Character Build: Thor Odinson

Thor by Walter Simonson. Marvel Comics.

Since the High Evolutionary first debuted in the pages of Thor, it seemed appropriate that I dedicate a character build this month to the God of Thunder. Building a god is no easy task, but I think I’ve come up with a reasonable facsimile of Thor’s powers!

There’s one caveat, though: this build assumes the character is wielding Mjolnir. A lot of Thor’s powers come from his hammer, so I wanted to make an important part of the character build. The presumption that the character is wielding a throwable magic hammer at all times certainly factors into some of the decisions I’ll be making.

Level 1: First, of course, we have to choose Thor’s Ancestry and Heritage. I’m opting for Orc as his Ancestry, which will start him off with a solid 10 hit points and grant access to some nice feats—including Orc Ferocity at level 1, which makes Thor harder to knock out. I’m putting the ability boosts from this Ancestry into Strength and Constitution, because Thor is a buff boy. As for Heritage, I like Aasimar—he’s not going to get much out of it, but it just feels thematically appropriate.

Next up, there’s Background. It’s tempting to choose Warrior, but how could I pass up Royalty? He is, after all, the Prince of Asgard. Ability boosts will go into Constitution and Charisma, he’ll become Trained in Society, and he’ll pick up the Courtly Graces feat (which is, admittedly, not necessarily appropriate to Thor’s early adventures).

Finally, it’s time for class selection. I debated this for a while—he obviously needs some magical abilities to summon lightning, but how far should I lean into that? Ultimately, I feel that the Magus is the best match, since it’s focused on delivering magic through a weapon, which seems appropriate for Thor’s approach to wielding Mjolnir. The class will grant him a boost to Strength, putting his stats at Strength 14, Dexterity 10, Constitution 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, and Charisma 12—very strong and pretty likable!

For skills, Arcana automatically becomes Trained, and I’ll select Acrobatics and Athletics as his other two (it seems best to focus on physical skills for Thor).

At this point, it’s time to select Thor’s Hybrid Study, and here’s where Mjolnir comes into play: I’m choosing Starlit Span, the ranged option. It’s great for throwing around a hammer! Plus, its conflux spells match up to Thor’s fighting style fairly well (except for Darkvision at level 7, but hey, nothing’s perfect).

Now, all that’s left is to grab a class feat and some spells! For the former, I like the look of Arcane Fists—it makes sense with Thor’s godly might and gives him some combat options if he’s separated from Mjolnir. For the spells, well, we’ve got quite a few to look at; he needs eight cantrips and four 1st-level arcane spells.

Cantrip selection is harder, since there are more of them to choose, but I’m going with the following: Approximate, Dancing Lights, Detect Magic, Electric Arc, Gale Blast, Infectious Enthusiasm, Protect Companion, and Shield. Most of these make sense from the perspective of either god-like senses or lightning magic; the protective ones I’m chalking up to his sturdy Asgardian defenses.

Finally, for 1st-level spells, I’m choosing Airburst, Echoing Weapon, Horizon Thunder Sphere, and (of course) Shocking Grasp.

Level 2: This level is simple: just a class feat and a skill feat. For the former, I choose Spell Parry—he’s got to have his defenses up against Loki, the Enchantress, and all his other magical foes! For the latter, Hefty Hauler makes sense given Thor’s impressive strength. Oh, almost forgot, Thor also gets two new spells every level; how about Shockwave and True Strike?

Level 3: I’m glad Magus doesn’t get a ton of skill increases; for now, I’m just going to raise Athletics to Expert. Fast Recovery is a handy little general feat that gives Thor a god-like constitution, and then it’s time once more for spell selection. He can get 2nd-level spells now, and the most appropriate-looking spells of that level are Elemental Zone and Sudden Bolt.

Level 4: What physical brawler doesn’t need Titan Wrestler as a skill feat, right? I mean, Thor’s got to fight that big snake and whatnot—he definitely needs Titan Wrestler. I see the utility in picking Starlit Eyes for his class feat this level, but honestly, it doesn’t feel that thematically appropriate for the character, so I’m going to go back and take Expansive Spellstrike instead. For our two spells at this level, I’m picking Befitting Attire (when he joins the Godpack, he rearranges the atoms of his clothes to form a new costume, so apparently he can do this) and Resist Energy.

Level 5: Ah, level 5! You know what that means: ability boosts! I’m boosting Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma, leaving Thor with Strength 16, Dexterity 12, Constitution 16, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, and Charisma 14. He gets a skill boost, too, which I’ll use to take Acrobatics to Expert.

Thor loves to boast of his victories, so Victorious Vigor is a perfect Ancestry feat, giving him temporary HP in the thick of battle. He can get up to 3rd-level spells now, so Lightning Bolt is a must-have; I also like the look of Unseasonable Squall.

Level 6: Obviously, Thor needs Attack of Opportunity for his class feat this level. For a skill feat, Armor Assist might be useful. When it comes to spells, Elemental Absorption is a great choice, and then how about a heightened Shocking Grasp?

Level 7: At level 7, we can take skills up to Master, so I’m going to do that for Athletics. Thor will also get access to 4th-level spells! Draw the Lightning is perfect, but I’m not seeing many other spells this level that stand out, so I’m just going to heighten Lightning Bolt. For a general feat, Toughness is an easy pick.

