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Experience Builds Character

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Making a character in Pathfinder Second Edition is a process that most experienced gamers will find familiar, but wherever possible, we made changes to make the process more intuitive while still giving you a mountain of choices and flexibility. It all starts with imagining the character you want to play. Maybe you want to be a ferocious dwarven warrior who takes on the aspects of an animal in the heat of battle. Maybe you want to play a wise-cracking elven con artist who grew up on the streets, but now plays at being a member of high society. Or maybe you just want to make a mysterious wizard that loves to blow things up. Pathfinder gives you all the tools to make these characters and countless more! Even if you don't have a complete concept in mind, the steps of character creation in Pathfinder are there to help you make the big decisions and focus in on a character that you are excited to play.

Learning your ABCs

With a concept in mind (no matter how fully formed), the next step is to make the major decisions about your character. We call these decisions your ABCs because you need to decide on your character's Ancestry, Background, and Class. By making these big choices, along with any additional decisions that come with each, the character you want to play will take shape!

Think of these choices as deciding the major moments in your character's youth. First off you were born, the details of which are decided by your Ancestry. Next up is your youth, which is molded by your Background. Finally, your Class decides the life you have chosen to live as an adventurer. Along each step of the way, you will make additional decisions that reinforce and shape the image of your character. Chief among these are your ability scores. Each step of your ABCs impacts your ability scores, giving boosts and flaws to these six vital stats, changing your raw potential to accomplish tasks and overcome danger.

Details and Polish

Throughout the character creation process, you must record a variety of details about your character. Many of these are simple proficiency upgrades, noting your character's aptitude at performing specific tasks or resisting effects. Others require you to select from a list of options, like your ancestry's heritage or a feat from your class. Every single choice you make influences what you can accomplish during play, making you different from the others around you. Even if some of the big choices are the same, these smaller decisions can make two clerics, for example, play entirely differently. One might be a virtuous warrior priest, fighting for her deity with blade and shield, while the other is a pious adherent, using spells and sermons to preach a peaceful path.

Once all of the choices have been made, it's time to buy your starting gear and begin filling out all of your statistics. Starting heroes have precious few gold pieces to start with and buying the right gear can mean the difference between a glorious career and a forgotten grave.

Illustration of Iakhovas by Giorgio Baroni

 

Iakhovas
To illustrate this process, I'll be building a Second Edition version of one of my First Edition Pathfinder Society characters, named Iakhovas.


Step 1: Create a Concept

What sort of hero do you want to play? The answer to this question might be as simple as "a brave warrior," or as complicated as "the child of elven wanderers, but raised in a city dominated by humans and devoted to Sarenrae, goddess of the sun." Consider your character's personality, sketch out a few details about their past, and think about how and why they adventure. Many character concepts center around the character's class, their ancestry, or both, so it might be a good idea to flip through the available ancestries and classes to help inspire you. The Core Rulebook includes a helpful spread with a quick summary of each.

Your character's concept might also center around their background, personal identity, deity, relationship to the other characters, or anything else you can imagine!

Iakhovas: Concept
My concept for Iakhovas was a defense-focused master of all martial techniques, skilled and willing to protect and train others, shaped by the death of his sister and his revenge against the vampire Talia Nightcrescent, whose staking makes him a wanted murderer in the undead-dominated nation of Geb. This concept means Iakhovas is a Garundi human, probably either a fighter or a monk.


Step 2: Start Building Ability Scores

Start all ability scores at 10 in preparation for the later steps. This is a good time to start thinking about what ability scores will be important for your character. You can even jot down your ability scores as you adjust them on your character sheet.

Above you'll see a character sheet with numbered indicators to show you where you need to write something in each numbered step.

Iakhovas: Ability Scores
I start all of Iakhovas's ability scores at 10. Thinking about the way I see him fighting, I think he's likely to fight with a combination of strength and grace in order to be a master of all martial techniques, so I'm likely to prioritize Dexterity and Strength. I see him as being wise and fit as well, so if I get a chance, I might want to raise Constitution or Wisdom.


Step 3: Select an Ancestry

Select an ancestry for your character. Ancestry determines your character's size, Speed, and languages, and contributes to their Hit Points. Each also grants ability boosts and ability flaws to represent the ancestry's basic capabilities.

You'll make four decisions when you select your character's ancestry:

  • Pick the ancestry itself.
  • Assign any free ability boosts and decide if you are taking any voluntary flaws.
  • Select a heritage from those available within that ancestry, further defining the traits your character was born with.
  • Choose an ancestry feat, representing an ability your hero learned at an early age.

Iakhovas: Ancestry
Since I selected human for Iakhovas's ancestry, he is Medium size, has a 25-foot Speed, speaks Common and Osiriani to start, and begins with 8 Hit Points from his ancestry.

Both of his ability boosts are free, so I assign them to Strength and Dexterity, the two I decided were most important to him in Step 2. This brings him to 12 Strength and Dexterity. I don't see Iakhovas as being particularly unintelligent or uncharismatic, and I said I wanted to try to raise the other four ability scores, so I won't be taking any voluntary flaws.

