Destroy All Titans!

Welcome to Iconic Design, where we discuss the creation of exciting new character builds for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game!

Yup. I’m doing an Attack on Titan build. Specifically, a build for Eren Yaeger. I know you Attack on Titan fans are SQUEALING right now, so I’ll say this: this guide has spoilers from the first 10 episodes of Attack on Titan, so if you have 5 hours to kill and don’t want to be spoiled, WATCH IT. Oh please, for the love of god WATCH ATTACK ON TITAN.

Thank you.

Background

Since Attack on Titan just started airing on Cartoon Network, I’m not going to go too much into who Eren Yaeger is. All you need to know is that he lives in a world where humanity is hunted by giant humanoids called titans. They catch and eat people because they think humans taste delicious. Attack on Titan has some of the most horrifying imagery of people getting eaten that I have EVER seen. Coupled a healthy dose of uncanny valley and this show is both dark and terrifying in its own, weird way. If you like Lovecraftian Horror (not the monsters, but the premise of humanity as insignificant on a cosmic scale) then you will ADORE Attack on Titan.

Build Concept

So, how are we going to build Eren Yaeger? With STYLE AND OVERPOWERED ARCHETYPES! (But mostly the latter.)

  • Ranger: Remember my trick for getting monk unarmed strike damage that I used with my Steve Irwin build? Yeah, we’re gonna need that trick.
  • Summoner (Synthesist Summoner): Oh yeah, baby! We’re bringing back the most OP character archetype in the game here on Iconic Design! Seriously though, we need the synthesit summoner as it is the only way to get a PC large enough to be a titan without something like monstrous physique. So specifically, it’s the only way to do it without being a wizard/sorcerer while getting pretty close to the concept at 1st level. To those GMs out there who have had their games ruined by this archetype, I’m sorry.

Early Levels (1–7)

  • Classes: Ranger 2 / Summoner (Synthesist Summoner) 5
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Human Bonus), Two-Weapon Fighting (1st), Monastic Legacy (Combat Style), Skill Focus: Knowledge [Dungeoneering] (3rd), Eldritch Heritage: Aberrant (5th), Feral Combat Training (7th)
  • Abilities: Combat Style (Irori), Favored Enemy (Aberrations +2), Fused Eidolon, Fused Link, Shielded Meld, Summon Monster III, Track, Wild Empathy
  • Evolutions (8): ability increase: Strength, improved natural armor, improved natural attack: slam, magic attacks, reach: unarmed strike, slam (replaces claws), unnatural aura
  • 2nd-Level Spells: barkskin, lesser restore eidolon, protection from arrows
  • 1st-Level Spells: ant haul, enlarge person, lesser rejuvenate eidolon, life conduit
  • 0-Level Spells: acid splash, arcane mark, detect magic, guidance, read magic, resistance

So the real trick in this build relies on an FAQ that the development team put out last year. In the FAQ, the team ruled that you can cast spells that target humanoids on yourself/the eidolon while wearing it as armor because the synthesist summoner does not trade the eidolon’s share spells class feature, which lets you cast spells on the eidolon even if they are not appropriate for its type. Using this FAQ, we can make Eren big in titan form. REALLY big.

After spending the first two levels grabbing Monastic Legacy, you’re going to want to send your evolution points on stuff that improves your Strength. Titans don’t have claws, so I also traded the claws for a slam attack, as per the rules. Much more appropriate. I took the evolution that boosts the slam’s size for damage too and unnatural aura seemed very appropriate to me. Reach with unarmed strikes is also pretty awesome.

Spell-wise, Eren’s spells focus on buffs and healing. Specifically, buffs that emulate the titan’s own abilities. I really like life conduit (and its greater forms) for this build because Eren has been shown to be receive healing while he is within the titan. Cantrips are a little wonky, but cantrips never mesh up with builds well because there are such a small number of them. All that aside, our unarmed damage titan is going along smoothly.

