The governing regulations in Pathfinder outline seven distinct tiers of lifestyle quality, each with its own daily expenditure requirement. To apply these guidelines, select the lifestyle tier that matches your character’s situation and prepay the associated costs. These expenses can be paid daily, or in advance for a week or a month. Ideally, the Game Master should anticipate the number of downtime days leading up to the next adventure and adjust expense requirements accordingly.
Characters proficient in Survival skills or with the Wanderer background feature can choose to live in the wilderness. In such settings, they can maintain a lifestyle equivalent to the “poor” tier at no cost, as long as the land provides basic needs like berries, small game, and drinkable water.
While lifestyle choices in Pathfinder do not have strict mechanics that directly affect gameplay, the Game Master has the freedom to introduce consequences. These might appear as downtime events or unexpected narrative twists related to the selected lifestyle. Choosing more modest living conditions increases the chances of interacting with potentially risky individuals—those who are impoverished, envious, suffering, ostracized, or otherwise dangerous. On the other hand, spending lavishly on your lifestyle raises the likelihood of encountering the higher strata of society—people with influence who might draw you into their complex schemes of political intrigue.
Immersed in the highest echelons of society, you reside in a sanctuary of extraordinary luxury in Pathfinder. Each meal is a gastronomic wonder; every room in your residence is a testament to flawless design. Servants, skilled in unobtrusive service, are always ready to meet your needs. You are adorned in lavish fabrics, setting fashion benchmarks for the elite. This lifestyle is suitable for esteemed politicians, influential guild leaders, honored high priests, and nobility.
Envision waking to sunlight filtering through lavish velvet curtains, so dense they could silence celestial fanfares. You’re enveloped in sheets of the softest silk from distant lands, resting on a featherbed softened by plumes from legendary birds. The air is fragrant with exotic incense and garden scents, a delicate olfactory symphony wafting through halls adorned with invaluable art and tapestries depicting tales of heroism, romance, and cosmic battles.
Your mornings are leisurely, marked by the delicate sound of fine crockery and silver, as servants bring in trays heaped with culinary masterpieces: seasoned meats, freshly-picked fruits, delicate pastries, and mood-matching beverages. You enjoy the richness of time, the freedom of choice, and the assurance that every desire will be fulfilled.
But an Aristocratic lifestyle in Pathfinder is more than just indulgence. It’s a stage for political intrigue, conducted through hushed talks and grand social events. Drawing rooms and lounges become arenas for forging alliances, scheming betrayals, and exchanging secrets like jewels. Your attire, made by expert tailors, is not just clothing but a declaration of your status and a tool for influence. Every garment, each pattern, is a language understood by those who navigate the realms of power.
Evenings might find you at an opera, moved by transcendent arias, or in a salon, where the scholarly elite discuss philosophy and magic under sparkling chandeliers. Nighttime is a culmination of grace and exclusivity, a time for extravagant feasts and entertainment by renowned musicians, poets, and artists.
However, this life has its constraints. High expectations and the constant gaze of society mean that one wrong step could transform your opulent world into a confining maze of scrutiny and judgment. But if you master its intricacies, the Aristocratic lifestyle in Pathfinder offers an unparalleled experience, akin to dwelling with the gods while remaining on mortal ground.
In Pathfinder’s quest for power, glory, and wisdom, embracing an Aristocratic lifestyle allows characters to experience a slice of heaven, a temporary stay in a paradise shaped by wealth and maintained by the subtle dynamics of power. It’s a life where beauty and danger are forever intertwined.
Your residence stands as a testament to wealth, located within the prestigious districts of the city in the world of Pathfinder. Lavish meals grace your table, surrounded by a myriad of comforts and luxuries. Security is a given, insulating you from the hardships faced by the less fortunate. This realm of luxury is the domain of successful merchants, esteemed associates of the aristocracy, and proprietors of thriving businesses.
Details of an Affluent Lifestyle
Imagine awakening in an expansive room where the floors are covered with luxurious carpets and the walls are decorated with elegant art. The sun filters through stylish drapes, casting inviting rays on meticulously crafted furniture. There’s an air of refinement in every detail, a blend of aesthetics and utility that subtly speaks of wealth and selective taste. The fragrance of freshly brewed coffee or tea greets you, mixed with the aroma of just-baked bread and the delicate scent of fresh flowers from the market.
