Humans are the quintessential everyman, with the ability to fulfill any party role, and in fact steal race-specific abilities, feats, and classes from other races with ease. Humans are also the most prevalent creatures in Golarion and most other settings, so if you’re going to have a humanoid-bane weapon, they’re the ones to focus on.

Racial Traits:

Ability Scores: Humans get to choose one ability score and add +2 to it.

Size: Humans are Medium size.

Speed: Humans have a base movement speed of 30ft.

Bonus Feat: A human character begins with a bonus feat that they qualify for. This is a great way to get started early on a long feat tree like the Point-Blank Shot line.

Skills: Humans gain an extra skill rank above and beyond that granted by their class at every level. This means for even a very skill-intensive character, you can use your favored class bonus for hit points or something more exotic.

Alternate Race Traits:

Adoptive Parentage [Bonus Feat]: If you want to start with a specific race’s racial language and you don’t have the skill points for Linguistics ranks, I suppose this is a reasonable way to get it. The weapon familiarity of most races isn’t that exciting, so I’m not thrilled by that one either. Finally, if you wanted Skill Focus, you should take the Focused Study option below instead.

Dual Talent [Bonus Feat, Skilled]: Now THIS is a good choice. You give up both your bonus feat (ouch) and your skill points for a second +2 racial bonus to another ability score. Let me point out that if you use this on Intelligence, you’ve just made up the difference of the extra skill point, so an Int-based caster would definitely benefit from this.

Eye for Talent [Bonus Feat]: If you’re going into a class that grants you an animal companion or bonded mount, this is an excellent choice. Adding more Strength to your companion boosts its damage, more Con boosts its hit points, and if you choose to boost its Intelligence it will be able to choose from any feat it qualifies for, as opposed to just the “animal” feats. This one’s definitely worth losing a bonus feat. Note also that this feat can perform double duty for a character whose class gives them a mount and who also takes the Squire or Leadership feat.

Focused Study [Bonus Feat]: If you were planning to take Skill Focus at first level anyway (perhaps to qualify for Eldritch Heritage?) then this is a great choice, as you essentially get two more free feats as you gain levels, though they both have to be Skill Focus.

Heart of the Fields [Skilled]: This one is a good choice for a Barbarian, since once per day it will let you drop out of rage, ignore the fatigued condition, and then rage again when necessary, which can come in very handy. Other than that, I don’t see it being worth losing a skill rank per level.

Heart of the Mountains [Skilled]: Why would you choose this? Take the skill rank at each level and use two of those ranks in Climb, two in Acrobatics, and you’ve just made this option obsolete.

Heart of the Sea [Skilled]: If you’re going to be playing in a seafaring campaign, this may be a good choice for you, since Swim as a class skill will almost invariably be important, and you can’t really beat a +4 to concentration checks underwater. Outside of a campaign where you hang out on the ocean all the time, this one’s not worth the tradeoff.

Heart of the Slums [Skilled]: This racial option boosts three great skills, Sleight of Hand, Stealth, and Survival (albeit situationally). Rerolling all saves against disease really makes this one shine, though.

Heart of the Snows [Skilled]: I suppose if you’re going to be on a snow-covered mountain for most of your campaign, this could come in handy, but honestly I would prefer to just use the extra skill rank each level on Acrobatics and find other ways to boost my CMD.

Heart of the Streets [Skilled]: If you’re planning to be in close quarters with your allies, this one is nice. Dodge bonuses always stack with each other, and you could combine this with the Gang Up feat to get flanking bonuses as well. Add on a +1 to Reflex saves, and this one’s a great option for a Dex-based character.

Heart of the Sun [Skilled]: Unless you plan to hang out in hot jungles full of swarms of insects, I don’t see this one as worthy of your time. It’s just too situational.

Heart of the Wilderness [Skilled]: Wow, this one is excellent. If you want to make a character that is absolutely impossible to kill, take this racial trait, the Racial Heritage (Orc) feat, and the whole line of half-orc/orc feats that let you keep fighting after hitting 0 hit points.

Heroic [Bonus Feat]: I’ve never played in a game which used Hero Points, so I honestly don’t have any real opinion of this one. So it gets orange.

Mixed Heritage [Bonus Feat]: If you liked the look of more than one of those “Heart of the <Insert here>” racial traits up above (maybe combine Slums and Streets?) then this will let you drop your bonus feat to get a second one of those.

