Halflings are described as optimistic, cheerful little people who are curious to a fault, strangely lucky, and don’t really have a culture of their own, preferring to adopt whatever culture they happen to be in at the time. They make for great rogues, bards, and sorcerers, but can really excel at almost any class thanks to the excellent alternate racial traits available to them.
Ability Scores: Halflings get +2 to Dexterity and Charisma, and -2 to Strength. This makes them extremely good at both ranged combat and highly mobile melee combat.
Size: Halflings are Small, giving them a bonus to Stealth that will come in handy if you decide to sneak around. They also get a +1 bonus to attack rolls thanks to their size.
Speed: Like gnomes, halflings only get a 20 ft movement speed, and it is still affected by encumberance.
Fearless: A bonus on saves against fear effects can definitely come in handy. This also stacks with halfling luck, so you get an effective +3 against fear effects. Not bad at all!
Halfling Luck: +1 to ALL saving throws is a huge deal. However, there are several great options for alternate racial traits that replace Halfling Luck, so don’t ignore those.
Sure-Footed: +2 to Climb and Acrobatics isn’t terribly exciting, and it can be replaced by Fleet of Foot, which I highly recommend.
Weapon Familiarity: Like gnomes, halflings only have a single weapon with their race name in it, and that’s the Halfling Sling Staff. While this is a decent weapon, I do wish this ability could be replaced with something more useful.
Keen Senses: A +2 to the best skill in the game is absolutely awesome. Keep this one.
Alternate Race Traits:
Adaptable Luck [Halfling Luck]: This is a decent ability, but honestly it’s just not nearly as good as the ability it replaces. I’d stick with Halfling Luck over this one.
Craven [Fearless, Halfling Luck]: This ability is sort of weird, because it gives the most benefit when you’re under the affect of a fear effect. You also never get to benefit from morale bonuses against fear effects, which can be painful. However, a +1 to initiative is great, a +1 to attack when flanking is very nice (especially for a Rogue), and a speed boost of 10 feet when you’re scared is pretty cool. I like this option.
Fleet of Foot [Slow Speed, Sure-footed]: This ability is one of the best racial abilities in the game. You get to be a small creature while giving up basically the only negative part of being a small creature. Take this one.
Halfling Jinx [Halfling Luck]: This ability is very interesting, and there are a whole slew of feats that you can take to boost its utility in battle. For a halfling Witch or debuffer-focused Bard, this could be a great complement to Hexes or Bardic Performance.
Ingratiating [Keen Senses, Sure-footed]: The bonuses from this ability are nowhere near worth what you have to give up. Stay away from this one.
Low Blow [Keen Senses]: Keen Senses is just way better than this one, unless you’re going to be a critical-focused character, like a Magus or critical-based Fighter.
Outrider [Sure-footed]: For a halfling Cavalier or any other mounted character, this is probably worth your time.
Polyglot [Keen Senses]: A bonus to LInguistics checks and an extra known language is not really worth trading away a +2 to Perception, so this one’s no good.
Practicality [Fearless, Sure-footed]: This one might be worth it if you’re more worried about illusion spells than fear effects. I’d probably recommend it.
Shiftless [Sure-footed]: If you’re going to be the party “face”, this is definitely worth the trade.
Swift as Shadows [Sure-footed]: For a sniper, reducing the penalty to Stealth from sniping is incredibly valuable, but for any other character this probably isn’t worth your time.
Underfoot [Halfling Luck]: +1 to all saving throws is definitely better than +1 AC. You probably shouldn’t choose this one.
Wanderlust [Fearless, Halfling Luck]: For a buff-focused caster, this one might be worth your time. Otherwise, no good.
Warslinger [Sure-footed]: If you’re planning to use a sling, this one’s probably a good choice.
Sacred Keepsakes: While these are not actually a racial trait, they are a halfling-only option from Halflings of Golarion that your GM might let you take which give a very small boost to a specific divine spell. There’s no negative consequences to picking one, so you may as well!
UnArcaneElections' Thoughts on New Alternate Racial Traits
UnArcaneElections' Thoughts on New Alternate Racial Traits
- Behind the Veil (1 RP): Characters with this trait gain a +2 bonus on Bluff and Sleight of Hand checks while benefiting from concealment or cover. Halflings can take this trait in place of weapon familiarity. Source PPC:BoS Seems rather situational, but you are likely not to suffer from trading out the lacklustre Weapon Familiarity, so the question becomes: Can you trade out Weapon Familiarity for something even better? See below. This alternate racial trait is better for a Halfling than for a Dwarf or a Gnome, because the affected skills use Charisma and Dexterity, both of which a Halfling gets a bonus for, AND you are trading out a lacklustre racial trait instead of a good racial trait to get it.
- Caretaker: Humans often entrust halfling families with the care of children and animals, a task that has helped them develop keen insight. Such halflings gain a +2 racial bonus on Sense Motive checks. In addition, when they acquire an animal companion, bonded mount, cohort, or familiar, that creature gains a +2 bonus to one ability score of the character's choice. This racial trait replaces halfling luck, sure-footed, and weapon familiarity. Source PCS:ISR This replaces two lacklustre to okay racial traits, each of those has a MUCH BETTER replacement, but inexcusably, it also replaces Halfling Luck. Okay, repeat after me: I am not beholden to Human Poo Machines . . . .
- Dimdweller (2 RP): Whenever characters with this trait benefit from concealment or full concealment due to darkness or dim light, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Intimidate, Perception, and Stealth checks. Halflings can take this trait in place of weapon familiarity. Source PPC:BoS Although the bonuses are restricted to concealment resulting from darkness or dim light, this could still be a worthwhile trade if your class gives you the weapon proficiencies you want (considering the Halfling Weapon Familiarity granted proficiencies, it probably will). The problem with this trait is that as a Weapon Familiarity replacement, it is competing with Shadowhunter (if you are martial) or Shadowplay (if you are a spellcaster) (see below); if you are primarily skill-oriented, consider it anyway.
- Driven Worker: Many halfling families have developed techniques to accomplish work faster and more efficiently, whether to contribute to the community or to please overbearing masters. These halflings gain a +4 racial bonus on checks with one Craft, Perform, or Profession skill. This racial trait replaces sure-footed. Source PCS:ISR If Fleet of Foot (see below) wasn't already available, this might be good for certain professionally-oriented characters, but Fleet of Foot is just too good to pass up.
- Dusksight (2 RP): When making ranged attacks, characters with this trait can reroll the miss chance granted by cover to any target in dim light, and take the better of the two rolls. The miss chance for total concealment applies normally. Halflings can take this trait in place of keen senses. Source PPC:BoS Another alternate racial trait that shoots itself in the foot by replacing something that would synergize with it, in this case a bonus to Perception.
