You are viewing the legacy Pathfinder Reference Document website. Archives of Nethys to provide the online version of the Pathfinder RPG rules at pfrd. Playing the Game While playing the Pathfinder RPG, the Game Master describes the events that occur in the game world, and the players take turns describing what their characters do in response to those events. If you need to roll multiple dice of the same type, there will be a number before the “d. For example, if you are required to roll 4d6, you should roll four six-sided dice and add the results together.
As your character goes on adventures, he earns gold, magic items, and experience points. Gold can be used to purchase better equipment, while magic items possess powerful abilities that enhance your character. Experience points are awarded for overcoming challenges and completing major storylines. When your character has earned enough experience points, he increases his character level by one, granting him new powers and abilities that allow him to take on even greater challenges. The Most Important Rule The rules presented are here to help you breathe life into your characters and the world they explore. While they are designed to make your game easy and exciting, you might find that some of them do not suit the style of play that your gaming group enjoys. Remember that these rules are yours. You can change them to fit your needs. Most Game Masters have a number of “house rules” that they use in their games.
Common Terms The Pathfinder RPG uses a number of terms, abbreviations, and definitions in presenting the rules of the game. The following are among the most common. Ability Score: Each creature has six ability scores: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. These scores represent a creature’s most basic attributes. The higher the score, the more raw potential and talent your character possesses. Action: An action is a discrete measurement of time during a round of combat. Using abilities, casting spells, and making attacks all require actions to perform. Alignment: Alignment represents a creature’s basic moral and ethical attitude.
Alignment has two components: one describing whether a creature is lawful, neutral, or chaotic, followed by another that describes whether a character is good, neutral, or evil. Alignments are usually abbreviated using the first letter of each alignment component, such as LN for lawful neutral or CE for chaotic evil. Creatures that are neutral in both components are denoted by a single “N. All creatures in the game have an Armor Class. This score represents how hard it is to hit a creature in combat. As with other scores, higher is better. Each creature has a base attack bonus and it represents its skill in combat.
As a character gains levels or Hit Dice, his base attack bonus improves. Bonus: Bonuses are numerical values that are added to checks and statistical scores. Caster level represents a creature’s power and ability when casting spells. When a creature casts a spell, it often contains a number of variables, such as range or damage, that are based on the caster’s level. Class: Classes represent chosen professions taken by characters and some other creatures. Classes give a host of bonuses and allow characters to take actions that they otherwise could not, such as casting spells or changing shape. As a creature gains levels in a given class, it gains new, more powerful abilities. Most PCs gain levels in the core classes or prestige classes, since these are the most powerful. Check: A check is a d20 roll which may or may not be modified by another value. The most common types are attack rolls, ability checks, skill checks, and saving throws.