This page details the steps for creating a character for the Pathfinder Society. These steps mirror those in the Pathfinder Core Rulebook with a few additional Roleplaying Guild-specific rules and benefits.
There is no standard character sheet format required. The only requirements are that it must be legible, clear, and reviewable by the GM. Blank analog character sheets for Pathfinder 2nd edition can be found:
- Paizo’s Pathfinder Page.
- Direct Link: Black and White
- Direct Link: Color
Digital characters sheets are available at:
Players may use any Paizo published books or supplements they own during character creation, provided the options are valid per the Character Options document, Players residing in the same household may share owned resources. Options in the Core Rulebook, the Pathfinder Bestiary (Second Edition), and Lost Omens: World Guide are considered always available resources regardless of ownership.
Character Creation Guidelines
The following steps elaborate and expand on character creation for Pathfinder Society characters. (Core Rulebook 21)
1. Create a concept
Remember, your character is a member of the Pathfinder Society first and foremost, and as such, your character should be able to work with any other Pathfinder, and abide by the Society’s Motto – “Explore, Report, Cooperate”.
2. Start Building Ability Scores
Pathfinder Society uses the standard method detailed under “Ability Score Overview” on Core Rulebook 20. Your character can also take two additional ability flaws to gain one additional ability boost as described below.
|Sometimes, it’s fun to play a character with a major flaw even if you’re not playing an ancestry that imposes one. You can elect to take two additional ability flaws when applying the ability boosts and ability flaws from your ancestry. If you do, you can also apply one additional free ability boost. These ability flaws can be assigned to any ability score you like, but you can’t apply more than one ability flaw to the same ability score during this step unless you apply both of the additional ability flaws to a score that is already receiving an ability boost during this step. In this case, the first ability flaw cancels the ability boost, and the second ability flaw decreases the score by 2. Likewise, as an exception to the normal rules for ability boosts, you can apply two free ability boosts to an ability score receiving an ability flaw during this step; the first ability boost cancels the ability flaw, and the second ability boost increases the score by 2. For example, a dwarf normally gets an ability boost to Constitution and Wisdom, along with an ability flaw to Charisma. You could apply one ability flaw each to Intelligence and Strength, or you could apply both ability flaws to Wisdom. You could not apply either additional ability flaw to Charisma, though, because it is already receiving dwarves’ ability flaw during this step.|
3. Select an Ancestry
Ancestry follows the normal rules in the Core Rulebook, with minor modifications to adapt to the languages of Golarion. The Pathfinder society does not permit Half-elves or Half-orcs of ancestries other than Human. In addition to the common ancestries in the core rule book, Characters also have access to the following ancestries provide the player owns the corresponding book:
- Leshy (from Lost Omen Character Guide)
- Kobold (from Advanced Players Guide)
Because your ancestry is one of the first things you pick about your character, and it is not possible to retrain your ancestry as you might retrain other options, the only way to select uncommon or rarer ancestries is with a boon that allows you to create a new character of this ancestry.
When you create a character, you can decide where they have come from, including their ethnicity (Core Rulebook 430-431), nationality, and region of origin (Core Rulebook 420-429). These choices might allow your character to take certain character options Access conditions. For instance, humans of Jadwiga ethnicity descend from the witch-queens of Irrisen, and they can take the Irriseni Ice-Witch feat to represent this connection. Similarly, characters from the Broken Lands have access to the Aldori dueling swords that are iconic to that region.
For Nationality, Choose one nation (such as Varisia or Taldor). You are considered a citizen of that nation. For the purpose of fulfilling prerequisites and Access conditions for uncommon character options, you are treated as being from that nation as well as the larger region in which it’s found, (such as the Saga Lands for Varisia or the Shining Kingdoms for Taldor). More information on the Nations of Golarion is available in the Lost Omens: World Guide
If your character is of mixed ethnicity or comes from multiple regions of origin, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one ethnicity and one region of origin that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.
Certain boons, such as Home Region or Multicultural Training, can allow you to change or expand your character’s origin for the purpose of qualifying for character options, to reflect their life experiences.
All Pathfinder Society characters are literate and speak Common (Taldan) as well as any other languages granted by their ancestry. All Pathfinder Society characters have access to all common and uncommon modern regional languages. Regional languages are defined on page 432 of the Core Rulebook, however Pathfinder Society characters are not limited to the 9 regional languages on that page. All Pathfinder Society characters begin with one additional Regional language.
4. Pick A Background
Players who participated in the Pathfinder Society (first edition) campaign have access to Legacy Backgrounds in addition to the backgrounds starting on page 60 of the Core Rulebook.
5. Choose A Class
All Pathfinder Society characters begin at 1st level, although some boons allow a character to immediately advance to 2nd or 3rd level at the end of character creation
6. Determine Ability Scores
The Pathfinder Society follows the standard rules for Determining Ability scores
7. Record Class Details
The Pathfinder society follows all the standard rules for Class Details.
8. Buy Equipment
All characters in Pathfinder Society begin with the standard 15 gold pieces (150 silver pieces) that can be spent on starting gear. Chapter 6 of the Core Rulebook has a wide array of useful starting gear. Page 289 of the Core Rulebook includes class kits, prebuilt selections of gear tailored to each of the core classes. You can also spend your wealth to purchase additional gear, as described in the Purchasing Guidelines.
