Pathfinder Second Edition (PF2) is a fantastic tabletop roleplaying game. The publisher, Paizo, aimed to improve on the Pathfinder system, getting rid of some of the bloat and streamlining other aspects of the game.
One of the major improvements with PF2 is the character creation process, which now has an intuitive list of steps outlined in the Core Rulebook. Unfortunately, most of the creativity around creating a character is left as an exercise to the reader.
Luckily for you, Nerds on Earth has had their nose to the figurative grindstone for the past twelve weeks with their Character Concepts series. We ran through each class individually, providing an overview and five broad character concepts to spark creativity. There’s even a Pathmap to help you make meaningful mechanical choices that fit each concept.
This article collects those 12 installments, serving as a one-stop shop for all of your Pathfinder Second Edition character creation needs!
Alchemists are all about mixing concoctions and reagents to simulate spell effects. They are generally smart, using their intellectual mind to quickly change situations to their favor. Sometimes they might even sprinkle in a few explosions to keep things interesting.
- Decorated Surgeon: As a medical expert, you’ve performed countless surgeries – both restorative and experimental.
- Structural Engineer: Explosives have been central to engineering since gunpowder first went BOOM.
- Evolution Theorist: How can we make the body better? Seems like three arms would be more helpful than two…
- Party Rocker: Academics are SO last semester. It’s time to cut loose and show everybody how to have a great time!
- Covert Operative: I spy with my little eye, someone who’s not afraid to get behind enemy lines and complete the mission.
Barbarians wear their emotions right on their lightly-armored sleeves. They are strong-willed and might rush headlong into situations without conducting a proper risk-analysis first. Each barbarian has a primal instinct that they tap into, gaining the juicy powers associated with the source of their rage.
- Educated Aristocrat: If one more person says, “Let them eat cake,” I’m going to completely lose my mind!
- Devoted Conservationist: The only acceptable place for a litterbug is smack-dab in the middle of his hit list.
- Professional Bodybuilder: We’ve got a solid 60 before we have to be back in the office. Should we crunch it?
- Spiritual Chieftain: It takes a lot of guts to lead a group of people. Good thing you have a couple voices whispering in your ear, urging you onward.
- Draconic Devotee: You have it all – dragon plushies, t-shirts, posters, coasters, and toasters. If only you could become the dragon!
Bards tell stories through the use of many mediums including song, dance, and standup comedy. They are metaphorical jacks of all trades, able to cast a wide variety of utility spells and buffs. Typically creative, bards excel at their performances and are as original as you can get.
- Fey Emissary: Speaking on behalf of the fey-folk isn’t all that bad. At least you don’t have to pick up their dry cleaning.
- Tumbling Acrobat: Prepare to be amazed! They will dazzle you with their incredible feats! Which, ironically, is what they always land on!
- Occupational Therapist: Adventuring is just another job, and you are essentially the HR department. Put it in the complaint box. Don’t worry – it’s anonymous.
- Virtuoso Playwright: 2B, or not 2B. No seriously, I can’t remember where I tied up my horse in this gigantic parking garage.
- Industrious Mathematician: Did somebody say 2B? We must find the value of B!
Champions really shine at protecting others while channeling the power from their deity. They are often selfless and stalwart in their beliefs. On top of that, champions will stop at almost nothing to defend their convictions and their team.
- Contract Bodyguard: I do have a very particular set of skills. Skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.
- Divine Gladiator: Are you not entertained? Seriously, maybe I’ll do the invisible box one more time…
- Remorseful Convict: You did the crime and you paid the time. Let’s prove to the world that you’ve changed. Mostly.
- Humble Volunteer: Armed with loaves of bread and bundles of mittens, your only flaw is that you can’t stand the smell of soup anymore.
- Ardent Legislator: How come judges are the only people that get to run around with a gavel? Order. ORDER!
Clerics are well-known for their vast healing capabilities, which makes them an asset in any adventuring party. Just like champions, they get their divine abilities from a deity, and they strive to uphold the tenets of that deity in all that they do. Not all clerics are entirely focused on healing; some excel at proclaiming the glories of their deity through melee combat.
- Caravan Escort: Most of the time you just have to remember to put on sunblock and duck under the camel spit, but it’s an easy gig.
- Adaptable Undertaker: Preparing bodies for the afterlife isn’t glamorous, but it’s certainly made you a better seamstress.
