The Basics

Character Creation Outline

0) Get some Dice!

The Core Mechanic:

Whenever you attempt an action that has some chance of failure, you roll a twenty-sided die (d20). To determine if your character succeeds at a task you do this:

o Roll a d20.

o Add any relevant modifiers.

o Compare the result to a target number.

If the result equals or exceeds the target number, your character succeeds. If the result is lower than the target number, you fail.


Dice rolls are described with expressions such as “3d4+3,” which means “roll three four-sided dice and add 3” (resulting in a number between 6 and 15). The first number tells you how many dice to roll (adding the results together). The number immediately after the “d” tells you the type of die to use. Any number after that indicates a quantity that is added or subtracted from the result.

d%: Percentile dice work a little differently. You generate a number between 1 and 100 by rolling two different ten-sided dice. One (designated before you roll) is the tens digit. The other is the ones digit. Two 0s represent 100.


In general, if you wind up with a fraction, round down, even if the fraction is one-half or larger.

Exception: Certain rolls, such as damage and hit points, have a minimum of 1.


Sometimes a rule makes you multiply a number or a die roll. As long as you’re applying a single multiplier, multiply the number normally. When two or more multipliers apply to any abstract value (such as a modifier or a die roll), however, combine them into a single multiple, with each extra multiple adding 1 less than its value to the first multiple. Thus, a double (×2) and a double (×2) applied to the same number results in a triple (×3, because 2 + 1 = 3).

When applying multipliers to real-world values (such as weight or distance), normal rules of math apply instead. A creature whose size doubles (thus multiplying its weight by 8) and then is turned to stone (which would multiply its weight by a factor of roughly 3) now weighs about 24 times normal, not 10 times normal. Similarly, a blinded creature attempting to negotiate difficult terrain would count each square as 4 squares (doubling the cost twice, for a total multiplier of ×4), rather than as 3 squares (adding 100% twice).

1) Get a Character Sheet

You can either use an online sheet such as or a downloaded PDF, or for a true old-school feel, a standard piece of lined paper, whichever is most convenient for you and agreeable with your GM. Many GM’s like to be able to refer to a player’s character sheet between sessions so it is more common now to use some sort of online resource but use whatever works for you and your GM. There are even nice character generator programs available, many for FREE!

2) Determine Ability Scores

Start by generating your character’s ability scores. These six scores determine your character’s most basic attributes and are used to decide a wide variety of details and statistics. Some class selections require you to have better than average scores for some of your abilities. There are several methods to choose from for generating these scores so consult your GM to determine which method he is using.

If your GM is using a point buy method, the point amounts and costs of attributes are included at right for your convenience.

Note: Your choice of race will offer one or more bonuses to apply to your Ability Scores.

Point Buy: If you will be using a “point-buy” method, the two following tables include the costs of purchasing ability scores.



Each ability, after changes made because of race, has a modifier ranging from -5 to +5. Table: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells shows the modifier for each score. It also shows bonus spells, which you’ll need to know about if your character is a spellcaster.

The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to

that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that aren’t die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty.

Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells
 ———– Bonus Spells (by Spell Level) ———–
1-5———– Can’t cast spells tied to this ability ———
2-3-4———– Can’t cast spells tied to this ability ———
4-5-3———– Can’t cast spells tied to this ability ———
6-7-2———– Can’t cast spells tied to this ability ———
8-9-1———– Can’t cast spells tied to this ability ———
etc. .           


The ability that governs bonus spells depends on what type of spellcaster your character is: Intelligence for wizards; Wisdom for clerics, druids, paladins, and rangers; or Charisma for sorcerers and bards. In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of high enough class level to be able to cast spells of a given spell level.


Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of his or her actions.

3) Choose a Race

Pick a race, applying any modifiers to your ability scores and any other racial traits. Each race lists the languages a character of that race automatically knows, as well as a number of bonus languages it may learn. A character knows a number of additional bonus languages equal to his or her Intelligence modifier.

Note: See the Linguistics skill for more information pertaining to Languages.

RaceAbility Bonus
Dwarf+2 Con, +2 Wis, –2 Cha
Elf+2 Dex, +2 Int, –2 Con
Gnome+2 Con, +2 Cha, –2 Str
Half Elf+2 to one ability score (your choice)
Halfling+2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Str
Half Orc+2 to one ability score (your choice)
Human+2 to one ability score (your choice)

4) Choose a Class

A character’s class represents a profession, such as fighter or wizard. If this is a new character, he or she starts at 1st level in this chosen class. As the character gains experience points (XP) for defeating monsters, he goes up in level, granting him new powers and abilities.

If your character is a spell caster that prepares spells (such as a wizard) you will need to determine the spells your character starts with. Consult your GM to determine this list.

