Goblin rogues are known for their cunning and agility. So when Grok saw the massive ice giant lumbering towards him, he knew he had to get out of there fast.
He scrambled to his feet and sprinted towards the castle gate, but the giant was faster. It raised its fist and brought it down on Grok, sending him flying.
The giant laughed as it walked away, sure it had killed the pesky goblin. But Grok was not yet ready to die. He slowly got to his feet and limped away from the scene, vowing to never cross paths with that giant again.
Pathfinder is a tabletop roleplaying game that can be enjoyed by players of all levels of experience. If you’re new to Pathfinder, or roleplaying games in general, this guide will help you create your first character.
We’ll discuss the different options available to you and provide some tips for creating a fun and mechanically sound character.
So whether you’re looking to jump into the world of Pathfinder with a pre-made character or roll one up from scratch, we’ve got you covered!
Character Creation: Getting Started
When creating a character in Pathfinder, you have three primary options. You can either can create a custom character from scratch, use a builder to generate a character for you, or choose one of the many pre-made characters available online.
Each of these methods has its own benefits and drawbacks. Players usually take different approaches to create characters, and that’s okay. Some players will focus on making a character that fits into the story. Other players will try to build a character with unique abilities.
With Pathbuilder 2e, players can generate a Pathfinder character on the web. Pathbuilder offers a user-friendly dashboard as well as tooltips and other features to help you create characters quickly and easily.
If you want to create a character from scratch using a .pdf or pen and paper, follow the step-by-step guide:
- Imagine Your Character
- Assign Your Ability Scores
- Pick an Ancestry and Background
- Choose Your Class
- Select Your Skills, Feats, and Abilities
- Buy Equipment
- Finishing Touches
To create a character from scratch, you’ll need a character sheet. If you don’t have a character sheet, they’re available in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook. You can also download a printer-friendly version from paizo.com.
Creating your first character can seem daunting, but if you follow these steps, you’ll be exploring Golarion in no time!
1) Imagine Your Character
The first step to creating a Pathfinder character is deciding who you want to play. Do you see yourself as a dwarven druid and defender of nature? Or maybe you’d like to play an elven paladin, purveyor of all that is good and lawful.
It’s a good idea to discuss your character ideas with the other members of your party. By creating a diverse group, you can be sure to overcome any obstacle the GM throws at you.
Also, by incorporating other players into your character’s backstory, you can weave an interconnected narrative that develops over the course of your adventures.
Don’t be afraid to have fun with your character concept. After all, roleplaying is all about using your imagination. Maybe your character challenges the stereotypes of your fictional world or even the real world. In Pathfinder, your character is free to live the life they choose.
2) Ability Scores
Your ability scores represent your character’s most basic attributes. These scores determine your character’s strengths and weaknesses. There are six primary ability scores in Pathfinder: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma.
In Pathfinder 2e, you have a choice in how to find your starting stats. You can either roll for them, or you can use the standard method. Rolling your stats is fun, but it can lead to chaotic results.
On the other hand, the standard method always results in well-balanced characters. With this method, characters start with a score of 10 in each ability. As you build your character, you’ll add or subtract from these abilities depending on your choices.
If you want to roll your abilities scores, you’ll need four 6-sided dice. Roll these dice and subtract the lowest die result. (For example, if you rolled a 2,6,4 and a 1, you would discard the 1, and the total would be 12.) You’ll need to do this six times. Once you have six numbers, assign one to each of your ability scores.
You can read more about creating your character’s ability scores on page 20 of the Core Rulebook.
3) Pick an Ancestry and Background
Once you’ve got an idea for your character, it’s time to select an ancestry and background. Each ancestry is a little different, so you’ll want to consider your options.
Pathfinder features a wide variety of ancestries to choose from, including elves, dwarves, goblins, and humans. Each of these ancestries provides a unique set of bonuses and abilities.
When selecting an ancestry, be sure to consider your character’s backstory and personality.
For example, if you want to play a dwarven rogue, you might choose the Rock Dwarf ancestry. This ancestry gives your character a resistance to being knocked prone and other benefits that fit the rogue archetype.
Your background is also an important factor to consider. Your background represents your character’s upbringing and their place in the world.
Are you a street urchin who learned how to survive in the roughest parts of town? Or are you a member of a noble family who has been groomed for leadership since birth?
4) Choose Your Class
After you’ve chosen an ancestry and background, you need to select a class for your character. Each class in Pathfinder has its own playing style and unique features.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a Pathfinder class. Do you want to focus on melee combat, or would you prefer to use ranged weapons? What about spells—would you like to be a powerful wizard or a pious cleric?