Skilled Heritage: Your ingenuity allows you to train in a wide variety of skills. You become trained in one skill of your choice. At 5th level, you become an expert in the chosen skill.For Iakhovas's heritage, I have some great options. Mechanically, the half-elf and half-orc heritages bring a lot to the table, with better vision and access to some excellent new feats, but conceptually, I pictured Iakhovas as a standard human. I eventually choose the skilled heritage, since that will help me fulfill my concept of being skilled a little better, even if I can't invest as much in Intelligence. Since I want him to be a master of all martial techniques, I choose Athletics as his trained skill from his heritage.

Natural Ambition, Feat 1. Human. You were raised to be ambitious and always reach for the stars, leading you to progress quickly in your chosen field. You gain a 1st-level class feat for your class. You must meet the prerequisites, but you can select the feat later in the character creation process in order to determine which prerequisites you meet.Finally, I choose an ancestry feat. Haughty Obstinancy has a nice benefit against vampiric domination, but it doesn't really fit his personality. Natural Skill would give him yet more skills, and Cooperative Nature would grant him an incredible +4 circumstance bonus to Aiding his allies, both of which fit his concept, but eventually I decide to take Natural Ambition, which will grant him another class feat and help him be a master of all martial techniques. I can wait and choose the class feat later on, as Natural Ambition mentions.


Step 4: Pick a Background

Your character's background might represent their upbringing, an aptitude they've been honing since their youth, or another aspect of their life before they became an adventurer. They typically provide two ability boosts (one that can be applied to either of two specific ability scores, and one that is free), training in a specific skill, training in a Lore skill, and a specific skill feat.

Iakhovas: Background
Iakhovas's background is one of the parts of him that is most difficult to quantify here. He and his sister were used for their blood by a vampire—the sister of a Blood Lord of Geb—until the vampire overfed and killed his sister, breaking him free of his domination and leading him to stake the vampire while she slept. Then wanted for murder, he escaped Geb and joined the Pathfinders, trading his loyalty for the promise of asylum. He is certainly a criminal in Geb, and criminal is a background, but he hasn't really lived the life of a criminal, so the mechanical elements wouldn't make much sense. Laborer is normally a good choice for characters enslaved by evil creatures, but that background is about a life of manual labor, and Iakhovas was kept around for his blood. My other options are acolyte, acrobat, animal whisperer, artisan, artist, barkeep, barrister, bounty hunter, charlatan, detective, emissary, entertainer, farmhand, field medic, fortune teller, gambler, gladiator, guard, herbalist, hermit, hunter, martial disciple, merchant, miner, noble, nomad, prisoner, sailor, scholar, scout, street urchin, tinker, or warrior.

If I was using Lost Omens World Guide, I would have the absolutely perfect background, "Quick."
Quick. Background. Staying alive among the scheming, ravenous undead of Geb required a deep knowledge of their motivations, capabilities, and weaknesses. More often than not, it also required the ability to weave alibis and life-preserving half-truths capable of swaying a stilled heart. Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Charisma or Constitution, and one is a free ability boost. You're trained in the Deception skill and the Undead Lore skill. You gain the Charming Liar skill feat.

As is, I still have a good choice with the core: I can focus not on who he was in Geb but who he has become, and choose martial disciple, so that's what I do.
Martial Disciple. Background. You dedicated yourself to intense training and rigorous study to become a great warrior. The school you attended might have been a traditionalist monastery, an elite military academy, or the local branch of a prestigious mercenary organization. Choose two ability boosts. One must be to Strength or Dexterity, and one is a free ability boost. You're trained in your choice of the Acrobatics or Athletics skill. You gain a skill feat: Cat Fall if you chose Acrobatics or Quick Jump if you chose Athletics. You're also trained in the Warfare Lore skill.

For my ability score, I can't go wrong since it has my two favorite options! I take Strength and Dexterity both (They are both now 14). I'm already trained in Athletics from my heritage, so I choose Acrobatics for my skill, gaining the Cat Fall skill feat. Then I gain Warfare Lore automatically.
Cat Fall. Feat 1. General. Skill. Prerequisites: trained in Acrobatics. Your catlike aerial acrobatics allow you to cushion your falls. Treat falls as 10 feet shorter. If you're an expert in Acrobatics, treat falls as 25 feet shorter. If you're a master in Acrobatics, treat them as 50 feet shorter. If you're legendary in Acrobatics, you always land on your feet and don't take damage, regardless of the distance of the fall.



Step 5: Choose a Class

At this point, you need to decide your character's class. A class gives your character access to a suite of heroic abilities, determines how effectively they fight, and governs how easily they can shake off or avoid certain harmful effects. You don't need to write down all of your character's class features yet. You simply need to know which class you want to play, which determines the ability scores that will be most important for your character.

Iakhovas: Class
OK, this is the moment of truth. I knew I was going to build him as either a monk or a fighter, and now that I've followed him down this journey, I'm thinking monk! It's okay, I'll take the fighter archetype later to really mix up his martial techniques. At this point I'm just recording my key ability score from monk. I get to pick Strength or Dexterity again—my two favorites—but this time I'm forced to choose between them. After a little internal debate, I decide on Strength, so Strength is now 16.


Step 6: Determine Ability Scores

Now that you've made the main mechanical choices about your character, it's time to finalize their ability scores. Do these three things:

  • First, make sure you've applied all the ability boosts and ability flaws you've noted in previous steps (from your ancestry, background, and class).
  • Then, apply four more ability boosts to your character's ability scores, choosing a different ability score for each and increasing that ability score by 2.
  • Finally, record your starting ability scores and ability modifiers.
Remember that each ability boost adds 2 to the base score of 10, and each ability flaw subtracts 2. You should have no ability score lower than 8 or higher than 18.

