[RPG] Class level vs. Character level vs. “the” level


Forgive me for not being good at game terminology, but there is one concept that I simply have been unable to fully grasp after reading the core rulebook.

In the book, there are mentions of Character Level, Class Level and Level (just being mentioned as level or "your" level).

Are we talking character level or class level when I'm asked "What's your level?"

Could anyone make a solid explanation that I can remember? The rest of my party are rules- and character-building nuts, and they often get sidetracked with potential combinations when trying to explain even simple things.

Best Answer

Your Level, when in a class description is your Class Level; in almost all other places, it's your Character Level.

Character Level is the sum of all your Class levels, plus any racial adjustment if importing D20 races with Level adjustments. (IIRC, Pathfinder doesn't use level adjustments; all they are is a class that can't be raised.)

Class Level is the number of times you've increased that particular class, including the one level you start the game with. It only affects that particular class, normally

Caster Level is the total class levels of all classes using the same type of magic.

Example: A Wizard 3/Fighter 4 has a Wizard Class Level of 3, a fighter Class Level of 4, and a Character Level of 7, and is an Arcane Caster Level 3.

Example: A Wizard 9/Spellsinger 2/Rogue 2 is Wizard Class Level 9, Spellsinger Class Level 2, and Rogue class level 2. Her Arcane Caster Level is 11, because Spellsinger adds to her arcane caster level... she casts as an 11th level wizard, but only has 9th level class features from wizard; her two levels of Spellsinger class levels giver her the 2nd level class features. Her Character Level is 13

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