Captain America Build


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Most of the players in my game have pretty highly optimized characters.

One of the guys wants to play a Captain America type. He wants a warrior of some time that fights with a shield only.

I guess I need a way to build a fighter so that he does a lot of damage with a shield, can throw it, and retains an AC bonus while using it.

I don't know where to start. Any suggestions?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Class Deck, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I don't know the best for such, but it makes sense to look at the archetypes for ideas. I don't know if the Shielded Fighter has everything you are looking for, but it might be a start. There are feats, of course, that can or could provide the abilities you mention.

What have you done thus far?


I have done it, and it was fun HOWEVER it needed the Gm needed to allow me to wield the shield WITHOUT gaining the AC bonus.
Martial Artist Monk wielding and Adimantine Throwing (non-magical version from ultimate combat) with the enhancement that allows you to flurry with it.
It was really fun.
I also built Iron man, the Hulk, Thor, and Green Arrow if your interested?


You should post your heroes.

For capt, I gave him power attack, shield focus, deflect arrow, improved shield bash and throw anything. He is 3rd level. So he attacks once a round for 1d3+9 and has an ac of 23. Not bad :)


cranewings wrote:

You should post your heroes.

For capt, I gave him power attack, shield focus, deflect arrow, improved shield bash and throw anything. He is 3rd level. So he attacks once a round for 1d3+9 and has an ac of 23. Not bad :)

throw anything isn't needed if you are using a throwing shield from ultimate combat and that frees up the feat for one of my favs, Missile shield.

so you have deflect arrows and missile shield blocking 2 ranged attacks per round


Check out this thread for Pathfinder-ized Captain America goodness.

If going straight fighter, I suggest the Brawler archetype, as the Close Combatant ability that replaces weapon training is pretty much perfect as it applies to shield bashes and unarmed attacks.

If one wants Shield Slam and Shield Master feats earlier than the BAB requirements, taking levels in Ranger for weapon-and-shield combat style goes a long way for being really effective with a shield.

Captain America build is pretty easy if you focus on certain aspects: shield bashing, shield throwing, and two-weapon fighting with shield and fist.

General feats:
Improved Shield Bash - Obviously

Power Attack if using a heavy shield - according to the Paizo FAQ, shield bash isn't an automatic offhand weapon, so a heavy shield can be a primary weapon that is a one-handed and that can be wielded two-handed for the extra Str bonus and Power Attack damage. There will be some people that wanna house-rule-justify that a shield is strapped to one-arm and shouldn't be two-handed. Ignore them. They are ignoring rules-as-written and very likely rules-as-intended for sake of their own sensibilities and that should never stop someone from having a legal not-overpowered character build.

Exotic Weapon Proficiency (throwing shield) or Throw Anything + Equipment Trick (shield) - I'd suggest the throwing shield as it's one feat and can trip. Maybe wait when you can afford a returning version though.

Shield Slam - If you can afford the TWF feat (or you can skip pre-reqs with Ranger), bull-rushing is very nice for battlefield control.

Shield Master - Something any shield-bashing specialist wants to gun for as it allows the defensive enhancement of a shield to apply for attack and damage. CHEAP MAGIC WEAPON!

Missile Shield - Sure if you got feats to spare.

Two-Weapon Fighting tree - I haven't tried this so not sure on the mileage, but people have been using the twf sword+board to good effect lately. Shield Master feat gets rid of the TWF penalties of the shield bash attack when fighting with two weapons so that's a definite plus.


Thanks for the advice gents :)


cranewings wrote:

Most of the players in my game have pretty highly optimized characters.

One of the guys wants to play a Captain America type. He wants a warrior of some time that fights with a shield only.

I guess I need a way to build a fighter so that he does a lot of damage with a shield, can throw it, and retains an AC bonus while using it.

I don't know where to start. Any suggestions?

Now I don't have the list at hand, but...