- Fey Magic (2 RP): The character has a mystic connection to one terrain type, selected from the ranger's favored terrain list. The character selects three 0-level druid spells and one 1st-level druid spell. If the character has a Charisma score of 11 or higher, when in the selected terrain, she gains these spells as spell-like abilities that can be cast once per day. The caster level for these effects is equal to the user's character level. The DC for the spell-like abilities is equal to 10 + the spell's level + the user's Charisma modifier. These spells are treated as being from a fey source for the purposes of the druid's resist nature's lure class feature and similar abilities. This trait replaces keen senses. Source: HotW If you've been paying attention to Fey Magic and Fey Thoughts alternate racial traits of different races, you'll notice that they don't always replace the same thing, and so the tradeoffs may differ. In this case, the tradeoff is giving up Perception, which really hurts.
- Fey Thoughts (1 RP): Select two of the following skills: Acrobatics, Bluff, Climb, Diplomacy, Disguise, Escape Artist, Fly, Knowledge (nature), Perception, Perform, Sense Motive, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, Swim, or Use Magic Device. The selected skills are always class skills for the character. This trait replaces fearless. Source: HotW If you've been paying attention to Fey Magic and Fey Thoughts alternate racial traits of different races, you'll notice that they don't always replace the same thing, and so the tradeoffs may differ. Nevertheless, getting two skills in class in exchange for Fearless could be just what you need, but make sure your class gives you a good Will Save or at least a feature like Bravery.
- Human Shadow: Halflings seem to pop up wherever humans are found, in part because they actively support and move with human explorers, settlers, and travelers without drawing attention to themselves. These halflings can use Stealth to hide behind creatures at least one size category larger than themselves, without any other source of concealment or cover. As long as the halflings are within 30 feet of a human, they gain a +2 racial bonus on Sleight of Hand checks and Stealth checks. This racial trait replaces keen senses and sure-footed. Source PCS:ISR This set of situational bonuses replaces both Keen senses, which you need to keep, and Sure-Footed, which you need to replace with Fleet of Foot instead of this garbage.
- Secretive Survivor: Halflings from poor and desperate communities, most often in big cities, must take what they need without getting caught in order to survive. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Stealth checks. This racial trait replaces sure-footed. Source PCS:ISR At least this skill alternative racial trait gives you unrestricted bonuses to Bluff and Stealth, which depend upon ability scores you have bonuses to, so it isn't bad in itself. The problem with it is that it replaces Sure-Footed, which you need to replace with Fleet of Foot.
- Shadowhunter (2 RP): Characters with this trait deal 50% weapon damage to incorporeal creatures when using non-magical weapons (including natural and unarmed attacks), as if using magic weapons. They also gain a +2 bonus on saving throws to remove negative levels, and recover physical ability damage from attacks by undead creatures at a rate of 2 points per ability score per day (rather than the normal 1 point per ability score per day). Halflings can take this trait in place of weapon familiarity. Source PPC:BoS Unlike the situation for Dwarves and Gnomes, this doesn't replace the bonus feat you don't have -- it just replaces the lackluestre Weapon Familiarity, but on the down side, it doesn't give you free Iron Will; still, overall an excellent trade for any martial character.
- Shadowplay (1 RP): Characters with this trait cast spells with the darkness, light, or shadow descriptor at +1 caster level. Halflings can take this trait in place of weapon familiarity. Source PPC:BoS If you are a spellcaster that actually has a decent selection of Darkness, Light, or Shadow spells, and not martial enough to get the full benefit of Shadowhunter and not skill-oriented enough to get the full benefit of Dimdweller (see above for both), this is what you want to trade Weapon Familiarity for.
- Skulker: Oppressed halflings train from a young age to take advantage of times when their oppressors ignore them. Such halflings gain a +1 racial bonus on attacks against foes who are denied their Dexterity bonus to AC. This racial trait replaces fearless and weapon familiarity. Source PCS:ISR Replacing Weapon Familiarity wouldn't hurt except that it has better replacements (see above); replacing Fearless often hurts; but if you need to set up Sneak Attack and don't have an accuracy booster (Rogues and Ninjas, I'm looking at you), you'll be glad to have this.
- Unfettered: Former slips liberated from slavery train to ensure they will never be slaves again. They gain a +4 racial bonus on Escape Artist checks and a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against effects that cause the entangled condition, to CMD against grapples, and on combat maneuver checks to escape a grapple. This racial trait replaces halfling luck and keen senses. SourcePCS:ISR Very thematically fitting, but unfortunately this alternate racial trait shoots itself in the foot by trading out both the Halfling Luck and Keen Senses you need to avoid recapture.
- Unlucky Halfling: These halflings take a –1 penalty on saving throws but also gain a +1 racial bonus to the caster level and save DC of all curse spells and spell-like abilities. In addition, such halflings can use ill omen as a spell-like ability once per day. This racial trait replaces halfling luck. Source PCS:ISR This is highly fitting thematically and mechanically to a debuffer. The problem is that in trading out Halfling Luck for this, you get an effective -2 penalty to Savies. If you are of a class that gets good Fortitude and Will Saves (such as Antipaladin, Bad Touch Cleric, Bad Channel Cleric, or Hexcrafter Magus), you might be able to afford to compensate for this, if not (such as a Witch), you probably won't be able to afford this.
Alchemist: A halfling can make a very good bomber-style alchemist, just like a gnome can, although the halfling Alchemist favored class option is not as useful, since you can always just pay some gold to copy a formula from a scroll. The Grenadier is a solid option, and I would also consider the Beastmorph archetype, as some of the abilities you can gain through alter self and beast shape can come in really handy.
Barbarian: Let’s face it, small characters were never meant to be Barbarians. The penalty to Strength is pretty much always going to cause you a problem. Now, with that said, if you’re dead-set on a halfling Barbarian, my recommendation is to take the Urban Barbarian archetype, using your Controlled Rage ability to gain a bonus to Dexterity, and be a ranged Barbarian. Make sure to pick up the Fleet of Foot racial trait I talked about earlier, as you’re giving up the Barbarian’s Fast Movement ability for this archetype. You can probably make good use of the halfling Barbarian favored class bonus with this build too (adding it to Surprise Accuracy), since it lets you gain a much higher morale bonus to one attack per rage as a swift action.
Bard: Halflings make exceptional caster or buffer Bards, thanks to their boost to Charisma. The penalty to Strength is going to keep you out of melee for the most part, but that’s totally fine. Bards have tons of archetypes available to them, and none of them specifically scream “HALFLING” to me, so just check all of them out!