Silver Tongued [Skilled]: Diplomacy just doesn’t come up often enough to warrant this tradeoff, and even if it did you’re better off just putting the skill ranks you get at each level into Diplomacy instead. The only exception here is if you’re playing the “party face”, since this will raise your Diplomacy higher than just having max ranks would. For the party face, this is blue.


With even more versatility than the half-races spawned from them, humans can really shine at any class, so I won’t be listing several of the classes, since there’s nothing that makes them better or worse than any of the others. There are a few human-specific options that I’ll cover here, though.

Cavalier [Samurai]: The human racial trait option Eye for Talent is a great choice for a Cavalier or Samurai who wants a more powerful, more intelligent, or hardier mount, so I highly recommend choosing that option.

Druid: Humans can choose the Feral Child archetype, which is a very thematic option that drops some of the more magic-centric abilities (like wild shape) in favor of terrain-focused abiltiies and bonuses against negative status effects. Giving up wild shape has its drawbacks, however, so I’d think long and hard before choosing this archetype. Make sure to consider the Nature Warden prestige class if you do go with the Feral Child, as it has many benefits.

Fighter: Humans make excellent Fighters mostly because Fighters are defined by their feats and humans get an extra one. Along with that, you’ll find that the extra skill point per level will help shore up the Fighter’s lack thereof.

Gunslinger: A human Gunslinger gains access to the Buccaneer archetype, the main feature of which is using Charisma to determine grit points instead of Wisdom. You also gain the ability to get extra grit points by drinking alcohol, AND you get to have an “exotic pet” familiar, which is meant to be like a pirate’s shoulder-parrot.

Monk: Monks are generally pretty feat-heavy builds, so a human Monk can be a good way to boost your way into the best monk options early on. Humans also have access to the Wanderer archetype, which includes several interesting spell-like abilities and even a bardic performance-like ability at higher levels.

Sorcerer: Humans have access to the Imperious bloodline, which is an interesting bloodline that allows you to boost morale and circumstance bonuses to yourself and your allies. I wouldn’t say that it’s a particularly powerful choice of bloodlines (check out my bloodline guide for more details) but it’s interesting.

Racial Favored Class Bonuses:

Alchemist: Extra formulae in your formula book is a decent option, but you can always add them from a scroll or a wizard’s spellbook instead by tossing some cash at them.

Barbarian: A bonus to trap sense (which many archetypes drop) or a single rage power (superstitious) is just not really worth your time. Note that this actually becomes a key, important part of an AM BARBARIAN build, where you are building the ultimate caster-killer.

Bard: Extra spells known for a spontaneous caster will always help out.

Cavalier: This one’s fun, assuming you don’t pick an archetype that drops the banner class feature. The Cavalier’s banner ability gives your allies a morale bonus against fear effects and to attack rolls when charging. If your party members charge in often, this would be a good choice (and don’t forget that you’re considered your own ally for abilities like this, so your Cavalier gets these bonuses also).

Cleric: If you expect to come up against demons and devils (or other outsiders) often, this might be a really good option for your Cleric, but generally this is a bit too situational to be worth the investment.

Druid: If the bonus to Intimidate given here worked on demoralize checks, this would be super awesome. However, it only helps when trying to change a creature’s attitude toward you, so this one sucks.

Fighter: For a grappling character, or even for any melee fighter, this is a pretty decent option. The most prevalent combat maneuvers in the game are grapple and trip, so getting bonuses against both of these (or you could choose sunder if you’re very attached to your weapon and armor) is nice.

Gunslinger: Extra grit points will make your Gunslinger much more usable in combat, so this one’s a keeper.

Inquisitor: Extra spells known for a spontaneous caster will always help out.

Magus: More arcane points means more enhancement bonus to your weapon or any number of other useful abilities, so this one’s great.

Monk: More ki points means more extra flurry attacks, Quinggong spell-like abilities, or any number of other useful abilities, so you really can’t go wrong here.

Oracle: Extra spells known for a spontaneous caster will always help out.

Paladin: If you think you’ll be traveling to the elemental plane of fire (or any of the other ones) you might want to add some inherent resistance to that element. Also note that you don’t have to choose the same element each level, so you could get resist acid, cold, electricity and fire 5 by the time you hit 20th level.

Ranger: This one is very versatile, letting you choose either a skill point or a hit point for your animal companion at each level. Of course, if you don’t have an animal companion, add that hit point or skill point to yourself instead.

