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Where tabaxi are charismatic, agile cat people, leonin are strong, bulky cat people. Tabaxi tend to resemble smaller cats like house cats or ocelots, while leonin resemble lions, including lions’ iconic manes.

Mechanically, the Leonin is a Strength-based brute, having similar ability score increases to the Half-Orc. Leonin get Darkvision, a free skill, and a roar which can frighten nearby creatures, making them an excellent, interesting, and accessible race.

Table of Contents


RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Classes (Default Rules)

This section assumes that you’re not using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you are using those rules, scroll up to the previous section.


No Intelligence increase.


Strength and Constitution are perfect. The claws work with Rage, though a weapon will still be better. Daunting Roar is a great way to handle crowds, which is normally hard for the Barbarian.


Proficiency in Intimidation is nice, but really not enough. You could try a Valor Bard, but in medium armor a Strength-based build is very MAD because you need 14 in Dexterity and good scores in Strength, Constitution, and Charisma which is very hard to accomplish.


The Paladin is a better choice.


An anthromorph druid always seems like a cool option, but the Leonin’s ability increases just don’t support it and few of their other traits are particularly useful to the druid.


The Leoning works for any Strength-based build, and the additional racial skill proficiency offers an additional choice from several staple fighter options.


No increases to either Dexterity or Wisdom, and Strength-based monks simply aren’t viable.


Not such an easy choice as the Barbarian or the Fighter, but still a great option. While Charisma is very helpful for the Paladin, they don’t strictly need an increase at 1st level. Strength and Constitution work fine, and the Leonin’s racial skill options include Perception, which isn’t on the Paladin’s list of class skills.


Strength-based builds are difficult, but possible.


No Dexterity increase, and the Leonin doesn’t have anything else that’s appealing to the Rogue.


No Charisma increase.


No Charisma increase.


No Intelligence increase.