Character Classes

There are 66 standard character classes defined in the Ultimate SRD. They are:

CORE: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, and Wizard.
PSIONIC: Psion, Psychic Warrior, Soulknife, and Wilder.
COMPLETE ADVENTURER: Ninja, Scout, and Spellthief.
COMPLETE ARCANE: Warlock, Wu jen.
COMPLETE DIVINE: Shugenja, and Spirit Shaman.
COMPLETE PSIONIC: Ardent, Divine Mind, Erudite, and Lurk.
COMPLETE WARRIOR: Hexblade, Samurai, and Swashbuckler.
DRAGON COMPENDIUM: Battle Dancer, Death Master, Jester, Mountebank, Savant, Sha'ir, and Urban Druid.
DRAGON MAGIC: Dragonfire Adept.
DRAGONLANCE CAMPAIGN SETTING: Mariner, Master, Mystic, Nightstalker, and Noble.
HEROES OF HORROR: Archivist and Dread Necromancer.
MAGIC OF INCARNUM: Incarnate, Soulborn, and Totemist.
MINIATURES HANDBOOK: Favored Soul, Healer, Marshal, and Warmage.
PLAYER'S HANDBOOK II: Beguiler, Dragon Shaman, Duskblade, and Knight.
TOME OF BATTLE: Crusader, Swordsage, and Warblade.
TOME OF MAGIC: Binder, Shadowcaster, and Truenamer.
WOTC WEBSITE: Psychic Rogue.


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. Table: Base Save and Base Attack Bonuses summarizes the figures for this third factor when it applies to base save bonuses and base attack bonuses.

Base Save Bonus: The two numbers given in this column on Table: Base Save and Base Attack Bonuses 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. See each class's description to find out which bonus applies to which category of saves. If a character has more than one class (see Multiclass Characters), the base save bonuses for each class are cumulative.

Base Attack Bonus: On an attack roll, apply the bonus from the appropriate column on Table: Base Save and Base Attack Bonuses 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. If a character has more than one class (see Multiclass Characters), the base attack bonuses for each class are cumulative.

Table: Base Save and Base Attack Bonus

Class Level Base Save
Bonus (Good)
Base Save
Bonus (Poor)
Base Attack
Bonus (Good)
Base Attack
Bonus (Average)
Base Attack
Bonus (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


In addition to attack bonuses and saving throw bonuses, all characters gain other benefits from advancing in level. Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits summarizes these additional benefits.

XP: This column on Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits 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 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 (see the class descriptions) 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.

Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits


Class Skill
Max Ranks
Cross-Class Skill
Max Ranks

Ability Score
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


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 (see Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits).

Advancing a Level: When your character's XP total reaches at least the minimum XP needed for a new character level (see Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits), 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.


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. (See Multiclass Characters)

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 hit 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). See Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits.

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.


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.

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.


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, an noted on Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits.

"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.

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 on Table: Base Save and Base Attack Bonuses to see how many additional attacks the character gets and at what bonuses.

Saving Throws: Add the base save bonuses for each class together.

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.

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.

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.

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 feats based on character levels, regardless of individual class level.

Ability Increases: A multiclass character gains ability score increases based on character level, regardless of individual class level.

Spells: The character gains spells from all of his or her spellcasting classes and keeps a separate spell list for each class. If a spell's effect is based on the class level of the caster, the player must keep track of which class's spell list the character is casting the spell from.


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.


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 are purchased at the cost appropriate for that class.

Rules for characters beyond 20th level (including multiclass characters beyond 20th level) are covered in the Epic Levels section.


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) 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 nonfavored 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 bard/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.



Each fully detailed variant has entries for one or more of the following topics. If an entry does not appear, use the material for the standard class.

Alignment: Changes to the class's alignment restrictions.

Hit Die: Changes to the class's Hit Die.

Base Attack Bonus: If the class uses a different base attack bonus, this entry gives the column to use (good, average, or poor).

Base Save Bonuses: If the class has a different mix of good and poor saves, this entry gives the appropriate column for each save.

Class Skills: Additions or subtractions from the class skill list, and/or changes in the number of skill points gained per level.

