Classes

Adventurers seek gold, glory, justice, fame, power, knowledge, or maybe some other goals - perhaps noble or perhaps base. Each chooses a different way to attain those goals, from brutal combat power, to mighty magic, to subtle skills. Some adventurers prevail and grow in experience, wealth, and power. Others die.

Your character’s class is his or her profession or vocation. It determines what he or she is able to do: combat prowess, magical ability, skills, and more. Class is probably the first choice you make about your character—just ahead of race, or perhaps in conjunction with that decision. The class you choose determines where you should best place your character’s ability scores and suggests which races are best to support that class choice.

The Multiclass Character

As your character advances in level, he or she may add new classes. Adding a new class gives the character a broader range of abilities, but all advancement in the new class is at the expense of advancement in the character’s other class or classes. A wizard, for example, might become a combination wizard/fighter. Adding the fighter class would give her proficiency in more weapons, better Fortitude saving throws, and so on, but it would also mean that she doesn’t gain new wizard abilities when she adds this second class and thus is not as powerful a wizard as she otherwise would have become if she had chosen to continue advancing as a wizard.

Class And Level Bonuses

An attack roll, saving throw, or skill check is a combination of three numbers, each representing a different factor: a random factor (the number you roll on a d20), a number representing the character’s innate abilities (the ability modifier), and a bonus representing the character’s experience and training. This third factor depends, either directly or indirectly, on the character’s class and level.

Base Save Bonus: The two numbers given in this column apply to saving throws. Whether a character uses the first (good) bonus or the second (poor) bonus depends on his or her class and the type of saving throw being attempted. For example, fighters get the lower bonus on Reflex and Will saves and the higher bonus on Fortitude saves, while rogues get the lower bonus on Fortitude and Will saves and the higher bonus on Reflex saves. Monks are equally good at all three types of saving throws. If a character has more than one class, the base save bonuses for each class are cumulative.

Base Attack Bonus: On an attack roll, apply the bonus from the appropriate column according to the class to which the character belongs. Whether a character uses the first (good) base attack bonus, the second (average) base attack bonus, or the third (poor) base attack bonus depends on his or her class. Barbarians, fighters, paladins, and rangers have a good base attack bonus, so they use the first Base Attack Bonus column. Clerics, druids, monks, and rogues have an average base attack bonus, so they use the second column. Sorcerers and wizards have a poor base attack bonus, so they use the third column. Numbers after a slash indicate additional attacks at reduced bonuses: “+12/+7/+2” means three attacks per round, with an attack bonus of +12 for the first attack, +7 for the second, and +2 for the third. Any modifiers on attack rolls apply to all these attacks normally, but bonuses do not grant extra attacks.

For example, when Lidda the halfling rogue is 2nd level, she has a base attack bonus of +1. With a thrown weapon, she adds her Dexterity bonus (+3), her size bonus (+1), and a racial bonus (+1) for a total of +6. Even though a +6 base attack bonus would grant an additional attack at +1, raising that number to +6 via ability, racial, size, weapon, or other bonuses doesn’t grant Lidda an additional attack. If a character has more than one class, the base attack bonuses for each class are cumulative.

Class Level Base Save Bonus Base Attack Bonus
(Good) (Poor) (Good) (Average) (Poor)
1st +2 +0 +1 +0 +0
2nd +3 +0 +2 +1 +1
3rd +3 +1 +3 +2 +1
4th +4 +1 +4 +3 +2
5th +4 +1 +5 +3 +2
6th +5 +2 +6/+1 +4 +3
7th +5 +2 +7/+2 +5 +3
8th +6 +2 +8/+3 +6/+1 +4
9th +6 +3 +9/+4 +6/+1 +4
10th +7 +3 +10/+5 +7/+2 +5
11th +7 +3 +11/+6/+1 +8/+3 +5
12th +8 +4 +12/+7/+2 +9/+4 +6/+1
13th +8 +4 +13/+8/+3 +9/+4 +6/+1
14th +9 +4 +14/+9/+4 +10/+5 +7/+2
15th +9 +5 +15/+10/+5 +11/+6/+1 +7/+2
16th +10 +5 +16/+11/+6/+1 +12/+7/+2 +8/+3
17th +10 +5 +17/+12/+7/+2 +12/+7/+2 +8/+3
18th +11 +6 +18/+13/+8/+3 +13/+8/+3 +9/+4
19th +11 +6 +19/+14/+9/+4 +14/+9/+4 +9/+4
20th +12 +6 +20/+15/+10/+5 +15/+10/+5 +10/+5

Level Dependent Benefits

In addition to attack bonuses and saving throw bonuses, all characters gain other benefits from advancing in level.

