The Wasp

Hank Pym's darling wife and lab assistant, Janet Van Dyne is a high-flying, small-shrinking insect hero in her own right.

Who Is The Wasp?

Who Are The Wasp?

Is there a comic book hero who was done so wrong for so long as The Wasp? 

Janet Van Dyne was one of the founding Avengers, but rarely is thought of in that way. Most often she is brought up in the context of her husband, Hank Pym, and the emotional and physical abuse she suffered from him in a few popular storylines.

Even in the MCU, Janet was spurned in favor for an entirely new character (Hope Van Dyne) when Ant-Man and the Wasp were introduced.

It's a shame, because the Wasp is a fun character with a lot of great thematic .

I started reading the Avengers series from its beginnings in the 60s, and was surprised at how prominently Janet and Hank were featured, for how little I knew about them. Janet quickly became a favorite of mine though, bringing some much needed female representation to the group. In fact, she was the only touch of that representation for years, until the Black Widow finally switched sides to join the Avengers alongside Hawkeye in their first roster shakeup.

And, honestly, I was a big fan of how Hank and Janet were introduced in the MCU – as elder superheroes, already retired from the game when we meet them. Very Watchmenesque.

So, with 60 years of history and a spotty record of popularity, how can The Wasp play in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character

wasp stinger

Sting Like A Bee

One of Janet's many original gadgets was her wrist-mounted energy blasters. She since absorbed the ability to make her stings with her own bio-electricity.

the wasp wings

Wings of a Bug

When The Wasp is shrunk down, her suit sprouts insect-like wings, allowing her to zip through the air. Funnily enough, the guy who built the wings uses a flying ant to get around.


Does That Jacket Come In Yellow?

Like Ant-Man's control over ants (sometimes technological, sometimes telepathic), Janet has sometimes been shown with the ability to communicate with... what else? Wasps!

pym particles

The Secret Ingredient

How does all this shrinking and growing technology work? That's easy... Pym Particles. And if you have to ask more questions, don't. It's just Pym Particles.

Building The Wasp

Sometimes characters inspire builds, but other times builds inspire characters. That's a bit of what happened here, starting with the Mosquito Witch patron for the Witch class.

The class offers a lot of what The Wasp is able to do, packed up in a different way of doing it. Rather than using Pym Particle-Powered technological advancements for flight, energy blasts, shrinking and insect control, the Witch version of the Wasp uses hexes, spells and a sprite ancestry to accomplish all those same things in a Pathfinderesque way!

But being the Wasp is more than just having access to technology – it's about using that technology to be an infiltrator, the sneaky spy of the original group. For that flavor, we add a Rogue Dedication and a few feats that allow her to make better use of her surprising size.

On the battlefield, the Wasp uses insect-themed hexes to damage and sicken foes. Her Primal spells focus on magic that controls insects in different ways – summoning swarms, stinging foes and more. Plus, the tradition gives her access to Enlarge, which allows her to take a cue from Giant-Man and escape her tiny form.

Outside of battle, the Wasp uses her legendary stealth (and her ability to shrink down to insect size) to get into places that no other party member could ever hope to infiltrate.


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Melixie Sprite

The Sprite ancestry accomplishes a few things that are otherwise very hard to achieve in a Pathfinder build. These features – insect-like wings, a Tiny size and natural energy blasts – also happen to be some of the key thematic elements of The Wasp!

The thing I like most about the Sprite ancestry is that it sets The Wasp's size as regularly Tiny – allowing her to enlarge through spells. This fits every image ever shown of the old-school Avengers, where they all sit around a table except for the Wasp, who is on the table in tiny form already.





Evanescent Wings

Right now this just helps Tiny Janet reach things in her space, but its a prerequisite for flight down the line.


Sprite's Spark

The Wasp's bioenergetic blasts. Complete with poison damage, from the Melixie heritage.


Energize Wings

A minute of flight per hour, at a Speed of 30.


Invisible Trickster

Janet can innately shrink down so small she's completely invisible.


Hero's Wings

Full on, always available flight from those insect wings!


Academy Dropout

Let's consider ignoring her husband Hank – which is a common thread in the early Avengers and Tales to Astonish comics – as dropping out of studies.

The background gives some Academia Lore, which is fine, plus an Intelligence boost which is helpful for a Witch class.


Mosquito Witch

There are a few features of the Witch class that don't line up with what we expect from the Wasp 1:1. That's fine, because the parts that do really do.

Those not quite right elements – a Patron and a familiar, for example – can pretty easily be roleplayed and handwaved away without much worry. For familiar, we'll give her an insect partner that hangs around. Like Anty from Ant-Man, for example.

