How to Fill Out a Pathfinder Character Sheet


Liberty's Edge

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Many years ago in the days before Pathfinder (What I like to refer to as the Broken Age) I came across a resource (who's author I have either forgotten or never knew) on a forum explaining how to fill out a character sheet. Now, I didn't need the resource myself, but I did need to teach new people how to do it, and it was written in such an amusing tone that I printed it out and handed it to each new person in my group. It honestly served me well for many years.

Going through some old files on my computer, I came across it and decided that it was time to update it for Pathfinder use. I present to you:

or Why yes, as a matter of fact, I am that bored.

Everything you are about to read is in the Core Rulebook. I'm only really writing it out as practice for when I have to explain it to new players in person.

Step 1: Take a sheet.
If you look in the back of your Core Rulebook, they give you a character sheet. Obviously you don't wanna tear this out or write directly on it, so what you do is take it to an Office Max or a Staples or a Kinko’s or a public library and photocopy that sheet. If you look around online, you can find PDFs and HTML pages of character sheets that you can print directly from your computer so you don't have to go through all the trouble of making copies, but those sheets are usually a little different from the one I am about to describe; the one sheet you are guaranteed to have access to. All my descriptions for locations on the sheet are written with the CRB sheet in mind.

We'll start at the top of the first page of your sheet and go through every item, explain what it is, and figure out what to put in all those neat little spaces. This is going to be so much fun.

Step 2: Who are you!?
At the top of your shiny new character sheet is a bunch of lines. The lines are all labeled. You're going to write some stuff on top of those lines:
• Character Name: Make up a fake name for your character. You can name your character anything at all. Volrath the destroyer, Bob the fighter, I am Jack's Primary Spellcaster, whatever. Be creative.
• Alignment: This is where you write your character's moral and ethical alignment. Alignments are explained on CRB p. 166 through 168. You can write it out, "lawful good" or you can shorten it to just "LG".
• Player: That's you. Write your real name.
• Character Level: The basic way to note this is write down the name of your class followed by the number of levels you have in that class, followed by your total character level in parenthesis. If you are a multiclass character, separate your classes with slashes. So if you were a 1st-level human fighter, you'd write "FIGHTER 1 (1st)". If you were a drow 3rd-level ranger/4th-level fighter, you'd write "RANGER 3/FIGHTER 4 (9th)".
• Deity: This is where you write the name of the god your character worships. For clerics, this is essential. For druids, rangers, and paladins, it's kind of important. For most other characters, it doesn't really matter. Ask your GM about this one.
• Homeland: Where your character is from (not you). Again, ask your GM about this.
• Race: Your character's race (not yours). Write "human" or "drow" or "half-dragon rakshasa" or whatever type of creature your character happens to be.
• Size: Your character's size category. Most of the races in the CRB are Medium. Gnomes and halflings are Small. You can just write "M" or "S" if you want, most people will know what you mean.
• Gender: The type of junk in your character's trunk. (M, F, or ? will do.)
• Age: Your character's age. Age ranges and random starting ages are found on CRB p. 169.
• Height: Character's tallness from head to toe.
• Weight: Character's fatness from all those mutton chops. Randomly generated heights and weights can be found on CRB 170, right after the age tables.
• Hair: Character's hair color. Please do not write "YES," "UH-HUH" or "ALL OF IT".
• Eyes: Character's eye color. Please do not write "YES" or "NO".
Congratulations. You now have what passes at most tables for a character description.

Step 3: What can you do?
Directly below and all the way to the left of the row of lines we just filled is a neat little matrix of boxes for your Ability Scores :fanfare:.
I'm assuming you know about the ability scores and how to generate them. There's a row of boxes for your ability scores with labels: STR (strength), DEX (dexterity) CON (constitution). These are easy to understand. But next to that is a row of boxes for Ability Modifiers. Well what the hell is an ability modifier?

The formula for an ability modifier is...
(ability score - 10) ÷ 2, rounded down.