Cavalier [Samurai]: Halflings can make great Cavaliers for all the same reasons that gnomes do, but they have the addded bonus of getting a racial Cavalier order, the Order of the Paw, which makes dog and wolf mounts even better! The favored class option is also pretty great, treating your halfing Cavalier as a higher level for his challenge damage when making attacks of opportunity. I’d strongly suggest picking up a weapon with range, Improved Unarmed Strike, and Combat Expertise to get as many attacks of opportunity as possible. I would also consider picking up overrun feats up through Greater Overrun, since the Order of the Paw gives bonuses to overrun maneuvers. The Strategist archetype also seems like a good choice for a halfling.
Cleric: Halflings aren’t amazing as Clerics, since they don’t have a bonus to Wisdom. The Charisma bonus does help with Channel Energy, so a halfling Cleric can make a good “party face” type of cleric. To that end, the Evangelist archetype replaces some channel energy dice with the equivalent of bardic performance, which also uses Charisma. Also make sure to check out the Sacred Keepsakes from Gnomes of Golarion, as they offer small boosts to divine casters that can come in handy, particular the Blessed Button keepsake, which makes the ammunition of a sling which you cast bless weapon on count as magic for the purposes of bypassing damage reduction.
Druid: Nothing keeps a halfling from being a good Druid, but their ability score bonuses mean they probably aren’t going to excel at it either. The best way to maximize your Druidic awesomeness as a halfling is to take advantage of your small size and use your animal companion as a mount. It’s also important to note that the halfling’s small size and penalty to Strength can be easily overcome by using Wild Shape, and this can be made even more powerful by taking one of the [insert animal name here] Shaman archetypes. I personally prefer the Saurian Shaman, since they get the most options for wild shape by far, and summoning dinosaurs using summon nature’s ally spells as a standard action is a seriously excellent ability. The halfling Druid’s favored class bonus is also pretty sweet, adding +1/4 luck bonus per level to her animal companion. Make sure to also look at the Sacred Keepsake choices, especially the Harvester’s Pouch or Trainer’s Whistle.
Fighter: Halflings can make for good ranged fighters, so the Archer archetype is definitely your friend. You might also want to consider the Warslinger alternate racial trait I talked about above. If you really want to go into melee with your little Fighter, you might consider the Aldori Swordlord archetype, the abilities of which focus on defense and dodging attacks. The favored class bonus is relatively weak, so I’d stick with a bonus hit point per level instead.
Gunslinger: Gunslingers are really just ranged Fighters with guns, so a halfling can obviously turn out to be a great Gunslinger. The halfling’s boost to Charisma makes the Mysterious Stranger archetype a very good option, so you’ll want to consider that as well.
Inquisitor: Without a bonus to Wisdom, the Inquisitor class isn’t the best choice for a halfling. You may, however, find that combining the Inquisitor’s abilities with the Halfling Jinx alternate racial trait serves you well. The Infiltrator archetype strikes me as a good choice for a halfling, as they excel at being sneaky and also have good Charisma bonuses to things like bluff and diplomacy. Make sure to look at the Sacred Keepsake choices, especially the Decisive Game Piece.
Magus: Halflings aren’t really meant for melee, so Magus is generally a poor choice for them. The exception to this, of course, is the Myrmidarch archetype, but it still is a weak option compared to a full spellcaster. If you ARE trying to make a melee-based Magus out of your halfling, I’d suggest looking at the Kapenia Dancer archetype, which adds flavor and the ability to give your weapon of choice, the bladed scarf, reach using your arcane pool, which can keep you out of harm’s way in the right situation.
Monk: A halfling can make a surprisingly excellent Monk, though the lack of a Wisdom bonus will always hurt your optimizability. The best choice is the most obvious one: the Zen Archer. This class is always up for debate because of using a flurry with a single weapon, which some of the Pathfinder developers have balked at, but as of now it’s still a legal choice for your character. Another possible way to make an excellent halfling Monk is using the Sohei archetype, which gives you several excellent options for mounted combat. This is one of the few times I’d strongly suggest multiclassing, however, because the Sohei doesn’t actually get a bonded mount. My suggestion is to take a level of Cavalier (Order of the Paw) at first level to get an excellent wolf mount, and pick up the Boon Companion feat at that level also. Then, as you take your next four levels in Sohei, your mount will become more powerful. After that, you may want to alternate Cavalier and Monk levels. Another great option is to combine the Maneuver Master archetype with the halfling-specific Underfoot Adept archetype, giving you tons of trip attempts that can be used on enemies much MUCH larger than yourself.
Oracle: A halfling oracle is a great choice, without a doubt. First off, definitely pick up the Fleet of Foot alternate racial trait, because then you can choose the Lame oracle curse and you’ve just effectively negated the curse’s penalty. The halfling’s Charisma boost will serve you very well as an Oracle, and the favored class bonus is really excellent as well, letting you treat your Oracle’s Curse class feature as if you were a higher level. You’ll probably also want to look at the Community Guardian halfling-specific archetype, which grants a few interesting buff-style revelations. Make sure to look at the Sacred Keepsakes, especially the Blessed Button.
Paladin [Antipaladin]: Halflings can make very good Paladins, thanks to the Charisma boost and the mount class feature. I would suggest going with a ranged build, but sadly the only truly ranged-focused archetypes, the Divine Hunter and the Holy Gun, both give up the mount for a bond with your bow, so I would recommend against them. Stick with a vanilla Paladin, focusing on using your Smite Evil ability at range and possibly dipping into the Zen Archer Monk to get the ranged flurry of blows feature, though that will require you to wear no armor. I’d also like to point out that the Antipaladin is limited for a halfling when compared to the Paladin, since he can’t choose a bonded mount (though he can still summon a creature that can serve as a mount using his fiendish boon ability).
Ranger: A ranger isn’t the best choice for a halfling, since you don’t get your animal companion until later levels, and there’s no bonus to Wisdom. You could, however, pick up the Beastmaster archetype to get your animal companion at first level. I also like the Infiltrator archetype for a halfling Ranger, more for flavor than anything, since halflings don’t really have much of a society of their own in Golarion, so it makes sense for a halfling Ranger to pick up abilities of those he’s around a lot.
Rogue [Ninja]: Halflings were practically born to be Rogues, and they make even better Ninjas thanks to the Charisma boost. In either case, you should be picking up both the Fleet of Foot and Craven alternate racial traits. If you decide to go with a ninja, the Vanishing Trick ninja trick can be invaluable. If you decide to stick with the Rogue, make sure to check out the Filcher archetype, which is only available to halflings, and lets your little Rogue become a master thief, even in the heat of combat. Sadly, there is only one other archetype that can be combined with the Filcher, and that’s the Investigator, which is not that exciting. Oh, and the favored class bonus is crap, ignore it unless you’re planning to use a sling.