Mid Levels (8 –14)

  • Classes: Ranger 2 / Summoner (Synthesist Summoner) 12
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Human Bonus), Two-Weapon Fighting (1st), Monastic Legacy (Combat Style), Skill Focus: Knowledge [Dungeoneering] (3rd), Eldritch Heritage: Aberrant (5th), Feral Combat Training (7th), Double Slice (9th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (11th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (13th)
  • Abilities: Aspect, Combat Style (Irori), Favored Enemy (Aberrations +2), Fused Eidolon, Fused Link, Greater Shielded Meld, Maker’s Jump (2/Day), Shielded Meld, Summon Monster VI, Track, Wild Empathy
  • Evolutions (16): ability increase: Strength, improved natural armor, improved natural attack: slam, large, magic attacks, reach: unarmed strike, slam (replaces claws), trample, unnatural aura
  • 4th-Level Spells: communal protection from energy, purified calling, summoner conduit, transmogrify
  • 3rd-Level Spells: fire shield, rejuvenate eidolon, restore eidolon, stoneskin
  • 2nd-Level Spells: barkskin, lesser evolution surge, lesser restore eidolon, protection from arrows, summon eidolon
  • 1st-Level Spells: ant haul, enlarge person, expeditious retreat, lesser rejuvenate eidolon, life conduit, lighten object
  • 0-Level Spells: acid splash, arcane mark, detect magic, guidance, read magic, resistance

Note: Lighten object is a 1st-level spell from the Faiths of Balance player companion. It fits pretty well with the “I’m super strong and can pick stuff up with ease” feel of Eren’s build.

So now we’re getting BIG. And with Eren’s titan form, big is exactly what we want. Although we can’t afford to buy Huge yet, we’re at Large, which is still nice. When Eren uses his Enlarge Person spell (which should be almost every time he battles), he’s going to be a Huge creature with some massive benefits. At this point in the game, Eren is working towards unlocking the secret of his titan powers, so we’re going to replicate that with the Eldritch Bloodline powers. As mentioned earlier, aberrations are pretty close to titans, so I’m going with the aberrant bloodline specifically for those juicy 3rd-and-9th level powers. The ability to improve Eren’s already massive range is great and the critical hit protection is just as good.

Spell-wise, Eren’s mostly gets more spells that replicate properties of the titans. He’s got more self-healing for his eidolon suit and more neat little buffs, like fire shield (because we know that titans are HOT to the touch). He can also give himself some damage reduction via a splattering of spells, heal up his eidolon, and (my favorite), switch up his eidolon with the transmogrify spell. I think transmogrify is perfect for this build because titans are summoned based upon the shifter’s goals. I’m thinking of the time that he accidentally turns his arm into a titan arm to pick up a spoon.

We’re at the home stretch with the build, and you know what that means: BIGGER TITANS RAWR!

Endgame (15+)

  • Classes: Ranger 5 / Summoner (Synthesist Summoner) 15
  • Feats: Improved Unarmed Strike (Human Bonus), Two-Weapon Fighting (1st), Monastic Legacy (Combat Style), Skill Focus: Knowledge [Dungeoneering] (3rd), Eldritch Heritage: Aberrant (5th), Feral Combat Training (7th), Double Slice (9th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (11th), Improved Eldritch Heritage (13th), Extra Evolution (15th), Improved Two-Weapon Fighting (17th), Extra Evolution (19th)
  • Abilities: Aspect, Combat Style (Irori), Favored Enemy (Aberrations +4, Humanoids +2), Favored Terrain: Urban +2, Fused Eidolon, Fused Link, Greater Shielded Meld, Hunter’s Bond: Companions, Maker’s Jump (2/Day), Shielded Meld, Summon Monster VIII, Track, Wild Empathy
  • Evolutions (22): ability increase: Strength, huge, improved natural armor, improved natural attack: slam, large, magic attacks, reach: unarmed strike, slam (replaces claws), trample, unnatural aura
  • 5th-Level Spells: greater life conduit, greater rejuvenate eidolon, repulsion, spell turning
  • 4th-Level Spells: communal protection from energy, purified calling, summoner conduit, transmogrify (1 freebee)
  • 3rd-Level Spells: fire shield, improved light conduit, locate creature, rejuvenate eidolon, restore eidolon, stoneskin
  • 2nd-Level Spells: barkskin, haste, lesser evolution surge, lesser restore eidolon, protection from arrows, summon eidolon
  • 1st-Level Spells: ant haul, enlarge person, expeditious retreat, lesser rejuvenate eidolon, life conduit, lighten object
  • 0-Level Spells: acid splash, arcane mark, detect magic, guidance, read magic, resistance

So when I sat down to make this build, I was originally going to take it to Ranger 2 / Summoner 18. And then I got to the 6th level spell list. I always forget how boring the summoner spell list is; it’s honestly a chore to make fun characters with what’s available to you from that list. With that in mind, I decided to stop the summoner levels at 15th and finish up the build in ranger.

