I am playing a paladin in Pathfinder. Our DM likes to take each character and add in a side quest for us to reach max level, so I was looking into becoming a hellknight commander.

Looking up the prereqs I noticed it needing a BAB of +5 but gives a BAB of +1. Does taking a level in this prestige class add the BAB of the hellknight to my BAB of the paladin? I'm still new to the whole prestige classes thing and don't get how the stats work in conjunction with the stats of a normal class.


3 Answers 3


BAB, Hitpoints, Saving Throws, and skill points from classes always add, they don't overlap.

So you get the +5 BAB from your Paladin class levels, and the +1 BAB from the Hell Knight Commander level, to have a BAB of +6/+1 (i.e. BAB of 6 and that triggers the 'second attack at 6 BAB' rule, so you get another attack on a full attack action, at -5 to hit - so +6/+1 (one attack at +6 BAB and one at +1 BAB)).

You also add the saving throw numbers together to get your base saving throws, and add your paladin and hell knight commander levels to get the max ranks you can have in a skill etc.

The numbers on the class progression are already added together for you - each Paladin level adds +1 BAB, so on the class table at level 5 it has the BAB listed as '+5'. If you multiclass, though, you need to add the numbers together yourself - so you find the appropriate numbers for the amount of levels you have in the class on the table for each class, and then add those numbers together manually on your sheet.

Levels are modular, basically, each single level gives BAB, hitpoints, skill points, saving throw increases, so forth, and those always stack. The class progression table just adds the numbers together for you, and displays what you get at each level of the class if you take that class and no other.

It can be confusing, but is intended for ease of use, and not to penalize multi-classing.


Taking a prestige class in PF works the exact same way as normal multiclassing. You add the stats for your levels in one class to those of the other class.

A character with 5 levels of Paladin and 1 level of Hell Knight Commander has a Base Attack Bonus of +6.

  • \$\begingroup\$ ok thanks for the answer, I'm still new to multiclassing and prestige stuff. \$\endgroup\$
    – user12397
    May 22, 2014 at 17:50

Yes! as others have mentioned everything you get from every class level is cumulative with other classes (except where explicitly noted.) However, you may not use the stats gained with that level to qualify for the prestige class.

To clarify: if you are a 4th level paladin (with a +4 BaB) then even though Hellknight commander gives you +1 BaB, you cannot take a level in it because you do not meet the prerequisites for it.

Similarly, if you are an 8th level bard with Point Blank Shot and Precise Shot trying to become an Arcane Archer, you would need to wait until you had acquired Precise shot to take your first class level in Arcane Archer, you could not take the feat to qualify and then take your level in the prestige class.

This is because of the order of operations for levelling up a character.

  1. Select class level (must already be able to qualify).
  2. apply ability score increases.
  3. integrate all gained class abilities.
  4. roll for hit points
  5. select new skills and feats.

Hope that clarifies some things!

edit: to respond to question below (not enough rep for commenting yet)

the order of operations is listed in the pathfinder core rulebook under 'levelling up.'

or here: http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/character-advancement

the relevant paragraph is: "When adding new levels of an existing class or adding levels of a new class (see Multiclassing, below), make sure to take the following steps in order. First, select your new class level. You must be able to qualify for this level before any of the following adjustments are made. Second, apply any ability score increases due to gaining a level. Third, integrate all of the level's class abilities and then roll for additional hit points. Finally, add new skills and feats."

  • \$\begingroup\$ Where can I find that level-up Order of Operations in the books? \$\endgroup\$ May 23, 2014 at 18:27

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