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Pathfinder 2e - The Elf Handbook

Last Updated: August 20th, 2019

Disclaimer

I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

Introduction

Elf Racial Traits

  • Hit Points: The least hit points of any race, plus a racial Ability Flaw in Constitution.
  • Size: Medium. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
  • Speed: More speed than any of the other published races..
  • Ability Boosts: A Constitution flaw is hard on top of the Elf's poor racial hit points, and Dexterity+Intelligence doesn't cater to a lot of classes. Alchemist and Wizard are obvious choices, but if you want to play anything else I recommend using the Optional Flaw rules.
  • Languages: Racial language plus Common is standard.
  • Senses: Low-light vision.

Elf Heritages

  • Arctic Elf: Damage resistances are always great.
  • Cavern Elf: Low-light vision and Darkvision means that you can see comfortably in anything except magical darkness.
  • Seer Elf: If you plan to use Detect Magic extensively, you'll want proficiency in Arcana. If you're trained in Arcana, you can take the Arcane Sense feat. Arcane Sense doesn't heighten the spell, but that's probably fine.
  • Whisper Elf: Detecting hidden and invisible creautes is hard.
  • Woodland Elf: Too situational.

Elf Feats

Level 1
  • Ancestral Longevity: With the exception of Lore, you'll rarely benefit from changing a trained skill on a daily basis.
  • Elven Lore: Trained in three skills is great for one feat.
  • Elven Weapon Familiarity: This makes the Elven Curve Blade a simple weapon, making it an option for several classes which only get access to simple weapons. However, the elven curve blade is a weird weapon that I'm not entirely certain how to put to good use. It's also the only elf weapon.
  • Forlorn: Situational.
  • Nimble Elf: More speed never hurts, but 5 feet probably isn't worth a feat.
  • Otherworldly Magic: Cantrips are great, but since this doesn't specify an ability score it's Charisma-based, which is hard for elves.
  • Unwavering Mien: Situational.
Level 5
  • Ageless Patience: Using Seek during Exploration to look for traps, secret doors, etc. is common, and you typically have plenty of time to spend Seeking.
  • Elven Weapon Elegance: Many critical specialization effects are excellent.
Level 9
  • Elf Step: Most creatures can't make and Attack of Opportunity, so this is situational by nature. Even when you're facing such a creature, 5 ft. is typically enough to Step out of reach.
  • Expert Longevity: A combination of a skill increase and the ability to retrain a skill every day. The wording of the feat is really confusing, so make sure you read this thoroughly and discuss its effects with your GM before you take it.
Level 13
  • Universal Longevity: Great for abusing Lore, but I don't know what else you could reliably use this for.
  • Elven Weapon Expertise: Classes limited to simple weapons can really benefit from access to bows, and this allows bows to keep pace with your other weapon proficiencies.