See, when you do something that is based on an ability score, you roll a d20 and add the relevant modifier. So if you've got an 18 Strength, 18 minus 10 is 8, divided by 2 is 4. An 18 gives you a +4. If you were to try to break down a door, you would roll 1d20 (say you got a 9) and add your Strength modifier (+4) for a total of 13. This is just enough to break down a simple wooden door. Go you.
On the other hand if you had a 7, 7 minus 10 is -3, divided by 2 is -1.5, which is rounded to -2. A 7 gives you a -2. Say you were trying to break down the same door as the last guy. You'd roll 1d20 (say you got a 12), add your -2 penalty for a total of 10. Your skinny body bounces off the door ineffectually, injuring both your shoulder and your pride.

So you write down "18" (or whatever) for your Strength score and "+4" (or whatever) for your Strength modifier. Do this for all your stats. There is a table on CRB p. 17 with all this math done for you. Make use of it.

Step 4: Can you be killed by conventional weapons?
Next to the Ability Score Matrix™ is a row of boxes for your HP, your AC, your DR, and your speed. ...well what the crap is that?

"HP" stands for hit points (or "health points" if you like). When people want to end your life, they will often beat you with things that deal hit point damage (reducing your current hit points). The little box next to HP is where you write your total hit points when you're fully healed and fully rested. The number of hit points you get is based on your Hit Die which determined by your class and your Constitution modifier which I just told you how to figure out. You get max hit points at 1st level and then roll a hit die each level thereafter. So a fighter, for example has a d10 hit die. Let's say Bob the fighter has a Constitution score of 16, giving him a +3 modifier. At 1st level he gets the max roll on a d10 (10) plus his Con modifier (3) for a total of 13 hit points. When he gains his 2nd level of fighter, he will roll a d10 (let's say he rolled a 5), add his Con modifier to that roll (makes it 8) and add the result to his total hit points (giving him a new total of 21 hit points).

"AC" stands for Armor Class. It represents how hard it is for people to do nasty, nasty things to you. It is also very much dependent on the kind of armor you're wearing, so we'll leave that go for right now and come back to it in about four steps.

Moving to the right, we see a long bar that says SPEED right above it. This is your character's base move speed. For most of the races in the CRB, your base speed is 30 ft. For dwarves, gnomes, and halflings, its 20 ft. Barbarians move 10 ft. faster than normal. Anyone in medium or heavy armor moves 10 ft. slower than normal. I trust you to be able to figure out which value applies to your character and write it in that little box neatly so adults can read it.

Right below the AC boxes are two boxes labeled "TOUCH" and "FLATFOOTED". These refer to different versions of your AC. See, AC bonuses (most other bonuses, too) usually have a type. There's armor bonuses, shield bonuses, dodge bonuses, luck bonuses, insight bonuses, yadda yadda yadda. If you have two bonuses with the same type, they don't "stack", only the bigger bonus applies. The only exception to this is dodge bonuses, and bonuses that don't have a type ("unnamed" bonuses).
Your Touch AC is your AC without your armor bonus or shield bonus. Your Flatfooted AC is your AC without your Dexterity bonus or any dodge bonuses (a negative Dex modifier still applies though). Your GM will tell you which AC applies in a given situation.

Initiative! Right below HP. Initiative checks are used to determine the turn order in combat. For most characters, their initiative modifier is just their Dexterity modifier. There is a feat called Improved Initiative that gives you a +4 to initiative checks. There might be some weird crazy good magic items that give you bonuses to Initiative, but we won't worry about those right now. Just write down your Dexterity modifier in the box labeled "Dex modifier" and leave the "Total" and "misc modifier" boxes empty for now.

Step 5: Can you be killed by unconventional weapons?
Moving down the left side of the page, we arrive at the boxes where you write down your Saving Throws. Saving throws are what you roll to not die when strange-smelling weirdoes in purple robes point a finger at you and set everything you love on fire. You may also use a saving throw to avoid getting drunk. You may also deliberately fail a saving throw to get drunk.

