Building a Character for Pathfinder Society 2nd Edition

As we draw closer to restarting live play in the next couple of months, many of us will need to remember how to play our characters or just build new ones. Since the game plan is going to revolve around a primary focus on Season 2’s metaplot, I am expecting to see new characters for many. Don’t worry, we will be working with the Season 1 metaplot as well for the existing characters and will try to integrate both together in some way.

The basic principles of character building remain the same, but with the release of some of the Lost Omens books and the Advanced Player’s Guide, we have a new type of archetype called the Class Archetype available to us. They act similar to the Multiclass Archetypes, but instead of granting your character access to another class’s feats, Class Archetypes typically expand and enhance your parent class. An example would be a Rogue taking the Acrobat archetype upon reaching Level 2, or a Fighter taking the Cavalier archetype. Those are just two examples out of many. Most of these get selected at 2nd level, but many have some requirements which you will want to consider when building your character.

Let’s just get started. I’ll explain another change specific to Society at the end of the article. One thing that has not changed for 2nd Edition character construction is the player creating a character concept. This is one of the hallmarks of this edition. With classes being nicely balanced, players are able to build a character from a concept. Once you have an idea of what you want the character to be, follow that by filling in the character sheet with the ABC’s of your character. There are plenty of character sheets to work with out there, and some of them are linked in the Resources area of the site. However, there are two very good character building programs out there as well. Both HeroLab Online and Pathbuilder 2 are easy to use and pretty reliable. HLO will let you build a Level One character and print it out, but it requires a subscription for another after that. You also have to buy the expansion books for it if you want to use things from them. But, HLO does have a PFS mode which is very helpful. Pathbuilder 2 works very well, does not require you to purchase new content, but is only available on Android devices right now. A desktop version is being worked upon.

Once you have the ABCs (Ancestry, Background, and Class) of your character figured out you can start to identify your home region and languages your character speaks. Home Region is somewhat important as it establishes some access conditions which you might need for your character concept. In the fourth step, set your attribute point scores on your character sheet. Record your class details, pick your initial feats and skills, and get everything recorded before buying equipment. You will want to pick your character’s alignment, its religion, if any, (Clerics and Champions must choose a valid deity!) and write down your character’s age. Don’t forget they have to be young adults or older. Some may require being older in order to select certain ancestry feats.

Now, let’s look at something that has changed over the last year. There are three schools for the Pathfinder Society. We’ve gotten rid of the point system for selecting schools. Now, you just pick one of the schools. These schools are Spells, Scrolls, and Swords, but a character also could be a Generalist or become Field Commissioned. Each of these choices grants a bonus lore at first level, and a bonus skill feat at 5th level. Each Pathfinder Training (except Field Commission) also grants a bonus consumable at the beginning of each mission.

Pathfinder
Training
Bonus Lore (1st lvl)
(Choose one)
Bonus Feat (5th lvl)
(Choose one)
SpellsAcademia,
Architecture,
Herbalism,
Pathfinder Society
Arcane Sense (CRB 258),
Assurance (CRB 258),
Quick Identification (CRB 264),
or Recognize Spell (CRB 265)
ScrollsAccounting,
Library,
Pathfinder Society,
Scribing
Assurance (CRB 258),
Automatic Knowledge (CRB 258),
Multilingual (CRB 264),
or Streetwise (CRB 267)
SwordsGladiatorial,
Pathfinder Society,
Scouting,
Warfare
Cat Fall (CRB 259),
Armor Assist (APG* 203),
Forager (CRB 261),
or Hefty Hauler (CRB 262)
GeneralistAcademia,
Library,
Pathfinder Society,
Scouting
Battle Medicine (CRB 258),
Courtly Graces (CRB 260),
Multilingual (CRB 264),
or Recognize Spell (CRB 265)
Field
commission
Engineering,
Legal,
Mercantile,
Underworld
Experienced Professional (CRB 261),
Unmistakable Lore (CRB 268),
Bargain Hunter (CRB 258),
or Experienced Smuggler (CRB 261)

CRP = Pathfinder Core Rulebook

APG* = Advanced Player Guide

*This source is not included in the core assumption, you must own this book to select this option.

All of this is contained in the Players tab of the Pathfinder Society (Second Edition) Guide to Organized Play. I strongly advise everyone to go through the Guide to refresh themselves on Society rules for play in our campaign. There are some organizations your characters can join too! I’m going to go into that aspect of character development in the next post. For now though,

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