Iakhovas: Ability Scores
After applying the previous steps, I have Strength 16, Dexterity 14, and all the rest 10. For my four additional boosts, I'll choose to boost Strength and Dexterity again, and then Wisdom and Constitution, which I had been looking for a way to boost but hadn't until now. This leaves me with Strength 18, Dexterity 16, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 12, Charisma 10.


Step 7: Record Class Details

Now, record all the benefits and class features that your character receives from the class you've chosen. While you've already noted your key ability score, you'll want to be sure to record the following class features.

  • To determine your character's total starting Hit Points, add together the number of Hit Points your character gains from their ancestry and the number of Hit Points they gain from their class.
  • The Initial Proficiencies section of your class entry indicates your character's starting proficiency ranks in a number of areas. Choose which skills your character is trained in and record those, along with the ones set by your class. If your class would make you trained in a skill you're already trained in (typically due to your background), you can select another skill to become trained in.
  • See the class advancement table in your class entry to learn the class features your character gains at 1st level—but remember, you already chose an ancestry and background. Some class features require you to make additional choices, such as selecting spells.

Iakhovas: Class Details
With 8 Hit Points from his human ancestry, 10 from the monk class, and 1 from Constitution, Iakhovas ends with a very respectable 19 HP. His initial proficiencies tell me he is trained in Perception, has expert proficiency in all three saving throws, is trained in simple weapons and unarmed attacks, is untrained in all armor but has expert proficiency in unarmored defense, and has trained proficiency in monk class DC. He's also trained in a number of skills equal to 4 plus his Intelligence modifier, so four. Since he already has Acrobatics and Athletics, I decide his other skills are Medicine since he would have needed to perform to bandage up and handle lost blood, Stealth for sneaking around and escaping the notice of the undead, Religion to represent his new faith in Pharasma (goddess of death) and his knowledge of undead weaknesses, and Diplomacy to cover the way he likes to instruct new recruits—in a friendly fashion rather than like a drill sergeant.

The advancement table shows me he also gets powerful fist, the incredibly potent Flurry of Blows action, and a monk feat of my choice!
Powerful Fist. You know how to wield your fists as deadly weapons. The damage die for your fist changes to 1d6 instead of 1d4. Most people take a –2 circumstance penalty when making a lethal attack with nonlethal unarmed attacks, because they find it hard to use their fists with deadly force. You don't take this penalty when making a lethal attack with your fist or any other unarmed attacks.

Flurry of Blows [one-action]. Flourish. Monk. Make two unarmed Strikes. If both hit the same creature, combine their damage for the purpose of resistances and weaknesses. Apply your multiple attack penalty to the Strikes normally. As it has the flourish trait, you can use Flurry of Blows only once per turn.

Now it's time to choose my monk feat. And I get two feats, thanks to Natural Ambition. As a master of all martial techniques, I definitely want Iakhovas to have a stance. Looking through the options, there are a lot of very good choices. Dragon Stance and Wolf Stance are both strong using the stats I have right now, but Mountain Stance is tempting, even if it would mean I'd need to go back and rearrange some earlier choices to deprioritize Dexterity.
Dragon Stance [one-action]. Feat 1. Monk. Stance.  Requirements: You are unarmored. You enter the stance of a dragon and make powerful leg strikes like a lashing dragon's tail. You can make dragon tail attacks that deal 1d10 bludgeoning damage. They are in the brawling group and have the backswing, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.
While in Dragon Stance, you can ignore the first square of difficult terrain while Striding.

Mountain Stance [one-action]. Feat 1. Monk. Stance.  Requirements: You are unarmored and touching the ground. You enter the stance of an implacable mountain—a technique first discovered by dwarven monks—allowing you to strike with the weight of an avalanche. The only Strikes you can make are falling stone unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 bludgeoning damage; are in the brawling group; and have the forceful, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.
While in Mountain Stance, you gain a +4 status bonus to AC and a +2 circumstance bonus to any defenses against being Shoved or Tripped. However, you have a Dexterity modifier cap to your AC of +0, meaning you don't add your Dexterity to your AC, and your Speeds are all reduced by 5 feet.

Wolf Stance [one-action]. Feat 1. Monk. Stance.  Requirements: You are unarmored. You enter the stance of a wolf, low to the ground with your hands held like fanged teeth. You can make wolf jaw unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 piercing damage; are in the brawling group; and have the agile, backstabber, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits.
If you’re flanking a target while in Wolf Stance, your wolf jaw unarmed attacks also gain the trip trait.

Ki Rush. Focus 1. Uncommon. Monk. Transmutation. Casting [one-action]: verbal. Accelerated by your ki, you move with such speed you become a blur. Move two times: two Strides, two Steps, or one Stride and one Step (in either order). You gain the concealed condition during this movement and until the start of your next turn.  | Ki Strike. Focus 1. Uncommon. Monk. Transmutation. Casting [one-action]: verbal. You focus your ki into magical attacks. Make an unarmed Strike or Flurry of Blows (this doesn't change the limit on using only one flourish per turn). You gain a +1 status bonus to your attack rolls with the Strikes, and the Strikes deal 1d6 extra damage. This damage can be any of the following types of your choice, chosen each time you Strike: force, lawful (only if you're lawful), negative, or positive.