Shield fighter archetype. The feats that you should take are those for weapon and shield combat, BUT: first use a spiked armor ad weapon, then go for improved unarmed strike and all crane style feats. Feats like ray shield, etc. You will have this: a number of attacks like 2 weapon fighting, all with you spiked shield (with SA it will do 2d6 damage), full strenght bonus, no penalty on attacks, can avoid 1 or 2 arrow / round, 1 melee attack / round (and counter attack). If you want you can take stalwart and improved stalwart, at high level you will have a DR of 18 or more (depending from other feats you chose) or a good armor class.

Liberty's Edge

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It's really not that hard. I'm running a character in the society who is a Brawler with the Shield Champion archetype. From there it was easy to be like Captain America. And knowing that Captain America is adept in more than unarmed strikes and the shield, the Martial Flexibility of the Brawler is fitting. What happens as he levels up is up to you.


Is third party allowed?


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This is from 2011. Cease your necromancy.


I agree with Krom. the Shield Champion - Brawler archetype is Captain america in a nut shell. for the best results I'd suggest an Adamantine quick-draw Throwing Shield.


What about a build like this one I built a while back?

Zonugal wrote:

Inspired by the latest Marvel film, here's the star spangled man himself!

"Doesn't matter what the press says. Doesn't matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn't matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — 'No, you move.'"

Captain America
Human ‘Trapper’ & ‘Toxophilite’ Ranger 1/’Mutagenic Mauler’ & ‘Shield Champion’ Brawler 7/Chevalier 3
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +3; Senses Perception +15
DEFENSE
AC 13, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+0 armor, +3 Dex)
hp 109 (11d10+39)
Fort +12, Ref +11, Will +5
Defensive Abilities
Immunity to Fear & Poison
OFFENSE
Speed 30 ft.
Melee Heavy Shield +12/+12/+7/+2 (1d8+3/x2; 10 ft., bludgeoning)
Melee Unarmed Strike +12/+12/+7/+2 (1d8+4/x2; bludgeoning)
Ranged Heavy Shield +13/+13/+8/+3 (1d8+3/x2; 10 ft., bludgeoning)
Ranged Pistol +15 (1d8/x4; 20ft.; bludgeoning & piercing)
Special Attacks Knockout (1/day; DC 16), Smite Evil (1/day; +1 to atk & +11 to dmg)
STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 16, Con 16, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +11; CMB +14; CMD 27
Feats Improved Shield Bash [1st], Point Blank Shot [Human], Precise Shot [3rd], Power Attack [Brawler2], Dragon Style [5th], Two-Weapon Fighting [Brawler 5], Shield Slam [7th], Deadly Aim [9th] & Shield Master [11th]
Skills Acrobatics +16 (10 ranks +3 dex +3 bonus), Climb +7 (1 rank +3 str +3 bonus), Diplomacy +10 (6 ranks +1 cha +3 bonus), Disable Device +12 (5 ranks +3 dex +3 bonus +1 trapfinding), Escape Artist +10 (4 ranks +3 dex...