Rogue: More rogue talents means more awesome abilities, so this one’s a keeper.

Sorcerer: Extra spells known for a spontaneous caster will always help out.

Summoner: This is the summoner version of the Ranger option, allowing you to give your eidolon an extra hit point or skill point each level. Since the eidolon is much more powerful, generally, than an animal compaion, this is a slightly better option.

Witch: Extra spells in your familiar is nice, but you can always add them from a scroll or a wizard’s spellbook instead by tossing some cash at them, so this is a trap.

Wizard: Extra spells in your spellbook is a decent option, but you can always add them from a scroll or another spellbook instead by tossing some cash at them.

Racial Archetypes:

Buccaneer (Gunslinger): I like this archetype, because it is super flavorful and gives you some really fun abilities along with that. First off, your grit points are based on Charisma instead of Wisdom, which means you can pump Charisma and be Jack Sparrow (by dumping Wisom and Intelligence) if you want to. You also gain extra grit points by drinking alcohol (“Where’s the rum gone?”) and gain an “exotic pet” which can be a monkey or toucan or parrot. Finally, you gain abilities that let you fight with a gun and sword at the same time without penalty. Basically, if you’ve ever wanted to play the quintessential “pirate” character, this is the way to do it.

Feral Child (Druid): The Feral Child’s fluff text states that she was abandoned in the wild and raised by animals, which is a common theme in fantasy stories and fits very well with a Druid. Your character will give up the ability to read and write and a few of the more magical Druid abilities (including wild shape) to gain a favored terrain similiar to that of a Ranger and bonuses against several detrimental conditions that you might run into in the wild, such as poison and disease. A Feral Child also summons creatures that are native to her favored terrain as if she were two levels higher for the purposes of spell duration, and her summoned creatures gain a bonus to Strength and Constitution that stacks with Augment Summoning, though that doesn’t come until 17th level. Overall this is an interesting archetype that might be better for an NPC than a player. It does, however, lead into the Nature Warden prestige class very easily, so consider that option as well.

Wanderer (Monk): This is a decent option if you are playing in a party without a Bard and woud like to boost your allies a little bit while still keeping your monk-ish juices flowing. It’s also a good way to pick up proficiency in an exotic weapon without resigning yourself to using that weapon for the rest of your career, since you can change the proficiency every four levels. Later on you also get access to a Hide in Plain Sight-like ability which is actually even better than the one the Shadowdancer gets, since you don’t need to be in an area with shadows to use it. Overall this is a decent choice, but I wouldn’t say it’s any more or less powerful than a standard Monk.

Imperious (Sorcerer Bloodline): This isn’t an archetype, but this is the best place to list it. This bloodline for the Sorcerer is meant to signify your descendence from a line of Kings, and the powers you get from it are actually pretty excellent. Heroic Echo is a really fun one which increases morale bonuses (and later also competence bonuses) that you gain from spells, spell-like abilities, or magic items and share them with your allies. Starting at 9th level, when you shrug off a harmful condition, you get a free Intimidate check against the creature who tried to harm you, basically saying “LOOK HOW AWESOME I AM, YOUR PUNY SPELL DID NOTHING TO ME!” Finally, at 15th level you can use inspire greatness or inspire heroics as a bard of your level. I like this bloodline, but if you check out my bloodline guide you’ll see that it’s nowhere near the best one out there.

Prestige Classes:

Nature Warden: The Nature Warden prestige class was obviously written to allow multiclass Druid/Rangers to increase their abilities in class features from both classes at once, and that's awesome. However, the human-only Feral Child archetype can actually qualify for this prestige class all on its own, and that makes it an extremely powerful option.  One of my favorite abilities of the Nature Warden is giving your animal companion AND summoned creatures damage reduction bypassed by silver (or later, cold iron) equal to your class level! This is the only class in the game that I know of which has DR that scales in quite this way. You can qualify for the Nature Warden class at level 6 of Feral Child, and you should definitely start taking levels of this prestige class ASAP. Make sure to take the Eye for Talent racial option and the Huntmaster feat, both of which will significantly improve your animal companion's power level.

Racial Feats:

Bestow Luck: This feat lets you use Defiant Luck an extra time per day (which lets you reroll a saving throw or force an enemy to reroll a critical hit confirmation against you) and also lets you grant the +8 skill bonus given by Inexplicable Luck to an ally instead of just yourself.

