Iconic Design: More Like ParaSYCHED!

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 Izumi and Migi, of Parasyte.

Its not secret that KDN blogger James Ballod LOVES anime. A few months ago, he asked me for a very specific build—Izumi and Migi from the anime Parasyte. At the time, we happened to be working on the Haunted Heroes Handbook (due out at the end of August), and I couldn’t tell him this at the time but we had a feat chain that did what he wanted perfectly—the Possessed Hand feats. I blew him off, told him it was impossible.

But scheming, I began.

Now the subscribers have their PDFs, and I am ready to share my Parasyte build with the world! cue dramatic lightning and thunder

So basically, Parasyte is an anime about parasites from space that infect humans and take over their minds and bodies. Its sort of like the book The Host (written by Stephanie Meyers, author of the Twilight series), except the parasites are horrifying monsters capable of warping their host body horror style. So completely different.

And that, my friends, is what we will be building today.

Parasyte 1

Ignore the part where this is a spin-off! Focus on the creepy alien hand! Creeeepy aliiiien haaaand!

Build Concept

So, how are we building Izumi and Migi?” Check out the play by plays below!

  • Human: Izumi is human, and the bonus feat is sweet.
  • Bloodrager (Untouchable Rager): The bloodrager’s class package reads like a checklist of powers that Izumi starts to develop when he’s bonded to Migi—enhanced strength, speed, and endurance. The reason I picked bloodrager over barbarian is the aberrant bloodline, specifically the abnormal reach ability. It captures the body horror of what Migi is quite nicely!
  • Fighter (Eldritch Guardian): We’re going to get the opportunity to take Migi as a familiar, and two levels of Eldritch Guardian make it all the sweeter!

Ready to see this build put together? See below!

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: bloodrager (untouchable rager) 7
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Bonus), Possessed Hand (1st), Power Attack (3rd), Two-Weapon Fighting (5th), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Hand’s Autonomy (7th)
  • Abilities: aberrant bloodline, blood sanctuary, bloodrage, DR 1/–, fast movement, improved uncanny dodge, raging resistance (SR 16), uncanny dodge
  • Bloodline Powers: staggering strike (1st), abnormal reach (4th)

So, I need to do some explaining on some of these feats. Possessed Hand and Hand’s Autonomy are two brand-new feats from the upcoming Haunted Hero’s Handbook product by Paizo Publishing. Possessed Hand basically puts a foreign presence into your hand. The hand is EXTREMELY distracting, and causes you to take a –2 penalty on concentration checks. In exchange, any attack that you make with your possessed hand gets a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls, and you get a +1 bonus on Disable Device and Sleight of Hand checks. Finally, once per day you can retrieve a stored item as a swift action, provided the retried item weighs no more than 5 lbs. The feat is themed around ghosts and possessed entities, but to me, this SCREAMS Migi from Parasyte.

In order to capitalize on the fighting style, I’ve taken Improved Unarmed Strike, Power Attack, and Two-Weapon Fighting. Combat Reflexes is perfect to represent the duo’s enhanced reflexes while Hand’s Autonomy literally MAKES this build. You see, Hand’s Autonomy reduces the penalties for Two-Weapon Fighting by  –2 (to a minimum of –1), which means we’re only taking a –1 penalty to fight with two weapons. The hand also has a limited array of actions that it can use while you’re unable to defend yourself, which is neat.

I took the untouchable rager archetype because to me, spell-less is the best way to symbolize the duo. Plus getting free, scaling spell resistance is AWESOMELY good. (Unlike most spell resistance, the untouchable rager’s spell resistance is fairly relevant.) Also, picking up the aberrant bloodline implies that Migi is the cause of Izumi’s powers (which is 100% true) and therefore awesome. Plus the ability to extend Izumi’s research while raging (likely because of Migi’s morphic control over Izumi’s hand) is absolutely AWESOME.

Let’s move on to the mid levels and see what else I can do.