Your class contains the information necessary to successfully roleplay your character, including how to level up and what abilities and feats you’ll be able to learn.
One of the best ways to determine which class is suitable for you is to think about your favorite fantasy stories. What kind of adventures do you like going on? Are you the type of player who wants to rush into battle, or do you prefer using subterfuge and cunning trickery to defeat your opponents?
5) Select Your Skills, Feats, and Abilities
Now that you’ve made the major choices about your characters, it’s time to record which feats and skills they know. You will learn feats from both your ancestry and your class. You’ll also receive training in specific skills that reflects your background choices.
Each character starts with a number of Hit Points determined by their level, ancestry, class, and ability scores. To calculate your character’s starting Hit Points, add together the Hit Points from your ancestry and the Hit Points from your class. Your character will gain additional Hit Points as they advance in level.
When selecting feats and skills for your Pathfinder character, you should choose things that reflect your character’s personality and playstyle. Are you looking to maximize your damage potential?
If so, you’ll want to select feats that increase your Strength or weapon proficiency.
Your skills are also an essential part of your character. Are you more of a diplomat, or do you prefer using stealth and deception to defeat your opponents?
Each skill in Pathfinder represents a different area of expertise, and you’ll want to choose those that match your character’s strengths.
6) Buy Equipment
Pathfinder characters start the game with 15 gold pieces (150 silver pieces) that they can spend on equipment. This can include anything from armor and weapons to grappling hooks and candles.
Be sure to purchase items that are appropriate for your character’s level and class. For example, a fighter might want to buy a shield and sword, while a wizard will need to purchase a spellbook. At first, you’ll only be able to afford everyday items, but this will change.
Later, as your character gains experience fighting monsters and delving dungeons, you’ll be able to buy better gear. You’re also likely to find rare and powerful items during your adventures. Characters can also learn to craft equipment from raw materials.
It’s crucial to equip your characters with the tools they need to survive their first adventure. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, ask your GM.
7) Finishing Touches
Now it’s time to add the finishing touches. Take some time to imagine your character’s history and experiences in the world of Golarion. Did they grow up in a religious household? Were they left to fend for themselves at a young age? In what ways did these experiences shape their outlook and worldview?
These questions can help you come up with unique details about your character. In turn, these details can serve as exciting plot hooks for your GM, and they can also help you roleplay your character more effectively.
Your character’s alignment can have a significant impact on the game. Lawful characters might find it easier to gain access to certain locations or items, while chaotic characters might be able to bypass certain obstacles. Good and evil characters might have different reactions from NPCs.
This alignment system is based on the philosophy of the character rather than their actions. For example, a lawful good character might follow the law to the letter, but they always put the needs of others before their own.
A chaotic neutral character might be selfish and unpredictable, but they would never harm an innocent person.
|Lawful||Lawful Good||Lawful Neutral||Lawful Evil|
|Neutral||Neutral Good||True Neutral||Neutral Evil|
|Chaotic||Chaotic Good||Chaotic Neutral||Chaotic Evil|
Pathfinder features a variety of premade characters that players can use to get started. These characters are designed to reflect a range of character archetypes, making it easy for players to find the perfect fit for their style of play.
Premade characters come with all the information players need to play, including a detailed background, equipment, and feats. They also include suggestions on how to further develop the character’s story, making it easy for players to create a well-rounded and compelling character.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to start playing Pathfinder, check out the pre-generated characters provided by Paizo.
When your Pathfinder character reaches a new level, they’ll gain additional Hit Points and feats. They may also learn new spells or abilities, depending on their class and ancestry.
Pathfinder characters also receive additional skills training as they gain experience. As your capabilities increase, you’ll gain proficiency ranks in certain skills related to your ancestry and class. You can use these skill increases to unlock potent and unique abilities.
It’s important to keep in mind that your Pathfinder character won’t reach their full potential until higher levels. Don’t be afraid to try out new feats as your character progresses. There are no wrong choices, only opportunities for new adventures.
Now You’re Ready for Adventure
Creating a Pathfinder character can be a lot of fun, and it’s easy to get started. Be sure to choose the class and ancestry that best fits your style of play and equip your character with the tools they need for success. Then it’s time to hit the open road and see what adventures await!
Whether your Pathfinder character is a brave fighter, a cunning rogue, or a powerful wizard, they’ll be ready for anything the world of Golarion has to throw at them.
Have fun and enjoy your adventures!