How would I go about making my character a professional writer? I intend on making them a renowned fiction writer in the future but I imagine they've got to start small. Just not really sure where or how to start this idea.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Tritium21, Oblivious Sage, nitsua60, Maurycy, the dark wanderer Oct 6 '15 at 22:58

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking for... roleplaying hints, character optimization advice? \$\endgroup\$ – Tritium21 Oct 5 '15 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, please clarify to what degree you want rules support for this... \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Oct 13 '15 at 11:52

I would not bring rules into it, per se.

I would just keep this aspect of the character in mind while making various character-creation decisions. A successful fiction writer is surely creative, so high Charisma is likely, probably his highest.

Beyond this, high Intelligence might imply they’re well-read, which is often considered mandatory for writing well, and high Wisdom might mean he or she is perceptive, which helps when trying to capture an imagined world in text. Even physical scores may play a role; completing a novel takes dedication and stamina, which could be improved with Constitution, and writing itself may utilize a modicum of Dexterity.

So you’re looking at good, possibly great, Charisma, and quite possibly above-average Intelligence and/or Wisdom, and Constitution and Dexterity scores that don’t suck, while Strength is perhaps less valuable.

Bard is sort of the obvious class here, being itself artistic, and basically turning art into magic. The scores discussed above are pretty solid bard scores, too. Perform (oratory) might work well for storytelling; this can be used for bardic “music” and also lends itself to being written down.

Other classes that like Charisma include the sorcerer, who could easily get into writing, and paladin, which would be an unusual choice but writing is a fine hobby for a paladin, and becoming a full-time author is a more than acceptable retirement for one.

But note that none of this has particularly much to do with specific rules for writing itself. There are none; Pathfinder’s not a game about writing. There are no feats to take, no classes that explicitly become writers, nothing like that. At best, one could take ranks in Profession (author), but this is not recommended;1 that will basically do nothing for you, and it’s neither necessary nor a good idea to pay “taxes” for your backstory.

Your backstory is what you make of it; its influence on your character is up to you: it is your responsibility to make your character match what you say he or she does. Someone who is a writer and you imagine will become renowned should be artistic and creative; how exactly you back that up is up to you.

  1. The Rules Compendium for 3.5, which Pathfinder is based on, explicitly recommended against “backstory tax” skill ranks, particularly in Profession. I don’t know if Pathfinder replicated this advice anywhere, but the Profession skill hasn’t changed any and Rules Compendium’s recommendation is still very valid.
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Bard who travels with adventurers to write down their tales is a classic trope and works really well. The character is a budding writer because he still has to find some epic heroes that create good stories to tell. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Oct 5 '15 at 6:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Based on some of the RL writers I have met, having high Charisma is not a necessary attribute. Having at least medium Charisma is probably necessary to get people/NPC's to tell you things that you later fold into your story. Charisma is handy when it comes to marketing the product. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 5 '15 at 12:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Charisma is, like most things in D&D, a hopelessly-overloaded term. It means many, many things. I was thinking of Charisma as creativity, not necessarily skill interacting with others – that would be Diplomacy. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Oct 5 '15 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ As its a trait or ability, not a skill, we are now getting wrapped into definitions. Charisma is a characteristic of a person, or something inherent in that person. Anyway, this is a side track. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Oct 5 '15 at 15:26

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