There are three saving throws: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will (on some sheets they call it "Willpower." Shiny.). Fort saves are for things that affect your physical health like poisons, diseases, and monks punching your pressure points. Reflex saves are for getting out of the way of stuff like fireballs, lightning bolts, and giant stone Indiana Jones references. Will saves are for things that affect your mental health like confusion spells, mind control, and your fellow party members.
Each saving throw entry has one of the following boxes:
• Total: Should be obvious by now. Leave that blank for just a moment.
• Base Save: This part is determined by your class and gets better as you gain levels. There are two saving throw progressions: Good (base save equals 2 plus one-half your level) and Poor (base save equals one third of your level). Different classes have different good and bad saves. Fighters have good Fortitude, wizards have good Will, and monks have good Fortitude, Reflex, and Will. Isn't that just lovely?
If you look at the table for you class in Chapter 3 of the CRB, it should just tell you what your base save is. If you have more than one class, add the base saves from all your classes together.
• Ability Modifier: Ah, remember those? Each save is modified by a different ability. Fortitude is modified by Constitution, Reflex is modified by Dexterity, and Will is modified by Wisdom. Find the modifiers for those three ability scores and write them in the appropriate box.
• Magic Modifier: This is for bonuses from magic items like a cloak of resistance. You won't have one at 1st level, so just leave this box blank.
• Misc Modifier: This is where you put any other weird save bonuses like a paladin's divine grace, or a halfling's "I'M SHORT!" bonus (I know that's not really what it's called but... c'mon. They're little). Abilities that grant bonuses like this are pretty specific so you should be able to figure out what to put here (probably nothing).
• Temporary Modifier: This is for when you get poisoned or partially frozen, don't get enough sleep, get cursed, or anything else that isn't permanent and changes your saves in any way. You can probably leave this blank too.
That last box of conditional modifiers is for save bonuses that only apply in certain situations. For example, half-elves get a +2 bonus on Will saves versus enchantment-type spells like charm person. Check the descriptions of your race and class if you're not sure if you have a bonus like that.
Once you have found all of your regular save bonuses, you can add up the totals and write them in the Total boxes. Bob, the fighter we mentioned earlier, has a Constitution of 16. Fighters have a good Fort save, so at 1st level he has a base save of 2 plus half his level (half of 1 is .5, rounds down to 0) for a total base fort save of +2. Add in his +3 Con modifier and he has a Total Fortitude save bonus of +5. Huzzah!

Step 6: Can you kick my ass?
Now we get to the good stuff. Continuing down the left side of the sheet, below your save bonuses are your basic combat abilities. This is where you write down how good you are at beating men to death with swords, axes, heavy sticks, or your feet.

Base Attack Bonus: Exactly what it sounds like. This is the basic bonus that applies to any attack rolls you might make. It's determined by your class, just like base save bonuses. There are three BAB progressions: Good (bab equals level), Average (bab equals three-quarters of level), and Poor (bab equals one-half of level). BAB is listed on the same class tables where you can find your base saves.
BAB determines whether you get multiple attacks. If your BAB is greater than +5, you get a second attack at BAB - 5. If your second attack is greater than +5, you get a third attack at bab - 10. If your third attack is greater than +5, you get a fourth attack at bab - 15, but that's it. You never get more than four attacks from high BAB alone. So if your BAB was say +12, you would gain a second attack at +7, and a third at +2. You would write down for your base attack bonus "+12/+7/+2".
You can get more than four attacks with certain class features and feats, but there's no need to go into that right now.

To the right of this is a place for you to list Spell Resistance. Spell Resistance represents how hard it is for mages to make fire explode in your face or make you make fire explode in someone else’s face. Chances are you aren’t going to have this for quite awhile. Let’s skip this for now.

Right below BAB is CMB (Combat Maneuver Bonus. How good you are at performing special maneuvers in combat.). Your CMB modifier is equal to your Base Attack Bonus, plus your Strength modifier, plus your size modifier (if any). Medium creatures have no size modifier; Small creatures have a -1. Large creatures have a +1, but you probably aren't playing a Large creature. Size modifiers for other sizes are listed on CRB p. 179.
There are boxes for your BAB, Str mod, size mod, and total CMB mod, so why doncha write all those in now.

