December 13, 2013
Let’s Build A Character For Pathfinder (Part 3)
Our Pathfinder character, Anarkis Razinari, is almost done. We have his name, race, class, alignment, attributes, skills, special abilities, and feats all done. All we have left is his magic, equipment, and final calculations. So, let’s dive right in.
Pathfinder uses the Vancian Magic system, which can take some time to get used to for new players. For old hats like me, it is second nature. First, I figure up his base spell difficulty (DC). In other words, how hard it is for others to resist his magic. To do this, we start at a base of ten and add his relevant attribute modifier, which for bards is charisma. He has a charisma of 16, which gives a plus three modifier, and so his base spell save is a 13. Not bad for a first level character. Looking at the chart for bards and spellcasting, we see that a first level bard knows four cantrips (level zero spells) and two first level spells. Now, if I was using every Pathfinder book out there, I would have a great deal of options for what spells I would take for him and I would likely be here all night. For the purposes of this example build, I am only going to use spells out of the Core Rulebook. Looking at the list of bard spells, I select Detect Magic, Ghost Sound, Lullaby, and Prestidigitation for his cantrips and the spells Charm Person and Sleep for his first level spells.
Next we come to selecting what equipment he will start with. According to the section regarding purchasing gear, we will see that bards begin play with 3d6x10 gold, meaning the roll of three six-sided dice added together and multipled by ten. My roll ends up as a six, a two, and a four which totals twelve, multiplied gives me 120 gold with which to equip our daring scoundrel. Having noted his proficiencies earlier, we know that bards can wear light armor, so going over the light armor I will buy him a suit of studded leather, costing 25 of his gold. I also buy him a rapier as his main weapon (20 gold) adding to his swashbuckler-like nature, and a spell component pouch for his magic (five gold). I also buy a number of other things like torches, rope, rations, and various other bits of adventuring gear. Once all of that is said and done, I find that he has 18 gold and six silver with which to start his adventure, the remainder of that 120 gold I started with.
At last we come to the final step: figuring out his derived values. The Core Rulebook guides you through this part of building a character. It includes determining your starting hit points, your Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saves, your Armor Class, speed, initiative, attack bonuses, spells per day (if you are a magic user like Anarkis here), and totaling up your skills. Once this is all done, you are finally ready to start your adventure. Anarkis Razinari is at last finished and ready to steal the hearts of young ladies and the coin purses from corrupt nobles, all with a smile on his lips and a song in his heart.
And that is what it takes to build a character for Pathfinder.
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