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
     Aasimar (15 RP)
     Catfolk (9 RP)
     Dhampir (11 RP)
     Drow (14/41 RP)
     Fetchling (17 RP)
     Goblin (10 RP)
     Hobgoblin (9 RP)
     Ifrit (6 RP)
     Kobold (5 RP)
     Orc (8 RP)
     Oread (6 RP)
     Ratfolk (9 RP)
     Sylph (6 RP)
     Tengu (13 RP)
     Tiefling (13 RP)
     Undine (7 RP)

Uncommon Races
     Aquatic Elf
     Duergar (8 RP)
     Grippli (6 RP)
     Suli (16 RP)
     Svirfneblin (24 RP)
     Vanara (8 RP)
     Vishkanya (13 RP)

Other Races
Standard Races
     Gnoll (6 RP)
     Lizardfolk (8 RP)
     Monkey Goblin (10 RP)
     Skinwalker (10 RP)
     Triaxian (10 RP)

Advanced Races

     Android (16 RP)
     Gathlain (12 RP)
     Ghoran (19 RP)
     Kasatha (20 RP)
     Lashunta (11 RP)
     Shabti (13 RP)
     Syrinx (16 RP)
     Wyrwood (20 RP)
     Wyvaran (17 RP)

Monstrous Races

     Centaur (28 RP)
     Ogre (23 RP)
     Shobhad (29 RP)
     Trox (28 RP)

Very Powerful Races
     Drider (35 RP)
     Gargoyle (36 RP)

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

  5. Would it be possible to add Warforged to the list of races? They were in 3.5 and a guide to incorporating them into Pathfinder would be helpful.

    1. I think we are trying to do Pathfinder only.

  6. Could you add the RP cost for each of the races?

  7. I can't click on any of the races that have their names underlined. Is this a bug?

  8. Are the bestiary 5 and 6. And occult bestiary races being added. Sorry last comment had horrible grammar.

  9. What about vampire hunter, the new base class?

  10. none of the races are color coded, they all appear as a dark blue.

    1. They are all links. The races themselves aren't compared against each other, just the options within each race.

  11. You left out a lot of racial variants and new races. I have a master list I made, if you are interested.

    1. Sure. Send it to blog

  12. Can you add the vine leshy from ultimate wilderness? Other than that, love the guide.

  13. can you add the vine leshy? i really like this race

  14. I really love this guide