Favored Class Suggestions


Races & Classes

Former VP of Finance

Something that's always bothered me are the favored classes for a couple of the races. My suggestion is:

Elves - Ranger (and/or possibly druid)
Gnomes - Wizard (and/or sorcerer)

My reasoning! Elves are graceful forest-dwellers. Ranger and druid are natural choices for them that fit perfectly. The quote on gnomes is "...where elves have a tie to nature..." This, to me, does not say sitting in a library, reading a book, memorizing. This is trekking through the wilderness, tracking animals, surviving.

Gnomes are magical by nature. They have spell-like abilities built in. They are perfect casters. I admit, bard does make some sense with their whimsical nature, but it only scratches the surface in magical potential of what a truly focused gnome could do with raw power. A gnome is a creature of magic, not a creature of entertainment.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I have always played Elves with a +2 Charisma bonus and have given them sorcerer as a favored class.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Or maybe just ditch the favored class and multiclassing xp penalty concepts entirely...

Liberty's Edge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ericthecleric wrote:
Or maybe just ditch the favored class and multiclassing xp penalty concepts entirely...

From my POV, favored classes shouldn't exist. Even more in such a world like Pathfinder's.

I'd like an "unusual classes", though.
I'll explain myself: instead of applying penalties to every class choice but one, just apply that penalty to the really uncommon classes of that race/community.

Hope someone likes this ^_^

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Aritz Cirbián wrote:
ericthecleric wrote:
Or maybe just ditch the favored class and multiclassing xp penalty concepts entirely...

From my POV, favored classes shouldn't exist. Even more in such a world like Pathfinder's.

I'd like an "unusual classes", though.
I'll explain myself: instead of applying penalties to every class choice but one, just apply that penalty to the really uncommon classes of that race/community.

Hope someone likes this ^_^

Note Page 7 of the Alpha release. We did away with the XP penalty and instead give you +1 hit point for every level you take in your race's favored class. Note that humans and half-elves get to pick.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:
Aritz Cirbián wrote:
ericthecleric wrote:
Or maybe just ditch the favored class and multiclassing xp penalty concepts entirely...

From my POV, favored classes shouldn't exist. Even more in such a world like Pathfinder's.

I'd like an "unusual classes", though.
I'll explain myself: instead of applying penalties to every class choice but one, just apply that penalty to the really uncommon classes of that race/community.

Hope someone likes this ^_^

Note Page 7 of the Alpha release. We did away with the XP penalty and instead give you +1 hit point for every level you take in your race's favored class. Note that humans and half-elves get to pick.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

Yeah, that is pretty sweet.

Dark Archive

ericthecleric wrote:
Or maybe just ditch the favored class and multiclassing xp penalty concepts entirely...

I agree! I've gotten rid of them in my game. IMHO, the xp penalty for multiclassing just limits creative character building. Also, humans are good enough as is with the bonus feat and skill points.

edit- D'oh! Didn't read Jason's post. Nevermind. Keep up the good work!


I've posted this suggestion in the Alpha 1 Feedback forum already, so i'll keep it short here...

I'd suggest a 10% XP bonus for characters who chose their Favoured Class as single class, and a 5% XP bonus for those who chose it as multiclass. That way, it would reward the character over the whole spectrum of his class abilities, and demonstrate that the race REALLY is more talented for that one class. :)


Note Page 7 of the Alpha release. We did away with the XP penalty and instead give you +1 hit point for every level you take in your race's favored class. Note that humans and half-elves get to pick.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

I like this - saves messy exp calculating

Grand Lodge

I reeely like the new Favoured Class rule, even if Favoured is spelled American-like :)

My only question: do Humans and Half-Elves have to take their 1st level class as Favoured, or can they choose another?

I prefer the 1st as a DM, but the min-maxer in me likes the sweet other side.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

OK, I see Jason. I've not had a chance to look at the Alpha version yet, but the innovation seems good.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I agree about giving the gnomes a different favoured class (there, stuck the 'u' in for our Queen's English readers)

Sorcerer would fit, especialyl if we get fey heritage sorcerers. Else some kind of faelocke would be nice.


For my own games I have elf's favored class as bard and gnome's favored class as wizard. But my elves tend to be more "tolkienish" and my gnomes tend to be more "tinkerish".

[quote=]"We live now upon an island amid many perils, and our hands are more often upon the bowstring than upon the harp."
-Haldir of Lothlorien
Fellowship of the Rings (book)

Liberty's Edge

Geron Raveneye wrote:
I'd suggest a 10% XP bonus for characters who chose their Favoured Class as single class, and a 5% XP bonus for those who chose it as multiclass. That way, it would reward the character over the whole spectrum of his class abilities, and demonstrate that the race REALLY is more talented for that one class. :)

My group calculates XP their characters earned that day before going to sleep, so calculating percentages on top of XP earned would slow my sessions down. Moreover, a single class character using his race's favoured class would quickly pull ahead of the rest of the party in XP.