Breakfast is a relaxed event—a feast of moderation rather than extravagance, featuring enough exotic fruits, artisanal breads, and select cheeses to remind you of your extensive options. In this setting, you might encounter accomplished merchants, acclaimed artists, and perhaps even minor nobility, each immersed in their own stories yet connected by the common luxury of their lifestyle.
The Affluent lifestyle presents a plethora of choices for your day. You might visit the city’s most exclusive boutiques, where craftspeople recognize you and have set aside unique items like rare jewels, magical components, or expertly crafted weaponry. Alternatively, you could enjoy an afternoon at the theater, absorbing a performance that enriches the soul and stimulates the mind. This freedom is exhilarating, yet it comes with a sense of duty and ambition. Affluence is as much about preserving your status as it is about enjoying it.
As evening approaches, you may be a guest at a dinner party, abuzz with stimulating discussion and delightful company. This is not just a meal; it’s a collective celebration of wealth and intellectual pursuit. The tables are laid with shining silver and fine crystal, and the cuisine is a lavish yet unpretentious array of the region’s best. Each dish reflects the chefs’ skill and precision, symbolizing the balanced life you lead.
Returning to the comfort of your home at night, perhaps with an intriguing book or magical artifact, you feel thankful. In a world filled with adventure and uncertainty, with quests to undertake and foes to confront, the Affluent lifestyle in Pathfinder is a reminder of the sanctuaries that provide respite and readiness for the challenges ahead.
While it may lack the dramatic flair of the Aristocratic lifestyle, the Affluent lifestyle in Pathfinder offers its own enchantment: a harmonious blend of comfort, opportunity, and independence, allowing you to fully appreciate and cherish the fleeting yet lasting pleasures of a life well-lived.
In Pathfinder, your living space reflects a blend of your personal and professional life. Be it a charming cottage or a well-appointed apartment, your home is equipped with all the necessities for maintaining your attire and gear. This standard of living is ideal for successful merchants, skilled craftsmen, and commissioned military officers.
A Comfortable lifestyle in Pathfinder is akin to a favorite garment: not extravagant, yet full of comfort, offering protection from the external world. It strikes a balance between the uncertainties of a modest existence and the transient indulgences of wealth. It’s a life enriched by simple joys and honest work, a perfect equilibrium for adventurers to rejuvenate before diving back into their thrilling journeys and battles.
Imagine awakening in a room that exudes a sense of cozy practicality. The bed is large, adorned with handcrafted quilts and fluffy pillows. Overhead wooden beams, a solid dresser, and perhaps a welcoming fireplace contribute to the room’s comforting atmosphere. Morning sunlight streams through clear windows, bringing with it the aroma of freshly baked bread from a nearby kitchen.
Breakfast is hearty and fulfilling. It might be a hearty meal of scrambled eggs, sausages, and fresh bread with homemade jam, or a wholesome porridge topped with fresh berries. The focus here is on nourishment and familiarity rather than extravagance. You’re not just a customer; you’re a guest, perhaps even part of a transient family.
Living comfortably allows you to wander through lively markets and pleasant plazas, free from the burdens of excessive wealth yet also free from the constraints of frugality. You might purchase a small keepsake, some new parchment, or extra provisions for your next journey. Your interactions are with craftspeople and vendors who understand the value of hard work and appreciate the patronage of adventurers like you.
As the day progresses, you have the time to hone your weapons, engage with scholars, or relax in a sunny square enjoying local musicians. If you’re inclined towards learning, you might spend your afternoon in a well-stocked library, exploring the collective knowledge and folklore of the area.
Dinner is an informal event, a shared experience where stories from the road are exchanged over steaming bowls of stew or plates of roasted meat and vegetables. Here, you’re likely to meet other adventurers, traders, and wayfarers. Together, you weave a tapestry of human experiences, a rich narrative that becomes its own form of wealth.
When you retire for the night, perhaps tending to your gear or writing in a journal, you feel a deep sense of contentment. It’s not merely the lack of need, but the presence of enough—enough comfort, enough sustenance, enough camaraderie—to fill your heart and prepare you for whatever tomorrow may bring.