XP: This column on the table shows the experience point total needed to attain a given character level - that is, the total of all the character’s level in classes. (A character’s level in a class is called his or her class level.) For any character (including a multiclass one), XP determines overall character level, not individual class levels.

Class Skill Max Ranks: The maximum number of ranks a character can have in a class skill is equal to his or her character level + 3. A class skill is a skill frequently associated with a particular class - for example, Spellcraft is a class skill for wizards. Class skills are given in each class description.

Cross-Class Skill Max Ranks: For cross-class skills (skills not associated with a character’s class), the maximum number of ranks a character can have is one-half the maximum for a class skill. For example, at 1st level a wizard could have 2 ranks in Move Silently (typically associated with rogues, and on that class’s list of class skills), but no more. These 2 ranks in a cross-class skill would cost the wizard 4 skill points, whereas the same 4 points would buy 4 ranks in a wizard class skill, such as Spellcraft. The half ranks (1/2) indicated on the table don’t improve skill checks. They simply represent partial purchase of the next skill rank and indicate the character is training to improve that skill.

Feats: Every character gains one feat at 1st level and another at every level divisible by three (3rd, 6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level). These feats are in addition to any bonus feats granted as class features and the bonus feat granted to all humans.

Ability Increases: Upon attaining any level divisible by four (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, and 20th level), a character increases one of his or her ability scores by 1 point. The player chooses which ability score to improve. For example, a sorcerer with a starting Charisma of 16 might increase this to 17 at 4th level. At 8th level, the same character might increase his Charisma score again (from 17 to 18) or could choose to improve some other ability instead. The ability improvement is permanent.

For multiclass characters, feats and ability score increases are gained according to character level, not class level. Thus, a 3rd-level wizard/1st-level fighter is a 4th-level character overall and eligible for her first ability score boost.

Character Level XP Class Skill
Max Ranks
Cross-Class Skill
Max Ranks
Feats Ability Score
Increases
1st 0 4 2 1st
2nd 1,000 5 2-1/2
3rd 3,000 6 3 2nd
4th 6,000 7 3-1/2 1st
5th 10,000 8 4
6th 15,000 9 4-1/2 3rd
7th 21,000 10 5
8th 28,000 11 5-1/2 2nd
9th 36,000 12 6 4th
10th 45,000 13 6-1/2
11th 55,000 14 7
12th 66,000 15 7-1/2 5th 3rd
13th 78,000 16 8
14th 91,000 17 8-1/2
15th 105,000 18 9 6th
16th 120,000 19 9-1/2 4th
17th 136,000 20 10
18th 153,000 21 10-1/2 7th
19th 171,000 22 11
20th 190,000 23 11-1/2 5th

Class Descriptions

Each class description begins with a general discussion in “game world” terms, the sort of description that characters in the world could understand and the way such a character might describe himself or herself. This information is followed by brief advice on such a character’s typical role in a group of adventurers. These descriptions are general; individual members of a class may differ in their attitudes, outlooks, and other aspects.

Game Rule Information

Following the general class description comes game rule information. Not all of the following categories apply to every class.

Abilities: The Abilities entry tells you which abilities are most important for a character of that class. Players are welcome to “play against type,” but a typical character of that class will have his or her highest ability scores where they’ll do the most good (or, in game world terms, be attracted to the class that most suits his or her talents or for which he or she is best qualified).

Alignment: A few classes restrict a character’s possible alignments. For example, a bard must have a non-lawful alignment. An entry of “Any” means that characters of this class are not restricted in alignment.

Hit Die: The type of Hit Die used by characters of the class determines the number of hit points gained per level. A character rolls one Hit Die each time he or she gains a new level, then applies any Constitution modifier to the roll, and adds the result to his or her hit point total. Thus, a character has the same number of Hit Dice as levels. For his or her first Hit Die, a 1st-level character gets the maximum hit points rather than rolling (although Constitution modifiers, positive or negative, still apply).

