How to Convert Pathfinder to 5e


The ways in which you can convert from Pathfinder to 5e are quite limited. As there are very few rules – frankly, there are none.

So, that poses a distinct problem for us. We can’t source any valid material, or refer to any valid material. So, for clarity reasons; everything written in this article will only show the most common methods used for conversion.
These aren’t written in any guide or in the RAW. These are simply the most common methods players use. And our goal today is to explore those methods.

The main problems when converting are the variety of different values. As almost nothing is the same. Sure, the principles behind the mechanics and values remain mostly the same; but that isn’t enough. So today we’ll look at the different things you have to take into consideration when you convert Pathfinder to 5e.


Of course, it isn’t as simple as just pasting a character from one to the other. You have to take into consideration the inherent bonuses of said race in Pathfinder and 5e respectively.

Sure it’s frustrating to conceive an entire character to the tiniest details… only to find out that some things simply won’t pass in 5e. When porting characters from Pathfinder to 5e usually it’s best to find the race with the approximate bonuses and capabilities. After that, it just becomes a question of what your DM will allow you. Some DMs are more relaxed when it comes to converts as they understand that you can’t perfectly port a character.


The same principles apply here as above. The values and capabilities of classes vary from version to version of Dungeons and Dragons.
That being said, here there can be no passes. If you want to play the same class – you have to accept the 5th Edition values for that select class.
No DM will simply let you play with the values and abilities from another version, as that entire situation will just throw the entire campaign into chaos.

Items / Magic Items

The principle behind this one is simple. You find the item with the nearest possible values and effects and you use that item. Although, unlike the previous points most DMs should be a bit more lenient with this.
If you want to bring in an item, and you have a sufficient description of what it is; then just consult with the DM on appropriate values for that item and convert it.

Monsters / Encounters

This one is a bit tricky. Thankfully if you’re a simple player you don’t have to worry about this – as you’re not bringing any monsters in. If you’re a DM, then it gets a bit tricky.
You can’t 1 – 1 port a monster from another version that simply. The values for the creature are way different from version to version – and that’s just for the same monster among different versions. Certain monsters are tied to particular versions. Good luck converting those creatures without throwing everything off balance.

Skill DCs

This one mechanic is the one that is most different between the versions. In Pathfinder, the values are almost twice that of 5e for max-level characters. For obvious reasons, this can’t stay the same
In 5th Edition, a 25DC is considered nearly impossible. While in Pathfinder, over 25DCs are not uncommon. So, you have to recalculate by the new values. If on the other hand, you don’t care about the disbalance as much; simply follow the next method.

For DC till 20, just remove 2 – 3 points from the DC and that’s the 5e value. And for DCs that are 20+, you usually take half the number and add 7 to it. The new number is approximately the value for 5e.

Ability Check DSs

For these, if the skill doesn’t explicitly require skill bonuses then just use the printed values. If it does, you’re gonna have to recalculate.

Saving Throw DCs

This one is dirty. More for the other players than the converted character. The reason for this is that there is no simple method, but the method most players and DMs use is this.

Take the Challenge Rating of the encounter, and on top of its preexisting proficiencies, add +8. The new value that you get should be the approximate Saving Throw DC for that encounter.

Conclusion on converting Pathfinder to 5e

That basically covers most of the things you need to know on how to convert Pathfinder to 5e. As I said in the beginning, there are no written rules about this; most of these are simply the most commonly used methods by players.
For any further information consult our site, or alternatively – consult the proper manuals.

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