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Pathfinder - How to Play 1 - What is Pathfinder?

Pathfinder is a magical fantasy roleplaying game. Pathfinder originally evolved from Dungeons and Dragons, and there is a lot of overlap. Pathfinder is a game of "swashbuckling fantasy", which means that there is a lot of high action fighting and adventure.

Pathfinder is d20-based, which means that success and failure are determined by rolling a d20+modifiers against a target number (or "DC" in the case of Pathfinder).

Whenever you need to round in Pathfinder, always round down unless the rules specifically say otherwise.

Characters in Pathfinder

Characters in Pathfinder are defined by their level, race, and class. You might describe your character as a "Level 5 Elf Wizard". While this doesn't tell you all of the great details of your character, it helps to explain to everyone else roughly what your character is and how it works.

More information on characters, including how to make one, will be covered later in this guide.

Combat in Pathfinder

Combat in Pathfinder is turn-based, so each character takes one turn to act in each round. More information on Combat will be covered in later sections of this guide.

Getting Started With Pathfinder

If you want to get right into Pathfinder, the Pathfinder Beginner Box is a fantastic resource for new groups. If you don't want to go that route, keep reading this guide.

Pathfinder is Free

One of the greatest things about Pathfinder is that the rules are available for free from Paizo on the Pathfinder SRD. If you don't want to spend a bunch of money on books, the SRD is a fantastic way to get into the game, though it can be difficult to use when learning the game.