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How to Build Tyler Durden in the 'Pathfinder' RPG

by Neal Litherland 4 years ago in rpg · updated 9 months ago

A Character Conversion Guide

There are all kinds of rumors about Tyler Durden. They say no one knows what he looks like, because he's always having plastic surgery to change his face. Some people say he was born in a mental institution, and that he only sleeps a few hours a night. Some call him a madman, while others think he's a genius. The father of Fight Club, and the visionary behind Project Mayhem has many mouths, and seems to be everywhere at once.

He might even be in your Pathfinder game.

If you're looking for a guide to get you started, these recommendations should help. If you'd like to check out even more character conversions, from the Avengers to Overwatch, head over to the Character Conversions page on my blog Improved Initiative.

And for even more gaming-related articles, check out the rest of my Vocal archive.

Attributes, Race, and Traits

He makes, and he sells, soap.

Though a creature of pure imagination, Tyler is very much a human. A canny fighter, Tyler's major strengths are his endurance, and his charisma, rather than raw, physical power. So you're looking at a high Constitution, with higher than average Strength, Dexterity, and Charisma. If you can swing a higher than average Intelligence, that helps, too.

When it comes to Tyler's traits, though, it's important to consider his one, bizarre power; he can live two lives with barely any rest. The best way to represent this is the 'Awakened From Stasis' trait (gain the benefits of eight hours of sleep from only two hours of sleep). If you can't get away with that one, since it's from People of The Stars you might instead try Light Sleeper (gain the benefits of eight hours of sleep from only four hours of sleep). As to a second trait, there are all sorts that might fit... with that said, Natural-Born Leader (+1 morale bonus on Will saves against mind-affecting effects and a +1 bonus trait bonus on your leadership score) is probably the most effective.

Class and Skills

Tyler is quick with his fists, there's no doubt about that. Anyone who comes to Fight Club more than once is going to learn how to take a beating, and how to dole one out. And while he has a philosophy of his own, Brawler is a much more appropriate fit for Tyler than Monk would ever be.

However, you don't need more than a couple of levels in the class, because bare-knuckle brawling is only a small part of Tyler's overall activities. After all, when he isn't fighting Tyler is making soap, building bombs, and starting a cult of personality. All activities that are more in-line with a Rogue's skill set... especially if you look at the Underground Chemist. You might want to take Rogue Talents like Bomber and Charmer, and Advanced Talents like Roll With It to help mitigate damage.

As to Tyler's skills, well, he seems to have a lot of them. Craft (Alchemy) is perhaps the most obvious, but Acrobatics, Stealth, Disable Device, Intimidate, Bluff, Diplomacy, Perception, and Disguise would also be good investments. And, if you have points left to invest, perhaps Sleight of Hand, or an appropriate Knowledge or two.


The most important feat for Tyler is either Leadership, or Vile Leadership, depending on if you see Project Mayhem as an organization dedicated toward societal good (since it made sure to empty the buildings and attack only the credit card information), or toward chaos and ruin (since they get what they want through violence and intimidation, recruiting the most disenfranchised to become their unquestioning foot soldiers).

As to Tyler's other feats, that's going to depend largely on how you intend to portray him at your table. Is he a wandering maniac, getting by on his charisma while waving an empty gun around? If that's the case, then you might want to invest in Skill Focus for Bluff or Intimidate. If you're going to have him in combat, then you might want to give him Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot, as well as Throw Anything if you plan on using a lot of splash weapons. This will give you multiple options when it comes time to throw down, letting you mix and match between ranged attacks and head-butting problems that get in your way.

On the other hand, you might want to enhance his unarmed damage and capabilities. Weapon Focus is always a good option, and fighting style feats like Boar Style can help add some bonus damage on top of his sneak attack for a one-two punch that no one is going to forget in a big hurry.

It's important to remember that what makes Tyler dangerous is not his right cross or his chemistry skills, though; it's his network. Built from the ground up, his nationwide (and perhaps worldwide) group of followers act as spies, thugs, and suppliers for anything and everything Durden might need. And most of them, as waitstaff, car park attendants, gas station cashiers, and a thousand other service workers, are all but invisible to the society they've infiltrated.

Gear and Story

The central philosophy that Tyler preaches is anti-capitalism. So, it's no real surprise that his clothes all seem to come from resale shops, that he doesn't own a car, and that he lives in a dilapidated house on Paper Street. If anything, his lack of signature equipment is one of the things that defines him... but he always makes sure he has the right tools for the right job. It's just that he isn't particularly attached to any one tool.

As to his story... Who is your Tyler? Is he leading a noble crusade against the abusive powers that be, like Robin Hood with bombs? Or is he a dangerous lunatic, lashing out at society because he needs an enemy to fight, and he's recruited a small army of minions to help him bring it down? The choice is yours... just make sure it fits the overall themes of your campaign.

And if you're looking for some additional inspiration, consider some of the following supplements as expanded reading!

- 100 Secret Societies: Project Mayhem is everywhere, and you can never be sure whether or not you're talking to a member before it's too late. If you're looking for similar organizations, there's several in this supplement that fit the bill.

- 100 Gangs For Your Urban Campaigns: While less subtle in terminology and operation, a gang might do just as well as a secret order... especially if you want your version of Tyler to feel more like a traditional Batman antagonist.

- 100 Prisoners For a Fantasy Jail: Fight Club takes in the disenfranchised, the lonely, the shut-out, and the unwanted... and if you're looking for NPCs to fill out the ranks of Tyler's followers, many of these individuals are going to be just what the doctor ordered.


About the author

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.

Twitter: @nlitherl



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