Class Features: Changes, additions, or subtractions to the class's special features, including spellcasting.

Multiclassing And Variant Classes

Multiclassing between variants of the same class is a tricky subject. In cases where a single class offers a variety of paths (such as the totem barbarian or the monk fighting styles), the easiest solution is simply to bar multiclassing between different versions of the same class (just as a character can't multiclass between different versions of specialist wizards). For variants that are wholly separate from the character class - such as the bardic sage or the urban ranger - multiclassing, even into multiple variants of the same class, is probably okay. Identical class features should stack if gained from multiple versions of the same class (except for spellcasting, which is always separate).

In any case, only the first version of a favored class is treated as favored; a halfling rogue/wizard who later begins gaining levels in the wilderness rogue variant class can't treat both the rogue and wilderness rogue classes as favored, only the class gained first (in this case, rogue). Under no circumstances does spellcasting ability from multiple classes (even variants of the same class) stack. A character with levels of bard and levels of bardic sage has two separate caster levels and two separate sets of spells per day, even though the classes are very similar.


Your choice of a class delineates some of the most important aspects of your D&D character. With a class comes a specific role in the party, essential mechanical attributes such as base attack bonus and base save bonuses, and a host of special abilities that define the character. It is possible, however, to alter a class slightly to provide a new playing experience.

These abilities replace class features found in the original class description on a one-for-one basis. If you have already reached or passed the level at which you can take the ability, you can use the retraining option described in Players Handbook II to substitute the alternative class feature for the normal one gained at that level.

Alternative Class Feature Name

A general description of the ability and why you should consider it.

Class: The class or classes that can select this class feature.

Level: The alternative class feature can be selected only at this level (unless you are using the retraining option). In some cases, different levels might be given for different classes.

Special Requirement: Any special requirements that you must meet before selecting the alternative class feature. Many of the alternative class features described here require 1 or more ranks of a Knowledge skill. Since skill ranks are purchased before class features are selected, you can meet this requirement at the same level that you gain the alternative class feature.

Replaces: The ability that you must sacrifice to gain the alternative class feature.

Benefit: The mechanical effects of the new ability.

Class Feature Retraining

Retraining is adjusting a decision you made earlier in your character's career by selecting a different legal option. This technique represents the character's practicing new talents in lieu of honing older ones. In a way, the process is similar to attaining a new level. In keeping with that concept, the retraining option can be chosen only during level advancement.

Each time your character attains a new level, you can choose to retrain. This decision must be implemented before any benefits of the newly attained level are applied. For example, if a 5th-level rogue wants to trade her trap sense feature for the penetrating strike alternative class feature, she can do so immediately upon attaining 6th level, before she gains any of the benefits for that level (such as additional hit points, skill points, and so on).

Class feature retraining allows you to swap out one character option at a given level for another. The character remains basically the same, since his class levels haven't changed, but he's now highlighting a different aspect of his class. Such retraining also allows a character to adopt an alternative class feature, such as those presented in this section.

To choose an alternative class feature, substitute it for one class feature available at that level. The new feature must represent a choice that you could have made at the same level as you made the original choice. Also, the new choice can't make any of your later choices illegal - though it might automatically change class features acquired later if they are based on the initial choice.


Substitution levels are levels of a given class that you take to gain certain benefits instead of the level benefits associated with the standard class. Selecting a substitution level is not the same as multiclassing; you remain in the class for which the substitution level was taken. The class features of the substitution level simply replace those of the normal level. To qualify for a substitution level, you must be of the proper class. For instance, a fighter can't take a substitution level for the rogue or monk class. Some substitution levels have specific requirements for you to take those levels, such as race or skill ranks.

Most classes have a number of substitution levels, each of which you can select at a specified class level. When you take a substitution level for your class at a given level, you give up the benefits gained at that level for the standard class, and you get the substitution level benefits instead. You can't go back and gain the benefits for that level you swapped out - when you take your next level in the standard class, you gain the next higher level as if you had gained the previous level normally. For instance, if you are a 3rd-level fighter and take the planar fighter substitution level for 4th level, you forever lose the benefits normally provided to a standard 4th-level fighter (you gained instead the planar substitution benefit for a 4th-level fighter). When you gain another level in fighter, you gain the 5th-level benefits of the standard fighter class.