In the diverse tapestry of life in Pathfinder, a Comfortable lifestyle is like a consistent verse in an ever-changing ballad. It may not have the majesty of a grand chorus or the depth of a tragic refrain, but it offers a stable rhythm that grounds the entire melody, a foundational element that readies you for another day filled with both challenges and marvels.
In the bustling cities of Pathfinder, your home is a haven of simplicity and respectability. It’s unadorned but immaculately clean, a perfect base for focusing on daily tasks. This modest way of living is well-aligned with the aspirations of family-focused soldiers, hardworking laborers, earnest students, devoted clergy, and practitioners of magic.
A Modest lifestyle in Pathfinder is like the subtle glow of a lantern in a dark cave—a modest yet vital light guiding adventurers back to their roots. Free from luxury and opulence, this lifestyle embodies the essence of life. Meals are earned through hard work, and sleep is sweeter for its simplicity.
Envision waking to a rooster’s crow or the distant ringing of a town bell in a cozy, clean room. The wooden beams overhead and plain plaster walls create a no-frills atmosphere. The bed might be a bit creaky, and the mattress firm, but it provides a rejuvenating rest. Dawn’s first light peeks through a modest window, casting a golden hue over your sparse surroundings.
Breakfast is straightforward—a bowl of oatmeal or some bread with cheese. In the communal dining area, you exchange greetings with others: itinerant merchants, off-duty guards, and perhaps a bard recounting tales for sustenance. There’s a sense of community here, a collective appreciation for life’s basic comforts.
Embracing a Modest lifestyle means appreciating the freedom of limited means. Your market visits are for practical purchases: sturdy boots or a simple healing potion for your dungeon explorations. You might not afford high-end gear, but the local blacksmith offers reliable, solid equipment, echoing your resilience and spirit.
Your day might include visiting a public library to treasure every bit of knowledge, or training with fellow warriors in the town square, their steel clashing in a chorus of survival and growth. Evening entertainment is humble yet genuine—a tavern with a lute player, shared stories over simple ale, and bursts of laughter.
Nightfall brings a peaceful end to the day. Dinner is a modest but satisfying meal: a bowl of stew, fresh bread, and fruit. It’s a meal that nourishes both body and spirit, a testament to the profound joy found in simplicity.
When you retreat to your room, it welcomes you like an old companion. You care for your equipment, mend your clothes, and perhaps record your thoughts or sketches, preparing mentally for the adventures ahead.
In the expansive story of Pathfinder, a Modest lifestyle is a crucial, unassuming element. It may not have the grandeur of nobility or the indulgence of wealth, but it offers something more profound: the honorable beauty of a simple life. It’s a canvas where even modest acts can become legendary, grounding adventurers in the values they fight to protect—the small joys, essential freedoms, and quiet moments that give meaning to their battles against the unknown.
Humble Stability (poor)
In the Pathfinder universe, your lifestyle, though basic, provides you with essential amenities for a civilized existence. Your clothing, while worn, shields you from societal scorn, and you remain under the protection of the law. This minimal yet sufficient way of living is typical for unskilled laborers, wandering merchants, individuals from the underworld, and mercenaries.
Devoid of luxury and even basic comforts, this way of life possesses a unique beauty—a reflection of the resilience of the human spirit and the fundamental determination to endure.
Imagine waking up on a straw pallet or a thin, old mattress on a wooden floor. The walls might be made of rough timber or compacted earth, barely insulating against the cold. Daylight filters through gaps or rudimentary window coverings, bringing a subdued light to start the day. Breakfast is simple, maybe just a hard piece of bread and some water or weak ale, if you’re fortunate.
In these sparse conditions, small kindnesses stand out—a fellow lodger’s smile, a neighbor’s greeting. These moments emphasize the value of community in a world where community can mean everything. Your clothes are a mix of different fabrics, each patch a silent protest against a harsh and indifferent world.
The Poor lifestyle in Pathfinder is stripped down to bare necessities. Market trips are about bargaining for the essentials, where every penny is critical: perhaps stale bread, a basic knife, or a worn map hinting at better days. Each transaction, though modest, is a triumph, a crucial step towards tomorrow.
Your day might be filled with labor, exchanging your strength or skills for basic needs. Or you could find solace in a public library, a haven for those who seek knowledge rather than material wealth. Leisure time is scarce and often spent on practical tasks: repairing equipment, searching for work or an adventure, and gathering vital information for upcoming challenges.
