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All Rules in Basics

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Ability Scores

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 15
Each character has six ability scores that represent his character’s most basic attributes. They are his raw talent and prowess. While a character rarely rolls an ability check (using just an ability score), these scores, and the modifiers they create, affect nearly every aspect of a character’s skills and abilities. Each ability score generally ranges from 3 to 18, although racial bonuses and penalties can alter this; an average ability score is 10.

Generating Ability Scores

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 15
There are a number of different methods used to generate ability scores. Each of these methods gives a different level of flexibility and randomness to character generation.

Racial modifiers (adjustments made to your ability scores due to your character’s race—see Chapter 2) are applied after the scores are generated.

Standard: Roll 4d6, discard the lowest die result, and add the three remaining results together. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is less random than Classic and tends to create characters with above-average ability scores.

Classic: Roll 3d6 and add the dice together. Record this total and repeat the process until you generate six numbers. Assign these results to your ability scores as you see fit. This method is quite random, and some characters will have clearly superior abilities. This randomness can be taken one step further, with the totals applied to specific ability scores in the order they are rolled. Characters generated using this method are difficult to fit to predetermined concepts, as their scores might not support given classes or personalities, and instead are best designed around their ability scores.

Heroic: Roll 2d6 and add 6 to the sum of the dice. Record this total and repeat the process until six numbers are generated. Assign these totals to your ability scores as you see fit. This is less random than the Standard method and generates characters with mostly above-average scores.

Dice Pool: Each character has a pool of 24d6 to assign to his statistics. Before the dice are rolled, the player selects the number of dice to roll for each score, with a minimum of 3d6 for each ability. Once the dice have been assigned, the player rolls each group and totals the result of the three highest dice. For more high-powered games, the GM should increase the total number of dice to 28. This method generates characters of a similar power to the Standard method.

Purchase: Each character receives a number of points to spend on increasing his basic attributes. In this method, all attributes start at a base of 10. A character can increase an individual score by spending some of his points. Likewise, he can gain more points to spend on other scores by decreasing one or more of his ability scores. No score can be reduced below 7 or raised above 18 using this method. See Table 1–1 on the next page for the costs of each score. After all the points are spent, apply any racial modifiers the character might have.

The number of points you have to spend using the purchase method depends on the type of campaign you are playing. The standard value for a character is 15 points. Average nonplayer characters (NPCs) are typically built using as few as 3 points. See Table 1–2 on the next page for a number of possible point values depending on the style of campaign. The purchase method emphasizes player choice and creates equally balanced characters. This system is typically used for organized play events, such as the Pathfinder Society (visit for more details on this exciting campaign).

Table 1-1: Ability Score Costs

Table 1-2: Ability Score Points
Campaign TypePoints
Low Fantasy10
Standard Fantasy15
High Fantasy20
Epic Fantasy25

Determine Bonuses

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 15
Each ability, after changes made because of race, has a modifier ranging from –5 to +5. Table 1–3 shows the modifier for each score. The modifier is the number you apply to the die roll when your character tries to do something related to that ability. You also use the modifier with some numbers that aren’t die rolls. A positive modifier is called a bonus, and a negative modifier is called a penalty. The table also shows bonus spells, which you’ll need to know about if your character is a spellcaster.

Table 1-3: Ability Modifiers and Bonus Spells
Ability ScoresModifierBonus Spells per Day (by Spell Level)
1-5Can't cast spells tied to this ability
2-3-4Can't cast spells tied to this ability
4-5-3Can't cast spells tied to this ability
6-7-2Can't cast spells tied to this ability
8-9-1Can't cast spells tied to this ability

Abilities and Spellcasters

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
The ability that governs bonus spells depends on what type of spellcaster your character is: Intelligence for wizards; Wisdom for clerics, druids, and rangers; and Charisma for bards, paladins, and sorcerers. In addition to having a high ability score, a spellcaster must be of a high enough class level to be able to cast spells or use spell slots of a given spell level. See the class descriptions in Chapter 3 for details.

The Abilities

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Each ability partially describes your character and affects some of his actions.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Strength measures muscle and physical power. This ability is important for those who engage in hand-to-hand (or “melee”) combat, such as fighters, monks, paladins, and some rangers. Strength also sets the maximum amount of weight your character can carry. A character with a Strength score of 0 is too weak to move in any way and is unconscious. Some creatures do not possess a Strength score and have no modifier at all to Strength-based skills or checks.

You apply your character’s Strength modifier to:
  • Melee attack rolls.
  • Damage rolls when using a melee weapon or a thrown weapon, including a sling. (Exceptions: Off-hand attacks receive only half the character’s Strength bonus, while two-handed attacks receive 1–1/2 times the Strength bonus. A Strength penalty, but not a bonus, applies to attacks made with a bow that is not a composite bow.)
  • Climb and Swim checks.
  • Strength checks (for breaking down doors and the like).