Captain America with Buffs & Magic Items:
Captain America
Human ‘Trapper’ & ‘Toxophilite’ Ranger 1/’Mutagenic Mauler’ & ‘Shield Champion’ Brawler 7/Chevalier 3
LG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +4; Senses Perception +15, Low-Light Vision
DEFENSE
AC 32, touch 16, flat-footed 28 (+7 armor, +4 Dex, +5 shield, +2 deflection, +4 natural armor)
hp 120 (11d10+50)
Fort +15, Ref +14, Will +7
Defensive Abilities
Immunity to Fear & Poison
OFFENSE
Speed 40 ft.
Melee Heavy Shield +20/+20/+15/+10 (1d8+13/x2; 10 ft., bludgeoning)
Melee Unarmed Strike +15/+15/+10/+5 (1d8+11/x2; bludgeoning)
Ranged Heavy Shield +21/+21/+16/+11 (1d8+11/x2; 10 ft., bludgeoning)
Ranged Pistol +16 (1d8/x4; 20ft.; bludgeoning & piercing)
Special Attacks Knockout (1/day; DC 19), Smite Evil (1/day; +1 to atk & +11 to dmg)
STATISTICS
Str 22, Dex 18, Con 18, Int 12, Wis 12, Cha 12
Base Atk +11; CMB +17; CMD 31
Feats Improved Shield Bash [1st], Point Blank Shot [Human], Precise Shot [3rd], Power Attack [Brawler2], Dragon Style [5th], Two-Weapon Fighting [Brawler 5], Shield Slam [7th], Deadly Aim [9th] & Shield Master [11th]
Skills Acrobatics +17 (10 ranks +4 dex +3 bonus), Climb +10 (1 rank +6 str +3 bonus), Diplomacy +10 (6 ranks +1 cha +3 bonus), Disable Device +13 (5 ranks +4 dex +3 bonus +1 trapfinding), Escape Artist +11 (4 ranks +4 dex +3 bonus), Heal +5 (1 rank +1 wis +3 bonus), Intimidate +5 (1 rank +1 cha +3 bonus), Knowledge (Dungeoneering) +5 (1 rank +1 int +3 bonus), Knowledge (Geography) +5 (1 rank +1 int +3 bonus), Knowledge (Local) +10 (6 ranks +1 int +3 bonus), Knowledge (Nature) +5 (1 rank +1 int +3 bonus), Knowledge (Nobility) +2 (1 rank +1 int), Perception +15 (11 ranks +1 wis +3 bonus), Ride +8 (1 rank +4 dex +3 bonus), Sense Motive +10 (6 ranks +1 wis +3 bonus), Stealth +18 (11 ranks +4 dex +3 bonus), Survival +5 (1 rank +1 wis +3 bonus) & Swim +10 (1 rank +6 str +3 bonus)
Languages Common
Traits Awakened from Stasis & Strong Arm, Supple Wrist
SQ Arrow-Splitter, Favored Enemy (Humans; +2), Trapfinding (+1), Brawler’s Cunning, Martial Training, Mutagen (70 minutes); Unarmed Strike, Brawler’s Flurry, Throw Shield, Beastmorph, Returning Shield, Close Weapon Mastery, Aura of Courage, Recklessness (+3), Controlled Charge, & Stubborn Mind.
Equipment Amulet of Natural Armor (+2), Lesser Belt of Mighty Hurling, Belt of Physical Might (+2), +1 Lightly Fortified Mithral Breastplate, Cloak of Resistance (+2), 10 Paper Alchemical Cartridges, Pistol, 4 Potions of Cure Light Wounds (CL 1), Potion of Lesser Restoration (CL 3), 4 Potions of Protection from Evil (CL 1), Ring of Protection (+2), +5 Adamantine Heavy Steel Shield & 1000 gp left over.

Character Traits
Awakened from Stasis: As a side effect of your stasis, you gain all the benefits of 8 hours of sleep in only 2 hours. This allows a spellcaster who must rest to prepare spells to do so after only 2 hours, but does not allow a spellcaster to prepare spells more than once per day.
Strong Arm, Supple Wrist: Whenever you move at least 10 feet before making an attack with a thrown weapon, you add 10 feet to the range increment of the weapon thrown.


Scarab Sages

How do you throw a shield multiple times per round?
I thought returning items return after 1 round...


Hstyle wrote:

How do you throw a shield multiple times per round?

I thought returning items return after 1 round...

You should probably make your own thread and not bump one that was made in 2011 and bumped in 2015.

Blinkback Belt can help you, but you need Quick Draw feat to make it work. This also eats up your belt slot, which is normally used for your physical ability bonuses.

Shield Champion archetype of the Brawler gets to have the shields return to them after a throw at level 5.


Cap has been done in the forums, many times.

(The build a few posts above doesn't make a whole lot of sense; a single level of Toxophilite ranger is useless unless all of your opponents are the size of cats.

SorrySleeping wrote:
Blinkback Belt can help you, but you need Quick Draw feat to make it work.