Below this is another set of boxes for CMD (Combat Maneuver Defense. Guess what this represents.) Your CMD is calculated the same way as your CMB, but this time you get to add your Dexterity modifier. Yay! Also, you don’t roll a die for your CMD, so you get to add an extra 10 to the total. Nifty, huh?

Below the combat maneuver section is a thing for Attacks. Each little Attack entry is to be used for a different type of weapon or mode of attack, like "longsword," "unarmed strike," "holy avenger," or whatever it is your character uses to hurt people. We didn't buy your equipment yet, but if you already know what you're going to use, we can do this section. Each Attack entry has one of the following boxes:
• Weapon: The name of whatever you're using, i.e. "longsword," "unarmed strike," "holy avenger" or what have you.
• Attack Bonus: Your total attack bonus with the weapon. For most characters this is just your base attack bonus plus either your Strength mod (for a melee weapon like a sword) or your Dexterity mod (for a ranged weapon like a longbow). Certain feats like Weapon Focus add to your attack bonus, and magical swords always have some kind of bonus associated with them that adds to attack rolls. Say Bob the fighter has a Strength of 15 and Weapon Focus (longsword). At 1st-level his BAB is +1, with a 15 his Strength mod is +2, and Weapon Focus gives you a +1, so his total Attack bonus with his trusty longsword is +4.
• Critical: When you roll a 20 on an attack roll, this is called a Critical Threat. You reroll the same attack with the same bonus and if the reroll hits, you have just scored a critical hit and deal double damage. Some weapons threaten a critical hit on rolls of 19 or even 18 instead of just 20. Some weapons deal triple or quadruple damage on a crit instead of double. The way you note a weapon's critical value is usually list the values which threaten a crit, slash, the multiplier. If it doesn't have a range of numbers, it only threatens on a 20. So you might write "x2" or "x3" or "18-20/x2". Bob the fighter is wielding a longsword, which threatens on a 19 and deals double damage, so he'll write "19-20/x2" for his critical.
• Type: This is the type of damage the weapon deals; bludgeoning (clubs and hammers), slashing (swords and axes) or piercing (lances, rapiers, and picks). If you look through pages 142 and 143 of the CRB, you can find all of the damage types for all the basic fantasy weapons.
• Range: For projectile and thrown weapons like longbows and daggers, this is where you write the weapon's range increment. This is also listed on pages 142 and 143. Weapons that can't normally be thrown have a range increment of "—", but I usually write "melee" in that box.
• Ammunition: This is a little space for tracking the weapon's ammunition if any. If you had a bow, you'd write down "arrows" as the type of ammo, and cross out an arrow every time you attacked with your bow.
• Damage: The amount of damage a weapon deals is based on a die roll dependent on the weapon and usually modified by Strength. This is yet another property found on pages 142 and 143. Bob the fighter's weapon of choice is a longsword which deals 1d8 damage, and as we mentioned he has a Strength mod of +2, so we write in his damage box "1d8+2". Feats like Weapon Specialization give bonuses to your damage, and magic weapons usually add their bonus to damage rolls.

Addendum: Fighting with two weapons.
Characters that fight with two weapons are cool, there's no question about it. The only thing cooler than a dual wielder is a dual wielding member of a typically evil subterranean race who's inexplicably Chaotic Good and riven with emotional turmoil best handled by White Wolf. Right? *cough*

If your character fights with two weapons, then you have to manage your attack entries a little differently. Many people are tempted to just throw all their attack bonuses in the same entry like "17/17/12/12/7/7". This is obnoxious, hard to read, and makes baby Jesus cry. You make your character sheet infinitely easier to read if you keep your main and off-hand weapons separate.
Fill out one attack entry for your primary weapon with your bonus from a single attack in parenthesis, followed by your full attack sequence, like "(+19) +17/+12/+7". Then fill out a similar attack entry for your secondary weapon, like "+17/+12". You might even want to have that single attack bonus on the off-hand weapon too, just in case you decide you want to lead with your shortsword one day.
When you have an attack entry for both of your weapons, make a little note in the margin to note that you use both of them in a full attack, say the abbrev. "TWF" with a giant { brace connecting them, or a little chibi ranger pointing a sword at each entry. As long as it's clear that you use them both.

