It has been a long time since I last played RPGs and I have forgotten so much about how things like character creation work. I am using the Pathfinder core rule book for all of my characters currently as it is the only book I have at this time. There are some aspects to generating a character that I must be missing because. For instance I am not totally clear on how clerics and other magic users choose their spells and how many they get at each level. The cleric has a notation that says that it gets 3 0th level spells and 1+1 1st level spells at first level. What does the 1+1 get you?

Is there a site that does a walkthrough from start to finish for generating characters for new players?


I like to think there are 3 main spell casting class variants (clerics,wizards,sorcerers). Other spell casting classes will have their own specific rules, but will have behavior similar to one of the main 3 (usually wizard):

Since you are building a cleric, ill start there by answering your specific questions:

Clerics get the entire cleric spell list as spells known.

The 3 0th means that they can have 3 level 0 spells prepared for the day.

The 1+1 1st level means they get to prepare any 1 spell of first level from the cleric spell list and 1 level 1 spell from one of their domain spell lists.

Now how do clerics compare to other casters?

wizards : like clerics they have to prepare the spells they want to use each day. Unlike clerics, they do not have the full spell list available to them. They can only prepare spells from the list of spells in their spell book. At each level they get to add spells to their spell book. (they can also learn them by copying other spell books & scrolls)

sorcerers: They learn new spells each level like a wizard. However, they do not have to prepare spells per day (spontaneous casters). They can use their spells slots per day on any spell they have learned of that level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The 3 0th level spells (Orisons) can be cast as many times as you want as well correct? They are not used up like the prepared spells if I understand it correctly. As for 1+1 I can any 1st level cleric spells prepared and either of my 2 domain spells? \$\endgroup\$ – etank Jul 13 '12 at 15:36

I found a youtube series by Dawnforgedcast which did a pretty good job describing the character creation process for non-magical users and then even into some combat. At this time it is a 4 part series dealing with:

He also has a series on DM Basics that I am going to check out later.


You also get bonus spells based off of your main stat. So for example, if your Cleric has a 16 Wisdom at 1st level, you will get to cast 3 Zero level spells (you know all of them, but you can only pick 3), 1 normal spell (see zero level spells), 1 domain spell (limited to whatever domains you picked, you get to choose one), and a Bonus spell because you have at least a +1 wisdom modifier. Thus giving you 2 first level spells to chose from, a Domain spell, and 3 zero level spells at First level. It progresses up, so at 2nd level you get 4 zero level spells, 2 first level spells, 1 domain spell, and 1 bonus first level spell. At 3rd level you have 4 zero, 2 first, 1 first level domain spell, one bonus first level spell, then 1 second level spell, 1 second level domain spell, and that's due to that 16 wisdom (the +3), you gain a bonus 2nd level spell.

That 16 Wisdom will give you bonus spells up to the level of the bonus, so +3 equals bonus spells level 1 through 3. As you increase that Wisdom every 4 levels and even with magic, the bonus spells increase as do the save DC. A high stat is also a requirement for the maximum level of spell you can cast. For example, a Cleric with a 12 wisdom can only cast 2nd level spells and the save DC is only +1. This character can add +1 to their wisdom every 4 levels, and thus at 20th level be able to cast 7th level spells. Also their save DC will not be difficult to over-come. This is why any caster who has a list going to 9th level will want to start out with at least a 16 in their core stat (Cleric-Druid/Wis, Wiz/Int, Sorc/Chr). The shortened casters like a Bard only really needs a minimum 16 and Paladins and Rangers will want at least a 14.

But if you want to cast a lot of 'save or die' spells or spells like illusions and enchantments that are saving throw based, you will want to start out with the highest stat you can, and then keep pumping it.

A house rule me and my friends use is rolling up the bonus spells. So for example, that 16 Wisdom Cleric at first level has access to 3 bonus spells, but can only use 1. Well we will allow a caster to have access to all 3 bonus spells as first level spells. Then at 3rd level when they get a 2nd level spell, they will get 2 bonus first level spells and 1 second level spell. Then at 5th they will get one bonus spell at first through third. So far it has not been game breaking and allows the casters a little more stamina before they have to rest.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This answer starts off as if it's replying to or adding to what another post said. However, we aren't a forum and posts can be displayed in many different orders, so that makes the beginning of your answer not very understandable. Could you edit this to stand alone as an answer to the question? Imagine there are no other answers and yours is the first—try to give as complete an answer as possible, as you would if nobody else had posted here. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Nov 29 '14 at 21:48

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