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Classes

Barbarian: The barbarian is a brutal berserker from beyond the edge of civilized lands.

Bard: The bard uses skill and spell alike to bolster his allies, confound his enemies, and build upon his fame.

Cleric: A devout follower of a deity, the cleric can heal wounds, raise the dead, and call down the wrath of the gods.

Druid: The druid is a worshiper of all things natural—a spellcaster, a friend to animals, and a skilled shapechanger.

Fighter: Brave and stalwart, the fighter is a master of all manner of arms and armor.

Monk: A student of martial arts, the monk trains his body to be his greatest weapon and defense.

Paladin: The paladin is the knight in shining armor, a devoted follower of law and good.

Ranger: A tracker and hunter, the ranger is a creature of the wild and of tracking down his favored foes.

Rogue: The rogue is a thief and a scout, an opportunist capable of delivering brutal strikes against unwary foes.

Sorcerer: The spellcasting sorcerer is born with an innate knack for magic and has strange, eldritch powers.

Wizard: The wizard masters magic through constant study that gives him incredible magical power.

Character Advancement

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: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

Advancing Your Character

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, and possibly an ability score increase or additional feat (see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses). 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: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses
Character LevelExperience Point TotalFeatsAbility Score
SlowMediumFast
1st1st
2nd3,0002,0001,300
3rd7,5005,0003,3002nd
4th14,0009,0006,0001st
5th23,00015,00010,0003rd
6th35,00023,00015,000
7th53,00035,00023,0004th
8th77,00051,00034,0002nd
9th115,00075,00050,0005th
10th160,000105,00071,000
11th235,000155,000105,0006th
12th330,000220,000145,0003rd
13th475,000315,000210,0007th
14th665,000445,000295,000
15th955,000635,000425,0008th
16th1,350,000890,000600,0004th
17th1,900,0001,300,000850,0009th
18th2,700,0001,800,0001,200,000
19th3,850,0002,550,0001,700,00010th
20th5,350,0003,600,0002,400,0005th

Multiclassing

Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character's current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level 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

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 Prestige Classes) can never be a favored class.