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All Rules in Basics

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Character Advancement

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 30
As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power. The rate of this advancement depends on the type of game that your group wants to play. Some prefer a fast-paced game, where characters gain levels every few sessions, while others prefer a game where advancement occurs less frequently. In the end, it is up to your group to decide what rate fits you best. Characters advance in level according to Table 3–1.

Table 3-1: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses

Experience Point Total
Character LevelSlowMediumFastFeatsAbility Score

Advancing Your Character

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 30
A character advances in level as soon as he earns enough experience points to do so—typically, this occurs at the end of a game session, when your GM hands out that session’s experience point awards.

The process of advancing a character works in much the same way as generating a character, except that your ability scores, race, and previous choices concerning class, skills, and feats cannot be changed. Adding a level generally gives you new abilities, additional skill points to spend, more hit points, possibly a permanent +1 increase to one ability score of your choice, or an additional feat (see Table 3–1). Over time, as your character rises to higher levels, he becomes a truly powerful force in the game world, capable of ruling nations or bringing them to their knees.

When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level’s class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats and ability score increases, see Table 3–1.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 30
Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character’s current class, he can instead gain the 1stlevel abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as “multiclassing.”

For example, let’s say a 5th-level fighter decides to dabble in the arcane arts, and adds one level of wizard when he advances to 6th level. Such a character would have the powers and abilities of both a 5th-level fighter and a 1st-level wizard, but would still be considered a 6th-level character. (His class levels would be 5th and 1st, but his total character level is 6th.) He keeps all of his bonus feats gained from 5 levels of fighter, but can now also cast 1st-level spells and picks an arcane school. He adds all of the hit points, base attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses from a 1st-level wizard on top of those gained from being a 5th-level fighter.

Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character’s level or Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on the total number of levels or Hit Dice a character possesses, not just those from one class. The exception to this is class abilities, most of which are based on the total number of class levels that a character possesses of that particular class.

Favored Class

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 31
Each character begins play with a single favored class of his choosing—typically, this is the same class as the one he chooses at 1st level. Whenever a character gains a level in his favored class, he receives either + 1 hit point or + 1 skill rank. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level. Prestige classes (see Chapter 11) can never be a favored class.

Prestige Classes

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 374
Prestige classes allow characters to become truly exceptional, gaining powers beyond the ken of their peers. Unlike the core classes, characters must meet specific requirements before they can take their first level of a prestige class. If a character does not meet the requirements for a prestige class before gaining any benefits of that level, that character cannot take that prestige class. Characters that take levels in prestige classes do not gain any favored class bonuses for those levels.

This chapter presents 10 prestige classes for you to choose from, and other prestige classes appear in other Pathfinder products. Some prestige classes are quite focused and heavy on flavor that might not be compatible with your campaign—consult with your GM before you start to work toward qualifying for a prestige class to make sure that the class is allowed

The prestige classes presented in this chapter are summarized below.

Arcane Archer: An arcane spellcaster who draws upon ancient elven traditions to infuse his arrows with potent magical power.

Arcane Trickster: A troublemaker and a scoundrel who uses arcane magic to enhance her thievery and trickery. Assassin: A remorseless murderer who kills for money and the sheer thrill of death-dealing. Dragon Disciple: An arcane spellcaster who has embraced his latent draconic heritage and, over the course of training and devotion, undergoes a partial transformation into a dragon. Duelist: A swashbuckling swordfighter who relies upon grace, poise, and acrobatics to win the day. Eldritch Knight: An arcane spellcaster who augments his magical skills with combat to create a deadly combination of weapons and magic. Loremaster: A spellcaster who devotes his life to research and rumination upon the mysteries of the world. Mystic Theurge: Equally devoted to divine and arcane magic, the mystic theurge combines both magical traditions into one incredibly diverse class. Pathfinder Chronicler: An explorer at heart, the Pathfinder chronicler travels to distant, exotic lands to expand her knowledge of the world. Shadowdancer: A mysterious adventurer who walks the boundaries between the real world and the realm of shadows, and who can command shadows to do her bidding.

Definitions of Terms

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 374
Here are definitions of some terms used in this section.

Core Class: One of the standard eleven classes found in Chapter 3.

Caster Level: Generally equal to the number of class levels (see below) in a spellcasting class. Some prestige classes add caster levels to an existing class.

Character Level: The total level of the character, which is the sum of all class levels held by that character.

Class Level: The level of a character in a particular class. For a character with levels in only one class, class level and character level are the same.