Kal-El crash landed on earth, the last survivor of the planet Krypton. Powered by the earth's yellow sun, he became a hero.

Who Is Superman?

Who Are Superman?

Clark Kent. The Man of Steel. The Man of Tomorrow. The Last Son of Krypton. Ol' Blue and Red.

Superman is one of the characters featured here with the longest legacy. There have been ups and downs, clones and deaths, and lots of nicknames. Through it all, though, Superman as remained one of the heroes in all of comics most determined to uphold good. I guess it's that sweet Smallville upbringing from Ma and Pa Kent.

I loved Superman when I was a teen. I still have an old, faded Superman minifig on my keys. Looking back, I don't know what it was about him that I was drawn to. He has almost nothing in common with the comic characters I would come to like in the future – Jean Grey and Daredevil, for instance.

I think Seinfeld is party to blame. That's a show I loved more than all comic characters put together, and Superman was a frequent reference. Some full episodes, like The Race, focused heavily on references to Superman.

Despite my love of the character, I've seen so little Superman media. I never saw the old Christopher Reeves movies. I saw the Brandon Routh one once. I've never seen the new Justice League ones. I don't know why. I saw some Smallville episodes.

But I think that speaks to how ubiquitous the character is in pop culture. Despite barely ever seeing Superman media, his story, his powers and his iconic presence is in my bones. It is like one of our great modern myths, a figure that will live on to be discovered by archeologists far in the future as they piece together what our civilization was like before it drowned.

All that said, how do we play as him in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character

bulletproof superman symbol

Bulletproof Hope (And Skin)

An unbeatable defense is the starting point for any depiction of Superman, as bullets bounce off of him and the iconic S on his chest.

superman heat vision

The Male Gaze

Don't enter a staring contest with Clark Kent, because you might get burnt. I mean literally, because he has laserish heat vision.

flying superman

It's a Bird, It's a Plane

Talk about power creep, Superman started out being able to leap over tall buildings in a single bound. Then he flew. Then he flew around the world so fast it turned the other way.

cold breath

How It Feels To Chew 5 Gum

Minty breath is nice, having cold breath so chilling it can freeze foes is extra nice. But it might make blowing out birthday candles difficult.

Building Superman

At first, it might seem like the fantasy of Superman is impossible to realize in a TTRPG with the rules as written. In this case, like so many others, Pathfinder continues to deliver.

Obviously we can't make Superman as OP as he is portrayed in some versions of the character – but if he is able to work alongside Batman and co. in the Justice League, why couldn't he work alongside an Investigator and Rogue in an RPG party?

What helps is that the highest levels of AC are only obtainable by a few classes in Pathfinder 2e, Champion and Monk specifically. This means that generally a party will not have a member with the most "bulletproof" defense possible. By starting there, adding some feats for heat vision, cold breath and flight, and generally being a good guy, Superman can be realized.

On the battlefield, Superman is a protector above all. He uses his bulletproof skin to tank damage, peeling away foes from his allies. His high athletics can keep enemies grappled, and Retributive Strike means foes will think twice about targeting an ally in range.

Also, as a nice side benefit of being a Paladin, Superman has access to Lay on Hands for some extra sustain, for himself or friends.

Outside of battle, Superman becomes a bit of a liability. His skills are really only good for pushing things over and tearing things down. Meanwhile, his dogged pursuit of good makes it hard to keep teammates who don't mind being heroes by operating in the grey areas.


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Aasimar Dwarf

How much of Superman's appeal comes from his tall, athletic figure? Hopefully not too much, because in order to get this build right, we're going with an ancestry that is not generally known for being either tall or athletic.

It's the Dwarf ancestry that will come in clutch for Kal-El, which comes equipped with the highest Hit Points, a Constitution boost and Darkvision [Ed. Note: read, x-ray vision].

The Charisma flaw that comes with being a stout, angry dwarf isn't too big of a deal. Unlike many martial builds, Superman doesn't spend too many actions on Intimidation tactics – he has more than enough to do with focus abilities and ways to strike. The flaw does hurt one piece of his kit, the Cold Breath, which comes in the form of an innate cantrip with a Cha modifier. That's fine, it's not his biggest priority anyway.

For the Heritage, we go Aasimar. Consider Susperman a God Among Us – he looks mortal, but powered by Earth's (or Terrimar's) yellow sun, he is something greater.





Unburdened Iron

Dwarves have a slower speed to begin, so removing speed penalties from heavy armor is important.


Sense Allies

Superman has to know when to unbutton that shirt for a quick change to save his buddies.


Dragon Spit

From Ancestral Paragon. Ray of Frost innate cantrip from the mouth. Sounds like Cold Breath to me.


Celestial Wings

Graduate from leaping over buildings to flying over them, for a limited time.


Mountain's Stoutness

Extra health that stacks with Toughness. Become the man of steel.


