Alright, so this week we are doing Iron Man. I'll be honest, the majority of my knowledge of Iron Man comes from the Iron Man films and the Marvel video games on the 360. I believe they were called something like Marvel Ultimate Alliance. Good games, though the last one I played did some weird things with Nick Fury. Whatever.
So Iron Man is this really smart guy who came up with a super advanced suit of armor to protect him in battle. He flies and shoots lasers and beats on his enemies with his fists. I'd build him as a human, and probably have his scores as Strength 13, Dexterity 13, Constitution 9 (to represent his heart problem), Intelligence 16, Wisdom 10, and Charisma 14. I'd probably pour his +5 over twenty levels into Intelligence. Tony Stark is typically depicted with shrapnel or something in his heart and uses his armor to protect him. I'm not sure how accurate the movies are in depicting the nature of his injury and the power source of his armor protecting his heart, but we'll go with it.
Ok, so I have to make a confession here. I had about four paragraphs of nonsense about how Iron Man would be a Fighter (Armor Master) and use this and that and so on and so forth to duplicate his various armored abilities. That was silly, because I am silly. Iron Man would best be represented as an Alchemist. We're going to handwave the magic issue by saying that Tony Stark is an inventor and can come up with crazy gadgets and weapons with a few hours in the workshop, so the Alchemist's formula aren't completely 100% out of character for Iron Man, as spells can kind of be an analogy to that.
So a human Alchemist would have eleven feats. What I would go with would be as follows: Acrobatic (because he typically flies around a lot and should be good at that), Death From Above (because he typically flies around and hits things), Extra Bombs x3 (bringing our bomb total to 31), (Heavy Armor Proficiency (armor), Improved Unarmed Strike (bludgeoning things with fists), Medium Armor Proficiency (armor), Point Blank Shot (because he shoots things with lasers), Rapid Shot(because he shoots lasers with great frequency at times), and Superior Unarmed Strike (additional skill at bludgeoning).
Now, one of the reasons I raged against the choice of Alchemist for use with Eric's build of Hawkeye was because of the mutagen and I stated that the Avengers already have a Hulk. Now, this is one of the reasons I didn't initially think of the Alchemist in terms of Iron Man. One could make the argument that the mutagen could be Iron Man's "armor" but that feels like stretching it, as there are no limits to how long Iron Man can wear his armor, as far as I know. However, there is a archetype called the Mindchemist. The Mindchemist replaces his mutagen with something called a cognatogen, which is the inverse of the mutagen. Instead of offering a bonus to a physical score and penalizing a mental score, it augments one of the three mental scores at the expense of a physical one. The way I justify this is by looking at the movies and Tony kind of going into these manic inventing benders where his brain is working at high speed. It isn't a precisely perfect analogy, but I am comfortable with it.
One of the things that really gave me difficulty with the previous build I had of Iron Man was trying to find a way to make his lasers work. I ended up kind of just saying he could try and use Use Magic device and wands or alchemical items like alchemist's fire or bottled lightning. Not perfect representations, but better than nothing. With the Alchemist version, obviously we use his bombs. The range isn't really comparable to what we've seen and read about as far as the range on his lasers, but the damage potential is there. Also, with the strafe bomb and explosive bomb discoveries we can simulate an eighty foot long "beam" of fire coming from his fist. Though to be fair, only one creature in the area of the line takes the bomb damage, the rest take splash damage and get to save for half.
I guess we can talk about discoveries next. An Alchemist gains nine discoveries and a grand discovery over twenty levels. Now as a grand discovery, I think increasing his Intelligence is the most appropriate. The other nine discoveries I feel would be most appropriate are as follows: Explosive Bomb (increases the splash radius of bombs and works with Strafe Bomb to create long lines of bomb damage), Fast Bombs (because he typically shoots lasers in rapid succession), Shock Bomb (because I guess a laser could be lightning or fire, depending on your tastes), Strafe Bomb (to give the ability when coupled with Explosive Bomb to simulate eighty foot long lines of "laser"). Hmm, actually, I think those are all I'd pick. I'm not entirely familiar with Iron Man and the capabilities of his various weapon systems, so these four are all I feel comfortable picking at this time.
Now, the armor. There are two ways we can do this, he can find or buy armor, or he can create it with Craft (Armorsmithing). The second way is harder, as it forces you two exchange two of the feats listed above for Master Craftsman and Craft Magic Arms and Armor. Regardless, here is what I believe that armor would be: +5 Mithral Full Plate (the mithral increases the maximum Dexterity bonus to +3 and reduces the armor check penalty to -3) with light fortification (+1, to resists crits and such), impervious (+1, so the armor has great difficulty being destroyed), and invulnerability (+3, for damage reduction). This puts us at a +17 bonus to AC after factoring in Dexterity bonus. In addition to this, we'll need a winged cloak (so he can fly), a belt of giant strength (so he is super strong in the armor), and lenses of detection (to simulate sensor packages and the ability to zoom vision). I'm sure there are other magic or alchemical items that would be appropriate, but again, I have to plead a lack of familiarity with Iron Man and his suit's capabilities.
Ok, so you'll notice I've piled on the armor proficiency feats for Iron Man, and also stated he'd need Master Craftsman to be able to make his armor. The reason for this is because Alchemists are not spellcasters. They do not cast spells, and in fact cannot normally use spell completion devices like scrolls and need the Use Magic Device skill to do so. Thus, they do not have a caster level to qualify for a feat like Craft Magic Arms and Armor and do not suffer a chance of spell failure when wearing armor and using their extracts. They gain the Brew Potion feat as a bonus feat, but they have a special allowance in their class description that allows them to use their Alchemist level in place of a caster level to brew potions. Can't believe I missed that little piece of information.
Ok, so I guess that is how I'd build Iron Man if I were going to build him and stuff.