Unless otherwise noted in the description of a substitution level benefit, a character who takes a substitution level gains spellcasting ability (increases in spells per day and spells known, if applicable) as if he had taken this level in the standard class.

A character need not take all the substitution levels provided for a class. For instance, a barbarian may decide only to take the planar substitution level for his class at 7th level, ignoring the previous substitution levels.

The description of each substitution level benefit explains what occurs to the standard class ability not gained, if that ability would normally increase at a specific rate (such as the barbarian's trap sense class feature).

When a substitution level changes the base class's Hit Die or class skill list, the change applies only to the specific substitution class level, not to any other class levels. A half-orc who takes the half-orc druid substitution level as a beginning character gains 10 hit points (from the substitution level's d10 Hit Die), and gains an additional 1d10 hit points for each additional half-orc druid substitution level she takes later in her career, but she gains only the normal d8 Hit Die for each of her standard druid levels.

Substituting Substitution Levels

Substitution levels are presented such that only characters rolling up new characters or characters making the transition to the required level are capable of taking a substitution level. However, this restriction might only serve to ensure that the useful class features in a given substitution level never see the light of day.

Optionally, the DM might decide to allow the character to pick up a substitution level even after a character has already leveled up beyond the requisite level. The DM can accomplish this in a number of different ways. The guiding principle should be that it not seem too simple, lest it's value seem diminished to the player.

One method is to require the player to undergo a class-specific rite whose cost is equal to the level to be substituted times 100, which lasts a number of hours equal to the level to be substituted. For instance, if a bard wished to substitute his regular 3rd level class features for the inspire turning class features of a lightbringer bard, she would pay 300 gold pieces and spend 3 hours undergoing a music-filled rite. If he had more than one substitution level he wanted to exchange at the same time, the costs and time would be added together.

Alternatively, characters who join a organization can choose at the time of their acceptance into the organization to retroactively apply the effect of any substitution levels for class levels he or she has already gained.

Substituting back to the original class features shouldn't be so easy, or even possible at all. If the DM does allow it, the character must at least wait until they've gained a new level, at which point they can do a reverse rite to regain their original class features (or substitute the features of some other substitution level).


Sometimes you're going to want to create characters that aren't 1st level. Perhaps you have purchased an adventure you're dying to play, but no one has characters of the appropriate level. Perhaps you just want to jump right to 5th level and start your campaign there. Whatever the reason, creating new characters at any given level isn't hard (and, in fact, many players find it fun).

If you tell players to create characters of higher than 1st level, assign an experience point total for them to use. Doing this is better than just assigning a level because it balances characters who take multiclass penalties against those who do not. Then the players should follow these steps.

1. Determine ability scores normally.

2. Determine race and class. If the character is multiclass, determine how many levels of each class the character has, and in what order they were gained. (The order is important in step 3.)

3. Determine character statistics. This includes base attack bonus, save bonuses, spells, abilities, feats, hit points (maximum hp at 1st level and rolled hp for each level afterward). If the characters are 4th level or higher, allow each to add 1 point to an ability score at 4th level and every four levels beyond that (see Table: Experience and Level-Dependent Benefits). It is important to note if Intelligence gets modified, because a raised Intelligence score might gain the character more skill points, but only at that level and beyond. (That is, extra skill points are not retroactive.)

4. Determine skills. The best way to do this is to buy them one level at a time. This allows a player to take into account increased skill points from Intelligence (if any) and changes due to multiclassing. However, if a character's skill points per level do not change (such as when she puts the ability score boost into some ability other than Intelligence) and no multiclassing is involved, the player can buy all the character's skills at once. In either case, keep in mind that maximum rank in a skill is level + 3 for class skills and (level + 3) ÷ 2 for cross-class skills.

