Pathfinder Society Organized Play allows players to advance either 1XP or 1/2XP per session. There are no advantages offered by taking the slower XP (experience) gain, so why would someone use this option?


4 Answers 4


The relevant bit of the Pathfinder Society Field Guide:

At character creation and each time you gain a level, you decide if you would like your character to be on the standard or slow advancement track for the entirety of that level.

Primarily, the "slow" XP gain is so that you can keep playing with a particular character longer. Note that when you gain a level you pick whether you are on the slow or normal track for the next level. There are a couple of reasons you might do this:

Hypothetical 1: I like playing PFS with my friends, but I attend more games than they do

I might decide to do ½ XP for a few levels, so that I'll stay in the same tier with them.

Hypothetical 2: I really love this character, but I'm approaching the level 12 cap too rapidly!

I might then do ½ XP to prolong the life of that character.

Hypothetical 3: I GM a lot of PFS games, and all of my characters are getting XP, but I've not had time to play them

Might choose ½ XP for a level or so, in order to actually get to play the character at that level.

In the end, it's just a way to stretch out the pacing of PFS games, since there's not a lot of end-game content at level 12, and if you play a lot, you'll be leveling up fairly quickly.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Living Greyhawk didn't have this rule, and actually punished people for avoiding character retirement, and Pazio appears to just think it is silly to punish players for trying to play a beloved character a bit longer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Canageek
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 19:14
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It is also the case that depending on where you are there may not be a lot of other players in PFS with characters at a given higher level - so you might choose slow advancement to stay at the level of play available near you for longer. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 18:05

Slow advancement also offers the additional benefits:

  1. Twice as many Day Job checks (which means more free gold between games)
  2. If you have the Borderland Keep vanity property, you can get 2 prestige points per slow advancement.
  3. Twice as many chances to receive a Boon at the end of an adventure.
  4. If you're a Druid or Ranger, twice as many chances to teach your animal companion a new trick.
  5. If you're a spell caster, twice as many chances to learn a new spell from a scroll.
  6. Twice as many chances to make saving throws to remove a carry-over affliction.
  7. Basically, twice as many chances to do anything that is normally permitted only once between game sessions.

I've found with newer players that the longer they play a level the better grasp they have on the class and character, as they can spend more time mastering and getting comfortable with the abilities/feats/spells.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with that completely: I found LG rammed me through the levels so fast that I was still figuring out my new spells when I levelled. \$\endgroup\$
    – Canageek
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 20:49

The reason I chose to do this when I played is so I can understand the classes better that I never play at a non-organized play setting. This allows me to find the classes quirks and as a DM helped me challenge my players that played the classes I never played before. It also helped me realize that I really enjoy the Witch class.


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