Eternal Wings

Start flying all the time, like a bird or a plane.


Last Survivor

The only way this background fits better is if it was "Last Son".

We take the free Constitution boost to add to Superman's bulletproof skin, plus a Strength boost to make those punches pack power.

The rest is kind of irrelevant. Some Undead Lore which is not applicable. Medicine and Battle Medicine is always helpful, so that's not the worst thing. Maybe Supe stays around after rescuing victims to give some first aid?


Champion - Paladin Cause

He's the boy scout. The unflinching force of good. The moral compass other heroes can set their watch to.

Of course he'd be a Paladin in Pathfinder. Even if the rest of the Champion class feats didn't fit with Superman, we'd find a way to make them work. The dedication to all that is good is just to important to the character.

Luckily, though, the Champion feats and features do fit Superman very well. For starters, it is the class that reaches the peak of AC – which, along with the Toughness feat, the Dwarven ancestry feat for Hit Points and the Enduring Might reaction, makes Superman as close to bulletproof as we can get on the tabletop.

The option for Champions to use focus spells related to Deity Domains gives a ton of options as well. Like most of the builds we use that feature Clerics or Champions, it is best to come up with a homebrewed Deity that represents Krypton. But if that doesn't fly, Iori will work fine. Iori gives the favored weapon of fists, plus the might domain.

The domain utilization doesn't stop there. At level 2 we grab a Cleric Dedication for even more access to focus spells. With a Cleric deity that features the fire domain, Kal-El can get access to his heat vision – Fire Ray. Even better, this is a Divine spell with a wisdom modifier, which he can achieve Master proficiency in.





Deity's Domain: Might

Access to the Athletic Rush focus spell, which gives Supe that burst of speed and might that makes him Supe.


Cleric Dedication: Ra

Superman takes the Cleric Dedication for access to Fire Ray down the line, which is his heat vision.


Divine Ally: Blade

Works with handwraps for super punches.


Desperate Prayer

An extra focus point per battle. That means one more heat vision, or athletic rush.


Domain Initiate: Fire

From Basic Dogma. Heat vision is here. Stare away.


Advanced Deity's Domain: Might

A huge last second heal to cheat death, like Superman has famously done.


Attack of Opportunity

For when Retributive Strike isn't applicable.


Blade of Justice

Works with handwraps for a mighty blow against evildoers.


Divine Reflexes

An additional reaction for Retributive Strikes.


Instrument of Zeal

When Superman crits, enemies feel it for sure.


Aura of Righteousness

Just being in the presence of Kal-El makes allies safer.


Sacred Defender

Bulletproof Skin. One of the highest pinnacles of defense in the game.

Skills & General Feats

It goes without saying that Athletics is beyond important for Superman to perform his iconic feats of strength – leaping over tall buildings, grappling with kaijus, smashing in doors. Alongside that skill, Acrobatics is important for maneuvering in flight. What good is being able to fly if you kind of suck at it?

Outside of those too things, the rest is just table stakes. Intimidation is the only other focus, but Superman is usually too busy blasting heat vision, blowing cold breath, and punching with the force of the sun to glare at foes.

Legendary: Acrobatics, Athletics

Master: Intimidation

Expert: Survival





Titan Wrestler

Clark Kent can wrestle one size above himself, but his alter ego needs to go bigger.


Adopted Ancestry: Human

Needed down the road to get our Cold Breath.


Assurance: Athletics

Nice to smooth out the averages on wrestling maneuvers.


Powerful Leap

Powerful enough to leap over a tall building in a single bound.


Ancestral Paragon

For Dragon Spit. Time to start cold breathing.


Quick Jump

Make those leaps and bounds faster.


Aerobatics Mastery

When Celestial Wings is active, start flying in style. And I don't just mean "in a cape".



Extra health for that Man of Steel energy.


Kip Up

Unless it's kryptonite, Superman doesn't stay down.


Rapid Mantel

Superman doesn't hang from ledges.


Cloud Jump

Is it a bird, is it a plane? Nope just a huge jump.


Intimidating Prowess

Something about a giant hulk of kryptonian muscle is pretty intimidating.


Terrifying Resistance

If you get spooked by Superman, you tend to not be able to target him well.


Too Angry To Die

This is literally the plot of the Snyder Cut


Intimidating Glare

Clark Kent doesn't want to say mean words, so a glare will have to do.

Attribute Increases

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


Suggested Starting Equipment

Superman's Signature Items

Key Spells





Fire Ray

Heat vision! Burn down foes from a distance.


Athletic Rush

Extra speed and Athletics for a round.


Enduring Might

An extra option for incredible defense.


Ray of Frost

It doesn't have the Master proficiency or Wisdom modifier, but it has a crazy high range and can slow down foes.



For when a real shield isn't practical, or cool looking.



Superman's own portable Fortress of Solitude where he can reflect, and get answers.


Superman Resources