Critical Versatility: I’m not usually a fan of the Critical Feats, but if you have a character who uses a weapon with at least an 18-20 crit range, you might want to pick this feat up, as it lets you essentially learn any Critical feat that you qualify for until you decide to learn a different one, which is just incredible.

Dauntless Destiny: Yet another feat that lets you reroll a check, this one lets you reroll a natural 1 on a d20 once per day, and additionally lets you Intimidate the creature that caused that roll (just like the power granted by the Imperious bloodline).

Defiant Luck: This feat allows you to reroll a saving throw or force an enemy to reroll a critical hit confirmation against you once per day, and there is a whole tree of feats that improve and build on this one that are all incredible feats if you have the feat slots to use on them.

Eclectic: This feat essentially gives you the half-elf’s Multitalented racial trait, giving you a second favored class. Pretty cool, but if you wanted to have two favored classes you should have picked half-elf instead of using your extra feat on this one.

Fast Learner: If you are taking levels in only a single class, this feat is pretty excellent, because this lets you double up on the favored class bonus from that class. In some cases, it will make just as much sense to take Toughness, but if you’re trying to get extra skill points and also a specific racial favored class bonus, this is the way to do it.

Fearless Curiosity: This feat gives you an extra save against fear effects, which can reduce the effect by one level, and can really save your butt in a pinch.

Heroic Will: This ability gives you an extra saving throw against things like dominate effects, so if you’re the party’s damage dealer, this could be invaluable (and avoid your character being forced to kill his allies by an evil caster).

Huntmaster: This feat gives you a bonus to Handle Animal checks for a specific animal type, but the real benefit here is being treated as one level higher for determining the abilities of your animal companion or mount (and unlike Boon Companion, this is NOT restricted by your total character level). Combine this with Eye for Talent and you can have an incredibly powerful mount or companion even if you’re missing several levels of classes that grant companion levels.

Improved Improvisation: This feat cuts your penalties for nonproficiency with weapons, armor, and shields in half, which can be pretty useful if you pick up a random but very powerful weapon in a dungeon. It also improves the Improvisation feat’s benefits to skills that you have no ranks in. The benefit of this one isn’t really worth the feat slot, though.

Improvisation: This feat could be super useful for a Fighter with low Intelligence who wants to still be useful for skill checks outside combat. You’re almost gaining the equivalent of the class skill bonus, and for every single skill that you don’t have a rank in, so it could be really helpful at low levels, but will become useless at higher levels.

Inexplicable Luck: A +8 on ANY d20 roll once per day is absolutely amazing. Think about it... you’re fighting the big bad guy at the end of a session, and he’s knocked out half your party. You have 3 HP left, and you score a potential critical hit. You know it’ll be tough to confirm the crit, so you say “I ADD +8!” Critted, dead, you’re the hero!

Intimidating Confidence: For an Intimidate build, this would definitely be worth grabbing, as you get a free Intimidate check with bonuses that stack with Dazzling Display and increase based on your weapon’s critical range. However, most builds wouldn’t find this feat to be worth the considerable investment required.

Martial Mastery: Every combat feat you have that normally applies to only a single weapon now applies to all weapons in that group. Wow. The most broken way to abuse this one is to build an Savage Warrior Fighter / Vivisectionist/Beastmorph Alchemist with as many natural attack types as possible, then take Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Critical, and Deadly Stroke, applying all of these feats to each of your natural attacks. You could also grab a level of Maneuver Master Monk to get an extra combat maneuver (probably trip) attempt each round, then pick up Feral Combat Training and Stunning Fist to possibly stun your enemy with every natural attack. The possibilities with this one are pretty much endless!

Martial Versatility: This feat is really just a way to get to Martial Mastery, but in its own right would be pretty good for a natural attack-focused Monk, since you can use this to apply to Feral Combat Training, which would allow you to use any of your natural attacks as part of a Flurry of Blows.

Racial Heritage: This feat essentially allows you to be treated as any other race for the purposes of feats, racial archetypes, class prerequisites, and all other effects. Did you see something in any of the other race’s sections above that you really liked? Your human can do that too! This feat is the ultimate in versatility, and that’s really what being a human is all about.

Surge of Success: If you find yourself confirming a lot of critical hits... then you probably don’t need the +2 bonus to attack that this will give you. It could come in handy for saving throws for a critical-focused character, but that’s about it.