For example, Vadania gets a d8 Hit Die because she’s a druid. At 1st level, she gets 8 hit points instead of rolling. Since she has a Constitution score of 13, she applies a +1 bonus, raising her hit points to 9. When she reaches 2nd level (and every level thereafter), Vadania’s player rolls a d8, adds 1 (for her Constitution bonus), and then adds the total to Vadania’s hit points.

If your character has a Constitution penalty and gets a result of 0 or lower after the penalty is applied to the Hit Die roll, ignore the roll and add 1 to your character’s hit point total anyway. It is not possible to lose hit points (or not receive any) when gaining a level, even for a character with a rotten Constitution score.

Class Table: This table details how a character improves as he or she gains levels in the class. Class tables typically include the following:

Level: The character’s level in that class.

Base Attack Bonus: The character’s base attack bonus and number of attacks.

Fort Save: The base save bonus on Fortitude saving throws. The character’s Constitution modifier also applies.

Ref Save: The base save bonus on Reflex saving throws. The character’s Dexterity modifier also applies.

Will Save: The base save bonus on Will saving throws. The character’s Wisdom modifier also applies.

Special: Level-dependent class abilities, each explained in the Class Features section that follows.

Spells per Day: How many spells of each spell level the character can cast each day. If the entry is “—” for a given level of spells, the character may not cast any spells of that level. If the entry is “0,” the character may cast spells of that level only if he or she is entitled to bonus spells because of a high ability score tied to spellcasting (bonus spells for wizards are based on Intelligence; bonus spells for clerics and druids are based on Wisdom; bonus spells for paladins, and rangers are based on Charisma). If the entry is a number other than 0, the character may cast that many spells plus any bonus spells each day. A character can always choose to prepare a lower-level spell to fill a higher-level slot.

Class Skills: This section of a class description gives the class’s list of class skills, the number of skill points the character starts with at 1st level, and the number of skill points gained each level thereafter. A character gets some number of skill points each level, such depending on the class in question, such as 6 for a ranger or 8 for a rogue. To this number, apply the character’s Intelligence modifier (and 1 bonus point, if the character is human) to determine the total skill points gained each level (but always at least 1 skill point per level, even for a character with an Intelligence penalty). A 1st-level character starts with four times this number of skill points.
Since the maximum ranks in a class skill for a character is the character’s level + 3, at 1st level you can buy as many as 4 ranks in any class skill, at a cost of 1 skill point per rank.

For example, Vadania is a half-elf druid, so she gets 4 skill points per level. She has a +1 Intelligence modifier, so that goes up to 5 skill points per level. At 1st level, she gets four times that amount, or 20 skill points. Her maximum rank for a class skill at 1st level is 4, so she could, for example, divvy up her 20 points among five class skills with 4 ranks each (it’s more useful to have a higher score in a few skills than a lower score in many).

You can also buy skills from other classes’ skill lists, but each skill point only buys 1/2 rank in these cross-class skills, and you can buy only half the maximum ranks a class skill would have (thus, the maximum rank for a cross-class skill at 1st level is 2).

Class Features: Special characteristics of the class. When applicable, this section also mentions restrictions and disadvantages of the class. Class features include some or all of the following.

Weapon and Armor Proficiency: This section details which weapons and armor types the character is proficient with. Regardless of training, cumbersome armor interferes with certain skills (such as Climb) and with the casting of most arcane spells. Characters can become proficient with other weapon or armor types by acquiring the appropriate Armor Proficiency (light, medium, heavy), Shield Proficiency, and Weapon Proficiency (exotic, martial or simple) feats.

Spells: Wizards, sorcerers, clerics, druids, and bards use spells. Fighters, barbarians, rogues, and monks do not. Paladins and rangers gain the ability to use spells at 4th level.

Other Features: Each class has certain unique capabilities. Some, such as the rogue, have few; others, such as the monk, have many. Some abilities are supernatural or spell-like. Using a spell-like ability is essentially like casting a spell (but without components), and it provokes attacks of opportunity. Using a supernatural ability is not like casting a spell.

