Character Advancement

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As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power. The rate of this advancement depends on the type of game that your group wants to play. Some prefer a fast-paced game, where characters gain levels every few sessions, while others prefer a game where advancement occurs less frequently. In the end, it is up to your group to decide what rate fits you best. Characters advance in level according to the table below

Advancing Your Character

A character advances in level as soon as he earns enough experience points to do so—typically, this occurs at the end of a game session, when your GM hands out that session's experience point awards.

The process of advancing a character works in much the same way as generating a character, except that your ability scores, race, and previous choices concerning class, skills, and feats cannot be changed. Adding a level generally gives you new abilities, additional skill points to spend, more hit points, possibly a permanent +1 increase to one ability score of your choice, or an additional feat (see table). Over time, as your character rises to higher levels, he becomes a truly powerful force in the game world, capable of ruling nations or bringing them to their knees.

When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's character and class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats, ability score increases, and other character abilities, see the following table:

Character Level Experience Point Total Feats Ability Score Character Ability
Slow Medium Fast
1 —” —” —” 1st —”
2 3,000 2,000 1,300 —” —”
3 7,500 5,000 3,300 2nd —” Resistance +1
4 14,000 9,000 3,000 —” 1st
5 23,000 15,000 10,000 3rd —” Deflection +1
6 35,000 23,000 15,000 —” —” Mental prowess +2 or physical prowess +2
7 53,000 35,000 23,000 4th —” Physical prowess +2 or mental prowess +2
8 77,000 51,000 34,000 —” 2nd Resistance +2, toughening +1
9 115,000 75,000 50,000 5th
10 160,000 105,000 71,000 —” —” Deflection +2, resistance +3
11 235,000 155,000 105,000 6th —” Mental prowess +4 or physical prowess +4
12 330,000 220,000 145,000 —” 3rd Physical prowess +4 or mental prowess +4
13 475,000 315,000 210,000 7th —” Mental prowess +4/+2, physical prowess +4/+2, resistance +4, toughening +2
14 665,000 445,000 295,000 —” —” Resistance +5
15 955,000 635,000 425,000 8th —” Mental prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4
16 1,350,000 890,000 600,000 —” 4th Deflection +3, physical prowess +6/+2 or +4/+4, toughening +3
17 1,900,000 1,300,000 850,000 9th —” Deflection +4, mental prowess +6/+2/+2 or +4/+4/+2, physical prowess +6/+2/+2 or +4/+4/+2, toughening +4
18 2,700,000 1,800,000 1,200,000 —” —” Deflection +5, mental prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, physical prowess +6/+4/+2 or +4/+4/+4, toughening +5
19 3,850,000 2,550,000 1,700,000 10th —” 3 legendary gifts
20 5,350,000 3,600,000 2,400,000 —” 5th 5 legendary gifts (8 total)

Character Abilities

Deflection

The character gains a +1 deflection bonus to AC at 5th level; this bonus increases to +2 at 10th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Mental Prowess

At 6th level, the character chooses one mental ability score (Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 11th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 15th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third mental ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Physical Prowess

At 7th level, the character chooses one physical ability score (Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution) to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 12th level, this bonus increases to +4. At 13th level, the character chooses a second physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus. At 16th level, the character increases one of these enhancement bonuses by 2. At 17th level, she chooses a third physical ability score to gain a permanent +2 enhancement bonus.

Resistance

At 3rd level, the character gains a +1 resistance bonus on all saving throws. This bonus increases to +2 at 8th level, to +3 at 10th level, to +4 at 13th level, and to +5 at 14th level.

Toughening

At 8th level, the character gains a +1 enhancement bonus to natural armor. This bonus increases to +2 at 13th level, to +3 at 16th level, to +4 at 17th level, and to +5 at 18th level.

Legendary Gifts

The character gains three legendary gifts at 19th level and five more at 20th level. Select these legendary gifts from the following list.

Legendary Ability

Gain a +1 inherent bonus to any ability score. You can select this legendary gift multiple times, and it stacks up to +5 in any one ability score.

Legendary Body

Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.

Legendary Body 2

Increase your bonuses from physical prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary body to select this legendary gift.

Legendary Mind

Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+4. This counts as two legendary gifts.

Legendary Mind 2

Increase your bonuses from mental prowess to +6/+6/+6. You must already have legendary mind to select this legendary gift.

Multiclassing

Instead of gaining the abilities granted by the next level in your character's current class, he can instead gain the 1st-level abilities of a new class, adding all of those abilities to his existing ones. This is known as "multiclassing."

For example, let's say a 5th-level fighter decides to dabble in the arcane arts, and adds one level of wizard when he advances to 6th level. Such a character would have the powers and abilities of both a 5th-level fighter and a 1st-level wizard, but would still be considered a 6th-level character. (His class levels would be 5th and 1st, but his total character level is 6th.) He keeps all of his bonus feats gained from 5 levels of fighter, but can now also cast 1st-level spells and picks an arcane school. He adds all of the hit points, base attack bonuses, and saving throw bonuses from a 1st-level wizard on top of those gained from being a 5th-level fighter.

Note that there are a number of effects and prerequisites that rely on a character's level or Hit Dice. Such effects are always based on the total number of levels or Hit Dice a character possesses, not just those from one class. The exception to this is class abilities, most of which are based on the total number of class levels that a character possesses of that particular class.

Favored Class

Each character begins play with a single favored class of his choosing—€”typically, this is the same class as the one he chooses at 1st level. Whenever a character gains a level in his favored class, he receives either + 1 hit point, + 1 skill rank, or a special ability dependent on his combination of race and favored class. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point, a skill rank, or an ability each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level. Prestige classes can never be chosen as a favored class.