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TTRPG Tips: Pathfinder 2E Class Guide

Updated: Feb 6, 2023



With all the recent D&D controversy with the OGL, one thing we heard from our fans was that they wanted to see some more content for other games, namely Pathfinder. While we will still be creating some 5E content since WotC walked back their OGL plans, we also do want to focus on these other games once in a while. So, we figured we'd start with something simple for those who haven't played Pathfinder but wish to see what sorts of classes you can play as in the game. With that said, here is a rundown on each available class in the core Pathfinder rule book.


EDIT: We've also recently just published a guide to all the specialty classes found in Paizo's other Pathfinder source books, which YOU CAN FIND HERE


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ALCHEMIST


Alchemists are the mad scientists of the fantasy world. On the surface they seem to be more of a support class, but they are also effective at ranged attacks with their assortment of bombs. Their ability to craft mutagens, which can transform themselves or their fellow adventurers, gives them lots of variety in their applications on the battlefield. They are inventive, resourceful, and most of all...eccentric. Roleplaying an alchemist should be a hoot for those who like to create quirky characters. Their key attributes should be Intelligence and Wisdom. Choose an Alchemist if you want your character to always be involved in research, experimentation, and handling explosives.



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BARBARIAN


Barbarians have long been a staple of fantasy, and in Pathfinder they aren't really all that different from any other barbarians you've seen. Favoring massive damage with their Rage abilities but low armor for added agility, these characters are meant to hit hard and hit fast. They crave conflict and are likely to take the brunt of any attacks on the front lines, so their key attributes should be Strength and either Constitution or Dexterity should be next. Choose a Barbarian if you want to be on the front lines, doing as little thinking and as much swinging with your great sword as possible. To your Barbarian, brute force is a hammer, and every problem looks like a nail.










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BARD


Bards in Pathfinder are masters of versatility and make great leaders with their ability to inspire others to new levels of heroics. Bards use magical performances to alter the odds in favor of their allies and are quite the social butterflies. With their versatility, they are an extremely useful support class. Charisma is one attribute that matters most to the Bard, with secondary attributes depending on what sort of Bard you wish your character to be. Choose a Bard if you love the idea of your character being an energetic entertainer with a lot of wit and flare for the dramatic.






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CHAMPION


A Champion is the Pathfinder equivalent to the Paladin. Champions in Pathfinder are emissaries of a singular, specific deity - in most cases a devoted servant who rights wrongs across the land. Champions provide justice and hope to the innocent, unless they champion an evil deity. Clad in heavy armor and wielding destructive martial weapons and spells derived from the power of their respective deities, Champions are great tanks on the battlefield to shield your squishier characters from damage. As the equivalent of noble knights in the fantasy world, Champions also exhibit class and poise in social interactions as well. Strength is the main attribute of the Champion, although you'd want a high Charisma and Dexterity as well. Choose a Champion if you like the idea of restoring order throughout the land.


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CLERIC


Whereas the Champion is the sword of the deities, the Cleric is the shield. Clerics provide a much-needed component to any adventuring party and that is the ability to heal themselves or others through their spiritual connection to their deity. Clerics are blessed with divine magic they can use in a variety of ways to support the party, and if needed - punish enemies. Clerics are no slouches in combat, either, as they are usually adorned with heavier armors and shields and trained in the use of simple weapons. Wisdom is the key attribute for all Clerics, although as a secondary trait you want your Charisma to also be high. There are a lot of options for Clerics, from a healing-centric support class to a battle-hardened war priest. Choose a Cleric if you like the idea of living in service to your deity and wielding spiritual powers in combat.








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DRUID


If you would rather not have a religious-themed character but are fine with your spells coming from the magic of the earth, then Pathfinder Druids are a good pick. With their ability to Polymorph and cast elemental magic, they fulfill a much-needed niche on the battlefield. The main attribute of all Druids should be Wisdom, followed by Strength and Constitution. Choose a Druid if you love nature, love animals, and want to hit people with bolts of lightning.






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FIGHTER


A master of weaponry and combat technique, a Fighter is a staple of any adventuring party. You have honed your martial skills to an art and perform devastating critical attacks, opening moves, finishing strikes, and counterattacks against your foes. Barbarians dominate the battlefield through sheer brute force, but fighters do it through masterful combat techniques. Fighters are the easiest class for beginners, and you can apply almost any backstory to them, and it will still make sense. Their primary attribute should be Strength, but secondary attributes should be Dexterity and Constitution. Choose a Fighter if you like the idea of a character who can go toe-to-toe with the deadliest of enemies and still come out on top using their arsenal of weaponry.




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MONK


Where Fighters are masters of armed combat, Monks are masters of unarmed combat. Monks, through years of training, turn their bodies into flawless instruments and their minds into orderly bastions of wisdom. Monks are also very spiritual, transcending common annoyances and pratfalls normal people find themselves consumed by. Monks make great scouts with their ability to leap and jump over traps and their acrobatics they may use to elude enemies. However, on the battlefield they are deadly opponents. Strength and Dexterity are the key attributes for Monks, although a high Constitution is necessary to stay in the fight. Choose a Monk if you like the idea of your unarmored warrior somersaulting around the enemy and using Martial Arts.



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RANGER


Rangers protect civilization from wild creatures and nature from the greedy or the evil. Rangers are masters of the wild and are possibly the most versatile combatants on the battlefield. Animal Companions are a perk of the Ranger class, and Rangers make excellent trackers and hunters. Their favored attribute is Dexterity with Strength being very close behind. Choose a Ranger if you like the idea of your character knowing how to live off the land, and if you like to shoot things with a bow or dual-wield weapons.








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ROGUE

Rogues are masters of the art of stealth and subterfuge. They straddle the line between hero and villain, using their Charisma to con their way out of trouble or their Strength to intimidate and coerce. While deadly in battle as they grow more powerful and skilled, the Rogue is most handy disarming traps and laying ambushes. The Rogue's primary attribute is always Dexterity, but depending on the type of Rogue you envision, secondary attributes could be Strength or Constitution. Choose a Rogue if you want to be a scoundrel or a thief.



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SORCERER



Sorcerers are magic users who were actually born with their magical abilities and didn't study them. This is the main thing that sets them apart from their other magic-using peers. Sorcerers are all derived from some sort of mystical bloodline - some from demons, some from dragons, etc. Self-reflection and study allow the Sorcerer to refine their inherent magical skills and unlock newer, more powerful abilities. Their magic is powerful indeed, but equally as unstable. The primary attribute for Sorcerers is Charisma, although Dexterity or Constitution should be next on the list. Choose a Sorcerer if you want all the magic without all the baggage of having your nose in a book all the time.






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WIZARD


Wizards are the eternal students of the arcane secrets of the universe and are able to cast powerful and devastating spells. To Wizards, magic is a science, and Wizards are constantly studying how magic works. Wizards can either specialize in one magical school, or they may become a Wizard who specializes in all types of magic to a lesser extent. Intelligence is the attribute of choice for a Wizard, but Constitution and Wisdom are important as well. Choose a Wizard if you envision your character studying the arcane arts and blasting foes with deadly magic.




Well, there you have it. There are only twelve classes in the core rule book for Pathfinder 2E - however, there are lots of multiclass archetypes that we can perhaps go over in another blog post for each class. Pathfinder is not so much different than D&D, at least on paper. Those familiar with the classes in 5E should have no problem transitioning to Pathfinder or converting their 5E characters into the Pathfinder universe. We hope that cleared up any questions about classes for Pathfinder, and we'll hopefully have some more Pathfinder content in the future in addition to our 5E content. - Joe




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