Next Tuesday will bring the play session I have been dreading… the one where everyone levels up their characters for the first time. Seriously, this is not a small undertaking, what with seven regular player characters and my GM character that I put together so that I could use it to help me figure out things like this. That’s eight characters, people, EIGHT!
Where do I start?
Basically… rather than have one place in the rulebook that talks through all the things that must be considered when advancing characters from one level to the next, it’s scattered across (at least) three different sections. Perhaps this was one of the greatest instances of the rulebook’s ill-thought-out layout really getting in the way of understanding. So what the hell did I do to in order to keep sane while levelling up my GM character, the Half-Orc monk Donvadok?
The only thing I could do. I Googled how to level-up player characters in Pathfinder and found this levelling checklist. And all was good. I was able to breakout a new character sheet and slowly sort out an updated monk. But it still wasn’t the easiest of things to do, because the checklist wasn’t necessarily the easiest order in which to do things.
What order should you fill in the character sheet for the sake of sanity when levelling-up from level one to level two? Here’s how I did it, with my class pages open and existing skills and abilities already written down:
- Start out with feats that you may gain
- Spells if you’ve got them and have any changes as a result of level increase
- Special abilities that you might pick up
- Redo your AC scores if you’d gained from doing those previous two steps, otherwise copy them
- Make any changes required of your base saves
- Then move on to attack bonus, CMB, CMD
- Weapon adjustments for base attack bonus changes
- Write down existing skills and points, highlighting which are class skills
- Redo your skills according to how many skill points your class gets per level that you’re spending in ranks (can’t have more ranks than your level)
- Copy out abilities
- Character name, size age, etc…
- Increase your HP according to how much your class says it goes up per level
- Copy over languages
- Then write down all your armour and things that you’re carrying
And that size thing from last week?
Okay, so we had a play session last week and I had issues figuring out how tall a monster (a construct) I’d created would be. It was a giant doll. For the purposes of using Pathfinder’s size nomenclature it was a “huge” monster. Now, in the rules it does say that “huge” creatures take-up 15ft of squares on a game map – but nowhere how tall that would be. I had people suggesting to me online that this floor space would be the same as its height – I’m sure you’re with me in thinking that this doesn’t make any sense. Very few creatures in real life, let alone fantasy, are as tall as they are wide.
And how tall would my “huge” doll construct have been, before the player characters chopped it up into firewood? I just pulled a number out of the air in the play session and said 40 feet. But have decided to do some research in the meantime. The results? I found this table on d20PFSRD.com and while it doesn’t say how it arrived at these conclusions I’m going to go with it. So the doll was actually 32 feet tall.