- Battle Artist: The battlefield is a canvas, and your blade is your brush. It’s abstract art!
- Invigorating Standard-Bearer: Your flags inspire others to new heights. They don’t have to know that you carry an opposition flag in case things go south.
- Meticulous Horticulturist: Every plant needs pruning, and you have the greenest of thumbs. Actually, does this thumb look normal to you?
Druids are physical manifestations of nature itself. Their love of the natural beauties of the world is unrivaled, whether it be a fascination with plant-life, weather, or animals. With a huge capacity for love, they strive to protect the inherent wonder found in all living things.
- Caring Veterinarian: A dog is man’s best friend, but what about all of the other animals? They all hold a special place in your heart.
- Waste Management Officer: Nobody wants to know how the sausage is made, or where it goes when it’s done. Nobody except you.
- Volcanic Overlord: You raise your arms and roar from the top of the volcano, and your loyal subjects ERUPT with raucous cheers!
- Fundamental Merchant: Selling baubles door-to-door is an honest living, and Marie Kondo has turned you into a minimalist.
- Tempest Visionary: Have a seat in the foyer, take a number. I was lightning before the thunder.
Fighters are your de facto combatants; they are masters of sword, board, and everything in between. Being proficient at so many types of weapons makes them incredibly versatile on the battlefield. In fact, when it comes to tactical prowess, fighters take the cake.
- Retired Sailor: Do you even have a pair of land legs underneath you, ya ol’ sea dog?
- Hearty Lumberjack: Trees fallin’ down, you’re yellin’ TIMBERRRRR. Not to mention that you probably look great in flannel patterns.
- Hardened Tavern Keeper: Slinging drinks all night long and making sure your patrons stay well-fed are your top priorities.
- Superstitious Gravedigger: A shovel isn’t the best weapon, but it’s better than nothing when the ghouls crawl out in the dead of the night.
- Gutsy Thespian: The whole world’s a stage, but performing in the half-shell gives an entirely different kind of rush.
Investigators are always perceptive as they search for clues and answers. They sift through the incoming information and make educated decisions based on what they see, in combination with their gut feelings. No stone is left unturned!
- Paranormal Detective: Break out the vacuum, even if it’s only Casper living up in your attic.
- Judicious Bursar: It’s Burr, sir! You can hear the coins jingling from a mile away!
- Shipwreck Salvager: It’s like your a deep sea diver who is swimming with a raincoat.
- Archaic Archeologist: The wonders of the world lie beneath countless layers of history.
- Cryptic Cryptozoologist: What’s as big as an elephant, but weighs nothing? The shadow of an elephant, of course!
Monks are serene in thought, prioritizing clarity on their personal journey towards enlightenment. Nothing can tear them from acting in pursuit of completing a specific goal, which puts their loyalty and dedication through the roof. They are typically nimble and rely on their body as their ultimate weapon.
- Irreligious Imposter: Sure, there might be a grain of truth to some of the teachings, but you’re just here for the free donuts on Sundays.
- Undecided Student: Sticking with general electives for the first two years is a solid plan, at least until you figure out what you want to do with your life. Or maybe try a community college?
- Cadaverous Thrall: You’ve served at the beck and call of your master for years, and it’s turned you into a corpse of your past self.
- Grandiose Abbot: DING! DING! Ring those big monastery bells; we need to show the boosters we’re using that money wisely.
- Reclusive Sculptor: Does this misshapen hunk of clay even vaguely resemble the face of the king? I should probably stop spending so much time having conversations with these horseshoe crabs.
Rangers are keen and observant; you would be hard-pressed to get the jump on an accomplished ranger. They tend to favor natural terrain and usually have an affinity to a close animal companion to confide in during their travels. Whether using a bow from range or an axe up close, rangers can quickly identify weaknesses and exploit them to their advantage.
- Legendary Slayer: Your personal patronage has allowed the local taxidermist to retire early, with full benefits.
- Search and Rescue Expert: A master of smoke signals and flashing mirrors, you could find a haystack in a needle.
- Fearless Animal Trainer: Let’s start with the house cat and work our way up to the lion. No sense getting ahead of ourselves.
- Experienced Guide: Yeah, the trails are properly marked and it’s really not that dangerous, but you should definitely still pay for the useful trivia that only expert locals can truly provide.
- Tournament Bowman: You might be an amazing shot, but don’t think for a second that I’m actually going to put an apple on my head.
