World Overview

Pathfinder adventures take place in the Age of Omens. Pathfinder uses a set of polyhedral dice; these are: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20.

tip If a rule asks for d%, then you generate a number from 1 to 100 by rolling two 10-sided dice, treating one as the tens place and the other as the ones place.

013 - Ability scores

Characters are defined by ability scores. There are six ability scores in the game:

  • Strength — represents a character’s physical might,
  • Dexterity — represents agility and the ability to avoid danger,
  • Constitution — indicates a character’s overall health and well-being,
  • Intelligence — represents raw knowledge and problem-solving ability,
  • Wisdom — measures a character’s insight and the ability to evaluate a situation,
  • Charisma — indicates charm, persuasiveness, and the force of personality.

Go to Table: Ability modifiers to see how to calculate modifiers out of scores.

Link to original

Game modes

In a Pathfinder game, three modes of play determine the pacing of each scene in the story; these are: exploration, encounter, and downtime.


During encounters, the players and the GM roll initiative to determine who acts in what order. The encounter occurs over a number of rounds, each of which is equal to about 6 seconds of time in the world of the game. During a round, each participant takes a turn. When it’s your turn to act, you can use up to three actions.


Characters recover their wounds, plan future conquests, or pursue a trade. Characters can use downtime to retrain, replacing one character choice with another to reflect their evolving priorities.