Level 8: Spell Swipe works very well for Thor’s class feat this level—it’s normally a suboptimal choice for Starlit Span, but since his ‘ranged’ weapon is a thrown melee weapon that returns to his hand, it’s a good fit. Quick Jump is as reasonable a skill feat as any, so I’ll grab that. Again, there aren’t many 4th-level spells I like for Thor, so instead I’ll just take heightened versions of Shocking Grasp and Sudden Bolt.

Level 9: Maintaining Thor’s focus on physical skills, I’ll be raising Acrobatics to Master. Then, I’ll upgrade Thor’s stubborn refusal to die by taking the Undying Ferocity Ancestry feat. Finally, it’s time to look at 5th-level spell selection, and… hoo boy, there really aren’t any good lightning spells in this section of the arcane spell list. Well, looks like it’s time to heighten Lightning Bolt and Shocking Grasp again!

Level 10: Ability boost time! Once more, boosts are going into Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma, leaving Thor’s stats at Strength 18, Dexterity 14, Constitution 18, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, and Charisma 16.

Skill feats are the bane of my existence; I’m just going to grab Powerful Leap. Class feats, on the other hand, are much more fun! Rapid Recharge will let Thor call the lightning more often, so that’s an easy pick. For spells, I want to heighten Echoing Weapon and Horizon Thunder Sphere.

Level 11: It only just occurred to me that—being a god—Thor probably ought to be at least Trained in Religion, so I’ll do that now. The Diehard general feat makes him even harder to kill, and that just leaves spell selection! He has access to 6th-level spells now, and there are two spells that are great for him: Chain Lightning is obvious, and True Seeing is… well, something that maybe Heimdall could help him with? It’s not a perfect fit, but for some reason I feel like he should have it.

Level 12: Overwhelming Spellstrike is a handy feat, especially when you have a character who is mostly built to cause one specific type of damage! I went with Quick Identification for a skill feat, because he… recognizes Loki’s magic, I guess? Finally, for spells, I’m going to heighten Elemental Absorption and Sudden Bolt.

Level 13: Let’s bump Religion up to Expert for that good old god knowledge, then snag the Lifeblood’s Call Ancestry feat so that Thor is even more dangerous when backed into a corner. Thor has 7th-level spells on the table now, but none of them fit his lightning gimmick; instead, I’ll heighten Lightning Bolt and Resist Energy.

Level 14: This level gives Thor the Preternatural Parry feat, making him even better at resisting magical attacks. I’m also going to take the Cat Fall skill feat, because I have to take something. Finally, for spells, I’ll heighten Chain Lightning and Shocking Grasp.

Level 15: It’s that time again: ability boosts! And you guessed it—they’re going to Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma, taking Thor to Strength 19, Dexterity 16, Constitution 19, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 10, and Charisma 18. I’ll also be boosting Athletics up to Legendary now that we’re of a level to do so.

Incredible Initiative is an inoffensive little general feat to take, so let’s grab it. Then it’s time to pick 8th-level spells! Once more, there’s no great choices, so instead we’ll heighten Draw the Lightning and, hm, how about Sudden Bolt?

Level 16: Even levels are so relaxing—just a few quick choices. First, I’ll give Thor Dispelling Spellstrike; I’m not sure if this is a thing he can actually do, but it seems cool! Then, I’ll give him Kip Up for a skill feat. Finally, I’ll heighten Chain Lightning and Lightning Bolt.

Level 17: I’m moving Acrobatics up to Legendary to finish off the physical skills and capping off Ancestry feats with Rampaging Ferocity. Woohoo! Then it’s time for 9th-level spells. Once more, there’s nothing of real use here, so let’s get some classic spells heightened: we’ll start with Echoing Weapon and Shocking Grasp.

Level 18: Versatile Spellstrike is the obvious choice here, allowing Thor to pick the spell that’s best for the job at the moment. I think I’ll take Aerobatics Mastery for the level’s skill feat. For spells, I’ll heighten Elemental Absorption and Lightning Bolt.

Level 19: Alright, by this point, Thor has become a more responsible, socially aware fellow, so let’s raise his Society to Expert. Nothing is jumping out at me for general feats, so I think I’m going to pick Ancestral Paragon and use it to pick up Orc Superstition, which is a feat I was sort of interested in for its defensive magical assistance (again, Thor’s got to watch out for Loki’s spells). That just leaves spells; I’ll heighten our old standbys Chain Lightning and Sudden Bolt.

Level 20: The grand finale! First and foremost, we need to spend Thor’s ability boosts. For this last round, I’m putting them into Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom—after much questing, Thor has finally gotten a bit wiser! That brings his final totals to Strength 20, Dexterity 18, Constitution 20, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, and Charisma 18.

For his final class feat, Supreme Spellstrike is really the only choice. Skill feats end on a less interesting note, because I’m just going to take Quick Swim to fill the spot. For our final round spells, let’s heighten Horizon Thunder Sphere and—taking things way back—Shockwave!

There you have it! This Thor build is a buff, burly boy who can throw his hammer around and zap his foes with a variety of lightning attacks. I’ll admit that I’m not the most knowledgeable Thor guy around, but I feel I did a passable job at creating the God of Thunder’s core abilities!

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