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How to Build Bronn in The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

By Edited May 6, 2015 0 0
Jerome_Flynn 2013 (cropped)
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Images

Bronn is perhaps one of the only notable common born characters in the Song of Ice and Fire book series by George R. R. Martin. A garden-variety sell-sword Bronn enters the service of Tyrion Lannister and through their adventures manages to raise himself to knighthood. Despite being a knight, and eventually marrying into a title, Bronn is a selfish, black-hearted bastard with no pity or mercy in him who fights using a combination of viciousness and guile. That's why Tyrion kept him around, after all.

For those who want to recreate Bronn in their Pathfinder game the following guide should be quite helpful. If your Bronn needs a Tyrion though, check out my Tyrion Lannister build!

If you'd like an even deadlier, more vicious killer then take a look at my character build for Gregor Clegane, The Mountain That Rides.

For more Game of Thrones character builds, as well as builds for The Avengers and Gotham, stop by the Character Conversions page on my blog Improved Initiative!

Attributes and Traits

Let's begin at the beginning. Bronn's purpose in both the book and the television series is to act as a combination body guard and bully boy. He makes sure no one gets in the way of Tyrion's plans, or manages to do harm to his little lord's person. Bronn is described as being pantherishly quick, and he tends to fight with two weapons. This means he's going to need a high dexterity as well as a high strength. He's tough enough to have an above average constitution, and experienced enough to have at least an average wisdom score. His intelligence needs to be at least a 13, and though he's droll his charisma is not exactly something to brag about.

When it comes to Bronn's traits you should pick which aspects of his history you want to represent. For instance killer (+1 trait bonus to confirm critical hits) is something he should have, since he killed his first foe before he was 12. On the other hand Bronn's danger sense and ability to react quickly might be best embodied by reactionary (+2 trait bonus to initiative), a bonus that you'll use much more often. Bully (+1 trait bonus to intimidate, and intimidate is always a class skill) might be a good second trait, but friends in high places (whenever you're in an area you've used diplomacy to gather information gain a +1 trait bonus on diplomacy and intimidate; +2 against government officials) is also a good way to represent the people who've helped him climb the social ladder.

Fighting Dirty

Classes and Signature Trick

Bronn does not fight with honor; he fights to win. Time and again he wears his opponents down by making them chase him, tripping them, striking when they're not ready, and generally making them fight at a disadvantage. The best way for players to realize this is through two class archetypes that simply don't play fair; Thug (Advanced Player's Guide) and Cad (Ultimate Combat 45).

The first three levels of Thug grant you the abilities Frightening and Brutal Beating. The former automatically increases the duration of any demoralization by 1 round, and the latter allows you to forego 1d6 of sneak attack damage in order to sicken a target for a number of rounds equal to 1/2 your rogue level. If you're going to take advantage of the saves, skill points, and class abilities this kind of rogue can provide you should take at least three levels of this class, but 4 is also acceptable (especially if you want Uncanny Dodge).

Bronn's bread-and-butter is going to be the Cad. The Cad gets most of the bonus feats any fighter gets (you're going to need them) but loses bravery, weapon training, medium and heavy armor, as well as tower shields. What you gain is bonuses to dirty trickdisarm, and steal combat maneuvers, along with bonuses to hit and damage against opponents who have attacked you. The Cad also gains the ability to use dirty trick combat maneuvers more often, which is where a lot of Bronn's victories may end up coming from.

Nasty Surprises

Feats

Copper Brass Knuckles-B
Credit: MorgueFile Image

As a primarily melee combat character Bronn is going to need a lot of feats to carry the day. While the feats suggested here are one way of realizing the concept players are free to substitute other feats, or to take them in a different order if that would better suit their purposes. This list assumes your first and second level are Cad, the next three are Thug, and then the rest are Cad.

Human Bonus Feat- Combat Expertise (Core Rulebook 119): Take a negative to your attack for a bonus on your armor class.

1st Level Fighter- Improved Dirty Trick (Advanced Player's Guide): Gain a +2 on all dirty trick combat maneuver checks, and your dirty trick checks don't provoke attacks of opportunity.

1st Level- Two Weapon Fighting (Core Rulebook 136): Lessen two weapon fighting penalty.

2nd Level Fighter- Double Slice (Core Rulebook 122): Apply your full strength bonus to damage on attacks made with off-hand weapons.

3rd Level- Improved Trip (Core Rulebook 128): Gain a +2 bonus on trip combat maneuvers, and attempts to trip do not provoke attacks of opportunity.

5th Level- Dodge (Core Rulebook 122): Gain a +1 dodge bonus to your armor class.

7th Level- Quick Dirty Trick (Advanced Player's Guide): Replace a single melee attack with a dirty trick combat maneuver.

4th Level Fighter- Greater Dirty Trick (Advanced Player's Guide): Gain an additional +2 on all dirty trick combat maneuvers. The penalty now lasts for 1d4 rounds +1 by every five by which you surpass the opponent's CMD, and it takes a standard action to remove the penalty.

9th Level- Improved Two Weapon Fighting (Core Rulebook 128): Gain an additional attack with your off-hand weapon.

6th Level Fighter- Greater Trip (Core Rulebook 126): Gain an additional +2 on all trip attempts, and opponents knocked prone provoke attacks of opportunity.

11th Level- Mobility (Core Rulebook 130): Gain a +4 to your armor class against attacks of opportunity provoked by movement.

8th Level Fighter- Combat Reflexes (Core Rulebook 119): Take an additional number of attacks of opportunity per round equal to your dexterity modifier. May take attacks of opportunity while flat-footed.

13th Level: Dirty Trick Master (Bastards of Golarion 25): Worsen the penalty caused by an existing dirty trick. Dazzled becomes dazed, entangled becomes pinned, etc.

10th Level Fighter- Two Weapon Rend (Core Rulebook 136): When you hit an opponent with your primary attack and off-hand attack deal an extra 1d10 damage as well as 1 1/2 times your strength modifier.

Skills and Equipment

While Bronn's main prowess is going to come from his feats the combination of Cad and Thug provides a big skill selection as well. Intimidate and bluff are going to be two big ones for cowing enemies and catching them off guard. Acrobatics is going to be important for moving around the battlefield, and you might want to have ranks in perception to make sure you don't get ambushed too often.

As to Bronn's equipment the list is fairly straightforward and stripped down. He fights with a longsword (though you could put a bastard sword in the mix for more damage if you were willing to take the exotic weapon proficiency to wield it one handed) and a dagger that bears a strong resemblance to a kukri. He wears light armor (we never see him in anything heavier than his leather and chain), and carries a bow from time to time when bays need to be set on fire. Simple and straightforward Bronn just carries the tools of his trade, necessities for the road, and job-specific gear when he's asked to to more than cut throats and crack skulls.

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Bibliography

  1. "A Pathfinder Build For A Dirty Trick Master." Improved Initiative. 4/01/2015 <Web >
  2. "Thug." D20PFSRD. 4/01/2015 <Web >
  3. "Cad." D20PFSRD. 4/01/2015 <Web >

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