The Hulk

Forever transformed after a gamma bomb test gone wrong, Bruce Banner became the monstrous green Hulk, ready to SMASH.

Who Is The Hulk?

Who Are The Hulk?

In the end, when all of us are underwater, who's legacy will endure longer: Banner & Hulk, Jekyll & Hyde? Obviously Robert Louis Stephenson's novel has endured for nearly 150 years already, but I wouldn't count out the staying power of Hulk's catchprase, a theme so perfect in its violent simplicity: Smash.

Hulk burst [Ed. Note: is there a better word here?] onto the scene in 1962, in the first issue of The Incredible Hulk. Unlike so many of his peers, he had his own comic from day one, no appearing as a one off in Amazing Stories or Cool Riffraff, he was incredible from the get-go.

A lot of what has endured over the last 60 years was there in those first issues – a scientist named Banner, altered by gamma radiation to become a lumbering monster. Of course, a lot was different too. Hulk was grey, for starters. And he changed at night.

But as the characterization evolved, it became more and more popular, nuanced and awesome. He founded the Avengers, for instance, but left after one issue, worried about the collateral damage he could cause.

I love the Hulk. Love him. I have read decades of Hulk comics in order, starting from those first ones in '62. The Frankenstein meets Hyde theme is so fruitful to me, so different from the other heroes in the Avengers.

I love the idea that his anger fuels his power, making him stronger and stronger, with seemingly no upper limit.

Do I love every storyline? No. Do I love Joe Fixit and Professor Hulk? Also no. But who cares? Hulk Smash.

Keys to the Character

Hulk smash

Smash Hit

Sorry Green Lantern, your catchphrase is a little too wordy. What the public really wants is something brief, something effortless, something smashing.

Gamma radiation

Show Us Your Gams

Like Pym Particles or the 1960s Iron Man's transistors, gamma radiation is a mysterious catch-all for fantastical things happening in the Marvel Universe.

Hulk rage

Rage Against The Everything

While initially it seems that Hulks transformations came about once the sun went down, it was later discovered that it was Banner's anger that triggered the change. I guess he just hates night time.

Bruce Banner and Hulk

The Man Inside Me

Like many of us reading this website and playing TTRPGs, there is a little nerd inside of us. In Hulk's case, that man is Robert Bruce Banner.

Building The Hulk

There is one point of order to address right now: if you're playing the Hulk, do you roleplay Banner?

This is one of the hardest questions to come up in a build so far. I approached it from many different angles.

At one point, this was a joint build, with two different character classes, feat tables and everything. A human alchemist for Bruce Banner and an Orc Barbarian for Hulk. I went pretty far with that, until I realized that I would need to make some structural changes to the way the site works and it suddenly didn't seem so relevant.

In general, GMs hate the "multiple personality" character choice on the table. I don't necessarily blame them. Nine times out of ten it is a way for Spike characters to have their cake and eat it too – playing multiple roles and justifying changes as needed.

I don't think Banner and Hulk is that. But, let's meet the theoritical GM half way: maybe Bruce Banner is a human character with no class. Just a roleplaying entity, who transforms into this character when pushed to the limit.

Or maybe we add Bruce Banner to Pop Culture Pathfinder and you play both. I'm not your dad.

On the battlefield, Hulk has to brush of punishment like it is nothing – which to him, it is – before returning it by screaming smash. Oh, and at some point he has to either slap his hands together to make a sonic boom, or smack the ground to make an earthquake. Also, he jumps sky high.

Outside of battlefield... Don't worry about it. If he did his job on the battlefield, nothing is left standing anyway. That's for puny Banner to worry about.


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Beastkin Orc

Green, hefty, hard to kill – lots of check marks in the Hulk column for Orcs.

A lot of the feats will go toward making Hulk harder to take down, which can come in handy for Barbarians, who can wind up feeling like glass cannons. Iron Fists is a nifty pickup at level one, as well, because it synergizes with the Ape Animal Instinct fist weapon perfectly.

And speaking of the Ape Animal Instinct, going Beastkin with an Ape inherent animal gives the one thing this build is missing: Large shape for Hulk! It comes late in the build, but that is just Hulk getting madder and madder.

If Rare Heritages aren't kosher with your GM, they are a dick – but Badlands heritage is also pretty flavorful, representing the desert test ground for the gamma weapon that ultimately changed Banner into our green friend.