Sorcerer: Sorcerer is a great option for a halfling, thanks to the Charisma bonus and not having to rely on Strength. The halfling Sorcerer favored class bonus gives you additional uses of your first-level bloodline power, so you may want to choose a bloodline that has a good first power to take advantage of that. I’d recommend the Aquatic (or Seaborn), Daemon, Deep Earth (or Bedrock), Maestro, or Umbral bloodlines for decent 1st-level powers (but see my Bloodline Guide for more details on that). If you’re looking to be a sneaky mix of Sorcerer and Cleric, the Razmiran Priest archetype works very well for a halfling, and it leads nicely into the Razmiran Priest prestige class as well. You can also make good use of the halfling jinx racial trait thanks to your high Charisma, and there are a bunch of feats that can make your jinxes more powerful (see my halfling Witch entry below for some details).
Summoner: Personally, I like halflings as Summoners for several reasons. First off, and most importantly, you get a bonus to Charisma which is both your primary casting stat and important for the abilities of your eidolon. Secondly, since the eidolon should theoretically be doing all the attacking (other than a few exceptional builds that I’ll mention in a minute), you don’t have to worry about that pesky Strength penalty very much. Third, this is yet another class that gives you a creature you can ride on right at first level, and I always love that. If you do decide to ride around on your eidolon, the Shield Ally ability will give you a +2 shield bonus to AC and a matching circumstance bonus to your saves pretty much all the time, and when combined with your small size and high Dex, not much is going to hit you. There aren’t any arechetypes that are specifically any better for halfling Summoners unless you want to go the Synthesist route, as replacing all of your physical stats with your eidolons can be sweet for a small character. The favored class bonus is +1 skill rank for an eidolon, which is really only useful if you’re using your eidolon as a skill monkey.
Witch: The Witch isn’t the most optimal choice for a halfling with the standard racial traits, since Hex DCs are Intelligence-based. However, if you decide to augment your Hexing ability with the halfling jinx racial trait, you can put together some pretty amazing debuffing combos. For example, if you were to take the Malicious Eye feat along with the Sluggish Jinx feat, every time you successfully use your Evil Eye Hex on a target, they’ll also take a penalty to initiative and attack rolls, in addition to the penalty to saving throws from halfling jinx. You can also combine this with Worst Case Jinx to cause all beneficial effects cast on the target of your Evil Eye hex to be minimized, which can keep your enemies from effectively healing themselves or buffing their allies. If you really want to get the most out of both Hexes and Jinxes separately, you may also consider grabbing Versatile Jinxer to change the DCs for your jinxes to be based on Intelligence. The favored class option is pretty good, giving you a boost to caster level when casting patron spells, which can be very helpful.
Wizard: You can make a good Wizard as a halfling, but the lack of an Intelligence boost hurts your chances a bit. There also aren’t really any good racial options or Wizard archetypes that fit. You could focus on a debuffing build and use jinxes like I suggested with the Witch, but honestly the Witch just does that way better. The favored class bonus is also not that interesting, since raising your effective caster level for your familiar’s abilities doesn’t give it extra hit points.
UnArcaneElection's Thoughts on New Classes:
- Arcanist: Like a Wizard, this is a 9/9 Intelligence-dependent spellcaster, but while Halflings do not get an Intelligence bonus, they do get a Charisma bonus, and some Arcanist abilities (including several of the Arcane Exploits) are Charisma-based, and being a Gnome does help with that. The Dexterity bonus is also especially welcome on a class for which Initiative is especially important. The Favored Class Bonus would be theoretically helpful (getting more Arcane Exploits), but it scales way too slowly to be of much use.
- Bloodrager: See Barbarian, except that the Charisma bonus helps, so it's not all bad; but make sure you get Fleet of Foot (see above) to upgrade to normal speed, even so, you might want to go mounted, and the Bloodrider archetype fits that want. The Favored Class Bonus adds 1/4 to your armor class versus opponents at least one size larger than you -- not bad.
- Brawler: The Small size and Strength penalty of Halflings hurts melee characters unless they have ways to compensate, so get Fleet of Foot (see above) to upgrade to normal speed; even so, you won't get any particular synergy with this class, nor with feat-based methods of compensating for being Small such as the Monkey Style feat chain (which unfortunately takes too long to come online), nor does Brawler offer a mounted archetype to make Small characters happy. The Dexterity bonus is helpful, and the Favored Class Bonus helps you get more Combat Maneuver Defense with very good scaling, so this is serviceable if not outstanding.
- Cavalier/Samurai: As already in the guide, except that new Halfling alternate racial traits for martials (see above) upgrade martial classes a bit; also add mention of the Daring Champion archetype, which gets Swashbuckler's (Charisma-dependent) Panache and Deeds, although unfortunately trading out Mount in the process (in principle, you could get a mount by some other means, such as the Nature Soul + Animal Ally + Boon Companion feat chain). Also consider the Daring General archetype if Leadership is not banned -- Leadership is Charisma-dependent, and this archetype gives you Iterative Cohorts! Unfortunately, although Daring General doesn't trade out Mount, it does trade out some other Cavalier abilities that Daring Champion also trades out, so you can't combine the archetypes.
- Hunter: See Ranger, but being a Wisdom-dependent 6/9 instead of 4/9 spellcaster with a Strength penalty and no Wildshape hurts. Still, Hunter lends itself to being Mounted with a full-progression Animal Companion, so it's not all bad. The Favored Class Bonus improves ALL Saves of your Animal Companion at a scaling rate that is not too shabby for Saves, which, combined with new alternate racial traits that improve things for Halfling martials (see above), bumps Hunter up to a decent choice for a Halfling.
- Investigator: Like Alchemist, except you never get Bombs, so you have to engage in melee to do damage (although at least you get a Dexterity bonus to help with going Finesse), and Investigators aren't particularly charismatic. On the other hand, Investigators are better Rogues than Rogues (even Unchained), and being Small is good for that -- just be sure to get Fleet of Foot (see above) to upgrade to normal speed. As with Gnome, the Halfling Investigator Favored Class Bonus adds Extracts to your Formula Book (but not at the highest level you can use), which is a trap unless you live and work in such a dump that you can't pick up more Extracts for a little cash.