Meanwhile, the benefits of the Mosquito Witch patron give us so much flavor for Janet van Dyne. Right from level one, with the Buzzing Bites hex cantrip. This spell deals damage to a foe and has the potential to sicken them, which is the first in a long line of condition inducing spell effects the Wasp uses.

The sicken condition applies a penalty to enemy checks and DCs, and blocks them from willingly ingesting elixirs or potions. Like other, more ubiquitous status conditions, this has a snowball effect. The next clumsy, enfeeble or sicken ability used on the foe has a higher chance of effecting them more strongly in their weakened state, and so on.

The patron also gives access to the Primal spell list, which has many insect-related spells to choose from for Janet.

The Rogue Dedication, which we take early along with Sneak Attacker, Nimble Dodge and Magical Trickster, gives some extra uses for Janet's tiny size. Plus, she'll get sneak attack damage on her energy blasts, if it ever comes down to using those rather than cantrips.





Basic Lesson: Calamity

Command a burst of bees to push over a foe.


Rogue Dedication

Get a bit more sneaky while shrinky.


Greater Lesson: Elements

Weaken a foes resistance to nature. But more importantly, get a focus point.


Sneak Attacker

Add damage when attacking flat-footed foes. Many of Janets stings leave foes flat-footed.


Basic Trickery: Nimble Dodge

Shrink for an instant to avoid an attack.


Advanced Trickery: Magical Trickster

Add sneak attack damage with spells and hexes!


Major Lesson I: Mischief

Another hex that is more about the focus point than actual use.


Advanced Trickery: Nimble Roll

After shrinking away from an attack, grow again in a different spot.


Split Hex

Send those wasps to Buzzing Bites more than one enemy at once.


Hex Master

Send in the wasps! Buzzing bites three times per turn!!!

Skills & General Feats

Flittering through the air with dragonfly-esque wings requires a high degree of Acrobatics, so Janet has made sure to be Legendary in that Skill. As well, shrinking down to a minuscule size allows for very adept infiltrations and other stealthy activities, so Stealth is Legendary too.

Beyond that, Athletics, Deception and Nature are focused on for a variety of skills requiring bugs or shrinking, or a combination of both.

Legendary: Acrobatics, Stealth

Master: -

Expert: Athletics, Deception, Nature





Slippery Prey

It's hard to hold onto a target that can instantly shrink down.



Being small without being fast is a bit dangerous.


Cat Fall

Ever notice how bugs can fall from way up high and be fine?


Quick Squeeze

Let's face it, for the Wasp, it isn't even a squeeze.


Aerobatics Mastery

High-flying acrobatics when those wings come into their own.


Kip Up

Hop up from prone and be ready to shrink back down.


Swift Sneak

As tiny as Janet is, she can get around stealthily and fast.



Crawl around at high speeds for even stealthier moves.


Quiet Allies

Janet teaches her party a thing or two about getting around like a pest.


Powerful Leap

Take a lesson from the grasshopper and bounce with power.


Incredible Investiture

Make room for all those Pym-Powered gadgets.


Foil Senses

Shrink down so small not even special senses sniff Janet out.


Legendary Sneak

To be fair, shrinking down makes it easier than most other sneakers.


Thorough Search

Once the Wasp gets in, she needs to find what she's looker for.


Shadow Mark

Learn to tail a foe using all the stealthy tricks in Janet's book.

Attribute Increases

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


Suggested Starting Equipment

The Wasp's Signature Items

Key Spells





Buzzing Bites

A one-action blast of stinging insects to damage and sicken a foe.



Borrow a page from a more spider-y insect and slow down foes.


Electric Arc

Zap a foe or two with bio-electricity.


Puff of Poison

Infect a nearby enemy with persistent damage.


Pest Form

Turn into a wasp or other insect for times when even more skittering is needed.


Spider Sting

Infect a foe with Spider Venom poison. Works better if they're already sickened from bug bites.



Pym Particles go!


Insect Form

Turn into a battle-ready wasp.


Lightning Bolt

Harness that bio-electric blast into a more concentrated form.


Stinking Cloud

Sicken and slow everyone in an area with a swarm of gnats.


Swarming Wasp Stings

Poison damage and a Poison Wasp Venom infection.


Aerial Form

Another wasp form for flying at top speeds.


Wyvern Sting

Another gruesome venom infection for a foe. Do wyverns count as bugs?


Purple Worm Sting

A brutal venom infection that weakens and damages foes.


Blightburn Blast

Harness that bio-electricity into the most concentrated, poisonous blast possible.


Linnorn Sting

A venom so toxic it burns and drains afflicted victims.


Wasp Resources