Evening arrives quietly, as the sky’s hues give way to a muted landscape, acknowledging the day’s struggles. Dinner is modest—a thin soup or market leftovers, seasoned with necessity and appreciation.
In this humble setting, storytelling transcends mere entertainment. It becomes a connection to a larger narrative, elevating your experiences beyond daily survival. You hear tales of bravery, folly, monsters, and lost fortunes, briefly escaping your constraints to explore distant worlds and wonders.
As you rest on your modest bed, tired yet unyielding, you understand that this Poor lifestyle is not just a lack of wealth but a platform for remarkable fortitude. It’s a test and a purifier, a raw chapter in the grand saga of Pathfinder. The absence of comfort is both a challenge and a statement, urging you to rise, strive, and transform even the toughest circumstances into a story worth recounting. Despite having little, you contribute significantly: the dignity of perseverance, the honor of effort, and the priceless tale of an unbroken human spirit.
(very poor) – see above: Humble Stability
Your abode is but a rudimentary shelter—be it a makeshift hut, a cramped boarding closet, or temporary sanctuary offered by compassionate temples. The sustenance provided is meager at best, scarcely filling yet just enough to stave off the gnawing pangs of hunger. Such a wretched lifestyle often accommodates the denizens of back-alley gangs and other souls cast adrift by fate.
This state of being in Pathfinder involves no financial cost, as it’s more a predicament than a choice. Existence is sustained by whatever can be scavenged from refuse, or by meager food obtained through begging or opportunistic foraging. Without even basic shelter, one is exposed to the many dangers hidden in the shadows of society. This desperate mode of living is the unfortunate reality for beggars and others abandoned by fortune.
In the vast and varied realms of Pathfinder, where stories often revolve around grand adventures and mythical lands, the Abysmal Destitution lifestyle stands as a stark contrast. It’s less about choice and more an extreme challenge, a test set by the fates themselves, pushing one to find meaning and survival in the absence of material comforts.
Imagine waking not in a bed, but on the hard, cold ground or in the dark corner of an alley. Dawn isn’t a welcoming sign of a new day, but a harsh light that exposes your plight. Your body aches from the chill and discomfort, hunger gnaws at you, yet you rise. You rise because surrender is not an option, because your spirit, however worn, remains fiercely attached to life.
There’s no breakfast waiting for you. Survival depends on your resourcefulness. You scavenge what others throw away, always on the lookout for anything that can ease your hunger or mend your ragged clothing. Every found piece of food is a feast, every sip of water a precious gift.
The idea of shopping or trading in markets is an unreachable fantasy. Your exchanges are about basic survival: a piece of string, a broken glass shard, leftovers from another’s meal. These are your treasures, the means by which you eke out another day in a life marked by want.
Days are not filled with choices but are a constant struggle. Every moment is a fight for survival, each interaction a potential danger or a much-needed alliance. The luxuries of libraries, taverns, or camaraderie are as distant as the stars. Your knowledge comes not from books but from harsh life lessons; your stories aren’t shared over drinks but whispered in the night among those who share your fate.
As night falls, you seek refuge in secluded spots, away from the cold and prying eyes. There’s no dinner to end the day, no culinary comfort. But in the company of others in similar straits or in your own contemplation, you find a different sustenance: an unwavering will to persevere, to defy destiny, and to make your existence a testament to endurance and bravery.
Abysmal Destitution in Pathfinder is not a path anyone would choose, but its existence is a stark reminder of the world’s complexity, challenging our ideas of heroism and value. It strips the concept of adventure to its barest form—survival. Yet, even in such bleakness, stories of incredible strength emerge: narratives of human resilience, tales of honor and valor not born from treasure or combat, but from the relentless drive to see another day, no matter the hardships.
Here is a chart illustrating the daily cost relative to different lifestyles in Pathfinder. The lifestyles range from “Wretched / Abysmal Destitution” with no cost, to “Aristocratic Splendor” with a minimum of 10 gold pieces (GP) per day. The costs are represented in gold pieces (GP), with the cost for “Very Poor Squalid Existence” and “Poor / Humble Stability” originally in silver pieces (SP) converted to GP for consistency.