- Kineticist: Unfortunately, Halflings do not get a Constitution bonus (unlike in Lord of the Rings), but they do get a Dexterity bonus, which helps Kineticists to hit. Kineticist is a quasi-spellcaster whose primary (quasi-)spellcasting attribute is Constitution, for which Halflings get no bonus, but no penalty. The Halfling Charisma bonus does not directly help Kineticist class features, but Kineticsts can be decent Face characters, so it's not totally useless; alternatively, if you hard-dump Charisma to get 4 points out of it to use on other things in the point buy, you will be at 9 instead of 7. Some of the Elements give you ways to fly, thus overcoming the disadvantage of Slow speed, if you really need something incompatible with Fleet of Foot. The Favored Class Bonus improves your Internal Buffer, but scales way too slowly to be of use; with the class feature Burn putting a tax on your effective Hit Points, you can instead consider a bonus Hit Point per level to be a good Favored Class Bonus. (Avoid the Overwhelming Soul archetype like the plague unless you are planning on being Undead,although admittedly Halflings are a bit better at this than -- for instance -- Dwarves; for most people, this archetype should really be called Underwhelming Soul.)
- Magus: For the most part, the Magus is a mainly melee class, and an Intelligence-dependent 6/9 spellcaster on top of that, and Halflings don't get an Intelligence bonus. The Dexterity bonus does help with going Finesse, although keep in mind that most Dexterity-to-Damage feats have been nerfed to make them incompatible with Spell Combat (and the current exception, Dervish Dance, will probably be nerfed as well) Magus does offer a few archetypes to help make things better, though. Harrow-themed Card Caster gets Harrowed Spellstrike, enabling Spellstrike at range with Touch spells without requiring Reach Spell metamagic or the Reach Spellstrike + Distant Spellstrike Magus Arcana chain to enable use of such spells (unlike the following ranged archetypes); Eldritch Archer doesn't give you Harrowed Spellstrike, but does give you Ranged Spell Combat and Ranged Spellstrike (which requires the aforementioned metamagic or Magus Arcana to make it fully functional); Myrmidarch acts a melee/ranged switch-hitter, giving Ranged Spellstrike but not Ranged Spell Combat (and unfortunately trading out Spell Recall and Improved Spell Recall, although on the plus side also giving you Weapon Training and Armor Training, the latter of which eventually helps with the speed problem); Eldritch Scion adds no ranged options, but makes your spellcasting spontaneous and Charisma-dependent, although before you get too excited, note that the archetype itself doesn't work very well. The Favored Class Bonus (1/6 of a Magus Arcana) is another one of those nice ideas that just scales too slowly to be of much use .
- Medium: This is a Charisma-dependent spellcaster, and although it normally only uses 4/9 spellcasting, the Archmage and Heirophant Spirits temporarily upgrade this to 6/9 spellcasting, for which the Charisma bonus is welcome. The Halfling racial characteristics (apart from the Charisma bonus) do not particularly synergize with the Medium class features unless you keep Halfling Luck (for your Saves) and choose the Favored Class Bonus, which improves your Seance Boon with decent scaling, but unfortunately doesn't help allies in Shared Seance. The problem is that the Medium class itself just doesn't seem very good no matter what race you are -- the concept is fine, but the execution of the design doesn't seem very good (the playtest version had so much promise -- maybe we'll eventually get a Harrowed Medium archetype that revives and fleshes this out, and if done right, Halflings should be very good with it).
- Mesmerist: This is another Charisma-dependent spellcaster, this time using 6/9 spellcasting, for which the Charisma bonus is welcome; apart from being Small, you could get Halfling Jinx to pour even more debuffing hurt on your enemies; as always, get Fleet of Foot to upgrade to normal speed. The Favored Class Bonus (same for Halfling as for Gnome) increases the number of Mesmerist Tricks usable per day with decent scaling, so overall Mesmerist is a very good option for a Halfling.
- Occultist: This 6/9 Occult caster is Intelligence-dependent rather than Charisma-dependent, so Halfling ability score adjustments are not amazing for it, but at least not terrible. The class design tends to put Occultists on the front line, so the Dexterity bonus is helpful, but other Halfling characteristics not so much; as always, get Fleet of Foot to upgrade to normal speed. The Favored Class Bonus gives you 1/2 point of Mental Focus per day, which is good enough to bump the rating of this class up for Halflings.
- Psychic: This is the 9/9 Occult caster, and it is Intelligence-Dependent, and you don't get an Intelligence bonus as a Halfling. On the other hand, it is also somewhat MAD by design, with Wisdom or Charisma being an important secondary ability score depending upon your choice of Psychic Discipline. The Favored Class Bonus makes your Charisma bonus 1/3 higher for determining effect or uses per day of Psychic Discipline Powers, so overall Psychic with the right Psychic Discipline is a decent choice for a Halfling.
- Shaman: Like Cleric, but generally with no help from the Gnome's Charisma bonus (unless you choose the Life Spirit, which has Charisma-dependent Channeling), so having Wisdom-dependent 9/9 spellcasting with no bonus to Wisdom isn't so great. The Favored Class Bonus adds 1/2 to the Shaman's effective class level for the purpose of determining spirit animal's natural armor adjustment, Intelligence, and special abilities, which bumps.the rating of this class for Halflings back up to decent, despite the relative lack of Charisma-dependent abilities.
- Skald: See Bard, but Skalds are more front-line martial than Bards, for which the Constitution bonus helps, but the Strength penalty and Small size hurt (yet again, get Fleet of Foot to upgrade your speed to normal). Use the Urban Skald archetype to go Dexterity-based, although make sure the rest of your part can benefit from this, because Skald is one of the classes most dependent upon the rest of the party composition (actually, this is true of all currently released Skald archetypes) -- in the worst case, different characters will have incompatible primary physical attributes, but in the best case you will make your whole party amazing. The Favored Class Bonus boosts your Critical confirmation rolls with one weapon, which is decent if you are going for a Critical-focused build, but otherwise not great.
- Slayer: Slayers are like Rogues, but are not as Dexterity-dependent and better made for holding their own in straight-up fights, so this hurts Halflings who would be Slayers, since they have a Strength penalty (unlike Gnomes, at least they can upgrade their speed with Fleet of Foot -- see a pattern here?), although Small size does help with Stealth and avoiding hits. The Favored Class Bonus gives you a +1/4 Dodge Bonus against your Studied Target -- not too shabby.
- Spiritualist: Spiritualists are Wisdom-dependent 6/9 Occult spellcasters, and Halflings do not have a Wisdom bonus, so Spiritualist is not an optimal choice for a Gnome. The Favored Class Bonus adds 1/4 to the number of rounds your Phantom can be out of sight and Line of Effect before being sent back to the Ethereal Plane -- not a big enough bonus to keep you from needing to avoid this situation like the plague except at very high levels.
