Just as your character’s ancestry plays a key role in expressing her identity and worldview, her class indicates the training she has developed and will improve upon as an adventurer. Groups of players often wish to create characters whose skills and abilities synergize mechanically, and in this respect, choosing your character’s class is perhaps the most important decision you will make for her.
Although there are a limited number of character classes from which you can choose, there are unlimited character concepts that these rules allow you to bring to life. Perhaps your character is a brilliant but scatterbrained alchemist who can rattle off complex formulas for alchemical items but has trouble remembering his best friend’s birthday. Or perhaps she’s a muscle-bound swordswoman who becomes as immovable as a mountain when she hoists a shield.
Maybe your character is a hot-tempered sorcerer whose gesticulating fingers pulse with light from an angelic ancestor. The choices you make for your character within her class—such as a cleric’s choice of god, a fighter’s choice of weapon, or a sorcerer’s bloodline— bring these visions to life within the context of the rules.
The following entries describe the 12 core classes, containing the information you need to play a character of that class from level 1 to 20. Once you choose your character’s class, the game’s rules provide optional archetypes that allow you to further customize her abilities, though these rules are not recommended for beginners. Additionally, the game includes multiclass archetypes that allow her to gain abilities from other classes.
Reading Class Entries
Each class entry includes information about typical members of the class, as well as suggestions for roleplaying characters of that class and playing such characters in the game’s various modes. Each class provides your character with an ability boost in a key ability score, a number of Hit Points she receives at each level, her proficiencies in various abilities and equipment, signature skills in which she can excel, special abilities from her class features, and more. Your character’s class entry also provides all of the information needed when she gains levels, so it will be a vital reference to you throughout the course of your campaign.
The elements of each entry are described below.
Playing the Class
This section suggests ways to use abilities and skills that the class provides your character in the game’s various modes of play. You aren’t obligated to play your character as this section describes, but it is a helpful guideline.
Roleplaying the Class
This section provides background information about the interests and tendencies of typical members of the class, as well as information about how others in the world tend to view such characters. This can help inspire you in how you determine your character’s actions and define her personality.
This is the ability score that you’ll use to determine the Difficulty Class (DC) associated with your character’s class features or feats. This is called your class DC. If your character is of a spellcasting class, this key ability is also used to calculate spell DCs and similar values. Most classes are associated with one key ability score, but some require you to choose from two options.
Additionally, when you choose your character’s class, she gains an ability boost in her key ability.
This tells you how many Hit Points your character gains from her class at each level. To determine your character’s Just as your character’s ancestry plays a key role in expressing her identity and worldview, her class indicates the training she has developed and will improve upon as an adventurer. Groups of players often wish to create characters whose skills and abilities synergize mechanically, and in this respect, choosing your character’s class is perhaps the most important decision you will make for her.
Starting Hit Points, add together the Hit Points she receives from her ancestry, her Constitution modifier, and the number listed in this entry.
Each time your character gains a level, she receives an additional number of Hit Points equal to this number plus her Constitution modifier.
This lists the degree to which your character is trained in key aspects of the game’s mechanics. This training is called her proficiency rank, and your character’s proficiency rank in a mechanic determines her modifier when she makes a roll using that mechanic. Proficiency ranks range from untrained to legendary, and the associated modifiers range from your character’s level minus 2 to her level plus 3.
Each class entry typically specifies your character’s proficiency rank in Perception, saving throws, weapons, and armor. If a mechanic isn’t listed in your character’s class entry, her proficiency rank in that mechanic is considered untrained unless she gains training from another source.
Additionally, this section indicates the number of skills in which your character is trained. When you choose your character’s class, you also select a number of skills equal to this number; your character gains the trained proficiency rank in those skills. If your character has a high Intelligence score, she’s trained in a higher number of skills.
Spellcasting classes provide proficiency in spells, which is further detailed in each class’s entry.
This entry lists the skills in which members of your character’s class are naturally adept. In most cases, it’s a good idea to allocate your character’s starting skill proficiencies to her signature skills, though doing so is not required. At higher levels, your character can increase her proficiency ranks in these skills to master or legendary.
She typically cannot do so in nonsignature skills.
This table summarizes the abilities, feats, skill increases, ability boosts, and other benefits your character gains as she advances in level. The first column of the class table indicates a level, and the second column lists each feature your character receives when she reaches that level. The 1st-level entry includes a reminder to select your ancestry and background.
This section lists all the abilities a class grants your character. Abilities gained at higher levels list the requisite levels next to the features’ names. Class features include the sections detailed below.
This section specifies the levels at which your character gains class feats, which are special feats that only members of her class can access. Class feats are granted beginning at 1st or 2nd level, depending on the class. Specific class feats are detailed at the end of each class entry.
This section specifies the levels at which your character gains a feat with the skill trait, called a skill feat. At 2nd level and every 2 levels thereafter, most classes gain a skill feat, though rogues gain them earlier and more often. Your character must be at least trained in the corresponding skill to take a skill feat.
This section specifies the levels at which your character gains a general feat. Most classes grant a general feat at 3rd level and every 4 levels thereafter. At each of these levels, you can select any general feat (including skill feats) as long as your character qualifies for it.
This section specifies the levels at which your character can increase her proficiency rank in a skill. At 3rd level and every 2 levels thereafter, most classes grant a skill increase, though rogues gain them earlier and more often.
Your character can use this skill increase to either become trained in one skill in which she’s untrained or become an expert in one skill in which she’s already trained.
If your character is at least 7th level, she can use this skill increase to become a master of a signature skill of which she’s already an expert. If she’s at least 15th level, she can use this increase to become legendary in a signature skill of which she’s already a master.
At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, your character boosts four different ability scores. Your character can use these ability boosts to increase her ability scores above 18. Boosting an ability score increases it by 1 if it’s already 18 or above, or by 2 if it starts out below 18.
This section serves as a reminder of the ancestry feat your character gains at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels.