Thursday, June 4, 2015

Races of Pathfinder: An Optimization Guide

by Broken Zenith, Cartmanbeck and UnArcaneElection

The following is a guide to the myriad of races and race options available within the Pathfinder RPG system.I want to preface this guide by pointing out that my ratings are going to be ALMOST completely based on optimization ability (though once in a while I will rate something a bit higher if it’s super thematic and fun). Any race can be made into a decent character of any class if you make the right choices, but some races just work better and are more optimized for some classes.

Sky Blue = You really should use this. It’s the best option out there.
Blue = This is a great choice, I love it.
Green = This is a good, solid choice, though there might be slightly better ones out there.
Orange = This isn’t a very good choice, but you could do worse.
Red = This is a really bad choice. Avoid it.

Core Races

Featured Races

Uncommon Races
     Aquatic Elf

Other Races
Standard Races
     Monkey Goblin

Advanced Races


Monstrous Races


Very Powerful Races

Here’s a link to the discussion of this guide on

The structure of the writeup for each race will be as follows: 
Race name - Classes that work well and their color ranking
Quick description of the race
Racial Traits - These are the racial abilities that the race normally gets, and how useful they are.
Alternate Racial Traits - These are the racial abilities that you can replace normal racial traits with, which can sometimes be way better or way worse than the original trait. The trait that is being replaced is shown in [brackets] right next to the name of the new trait.
Classes - Here I’ll list each of the standard base classes, mentioning any archetypes that work well for the given race.
Racial Favored Class Bonuses - Here I’ll list all of the favored class bonuses that are specific to the given race with their rating.
Racial Archetypes - Here I’ll give a quick description of the archetypes that are specifically available to the given race, most of which come from the Advanced Race Guide.
Prestige classes - Here I’ll give a short list of prestige classes that work very well for the given race, including what base class/classes you’ll want to use to fulfill prerequisistes
Racial Feats - I’ll give a quick description of what each race-specific feat does and its rating.


  1. Drow Noble?

    Same traits as drow, but better SR, better SLA's, and ability scores are +4 DEX, -2 CON, +2 all mental. I'd imagine that it is good for anything but the CON-requiring classes: kineticist, barbarian, bloodrager.

  2. even more races have been added lately from occult bestiary, bestiary 5, Distant shores.

  3. Ganzis would make good Bloodragers. +2 to Constitution and Charisma and -2 to a dump stat for that class.

  4. Replies
    1. No, there would be just too many to handle.

  5. Think you might get around to the Bestiary 5 races? The Reptoid is particularly fascinating.