|Create Mr. Pitt|
If perception's not a class skill take that trait. There's also +2 to initiative as a trait, and improved initiative as a feat. See what's coming and going first save your life more than anything else.
Anything else I'd recommend depends on your class. Augmented summons are great if you have SM line, power attack is necessary if you're a strength melee. But the save your life feats really depend on your build. See everything coming and go first.
Traits can be great for increasing your characters survive-ability! First question though, what AP are you playing in? Making the appropriate choices for the character/AP combo is important. Also keep in mind that Traits and Feats stack! So you can always double up your defenses that way. Keep in mind however, many of the best Traits have prerequisites just like Feats do. I would in general agree with everyone who has posted before me as well. Also ask your GM about selecting Campaign Traits from other AP's, they can be some of the best! Onward to suggestions!
Firstly any Trait that gives you a bonus to a Save is good. Like I said before these Traits will stack with a Feat. ex. Resilient +1 Fortitude stacks with the Feat Great Fortitude +2 Fortitude. That +3 can definitely save your hide! Now some of these Traits have 'a little extra' and I will list examples below.
Missing Child; +1 Will Saves and Diplomacy and Sense Motive are always Class Skills for you.
Purity of Faith; +1 Will Saves and a +1 Trait bonus on saving throws against spells and effects originating from an outsider with the Evil type.
Carefully Hidden (human); +1 Will Saves and +2 Trait bonus vs Divination effects.
Northern Ancestry; +1 Fortitude Saves and Energy Resistance Cold 2
Grounded (dwarf); +2 on balance related Acrobatics checks and +1 bonus to Reflex saves.
Other great Traits to keep you alive are:
Lessons of Faith; gives you a re-roll on a save
Defender of Society; Fighter only, but +1 AC!
Glory of Old (dwarf); +1 trait bonus vs most bad things
Unscathed; Probably the best trait for a Suli ever!
Defensive Strategist; is your class missing Uncanny Dodge? Pick this trait!
Finding your Kin; eliminates your favored class bonus choice but you get +1 Hit Point and +1 Skill Point per level, amazing!
As far as Feats go, build matters. You would be surprised what really saves your characters life at the end of the day.
Toughness is good. Better if you have a positive Con Modifier and the Finding Your Kin Trait.
Great fortitude. Lightning reflexes. Iron will. Saving throw bonuses. The improved versions grant once per day rerolls. I favor the Fort and Will ones personally.
Dodge into Mobility into Spring Attack can help a Dex based melee character a ton.
Shield Focus, Armor Focus, Missile Shield can all help out.
Defensive Combat Training and its Improved version help out people struggling with combat maneuvers. Divine casters going melee come to mind for these feats.
Teamwork Feats. Escape Route is HUGE for not provoking attacks of opp. If your party, or just certain members, have a tendency to over-commit in combat this feat will keep you alive!
Finally word. Picking up a few things to shore up your defenses is not a bad move, but don't sacrifice too much offence doing it. Sometimes the safest play is killing the enemy a round or more faster to avoid these predicaments.
|Mark Carlson 255|
IMHO, it really depends on the game you are playing in and the style of the GM. I know that does not help a lot but I have seen some feats a GM say are a must have not really apply and others that the GM did not like work exceptionally well.
Providing a little more background might help people provide some info as right now your request is very broad.
Best way to survive: find a way to make your character useful while not being adjacent to enemies. Staying out of melee is a great way to survive.
Otherwise, try to peg your AC and saves to be reasonably good for your level. Somebody has already gone to the trouble of compiling the data so you can just plug in the numbers and see where you stack up.
Generally Pathfinder feats come in three flavors: useless trash, fairly costed, and overpowered nerf bait. Picking between the fairly costed feats/traits is a matter of figuring out what you need to shore up and then using the appropriate tool to fix it.