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How To Build The Mandalorian in The Pathfinder RPG

A Star Wars Character Conversion Guide

By Neal LitherlandPublished 2 years ago 8 min read

A lone gunman who takes the hardest jobs, and who always delivers. A dedicated protector who will stop at nothing to ensure the safety of a foundling. A man with a code in a galaxy in turmoil where everything is up for sale to the highest bidder. Bounty hunting is a complicated profession.

This Star Wars take on the Man With No Name is one of the most popular installments in the franchise, and it's become a favorite of fans and non-fans alike. And for those who want to bring a character like Din Djarin to their Pathfinder game, this guide is a solid place to start your character build.

For those who would like to see guides for other sci-fi character concepts, such as the Catachan Jungle Fighters, Death Korps of Krieg, or an Imperial Commissar from Warhammer 40K, then make sure you check out the full Character Conversions page over on my gaming blog Improved Initiative!

The Man (Species, Attributes, Traits)

Taken in as a foundling after his parents were killed by droids, Din Djarin was raised by the Children of The Watch. A sect of extremists, it equipped him with the necessary skills to become a deadly combatant, and a feared bounty hunter.

As best we can approximate, Din is human (or close enough that it's the most accurate choice for him). The bonus skill points and bonus feat will definitely come in handy. Fast, strong, and tough, Din also has a determination and a will to overcome that makes him a bad enemy to have. So while his Dexterity should likely take point, Wisdom should be a close second before Strength and Constitution.

For his traits there are quite a few that seem applicable. Perhaps the most fitting, though, is Steel Skin. This allows you to don or remove heavy armor in half the normal time. Perhaps more importantly, though, you gain a recognizable helmet. While it doesn't do anything in and of itself, if worn with a suit of heavy armor it does give you a +2 bonus on Intimidate checks. More on that later.

For the second trait, though, there's all sorts of options out there. Survivor gives you a +1 bonus on Initiative checks, and a +1 bonus on Sense Motive while making Sense Motive a class skill. Not bad. There's always Adopted, which lets you take a background trait associated with another species. Eyes and Ears of The City is always useful for the +1 bonus on Perception checks, and making Perception a class skill, or Veteran of Battle which gives you a +1 bonus on Initiative and lets you draw a weapon for free if you can act during the surprise round.

The Myth (Class)

As a gun-for-hire, the easy and obvious pick for your take on Mando is the gunslinger. Swift, lethal, able to make seemingly impossible shots to the hand or leg when they don't want to kill someone, and with that heavy swagger that practically begs for a Sergio Leone soundtrack, there's really nothing else quite so fitting.

But there's a twist here, because we're going to start combining archetypes to tweak the package till it's just right.

The first item we're going to want is Techslinger out of the Technology Guide. This allows us to use some of our expertise with futuristic firearms, including conserving energy charges so that we can keep blasting long past when their cores should have died. This takes away Deadeye, Expert Loading, and Quick Clear, but those won't be necessary once we get our hands on the good gear.

You can choose to stop there, and you'll be fine. However, if you would rather rely on regular armor instead of plot armor, you might also want to mix in Gun Tank out of Ultimate Combat. This archetype takes away your Nimble and Gunslinger's Dodge, but it allows you to deflect bullets, shrug off damage, and try to negate precision damage and critical hits while gaining proficiency in a wider array of armors and shields. If you want to have someone with that real beskar feel, these abilities tie things up quite neatly. Especially if you intend to wear more than light armor going forward.

The Legend (Skills and Feats)

We see a lot of Din's skills on display in between his vicious, fast-paced shoot outs. For example, Knowledge (local) is an extremely important skill to any bounty hunter who has friends (and enemies) in every star port. Craft is important for repairing weapons and armor alike (as we so often see him needing to do after a fight), and Perception, Intimidate, and Survival are good to have. Sense Motive is useful if you gained it through a trait, and Ride is equally useful if you intend on using mounts while you run down your quarry.

As to feats, well, there's a lot you're going to need. And which order you take them in is going to largely depend on what's taking priority in your campaign.

Point Blank and Precise Shot are the usual go-to for any character like this. If you intend on doing a lot of rapid fire attacks then you may want to invest in Two Weapon Fighting (which we see Din is quite capable of), Rapid Shot, and similar abilities to maximize how many rounds you can put in the air (deeper dives are found in both my Punisher and John Wick guides for specific references). On the other hand, if you want to focus more on doing as much damage with a single blast as you can you should focus instead on the Vital Strike tree and associated feats like Devastating Strike. Whichever route you go, Deadly Aim is likely a good feat to take, as well.

Mando needs more than just combat feats to get the job done, though... especially considering the difficulty in acquiring/manufacturing the gear he uses. For that reason you're also going to need the Technologist feat, along with Craft Technological Arms and Armor (good investments even if you have a tech smith to provide you upgrades in between missions so you can fix your own gear, should something happen).

The Metal (Gear and Story)

While a deadly individual in his own right (even among other Mandalorians of his sect), Din is greatly enhanced by the gear he takes with him into the field. And while it may be difficult, expensive, or time-consuming to acquire appropriate gear in a Pathfinder game, it's far from impossible.

A standard arc pistol or laser pistol would work well enough for the blaster by his side. While there aren't stats for a rifle that works precisely the way his does, the sonic rifle would likely act as a solid stand-in (possibly with GM narration that critical hits that reduce enemies below 9 hit points shake targets apart at an atomic level, atomizing them). A rail gun might also be acceptable, for those who had the time and budget for it.

Lastly, Mando's armor. Beskar steel seems to work similarly to adamantine as far as plot-metals goes, so one of the more solid fill-ins would be Smart Armor. Normally worn inactive as light armor, activating it can give heavy protection that can shrug off all kinds of shots, allowing him to return fire without worrying about all the incoming rounds. Hard to get and tough to make, it's about as close as you can get with official write-up armor.

Once all of the mechanical stuff is decided, though, you need to ask who your version of this character is. Who (or what) is beneath that helmet? Are you a bounty hunter trying to pick up the trail of those responsible for wronging you? Are you a technological knight errant who moves form place to place, letting your deeds speak for you? Do you have a dark past you're hiding behind a mask, or have you worn it so long you've forgotten who you really are?

If you're looking for inspiration on this subject, consider checking out the following supplements:

- 100 Random Mercenary Companies: Freelances and blades-for-hire always need hardened veterans to swell their ranks. Those who are looking for some extra background for their rough-and-tumble professional can definitely find it here! There's also a 100 Sci-Fi Mercenary Companies version, for those still fighting out in the black.

- 100 Knightly Orders: While they might be considered extremists, many of these orders cling to their vows and purpose no matter the opposition that stands in their way. A good basis for those looking to recreate Mando's sect.

- 100 Gangs For Your Urban Campaigns: Whether you've got friends in low places, or old enemies looking to do you in, this one is filled with scum and villainy aplenty! There's also 100 Sci-Fi Gangs, for those looking to fill that gap with something off-world.

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That's all for this week's Crunch topic! Don't forget to check out my full Vocal archive for more... or if you'd like to read some of my books, like my alley cat noir novel Marked Territory, my sword and sorcery novel Crier's Knife or my latest short story collection The Rejects, head over to My Amazon Author Page!

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About the Creator

Neal Litherland

Neal Litherland is an author, freelance blogger, and RPG designer. A regular on the Chicago convention circuit, he works in a variety of genres.



Blog: Improved Initiative and The Literary Mercenary

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