I think the HP bonus in Pathfinder Alpha is quick, clean, and balanced.


Ryan. Costello wrote:


My group calculates XP their characters earned that day before going to sleep, so calculating percentages on top of XP earned would slow my sessions down. Moreover, a single class character using his race's favoured class would quickly pull ahead of the rest of the party in XP.

Don't get me wrong, but moving the integer point one to the left on the total of your XP (and maybe dividing by two afterwards) would be slowing down the end of your sessions? Okay...you must run some damn intense sessions if everybody is too tired for that afterwards.

Can I join for a game? :)

Ryan. Costello wrote:


I think the HP bonus in Pathfinder Alpha is quick, clean, and balanced.

As far as it's making sense that the elven wizard gets rewarded for choosing the class his race is most talented for by...becoming harder to kill, I agree. *shrugs* In other words, not that much (in my personal opinion only :) ).


Jason Bulmahn wrote:


Note Page 7 of the Alpha release. We did away with the XP penalty and instead give you +1 hit point for every level you take in your race's favored class. Note that humans and half-elves get to pick.

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer

It might be a short solution but it is completely arbitrary. Why would an elf taking levels in the wizard class get more hit points than any other race?

One could remove the XP penalty and the favoured class completely without replacing them. The reasons for this are simple.
The only thing the XP penalty is good for is to prevent class dipping. This is the actual problem that has to be tackled and not just covered up with an arbitrary rule. It could be solved by spreading out the 1st level abilities onto the 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels and/or by changing abilities in such a way that they depend more on the class levels and do not give absolute benefits.
The favoured class is not needed because the races have ability boosts on the main abilities for certain classes. Therefore, a race is more apt in classes that use their boosted ability than in other.

Sovereign Court

My only suggestion would be for there to be a bit more choice in the favored class. Races should have a choice between 3 favored classes, Elves for example might favor ranger, wizard, and bard. However the keeping with the spirit of 3rd once a PC chooses their favored class (by taking 1 level in that class) they can no longer use the others as favored. For example, an elf starting out as ranger couldn't gain favored class befits by taking wizard later, or an elf starting as a rogue, then multi classing into a bard, couldn't then choose wizard and gain favored class benefits.

Just an idea.

Sovereign Court

Sebastian Elliker wrote:


It might be a short solution but it is completely arbitrary. Why would an elf taking levels in the wizard class get more hit points than any other race?

Just a quick point: with the con penalty, an elf wizard isn't likely to get more hit points then a human wizard who has chosen wizard as their favored class.

Personally I like the idea of favored class, and I like the idea that some races are better then others at certain classes, but I agree that the real reason we see penalties is to discourage dipping into multiple classes.

Dark Archive

One of the best things about 3E for us was any race being able to be any class, and without level limits. So the Favored Class concept seemed like a step backwards, as did the restrictions on Paladin / Monk multiclassing. We house ruled both out of existence after some lively debate about what Favored Classes made more sense.

Elves seemed like natural Bards, a little bit fighter, a little bit mage, innately magical, innately artistic. But ultimately, we couldn't see any reason why an Elf wouldn't make a good Ranger / Rogue wilderness scout sort, or Fighter / Cleric of Correllon warpriest.


I would like to see Humans have the option of taking the "Generalist or Multiclass" for their favorite class. They would gain the bonus hit point even if PRCing if the PC had multiclassed.


In my opinion, favored classes were a no-brainer to beginn with. This would be an opportunity to get rid of them for good.

But as any gm can simply chose to not calculate the xp-penalty, I guess it wouldn't hurt anyone to keep it. Just make a small sidebox saying favored classes is an optional rule. ^^

Dark Archive

The PF approach to favored classes and multiclassing seems great to me. Keeps encouraging taking the "iconic class" for each race, and it eases the maths.

What I'm wondering (although maybe it's a question for another thread) is how do the skills at 1st level and multiclassing combine.


I dislike the favored class mechanic in general, and I never did the XP penalty either. I just said "No more than X classes" and called it good.

Liberty's Edge

I like the PF way of doing the favored class also, but I've never been happy with the 3e dwarves having a favored class of fighter. They've always seemed like barbarians to me...

Maybe I'm missing something.


One thing that people are ignoring is that Favored Classes are a way to guide a new player's choices in character creation towards a race-class combo that isn't crippled out of the gate. When a new player says "I want to play an elf!" he can look at the Elf's favored class of Wizard and see that elves make good wizards without having to know ANY rules. Similarly, if he says "I want to play a Fighter!" he can look through the races and see that Dwarves have a favored class of Fighter and know that dwarves make good fighters without having to know the rules.