The reason you separate your weapons like that is because it clears up a lot of questions before they even get asked. If you have all your attack bonuses in a line like "17/17/12/12/7/7" and something happens to your arm ("Sprained wrist! -2 to off-hand attacks! Haha, I'm the GM.") then you have to entirely dismantle your little row of numbers to change the bonuses.
The damage from your weapons is usually different, too. You get half your Strength bonus to damage with off-hand attacks. So unless you've got a Strength of 11 or less and are wielding identical weapons, you're going to need two damage entries.
Also, if your weapons have magical enhancements, it's nice to have two separate Special Properties spaces in which to make note of everything.
If, however, you are one of those special cases whose primary and secondary weapons are alike in every way, then you can probably get away with putting them both in the same attack entry. But please, separate your attack bonuses like "+8/+3 and +8".

Step 7: We Gotz Mad Skillz.
Alrighty, the last section of character sheet page one that has yet to be explored is the bigass column on the right labeled "SKILLS". Holy crap, there's like three times as many boxes in this one section as all the boxes we just filled out. What do we do? Don't panic. We know where our towels are. Let's just take it slow.

Each character has different skills. Some people are good at running, jumping, climbing trees, some are "booksmart," some are good at persuading people to not call the town guard because they've got nine children to feed and you don't want them to starve, do you?

Each class has a list of class skills. Each class gets a certain number of skill points per level, modified by Intelligence, and four times this number at 1st-level. Bob the fighter for example gets 2 skill points, plus his Intelligence modifier of +1, plus 1 because he's human, and that's just how he rolls, for a total of 4 skill points per level. At 1st level he will have 16 skill points.
You use your skill points to buy "skill ranks" in whatever skills you please. A rank in a class skill costs 1 point. You can have a maximum of 1 rank per character level in any class skill. If you have a rank in a class skill, you get a +3 bonus to that skill (Kind of like a gift for doing what you’re supposed to. You’re welcome.).

Whenever you try to do something that relies on a certain skill and has some chance for failure, you roll 1d20, plus your ranks in that skill, plus an ability modifier tied to that skill (Dexterity for Acrobatics, Intelligence for Knowledge, etc.), plus any other modifiers you might have, and compare the total to the DC.

So for each skill on that table, you are going to fill in the appropriate ability modifier, the number of ranks you have in that skill (if you have 0 ranks, you can just leave it blank), and any other modifiers you have to that skill, and then write the total under the "Skill Modifier" for that particular skill.

Check the Skills chapter of the CRB for more detailed information.

Below all of that we have a space for conditional modifiers, similar to the one near your Saving Throws (remember that?). Same deal here.

Languages. Every character in Pathfinder speaks at least one language (Common, i.e. English). Characters with an Intelligence modifier of +1 or higher speak a number of additional languages equal to that modifier. Bob the fighter's Int modifier is only +1, so he speaks Common and Elven. Languages are listed in the Skills chapter under Linguistics, CRB p. 101 to 102. Each race has a certain set of bonus languages listed in the race descriptions of chapter 2.

We're done with the first page of your character sheet. You can go get a sandwich or something if you want. I'll wait.
Back? Rawk.

Step 8a: Buy Me Somethin'!!!
Ah, Commerce. This is where you finally get to buy some clothes. Idunno if you were aware of this, but all people are born completely naked. So we've got to buy you some clothes. Preferably clothes at least partially made out of metal to keep the claws, claws, and bites of the world away from your precious organs.

