Rules Index

Chapter 1: Introduction / Character Creation / Step 1 Create a Concept

Ancestry, Background, Class, or Details

Source Core Rulebook pg. 21
If one of Pathfinder’s character ancestries, backgrounds, or classes particularly intrigues you, it’s easy to build a character concept around these options. The summaries of ancestries and classes on pages 22–23 give a brief overview of these options (full details appear in Chapters 2 and 3, respectively). Each ancestry also has several heritages that might refine your concept further, such as a human with an elf or orc parent, or an arctic or woodland elf. Additionally, the game has many backgrounds to choose from, representing your character’s upbringing, their family’s livelihood, or their earliest profession. Backgrounds are detailed later in Chapter 2, beginning on page 60.

Building a character around a specific ancestry, background, or class can be a fun way to interact with the world’s lore. Would you like to build a typical member of your character’s ancestry or class, as described in the relevant entry, or would you prefer to play a character who defies commonly held notions about their people? For example, you could play a dwarf with a wide-eyed sense of wonder and a zest for change, or a performing rogue capable of amazing acrobatic feats but with little interest in sneaking about.

You can draw your concept from any aspect of a character’s details. You can use roleplaying to challenge not only the norms of Pathfinder’s fictional world, but even real-life societal norms. Your character might challenge gender notions, explore cultural identity, have a disability, or any combination of these suggestions. Your character can live any life you see fit.