Spell-wise, Eren and the titan get more healing; that’s about it. Feat-wise, we needed the extra push to get to the Huge evolution, so I took Extra Evolution twice and rounded the build off with an extra attack from Improved Two-Weapon Fighting. Well, not much to say here. Let’s take a look at the final damage numbers, shall we?

Final Damage Numbers

By 20th level, Eren has the unarmed strike damage of a 10th level monk (1d10). Because of Feral Combat Style, this 1d10 also counts for his slam attack. When Eren transforms, he becomes Huge (a jump of two categories), which increases this die from 1d10 to 3d8. When he uses Enlarge Person to become Gargantuan, his die improves again to 4d8. Plus he has improved damage for the slam, so the same goes up to 5d8.

Eren’s titan form’s starting Strength is 16. When he becomes Huge, he gains a +16 bonus, making his Strength a 32. He also has a +2 bonus from his Ability Score Increase evolution, which improves his total to 34. He’s also likely to have taken all of his ability increases in Strength, making his final Strength a 36 before enhancement bonuses. A Strength 36 has a modifier of +12, so Eren’s unarmed strikes deal 4d8+12 damage each and his slam deals 5d8+12.

And there you have it; an Eren Yaeger build from Attack on Titan! I’m already well aware that the numbers on this one are ridiculous, so I’m not even going to ask for your thoughts on Eren Yaeger. If you DON’T think this build is wonky, leave me a comment and tell me about it. Otherwise, I’ll just expect your messages that I’m a dirty power gamer and should never be allowed to play Pathfinder Game. Hope you enjoyed the design, and stay tuned for a new Iconic Design next week!

Alexander “Alex” Augunas has been playing roleplaying games since 2007, which isn’t nearly as long over 90% of his colleagues. Affectionately called a “budding game designer” by his partner at Radiance House, Alexander is the author of the Pact Magic Unbound series (Radiance House) and a handful of other Third-Party Products. Before founding the Everyman Gaming blog, Alexander gained notoriety for writing the GM’s Guide to Challenging Encounters, which remains accessible to this day. His favorite color is blue, his favorite Pathfinder Race/Class combination is kitsune TITAN, and he watches Attack on Titan subbed.

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4 thoughts on “Destroy All Titans!

  1. I’ve never seen Attack on Titan, so I can’t really comment much on that.

    As for the build itself… maybe I’ve just been spoiled by some of the optimize threads, but it’s not really that wonky. I mean, I built a caster for my cousin that caps out at around a 60 strength when he’s fully buffed. It’s a 3rd party caster, but the buffs and method still work for any Wizard/Sorcerer (the 3rd party caster lets him use Strength as a casting stat… yeah…). But I’ve also built a Monk that ends up with a 64d8+27 Greater Vital Strike… so I guess my perception of ‘wonky’ is kind of skewed?

    Still, it’s a really interesting build and, truthfully, it could also be a substitute for a guy that wants to play a ‘Gundam’ like character. His Gundam would simply be the Synthesist; maybe with the release of the Technology Guide, he could even find away to use lasers and stuff 😛

    • Ah, but I can! Irori’s combat style (from Inner Sea Combat) lists Monastic Legacy as a combat style feat, and rangers ignore all prerequisites for combat style feats!

  2. First off, I love your builds. I already have plans to implement many of them into some NPCs for my Kingmaker campaign. The only thing I wanted to point out though was that the reach ability for the aberrant bloodline doesn’t apply to melee attacks per se. It only applies to melee *touch* attacks. Just thought I’d point it out. Otherwise, very neat and well designed build =].

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