- Swashbuckler: Swashbucklers are like Rogues, and just as Dexterity-dependent, for which Halflings get a bonus, and once again upgrade your speed with Fleet of Foot, no excuses They are also Charisma-dependent (for Panache), which helps Halflings, although watch out for your poor Fortitude Save. The Favored Class Bonus (same as for Gnomes) increases your uses per day of Charmed Life at a slow but usable rate. A particularly appropriate archetype for Small characters is Mouser, which lets you get inside your opponent's defenses; this works even if you only dip a single level, but seems fine for full progression as well.
- Vigilante (see below for ratings): Vigilantes are like any of several sorts of other classes, depending upon choice of Vigilante Specialization and/or archetype. The Gnome bonus to Constitution and the Hardy trait or the Unstoppable replacement for this helps with the poor Fortitude Save, and the Gnome bonus to Charisma hurts the social aspects of this class. The Favored Class Bonus is another of those nice ideas that just scales too slowly to be of much use (1/6 Social Talent). Whatever you do, upgrade your speed with Fleet of Foot.
- Standard Vigilante with Avenger Specialization: While this is supposed to be sneaky, it is also supposed to be able to hold its own in a straight-up fight, but only gets d8 Hit Dice -- although the Halfling Dexterity bonus helps with this, Small size and a Strength penalty hurt.
- Standard Vigilante with Stalker Specialization: This is more like a Rogue -- sneaky but without the Base Attack Bonus improvement, but the Dexterity and Charisma bonuses help.
- Brute Vigilante: This is just a bad archetype, regardless of whether or not you are a Gnome, and then the Strength penalty hurts on top of that -- about the only thing good to say about it is that it will be harder for you take out your party when you go berserk.
- Cabalist Vigilante: See Witch, but the lack of Intelligence Bonus hurts less, because this is a 6/9 spellcaster.
- Gunmaster Vigilante: This is like a Gunslinger; slightly better on a Halfling than on a Gnome, due to getting a Dexterity bonus. Still, you are probably better off just being a Gunslinger.
- Magical Child Vigilante: This is like a Summoner, including the Charisma dependence, which is good for Halflings. Also, this just feels totally right thematically, although Gnomes take first prize for this.
- Mounted Fury Vigilante: This is the Cavalier substitute Vigilante, and as noted elsewhere, a mounted Halfling is a happy Halfling, although it's not as critical as for a Gnome. The basic problem is that it just isn't a very good archetype, although at least it isn't as bad as Brute -- still, just be a Cavalier instead.
- Psychometrist Vigilante with Avenger Specialization: See Standard Vigilante with Avenger Specialization above, but this adds a certain amount of Intelligence-dependence. Halflings don't get an Intelligence bonus, but they don't get a penalty either, so this is probably okay but not great as long as you build carefully.
- Psychometrist Vigilante with Stalker Specialization: See Standard Vigilante with Stalker Specialization above, but this adds a certain amount of Intelligence-dependence. Halflings don't get an Intelligence bonus, but they don't get a penalty either, so this is probably okay as long as you build carefully, although better than with Avenger Specialization for the same reasons that Standard Vigilantes with Stalker Specialization are better on a Halfling chassis than Standard Vigilantes with Avenger Specialization.
- Warlock Vigilante: Gnomes will be okay with the spellcasting and Mystic Bolt parts of this archetype, for which they get neither bonuses nor penalties, and the Dexterity bonus helps in case you get stuck on the front line, while the Charisma bonus especially helps the Social Simulacrum part, which needs to disguise itself as you. Solidly serviceable, but not amazing.
- Wildsoul Vigilante with Avenger Specialization: See Standard Vigilante with Avenger Specialization above, but this adds a certain amount of Intelligence-dependence. Halflings don't get an Intelligence bonus, but they don't get a penalty either, so this is probably okay as long as you build carefully.
- Wildsoul Vigilante with Stalker Specialization: See Standard Vigilante with Stalker Specialization above, but this adds a certain amount of Intelligence-dependence. Halflings don't get an Intelligence bonus, but they don't get a penalty either, so this is probably okay as long as you build carefully, although better than Avenger Specialization for the same reasons that Standard Vigilantes with Stalker Specialization are not as good on a Halfling chassis as Standard Vigilantes with Avenger Specialization.
- Zealot Vigilante: Wisdom-dependent spellcasting and some abilities that use Wisdom-dependent skills (although not as many as on an Inquisitor) -- being a Halfling doesn't hurt this, but doesn't help either, except when using the Channel Energy Talent, which gives you Channel Energy like a Cleric, including the Charisma dependence.
- Warpriest: This is like Cleric, but with no Charisma-dependent abilities -- everything is Wisdom-dependent, for which Halflings get no penalty, but no bonus either, and being on the front-line with Small size (and Slow speed if you didn't get Fleet of Foot) hurts, although the Dexterity bonus helps for going Finesse. The Favored Class Bonus adds 1/4 to your effective Warpriest level for determining Sacred Weapon damage (which is unfortunately hurt by being Small), although keep in mind that if you get to high levels, this saturates at effective 20th level unless your GM house rules past 20th level; on the other hand, in PFS and some Adventure Paths, you won't be able to get to levels that high, and many Adventure Paths will just barely get to levels that high.
Racial Favored Class Bonuses:
Alchemist: Adding extracts to your book is decent if you don’t want to spend gold on it, but since you CAN just add these by picking up a scroll of the spell, it’s not the best option out there.
Barbarian: This one is pretty terrible, becuase you increase your effective Barbarian level for only two abilities, and one of those is optional! Stay away!
Bard: This is an extremely situational bonus, so unless you’re planning to have to infiltrate human or elf settlements as a child all the time, take the skill point instead.
Cavalier: This is a good favored class bonus, because it lets you increase your effective class level to determine the damage you do with attacks of opportunity, and if you’ve made a halfling Cavalier you’re likely trying to get lots of attacks of opportunity.
Cleric: If you get a 1st-level domain power that you love, this is a great option, otherwise ignore it.
Druid: Adding a luck bonus to the saving throws of your animal companion is pretty incredible, especially since as a Small character you’re likely going to be riding your companion and letting it take all the hits.
Fighter: This would be a good bonus if it worked for CMD checks against more than just two maneuvers. While trip and grapple are the two most common combat maneuvers, this still isn’t quite up to snuff.
Gunslinger: This is actually one of the better favored class options in the game, because you get to add to two different, stacking bonuses to AC. First, you’ll want to spend 8 levels of favored class bonus on increasing your constant Dodge bonus to AC from the Nimble class feature by +2, resulting in a total Dodge bonus to AC of +7 at 20th level (AWESOME!). Then after those 8 levels, you can spend all 12 of your other favored class bonuses to increase the bonus you get when using Gunslinger’s Dodge by +3. This means that against a ranged attack, at 20th level, your Gunslinger can spend juse one grit point to drop prone, giving you a total of +14 dodge/untyped bonus to AC against that attack, which is pretty damned impressive.
