Iconic Design: The Prowler’s Meow

Last week, I promised you that I was going to show off a bloodrager build that I’ve been working on for my PFS catfolk. (If you didn’t know, Catfolk were one of the GM options for this year’s GenCon.) Now, fair warning—this build uses an archetype that I wrote. However, that archetype is the best-named archetype ever with (to paraphrase Eleven) the most “bitchin’” lore behind it, so I don’t feel bad.

Nope. Not at all.

Let’s get started!

Build Concept

Any information important to understanding the build or its roots goes here.

  • Classes: Bloodrager (prowler at world’s end, metamagic rager) 12
  • Feats: Power Attack (1st), Legendary Influence (3rd), Quicken Spell (5th), Extend Spell (6th; Bonus), Catfolk Exemplar: claws (7th), Extra Rage (9th), Extra Rage (11th)
  • Abilities: blood casting, blood sanctuary, bloodline, bloodrage, chosen of the spirits, damage reduction 2/–, eschew materials, fast movement, metamagic rager, spirit, spirit bonus +1d6, uncanny dodge
  • Bloodline: destined strike (4th), fated bloodrager (9th), certain strike (8th)
  • Legendary Influence: Weapon Focus (Champion), Raging Vitality (Guardian), Combat Reflexes (Marshal), Cunning (Trickster)
  • 1st-Level Spells Known: shield; burning hands, cheetah’s spring, enlarge person, protection from evil, stone throwing, true strike
  • 2nd-Level Spells Known: blur; false life, huntmaster’s spear, pouncing fury, see invisibility, vine strike
  • 3rd-Level Spells Known: fly, force hook charge, haste, vampiric touch

Play Description

Okay, so the basic idea of this build is to play a Southern Mwangi catfolk who’s joined with the society’s Silver Crusade to stamp out evil. He channels the spirits of ancient “big cats” charged with purging evil from Golarian to accomplish this. So, how did I build this character?

First, I decided that the essential feats for my build were Power Attack, Quicken Spell, and Extend Spell. Those last two are the metamagic feats that I’m going to want to apply to my buff-heavy spell list using the metamagic rager class feature, Extend Spell lets me spend 1 round of bloodrage to double my spells’ duration, while Quicken Spell lets me cast some of my spells as a swift action. This is super helpful, as my build is largely built around claw natural attacks until I channel the champion. To this end, casting vine strike on myself and extending it for a round of bloodrage is a crucial part of my build. When I get enough rounds of rage to quicken enlarge person on myself (or others), however, things will get FUN fast. You never realize how many spells there are on the bloodrager spell list that you would cast if only it didn’t gobble up your full attack! Like a lot of those damage-based spells—quickened vampiric touch, followed by a full attack? Abso-freaking-lutely!

To go along with my claws build, Catfolk Exemplar was a must-have. The weapons version of the feat boosts my claws from d4 to d6, so I’ll be SUPER happy to have that come online. Between that feat and my vine strike, I’m basically hitting for greatsword damage with every swipe, which is awesome. To make sure I could use my powers frequently, I grabbed Extra Rage twice for 12 extra rounds of rage. (Aka 3 whole uses of Quicken Spell!) And to round out my feat selection, I picked Legendary Influence for some extra specialization and flavor.

This is a good time to go into what the spirits do for me. Prowler at world’s end loses most of its bonus feat and delays its bloodline powers substantially to get spirit powers, like a medium. Each spirit is associated with a big cat (leopard is guardian, lion is marshal, tiger is champion, and cheetah is trickster), with the archetype not gaining access to archmage or hierophant. Additionally, it gains spirit powers on a slightly delayed tack, and doesn’t get any of the cool shared séance buffs a standard medium has. In the end, my spirit priority looks like this:

Tiger (Champion): I get Weapon Focus and proficiency with the fauchard when I bind this spirit, plus eventually the ability to move and full attack. The fauchard is an 18-20/x2 polearm with reach, and I’m flavoring mine as a specialized jungle spear. I also get sick combat benefits and bonus damage for binding the Champion, and for combat scenarios this is my go-to.

Leopard (Guardian): I get Raging Vitality and bonus feat, the ability to wear heavy armor and a shield, and get bonuses to CMD. Eventually I’ll get energy resistance and better-than-bloodrager DR (DR/– equal to half my bloodrager level). This spirit is for when the flavor text makes it sound like we’re going into a really rough scenario, or when our group doesn’t have someone who can take a punch.

