Mechanically, humans are a blank template. They have the ability to convert every one of their racial feats into general feats, and can even dip into other classes with Multitalented. They serve as a fantastic baseline for comparison to other races, allowing us to clearly look at a race and say “I want this thing from this race that I can’t get from the Human”. Their built-in customizability also means that they work in every class and nearly every build.
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
Human Racial Traits
- : 8 hit points is average. Be sure to invest in Constitution, and consider taking Toughness at first level.
- : Medium. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
- : 25 ft. is standard.
- : Among the best reasons to play a human, 2 free ability boosts means that you can be good at any class. Unfortunately, with the addition of the Alternate Ability Boosts rule, the Human is not unique in this capability. You also notably can’t get three boosts from your Ancestry as a human.
- : Common plus a free bonus language of your choice, and you can learn any common language rather than picking from a list of languages which your race has access to.
- : Boring, normal senses. If this is a problem for you, consider a Versatile Heritage which grants better senses.
Your go-to option is Versatile Heritage, which will cover most builds. However, other Heritages offer useful options if you have a specific build in mind.
- CRB: Unless you specifically want to mix human and elf ancestry feats, there’s
little reason to do this. You do gain low-light vision, which is nice.
For more on the Half-Elf, see our Half-Elf Handbook.
- CRB: With the current available source material, this is the only way to get
access to Orc racial feats, and some of the options in the Core Rulebook are
very tempting. You also gain low-light vision.
For more on the Half-Orc, see our Half-Orc Handbook.
- CRB: Essentially two skill increases. Probably not as good as a feat, but if your character is going to be heavily invested in skills, this may help quite a bit.
- CRB: General feats offer a lot of options, and getting an extra feat at 1st level gives you a lot of room to customize your character. Characters with poor weapon or armor proficiencies can take Armor Proficiency or Weapon Proficiency, or you could take Toughness to pad your hit points. Unlike other heritage options which will remain unchanged as real-world time passes, every new rules supplement which includes new general feats will make this heritage better. However, unlike Pathfinder 1st Edition, a single additional feat at first level is not a crucially important build option.
- CG: Scaling resistance to a common damage type.
This section does not cover Elf feats (which are available to half-elves) or Half-Orc/Orc feats (which are available to half-orcs). Look forward to separate handbooks which will explore those options in the future.
- CRB: This allows you to take powerful combat cantrips like Electric Arc (CRB), Gouging Claw (SoM), or Needle Darts (RoE) on any spell list. While this isn’t always necessary, this far into PF2’s lifetime, there is an abundance of viable options.
- CG: Where Adapted Cantrip lets you take one cantrip from outside of your spell list, Arcane Tattoo just gives you an arcane cantrip. Since it’s an innate spell, it’s Charisma-based, so this is an easy choice for Charisma-based casters like bards and sorcerers. If you stick to defenses and utility options, your stats don’t matter.
- CRB: Aid is generally not a good use of an Action in combat unless you’re
investing a lot into making it effective. The bonuses are too small to
justify spending an Action on your turn and your Reaction unless
you have a reasonably high chance of rolling a Critical Success. Cooperative
Nature offers an impressive +4 bonus on your skill check to Aid, which
significantly increases the likelihood of a Critical Success. At 1st level
with a Trained skill, you’ll get a bonus of 3 + your ability modifier, so if
we consider a best-case scenario where it’s a skill that uses your Key
Ability Score, you’re looking at a +7 bonus against a DC of 20 to Aid.
That’s a 40% chance of success, which isn’t great. Cooperative Nature raises
that to 60%, which still isn’t great. My advice: If you’re going to
build around Aid, you’ll definitely want this feat, but wait until your
skill bonus is better.
If you do plan to build around Aid, the Half-Elf Heritage will do a lot to improve your options because it has exclusive feats related to Aid.
- CG: The benefit is good, but it’s just too restrictive.
- CG: Unless you’re playing almost exclusively in Chelaxia, this won’t matter enough to justify the feat.
- CG: All good offensive cantrips. This is an easy choice for sorcerers with an arcane bloodline, but remember that innate spells are Charisma-based. If you’re not a Charisma-based caster, your stats will lag enough that this won’t remain useful beyond low levels. Arcane Tattoos is likely a better choice.
- CRB: There are a lot of very good General Feats. Remember: Skill Feats are General Feats, so those are options, too.
- CG: Good, but you could get this from another ancestry/heritage and still have the feat. You can take Darkseer at level 5 to get Darkvision, but again, why not just play a different Ancestry/Heritage? Consider your opportunity costs carefully.
- CRB: Too situational.
- CG: Only situationally useful, and heavily subject to GM interpretation.
- CG: Emotion effects like fear are common enough to be an issue, and sometimes the critical failure effects will take you out of a fight. This mitigates that risk.
- CRB: Class Feats determine much of what your character can do, and they’re some of the best feats available in many cases. Even while limited to 1st-level Class Feats, you still have several excellent options.
- CRB: Trained in a skill gets you quite a bit, and for many skills being Trained is all that you’ll ever need. You do get Skill Increases as you gain levels, but the list of skills is long and getting more Trained skills at 1st level means that you can use your Skill Increases to improve your existing skills rather than learning new ones.
- CG: Not amazing, but a skill and a Skill Feat is a good trade for one Ancestry Feat.
- CG: Not quite as reliable as Guidance, but similarly useful.