Offense, or mobility? This would grant a great deal of either when I needed them most, and as a monk, I could spend 10 minutes to meditate and strive for inner peace in order to recover my Focus Points, letting me use this in most battles as long as we rest between them. It's the closest call yet, but I decide to go for ki strike. I'll be keeping an eye on the party's offense vs. my ability to outpace my foes' movement and potentially retraining if I find out ki rush would have been more useful.


Step 8: Buy Equipment

At 1st level, your character has 15 gold pieces (150 silver pieces) to spend on armor, weapons, and other basic equipment. Your character's class lists the types of weapons and armor with which they are trained (or better!). Their weapons determine how much damage they deal in combat, and their armor influences their Armor Class; these calculations are covered in more detail in Step 10. Don't forget essentials such as food and traveling gear!

.

Iakhovas: Equipment
Monk Kit. Price: 4 gp, 9 sp; Bulk: 4 Bulk, 2 light; Money Left Over: 10 gp, 2 sp
Weapons: longspear, staff
Gear: adventurer's pack, bandolier, climbing kit, grappling hook, lesser smokestick As a monk, I don't really need too many weapons or armor, though a ranged weapon would be nice. I'll be fine with a monk's kit for 4 gp and 9 sp, plus maybe 10 javelins for 1 more gp for a ranged attack. Just because Iakhovas hates vampires so much, I spend 3 of my remaining gp on a vial of holy water, leaving plenty of money to help out others if necessary.


Step 9: Calculate Modifiers

With most of the big decisions for your character made, it's time to calculate the modifiers for your statistics. If your proficiency rank for a statistic is trained, expert, master, and legendary, your bonus equals your character's level plus another number based on the rank (2, 4, 6, and 8, respectively). If your character is untrained, your proficiency bonus is +0.

Iakhovas: Modifiers
Iakhovas winds up with +4 Perception (1 from level, 2 from trained proficiency, 1 from Wisdom), +6 Fortitude, +8 Reflex, +6 Will, +7 to hit with his melee attacks, +6 to hit with his ranged attacks, and a variety of trained skills, ranging from Athletics at +7 to Diplomacy and Warfare Lore at +3. He does 1d6+4 damage with his fist, 1d8+4 with his wolf jaw, and 1d6+4 with his thrown javelins.


Illustration by Mariusz Gandzel

Step 10: Finishing Details

At this point, you fill in all the details, including those to breathe more life into your character's personality like alignment, deity, age, and gender and pronouns, and those last mathematical details that weren't part of your modifiers like class DC, hero points, AC, and Bulk.

Iakhovas
As a devout Pharasmin but a team player who is often selfless in pursuit of protecting others, I definitely see Iakhovas as either neutral or neutral good. I decide on neutral good, and we'll see if that shifts during play. He is in his late 20s, after an early youth lost to vampiric domination. I decide to go with 28. His gender is male and he uses he/him pronouns. His class DC, as we saw before, is trained, and it's based on his Strength, so it would be 17 (10 + 4 from Strength + 1 from level + 2 for being trained). He generally would start a session with 1 Hero Point. His AC would be a solid 18 (10 + 3 from Dexterity + 1 from level + 4 from being an expert). Finally, he is carrying 5 Bulk and 3 light (4 Bulk 2 light from the monk kit, 1 more Bulk entirely of javelins, and then 1 light for holy water). He can carry way more than this, so he can probably help other team members who might be having trouble.


And that's it! What character are you going to be building first in Pathfinder Second Edition? Let me know in the comments below!

Mark Seifter
Designer




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Tags: Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Pathfinder Second Edition
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Is the champion the paladin of any alignment? That would be awesome.


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Christopk-K wrote:
Is the champion the paladin of any alignment? That would be awesome.

Yes Champions are now the broad bundle of the holy martial class, with separate alignments deceiving different names.

Paladins retain their LG status.
Redeemers are NG
Liberators are CG


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Christopk-K wrote:
Is the champion the paladin of any alignment? That would be awesome.

The champion is the class that the Paladin now falls under. A Paladin is a type of champion who has to be lawful good. The core rulebook includes other options for NG and CG. Other alignments will be added to other books eventually.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Love the detailed look over character creation and of the monk stances. Don't love that ki powers have verbal components.

Sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that you got rid of half-elf and half-orc as ancestries (I'm warming up to goblins in core).


Excelente blog. Took me an hour to read it fully, and was totally worth it. I can't wait to start building characters over and over.

The page spread for the ancestries and classes is fantastic. The art team has done an excellent job with the CRB.

Now, regarding the Lost Omens preview blogs, are we getting the Impossible blog today?

Liberty's Edge

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Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Love the detailed look over character creation and of the monk stances. Don't love that ki powers have verbal components.

Verbal is the least restrictive component type, and kiais are a thing in martial arts, so it works for me.

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that you got rid of half-elf and half-orc as ancestries (I'm warming up to goblins in core).

Heritage works fine for this, for me anyway. It makes the difference largely aesthetic in many ways.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that you got rid of half-elf and half-orc as ancestries (I'm warming up to goblins in core).
Heritage works fine for this, for me anyway. It makes the difference largely aesthetic in many ways.

