Character Creation | Mechanics | Players


Character Creation

Starting Level

Characters begin the campaign at 1st level with 0 XP. Characters created after the start of the campaign begin with just enough XP to reach the same level as the lowest level member of the party, including dead characters.


Player characters are built using a level-dependent method point buy. This method is a variant of the purchase method described on page 15 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook. Characters built using a level-dependent point buy do not receive regular ability score increases at levels 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20.

1st level characters are built according to the purchase method. For every even level that they gain, characters gain two additional points that they may save or spend to increase their ability scores. For every odd level, they receive one additional point. The costs to increase an ability score follow the same progression as the purchase method, but ability scores may now be increased past 18. An extended progression table has been provided below. Characters who choose not to increase their ability scores upon gaining a level must wait until they gain another level before spending any points to increase their ability scores.

Score Cost Points Score Cost Points
−7 −2 −4 16 3 10
−8 −1 −2 17 3 13
−9 −1 −1 18 4 17
10 0 0 19 4 21
11 1 1 20 5 26
12 1 2 21 5 31
13 1 3 22 6 37
14 2 5 23 6 43
15 2 7 24 7 50


Alignment defines the base motivations of characters. A character’s chosen alignment should be reflected in his attitudes and actions. Characters who fail to live up to their alignments and do not take corrective action will find their alignments changed to one more befitting their behavior.

Everything except for the following four statements in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook is considered non-normative commentary on alignment:

  • Good characters and creatures protect innocent life.
  • Evil characters and creatures debase or destroy innocent life, often for fun or profit.
  • Lawful characters tell the truth, keep their word, respect authority, honor tradition, and judge those who fall short of their duties.
  • Chaotic characters follow their consciences, resent being told what to do, favor new ideas of tradition, and do what they promise if they feel like it.

Starting Age

Characters beginning play in the middle age, old, or venerable age categories do not received the bonuses associated with those categories.


Characters receive two traits. One of these traits must be a campaign trait from the Pathfinder Adventure Path: Shattered Star Player’s Guide. The other trait must be a non-campaign trait from any other allowed source.

Wealth and Lifestyle

1st level characters begin play with 150 gp. Higher level characters begin play with gold and gear according to guidelines listed on page 400 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook.

All characters begin play in the destitute cost of living bracket unless they pay for a higher one. Page 405 of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Core Rulebook details the cost of living brackets and their monthly costs.


Falling Damage

Falling damage and damage taken from falling objects is expressed in terms of d10s instead of d6s.

Hit Points

Characters receive the maximum value from the first hit die that they gain. Each subsequent hit die they gain grants the average value rounded up for its type.



Spell combat functions “much like two-weapon fighting”, meaning that it is affected by haste “much like two-weapon fighting”.


Knowledge Checks

Knowledge checks may not benefit from outside aid (such as the aid another action or spells like guidance) unless that check is made using a library.

Social Skills and Crowds

Target DCs for Diplomacy, Bluff, and Intimidate are modified based on the size of the crowd being addressed per the following table.

Crowd Size
Small (< 25 creatures) +0 DC
Medium (26–100 creatures) +2 DC
Large (101–300 creatures) +3 DC
Massive (>301 creatures) +4 DC


You are skilled at avoiding detection, allowing you to slip past foes or strike from an unseen position. This skill covers hiding and moving silently.

Check: Your Stealth check sets the Perception DC for people to notice you.

Someone who can directly observe you treats the result of your roll as 0. While using Stealth, you move at half speed. If you move faster than half speed but no more than your normal speed, you take a −5 penalty to your Stealth check. You may not use Stealth while attacking (including between swings in a full-attack action), running, or charging, and Stealth ends immediately if you perform any of those actions. If you make an attack after using Stealth, and the target of your attack does not perceive you, your attack (or first attack in a full-attack action) ignores their Dexterity bonus to AC.

Creatures receive a bonus or penalty to their Stealth checks based on their size: Fine +16, Diminutive +12, Tiny +8, Small +4, Medium +0, Large −4, Huge −8, Gargantuan −12, Colossal −16.

Sniping: If you’ve already successfully used Stealth at least 10 feet from your target, you can make one ranged attack and then immediately use Stealth again. You take a −10 penalty on your Stealth check to maintain your obscured location.

Creating a Diversion to Hide: As a standard action, you may make a Bluff check opposed by the Sense Motive checks of your opponents, move up to your speed, and then make a Stealth check at a −10 penalty. Those who fail their Sense Motive checks are treated as not directly observing you for the purpose of resolving your Stealth check.

Action: Stealth checks are made as part of other (including free) actions unless otherwise noted. You are treated as unnoticed by those who do not beat your Stealth check until the beginning of your next action or the end of your turn, whichever comes first.

Special: If you are invisible, you gain a +40 bonus on Stealth checks if you are immobile, or a +20 bonus on Stealth checks if you’re moving.

Stealth and Existing Material

When using existing material with the revised Stealth rules, keep the following in mind:

  • When material describes situations that prevent a character from making a Stealth check, assume that they instead indicate that the result of that character’s check would be treated as 0.
  • Cover and concealment are necessary but not sufficient to deny direct observation.
  • Replace the third sentence of the paragraph on bright light (page 172, Vision and Light) with the following: If a creature with concealment makes a Stealth check, treat the result as 0 unless the concealment also blocks line of sight.



Characters may not take the Leadership feat.

Thunder and Fang

Thunder and Fang may be used in place of Improved Shield Bash to meet feat prerequisites, but then those feats work only with the klar.

Weapon and Armor Special Abilities


The bashing shield special ability does not stack with increased damage granted by shield spikes.


When a character performs a shield bash using a shield with defending shield spikes, the enhancement bonus to attack and damage rolls granted by the Shield Master feat is reduced by an amount equal to the amount transferred from the enhancement bonus of the shield spikes to that character’s AC.



When a player is unable to attend a session, that player’s character is put into the background (‘backgrounded’). A backgrounded character does not participate in the session and remains in camp or in town when possible. Instead of gaining XP along with the party, backgrounded characters receive another kind of XP called rest XP (at a rate of 28% per session).

Rest XP is extra XP that a character receives in addition to XP gained through regular play. It is tracked as a percentage of the total amount of XP required to gain a level. When characters with rest XP gains XP, they gain an additional point of XP from their rest XP for each point they gain normally until their rest XP pool is exhausted. If the character gains a level during this process, the pool is recalculated accordingly based on the new level.

For example, Tarban is a 1st level barbarian with 1,300 XP and 10% rest XP, which represents an additional 200 XP (= 10% of 2,000 XP to go from 1st to 2nd level) that he can gain. After a session of adventuring, he and his companions each receive 100 XP, but Tarban receives an additional 100 XP due to his rest XP. His rest XP is reduced to 5% to reflect the amount withdrawn from the pool.

Table Etiquette

Please try to keep table distractions to a minimum. In particular, please refrain from using a laptop during play. In my experience, they tend to be a distraction to both the player using it as well as the other players at the table. Because they tend to be more discret, tablets and smartphones are okay, but please do not allow them to become a distraction either.

Please come prepared to play each week with feats, spells, special abilities, and so on written down with the relevant modifiers and dice pools. Stopping to look material really slows down the pace of the game. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence.


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