Ex-Members: If, for some reason, a character is forced to give up this class, these are the rules for what happens. Unless otherwise noted in the class description, an ex-member of a class retains any weapon and armor proficiencies he or she has gained.

Starting Package: This section provides suggested feats, skills, equipment, and other details for a 1st-level character of this class. You can ignore this information and create a character from scratch, or use the package as is for your first character (simply copying the details onto your character sheet), or take some portions of the package (such as equipment) and choose other details (such as skills) yourself. Dungeon Masters can also use these packages to quickly create 1st-level nonplayer characters.

The starting packages assume that you spend 4 skill points on every skill you start with (so as to excel in a few things rather than dabble in many). The skill table in each package presents the skills in order of probable importance to the character.

Each starting package is associated with a race. The packages do not take into account racial traits, so be sure to note your character’s racial traits, including ability modifiers and bonuses on skill checks. The package also does not list all class features, so note your character’s class features as well. Gear for a character means adventuring gear, not clothes. Assume that your character owns at least one outfit of normal clothes. Pick any one of the following clothing outfits for free: artisan’s outfit, entertainer’s outfit, explorer’s outfit, monk’s outfit, peasant’s outfit, scholar’s outfit, or traveler’s outfit.

Experience And Levels

Experience points (XP) measure how much your character has learned and how much he or she has grown in personal power. Your character earns XP by defeating monsters and other opponents. The DM assigns XP to the characters at the end of each adventure based on what they have accomplished. Characters accumulate XP from one adventure to another. When a character earns enough XP, he or she attains a new character level.

Advancing a Level: When your character’s XP total reaches at least the minimum XP needed for a new character level, he or she “goes up a level.” For example, when Tordek obtains 1,000 or more XP, he becomes a 2nd-level character. As soon as he accumulates a total of 3,000 XP or higher (2,000 more than he had when he gained 2nd level), he reaches 3rd level. Going up a level provides the character with several immediate benefits (see below).

A character can advance only one level at a time. If, for some extraordinary reason, a character’s XP reward from a single adventure would be enough to advance two or more levels at once, he or she instead advances one level and gains just enough XP to be 1 XP short of the next level. Any excess experience points are not retained. For example, if Tordek has 5,000 XP (1,000 points short of 4th level) and gains 6,000 more, he would normally be at 11,000 XP - enough for 5th level. Instead he attains 4th level, and his XP total stands at 9,999.

Training and Practice: Characters spend time between adventures training, studying, or otherwise practicing their skills. This work consolidates what they learn on adventures and keeps them in top form. If, for some reason, a character can’t practice or train for an extended time, the DM may reduce XP awards or even cause the character to lose experience points.

Level Advancement

Each character class description includes a table that shows how the class features and statistics increase as a member of that class advances in level. When your character attains a new level, make these changes.

1. Choose Class: A typical character has only one class, and when he or she attains a new level, it is a new level in that class. If your character has more than one class or wants to acquire a new class, you choose which class goes up one level. The other class or classes stay at the previous level.

2. Base Attack Bonus: The base attack bonus for fighters, barbarians, rangers, and paladins increase by 1 every level. The base attack bonus for other characters increases at a slower rate. If your character’s base attack bonus changes, record it on your character sheet.

3. Base Save Bonuses: Like base attack bonuses, base save bonuses improve at varying rates as characters increase in level. Check your character’s base save bonuses for the class that has advanced in level to see if any of them have increased by 1. Some base save bonuses increase at every even-numbered level; others increase at every level divisible by three.

4. Ability Score: If your character has just attained 4th, 8th, 12th, 16th, or 20th character level, choose one of his or her ability scores and raise it by 1 point (it’s okay for a score to go above 18). It’s the overall character level, not the class level, that counts for this adjustment.

If your character’s Constitution modifier increases by 1, add +1 to his or her hit point total for every character level below the one just attained. For example, if you raise your character’s Constitution from 11 to 12 at 4th level, he or she gets +3 hit points (one each for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd levels). Add these points before rolling for hit points (the next step).

5. Hit Points: Roll a Hit Die, add your character’s Constitution modifier, and add the total roll to his or her hit points. Even if the character has a Constitution penalty and the roll was so low as to yield a result of 0 or fewer hit points, always add at least 1 hip point upon gaining a new level.