Rogues usually act alone, always seeking to preserve the most important person in the room – themselves. The best way to avoid getting stabbed in the back is to avoid trusting others in the first place, right? Once a rogue is in your good graces, however, their uncanny ability to wreck havoc with their blade or tongue makes them an invaluable addition to any party.
- Surveillance Dealer: Well, no officer, I wouldn’t call it ‘breaking and entering.’ What I’m doing is referred to as a ‘Simulated Commodity Analysis Measurement’ – SCAM for short.
- Riverside Raider: Contrary to what popular media would lead you to believe, breathing through a hollow reed underwater is much more difficult than you might think.
- Escape Artist: I don’t actually get out of ropes and chains. I just do charcoal sketches of other people doing that.
- Ingenious Vizier: Every king needs a trustworthy adviser. Just don’t pick a name that’s obviously sinister, like Wormtongue.
- International Person of Mystery: Being an enigma wrapped up in a mystery is so GROOVY BABY!
Sorcerers have magic that courses through their veins, giving them ancestral identity and extraordinary abilities. They usually harbor some kind of inner struggle around coming to terms with their newfound powers, and might not be able to control them completely. It remains to be seen what feats they are truly capable of.
- Defensive Strategist: Hold the gates! Dump the tar! Secure that ridge! These are just a couple of your many catch-phrases.
- Possessed Revenant: When we’re talking about unfinished business, it’s not some incomplete TPS report. This is PERSONAL.
- Handsome Devil: You should never judge a book by its cover, but if you did – you would be one good-looking book.
- Peculiar Outsider: Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars. Or, at least in your neighbor’s backyard.
- Haughty Crone: Living away from society has done wonders for your stress levels, and it’s certainly saved you from a fair share of wrinkles.
Swashbucklers are panache-driven, always seeking adventure and the fame that comes with it. To most, combat is similar to a dance or art form, and they leverage that idea as they twirl across the battlefield.
- Suitable Ghostwriter: It would be easy to tell that you’re the author, except that you never put your name on your work!
- The People’s Campaigner: A champion of the people, you cast light on issues that are lost in the darkness.
- Playbill Headliner: When you’re on the cast-list, people get excited. And rightfully so – you’re a national trasure!
- Steadfast Buccaneer: Not a corn vendor, but these folks are adept at combat and aren’t going to back down from a fight.
- Convincing Mountebank: Catch a snake and wring it out; that’s the easiest way to make snake oil that people will buy like hotcakes.
Witches gain their power from an otherwordly Patron. They control their opponents through the use of Hexes, debilitating their enemies and boosting their allies. Their familiars serve as a conduit to their Patron, providing companionship when the rest of the world may be too afraid to offer it.
- Thorough Opportunist: Politics isn’t necessarily a zero-sum game, and you aim to come out on top.
- Grassroots Activist: Spread hope like fire.
- Bright Lamplighter: Lamplighter, lamplighter, light me a lamp!
- Runic Translator: Some might see them as interesting scribbles, but you will make sure they ‘rune’ the day they disrespected those glyphs!
- Gifted Student: It’s Wingardium LeviOsa, not LeviosAH. Honestly, don’t you ever read?
Wizards overflow with intelligence, thanks to countless hours of study and dedication to the craft. With access to an insane catalog of spells, they can certainly whip up a solution to any problem the world might throw at them. They seek to understand the mysteries of the world, and the magical fabric that holds it all together.
- Trinket Mage: Every object has a story, so you’re probably more of a librarian than a hoarder. At least, that’s what you tell yourself.
- Congenial Cryogenicist: Stay frosty, because this polite scientist is the definition of chill. Sounds pretty cool.
- Proficient Snake Charmer: Playing a flute to enchant a snake to come out of a basket is still easier than learning to code in Python.
- Seasoned Weapons Master: How’d you like to randomly reach into a pile of weapons knowing that you’ll be proficient at whatever you grab? Careful! They’re sharp!
- Special Effects Aficionado: There might not be a silver screen to showcase your work, but visual displays that make us ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ are always in high demand.
Creating Great Pathfinder Second Edition Characters
At the end of the day, you should play the characters that you want to play! Find something that really interests you about a particular class, background, or ancestry and expand on it.
Brainstorm! Ask questions! Conduct a rigorous series of hypothetical situations for your friends and family! Whatever helps you create your next favorite character.
Until next time, happy creating!