The Pathfinder Playtest for 2E has the following in the section about ability scores:

When your character advances to 5th, 10th, 15th, and 20th levels, she receives ability boosts in four different ability scores. These function similarly to the ability boosts she receives at 1st level, but she is free to use them to increase her ability scores above 18.

There are two ways to read the first sentence:

  1. At 5th level, you gain four ability boosts. Then at 10th level, you gain four new ability boosts, etc.
  2. At 5th level, you gain one ability boost, and one at each 5th level afterward. This adds up to four different ability boosts.

Which is the correct reading? Is this just a case of an unfortunate coincidence in the number of times ability boosts are awarded, or are there only four ability boosts to be had? I checked the Paizo blogs and here, as well as the section about character advancement in general, but no dice.


1 Answer 1


The answer to this lies in the classes section under the class features for each class.

Ability Boosts

At 5th level and every 5 levels thereafter, you boost four different ability scores. You can use these ability boosts to increase your ability scores above 18. Boosting an ability score increases it by 1 if it’s already 18 or above, or by 2 if it starts out below 18.

You get 4 separate ability boosts at each of those levels (a total of 16 boosts in all).

Also note that those 4 boosts cannot go into the same ability score.

When you gain multiple ability boosts at the same time, you must apply each one to a different score.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Just for reference, this is the exact same way that you increase abilities in Starfinder (with the exception of the soft cap being at 17, not 18), even though the creation at 1st level is different. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Aug 15, 2018 at 13:03

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