Tom Riddle's obsession with gaining power over death drove him to become He Who Must Not Be Named.

Who Is Voldemort?

Who Are Voldemort?

How did a Hogwarts Student become the most powerful and dangerous Dark wizard of all time?

Tom Riddle, a half-blood wizard, starting showing signs of his dark future at an early age – tormenting other children at the muggle-run orphanage he was raised in. Being sorted into Slytherin House upon attending Hogwarts probably didn't do him any favors either – even though he is a descended of Salazar Slytherin.

After becoming obsessed with pure-blood supremacist ideas, Tom began to outwardly attack muggle-born students. It was at this time when his obsession with conquering death began as well. His quest for immortality eventually led him to construct a soul-housing horcrux. In fact, he made 7 – splitting his dark soul into smaller and smaller chunks.

And after leading two wars, taking over the wizard part of England, and raising an army of Death Eaters, what stopped him? Trying to zap the wrong baby.

I was just a bit too old to join in on Harry Potter mania when it first erupted, but I did read all the books. Voldemort presented an interesting flaw in them, in my view. Here was a wizard described as so evil, so villainous, so terrible that he cannot even be mentioned by name – but of course the atrocities that would have to be committed by someone to get that reputation can't be listed in a children's book. And so the spectre of Lord Voldemort ends up like the big bad of many horror movies: the idea of him is much scarier than the real thing, once they get real screentime.

But the backstory of Lord Voldemort still resonated with me. I loved that he was as student at the school at one time. I loved that some of the things he went through were things that Harry had to learn too.

So how can we build him in Pathfinder?

Keys to the Character

the dark mark

Bad Tattoo

Voldemort's faithful Death Eaters get matching marks – the Dark Mark – to be identified as a follower. Many get that classic tattoo regret.

a horcrux

Splintered Soul

With a soul split into seven (or eight) different Horcruxes, Voldemort just won't seem to stay dead.

a snake


Between his Slytherin House, parseltongue ability (otherwise known as snake gabbing) and his companion Nagini, the Dark Lord has a bit of a thing for snakes.

he who must not be named

What's in a Name?

Tom Riddle may have been obsessed with conquering death, but he did die in a way... He shed that identity to become Voldemort, and was so evil that name became unspeakable.

Building Voldemort

Some wizards are shaped by Hogwarts, others shape Hogwarts themselves. Voldemort of course belongs in that second group, a wizard so powerful that he changed the protocols and curriculum and reputation of the school forever.

Part of that power is from his innate spellcasting ability and part is from the horrible things he does with spells. We can add those two things together to get a Sorcerer with the Undead bloodline.

As a sorcerer, Voldemort can embody his spontaneous spellcasting – something that manifested in him as a child, bestowed by his blood. And the bloodline is perfect for the terrible, horrible things he wants to do (including raising an undead army to take over the country).

But Lord Voldemort is no typical blaster on the battlefield, raining down AOE fireballs. No, Voldemort plays the assassin role – choosing vulnerable targets to delete instantly with powerful death effects. His spells are brutal, high damage and usually single target.

He's also tough to kill. That means kill outright, though. He is squishy in an encounter, and can be taken out. But with his Lich Dedication, his soul is always housed somewhere else, ready to regrow into a slightly more twisted Voldemort.

Outside of battle, Voldemort shines more than the average spellcaster. His high Deception, Diplomacy and Intimidation mean he can usually get what the team needs – either through charm, coercion or fear.


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  • Won't stay dead
  • Dedicated to his plans
  • Avada Kedavra!
  • Ugly as hell
  • Choice in pets is suspect
  • Avada Kedavra!


Venomshield Nagaji

The rare Nagaji ancestry might seem like an odd choice for a moment, but it is so full of perfect Voldemortesque feats – right from level one, with Serpent's Tongue. I mean, that's the Dark Lord's tongue, right?

One especially good fit is Disruptive Stare, which allows Voldemort to interrupt a spell cast by a foe with merely a glare from his horrible face.





Serpent's Tongue

Gain a gross, flickering forked tongue to give an imprecise scent. Gnarly.


Hypnotic Lure

There's something about the Dark Lord that draws people in, how else did he get so many Death Eaters? Force a creature to approach.


Guarded Thoughts

A true master of the Dark Arts doesn't give in to mental attacks too easily.


Disruptive Glare

Show who the true master of magic is by stopping a spellcast with only a creepy glare.


Pit of Snakes

Use parseltongue to call in a favor – a bunch of snakes.



Voldemort met his demise – or so we thought – after a curse bounced off the forehead of infant Harry Potter. But he came crawling back through sheer force of will and a fractured soul. A revenant.

Alongide some knowledge of what lies beyond life, this also gives a Charisma bonus, which is perfect for our Sorcerer-based spellcasting.


Sorcerer - Undead Bloodline

With such an innate aptitude for magic, Sorcerer is the natural class for the Dark Lord. His ability comes from within, and he casts spells as he pleases. The Undead bloodline fits the best, giving him access to the Divine spell tradition (on the evil side, of course).

