Welcome to Staying in Character, where we mix, match, and mash our beloved pop culture icons into our favorite tabletop role-playing game systems. You might have to squint a little, but usually there’s a slight resemblance of the original character in the final product.
Today, we are joined by everyone’s new favorite bounty hunter, Dyn Jarren. You might know him better as The Mandalorian, from the hit Disney+ series of the same name.
The Mandalorian has graciously agreed to be converted from flesh, blood, and Beskar steel to a mess of mechanics. Since he’s from the Star Wars universe, it only makes sense to use a system with star in the name: Starfinder!
I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but tread lightly; there will be mention of Mando’s personality and arsenal below. Onto the Mandalorian Starfinder Build!
Step 1: Create a Character Concept
The Mandalorian is a complex character. For one, we don’t necessarily know much about his past apart from the occasional flashback of some droids blasting away when he was a child. Additionally, he never removes his iconic helmet in front of others, which sparks its own set of questions.
Here are the big three points of emphasis for the character that we want to convey in our build:
- Determined: The Mandalorian is hyper-focused on completing the jobs and bounties that he accepts. To that point, he also takes pride in his abilities and has a reputation for success. He isn’t afraid to take on multiple jobs, knowing that his talents will allow him to fulfill his end of each contract without much trouble.
- Versatility: When traveling through the galaxies, you never know what you’re going to come up against. Even though Mando isn’t the best fighter, he is reactive and adaptive in all situations. He tends to be more adept at combat against humanoid figures; beasts acting on instinct usually give him a bit more trouble.
- Mystery: Mando is reserved, especially about his past and other personal details. Whether its a spaceport bar or a rocky wasteland, he arrives without warning or fanfare. When you hear other patrons whispering among themselves, it’s probably about him.
Step 2: Choose a Race
So far as we can tell, Mando is a Human. Unless he has some distinct abilities that haven’t come to light, we can probably assume that we’re correct on this. If you’re just using this build as a framework, feel free to put whichever race you find most intriguing.
Because of Mando’s connection to the Mandalorian people, we are going to replace the Skilled racial trait with the Adopted alternate racial trait from the Starfinder Character Operations Manual.
Skilled is an incredible trait to keep around, but Mando isn’t perfect; he’s shown time and time again that he is talented but vulnerable. We want to capture that ‘mortal spirit’ by selecting choices that don’t make him seem superhuman.
Step 3: Choose a Theme
This one is going to be a little ‘on-the-nose’ because Mando is very clearly a Bounty Hunter. And a darn good one, at that! When we first see him getting paid by Greef Karga, he cashes in a bunch of bounty pucks at once. He knows how to get a job done right.
You could also make a fairly strong case for the Guard theme based on developments around a certain Baby Yoda. He’s not getting paid to watch that cute ball of fuzz, but it’s evident that he cares about Baby Yoda a great deal.
The main reason that Bounty Hunter might work a bit better is that Mando still takes on other jobs after he goes against the Guild to care for the child. He may be out of the Guild, but he’s willing to help out people like Omera, even if his payment is much lower than his standard fee.
Step 4: Choose a Class
My gut instinct for this was to snap-pick Operative. The description of the class specifically states that ‘you always get the job done’, which is a point that I’ve been hammering home. However, I’m going to go against the grain and say that Soldier is a better fit. Just hear me out!
Operative looks good on paper, until you get to the Operative Specializations. From all of the choices, there isn’t one that screams Mandalorian to me. There are quite a few that we can disprove right off the bat: Ghost, Hacker, Spy, and Thief aren’t really applicable.
Of the rest, Mando doesn’t do much interrogation, taking Detective off the table. Daredevil works to some extent, as he performs harrowing displays of athleticism and daring. Just not enough to sell me on it.
Explorer might be the closest of them all, since Mando certainly uses the environment to his advantage. Using door controls and scouting out enemy positions definitely applies here.
The reason I’m going with Soldier is that The Mandalorian excels at using a variety of weapons. We really want to showcase this aspect of this character, and allow him to get even better with his arsenal through his Gear Boosts.
Step 5: Finalize Ability Scores
Now that our base choices are selected, we’re ready to start doing some math. I’ve broken down the final scores below, with some clarification on how I arrived at these numbers.
- Strength: 12 = 10 (Base) + 2 (Pool). Mando is strong, but not overly so.
- Dexterity: 16 = 10 (Base) + 2 (Race) + 4 (Pool). Agility and accuracy while shooting are important to The Mandalorian.
- Constitution: 12 = 10 (Base) + 1 (Theme) + 1 (Pool). This bounty hunter is hearty, and can take a few hits before getting winded.
- Intelligence: 10 = 10 (Base). Education-wise, Mando is more street-smart than book-smart.
- Wisdom: 13 = 10 (Base) + 3 (Pool). You can expect Mando to use his vast experience as a reference for his actions.
- Charisma: 10 = 10 (Base). Most of a Mandalorian’s charismatic pull is due to the striking armor, not necessarily a personal magnetism.
Step 6: Apply Your Class
Our Mando build is really going to shine at higher levels, but we still get some great starting abilities. He’s going to be turning in bounty pucks left and right!