Parasyte GIF

Izumi is the one without the ugly face.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: bloodrager (untouchable rager) 12, fighter (eldritch guardian) 2
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Bonus), Possessed Hand (1st), Power Attack (3rd), Two-Weapon Fighting (5th), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Hand’s Autonomy (7th), Hand’s Detachment (9th), Improved Initiative (Bonus), Lunge (11th), Iron Will (Bonus), Outflank (13th)
  • Abilities: aberrant bloodline, blood sanctuary, bloodrage, DR 2/–, familiar, fast movement, greater bloodrage, improved uncanny dodge, raging resistance (SR 23), uncanny dodge.
  • Bloodline Powers: staggering strike (1st), abnormal reach (4th), aberrant fortitude (8th), unusual anatomy (12th)

Basically, the idea is to take a fighter level at 9th level, so you get Hand’s Detachment and a familiar at the same time. The reason you want to do this is very simple—Hand’s Detachment transforms your possessed hand into a familiar that can detach itself from your body, but you don’t get any of the normal familiar abilities. If you gain the familiar class feature (which the eldritch guardian gets at 1st level without sacrificing a point of base attack bonus), then your hand gains all of the powers of a normal familiar if you select it as your familiar (its special ability is +3 on Sleight of Hand checks). And yes, it gains ALL abilities, which means it qualifies for familiar archetypes. Specifically, the mauler, which allows your hand to polymorph itself into a Medium-sized hand horror monstrosity.

And if you’re going to take ONE level in eldritch guardian, you might as well take two. Because that allows you to share all of your combat feats with your familiar. So now your familiar has Power Attack, Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, and if your GM is feeling kind, Two-Weapon Fighting and Improved Unarmed Strike at 9th level, plus your full BAB.

Adding to the list of fun is Lunge (which the familiar gains) and Iron Will, which represents Izumi’s steeled emotions as Migi’s cells course through him! The bloodline gives Izumi crazy powers like, “It is unlikely that you will ever be critically hit,” and “You’re not dying of dysentery on my watch!”

I wonder if I can do any more weird stuff with this build?

Meh. Maybe.

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: bloodrager (untouchable rager) 18, fighter (eldritch guardian) 2
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Bonus), Possessed Hand (1st), Power Attack (3rd), Two-Weapon Fighting (5th), Combat Reflexes (Bonus), Hand’s Autonomy (7th), Hand’s
    Parasyte zzyzzyy

    Fan artwork by zzyzzyy. Click on the image to view on the artist’s page at DeviantArt.com!

    Detachment (9th), Improved Initiative (Bonus), Lunge (11th), Iron Will (Bonus), Outflank (13th), Precise Strike (15th), Improved Grapple (Bonus), Improved Critical: unarmed strike (17th), Greater Grapple (19th)

  • Abilities: aberrant bloodline, blood sanctuary, bloodrage, DR 4/–, familiar, fast movement, greater bloodrage, improved uncanny dodge, raging resistance (SR 30), resistance control, tireless bloodrage, uncanny dodge.
  • Bloodline Powers: staggering strike (1st), abnormal reach (4th), aberrant fortitude (8th), unusual anatomy (12th), aberrant resistance (16th)

And here’s the end. Two creepy-ass grappling buddies with massive strength, full base attack bonus, and a crazy number of feats. You might be wondering why I never invested more in the Two-Weapon Fighting feat line. The reason is simple—you don’t have a second hand to TWF with while you have a familiar, so you have the first feat in order to make TWF pretty good when you and your hand are attached to one another (a free attack with only a –1 penalty on all your attacks isn’t terrible, especially in the early levels when you don’t have your familiar). But eventually you get to the point where you don’t NEED TWF anymore; you have your blender-riffic familiar to help you out with the extra attack. You might want to consider retraining Two-Weapon Fighting out for something else, since Hand’s Autonmy works like the feat-less TWF anyway for you. Its your call.

Whatever you decide, Izumi and Migi are ready to wreck all the parasytes they meet now!

So, what did you think of my build? Leave your comments and questions below, and I’ll see you back in two weeks for another Iconic Design! 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 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.