This spell list is full of inferius summoning and soul-targeting. In fact, the spell least features great examples of all three of the unforgivable curses, making Voldemort feel extra Dark Lord-y.

The Undead Bloodline also features a few focus spells that are interesting to a Tom Riddle build. All of them are helpful utility or defensive options that help keep Voldemort alive – some undead healing, life draining or immobilizing.

The only non-Sorcerer class feats taken in the build area Lich Dedication – to showcase his horcrux love – and a Lich feat that gives him a terrifying aura, keeping people away.





Reach Spell

An important first metamagic feat, since Voldemort's favored cantrip has touch range.


Dangerous Sorcery

Some extra minimum damage from spells cast from a spell slot. Perfect for deleting fools.


Advanced Bloodline

Bloodline is somewhat important to Tom Riddle. This one drains the life of a foe, bolstering Voldemort with temporary health.


Crossblooded Evolution

Like most Divine spellcasters, Voldemort chooses a spell from another tradion. Let's go Occult, the spookiest one.


Greater Bloodline

The apex spell of the Undead Bloodline – summon a field of skeletal hands to hold and hurt foes.


Lich Dedication

The Dark Lord splinters his soul into horcruxes, phylacteries that keep his soul alive even if he is "killed" by a baby.


Spell Shroud

A very Voldemort metamagic feat, hiding Voldemort in a swirling fog after a spell cast.



Voldemort finally gets his pal Nagini to tag along.


Frightful Aura

The Dark Lord's Lichness spills out around him, making it terrifying to just be nearby.


Metamagic Mastery

Voldemort's power makes metamagic actions trivial to cast – including his spooky shroud.

Skills & General Feats

Tom Riddle's rise to power as the Dark Lord was made possible by his ability to bring people to his side – through Deception, Diplomacy and Intimidation. He is especially prominent and deceiving and intimidating – why negotiate when you can terrify?

He is also fairly good at crafting, which is necessary for the construction of his horcruxes. And stealth, because he spends decades at a time hiding.

Legendary: Deception, Intimidation

Master: -

Expert: Crafting, Diplomacy, Stealth





Trick Magic Item

One of Voldemort's many obsessions is relics and magic artifacts. They would be no use if he couldn't jailbreak them.



It can be hard to hurt the half-dead. These extra health points convey that.


Intimidating Glare

What is more intimidating than the glare of a face like that? Sorry Ralph Fiennes.


Magical Crafting

It takes some tinkering to understand – and create – soul cages like Horcruxes.


Hireling Manager

Through a mix of charisma and coercion, the Dark Lord has an army of minions at his command .


Discreet Inquiry

It is difficult to know the true intentions of Tom Riddle – other than the fact that he just seems evil in general.


Terrified Retreat

When foes are demoralized by Voldemort, they run for cover. Makes sense when people are too afraid to even say the word.


Charming Liar

Like many great dictators and cult leaders, there is some level of charm to his rise to power.


Tattoo Artist

What's a Dark Mark without a little stick and poke from the leader?



What is a fascist uprising built on if not lie after lie after lie?


Incredible Investiture

You need extra magic item slots if you are obsessed with collecting relics of past House Leaders.


Lasting Coercion

You think people go against the Dark Lord after he leaves the room? They don't even like to say his name!


Slipper Secrets

It's almost impossible to get past the charms Voldemort has put on his own thoughts.


Scare to Death

This sounds about right.



Being able to decode Voldemort's instructions lets the Death Eaters hide in plain site.

Attribute Increases

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


Suggested Starting Equipment

Voldemort's Signature Items

Key Spells





Drain Life

For one action, combine some decent single target damage with temporary health, for a defensive boost.


Grasping Grave

Skeletal hands to deal heavy damage and possibly immobilize foes in an area.


Chill Touch

Voldemort's go-to cantrip when there are actions for Reach Spell.


Ancient Dust

Light damage, plus persistent damage, to creatures in a cone.


Ray of Enfeeblement

That cool green ray, weakening a foe up to enfeeblement 3.



No fuss, no muss. Direct damage.


Animate Dead

Raise an inferius to fight on Voldemort's behalf.


Agonizing Despair

Some single target damage that can frighten.


Impending Doom

A three round terror for a foe, with many status effects alongside damage.


Dimension Door

From Crossblooded Evolution. An apparate, blinking away to somewhere else.


Shadow Blast

An AOE cone or blast of negative damage. But really it looks cool with that greenish shadow.


Spirit Blast

Heavy damage to a single target that attacks the foe's very soul.


Finger of Death

Avada Kedavra!


Devour Life

Attempt to kill a foe outright and gain temporary health if successful.



Curse a foe to their grave, which opens below them while dealing heavy damage.



A 60ft. line of doom, dealing 100 direct damage on failed saves.


Voldemort Resources