Keeping true to the character, Cap's shield wouldn't blink-back. What it has is multi-targeting/ricochet capacity.


Some times you have to take a small break between what you want to do and what you end up doing. I don't think the blinkback belt is unrealistic considering the other horrible options you have if you don't want to take Shield Champion.

I'd rather play something else than a Captain America that can only throw his shield once per round and it drops to the floor if he moves away from where he threw it before the next round.


It's not a perfect fit, but the sharding weapon ability can kind of do the Captain America thing, if you don't want to use the Shield Champion.

Scarab Sages

SorrySleeping wrote:
Hstyle wrote:

How do you throw a shield multiple times per round?

I thought returning items return after 1 round...

You should probably make your own thread and not bump one that was made in 2011 and bumped in 2015.

Blinkback Belt can help you, but you need Quick Draw feat to make it work. This also eats up your belt slot, which is normally used for your physical ability bonuses.

Shield Champion archetype of the Brawler gets to have the shields return to them after a throw at level 5.

I admit I forgot the quote marks on my earlier msg. Wanted to refer to Zonugal's message (and other ppls message) where there is some indication you could throw the shield multiple times (or I have interpreted the text wrong). Somehow I only find the rules in different abilities where they refer that the thrown item/items would return to hand at the end of the round or at the beginning of next round etc, not right after throwning and hitting. Only real difference is the bouncing shield on the brawler archetype where you can get extra attacks because of the bouncing...

Scarab Sages

Hstyle wrote:
SorrySleeping wrote:
Hstyle wrote:

How do you throw a shield multiple times per round?

I thought returning items return after 1 round...

You should probably make your own thread and not bump one that was made in 2011 and bumped in 2015.

Blinkback Belt can help you, but you need Quick Draw feat to make it work. This also eats up your belt slot, which is normally used for your physical ability bonuses.

Shield Champion archetype of the Brawler gets to have the shields return to them after a throw at level 5.

I admit I forgot the quote marks on my earlier msg. Wanted to refer to Zonugal's message (and other ppls message) where there is some indication you could throw the shield multiple times (or I have interpreted the text wrong). Somehow I only find the rules in different abilities where they refer that the thrown item/items would return to hand at the end of the round or at the beginning of next round etc, not right after throwning and hitting. Only real difference is the bouncing shield on the brawler archetype where you can get extra attacks because of the bouncing...

Hmm... Seems that the Ricochet Toss feat is the only thing letting you to throw the same item as a full attack when BAB is 6+...


His Captain America build gets Shield Champion 7, which you need 5th level of that class in order to get the bouncing shield. The Blinkback belt works at level 1 since the Brawler will be getting more than 1 attack off that early.

I forgot about Ricochet Toss, but that only works as a Fighter, since it requires the weapon training class feature. You'll need to pick up Martial Focus if you want to use Ricochet Toss and not be a fighter.


Startoss style line lets you make multiple attacks at full bab with +6 dmg and vital strike on the first hit. Which then returns due to returning.

this is one of the few ways to make returning work at high levels.


The shield is only one aspect of Cap's abilities, and arguably not the most important.


Thats true, but its also one of his most memorable features so its easy to focus on that. I also said it to show more options and that it wasn't just, "take fighter feats".

On that note, a good approximation is the exemplar archetype combined with shield bouncing/multi-throw abilities. Since it gives inspiration, leadership, martial prowess, and a useful throwing shield.

Scarab Sages

Thanks all for help and good brainstorming.

I was thinking of going at least 2 levels of Paladin's Sacred Shield at the beginning and then 5-7 levels of Brawler shield champion and the few extra paladin levels again for more use of Bastion of Good ability. I wanted to make a back liner support/ ranged thrower with possibility to do some melee dmg also...

I try to use my "player" charisma on the inspiration side :P (to boost my other players' motivation and the keen to diplo some encounters instead of killing everyone we face)

Any thoughts?


I think thats good, whether you can stop players from killing everyone well...good luck and hope you have sensible party members.

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