Character Advancement

As player characters overcome challenges, they gain experience points. As these points accumulate, PCs advance in level and power. Basic character advancement is detailed in Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.

Advancing Your Character

A character advances in level as soon as he earns enough experience points to do so and meets the Training requirements. 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, and possibly an ability score increase, an additional enhancement bonus to three stats, or an additional feat (see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses). 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.

Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses
Character Level Experience Point Total Feats Ability Score Enhancement
1st 1st -
2nd 2,000 +1 to 3
3rd 5,000 2nd -
4th 9,000 1st +1 to 3
5th 15,000 3rd -
6th 23,000 +1 to 3
7th 35,000 4th -
8th 51,000 2nd +1 to 3
9th 75,000 5th -
10th 105,000 +1 to 3
11th 155,000 6th -
12th 220,000 3rd +1 to 3
13th 315,000 7th -
14th 445,000 +1 to 3
15th 635,000 8th -
16th 890,000 4th +1 to 3
17th 1,300,000 9th -
18th 1,800,000 +1 to 3
19th 2,550,000 10th -
20th 3,600,000 5th +1 to 3

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 or enhancements due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level’s class abilities and then roll for additional hit points (or simply add maximum if a Crafter, Dragon, Outsider, or similarly powerful creature). Finally, add new skills and feats. For more information on when you gain new feats, ability score increases, and ability score enhancements see Table: Character Advancement and Level-Dependent Bonuses.


This represents the total amount of experience your character must have to be a certain level. When a character gains enough experience to advance to a new level, they do so when they next rest (though a DM may always choose to implement training rules or some other alternate way).


At every even level a character gains a +1 enhancement bonus three different stats of their choice. This enhancement bonus stacks with other stat enhancements bonuses gained through leveling or from a class but not with stat enhancement bonuses gained from spells or other sources.

Note: A creature may not put an enhancement bonus in a statistic that does not have a base of 3 or higher.


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 spellblade decides to dabble in more intense magics, 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 spellblade 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 gains an arcane bond and can choose to take 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 spellblade.

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.

Also note that unless a class ability or racial ability specifically notes otherwise, a character’s universal caster level increases by 1 for every permanent hit die he gains.

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 or +1 skill rank. The choice of favored class cannot be changed once the character is created, and the choice of gaining a hit point or a skill rank each time a character gains a level (including his first level) cannot be changed once made for a particular level. Prestige classes (see Prestige Classes) can never be a favored class.

Racial Favored Class Bonus

A character may alternately choose to gain a small skill bonus based on their race/class combination (and possibly their mana essence and/or upbringing, if appropriate). Instead of gaining +1 hit point or +1 skill rank whenever they gain a level of their favored class, they gain a +1/4 bonus to two appropriate skills. The skills must be reasonably appropriate for both the race and class (or as noted above). For example, a Shapeshifter Rogue might choose Disguise and Stealth, citing the natural transformative powers of his race helping him excel in the disguise and stealth that rogue excels at, while a Barbarian Ranger might choose Acrobatics and Survival, citing the Barbarian’s Mountain Training ability and his upbringing in the mountains helping him excel in careful movements and getting along in the wild. The skill selection is subject to approval by the GM.

Advancing Beyond 20th Level

Once a character reaches level 20 he begins progression towards becoming an Epic Character.

Character Advancement

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