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Dexterity measures agility, ref lexes, and balance. This ability is the most important one for rogues, but it’s also useful for characters who wear light or medium armor or no armor at all. This ability is vital for characters seeking to excel with ranged weapons, such as the bow or sling. A character with a Dexterity score of 0 is incapable of moving and is effectively immobile (but not unconscious).

You apply your character’s Dexterity modifier to:
  • Ranged attack rolls, including those for attacks made with bows, crossbows, throwing axes, and many ranged spell attacks like scorching ray or searing light.
  • Armor Class (AC), provided that the character can react to the attack.
  • Reflex saving throws, for avoiding fireballs and other attacks that you can escape by moving quickly.
  • Acrobatics, Disable Device, Escape Artist, Fly, Ride, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Constitution represents your character’s health and stamina. A Constitution bonus increases a character’s hit points, so the ability is important for all classes. Some creatures, such as undead and constructs, do not have a Constitution score. Their modif ier is +0 for any Constitution-based checks. A character with a Constitution score of 0 is dead.

You apply your character’s Constitution modifier to:
  • Each roll of a Hit Die (though a penalty can never drop a result below 1—that is, a character always gains at least 1 hit point each time he advances in level).
  • Fortitude saving throws, for resisting poison, disease, and similar threats.
If a character’s Constitution score changes enough to alter his or her Constitution modifier, the character’s hit points also increase or decrease accordingly.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Intelligence determines how well your character learns and reasons. This ability is important for wizards because it affects their spellcasting ability in many ways. Creatures of animal-level instinct have Intelligence scores of 1 or 2. Any creature capable of understanding speech has a score of at least 3. A character with an Intelligence score of 0 is comatose. Some creatures do not possess an Intelligence score. Their modifier is +0 for any Intelligence-based skills or checks.

You apply your character’s Intelligence modifier to:
  • The number of bonus languages your character knows at the start of the game. These are in addition to any starting racial languages and Common. If you have a penalty, you can still read and speak your racial languages unless your Intelligence is lower than 3.
  • The number of skill points gained each level, though your character always gets at least 1 skill point per level.
  • Appraise, Craft, Knowledge, Linguistics, and Spellcraft checks.
A wizard gains bonus spells based on his Intelligence score. The minimum Intelligence score needed to cast a wizard spell is 10 + the spell’s level.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 16
Wisdom describes a character’s willpower, common sense, awareness, and intuition. Wisdom is the most important ability for clerics and druids, and it is also important for paladins and rangers. If you want your character to have acute senses, put a high score in Wisdom. Every creature has a Wisdom score. A character with a Wisdom score of 0 is incapable of rational thought and is unconscious.

You apply your character’s Wisdom modifier to:
  • Will saving throws (for negating the effects of charm person and other spells).
  • Heal, Perception, Profession, Sense Motive, and Survival checks.
Clerics, druids, and rangers get bonus spells based on their Wisdom scores. The minimum Wisdom score needed to cast a cleric, druid, or ranger spell is 10 + the spell’s level.


Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 17
Charisma measures a character’s personality, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and appearance. It is the most important ability for paladins, sorcerers, and bards. It is also important for clerics, since it affects their ability to channel energy. For undead creatures, Charisma is a measure of their unnatural “lifeforce.” Every creature has a Charisma score. A character with a Charisma score of 0 is not able to exert himself in any way and is unconscious.

You apply your character’s Charisma modifier to:
  • Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Handle Animal, Intimidate, Perform, and Use Magic Device checks.
  • Checks that represent attempts to influence others.
  • Channel energy DCs for clerics and paladins attempting to harm undead foes.
Bards, paladins, and sorcerers gain a number of bonus spells based on their Charisma scores. The minimum Charisma score needed to cast a bard, paladin, or sorcerer spell is 10 + the spell’s level.

Carrying Capacity

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 169
These carrying capacity rules determine how much a character’s equipment slows him down. Encumbrance comes in two parts: encumbrance by armor and encumbrance by total weight.

Encumbrance by Armor: A character’s armor determines his maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, armor check penalty, speed, and running speed (see Table 6–6). Unless your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, that’s all you need to know; the extra gear your character carries won’t slow him down any more than the armor already does.

If your character is weak or carrying a lot of gear, however, then you’ll need to calculate encumbrance by weight. Doing so is most important when your character is trying to carry some heavy object.

Encumbrance by Weight: If you want to determine whether your character’s gear is heavy enough to slow him down more than his armor already does, total the weight of all the character’s items, including armor, weapons, and gear (see appropriate tables in Chapter 6). Compare this total to the character’s Strength on Table 7–4. Depending on the character’s carrying capacity, he or she may be carrying a light, medium, or heavy load. Like armor, a character’s load affects his maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, carries a check penalty (which works like an armor check penalty), reduces the character’s speed, and affects how fast the character can run, as shown on Table 7–5. A medium or heavy load counts as medium or heavy armor for the purpose of abilities or skills that are restricted by armor. Carrying a light load does not encumber a character.