- CG: Summon spells are decent and Summon Construct is only on the Arcane spell list by default, so for other spellcasters this can be very useful.
- CRB: Only Fighters are Trained in Advanced Weapons, so this is a great way for other classes to get access to a weapon which is a defining part of your build, like the Sawtooth Saber for a two-weapon fighting build. Even simple weapon users can benefit from better access to weapons, like rogues looking to use a Dogslicer or Filcher’s Fork.
- CRB: Taking a multiclass archetype’s feats is often a better option. Rather than forcing you to lock one of your limited known/prepared cantrips and one of your limited known/prepared spells, you get additional cantrips and spells slots of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level. Compared to being locked into a single 1st-level spell that you can’t heighten, that’s a massive improvement.
- CRB: If your character has few Trained skills and you’ve chosen to invest your skill increases into improving the few skills that you have, you’ll be Untrained in a wide variety of skills. Untrained Improvisation will grant you a number of useful options with very little investment, and Clever Improviser grants access to Train-Only Actions, giving you a massive library of new Action options. There’s little way to guarantee that this will be useful unless you look for opportunities to make it useful, and it’s less useful in a large party or in a party with one or more skill-focused characters, but at a bare minimum this covers every Lore skill so your party doesn’t need to throw Skill Increases at Lore skills which they’ll likely never use.
- CG: Get this from another ancestry/heritage, from a spell, or from an item.
- CG: Buy a wand.
- CRB: This might be useful if you have multiple allies who like to be stealthy during combat so that you can still target them with buffs, healing, and other support effects.
- CG: Only situationally useful, and you can usually replace this with spells or items.
- CRB: Let’s assume that you’re using a skill in which you’re at least Expert,
and we’ll add a +2 bonus for your Ability Modifier just for the sake of
argument, and we’ll call that roughly average for skills where you’re
proficient to some degree and have an Ability Modifier that’s positive. You
also add the +4 bonus from Cooperative Nature since it’s required. At this
level, that’s a total bonus of +19. The DC to Aid is 20. On anything except
a Natural 1 (which lowers your degree of success by one, so even though you
hit 20 you still rolled a Failure), you match the DC 20 to Aid (provided
that your GM doesn’t alter the DC for some reason, which they’re absolutely
allowed to do).
So this is useful with some skills where you have less than a +2 ability modifier for the very tiny window of levels 9 and 10, and after that all it does is protect you from natural 1’s. Unless you’re using Aid every turn and your luck is just impossibly awful, this is not at all worth the feat.
- CG: It’s so close to being good, but the limited damage options, the once per day use, and the fact that it’s still an innate spell make this very hard to use to great effect. The spell itself isn’t awful, and it’s fantastic that the spell scales as you gain levels, but it’s still only useful for Charisma-based casters like the Sorcerer and the Summoner.
- CRB: Too situational. Typically if you need to assist multiple allies you’ll have enough time to assist each of them individually.
- CRB: Buy a mule.
- CG: A significant improvement to Saoc Atrology.
- CRB: The bonus is nice, and once per day is likely enough to cover important skill checks in skills where no one in your party is proficient, such as Lore skills. By this level a skill in which you’re trained has a bonus of +11 before considering Ability Modifiers, etc., and DCs will typically scale a bit to keep pace. Untrained Improvisation is intended to help cover skills in which you’re not proficient, and Incredible Improvisation adds a bonus on top of that. At this level, Untrained Improvisation gives you a +9 (remember that starting at level 7 you get your full level as a bonus rather than half your level), and Incredible Improvisation adds +4 on top of that once per day. That +13 matches the bonus for being Expert in a skill at this level. So long as you don’t need the Trained actions, that’s pretty great.
- CRB: Multiclass dedication feats are very good and can get you a lot of useful things depending on the class you choose. It’s hard to recommend universally good options without knowing your class, but Alchemist gets you Alchemical Crafting, Champion gets you Heavy Armor Proficiency, and many classes get you spellcasting, all of which are good options on a variety of classes.
- CG: Fly is great, and in many situations once per day is enough to get the job done. Permanent (or at least reusable) flight is still better, but this is good.
- CG: Seriously, just multiclass. Multitalented is the same level and will get you so much more than this.
- CRB: While Ancestry Feats are often very powerful, sometimes you need more General Feats to get the build that you want. The level cap is a minor annoyance, but most General Feats are low level so this still opens up a huge number of options.
- CRB: Tempting for front-line martial characters who are likely to fall unconscious from time to time. You could compare this to Diehard, but negating one level of Wounded rather than raising your Dying cap is considerably more effective.
- CG: Extra cold resistance is nice, and Ice Wall is good crowd control that doesn’t care about your proficiency.
- CG: Insanely abusable. 1 damage is absolutely nothing, and you can cast a modified version of a 5th-level spell in return.
- CG: Not mathematically impactful enough for a feat of such high level.
- CRB: The DC for the Flat Check is too high to rely on this, so unless you’re making yourself Fatigued on a regular basis (some barbarian options do this, like Second Wind), you won’t attempt the check enough for this to be meaningful.
- CRB: If you took Unconventional Weaponry, this is a must-have. Bonuses to attack rolls are simply too important to forgo.
- CRB: Zealous Conviction is a decent defensive buff, offering some temporary hit points and a bonus to many Will saves. With a 10-minute duration, you can activate this before walking into a fight, and you may be able to carry the effect through multiple fights if you don’t need to stop to Refocus or anything like that.