- Base Attack Bonus: +1
- Fortitude Save Bonus: +2
- Reflex Save Bonus: +0
- Will Save Bonus: +2
- Stamina Points (SP): 8 = 7 (Soldier) + 1 (Con Modifier)
- Hit Points (HP): 11 = 7 (Soldier) + 4 (Human)
- Skill Ranks per Level: 4 = 4 (Soldier) + 0 (Int Modifier)
Many of the Fighting Styles work well with our concept. Sharpshoot and the Ambusher styles are excellent, but I’m opting for Hit-and-Run. I’m thinking of the Episode 3 fights where he infiltrates the Stormtrooper hideout and takes on the other Guild members. His ability to fire off blasts with his rifle and switch to close-quarters combat is effortless and effective.
At 1st Level, we get Opening Volley (Ex) as a bonus feat. This gives a +2 bonus to a melee attack against a target Mando damages with a ranged attack. Once he gets a successful shot off with his primary weapon, he will definitely get a few extra hits in if the enemy gets too close.
Mando is proficient in Light Armor and Heavy Armor, which is good for when he upgrades his suit to something more durable. Furthermore, he’s also proficient with basic and advanced melee weapons, small arms, longarms, heavy weapons, sniper weapons, and grenades.
Step 7: Assign Skills & Choose Feats
Due to Mando’s average Intelligence score, we only have four skill points to invest in from the get-go. There’s plenty of opportunity to fill out his repertoire in future levels, so let’s just take care of the low-hanging fruit.
- Athletics: Hunting down bail-jumpers isn’t an easy task and Mando needs to be fit as a fiddle if he wants to get paid.
- Medicine: Typically flying solo, Mando has to be able to patch himself up if an encounter takes an ugly turn.
- Profession (Bounty Hunter – WIS): It’s covered in the Theme, but let’s add our Profession in here for good measure.
- Survival: This skill isn’t just about camping out under the stars and finding water; Mando understands how to avoid choke-points and protect himself from ambushes. He’s also a quick-learner when it comes to riding Blurrg.
For Feats, we already have Opening Volley thanks to our Soldier Fighting Style. We would normally start with one other feat, but since we’re Human we get a bonus.
- Close Combat: When you hit an adjacent foe with a melee attack, as long as you are adjacent to that target, you gain a +2 circumstance bonus to your AC against attacks from other creatures that are not adjacent to you until the beginning of your next turn. Mando is getting into the thick of the fight, and he is a master of positioning himself in an advantageous way. (Starfinder Pact Worlds)
- Bodyguard: As a reaction when an adjacent ally is attacked, you can grant that ally a +2 circumstance bonus to its AC against that attack. If you do so, you take a -2 penalty to your own AC until the beginning of your next turn. Since we didn’t take the Guard Theme, I want to be sure that we capture this aspect of Mando’s character.
Step 8: Buy Equipment
Okay, this is where I’m taking some liberties because 1,000 credits just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to outfitting The Mandalorian. In a perfect world with infinite credits, this is my shopping list for what I’m striving to get for Mando.
Disintegrator Rifle, liquidator: Mando’s iconic weapon is incredibly versatile. I want to showcase the power and utility of that weapon by augmenting it with accessories and fusions. At its base level, the Disintegrator Rifle packs a debilitating punch that’ll turn most enemies to space dust. Honorable mention goes to the 12-Notch Plasma Fork, which has the iconic prongs that we know and love.
- Bayonet Bracket (Shock Pad, static): Another feature of Mando’s weapon is the cattle-prod on the end of it. Affixing a Shock Pad to the end through a Bayonet Bracket will do the trick.
- Rangefinder (integrated): When scouting an area, Mando can use this to gauge the distance between him and his target, ensuring an accurate shot.
- Revealing Scope (integrated): I’d rule that this gets combined with the Rangefinder to fill the role of the scope in the show. All that’s really missing is the long-range microphone to pick up conversations.
- Opportunistic Fusion: Much like Han, Mando shoots first.
Grappler: This is a must-have! Great for mobility and throwing opponents off-balance. If only we could attach it to the weapon…
Laser Microphone: Gather intel on your enemies with this device, which lets you listen through sound-impervious materials at great range.
Hideaway Limb (Quickdraw): Again, slightly off-canon, but Mando’s flamethrower can be implemented in this piece of Cybernetics. We can attach a Pyrod (torch) to this so that it’s always at the ready.
Persuader: Every self-respecting bounty hunter needs a blaster. A Persuader can be coupled with a Quick-Release Sheath for easier access.
Squad Hardlight Series: Armor that protects the vitals, while still providing excellent maneuverability. Let’s stick a Jetpack on the back for good measure. You know Mando’s going to get himself one of those!
Step 9: Finishing Details
Fill in the other details as outlined on pages 16 and 17 of the Core Rulebook here. Obviously, since we’re not in the Star Wars universe, you’ll have to come up with your Home World and Languages.
I’d classify Mando’s alignment as Lawful Neutral. Like all Mandalorians, he is steeped in tradition. He is bound to the way of his people, as well as his own self-reliance. For these reasons, Talavet would make a compelling deity choice for Mando.
Mandalorian Meets Starfinder
I’ve attached a Form-Fillable Starfinder Character Sheet that outlines the choices we made in this build. Because I went WAY off the rails in the Equipment section, it was intentionally left blank. Feel free to download and tweak it as you see fit.
This series will feature builds in Starfinder, Pathfinder, and D&D 5E. Keep your eyes peeled for future installments. Reach out to us on Twitter if there’s something you really want to see.
Until then, I’ll see you in the stars!