6. Skill Points: Each character gains skill points to spend on skills as detailed in the appropriate class description. For class skills, each skill point buys 1 rank, and a character’s maximum rank in the skill is his or her character level +3. For cross-class skills, each skill point only buys 1/2 rank, and the maximum rank in the skill is one-half that of a class skill (don’t round up or down).

If you have been “maxing out” a skill (putting as many skill points into it as possible), you don’t have to worry about calculating your maximum rank with it. At each new level, you can always assign 1 skill point - and just 1 - to any skill that you’re maxing out (if it’s a cross-class skill, this point buys 1/2 rank).

Remember that you buy skills based on the class you have advanced in, so that only those skills given as class skills for that class can be purchased as class skills for this level, regardless of what other classes you may have levels in.

Your character’s Intelligence modifier affects the number of skill points he or she gets at each level. This rule represents an intelligent character’s ability to learn faster over time. Use your character’s current Intelligence score, including all permanent changes (such as inherent bonuses, ability drains, or an Intelligence increase gained at step 4, above) but not any temporary changes (such as ability damage, or enhancement bonuses gained from spells or magic items, such as a headband of intellect), to determine the number of skill points you gain.

7. Feats: Upon attaining 3rd level and at every third level thereafter (6th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 18th level), the character gains one feat of your choice. The character must meet any prerequisites for that feat in order to select it. As with ability score increases, it is the overall character level, not the class level, that determines when a character gets a new feat.

8. Spells: Spellcasting characters gain the ability to cast more spells as they advance in levels. Each class description for a spellcasting class includes a Spells per Day section (on the class table) that shows the base number of spells (without bonus spells for high ability scores) of a given spell level that a character can cast at each class level. See your character’s class description in this chapter for details.

9. Class Features: Check your character’s class description in this chapter for any new capabilities your character may receive. Many characters gain special attacks or new special powers as they advance in levels.

Multiclass Characters

A character may add new classes as he or she progresses in level, thus becoming a multiclass character. The class abilities from a character’s different classes combine to determine a multiclass character’s overall abilities. Multiclassing improves a character’s versatility at the expense of focus.

Class And Level Features

As a general rule, the abilities of a multiclass character are the sum of the abilities of each of the character’s classes.

Level: “Character level” is a character’s total number of levels. It is used to determine when feats and ability score boosts are gained. “Class level” is a character’s level in a particular class. For a character whose levels are all in the same class, character level and class level are the same.

Hit Points: A character gains hit points from each class as his or her class level increases, adding the new hit points to the previous total. For example, Lidda the halfling began as a rogue and attained 4th level, then added levels of wizard at her next two level advancements. As a 4th-level rogue/2nd-level wizard, her total hit points are 6 + 1d6 + 1d6 + 1d6 + 1d4 + 1d4.

Base Attack Bonus: Add the base attack bonuses acquired for each class to get the character’s base attack bonus. A resulting value of +6 or higher provides the character with multiple attacks. Find the character’s base attack bonus to see how many additional attacks the character gets and at what bonuses. For instance, a 6th-level rogue/4th-level wizard would have a base attack bonus of +6 (+4 for the rogue class and +2 for the wizard class). A base attack bonus of +6 allows a second attack with a bonus of +1 (given as +6/+1), even though neither the +4 from the rogue levels nor the +2 from the wizard levels normally allows an extra attack.

Saving Throws: Add the base save bonuses for each class together. A 7th-level rogue/4th-level wizard has a +3 base save bonus on Fortitude saving throws (+2 as a 7th-level rogue and +1 as a 4th-level wizard), a +6 on Reflex saving throws (+5 and +1), and a +6 on Will saving throws (+2 and +4).

Skills: If a skill is a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, then character level determines a skill’s maximum rank (the maximum rank for a class skill is 3 + character level). If a skill is not a class skill for any of a multiclass character’s classes, the maximum rank for that skill is one-half the maximum for a class skill.

For example, a 7th-level rogue/4th-level wizard (an 11th-level character) can have as many as 14 ranks in any skill that is a class skill for rogues or wizards. That same character can have as many as 7 ranks in any skill that is not a class skill for rogues or wizards.