For that reason, if no other, favored classes should stay. They don't necessarily need to have any mechanical effect, but those half-dozen lines provide a great service to new players for no appreciable price.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Zurai wrote:
For that reason, if no other, favored classes should stay. They don't necessarily need to have any mechanical effect, but those half-dozen lines provide a great service to new players for no appreciable price.

You know, your idea of turning favored classes from crunch into fluff has merit.

Another suggestion: if PRPG ends up including racial feats, instead of using favored class mechanics, just have a subset of dwarf feats that are especially useful to fighters, a subset of elf feats that are especially useful to wizards, etc.

Dark Archive

I have always been against favored classes. Why reward a player for creating a character that is supposedly 'typical' for its race? I would much rather reward a player for creating a character that is unique and original.


Another option might be to give each race some specific bonus relating to its favoured class.

Something like:

Favoured Class Wizard: Elves make especially good wizards and pick up spells faster than other races. Elven wizards get a +2 bonus to Spellcraft checks made to learn new spells, and gain an extra metamagic feat on character creation.


Dwarves: Fighters
never needed touching

Elves: Sorcerers
look, if the Sorcerer was thought of in 2nd ed, all the famous elven gish would be fighter/sorcerers. elves are chaotic, elves are sylvan and some view, related to fae. i also viewed elves as being the the antithesis to the dwarf, dwarves are dour, quick to anger and hard working. Elves are positive, serene and a bit laid back. sorcerers fit the bill perfectly! chaotic, can be fey related, and is a laid back and social class.

halflings: Rogues
perfect, dont touch a thing (except for the bonus to intelligence, move that to charisma or wisdom)

Gnomes: Wizards (Illusionist if your bold)
the Gnome has been sick since 2nd ed, bring the tinker and the trickster back. (add better spell like abilities, those once per days are at wills)

Orc: Barbarians
nothing fits better

now all we need is a race that has a divine caster as a favored class and we would be set!


SneaksyDragon wrote:

Dwarves: Fighters

never needed touching

Elves: Sorcerers
look, if the Sorcerer was thought of in 2nd ed, all the famous elven gish would be fighter/sorcerers. elves are chaotic, elves are sylvan and some view, related to fae. i also viewed elves as being the the antithesis to the dwarf, dwarves are dour, quick to anger and hard working. Elves are positive, serene and a bit laid back. sorcerers fit the bill perfectly! chaotic, can be fey related, and is a laid back and social class.

halflings: Rogues
perfect, dont touch a thing (except for the bonus to intelligence, move that to charisma or wisdom)

Gnomes: Wizards (Illusionist if your bold)
the Gnome has been sick since 2nd ed, bring the tinker and the trickster back. (add better spell like abilities, those once per days are at wills)

Orc: Barbarians
nothing fits better

now all we need is a race that has a divine caster as a favored class and we would be set!

In that picture? :)

Humans: Clerics
Humans are the race that needs some active reminders of the gods' works in their midst. Dwarves revere their god basically by tradition, and elves (as well as the other "fey" races) have a more laid-back relationship to divine powers, and half-orcs simply are not a community. Human life is short enough to have really zealous divine representatives that devote their whole (short) life and attention span to the worship of the gods, and try to remind everybody around them to do so as well.

Scarab Sages

Maybe if something like Racial Feats or Paragon Classes ends up in Pathfinder, the favored class mechanic could be addressed there rather than by default in the basic race description. That way, your favored class benefit would only come into play when the character becomes more "attuned" to their racial heritage by making selections specific to their race, and it could be customized to more specifically suit whatever the actual favored class is for that race.

Some element of this is already present in the existing Paragon classes from Unearthed Arcana, e.g. taking 2nd level Half-Orc Paragon gives you Rage 1/day, which indicates in the description that you get one additional rage/day if you already have the rage ability (as you would if your half-orc was also a barbarian).

Edit: or, use racial feats to do the same thing that UA Paragon Classes currently do, included in the race description as optional "upgrades" like so (copied from the Half Orc Paragon in UA):

Spoiler:
Half Orc Leader [Racial]

Prerequisite: Half Orc, character level 4

Benefit: You learn to channel your innate ferocity, gaining a +4 bonus on Intimidate checks

Half Orc Hero [Racial]

Prerequisite: Half Orc, Half Orc Leader, character level 8

Benefit: Further channeling your innate ferocity, you gain the ability to fly into a screaming blood frenzy once per day (or one additional time per day, if you already have a rage ability)

Half Orc Paragon [Racial]

Prerequisite: Half Orc, Half Orc Leader, Half Orc Hero, character level 12

Benefit: your Strength score increases by 2 points

Dark Archive

Zurai wrote:
One thing that people are ignoring is that Favored Classes are a way to guide a new player's choices in character creation towards a race-class combo that isn't crippled out of the gate. When a new player says "I want to play an elf!" he can look at the Elf's favored class of Wizard and see that elves make good wizards without having to know ANY rules.

