Dr. Jonathon Crane's experiments on patients at Arkham Asylum enabled him to invent the fear toxin – and cause havoc throughout Gotham.

Who Is Scarecrow?

Who Are Scarecrow?

Returning to Gotham City after years of exile, Batman decided to use fear in his against the city's underbelly. His enemies quickly discovered how potent fear is as a tool.

But what if someone used it as a weapon?

Enter Dr. Jonathan Crane, a pschology professor who worked extensively at Arkham Asylum, experimenting with the minds of the criminals interred there. It was through these experiments that Dr. Crane developed the fear toxin, a chemical that could induce hallucinations of someone's worst phobias.

Becoming obsessed with his experiments, and his sadistic ability to terrify others through his mastery of fear, Crane styled himself as the Scarecrow. With this new moniker, Scarecrow vowed to be the Master of Fear, to bring Gotham City (and it's protecter) to its knees in terror.

Something interesting to me is how some of the most famous Batman villains can be so similar, and yet distinct. Scarecrow, Joker and Riddler all possess a related mindset, a somewhat similar worldview. All of them aspire in some way or another to create chaos.

Scarecrow's version is one that has gotten better with time, as depiction of the Caped Crusader have focused on elements like his use of fear. Scarecrow becomes a great foil, someone who uses the same means to a different ends. Spooky!

He's also a great standard addition to Batman videogames, like the Arkham series, where he can induce a classic "dream sequence" for a bit, sending Batman into a hallucination full of alley-way pearls and Joker paraphernalia.

So how do we make the Scarecrow in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character

fear toxin

Fear in a Bottle

Scarecrow's lifetime accomplishment is his fear toxin, a chemical that induces terrifying hallucinations. Now that it's created, his new goal is to affect everyone with it.

scarecrow smile

Smile for the Doctor

Jonathan Crane's experiments have given him an expert knowledge in what's scary. He wears a freaky scarecrow mask because that tested the best.

arkham asylum gates

Welcome to Arkham

After being fired from the University where he worked as a psychology professor, Dr. Crane's favored test subjects became the inmates for one of the most notorious asylums in fiction: Arkham.

syringe fingers


One of the ways Scarecrow administers his toxins is through a specialized syringe glove, which is as scary looking as it's function.

Building Scarecrow

The key to feeling like Scarecrow is scaring foes as much as possible, leaving them vulnerable to follow ups from Scarecrow himself and allies.

We will accomplish this through the liberal use of the Dread Ampoule. This alchemical bomb carries the poison, mental and fear tags – giving plenty of options for fine tuning with buffs and feats. Especially from the Alchemist class, which gains big buffs to poisons with the Toxicologist subclass.

On the battlefield, Scarecrow wants to severely debilitate foes with status effects before going in for the kill with damaging poisons and deadly syringe fingers. This all begins with the fear condition from Dread Ampoule (along with the flat-footed condition from Debilitating Bomb). On a successful hit and check, this bomb gets the terror started by lowering their AC by 3-4 and other saves by 1-2. This severely lowers the creature's ability to save themselves from poisons like Giant Centipede Venom, which can ravage a victims health if left untreated.

As well, the lowered defenses leave the foe open to strikes from Scarecrows syringe glove (claw blade), which allows him to fish for deadly crits that he would otherwise be unlikely to get with a mere expert weapon proficiency.

The playstyle comes at a cost: Scarecrow is squishy. He's just a doctor in a mask, remember. Jonathan Crane's version of defence is to attempt to debuff a foe with so many status effects that they simply cannot hit him, rather than be able to withstand any punishment.

Outside of battle, Dr. Crane spends most of his time crafting more poisons and experimenting on his chemicals to make them more and more powerful. He's also skilled in Medicine, thought I doubt any of his party members are willing to be treated by him.

His legendary intimidation can get the party what they want in nefarious ways. And, importantly, most poisons are more useful outside of battle than inside of battle. So he keeps on poisoning.


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  • Chain reactions of status effects debilitate foes
  • Allies benefit from attack frightened enemies
  • No need to shop for Halloween
  • Useless against enemies immune to fear
  • Low health
  • Honestly? Kind of scary


Shapewrought Fleshwarp

Years of experimenting on the fear toxin has made the very air around Scarecrow lightly saturated with the chemical. The result is that despite being human, he looks to others like a horrible, mishapen mutant.

This rare ancestry may not fit into many builds, but it is so thematic for Scarecrow. Especially after taking a Human Adopted Ancestry to show that he really is human, its just that everyone perceives him as a horrendous fleshwarp.

The flavor starts right at level one, giving Scarecrow a Startling Appearance that trains him in Intimidation and the Intimidating Glare feat. Can't imagine it being more correct than that!

Down the line, this ancestry offers some cool visualizations of the toxin working – like black tentacles spewing from the mouth of his mask – while the human adopted ancestry comes in clutch with the best feat in the game, Multitalented.





Startling Appearance

That mask is spooky. Gain training in Intimidation and the Intimidating Glare feat for free.


Unconventional Weaponry: Claw Blade

The claw blade is the closest thing we can imagine to a syringe glove. And when those long blades are doused in poison, what's the difference?


Multitalented: Champion Dedication

Take on a Desecrator Cause to really highlight Scarecrow's evil, and get access to a powerful feat in a few levels.


Spew Tentacles

Victims imagine horrible black tentacles spewing from Scarecrow's mouth, immobilizing them in terror.


Slip the Grasp

Touching Scarecrow becomes difficult because of his long-term exposure to toxins. He can easily slip away while foes deal with the chemicals.



A little too academic, if you ask me. Or his patients.