Class Features: A multiclass character gets all the class features of all his or her classes but must also suffer the consequences of the special restrictions of all his or her classes (exception: A character who acquires the barbarian class does not become illiterate). Some class features don’t work well with the skills or class features of other classes. For example, although rogues are proficient with light armor, a rogue/wizard still has an arcane spell failure chance if wearing armor.

In the special case of turning undead, both clerics and experienced paladins have the same ability. If the character’s paladin level is 4th or higher, her effective turning level is her cleric level plus her paladin level minus 3. Thus a 5th-level paladin/4th-level cleric turns undead as a 6th-level cleric.

In the special case of uncanny dodge, both experienced barbarians and experienced rogues have the same ability. When a barbarian/rogue would gain uncanny dodge a second time (for her second class), she instead gains improved uncanny dodge, if she does not already have it. Her barbarian and rogue levels stack to determine the rogue level an attacker needs to flank her. For example, a 2nd-level barbarian/4th-level rogue could only be flanked by a rogue of at least 10th level.

In the special case of obtaining a familiar, both wizards and sorcerers have the same ability. A sorcerer/wizard stacks his sorcerer and wizard levels to determine the familiar’s natural armor, Intelligence score, and special abilities.

Feats: A multiclass character gains a feat every three character levels, regardless of individual class level.

Ability Increases: A multiclass character increases one ability score by 1 point every four character levels, regardless of individual class level.

Spells: The character gains spells from all of his or her spellcasting classes. Thus, an experienced ranger/druid may have access to the spell protection from elements both as a ranger and as a druid. Since the spell’s effect is based on the class level of the caster, the player must keep track of whether the character is preparing and casting protection from elements as a ranger or as a druid.

Adding A Second Class

When a character with one class gains a level, he or she may choose to increase the level of his or her current class or pick up a new class at 1st level (a character can’t gain 1st level in the same class more than once, even if this would allow him or her to select different class features, such as a different set of domains for a cleric). The DM may restrict the choices available based on the way he or she handles classes, skills, experience, and training. For instance, the character may need to find a tutor to teach him or her the ways of the new class. Additionally, the DM may require the player to declare what class the character is “working on” before he or she makes the jump to the next level, so the character has time to practice new skills.

The character gains the 1st-level base attack bonuses, base save bonuses, class skills, weapon proficiency, armor and shield proficiencies, spells, and other class features of the new class, hit points of the appropriate Hit Die type, and the new class’s number of skill points gained at each additional level (not that number × 4, as is the case for a 1st level character).

Picking up a new class is not exactly the same as starting a character in that class. Some of the benefits a 1st-level character gains (such as four times the usual number of skill points) represent the advantage of training while the character was young and fresh, with lots of time to practice. When picking up a new class, a character does not receive the following starting bonuses given to characters who begin their careers in that class:

  • Maximum hit points from the first Hit Die.
  • Quadruple the per-level skill points.
  • Starting equipment.
  • Starting gold.

Advancing A Level

A multiclass character who attains a new level either increases one of his or her current class levels by one or picks up a new class at 1st level.

When a multiclass character advances a level in a current class, he or she gets all the standard benefits that a character normally receives for attaining that level in that class: more hit points, possible bonuses on attack rolls, Armor Class and saving throws (depending on the class and the new level), possible new class features (as defined by the class), possible new spells, and new skill points.

Skill points are spent according to the class that the multiclass character just advanced in. Skills purchased are purchased at the cost appropriate for that class.

XP For Multiclass Characters

Developing and maintaining skills and abilities in more than one class is a demanding process. Depending on the character’s class levels and race, he or she might or might not suffer an XP penalty.

Even Levels: If your multiclass character’s classes are nearly the same level (all within one class level of each other), then he or she can balance the needs of the multiple classes without penalty. For instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue takes no penalty, nor does a 2nd-level fighter/2nd-level wizard/3rd-level rogue.