Inquisitor: The ability to change your teamwork feat more times per day can be very poweful, especially if you’re running an Inquisitor build that doesn’t have super high Wisdom. If you’ve picked up an archetype that drops Solo Tactics and Teamwork Feats, however, you’re not going to be interested in this one.
Magus: Magus’ arcana are one of the best parts of being a Magus, so getting more arcana is a great option for a favored class bonus.
Monk: I’m not a huge fan of this option for two reasons: 1) if you’re grappling a lot, you probably should have chosen a Medium-sized race, and 2) several of the best monk archetypes drop Stunning Fist, so if you’ve chosen one of those archetypes the second half of the bonus is useless to you.
Oracle: Boosting your effective level for the Oracle’s curse can be a very VERY good option. Read my explanation of this ability in the Gnome section, as they get the exact same favored class option. It’s great.
Paladin: A few extra hit points gained when using Lay on Hands doesn’t seem that powerful, but don’t forget that you can use Lay on Hands on yourself as a swift action, meaning that if you get in trouble and your HP is low, you can heal yourself with it every single round without missing a beat. Those extra hit points can really add up over several rounds, so I like this one.
Ranger: The Ranger’s favored enemy class feature is great, and this favored class bonus boosts the dodge bonus to AC that you get against any of your favored enemies, so this is seriously great.
Rogue: If you’re going to be using a sling, dagger, or the Halfling Sling Staff, you’ll definitely want to take this favored class option, but if not then it’s useless.
Sorcerer: Bloodline powers can be very useful, and so if you have a 1st-level one that’s measured in uses per day, consider taking this option.
Summoner: An extra skill rank for your eidolon isn’t the most exciting thing on earth unless you’re planning to use the eidolon as the party’s skill monkey (usually along with the Master Summoner archetype).
Witch: Caster level boosts are not easy to come by, so this one is pretty much a no-brainer for a halfling Witch. Patron spells are usually a mix of really good and only decent spells, so make sure to pick a patron with really good spells!
Wizard: Your familiar shouldn’t be going into battle. Like, ever. I’d suggest you pick up a skill point or hit point instead of this one.
Community Guardian (Oracle): For a healing or buffing-based Oracle, you would do well to consider taking this archetype. The two Revelations gained both focus on buffing and healing your allies, with the first-level ability focused on skill checks, and the third-level ability granting either an AC bonus or hit point healing. Also note that you gain several really good class skills, including the best skill in the game, Perception, by taking this archetype.
Filcher (Rogue): This archetype is all about appraising items on your enemies, stealing those items from them, and then sneakily using those items against other enemies. You’re going to want your Sleight of Hand checks to be as high as possible, because starting at fourth level, you’ll learn to use the Steal combat maneuver but substitute your Sleight of Hand check for the normal CMB check, which means you’ll be able to steal pretty much anything from an enemy at higher levels. Want to mess with an enemy caster? Steal his spell component pouch. Want to make it easier for your Witch friend to Hex the enemy? Steal his cloak of resistance. Seriously, this can be crazy good in a lot of diverse situations, so I’d recommend it.
Underfoot Adept (Monk): This archetype is all about moving around and through your enemy’s squares and tripping them up. Right from the beginning, you take a lesser penalty for using Acrobatics while moving at full speed, so make sure to pick up the Fleet of Foot racial option. You also gain Improved Trip as a bonus feat with no prerequisites, and as you gain levels you can trip larger and larger foes. If you want to build a tripping build that is unconventional and very mobile, a halfling Underfoot Adept would be a great way to do it.
Order of the Paw (Cavalier Order): While not technically an archetype, halflings get their own option for their Cavalier Order, and it’s a pretty good one. If you’re playing a halfling Cavalier, it’s likely that you’ll be riding a wolf or riding dog for most of your career, and this order gives you some nice options that are specific to canine mounts, along with some more general abilities that help all your allies. I especially like Canine Ferocity, which treats your canine mount as one size larger for calculating the bull rush or overrun combat maneuvers.
Daggermark Poisoner: I like this prestige class for a halfling because I can imagine a halfling Ninja who specializes in poisoning his foes working toward entry into the Daggermark Poisoners’ Guild, diligently learning how to craft more and more dangerous poisons. The 6th-level ability Swift Poisoning lets you pull out a vial of poison and apply it to a weapon all as a swift action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity, which is great, but the most incredible ability is your 8th-level Instantaneous Toxicology, which lets you create a poison in ONE ROUND. Awesome!
Halfling Opportunist: This prestige class is halfling-specific, and to be honest I’m not a huge fan of it toward the beginning, because its main ability, Exploitive Maneuver, requires a lot of work from the GM to determine whether any given action by the enemy can be exploited. However, if you’re willing to stick with this class for all five levels, you’ll be rewarded with the Opportunity Attacker ability, which lets you apply your sneak attack damage to ALL attacks of opportunity!
Mammoth Rider: This is one of my favorite new prestige classes from Paths of Prestige, and for a halfling it’s just incredible. I’ve already discussed at length how nice being mounted can be for a halfling, and Mammoth Rider boosts your mount up to Huge size at first level. This means that at 10th character level, our halfling Cavalier’s wolf mount suddenly grows to Huge size, which is just crazy awesome. If you choose to continue in the Mammoth Rider class from that point on, your steed will get even more powerful every two levels, but you’ll be missing out on the Cavalier’s high-level abilities, so I would actually suggest sticking with just a one-level dip for the Huge-size mount.
Adaptive Fortune: If you have the adaptable luck racial trait, this will give you an extra use of it per day and increase the bonus it grants. This is decent, but I prefer the standard halfling luck racial trait.
Blundering Defense: This one is a little strange, since it requires you to take a defensive action, but you get to provide your adjacent allies a luck bonus to AC. This might be a good feat to take along with the Stalwart Defender prestige class, since you’ll be taking defensive actions anyway.
Cautious Fighter: This feat goes with the one right before it, increasing your dodge bonus when fighting defensively or taking the total defense action.
Childlike: If you want people to think you’re a human child (for some reason), this is the feat to take. However, there are just too many good feats out there to make this worthwhile.
Courageous Resolve: This feat either increases your saves against fear effects if you have the fearless trait, OR it lets you gain the benefits of morale bonuses against fear effects if you have the craven trait. It’s probably worth taking if you chose craven.
Desperate Swing: This feat goes along with the two above that have to do with the total defense action, allowing you to take an attack during a total defense action. If you could use it more than once per day, I’d like this feat, but for one attack a day it’s not really worth a feat.