Each character starts with a certain amount of "wealth." This includes actual cash, gems or jewelry of a certain value and of course your equipment, magical or otherwise. 1st-level characters start with a random amount of wealth depending on what class they are. The random starting gold table is on CRB p. 140, and the wealth by level table is on CRB page 399. Get a piece of scrap paper and write down your total wealth at the top. Pick items out of the equipment guide as if you're shopping and subtract the price of each item from your wealth. Try not to spend all of your money; you want to have at least a little bit of coin on you, if only for realism. You should get:
• Clothing. I'm always amazed how many new players just forget to cover their characters' shame.
• A backpack, a bedroll, and a winter blanket. You don't necessarily need to buy a tent, because two characters can sleep in a single tent, but there should be at least one tent for every two characters.
• A melee weapon. Could be a bigass greatsword, could be a dagger. Every adventurer should own something that can be used to kill people.
• A ranged weapon. Could be a masterwork composite longbow, could be a second dagger. Every adventurer should own something that can be used to kill people that are way over there.
• Protection. No, not that kind of protection. Part of being an adventurer means going places where people will just come up and stab you. You need something to prevent that from happening. You might wear armor; maybe you'll carry a shield. Maybe you're a wizard or monk who doesn't really need it. But most characters will wear some kind of armor.
• Sustenance. Your character should have a waterskin (a leather sack of mostly water) and trail rations for at least a week.
Anything else you buy is completely up to you. A lot of players get rope and a grappling hook, some players like having a crowbar or a shovel, some classes need certain equipment like a set of lockpicks or a holy symbol or a healer's kit. Your fellow players and your GM can help you with this, or in many cases just do it for you.

Step 8b: Buy me somethin' shiny!
Now that you've purchased armor we can fill in your Armor Class. Huzzah! Go back to the first page to the AC boxes. Armor bonus is obviously the bonus granted by your armor. Shield bonus, granted by a shield. Dex modifier is tricky. Armor and shields have what's called a Max Dex Bonus. See, real armor is heavy and kind of restricts your motion, so Pathfinder armor restricts your Dex bonus to AC. Compare the Max Dex bonus of your armor or shield (whichever's lower) to your actual Dex bonus. Write whichever one is lower in the space for Dexterity modifier. Bob the fighter has a Dex of 16, which gives him a +3 Dex bonus. But he's wearing full plate mail which has a Max Dex Bonus of +1 (don't ask me how he was able to afford full plate at 1st-level). So Bob the fighter writes down "+1" for his Dex modifier to AC. Small creatures get a +1 size bonus to AC, Medium creatures do not. None of the races in the CRB have natural armor, so don't worry about that. The only way to get a deflection bonus to AC at 1st level is the shield of faith spell, so don't worry about that. If you're playing a monk, you get your Wisdom bonus to AC in addition to your Dexterity modifier. The best place to write this bonus is under Misc modifiers.
Once you've got all your AC bonuses in place, add across the line and write down the total. Don't forget that base of 10.

Since you bought weapons, you might want to take a moment and fill out attack entries for each weapon you own. Scroll back up to Step 6 if you're not sure how. It's best to put your favored weapon at the top of the list and put the rest of the weapons in the order you think you're most likely to use them.

Step 9: Wendy, I can fly!
I'm lumping everything else on the sheet into the last step. This has gone on long enough, ya know?

Money is how much actual cash you have on you. Write down what's left over after buying your equipment. 10 copper pieces is 1 silver piece, 10 silver pieces is 1 gold piece, and 10 gold pieces is 1 platinum piece.

Feats don't fail me now. Feats are special abilities, extra bonuses, or other neat things you can do that you select at every odd level (1, 3, 5, 7, 9, etc.). They have prerequisites; things you have to have before you can take the feat, but you can take any feat for which you meet all the prerequisites (it's kinda like setting up a college schedule, "I can't take Cleave until next semester 'cause I waited to take Power Attack. Sigh.").
Most 1st- and 2nd-level characters only have one. Bob the human fighter has three (one bonus feat from fighter, one bonus feat from being human, one regular feat because everybody gets one). Chapter 5 of the CRB is entirely devoted to feats. The feat descriptions tell you what they do. Many feats grant bonuses to attacks, saves, skills, or whatever. If you take a feat that grants you a bonus to something we already did, you have to go back to page 1 and include that bonus. Bob the fighter's feats are Weapon Focus (longsword), Iron Will, and Power Attack. He has to go back to page one and add the +2 from Iron Will as a "misc modifier" to his will save. This bumps his total Will save bonus from +1 to +3. Ya we be jammin'. Once you've selected your feats, make absolutely sure you've included any bonuses from them into your character sheet.