Also it opens a lot of new options and is a good preview for other half-blooded heritages (basically the whole bastards of golarion blood and the 'blood of the x' series)

now you can go half-elf and half-orc on basically everything if the gm allows it

*imagines a bunch of half elf/orc amazons on a tropical island* campaign ideas come to mind :P

Silver Crusade

Nice blog, even some story bits ^^
I would love to see even more in the next couple of weeks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Love the detailed look over character creation and of the monk stances. Don't love that ki powers have verbal components.

Verbal is the least restrictive component type, and kiais are a thing in martial arts, so it works for me.

Maybe it's because in the movies I base my monks around the fight scenes are basically silent, with the sound of the clothes and the strikes.

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that you got rid of half-elf and half-orc as ancestries (I'm warming up to goblins in core).
Heritage works fine for this, for me anyway. It makes the difference largely aesthetic in many ways.

You lose an option if you go half-elf/orc. And if you want a true heritage, you lose an ancestry feat. Also aesthetics matter. Why do you have to be human to be half-elf? Why not a half-human heritage you can apply to elves and orcs? (Which would work similarly to how planar heritages are supposed to work). I don't know... It just feels wrong to me.


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I'm uncertain how I will recreate my favorite character, especially since he was high level. Obviously, I need to give up on doing everything at level 1. My favorite character ever was a Human multiclassed 2 levels in Fighter, 3 levels in Ranger, 5 levels in Rogue, and 10 levels in Shadowdancer. If I had recreated him in late 1E, I would have built him mainly with Rogue and Void Kineticist levels until I could pour 10 levels into Shadowdancer.

Based on the playtest materials, it looks like the two best options for recreating him in 2E will either be as a Monk later hitting Rogue MCA or a Fey-blooded Sorcer, reskinned as shadow-blooded, along with Rogue MCA.

I also have a Half-elven Bard I made in D&D 5E I want to rock in PF2E named Aede Van'Aillynn. He was styled as a rockstar: played guitar like Eddy Van Halen, sang like & looked like David Bowie in Labrinth. Inspire Courage had a playlist. The rest of the troupe ended up being a Gnome Ranger manager, a Dwarven Fighter roadie, and my Lizardfolk Monk bodyguard. Due to a ridiculous group intimidation/deception/diplomacy check trying to avoid killing a huge number of goblins and gnolls, we ended up with an entire touring crew. It would be awesome to get that band back together.


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Ok, I'm getting text for Mountain Stance in the Wolf's Stance class feat. Is it only me with my blind software, or is this happening with everyone?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

@Malckuss76: That Shadowdancer in 3.5(?) wasn't fully working at level 1 either, I suppose?
You could (at higher levels) have a Rogue with both Monk and Sorcerer dedication feats. (You can take a second dedication after having three dedication feats for your first dedication. So for example Rogue takes Sorcerer dedication at level 2, 4 and 6, you can start taking Monk dedication at level 8.)


Another interesting fact is that a Monk who specializes in using the Mountain Stance can, in fact, dump Dexterity if they want to and still have a decent AC.


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This also made me want to see the 2E equivalents of the "Advanced Player Guide" and the "Advanced Races" as earlier as possible, and also got me anxious for the Lost Omens Character Guide.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
You lose an option if you go half-elf/orc.

Sure, but that was true in PF1 as well, where it lost you a Feat and a Skill as opposed to being human (coincidentally, these are precisely the options that full Humans have for their Heritage).

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
And if you want a true heritage, you lose an ancestry feat.

Again, this is pretty true in PF1 as well in many ways. If you want Elf or Human specific stuff as a Half Elf you needed to invest in it

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Also aesthetics matter. Why do you have to be human to be half-elf? Why not a half-human heritage you can apply to elves and orcs? (Which would work similarly to how planar heritages are supposed to work). I don't know... It just feels wrong to me.

That's fair. Aesthetics definitely do matter, which is why I said it worked well enough for me. The aesthetics don't bother me in particular, and I think that'll be true for most people once they get used to them. If you're not in that group, that sucks and you have my sympathies.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Amaranthine Witch wrote:

...

Why do you have to be human to be half-elf? Why not a half-human heritage you can apply to elves and orcs? (Which would work similarly to how planar heritages are supposed to work). I don't know... It just feels wrong to me.

Might be that most human traits are more dominant, while only some physical features elf and orc are dominant? So offsprings of humans and elves are actually more than half human, but still looking mostly half-elf.

Or it's just magic.


Qundle from Oblivion Oath has got me thinking about an angelic sorcerer/paladin. Still considering their ancestry.

My usual choices are fighters or rogues. I might try goblin for that one.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Mark Seifter wrote:
Asgetrion wrote:
Hmmm... it'd be nice to know why 'Quick' was designed as a Geb-specific background? I mean, it's really cool and something I'd certainly want to pick for a character, but mechanically it's quite generic and would (IMO) be perfect in the core rulebook. And why was it named 'Quick', which to me would imply that it's about dexterity and acrobatics rather than deception and wits?

From Pathfinderwiki

Pathfinderwiki wrote:
Gebbite society in general is divided into three caste: the quick (the living, apart from thralls), the dead (intelligent undead), and chattel (living thralls bred as food, and mindless undead). The quick and the dead are treated equally, while the chattel have no rights.[5] Relations between the quick and the dead are regulated by the Dead Laws, which are designed to ensure that the rights and security of both groups are protected. Of course, as with all nations, not everyone follows the law — visitors still need to be cautious.[3]
Truth be told Iak was chattel for a lot of the time rather than quick, but quick is still a great match for him.