Dr. Jonathan Crane was a professor of psychology, committed (or obsessed) with understanding the nature of fear. Especially phobias – highly potent, irrational fears unique to individuals. His study wasn't for the betterment of mankind, though. Just the opposite, the doctor's sadistic nature found joy in exposing test subjects to their fears. It got him fired, at minimum.

The background gives an Intelligence boost, good for his class. As well, the Academia Lore skill can come in handy more often than some of the more obscure lores, so that's nice.


Toxicologist Alchemist

Of all the classes in Pathfinder 2e, the Alchemist seems to have the most baggage. This stems primarily, I believe, from assumptions made by players about how the class will play.

When your read "Bomber" subclass, you assume they will make the best bomb-slingers in the game – but only reaching Expert in throwing bombs hinders them in that view. Similarly, seeing "Mutagenist" makes many players imagine a Jekyll & Hyde or Banner & Hulk style character, but the reality isn't close to that fantasy at all.

It isn't that those sublclasses are bad. Both can be fun. They just don't meet the expectation that players create on a first glance as well as nearly all the other classes.

Toxicologist doesn't suffer from this problem. You want poisons, toxins and other nefarious chemicals? This subclass is going to do them better than anyone. Look no further than the initial features of the subclass, granting Scarecrow the ability to use his Class DC for infused poisons rather than the listed DC. This improves the success rate of nearly every poison, save for a very, very few high level ones. Not only that, but Scarecrow can add that poison to his claw blades for a single action, rather than two.

Plus, since Dread Ampoule – the main fear-inducing alchemical item – is listed as a poison, Scarecrow can make plenty of it with his infused reagents, despite not going Bomber.

The only feats we'll take outside the Alchemist Class are in a Champion Dedication (Desecrator, to be exact). After getting the archetype through Multitalented, we'll work toward Aura of Despair, which hinders nearby enemy's ability to save against fear, and blocks them from shaking off the effect entirely until they move away.





Quick Bomber

Scarecrow isn't a bomber, but Dread Ampoule is a poison wrapped in a bomb package. Grab and throw it with one action.


Poison Resistance

Dr. Crane's biggest weakness? His poisons being turned against him. Don't let him get a taste of his own medicine.


Far Lobber

Scarecrow never gets too robust health-wise. Better to instill fear from a distance.


Debilitating Bomb

Add flat-footed to Dread Ampoules to really takedown a target's AC with one action.


Pinpoint Poisoner

With the lowered defense from Debilitating Bomb, Scarecrow's syringe glove gets more potent.


Basic Devotion

For Conceited Mind. Dr. Crane's experiments have left his mind more robust against mental effects. But when it faulters, it really faulters.


Advanced Devotion

For Aura of Despair. No one near Scarecrow can shake thier fear, and fear effects laand easier.


Greater Debilitating Bomb

More effects options to add to Scarecrows fear toxin bombs.


True Debilitating Bombs

The debilitating effects get stronger, and if Scarecrow uses a lower level one, it requires a critical save to avoid.


Chemical Contagion

Enemies need to learn to stand apart. If one gets hit by a fear toxin bomb, the effect can splash to another.


Plum Deluge

The perfect Scarecrow trait. Throw contact poison – like Fearweed – into the air and let it spray down as gas in a wide area. Fear reigns.

Skills & General Feats

What good what the inventor of a new alchemical weapon be if they weren't a legendary crafter? No good, is the obvious answer.

Dr. Crane doesn't have to worry about that, his extensive study has made him legendary in Crafting. And the subject that study is in (fear) has likewise made him legendary in Intimidation.

There are a few other important focuses for Scarecrow. Medicine is something he has some training in – you need to understand how humans work if you are going to turn their minds against them. Plus, with such low health, it's important for him to be stealthy enough that he can get his first fear effects off from the shadows.

Legendary: Crafting, Intimidation

Master: Stealth

Expert: Medicine





Specialty Crafting: Alchemy

Infused reagents are helpful, but Scarecrow works best when he has a lot of alchemical items ready to go when the battle starts.


Adopted Ancestry: Human

Scarecrow isn't really a horrific flesh monster, he just looks that way to those under the effects of the toxin.


Magical Crafting

There are lots of items that can boost an alchemist's effectiveness. Might as well take advantage.


Lie to Me

Part of Dr. Crane's experiments were about understanding the psychology of fear. He understands it so well it's like he's reading minds.


Breath Control

The number one secret of using fear toxin: don't breathe it yourself.


Impeccable Crafter

Get a critical success on any alchemical crafting success, reducing the materials needed.



A great way to get Crane's hands on some of those craftable magical items. Invent them!


Incredible Investiture

Since Scarecrow is making his own magic items, he needs to be able to wear them all.


Skeptic's Defense

The best defense against a fear effect? Being scarier.


Bless Toxin

Use that Champion Dedication Deity to make a poison reducing healing for enemies.


Prescient Planner

While he's carrying around poisons and bombs, who knows what else he's got in his pack?


Craft Anything

Hopefully "anything" includes a bunch of poisons.


Scare to Death

In the words of Dr. Jonathan Crane: "The mind can only take so much fear".


Prescient Consumable

Sometimes Scarecrow gets tired of making items. Sometimes he just wants to buy them.


Terrified Retreat

Scarecrow doesn't just Demoralize often, but when he does that mask sends them running.

Attribute Increases

Level Str Dex Con Int Wis Cha
1 12 14 12 18 10 12
5 14 16 12 19 10 14
10 16 18 12 20 10 16
15 16 19 12 21 12 18
20 18 20 12 22 14 18


Suggested Starting Equipment





Dread Amoule

The bread and butter of the build. Throw bomb, scare bad.


Giant Centepede Venom

An early injury poison to add to the syringe glove.

Scarecrow's Signature Items

Key Spells


Scarecrow Resources