Uneven Levels: If any two of your multiclass character’s classes are two or more levels apart, the strain of developing and maintaining different skills at different levels takes its toll. Your multiclass character suffers a –20% penalty to XP for each class that is not within one level of his or her highest-level class. These penalties apply from the moment the character adds a class or raises a class’s level too high. For instance, a 4th-level wizard/3rd-level rogue gets no penalty, but if that character raises his wizard level to 5th, then he takes the –20% penalty from that point on until his levels were nearly even again.

Races and Multiclass XP: A favored class (see the individual race entries in Chapter 2: Races) does not count against the character for purposes of the –20% penalty to XP. In such cases, calculate the XP penalty as if the character did not have that class. For instance, Bergwin is an 11th-level gnome character (a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level bard). He takes no penalty to his XP because he has only one non-favored class (Bard is favored for gnomes). Suppose he then attains 12th level and adds 1st level as fighter to his classes, becoming a 9th-level rogue/2nd-level illusionist/1st-level fighter. He then takes a –20% XP penalty on future XP he earns because his fighter level is so much lower than his rogue level. Were he awarded 1,200 XP for an adventure, he would receive only 80% of that amount, or 960 XP. If he thereafter rose to 13th level and picked up a fourth class (by adding 1st-level cleric, for example), he would take a –40% XP penalty from then on.

As a second example, consider a dwarf 7th-level fighter/2nd-level cleric. This character takes no penalty because his fighter class is favored for dwarves and thus not counted when determining whether his classes are even. Nor does he take any penalty for adding 1st-level rogue to the mix, since his cleric and rogue classes are only one level apart. In this case, cleric counts as the character’s highest class.

A human’s or half-elf’s highest-level class is always considered his or her favored class.

How Multiclassing Works

Lidda, a 4th-level halfling rogue, decides to expand her repertoire by learning some wizardry. She locates a mentor who teaches her the ways of a wizard, and she spends a lot of time looking over the shoulder of Mialee, her party’s wizard, while the latter prepares her spells each morning. When Lidda amasses 10,000 XP, she becomes a 5th-level character. Instead of becoming a 5th-level rogue, however, she becomes a 4th-level rogue/1st-level wizard. Now, instead of gaining the benefits of attaining a new level as a rogue, she gains the benefits of becoming a 1st-level wizard. She gains a wizard’s Hit Die (d4), a 1st-level wizard’s +2 bonus on Will saves, and 4 skill points (2 for one wizard level and +2 for her Intelligence score of 14) that she can spend as a wizard. These benefits are added to the scores she already had as a rogue. Her base attack bonus, Reflex save bonus, and Fortitude save bonus do not increase because these numbers are +0 for a 1st-level wizard. She gains a 1st-level wizard’s beginning spellbook and spells per day. Her rogue skills and sneak attack capability, however, do not improve. She could spend some of her 4 skill points to improve her rogue skills, but, since they would be treated as cross-class skills for a wizard, these skill points would each buy only one-half rank (the exceptions are any Craft or Profession skills she may have, since Craft and Profession are class skills for both the rogue and the wizard).

On reaching 15,000 XP, she becomes a 6th-level character. She decides she’d like to continue along the wizard path, so she increases her wizard level instead of her rogue level. Again she gains the wizard’s benefits for attaining a new level rather than the rogue’s. As a 2nd-level wizard, she gains another d4 Hit Die, her base attack bonus and Will save bonus each go up by +1, she gains 4 more skill points, and she can now prepare another 0-level spell and another 1st-level spell each day. Additionally, as a 6th-level character overall she gets her third feat.

At this point, Lidda is a 6th-level character: a 4th-level rogue/2nd-level wizard. She casts spells as a 2nd-level wizard does, and she sneak attacks as a 4th-level rogue does. Her combat skill is a little better than a 4th-level rogue’s would be, because she has learned something about fighting during her time as a wizard (her base attack bonus went up +1 when she became a 2nd-level wizard). Her base Reflex save bonus is +4 (+4 from her rogue class and +0 from her wizard class), better than a 6th-level wizard’s but not as good as a 6th-level rogue’s. Her base Will save bonus is +4 (+1 from her rogue class and +3 from her wizard class), better than a 6th-level rogue’s but not as good as a 6th-level wizard’s.

At each new level, Lidda must decide whether to increase her rogue level or her wizard level. Of course, if she really wants to have diverse abilities, she could even acquire a third class - maybe fighter.

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