Iron Man

Tony Stark was a billionaire playboy philanthropist until a near-death experience gave him perspective (and a heart issue).

Who Is Iron Man?

Who Are Iron Man?

Tony Stark was the brilliant but brash heir to Stark Industries – a multi-billion dollar arms enterprise – until he was kidnapped by enemy combatants who demanded he build them a weapon. Stuck in a cave (with a box of scarps) Tony created the original Mark I suit as a means of escape – and forever after was known as Iron Man.

My history with Iron Man is probably pretty typical among modern day fans. After all, it was his solo movie in 2008 that started off the MCU and made movies based on Marvel Comics what they are today. That's generally the Iron Man I'm familiar with, and a fan of.

Recently, I have gone back and read a few decades worth of Iron Man comics, starting with the old Tales of Suspense ones. But the changes Favreau, Bob Downey and KF made to update the character for modern times are just too good to walk away from. *Especially* the update that made his Iron Man persona public information. That's the perfect fit for a celebrity like Tony.

Believe me, try reading a decade or two of the old comics where Iron Man is Tony's "bodyguard" who comes out to save the day after Tony goes to hide in a room. It's bleak.

Keys to the Character

Tony Stark's hair and goatee

Genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist

Tony Stark had everything but a conscience, before his run in with the terrorist group who wanted his weapons. Now, wearing his greatest one of all, he tries to do some good as Iron Man.

Iron Man's arc reactor

Heart to Heart

Nowadays, its the Arc Reactor. In the 60s, it was "transistors". Whatever it is, it's keeping Tony Alive by holding back the shrapnel embedded in his body from reaching his heart.

Iron Man's repulsor beams

That's Repulsive!

The suit itself packs a whollop when Iron Man punches foes, but he can always fall back on his trusty Repulser Blasts to add a bit of flair. Pluse, the repulsers double as flight stabilizers.


Tony + Cave + Scraps = Iron Man

Iron Man's origin is a unique mix of necessity and ingenuity. Tony drew upon his genius-level IQ, his weapons expertise as heir to Stark Industries and his fight or flight response to get out of that cave. Iron Man evolved from there – both technically and emotionally.

Building Iron Man

The Guns and Gears rulebook set the stage for Iron Man to truly be built in Pathfinder. Before that volume, I'm not even sure what the correct move would be (besides just not building him). I often fall back on Sorcerer if I can't think of a more nuanced way to bring a character's fantasy to life. I guess that would be a close second.

But we don't have to settle, with G&G, Iron Man can be fully realized as an Inventor with an Armor Innovation. In a lot of ways, the rest speaks for itself.

On the battlefield, Iron Man uses his powerful armor to avoid damage, whether up close or far away. This version of the build focuses on ranged attacks, but Megaton Strike packs a big melee whallop, so melee strikes aren't out of the question.

The Wizard Dedication we add at level 2 represents newer and higher-tech gadgets being added to the suit over time. Most of the time Megavolt will be an adequate ranged strike, but the Wizard spell lists offers a lot of versatility.

Outside of battle, Tony can really assist the team with the incredible connections that come with being a celebrity. Plus, he is the quintessential tinker, boasting a legendary crafting skill that can in handy for the party in all sorts of ways.


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Versatile Human

Yes, in pop culture Iron Man is human, so this is an easy choice at first glance. However, a real argument could be made for an automaton character being an approximation of the Iron Man armor.

The human ancestry, though, has a big benefit for Iron Man builds going for it: extra feats, that we desperately need to pack in under that armor to make our build as close to the character as we can get.

Level Feat Notes
1 Natural Ambition An extra feat to really get started using that suit.
5 General Training Iron Man’s suit gives him abilities beyond normal limits.
9 Natural Skill More skills!
13 Aerialist This has “magic via flying” as a prerequisite. Argue with your GM that the suit flies via magic (after level 14).
17 Heroic Presence A sometime leader of the Avengers, Tony inspires the team!



