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How to Build the Unsullied in the Pathfinder RPG

A Character Conversion Guide

By Neal LitherlandPublished 5 years ago 6 min read

The world of A Song of Ice and Fire is full of fearsome warriors. The Bloody Mummers and the Second Sons ply their violent trade for coin, The Dothraki horse lords raid and pillage for sport and resources, and both the Sorrowful Men and the Faceless Men will strike from nowhere to end a life before fading away once more. But of them all, perhaps no infantry is more feared, or more respected, than the Unsullied. Slaves and eunuchs, they are trained from their earliest childhood in the arts of war. Masters of the sword, shield, and spear, the Unsullied are trained to feel no fear, to ignore all pain, and to endure any hardship. For those who want to bring that kind of iron-willed warrior into a Pathfinder game, this guide may be just what you've been looking for.

If you'd like more Game of Thrones characters, as well as builds for The Avengers, Gotham City's vigilantes, and others then check out the Character Conversions page on Improved Initiative. Also, if you're just looking for more gaming and geek-related content, you should take a moment to check out my full Vocal archive as well!

The Clay (Attributes, Race, and Traits)

The Unsullied, despite rumors to the contrary, are human. They are strong, dexterous, and inhumanly tough, but it's made clear time and again that they are not taught anything beyond fighting. This should translate into physical attributes getting the high scores, and Wisdom being the fourth one down on the list. Charisma is a safe dump stat, as the Unsullied rarely waste time with negotiation or deceit.

Regarding traits, there are several that would be useful for an Unsullied. Perhaps the most useful combat trait is Tactician (+1 trait bonus on initiative checks, and once per day gain a +2 trait bonus on an attack of opportunity), but an equally useful trait is Reactionary (+2 trait bonus to initiative). Non-combat traits that would help bring across the sheer resilience of the Unsullied are traits like Light Sleeper (you only need to sleep 4 hours to get a full night's rest), or Iron Liver (+2 trait bonus on Fortitude saves against poisons and drugs, and a +4 trait bonus on resisting the effects of alcohol).

As always, though, traits you will use often are a good investment. An unused trait, like an unused feat, is something you'll wish you had spent differently.

The Fire (Class and Abilities)

The Unsullied are trained to fight together in proper formation; it is this discipline that grants them such stamina on the battlefield. This makes the Phalanx Soldier (Advanced Player's Guide 105) the ideal choice for bringing these slave soldiers to life. Phalanx Soldiers give up weapon training, armor training, and bravery. What they gain instead is a bonuses against combat maneuvers, the ability to use any polearm or spear of their size as a one-handed weapon (ideal for those who want reach without giving up a shield), the ability to brace a weapon as an immediate action (in response to a charge, say), and the ability to grant themselves and adjacent allies additional bonuses with their shields (in the form of cover, evasion, and eventually, improved evasion).

In short, if you want a warrior who is an unstoppable front line, the Phalanx Soldier is the way to go. More than one of them working together, and the description may become even more accurate.

The Bricks (Skills and Feats)

Fighters don't get many skills, and the Unsullied have little purpose off of the battlefield. Acrobatics is an important investment for battlefield maneuvering, and Survival will be useful for marching in the right direction. Perception is a necessity for detecting ambushes, and if you intend on scaring your opponents it may be a good idea to take ranks in Intimidate. Swim, Climb, and perhaps Knowledge (Engineering) could also be useful... just don't give them ride. The Unsullied are infantry.

The meat of any fighter is which feats you take, and to a certain degree the order in which you take them. This also means you have to make some decisions regarding how you're planning on fighting. For example, if you're going to use a tower shield, then you should focus your feats on improving the defense that shield grants you, and improving the attacks you get with your single weapon. If you are planning on using a small or large shield, though, then you may wish to go the two-weapon fighter route (a solid progression of which is detailed in The Best Two-Weapon Fighter Build in Pathfinder).

With that said, though, feats you'll find useful with an Unsullied include:

  • Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization (Core Rulebook 136 and 137): +1 to attack with a given weapon, and +2 to damage. The Greater versions of these feats are good ways to balance out the lack of weapon training abilities you get as a Phalanx Soldier.
  • Shield Focus and Missile Shield (Core Rulebook 133 and Advanced Player's Guide 165): +1 to AC bonus a shield provides you, and the ability to use your shield as if you had the Deflect Arrows feat.
  • Endurance and Diehard (Core Rulebook 122): Gain a +4 to certain certain checks, gain the ability to sleep in light or medium armor, and if your hit point total drops below 0 your automatically stabilize, with the choice to act disabled instead of dropping unconscious.
  • Combat Expertise and Combat Reflexes (Core Rulebook 119): Take a negative to your attack in exchange for an AC boost, and gain a number of attacks of opportunity equal to your Dexterity modifier (particularly useful if you are using a reach weapon, and you want to maximize your AoO potential).
  • Bodyguard (Advanced Player's Guide 151): Use an attack of opportunity to perform the aid another action to increase an adjacent ally's AC. Given all the other buffs Phalanx Soldiers can give their allies, this buff can easily stack on with others. Particularly if you take the helpful trait (which will increase your +2 to either a +3 or +4). Other suggestions for buffing your aid another bonus can be found in Aid Another in Pathfinder is More Powerful Than You Think.

It's also important to know if you plan on making use of combat maneuvers. If you're playing to 15th level, you get bonuses to bull rush and overrun maneuvers whenever you have a shield. You also gain bonuses to resist bull rush, overrun, pull, trip, and reposition maneuvers at level 1. So if you want to focus on making the enemy move where you want them to, while also protecting your allies, investing in those feat trees (improved combat maneuver, greater combat maneuver, etc.), as well as in feats like Bull Rush Strike (Advanced Player's Guide 151) is a great way to improve your bag of available tactics.

Polish (Equipment and Story)

The Unsullied are sold with swords, shields, spears, padded armor, and the spiked helmets they have to earn as part of their training. The red brick city that bakes them is harsh, and so it is the men, not the weapons, who are truly dangerous. That said, if you are playing in Golarion it would be a good idea to invest in upgraded gear as quickly as possible, and to make sure you have something you can make melee attacks with in the event your enemies step inside your reach (a cestus, a shorter spear, or a shield, allowing you to hit enemies both near and far if you have taken two weapon fighting).

As far as your story, you need to decide what parts of the Unsullied you are keeping, and what parts you are leaving behind. Is your warrior a eunuch? Is he a slave? Has he been trained for his whole life, or did he begin his training as a grown man (perhaps in the elite armies of one of the nation's legions)? Is he alone, or part of a small unit? Is he even a he, or did women receive the same training in the place where your adventurer comes from?

It's your character, so make it as much of an homage as you want! However, if you're looking for additional inspiration, you may find the following quite helpful:

  • 100 Random Mercenary Companies: From the Thousand Spears to the Collared, there are more than a few bands of mercenaries made of slave soldiers, and former slave soldiers in this collection.
  • 100 Knightly Orders: With unique companies like the Risen Spears, as well as the Order of The Shattered Chain, several of the knightly hosts in this collection could easily be composed of warriors like the Unsullied.
  • 100 Gangs For Your Urban Campaigns: With gangs like the Pit Born (which are comprised exclusively of former gladiators) and the Chain Breakers (whose ranks are made up of runaway and freed slaves), there are all sorts of options for an Unsullied who wants to put their skills to a profitable use here.

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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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