Pathfinder 2e - The Elf Handbook
Last Updated: August 30th, 2020
I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
- : Good options.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.
Elf Racial Traits
- : The least hit points of any race, plus a racial Ability Flaw in Constitution.
- : Medium. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
- : More speed than any of the other published races..
- : 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 Voluntary Flaw rules.
- : Racial language plus Common is standard.
- : Low-light vision.
- : Damage resistances are always great.
- : Low-light vision and Darkvision means that you can see comfortably in anything except magical darkness.
- : 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.
- : Detecting hidden and invisible creautes is hard.
- : Too situational.
- : For a Face character this can be a great asset. In many situations you can predict a language which you can rely upon for the day without the need to resort to magic.
- : With the exception of Lore, you'll rarely benefit from changing a trained skill on a daily basis.
- : Too situational.
- : Trained in three skills is great for one feat.
- : 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.
- : Situational.
- : Too situtional, and the effect isn't nearly good enough to justify a feat.
- : More speed never hurts, but 5 feet probably isn't worth a feat.
- : Cantrips are great, but since this doesn't specify an ability score it's Charisma-based, which is hard for elves.
- Unwavering Mien: Situational.
- : Using Seek during Exploration to look for traps, secret doors, etc. is common, and you typically have plenty of time to spend Seeking.
- : Situational, but effects which control you (such as Dominate) can be incredibly lethal, so if you expect to face enemies who employ such options this is worth consideration.
- : Many critical specialization effects are excellent.
- : Picking up random weapons that you're not proficient with is not something that you do in Pathfinder. Proficiency Bonuses are simply too important to use weapons several steps behind your maximum weapon proficiency just becuase you found a cool pointy stick lying on the ground.
- : 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.
- : 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.
- : A great way to gain access to magical options from other traditions if you're already a spellcaster, or to gain a useful magical option if you're not.
- : Admittedly slow, but a climb speed is still a powerful tactical option.
- : If you're a martial character who relies on Strikes (a fighter, etc.) and you have an ally who is prone to being knocked unconscious in combat (there are builds that are good at falling unconscious and not dying), you may be able to use this with reasonably frequency. Still, that's not an ideal option because it means that one of your allies may be out of the fight.
- : Classes limited to simple weapons can really benefit from access to bows, and this allows bows to keep pace with your other weapon proficiencies.
- : Great for abusing Lore, but I don't know what else you could reliably use this for.
- : Teleportation will likely be common by this level, but the effects of this feat are simply too small to justify such a high-level feat.