Lion (Marshal): I get Combat Advice, a séance boon from any spirit I want, and the ability to spirit surge anyone’s attack rolls, saving throws, ability checks, concentration checks, and skill checks. Eventually, I’ll be able to buff people with a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls. Honestly, I don’t foresee myself using this spirit; it doesn’t synergize well with my abilities and the action economy doesn’t really get good until later

Cheetah (Trickster): I get Cunning as a bonus feat, ranks in two skills of my choice equal to my level (and those skills count as class skills), and eventually the ability to lesser sneak attack foes with surprised strike. This spirit is actually pretty darn good, a close contender with champion after I get surprise strike. I’d probably pick it if I had someone melee in the group to flank with, like a rogue, or if I was entering a scenario that I knew was going to be skill-based. Between Cunning, the Séance boon, and the Trickster’s Edge power, I basically get to pick three skills and get full ranks equal to my bloodrager in those skills, and they all become class skills for me. It’s REALLY great in scenarios where we might need to shore up a party weakness. (Oh no! No one in our party is a face?!)

And that’s my bloodrager build for my catfolk! I’m pretty excited about it, but what do you think? What do you like about my build? What would you do differently? Leave your comments below, and I’ll see you next week for another new article! Ciao!

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 Alexs Twitter, @AlJAug.

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.

Burst of Insight


  1. Rob

    I very much enjoy your iconic design posts; they show a lot of creativity and system mastery that I lack. This post is as interesting as the others you have done.

    I do wonder if there is a discrepancy in your calculations though. You say, “I grabbed Extra Rage twice for 12 extra rounds of rage. (Aka 3 whole uses of Quicken Spell!)”, which implies that using the Quicken Spell as a metamagic rager will only cost 4 rounds per use. On the other hand, the ability’s description (as written in d20PFSRD) says, “[t]his costs a number of rounds of bloodrage equal to twice what the spell’s adjusted level would normally be with the metamagic feat applied (minimum 2 rounds).” Does this not mean that it would cost 8 rounds of rage to use quicken spell? Maybe I have missed something.

    Thanks again for your great posts. I must say that I enjoy the iconic design posts the most of all the types of posts on the network.

  2. Blake

    I very much like the concept of the Prowler at World’s End. When I recieved the catfolk boon this past GenCon, I knew wanted I wanted to use it for. However, I’m confused as to how this archetype works (probably due to word count editing). The archetype grants the Spirit, Spirit Powers, and Spirit Surge of certain Medium Spirits. It does not grant the Spirit Bonus. Spirit Surge only applies to rolls affected by the Spirit Bonus, though. So how is thissupposed to work? Also, the archetype lists a taboo without adding the Taboo feature. Do you gain the 2 free uses of Spirit Surge (assuming you can surge) or do you simply gain the taboo without benefit?

    • Alex Augunas

      While I *did* write this archetype, nothing I say here has any rules-binding to it. If you want an official answer, get it from Paizo. (Naturally this holds no weight in PFS.)

      Basically, mediums are complicated and have a lot of terminology spread out across class feature, which is probably where these errors come from. I would essentially treat the spirits class feature as if it were written as so:

      At 1st level, a prowler at world’s end gains the ability to channel the spirits of creation, granting him the medium’s spirit and spirit surge abilities. A prowler channels the cheetah (which acts as the trickster), the leopard (which acts as the guardian), the lion (which acts as the marshal), and the tiger (which acts as the champion). The prowler does not have access to the archmage or hierophant legends. The favored locations for these spirits are altars, churches, sacred groves, and shrines, and the prowler at world’s end treats his spirit bonus as +0 for all purposes. (For the inspiring call spirit power, he instead calculates his spirit bonus as if he were a medium of his level.)

      A prowler at world’s end gains his spirit’s lesser power at 1st level, its intermediate power at 8th level, and its greater power at 16th level. A prowler’s spirit surge bonus never advances beyond 1d6.

      This ability replaces the 1st-, 8th-, and 16th-level bloodline powers.

  3. NinjaKitty

    Hey! I’ve only been reading your “iconic designs” page for a little while now, but i’ve been hooked ever since 🙂 i love seeing just how many cool, iconic characters you can make in Pathfinder. Pathfinder is my favourite tabletop rpg and i look forward to seeing what you come up with next. I was wondering if you could do a build for Guts from the anime Berserk. He’s one of my favourite anime characters and i’d love to see your take on him. If you do find time to make him i look forward to seeing it 🙂 keep up the awesome work man!