The Quick and the Dead. Clever.


Bellona wrote:
I really, really hope that Paizo makes available a black/white printer-friendly PDF version of that character sheet. The one in this blog post has so many coloured areas, which uses way too much ink/toner and makes them useless for writing in remarks and the like. :(

I guess it's coming. Even if it doesn't I'm sure there'll be a ton of fan-made sheets out there.


Rek Rollington wrote:
Christopk-K wrote:
Is the champion the paladin of any alignment? That would be awesome.
The champion is the class that the Paladin now falls under. A Paladin is a type of champion who has to be lawful good. The core rulebook includes other options for NG and CG. Other alignments will be added to other books eventually.

I wonder how this will look when they release the optional "no alignment" rules.


Franz Lunzer wrote:

@Malckuss76: That Shadowdancer in 3.5(?) wasn't fully working at level 1 either, I suppose?

You could (at higher levels) have a Rogue with both Monk and Sorcerer dedication feats. (You can take a second dedication after having three dedication feats for your first dedication. So for example Rogue takes Sorcerer dedication at level 2, 4 and 6, you can start taking Monk dedication at level 8.)

@Franz Lunzer: Yeah, Shadowdancer was a prestige class, but the flavor feels core to the character; again, I'm not after everything. Some minor illusions, bonus to stealth, fading from view, etc. I had a real issue finding my character's niche in the game until I started diving into Shadowdancer when I suddenly realized I was the stealthy & mysterious swordsman of Vistani heritage. I would like to be able to manifest a blade of darkness and shadow jump at some point, but I feel a monk's ki abilities or a sorcerer's spells might let me enhance the sneaky, mysterious, and slightly mystical nature of the character.


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My first (of many) character will be a Gnome Wizard. He grew up wanting to be an adventurer, but he got his future wife pregnant and ended up dropping out of the Wizard Academy to raise his child. He got a job in the back room of a magic shop identifying magic items brought in by adventurers. Being married and raising his children staved off the bleaching for a while, but now that the kids are grown and the wife (gods rest her soul) has succumbed to a wasting sickness, the bleaching is calling him to get out their and pursue the dream of his youth.


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I dont know why people are morally opposed to buying backpacks. A party of 4 with 4 backpacks and nearly capped bulk has 16 bulk worth of storage space to work with, and again thats assuming every single party memeber is capped on regular carrying bulk. Also we dont know the final bulk numbers.

Curious as to what next weeks blog is gonna be even if its short. Im mostly waiting on seeing the equipment blogs (armor and weapons) hoping they give us some previews of anything thats been changed


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lakobie wrote:
I dont know why people are morally opposed to buying backpacks. A party of 4 with 4 backpacks and nearly capped bulk has 16 bulk worth of storage space to work with, and again thats assuming every single party memeber is capped on regular carrying bulk. Also we dont know the final bulk numbers.

Did I miss something? Backpacks don't increase your carrying capacity in the playtest, they only hold part of the stuff you can carry. Was that changed whe n I wasn't looking?


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lakobie wrote:

I dont know why people are morally opposed to buying backpacks. A party of 4 with 4 backpacks and nearly capped bulk has 16 bulk worth of storage space to work with, and again thats assuming every single party memeber is capped on regular carrying bulk. Also we dont know the final bulk numbers.

Curious as to what next weeks blog is gonna be even if its short. Im mostly waiting on seeing the equipment blogs (armor and weapons) hoping they give us some previews of anything thats been changed

How would a backpack help? All it is is storage for 4 Bulk; it doesn't negate the 4 Bulk within from your own total (that would actually be a small step in the right direction).


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Valantrix1 wrote:
Ok, I'm getting text for Mountain Stance in the Wolf's Stance class feat. Is it only me with my blind software, or is this happening with everyone?

Indeed! The feats are shown as images and the ALT-text is wrong for Wolf Stance.

Wolf Stance would be:
Requirements: Unarmored. You enter the stance of a wolf, low to the ground with your hands held like fanged teeth. You can make wolf jaw unarmed attacks. These deal 1d8 piercing damage; are in the brawling group; and have the agile, backstabber, finesse, nonlethal, and unarmed traits. If you're flanking a target while in Wolf Stance, your wolf jaw unarmed attacks also gain the trip trait.

Liberty's Edge

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AnCap Dawg wrote:
I wonder how this will look when they release the optional "no alignment" rules.

They each have a very specific Code, so it actually works pretty well even absent Alignment rules per se.

Honestly, the hardest part is dealing with Alignment damage, and that's not exclusive to the Champion at all.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Love the detailed look over character creation and of the monk stances. Don't love that ki powers have verbal components.

Verbal is the least restrictive component type, and kiais are a thing in martial arts, so it works for me.

Amaranthine Witch wrote:
Sorry, but I still can't get over the fact that you got rid of half-elf and half-orc as ancestries (I'm warming up to goblins in core).
Heritage works fine for this, for me anyway. It makes the difference largely aesthetic in many ways.

With components does that mean Ki powers cost an action to activate meaning the turn you activate them you are reduced to two actions?

