Our recent dungeoneering glory has landed enough experience points for our characters to attain second level. Here’s how my Fighter — Roog — Leveled Up!
Once again I find that while Pathfinder is a robust rules system, it isn’t an especially good rule book, as I can’t find any single paragraph or section that gives me a simple “do this, then this, then THIS” checklist for leveling up. I am informed the not-so-supplemental-but-instead-actually-essential Pathfinder Beginner’s Box does a better job of laying this stuff out. I don’t have that product — I’d depending on the PDF of the core rules I bought from Paizo — but after poking around on the web for a bit I found EXACTLY what I was looking for!
After pinging our GM, I found that rather than roll a new hit die at each level, a house rule allows that we can take half the maximum roll, plus one (effectively an average roll, rounding up). This will substantially improve the survivability of our characters, particularly at the lower levels, where a run of low Hit Die rolls could cripple a character before averaging out at higher levels.
no need to roll …
Roog is a Fighter, with a D10 Hit Die, so he earns 6 HP, +2 for his CON modifier, plus as I’m taking another level of Fighter I’ll apply his “favored class bonus” for one more HP, so Roog gains a total of 9 HP at 2nd Level, going to 22 total.
This makes Roog feel a little more secure in his role as meat shield. He saw his grandfather’s face while holding the door against the goblin horde in the Sandpoint Glassworks last game … which was not good, because Roog’s grandfather was killed by the Sandpoint Devil. It’s not optimal when your big, dumb fighter gets down to one hit point and has to holler for healing. Roog has more margin now, and that’s a good thing.
the Sandpoint Devil isn’t horsing around!
Fighters get +1 attack bonus at Level 2, so Roog’s attacks go up across-the-board, very handy at this stage in his career. He also gets a bump in his Fortitude Save, and a class bonus with Bravery, allowing +1 to Will Saves vs. Fear.
For skill ranks, Roog gets 2, plus his INT modifier of … -2, meaning nothing. Roog is not a highly skilled individual. However, being Human, Roog gets one bonus skill point, which he puts into Ride, a Class Skill that is now +7. This low INT is a charming part of Roog’s character but I may need to bump him up to INT 8 with part of his attribute bonus at 4th level, just to take the edge off and start getting some skill points.
Mongo (and Roog!) only pawn in game of life
The fun part for Roog is choosing a new Feat. As a Fighter, he gets a bonus Feat at Level 2, but it has to be a “Combat Feat.” I’m kind of following the “Defender of the Weak” sword & board fighter described in Rogue Eidolon’s guide for Fighters, which has a heavy emphasis on two-weapon fighting and shield stunts. I had just about convinced myself to take “Double Slice,” to improve the damage Roog does with his off-hand spike shield, but then I remembered getting outmaneuvered in the Glassworks fight last night, and instead took “Combat Reflexes.” This will give Roog an additional three Attacks of Opportunity, which will let him do a bigger job of clogging the lane to pin several enemies at once.
Along with his starting Feats of Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, and Weapon Focus (Longsword), Roog is on his way toward emulating his shield-slinging hero, Captain America (or whoever seems most like Cap in the Pathfinder world).
Medieval Captain America!
Looking down the line, I will need to bump Roog’s DEX to 17 at Level 4 so he can go for Improved Two Weapon Fighting at Level 6. In the meantime I will look for little edges like Shield Focus and (probably next level) Double Slice.
There are no stat increases at Level 2 … so that’s it! Roog has leveled up!