Fortunate One: If you’re focusing on using bonuses from your adaptable luck trait, this is a great feat to pick up, but as I said before, the standard halfing luck trait is better overall.
Halfling Slinger: This feat is just a version of Weapon Focus that’s specific to the sling. It will stack with Weapon Focus if you take both feats, so if you’re going to be focusing completely on using a sling, then you should definitely pick this feat up, but Weapon Focus is better because it qualifies you for other feats.
Improved Low Blow: Low blow isn’t a terribly great racial trait, so I’d suggest ignoring this one UNLESS you’re planning to be an Underfoot Adept Monk, in which case it’s probably more than worth a feat slot.
Lucky Halfling: If you’re worried about your Wizard failing a reflex save, or your tank failing a Will save, this feat might be worth picking up, since it lets you substitute your own saving throw for your ally’s once per day.
Lucky Healer: This feat lets you re-roll the damage healed by a single healing spell or effect up to three times per day (using your adaptable luck race trait). If you’re the party tank, this feat might be worth your time, but otherwise I’d say ignore it.
Lucky Strike: Similar to the Lucky Healer feat right above this, you can spend your adaptable luck race trait to gain a reroll, but this time it’s on a damage roll. This could be really useful for those times when you REALLY need to deal a huge amount of damage to the BBEG.
Pass for Human: If you want to make people think you’re a human child instead of a halfling, you can take this feat after you already have the Childlike feat, and you get another +10 on your Disguise checks. I find this to be absolutely NOT worth a feat slot, because you already had to waste one feat on this!
Risky Striker: Now we’re talking! This feat is essentially Power Attack, but instead of taking a penalty to your attack roll, you take the penalty to your AC. This feat will also stack with Power Attack, and the bonus damage is multiplied on a critical hit, so any melee damage-dealing class will want to pick this up. (I’m looking at you, Mr. Cavalier!)
Sure and Fleet: Just like any other feat that gives you +2 to two skill checks, I don’t believe this is worth one of your precious feat slots. Stay away.
Surprise Strike: This is yet another feat in the Cautious Fighter line of feats I talked about up above, and this one is definitely not worth a feat slot either. When you take a once-per-day attack while using the total defense action, you don’t take the -4 penalty to the attack roll. Whoopie...?
Uncanny Defense: Yet ANOTHER feat in the Cautious Fighter line of feats, but this one is actually very nice. You get to add half of your dodge bonus to AC from taking the total defense action to your reflex saves and your CMD. For a defense-oriented character (like the Stalwart Defender we talked about earlier).
Well-Prepared: This is one of the strangest feats in the game, and it’s really better for role-playing than for optimization, but despite that I really like it. Think of a situation like this: “Oh man, does anyone have a flask of holy water? We really need to anoint this corpse before it regenerates back into a ghoul!” “Actually, I happen to have one of those stored in my boot for just such a situation!” You’ll be the party hero all the time!
Jinx Feats (Thanks to Gobo Horde for this section!)
Arcane Jinxer: Arcane casters only. This one allows you to sacrifice spell slots to reduce the saves of your opponent when resisting the jinx. Actually quite decent in the mid levels, as offering a level 3 spell will dramatically affect his ability to resist. Great for Charisma based casters (sorcerers, summoners and to a lesser extent, bards).
Area Jinx: Requires Widen Spell. This changes your jinx from a target to a burst targetable anywhere in your range allowing you to affect multiple targets in close proximity. The feat tax to get this is noticeable unless you planned on getting widen spell anyways and as such, lowers this from a blue to a green.
Bolster Jinx: Requires Great Fortitude, Iron Will or Lightning Reflexes. Increases the penalty by the same amount you gain from its corresponding feat. Since those are good feats to have anyways, this is a pretty good feat. A -3 will save is a great debuff.
Distant Jinx: This one doubles the range of your jinx allowing you to stay further away from combat and still jinx or makes it easier to jinx while hiding (assuming you can hide while jinxing, as there is nothing that says it alerts your target to your jinx attempt). Just generally not worth it unless you are a debuffer or controller and don’t want to get close, but there are better feats.
Fascination Jinx: Requires Bardic Performance. This allows you to hit a creature already affected by your fascinate ability with a -1 to saves and a -10 to initiative. Lame. First you have to fascinate a target as a standard action allowing it a will save, then you have to affect it by this jinx as another standard action allowing it another save just to give it -10 initiative. Super situational. Also, you must be a bard.
Jinx Alchemy: Requires Swift Alchemy, Lvl 3. This neat little jinx prevents those you jinx from drinking anything beneficial for the next 24 hours. Sadly it does not stop them from eating or drinking normal food so you can’t use it to starve someone to death. While neat that you can prevent someone from drinking any healing potions or the like, that healing usually comes from wands. Might be useful for a NPC going up against a Drunken master monk. Do note that you CAN use this against your fellow fighter and laugh at him, as he can no longer get drunk. Sadly I just can’t rate it high, so it gets yellow purely for flavor.
Jinxed Spell: Metamagic feat. Requires 2 metamagic feats. Without looking at the prerequisites, this one is quite decent and similar to the malicious eye feat. It rides a spell and bypasses the required save which is nice. As long as you were taking the two metamagic feats anyways and can tolerate a level bump AND have room for the feat you are good. I would say situational mostly because of what it takes to get it and the added need of investing more into other jinx feats to get the most benefit out of it.
Malicious Eye: Requires Evil Eye hex. This one is actually really good for a witch that intends to evil eye enemies and then cackle away. A creature that fails against a evil eye hex automatically gets affected by the jinx, no second will save, no immunity for 24 hours because he does not actually roll to save, you can jinx multiple targets at a single time and you can still use your regular jinx unimpeded. The fact that witches focus on Intelligence and not Charisma doesn’t even matter as Charisma is no longer needed. Stack it with Bolster jinx and you can get some really good debuffs going.
Sluggish Jinx: Your jinx also affects your targets initiative and attack rolls. Not really that great considering its most noticeable effect is only -1 to attack rolls. If you stack it with bolster jinx, then you would have an argument for a -3 to attack rolls being decent but you are better off staying away from this feat.
Versatile Jinxer: Requires Iron Will. Changes your DC to Int based or Wis based. Works well with the bolster jinx feat for Int based characters. Otherwise you are looking at 2 feats just to change the DC type of your jinx. This allows non-Cha based characters to get better benefit from the jinxes but at a high cost so is more flavorful than optimal.
Worst Case Jinx: Requires 5 ranks of Knowledge [Arcana]. This makes all beneficial variable gains for the jinxed target count as the lowest amount. Could be useful for the witch jinxer to keep the targets she hexes from gaining meaningful buffs but would mostly be regaled to NPCs casting it on the PCs causing them to waste more charges healing.