Liberty's Edge

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Tectorman wrote:
lakobie wrote:

I dont know why people are morally opposed to buying backpacks. A party of 4 with 4 backpacks and nearly capped bulk has 16 bulk worth of storage space to work with, and again thats assuming every single party memeber is capped on regular carrying bulk. Also we dont know the final bulk numbers.

Curious as to what next weeks blog is gonna be even if its short. Im mostly waiting on seeing the equipment blogs (armor and weapons) hoping they give us some previews of anything thats been changed

How would a backpack help? All it is is storage for 4 Bulk; it doesn't negate the 4 Bulk within from your own total (that would actually be a small step in the right direction).

I believe his point is that you can take off a backpack, meaning that the 4 Bulk in it doesn't encumber you in combat since you can just take it off (which is, unless I'm mistaken, probably a single action to do).

This does still leave you moving slower outside of combat, but it is a thing you can do.


Blave wrote:
lakobie wrote:
I dont know why people are morally opposed to buying backpacks. A party of 4 with 4 backpacks and nearly capped bulk has 16 bulk worth of storage space to work with, and again thats assuming every single party memeber is capped on regular carrying bulk. Also we dont know the final bulk numbers.
Did I miss something? Backpacks don't increase your carrying capacity in the playtest, they only hold part of the stuff you can carry. Was that changed whe n I wasn't looking?

Perhaps the person who raised it means that 4 bulk can be easily dropped? But I don’t know


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm planning on redoing my 5 playtest characters from level 1:

Memorio -Human Lore Bard. She was a Pathfinder hopeful, so I'll need to pick a different background for her. Her hobby is writing novels about the glories of old Galt.

Krista - Halfling Leaf Druid merchant. She's angry 65% of her existence. The rest of the time she's asleep. But buy something and she'll pretend to like you.

Dorothy - Dwarf basketweaving Cleric of Torag. This character spawned from a discussion on this forum. She divorced the village blacksmith, who will die mad that she can make better swords than he can, even if she's primarily a weaver.

Hnikarr- Elf Liberator, entertainer. He was a paladin in the playtest, but I'll bump him over to his proper alignment. My image of him is stronger in his 5E incarnation, so I don't much know how he fits into the Lost Omens setting.

Madeline Glacé- Human rogue. Naval officer and minor noble of Galt (who doesn't live there anymore since she likes having a head). Happens to also be Memorio's mother. She was a fighter in her original incarnation, but made her a brute rogue in the playtest so she could take the pirate archetype easier (also because the playtest said to make a skillheavy character). I'll see if she works better as a rogue or fighher in PF2.

Liberty's Edge

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Lanathar wrote:
With components does that mean Ki powers cost an action to activate meaning the turn you activate them you are reduced to two actions?

They do take an action to cast, but read the way they're written: Ki Rush just gives you two movement actions, while Ki Strike gives you an unarmed strike or flurry of blows. Those are part of the spell's action.

Thus, in practice, the first gives you an extra action and the second costs none.

Dark Archive

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My first character is definitely going to be a Rogue multiclassing into Sorcerer to play a fast-talking charlatan who's always got an ace up their sleeve. Gonna get a looooot of mileage out of that one!


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Great blog - this gets me excited to try out the new stuff again! One little nit-pick, and apologies if this has already been mentioned: you put the text for Mountain Stance twice under the title for Wolf stance. I use a screen-reader, so this might be visually not the case; thought you would like to know.

Look forward to making Alithyra again, my independent star-metal forging beast totem barbarian from Numeria!


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have some work to do on August 1st.

My homebrew, open world PF1e campaign is on hiatus until PF2. I have to faithfully convert:

A level 9 crossblooded (rime, water) tatooed sorcerer/shadowcaster wizard.

A level 9 guide ranger with a lightning gun.

A level 9 slayer with a sentient holy avenger and a rail gun.

A level 8 monk that has a curse that lets them transform into a cow.

For my own interest, I need to convert:

A slightly unhinged cleric of Pharasma who tries to keep up with his arcane training from childhood (Cleric/Wizard multiclass)

A tiefling fighter/wizard/eldritch knight/arcane archer (Fighter/Wizard most likely covers it)

A traditionalist old-school deep-dwarf wordcasting warpriest

Liberty's Edge

I have no idea what character I'll build in PF2. I'll probably run it long before I get to play it. And don't know what campaign I'll play in it, for that matter.

I think most of my characters in PF1 are very buildable in PF2. Of course, most of them are single classed, since I rarely multiclass, which makes it easier. The single classed Rogues and Bards will be easy for example.

The only ones that would be troublesome are my Str-based Half Orc Investigator with a crapload of skills, and my Oracle of Lore 1/Barbarian X doing the standard Barbarian thing but with Dex 7 and high Int and Cha.

The first can probably be finagled with Brute Rogue and/or Alchemist stuff, but would be better with an actual Investigator, and the latter may be doable thematically (presumably with Dex more like 10) with Oracle Multiclass Feats on a Barbarian...when and if we get those. Neither is great just from the corebook, though.


I plan on playing a cleric first. One of my play test character was a cleric and I was really impressed on how much better it was than PF!. Then it is between a bard and paladin.


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These people animated to make new characters...

Cries in eternal GM.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

As I have done with every new RPG I have played starting with AD&D2E I will probably roll 2-3 characters of every class withing 24 hours of getting the books. The order is hard to say, if nothing jumps out as I have to try this right now probably alphabetically.