Special abilities are things you get from your classes like the barbarian's ability to rage or the ranger's favored enemy bonus, the monk's unarmed strike or the rogue's trapfinding ability. Use those class tables in Chapter 3 to find the names of whatever special abilities you have. Bob the fighter doesn't really have any special abilities; just bonus feats. So this section of his character sheet is blank.

There's not much room for it on this particular sheet, but it's usually a good idea to include a short little note next to each ability that sort of explains it like the little parentheticals I included above.

Spells! Clerics, Druids, Sorcerers, and Wizards can all cast spells. Bards cast somewhat fewer spells. Rangers and Paladins cast even fewer spells starting at 4th level. If you are playing a sorcerer or bard, you can write down your list of known spells on the spells section of your sheet. If you are playing a wizard, cleric, druid, paladin, or ranger, you prepare a list of spells every day, so you'll want scrap paper to do it on. Writing down and erasing your spell list every game day will wear out your shiny new sheet right quick.

Spell Save DC Mod is equal to 10 plus your spellcasting ability modifier; Intelligence for wizards, Charisma for sorcerers and bards, Wisdom for everybody else.

Arcane Spell Failure chance is for sorcerers and wizards who wear armor, and bards who wear medium or heavy armor. Wearing heavy metal clothing tends to restrict your movements and arcane spells rely on weird arcane hand gestures for their spells to go right, so when arcane spellcasters wear armor, there is a chance that their armor will interfere with their magic and screw up their spell. An armor's spell failure chance is listed in the Equipment chapter of the CRB.

The boxes at the right of the sheet are where you write down how many spells of a given spell level your character knows, the save DC of your spells (DC mod above + spell level), and how many times per day he can use them. This information is all indicated on the class tables for the bard, cleric, druid, paladin, ranger, sorcerer, and wizard. Additionally, if you have a particularly high casting stat, you gain bonus spells of certain levels. There is a formula to calculate this, but it's a great deal easier to just turn to CRB page 17 and check the table there.

Bob the fighter has no magic spells of any kind. His spells, spell save, and spells known sections are empty and lonely. Aww...
However, his best friend Alabaster is a pasty white 3rd-level wizard.

Addendum: Magic spells.
Alabaster is an elf with an Intelligence score of 20. 10 plus his Intelligence mod is 15, so he writes down "15" in the Spell Save DC Mod box on his sheet.
A third level wizard gets four 0-level spells, two 1st-level spells, one 2nd-level spell, and his exceedingly high intelligence gives our friend Alie two bonus 1st-level spells and one bonus 2nd-level spell. It also grants him bonus spells of higher levels, but he can't actually use them yet; if you have — spells per day, you can't cast spells of that level, but if you have 0 spells per day, you get bonus spells of that level. Bards do that. Bards are weird.
Anyways, on Alabaster's sheet under spell save DC, we write down his DC mod (15) plus the spell level for each level of spells he can cast; 15 for 0-levels, 16 for 1st-levels, and 17 for 2nd-levels. We write down his spells per day granted from his class under spells per day (4, 2, and 1 respectively), and we write down his bonus spells under, naturally enough, Bonus Spells (2 1st-level and 1 2nd-level).
Being a wizard, alabaster has to keep a spell book that contains all of his known spells. Character sheets rarely present an elegant way to do this, so Alabaster's player has attached a sheet of loose leaf to his sheet labeled "SPELLBOOK", with all of Alabaster's known spells listed by level. I won't go into how a wizard adds spells to his spellbook, but I will tell you our friend Alabaster's spellbook contains 19 0-level spells, 10 1st-level spells, and 4 2nd-level spells. At the beginning of a game day when Alabaster prepares his spells, he refers to his one-page loose leaf spellbook and picks out an appropriate number of spells of each level to write, in pencil and very lightly, in the Spells area of his sheet. It obviously has to be legible, but you want to write it lightly so it's easier to erase when a new day brings a new spell list.