If your character is wearing armor, use the worse figure (from armor or from load) for each category. Do not stack the penalties.

Lifting and Dragging: A character can lift as much as his maximum load over his head. A character’s maximum load is the highest amount of weight listed for a character’s Strength in the heavy load column of Table 7–4.

A character can lift as much as double his maximum load off the ground, but he or she can only stagger around with it. While overloaded in this way, the character loses any Dexterity bonus to AC and can move only 5 feet per round (as a full-round action).

A character can generally push or drag along the ground as much as five times his maximum load. Favorable conditions can double these numbers, and bad circumstances can reduce them by half or more.

Bigger and Smaller Creatures: The figures on Table 7–4 are for Medium bipedal creatures. A larger bipedal creature can carry more weight depending on its size category, as follows: Large ×2, Huge ×4, Gargantuan ×8, Colossal ×16. A smaller creature can carry less weight depending on its size category, as follows: Small ×3/4, Tiny ×1/2, Diminutive ×1/4, Fine ×1/8.

Quadrupeds can carry heavier loads than bipeds can. Multiply the values corresponding to the creature’s Strength score from Table 7–4 by the appropriate modifier, as follows: Fine ×1/4, Diminutive ×1/2, Tiny ×3/4, Small ×1, Medium ×1-1/2, Large ×3, Huge ×6, Gargantuan ×12, Colossal ×24.

Tremendous Strength: For Strength scores not shown on Table 7–4, find the Strength score between 20 and 29 that has the same number in the “ones” digit as the creature’s Strength score does and multiply the numbers in that row by 4 for every 10 points the creature’s Strength is above the score for that row.

Table 7-4: Carrying Capacity

Strength ScoreLight LoadMedium LoadHeavy Load
13 lbs. or less4-6 lbs.7-10 lbs.
26 lbs. or less7-13 lbs.14-20 lbs.
310 lbs. or less11-20 lbs.21-30 lbs.
413 lbs. or less13-26 lbs.27-40 lbs.
516 lbs. or less17-33 lbs.34-50 lbs.
620 lbs. or less21-40 lbs.41-60 lbs.
723 lbs. or less24-46 lbs.47-70 lbs.
826 lbs. or less27-53 lbs.54-80 lbs.
930 lbs. or less31-60 lbs.61-90 lbs.
1033 lbs. or less34-66 lbs.67-100 lbs.
1138 lbs. or less39-76 lbs.77-115 lbs.
1243 lbs. or less44-86 lbs.87-130 lbs.
1350 lbs. or less51-100 lbs.101-150 lbs.
1458 lbs. or less59-116 lbs.117-175 lbs.
1566 lbs. or less67-134 lbs.134-200 lbs.
1676 lbs. or less77-153 lbs.154-230 lbs.
1786 lbs. or less87-173 lbs.174-260 lbs.
18100 lbs. or less101-200 lbs.201-300 lbs.
19116 lbs. or less117-233 lbs.234-350 lbs.
20133 lbs. or less134-266 lbs.267-400 lbs.
21153 lbs. or less154-306 lbs.307-460 lbs.
22173 lbs. or less174-346 lbs.347-520 lbs.
23200 lbs. or less201-400 lbs.401-600 lbs.
24233 lbs. or less234-466 lbs.467-700 lbs.
25266 lbs. or less267-533 lbs.534-800 lbs.
26306 lbs. or less307-613 lbs.614-920 lbs.
27346 lbs. or less347-693 lbs.694-1,040 lbs.
28400 lbs. or less401-800 lbs.801-1,200 lbs.
29466 lbs. or less467-933 lbs.934-1,400 lbs.

Table 7-5: Encumbrance Effects

LoadMax DexCheck Penalty(30 ft.)(20 ft.)Run
Medium+3-320 ft.15 ft.×4
Heavy+1-620 ft.15 ft.×3

Armor and Encumbrance for Other Base Speeds

The table below provides reduced speed figures for all basespeeds from 5 feet to 120 feet (in 5-foot increments).
Base SpeedReduced Speed
5 ft.5 ft.
10 ft.-15 ft.10 ft.
20 ft.15 ft.
25 ft.-30 ft.ft.20 ft.
35 ft.25 ft.
40 ft.-45 ft.30 ft.
50 ft.35 ft.
55 ft.-60 ft.40 ft.
65 ft.45 ft.
70 ft.-75 ft.50 ft.
80 ft.55 ft.
85 ft.-90 ft.60 ft.
95 ft.65 ft.
100 ft.-105 ft.70 ft.
110 ft.75 ft.
115 ft.-120 ft.80 ft.