When choosing a background for Iron Man, you have to decide what area of his rich history you are considering to be "background". Is it the celebrity schmoozing playboy? Or the workshop-obsessed engineer, the one who can make a battery-powered exoskeleton to break out of a cave?

I went with the latter, the Tinker, which also gives the character a nifty Intelligence modifier that is very useful for later.


Inventor - Armor Innovation

I mean, come on.

I don't think it's a stretch to say that Iron Man himself was one of the bigger design influences on development of the Inventor class. It's not just an Iron Man class, sure, but there is definitely a fairly clear path to an Iron Man build through class feats alone.

But then why would this site be needed? We spice it up by focusing on a more ranged attack build with a Wizard Dedication (piggybacking on the Inventor's high intelligence) that adds extra weapons to the suit – Electric Arcs, Magic Missiles and more.

Level Feat Notes
1 Variable Core - Electricity From Natural Ambition. Powered by the Arc Reactor.
1 Explosive Leap The classic Mark I get-away move.
1 Initial Modification - Speed Boosters Get moving fast now (and really fast later).
2 Wizard Dedication - Evocation For added ranged “gadgets” on the suit.
4 Megaton Strike When you are in melee range, you pack a punch.
6 Megavolt Introducing the Unibeam.
7 Breakthrough Modification - Hyper Boosters Go go go go go.
8 Basic Wizard Spellcasting More hidden weapons.
10 Electrify Armor Back off.
12 Gigavolt Unibeam upgrade.
14 Soaring Armor Finally, Iron Man takes to the skies.
15 Revolutionary Modification - Rune Capacity Always making a new model.
16 Expert Wizard Spellcasting A new model of Iron Man suit. Now with more weapony!
18 Master Wizard Spellcasting The Bleeding Edge model of Iron Man suit.
20 Full Automation Introducing: JARVIS

Skills & General Feats

With all that Intelligence, Iron Man is more skilled than the average character. Crafting is of course legendary, but the additional Legendary in Arcana represents additional engineering prowess in a world were "magic" is the best technology.

Legendary: Arcana, Crafting
Master: Acrobatics, Society
Expert: Diplomacy

Level Feat Notes
1 Toughness From Versatile Heritage. Strengthen that suit material.
2 Crafter’s Appraisal An engineer like Tony can spot value in items.
3 Magical Crafting Any advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
4 Bon Mot Who quips more than Iron Man?
5 Fleet From General Training. Add some extra rockets to the suit's movement.
6 Courtly Graces As a celebrity, Tony knows how classy events work.
7 Impeccable Crafter Who is a more impeccable crafter than Tony Stark?
8 Connections The CEO of Stark Industries is connected
10 Charming Liar So charming that you kind of don't mind you're being lied to.
11 Intimidating Glare There’s a reason the eyes of the suit are so menacing.
12 Hobnobber The guy can talk. And tinker. And drink. Focus on the first two.
14 Glad-Hand Playboys like Tony have to make a few appearances.
15 A Home in Every Port Iron Man’s legend precedes him
16 Craft Anything With a box of snaps.
18 Unified Theory Tony’s knowledge of crafting via Arcana extends to other disciplines.
19 Incredible Investiture Use more of those magic items you craft!
20 Acrobatics Mastery Flip, dip, dive and dash through the air.

Attribute Increases


Suggested Starting Equipment

Iron Man's Signature Items

Key Spells

Level Spells Notes
Cantrip Gale Blast Repulsors!
Cantrip Shield Suddenly produce a shield from the arm of the suit, in that nifty Iron Man way.
1 Magic Missile Pew pew pew
2 Scorching Ray Flamethrower attachment
3 Blazing Dive Some extra stylish explosive leap
4 Chromatic Ray Light show
5 Cone of Cold Extra repulsor blast
6 Disintegrate The “Jericho” missile
7 Brightburn Blast Some nuclear powered gadgetry
8 Polar Ray An energy-draining beam


Iron Man Resources