Step 10: Play the damn game!
You're done. You have a completed character sheet. Go find some other people that are as nerdy as you are, get some dice, and have some fun. Go on. Get out of here. Go play. Scoot. Get off the computer and go pretend to be an elf. It'll be great.

Don't come back until you've slain an orc.

This is amusing.... AND I may need it sometime.

I have some new players who need to read this.

I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?

Liberty's Edge

Lunamaria Hawke wrote:
I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?

I guess if you really wanted to you could just write "VAXSGBSTPAC-HIBGDK 3," but then you just sound like a robot. ^_^

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Lunamaria Hawke wrote:
I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?

Vash works too.

The Exchange

Lunamaria Hawke wrote:
I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?

Just abberviate the name. :)

The Exchange

VikingIrishman wrote:
Lunamaria Hawke wrote:
I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?
I guess if you really wanted to you could just write "VAXSGBSTPAC-HIBGDK 3," but then you just sound like a robot. ^_^

lol love it

I am not finding the whole "four times this number at 1st-level" in the book. can you point me in the right direction to find it please?

Nicap wrote:
I am not finding the whole "four times this number at 1st-level" in the book. can you point me in the right direction to find it please?

You won't find it because it hasn't existed since 3.5.

Shun VikingIrishman! Shun! Shun!

3 mistakes I saw:

1) no more 4x skill points at 1st level
2) Paladins use Cha for casting
3) Bards no longer have 0 base spells per day when gaining new spell levels. Rangers and Paladins do though.

Thanks Cheapy and Darigaaz!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nanamber wrote:
Lunamaria Hawke wrote:
I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. how I am suppose to fit this in that tiny line?
Vash works too.

Love and peace, sir. :D

Liberty's Edge

GASP! Imagine my surprise at even seeing this on the first page of the Advice section only to discover that my update of the document still contained pre-PF artifacts. If only the first post were editable and/or I'd had the foresight to just make the damn thing a Google Doc.

Thanks, by the way, to Cheapy and Darigaaz. Any more inaccuracies should be pointed out by any that see them.

Thank you so much, my friend just got the game, and thanks to this, I was able to take the initiative to complete my character, I am Dullahan, half-elf from Ireland, fighter/ranger. -bows- Thank you

Liberty's Edge

If I might add something: don't forget that you can download and print the official Paizo character sheet for free from

For filling out, mention that you want to use a pencil. Sucks to have to print out another sheet and redo everything because you used a pen after you leveled up.

Liberty's Edge

Someone mentioned the lack of mentioning how to fill in Archetypes for the classes. Some of them seem to be going around, if you know what I mean.

Grand Lodge

Excellent tool! However, if you can delete the post and repost it with edits, it will be more helpful for new players like myself.

There should be place to wrote racial traits and weapon and armor proficiency. Or where to wrote spell-like abilities for gnome race? Just to spell list?
Anyway, thank you for this, some things are clearer for me now. :)

I see a problem with the fighter class, there is in fact special abilities that a fighter gets. "The following special abilities include rules commonly used by a number of creatures, spells, and traps. 'Extraordinary Abilities (EX): Extraordinary abilities are non magical. They are, however, not something that just anyone can do or even learn to do without extensive training.'" this is found on pg. 554 of the CRB.

Furthermore, stated on pg. 221 that "any abilities that are not designated as (EX), (SP) or (SU) are known as natural abilities because of there physical nature". So therefore, to say a fighter does not get Special Abilities is incorrect. When in fact "Bravery (EX), Armor Training (EX), Weapons Training (EX), Armor Mastery (EX)and Weapon Mastery (EX) are indeed Special Abilities.

Just thought I would share as I was a bit confused on the fighter section ;p.

this was VERY helpful much thanks from Phyra and G.M. Barbaric 1...GAME ON !!

why isnt there a place to show your class on the character sheet?

Thank you. This was very helpful and fun to read.

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