Iconic Design — Skittermander Suplex!

Ah! Welcome to Guidance, everyone! I’m Alexander Augunas, the Everyman Gamer, and HOLY HECK I am better rested then I literally have been in MONTHS! Turns out that being a Venture-Officer, holding down a full-time job, taking two graduate classes, and still trying to find time for Third-Party Publishing is TOUGH. Like, really, really tough. My article is somewhat abridged today because there is something major going on in my life right now. WORLD OF WARCRAFT: BATTLE FOR AZEROTH IS RELEASING! And yeah, it totally ate my life yesterday last week and I forgot to upload my article because of it. Whoopsies. But seriously, do you honestly think that I could say “No” to THIS FACE?!

Spoiler — the answer is, “No. I’m weeeeeeak.”

But hey! A late Iconic Design is better than no Iconic Design, right? Anyway, I’ve been playing a lot of Starfinder lately, and as of today my -702 officially has more credit on him then my -701. It’s not Yenzie’s fault, though! My -702 has all of my Dead Suns character credit on him, so I basically played in Skitter Shot and ran two games at my local SFS and BOOM! Now my -702 is Level 4. I seriously don’t know how it happened, guys, but what I DO know is what I want my -702 to be. I have an opportunity to unlock a Skittermander, and what I REALLY want is a Skittermander Luchadore.

Yes, I put those extra dots there just so you could process the ridiculousness of what I want. But what I want is a skittermander luchadore and since this is my blog, the only way you could possibly stop me is by exiting out of the — NO DON’T DO THAT! I promise this will be a fun read! This build was actually difficult to come up with for two reasons: First, I didn’t want to use the Armored Storm fighting style because my local SFS has TWO soldiers that use it. Second, I didn’t want to use the Blitz fighting style because I’m playing a Blitz soldier in Dead Suns. Talk about your restrictions, right?

But don’t worry, I think I figured it out! Let’s see.

Build Concept

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

  • Species Skittermander; Class soldier 12; Theme gladiator
  • Ability Scores: Str 16, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 12
  • Feats Improved Maneuver: grapple (1st), Weapon Focus: basic melee (2nd; Bonus), Skill Synergy: Bluff and Diplomacy (3rd), Cleave (4th; Bonus), Enhanced Resistances (5th), Unfriendly Fire (6th; Bonus), Antagonize (7th), Great Cleave (8th; Bonus), Skill Focus: Intimidate (9th), Improved Feint (10th; Bonus), Skill Focus: Bluff (11th), Greater Feint (12th; Bonus)
  • Class Abilities
    • Primary Fighting Style shock and awe
    • Gear Boosts melee striker (3rd); blazing strike (7th), twinned threat (11th)
    • Secondary Fighting Style blitz


So let’s get this out of the way—this is not a conventional soldier build, mostly because you’re investing rather handedly into feats and skills that are arguably more envoy territory then they are soldier territory. Regardless, the idea here is to have a character who has all of the really cool “active” combat feats that feel like wrestling moves. I mean, come on—does Cleave NOT feel like a wrestling move? What about trash-talking with Antagonize? Feinting people? (Okay, WWE / Lucha more then actual wrestling here.)

This build gives you an okay Intelligence to start—you’re likely going to take ranks in Bluff, Intimidate, Diplomacy, and probably Athleticism or Acrobatics. (I recommend Athleticism, personally.) You’re grabbing Improved Maneuver: grapple right away so you can have an insanely high bonus to hit with grapple maneuvers and at Level 2, you’re taking Weapon Focus with basic melee weapons because you’re going to be primarily wearing a powered glove for a LONG time. This is mostly a flavor reason then an actual requirement—if you want to use this build and NOT restrain yourself to a grappling luchadore like I am, literally any powered weapon is better. I’m basically planning on using a cestus powered glove and slapping the weapon fusion from the SF CRB that makes your weapon bright for use with the shock and awe fighting style’s primary fighting technique at 1st level. This sweet ability allows you to use your glowy weapon to blind people when you critically hit them, which is pretty sweet. (Not going to happen too often, but sweet nonetheless.) This ties in nicely to blazing strike at 7th level, which causes any creature you hit with an attack with a bright weapon to become dazzled. Dazzled isn’t a huge penalty, but considering its a side effect for something I was already going to do, well, I’ll take it!

Unfriendly Fire is a great reason to invest in Bluff, right up there with Greater Feint. This sweet feat basically allows the character to trick an enemy into shooting another enemy once per encounter. It’s sweet and super effective if, say, you’re tricking a tough boss into one-shotting a mook for you. But of course we aren’t going to get skill-based abilities like Unfriendly Fire and Antagonize to land if we don’t have a decent bonus at these Charisma skills, and the soldier really isn’t great at those. So I make sure to pick up Skill Synergy to make Bluff and Diplomacy class skills for me while also grabbing Improved Feint to get even more use out of my grabs. (I really like that I can feint someone as a move action, then grapple them as a standard—I’m going to need all the help I can get to hid that KAC + 13 requirement for pinning a creature!)

Overall, this isn’t a super complex build. It just uses a lot of weird things that you don’t associate with soldiers. All of the Charisma-based abilities make this feel like a very skittermander soldier—great at fighting but always looking to get nufriends first!

Speaking of nufriends, this is a good time to make an announcement—we’re going to be getting a nufriend here on Guidance. Specifically, a new RPG that I’m going to be talking about. The Pathfinder Playtest! Yes, I know a LOT of you have been waiting for me to talk more about the Playtest, and starting with next week’s article on design space and how it pertains to the races, I will be. Look forward to it!

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.