9th), Extra Wild Talent: extreme range (11th), Extra Wild Talent: enduring earth (13th)
  • Abilities: burn, elemental defense, elemental focus (earth), elemental overflow +4, expanded element (earth), gather power, infusion specialization 4, infusions, internal buffer 2, kinetic blast, metakinesis (empower, maximize, quicken), supercharge, utility wild talents
  • Blast Talents: earth blast (1st)
  • Composite Blast Talents: metal blast (7th)
  • Defense Talents: flesh of stone (2nd)
  • Infusions: kinetic blade (1st), pushing infusion (3rd), bowling infusion (5th), rare-metal infusion (7th), extended range (Bonus), impale (9th), extreme range (Bonus), wall (11th), grappling (13th)
  • Utility Talents: basic geokinesis (1st), earth walk (2nd), kinetic cover (4th), tremorsense (6th), shift earth (8th), greater tremorsense (10th), stone sculptor (12th), enduring earth (Bonus), greater shift earth (14th)

These are more earth abilities. This build remains predictable. Grabbing extended rage so we qualify for deadly earth (eventually) is a must, as is impale, wall, and grappling. I’m also a big fan of greater shift earth and stone sculptor; few kineticist elements get as much raw utility as geokineticists get from those two talents. Earth glide is awesome and I wish I had room for it, but it really is more of a Book 3 talent.

In any case, let’s move on to the end game and wrap this build up, Blind Bandit style!

Book 3: Fire (15+)

  • Classes: kineticist 20
  • Feats: Toughness (Bonus), Weapon Finesse (1st), Weapon Focus: kinetic blast (3rd), Combat Casting (5th), Improved Initiative (7th), Extra Wild Talent: extended range (9th), Extra Wild Talent: extreme range (11th), Extra Wild Talent: enduring earth (13th), FREEBIE (15th), FREEBIE (17th), FREEBIE (19th)
  • Abilities: burn, elemental defense, elemental focus (earth), elemental overflow +6, expanded element (earth x2), gather power, infusion specialization 6, infusions, internal buffer 3, kinetic blast, metakinesis (empower, maximize, quicken, twice), metakinetic master, supercharge, utility wild talents
  • Blast Talents: earth blast (1st)
  • Composite Blast Talents: metal blast (7th)
  • Defense Talents: flesh of stone (2nd)
  • Infusions: kinetic blade (1st), pushing infusion (3rd), bowling infusion (5th), rare-metal infusion (7th), extended range (Bonus), impale (9th), extreme range (Bonus), wall (11th), grappling (13th), deadly earth (15th), fragmentation (17th), snake (19th)
  • Utility Talents: basic geokinesis (1st), earth walk (2nd), kinetic cover (4th), tremorsense (6th), shift earth (8th), greater tremorsense (10th), stone sculptor (12th), enduring earth (Bonus), greater shift earth (14th), ride the blast (16th), earth glide (18th), seismic master (20th)

Unlike Katara, who needs a LOT of talents (and therefore a LOT of feats) in order to feel like Katara, Toph stops really NEEDING talents beyond what she gets at 15th level, so you’re pretty much free to take what you want feat-wise. (Personally, I recommend taking earth glide with the Extra Wild Talent feat at 15th level and bumping seismic master up to 18th level, but that’s just me.) By the end, Toph is REALLY nasty at control. She can grapple, trip, impale, and blow stuff up just because she feels like it. This isn’t a super innovative build (kineticists tend to be VERY cookie cutter because there simply aren’t a diverse spread of feats or wild talents available to them yet), but its certainly a great build for Toph!

And that’s my build for Toph Beifong! Any questions or comments? Leave them below or post them on our forums. Make sure you tune in next week when we take a small break from Avatar for Valentine’s Day to pay homage to a rising star who’s threatened to kill me if I don’t give him his due. Until then, 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.

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4 Comments

  1. Thats a Deadpool build next week yay!!

    Sorry that I can`t say anything about this build, but I neither know Avatar nor Occult Classes 😉

  2. Did you consider the varient multiclass rules for the oracle? I don’t remember it off the top of my head but I remember thinking it was perfect for a Daredevil-esque build.

  3. I could see using the variant muticlass rules and picking Metal mystery as well as the Blind curse because Toph is the only one (that I can remember, been awhile) that discovers the art of metal-bending. Granted this wouldn’t be entirely “street-legal” at some tables as some DMs are ify about the variant system.

  4. Nazde Bahatur Reply to Nazde

    Great piece of work, as always!
    Now, here’s an idea:
    Oni-Spawn Tieflings are essentialy red and muscular horned dudes.
    Tiefling Alternative Physical Features list has both #2 Oversized Limb and #3 Stony Forearms.
    Armored coats exist in Pathfinder, so do revolvers.
    And as of Occult Adventures, we now have Occultist as a base class!
    Why don’t you try out a Hellboy build?

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