Which would be cool if Elves *were* good Wizards. But their racial traits actually lead to them being good Rogues.

Humans, Halflings and Gnomes are all better Wizards, just based on racial abilities.

Scarab Sages

( moved to Making Races Matter )

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

SneaksyDragon wrote:

Elves: Sorcerers

look, if the Sorcerer was thought of in 2nd ed, all the famous elven gish would be fighter/sorcerers.

But if sorcerers all get to choose a bloodline in Pathfinder, elves should not, not, NOT have sorcerer as a favored class. The archetypal elf shouldn't be someone who isn't a full-blooded elf!


Guy Humual wrote:

My only suggestion would be for there to be a bit more choice in the favored class. Races should have a choice between 3 favored classes, Elves for example might favor ranger, wizard, and bard. However the keeping with the spirit of 3rd once a PC chooses their favored class (by taking 1 level in that class) they can no longer use the others as favored. For example, an elf starting out as ranger couldn't gain favored class befits by taking wizard later, or an elf starting as a rogue, then multi classing into a bard, couldn't then choose wizard and gain favored class benefits.

Just an idea.

I'm in favor of this. Let each race have at least two favored classes (but I wouldn't let that HP bonus stack).

We talked a bit about this idea in the Gnomes Favored Class Thread (In General Discussion, I believe).

My suggestions ...
Elves -- Wizard and Ranger
Gnomes -- Bard and Druid
Halfling -- Rogue and Bard
Dwarf -- Fighter and Wizard
Half-Orc -- Barbarian and Rogue
Half-Elf -- Any
Human -- Any

That all being said maybe it should be one of the "four core" classes and one that's from the expanded class list.


Already said this in another post, but I'm in favour of letting all the races of Golarion do what they want, be it thief or wizard =).

Racial traits already make certain races better at some class than others, I hope we didn't have to push them even more to certain direction...


Salama wrote:

Already said this in another post, but I'm in favour of letting all the races of Golarion do what they want, be it thief or wizard =).

Racial traits already make certain races better at some class than others, I hope we didn't have to push them even more to certain direction...

I agree

I prefer bonus hp over exp penalty- but prefer neither.

if the aim is to stop class dipping just give +1hp per level of your highest base class level- whatever it is. This way if you want to be an elven ranger that is fine.

Equally I would be happy to have a variety of points options

elves +2 dex, no con penalty OR +2 dex +2 int -2 con, OR +2 dex, -2 con +2 cha (call them wood elves, grey elves and high elves)

Dwarves (call them mountain dwarves and hill dwarves) +2 con OR +2 con, +2 wis, -2 cha

etc etc

I do think half- orcs should have a cha penalty- it just fits more than int IMO.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Epic Meepo wrote:
Zurai wrote:
For that reason, if no other, favored classes should stay. They don't necessarily need to have any mechanical effect, but those half-dozen lines provide a great service to new players for no appreciable price.

You know, your idea of turning favored classes from crunch into fluff has merit.

I'd love that. Just a line that says:

"Because of their racial bonuses, Dwarves make good fighters."

No favored anything, just a suggestion for people who are still figuring out what works.

RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Studpuffin wrote:

I like the PF way of doing the favored class also, but I've never been happy with the 3e dwarves having a favored class of fighter. They've always seemed like barbarians to me...

Maybe I'm missing something.

This is one of the reasons I don't like favored classes. In the past few days I've seen:

Dwarves: Barbarian or Fighter

Elves: Wizard, Sorcerer, Druid or Ranger*

Gnome: Bard or Illusionist

All of them were people who thought the race was better suited to a certain class, or whose personal idea of the race clashed with what the rules say should be a favored class.

(*The different expectations for elves may stem from years of having a half-dozen types of elves, all of which probably would have their own favored class.)


Epic Meepo wrote:
Zurai wrote:
For that reason, if no other, favored classes should stay. They don't necessarily need to have any mechanical effect, but those half-dozen lines provide a great service to new players for no appreciable price.
You know, your idea of turning favored classes from crunch into fluff has merit.

Wow. Now that's just beautiful. I've been thinking here how to make this whole favored class thing work without xp penalty, and still keep it in the game. Crunch into fluff, pure genious. I'd actually prefer this over hp bonus.


Epic Meepo wrote:
SneaksyDragon wrote:

Elves: Sorcerers

look, if the Sorcerer was thought of in 2nd ed, all the famous elven gish would be fighter/sorcerers.
But if sorcerers all get to choose a bloodline in Pathfinder, elves should not, not, NOT have sorcerer as a favored class. The archetypal elf shouldn't be someone who isn't a full-blooded elf!

Celestial, Draconic or Fey blood lines would be appropiate for eleves.

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