Iron Fists

Add shove to those gorilla fist attacks. Push or pull!


Orc Ferocity

Hulk shrugs off death to stay at 1 HP. More smash.


Undying Ferocity

Get back into the action sooner after shrugging off a potential killing-blow.


Dire Form

LARGE FORM! Finally Hulk is the giant mass of anger we know.


Rampaging Ferocity

Make a strike when Hulk goes down. If it destroys a foe, Hulk keeps going.



Hulk S...lay?!

This Orc-specific background gets Hulk started on a great track – strength boost, intimidation and Intimidating Glare, wrapped up in a compact green package.


Barbarian - Ape Animal Instinct

Another really difficult choice to be made here. I would accept nearly any argument for the Giant instinct, because it feels so so so right for the Hulk to be Large from the get-go, and have that extra reach. But the cost is significant.

Unless we are building the Gladiator focused Hulk, from Planet Hulk, I don't love him having a weapon. And that isn't the version of Hulk we're building here. So if Hulk is going bare-fisted, he is losing out on *most* of the benefits of the Giant instinct, while not gaining any of the benefits of the Animal Instinct – namely, the Ape Fist attack that is a d10 with grapple.

I tried a version of the Giant Barbarian that dips into a Monk or Martial Arts dedication to pick up Gorilla Stance, but it is a real bummer to give up 2 feats and 6 levels before feeling like you're connecting to the fantasy of the character at all.

Luckily, the Beastkin versatile heritage gives us access to Large size whenever we want starting at level 13. In a way, this is even more thematic: Hulk can go into his Dire Form Large Size as he gets angrier, getting a little clumsy but a lot scarier.

That way, we can feel fine about going with the Ape Animal Instinct, which gives us a lot of ultra-fun utility in the early part of the build – smashing from level one, and funner feats than just getting workable fists.





Raging Intimidation

Allow demoralizing actions while raging – and Hulk wants to be raging a lot.


Bashing Charge

Run right through doors, walls and other future shortcuts.


Oversized Throw

Iconic Hulk activity: pick up whatever is around, huck it at foes.


Wounded Rage

Get hit. Get mad. Get green.



It might not make the biggest impact, but we can't ignore the flavor. Grab an enemy by the feet and smack them repeatedly into the floor.


Impressive Landing

Another key to the character: collateral damage.


Predator's Pounce

A one action stride and hit.


Terrifying Howl

Demoralize every enemy around with a huge roar.


Collateral Thrash

Hulk might not use weapons, but he can use foes to hit other foes.


Brutal Critical

When Hulk hits hard, he really hits hard.


Quaking Stomp

There it is.

Skills & General Feats

The things Hulk is legendary at are fairly obvious. And the things he is no good at all at should be obvious too. If only "smashing" was a skill.

Legendary: Acrobatics
Master: Diplomacy, Society
Expert: Athletics, Lore: Piloting

Level Feat Notes
2 Cat Fall In the 60s, there were many panels of Hulk just bouncing around the desert. Make sure he lands somewhat gracefully.
3 Titan Wrestler Since this version isn't large, Hulk at least needs to wrestler bigger foes.
4 Powerful Leap Jumping is an often ignored part of Hulk's main kit.
6 Intimidating Prowess Yes, Hulk can be intimidating when he wants. And honestly, also when he doesn't want.
7 Toughness That green skin is tough to crack.
8 Quick Jump From ground to air to smashing in seconds.
10 Terrified Retreat Given the choice, would you make Hulk madder or just run?
11 Battle Cry Start every encounter by making enemies wish it wasn't an encounter.
12 Too Angry To Die If you're going to kill Hulk, make sure he's dead – or you're in trouble.
14 Hefty Hauler "Does anyone else think Hulk should be carrying our stuff?"
15 Cloud Jump Lots of builds take Cloud Jump, but it really fits best for Hulk. This is just how he gets around.
16 Rolling Landing Start running toward that next jump after landing.
18 Wall Jump Usually the wall is worse for wear after Hulk uses it as a stepladder.
19 Lasting Coercion People tend to remember what Hulk yelled at them. It was often one word.
20 Terrifying Resistance Hulk's targets think twice about attacking him.

Attribute Increases


Suggested Starting Equipment

The Hulk's Signature Items

Key Spells


Hulk Resources