From what we have seen so far there are so many possible builds deciding where to start will be very hard.


Not sure what character I build first (might experiment a bit) but the first character I'm going to play is a halfling wizard. I'm basically converting my character from our ongoing homebrew playtest campaign to PF2.

He's also an excellent crafter thanks to his high intelligence. Also, the Lucky Halfling acestry feat is a almost broken for a crafter since you never roll more than once per day while crafting anyway.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

With each new PF2 book that comes out, I plan to see how close I can come to re-creating Valeria Baradin, my Blood Mystic from Sargava who had to move to Cheliax after her uncle's family died out under mysterious circumstances. Beyond not being able to reproduce her oracle's curse (a relatively minor point), the other challenge is that she is half-and-half on many character building decisions that I would have to make either-or choices on in PF2.

But this blog is encouraging, as Mark's character also had multiple backgrounds that his character could qualify for and seems to have gone for the one that shaped his PC the most. It remains to be seen what choices I will make for Valeria and how I will handle those important secondary characteristics.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

One thing we didn’t see from this preview is how big his Focus pool is. The feats didn’t mention they gave a pool, and If there was a separate class feature I missed it.

As for my character, I’ve definitely mentioned my Druid/Bard a bunch elsewhere, so no need to go into detail. Character #2 might be recreating my RotR wizard that is just starting Book 3 right now. His background involved being a monk (the kind that brew Craft Beer) worshipping Nethys, so in 2E I may see if multiclassing into Cleric makes sense or not; depends how many class feats I will want to put towards wizardry.


One of the first characters I am interested in playing is going to be a gnome rogue who focuses on sneak attacking with cantrips. Maybe throw in a sorcerer dedication if I'm feeling froggy.

Liberty's Edge

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First World Bard wrote:
One thing we didn’t see from this preview is how big his Focus pool is. The feats didn’t mention they gave a pool, and If there was a separate class feature I missed it.

We know from other stuff that Focus starts off at 1 point for everyone who has it. Some later Feats increase it somewhat.


Yay! That was a great blog, thanks!

The first character I try to build will probably be a bard/sorcerer multiclass with the celestial bloodline. I'm not sure which muse I would pick. I might go with Maestro if it's the same as the playtest, since I want this character to mostly act as a support, and be particularly good at fighting demons, aberrations and other creepy, not-of-this-world monsters.

I was also hoping to create a cavalier type of fighter, but if I understand well, the cavalier archetype has been pushed back to some unknown book? I guess I could always ask my GM to let me use the one from the playtest, with some modifications if necessary.


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My first character will be a grizzled, middle-aged woodsman named Kurt who makes a living cutting trees in a humble village. Or, at least he did, until he comes home to find that his parents were attacked and terrorized by a pack of angry cave bears. Such an occasion wouldn't be uncommon in that region, as the monsters are territorial and for some reason tend to take issue with honest working folk minding their business (namely their fishing and deforestation efforts).

But this time, things got personal. His father, Burt, was once a renowned bear-fighter, charged with keeping the good village folk safe from the incursions of the beasts of the wilderness. But he's gotten too old and feeble to protect anyone anymore, and so now he must pass the mantle onto his son and complete his training in the sacred tradition of Punching Bears in Their Big Stupid Faces! Yes, that is literally the name for their martial art.

Kurt will be a monk who only wields dual axes or his bare, calloused fists to do battle. He would train to maximize his strength, stamina, and speed; because apparently such frivolities as "academics" or "skill" aren't necessary for punching bears. You ever see a bard punch a bear? No, because they can't. That's ridiculous.

According to his father/shifu one only needs muscle, unbridled rage, and a hardy breakfast of flat cakes and eggs to master the craft. Their technique is mostly spiritual, requiring visualization and meditation. Most people see it as them simply napping under thorny bushes or furniture after a meal meant for four people, but it's all very intensive and spiritually draining.

When he uses his art he must channel the reserves of his fury; channel it right into his arm and out of his fist and strait into a grisly bear's teeth. Mountain Stance, Flurry of Blows, feats to maximize durability and focus, perhaps a multiclass in Barbarian if it makes sense. Because any technique that isn't explicitly about beating up bears is wrong and strange and why-would-you-even.

...Oh, and I guess he'd be skilled at woodworking. So.. trained in Crafting, I guess?


I wish all classes have a decent number of "always-on" (as opposed to action using) type class feats at launch, for each available levels (1 and all even levels). Personally I really liked the "permanently quick" capstones, secondary only to Timeless Body and Craft Philosopher's Stone (yes, non-spellcasters' easy access to quasi-immortality is a titanic deal to me)...


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

If/When I get a chance to play, instead of running a game, I will probably recreate my Halfling Rogue Lucas Fairbanks. Charismatic and Witty. Likely to get you to hand him your money willingly and feel like you got a bargain for a tale or a show. Not musically inclined but will make people laugh. Sometimes with you, sometimes at you.

There is a high likelihood that he would discover some mystical blood line that was dormant, but not positive if that story would play out for him or not. (Sorcerer)


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Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Loved reading through this blog. I'm even more excited for the beginning of August and GenCon now!


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Kyrone wrote:

These people animated to make new characters...

Cries in eternal GM.

This is exactly why I usually use GMPCs lol. XD

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