9. Calculate Modifiers
Calculate your character’s Perception, Saving Throws, Strikes, and Skill modifiers as described on page 27 of the Core Rulebook.
10. Finishing Details
Players cannot play evil characters. When choosing an alignment, be sure it satisfies any alignment requirements for your character’s class.
When you create a character, you can choose their religion or philosophy. If your character is of a class that directly interacts with the divine, such as a cleric or a champion, you must make this choice at first level as part of gaining your class abilities. However, characters of any class might be allowed certain character options based on the deity they follow. For instance, all followers of Abadar gain access to Abadar’s flawless scale, a magic item considered holy by the faith.
Characters can worship and gain mechanical benefits from any deity listed in the table of gods on page 437 of the "Core Rulebook" or detailed in "Lost Omens Gods & Magic," so long as their alignment matches one of the deity’s listed follower alignments and the deity is not limited or restricted (see the Character Options document to see if a deity is limited or restricted.) Note that some deities, such as Rovagug or Urgathoa, allow only evil followers; as Society characters cannot be lawful evil, neutral evil, or chaotic evil, these deities cannot be worshiped to gain benefits in Society play. Characters can also be agnostic, atheist, or can follow the tenets of philosophies ("Lost Omens Gods & Magic" 94–101) rather than deities.
Characters can revere deities they do not worship. Revering a deity means that your character might do things like wearing the deity’s holy symbol, attending the deity’s religious services, or performing other acts of obeisance that aren’t rewarded with spells or divine powers. A character can revere as many deities as they wish, but can worship and receive power from only one. If your character reveres multiple deities, then for the purposes of game balance, you choose one deity that your character can use to satisfy prerequisite and access conditions for character options. This affects only the character options you can select, and in no way limits your character’s identity or story.
Characters can also follow pantheons ("Lost Omens Gods & Magic" 92) instead of specific deities, in which case they gain the benefits of the pantheon as a whole. Characters in Society play must choose a patron deity when following a pantheon. They can use both their patron deity and the pantheon as a whole to satisfy access and prerequisites, but not any other deities in the pantheon individually. For instance, a lawful neutral cleric could worship the Godclaw, with Iomedae as her patron deity, in which case she could take options related to both Iomedae and the Godclaw, but this wouldn’t automatically allow her to take options related to Torag, Irori, Abadar, or Asmodeus.
Edicts and Anathema in Society Play
Several characters, such as clerics or champions, must abide by the edicts and anathema of their deity to receive divine powers from that deity. To allow a wide variety of characters in Society play, the rules around edicts and anathema are slightly relaxed. It is generally assumed that all characters can participate in Pathfinder Society adventures without running afoul of their deity’s edicts and anathema—attempting to perform the primary objective of an official Pathfinder Society mission by itself will not cause a character to fall out of favor with their deity. For example, Pharasma prohibits robbing tombs, but a cleric of Pharasma can accept a Society mission to retrieve an artifact from a pyramid, confident that the Society has gone through the proper channels to secure the rights to retrieve the artifact.
While edicts are valorous actions praised by a deity, a character does not need to perform their deity’s edicts to the exclusion of other activities, or if doing so would prevent the smooth progression of play at the table. When considering anathema, note that a character must actively and personally commit an anathemic act in Society play to incur consequences with their deity, and is not liable for the actions of their party members. For instance, a champion of Sarenrae could not personally lie to a guard when infiltrating a city, but they do not need to force the party’s rogue to tell the truth (though they might look on disapprovingly).
Remember that edicts and anathema exist to create roleplaying opportunities at the table for your character, and should not be used by the GM to pressure PCs, or by PCs to pressure other members of the table toward specific styles of play.
Characters must be at least young adults to be accepted as members of the Pathfinder Society.
The beginning of Pathfinder Society games includes character introductions, so consider making a few notes on your character’s appearance, personality, and pronouns to share with other players. The World of Golarion and the Lost Omens: Character Guide both contain information on the campaign setting you can use for this purpose.
Pathfinder uses maps with a standard 1-inch grid to determine movement and tactical positioning in combat, so you need a physical representation of your character to use on the grid. Paizo produces a wide range of Pathfinder Pawns and also works with Reaper Miniatures and WizKids to offer a wide variety of gaming miniatures, so you can find just the right figure for your character.
For digital play, this should be a digital image. Speak to your GM about their preferred image formats and size requirements.
11. Membership in the Pathfinder Society
During their training, Pathfinder initiates attain a certain level of proficiency and background knowledge. To represent this, by default all pathfinders start with Pathfinder Society Lore as a trained lore skill as a bonus skill proficiency. If they would already start with Pathfinder Lore skill from their background, they gain either Academia Lore or Scouting Lore as trained skills.
Some pathfinders spend more or less time studying at the Pathfinder Academy. This is represented by the additional "Schools" options in Additional Character Options. Among other things, this changes the default options for the bonus skill proficiency above.
Other Organization Membership
Through the course of your character’s adventures, you might meet influential members of other organizations and have the opportunity to learn from them. The Secondary Initiation AcP boon can be used to gain membership in an organization and access to its character options.