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

Core Classes


  • Barbarian
  • Bard
  • Cleric
  • Druid
  • Fighter
  • Monk
  • Paladin
  • Ranger
  • Rogue
  • Sorcerer
  • Wizard

5) Allocate Skill Ranks

Discussion of Skills via Youtube

Determine the number of skill ranks your character gets based on his class and Intelligence modifier (and any other bonuses, such as the bonus received by humans).

Class Skills Each class has a number of favored skills, called class skills. Refer to Skills Summary and look for your chosen class across the top row (abbreviated name.) Look down the column for your chosen class. Any skill with a “C” in it is a Class Skill for your class. It is easier for your character to become more proficient in these skills, as they represent part of his professional training and constant practice. You gain a +3 bonus on all class skills that you put ranks into.

Then allocate these ranks to desired skills, but remember that you cannot have more ranks than your level in any one skill (for a starting character, this is usually one).

Each level thereafter, your character gains a number of skill ranks dependent upon your class plus your Intelligence modifier. Investing a rank in a skill represents a measure of training in that skill.

You can refer to Table: Skill Ranks (below) to determine your starting Skill ranks.

Note: Humans gain an additional skill rank at first level and one additional rank whenever they gain a level.

ClassSkill Ranks per Level
(+Intelligence modifier)

6) Choose Feats

Determine how many feats your character receives, based on his class and level, and select them from those presented in Feats.

  • All characters begin with 1 feat.
  • If your characters race is human you get 1 additional feat (for a total of 2).
  • If your characters class is fighter you get another feat (total 3).


  • Character is 1st level but is not a human and is not a fighter: Character gets 1 feat.
  • Character is 1st level and is a human or a fighter (but not both): Character gets 2 feats.
  • Character is a 1st level human fighter: Character gets 3 feats.

7) Determine Starting Hit Points (HP)

A character starts with maximum hit points at 1st level (the maximum number on its Hit Die) or if its first Hit Die roll is for a character class level.

To determine a hit points for levels beyond 1st, roll the dice indicated by its Hit Dice. Creatures whose first Hit Die comes from an NPC class or from his race roll their first Hit Die normally.


8) Get Equipped

Each new character begins the game with an amount of gold, based on his class, that can be spent on a wide range of equipment and gear, from chainmail armor to leather backpacks. This gear helps your character survive while adventuring. Usually you cannot use this starting money to buy magic items without the consent of your GM.

The armor or other protective devices you purchase may affect his starting Armor Class (AC), so once you have purchased armor or other protective devices you can determine your Armor Class (AC).

ClassStarting WealthAverage
Alchemist3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Barbarian3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Bard3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Cavalier5d6 × 10 gp175 gp
Cleric4d6 × 10 gp140 gp
Druid2d6 × 10 gp70 gp
Fighter5d6 x 10 gp175 gp
Gunslinger5d6 x 10 gp175 gp
Inquisitor4d6 × 10 gp140 gp
Magus4d6 × 10 gp140 gp
Monk1d6 × 10 gp35 gp
Ninja4d6 × 10 gp140 gp
Oracle3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Paladin5d6 × 10 gp175 gp
Ranger5d6 × 10 gp175 gp
Rogue4d6 × 10 gp140 gp
Samurai3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Sorcerer2d6 × 10 gp70 gp
Summoner2d6 × 10 gp70 gp
Witch3d6 × 10 gp105 gp
Wizard2d6 × 10 gp70 gp

Making a Character Above 1st level

If you are creating a character or creature at a level other than 1st you should consult your GM and the Wealth for Higher Level PC’s table to determine your starting gold. See Table: Character Wealth by Level for details.

PC Level*Wealth
21,000 gp
33,000 gp
46,000 gp
510,500 gp
616,000 gp
723,500 gp
833,000 gp
946,000 gp
1062,000 gp
1182,000 gp
12108,000 gp
13140,000 gp
14185,000 gp
15240,000 gp
16315,000 gp
17410,000 gp
18530,000 gp
19685,000 gp
20880,000 gp
* For 1st-level PCs, see Equipment.

9) Determine Saving Throws, Initiative, and Attack Values.

Determine all of the character’s other mechanical details, such as his or her saving throws, initiative modifier, and attack values. All of these numbers are determined by the decisions made in previous steps, usually determined by your class choice.

10) Description & Personality

Choose or make up a name for your character, determine his or her age, alignment, and physical appearance (such as height, weight, eye and hair color etc). It is helpful to think of a few unique personality traits as well, to help you play the character during the game.


11) Other (Starting Spells)

If your character is a wizard (or any class that uses spellbooks) then you need to pick spells. A wizard begins play with a spellbook containing all 0-level wizard spells (except those from his prohibited schools, if any; see Arcane Schools) plus three 1st-level wizard spells of his choice. The wizard also selects a number of additional 1st-level wizard spells equal to his Intelligence modifier to add to the spellbook. At each new wizard level, he gains two new spells of any spell level or levels that he can cast (based on his new wizard level) for his spellbook. At any time, a wizard can also add spells found in other wizards’ spellbooks to his own (see Magic).