5. Equip the character. When creating a 1st-level character, this means buying normal equipment. At higher levels, it also means deciding which magic items a character has acquired so far. Refer to Magic Items, where all magic items are listed along with their market prices. Table: Character Wealth by Level shows the total value of a player character's gear at a given level. This value includes mundane items, but the bulk of it, especially at higher levels, is composed of magic items. See Magic Items as Gear, below, for advice on how to govern what sort of magic items a PC can buy with this wealth. NPCs use the NPC Wealth column to find the total value of their equipment.

Table: Character Wealth by Level

Character Level PC Wealth NPC Wealth
1st 300 gp 900 gp
2nd 900 gp 2,000 gp
3rd 2,700 gp 2,500 gp
4th 5,400 gp 3,300 gp
5th 9,000 gp 4,300 gp
6th 13,000 gp 5,600 gp
7th 19,000 gp 7,200 gp
8th 27,000 gp 9,400 gp
9th 36,000 gp 12,000 gp
10th 49,000 gp 16,000 gp
11th 66,000 gp 21,000 gp
12th 88,000 gp 27,000 gp
13th 110,000 gp 35,000 gp
14th 150,000 gp 45,000 gp
15th 200,000 gp 59,000 gp
16th 260,000 gp 77,000 gp
17th 340,000 gp 100,000 gp
18th 440,000 gp 130,000 gp
19th 580,000 gp 170,000 gp
20th 760,000 gp 220,000 gp
21st 975,000 gp 240,000 gp
22nd 1,200,000 gp 265,000 gp
23rd 1,500,000 gp 290,000 gp
24th 1,800,000 gp 320,000 gp
25th 2,100,000 gp 350,000 gp
26th 2,500,000 gp 390,000 gp
27th 2,900,000 gp 430,000 gp
28th 3,300,000 gp 470,000 gp
29th 3,800,000 gp 520,000 gp
30th 4,300,000 gp 570,000 gp
31st 4,900,000 gp 630,000 gp
32nd 5,600,000 gp 690,000 gp
33rd 6,300,000 gp 760,000 gp
34th 7,000,000 gp 840,000 gp
35th 7,900,000 gp 920,000 gp
36th 8,800,000 gp 1,010,000 gp
37th 9,900,000 gp 1,110,000 gp
38th 11,000,000 gp 1,220,000 gp
39th 12,300,000 gp 1,340,000 gp
40th 13,600,000 gp 1,470,000 gp

6. Work out the details. A paladin needs a warhorse, a druid or experienced ranger needs animal companions, a wizard might want a familiar, a character might belong to a guild or have a cohort, and so on.


You're free to limit what magic items characters can choose when they create characters of higher levels, just as if you were assigning those items to treasure hoards in the game. You can exercise an item-by-item veto, but an easier method is to use maximum cost for a single item as a limit. For example, while an 8th-level character has 27,000 gp to spend, you can limit him to owning no single item worth more than one-quarter of that, or 6,750 gp. This is a good way to prevent imbalances such as an 8th-level fighter with hardly a copper piece to his name who is armed with a nine lives stealer.

You could also limit characters to a certain type of magic item. For example, a player creating a 3rd-level character has 2,700 gp to spend, but you could rule that she can only equip the character with a minor magic item (one that could be obtained by a roll on the "Minor" column of one of the random generation tables).

Character-Created Magic Items: A PC spellcaster created at a level higher than 1st can use any of the XP and gp you have awarded to make magic items, provided that she has the proper item creation feats and prerequisites.

Charged Magic Items: A player may select a partially used magic item for part of his character's starting gear. Such an item's value is proportional to the charges left compared to the charges in a newly created item (half price for a wand with 25 charges, 20% of full price for a wand with 10 charges, and so on).

Limited Use Items: If you're playing a one-shot random dungeon, one-use items cost 5 times their normal price and charged items have 1/5 as many charges. In a one-shot adventure, in which it doesn't matter whether you use up your items, one-use and charged items are a lot better than they are in a regular campaign. In a one-shot dungeon, a one-use item is as good as a 1/day item because you'll be able to use each item once. This "5 times" rule balances the one-use and charged items so they don't dominate the random dungeon.

If you're bringing an existing character into a one-shot dungeon, "trade in" your one-use items for other one-use items at 5 times the cost. For items with charges, give them 1/5 as many charges as normal.