Guide to the very best traits


Advice

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jhpace1 wrote:
No one's mentioned the APG Sacred Trait Sacred Touch? It lets you stabilize a dying person with just a touch. Sure, it may be meaningless at higher levels when damage becomes auto-kill, but for a 1st-level party, having someone touch you when you're -9 hp to stabilize is pretty good.

That one doesn't make the cut.

lemeres wrote:


Anyway, how about this trait for humans: Trifler. It provides Prestidigitation as an SLA 3/day. Not worth too much on its own but it is an arcane spell, which actually qualifies you for casting feats such as Arcane strike.

Nope, Arcane Strike requires 1. level spells.

Lantern Lodge

What about Dangerously Curious?

Dangerously Curious- You gain a +1 bonus on Use Magic Device checks, and Use Magic Device is always a class skill for you.


OP is intentionally leaving out the ones that add class skills.

I wish the OP would likewise follow through on the promise to avoid half-feats, too.


Pupsocket wrote:
Nope, Arcane Strike requires 1. level spells.

You mean the ability to cast level 1 spells? Are you sure? The feat simply states "Ability to cast arcane spells".

And the FAQ about Spell-Like Abilities, Casting, and Prerequisites doesn't seem to differentiate. Please tell me what I am missing. Is it because it is a cantrip? Any help in this matter is appreciated since I do like this tactic, and I want to know how I can make it work. (I could still pull it off without the trait thing, but that tends to restrict race and/or feat choices)


Since the minor magic rogue talent can qualify for arcane strike, then so can the cantrip trait.

Just saying.


Huh, I was wrong about Arcane Strike.

The guide is up to 16 sourcebooks, and the sorting is still a mess.


Personally, traits are character flare. Why would a person without an armor proficiency take armor expert? It doesn't make any sense. Now picking a trait to supplement a build such as reactionary for a very skittish goblin rogue (or other DEX based character) makes it completely reasonable and with improved initiative on top of it... watch out as this PC goes mid-first on even the lowest rolls. Traits are about character development, not overpowering your build.


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Craig Frankum wrote:
Personally, traits are character flare. Why would a person without an armor proficiency take armor expert? It doesn't make any sense. Now picking a trait to supplement a build such as reactionary for a very skittish goblin rogue (or other DEX based character) makes it completely reasonable and with improved initiative on top of it... watch out as this PC goes mid-first on even the lowest rolls. Traits are about character development, not overpowering your build.

*flair.

And thank you for correcting my badwrongfun, that was both informative and useful.


Never once stated it was badwrongfun, because if you and your party are having fun with the minor bonus, or corrective property of certain traits, then by all means. Just giving an opinion, thus why I began with personally. Only stating that for me, it is as mentioned.

Thanks for catching the *flair error. I get to typing faster than I read at times.


Craig Frankum wrote:
Why would a person without an armor proficiency take armor expert? It doesn't make any sense.

People without armor proficiency take Armor Expert because it lowers Armor Check Penalty. ACP is also the penalty applied to attack rolls when you use armor you are not proficient in. Reduce ACP to 0, and you take a penalty of 0.

This means that any class could enjoy a Mithral Breastplate without experiencing any problems. I also like that it allows a Master of Many styles Monk, who has little reason to go unarmored after losing flurry of blows, to wear studded leather or masterwork chain shirts without multiclassing.


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Lover of the Law: Not as universally useful at a flat +1 Will save, but if you want to play a Wisdom-dumping martial class, this is a strong insurance policy against getting SoS'd into attacking your own party. The reroll clause is somewhat subjective, so check with your DM on what constitutes "against the law."

Omen: A new class skill with an extra +1 is, in the best case, more than half as good as Persuasive et al., but there are plenty of traits that grant similar bonuses to better skills. While there are a number of classes who can make use of Intimidate and don't get it as a CC (Cleric, Paladin, Oracle, the list goes on), Demoralize as a free action is what sets this trait apart. It may be only 1/day, but compared to feats like Cornugon Smash or Enforcer, it's available from level 1 with no special conditions.


lemeres wrote:
People without armor proficiency take Armor Expert because it lowers Armor Check Penalty. ACP is also the penalty applied to attack rolls when you use armor you are not proficient in. Reduce ACP to 0, and you take a penalty of 0.

Why would a wizard wear armor? If you want a character to wear armor, then take a class that allows you armor proficiency. Furthermore, your Master of Many Styles Monk argument is weak as they do not lose their Wisdom bonus to AC or the AC bonuses at later levels, which you lose if you wear armor.

Again, if you wish to power play your character, go right ahead. Again, I was only expressing a personal play style.


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You seem to have bought into the belief that traits are just interesting little flavor details to flesh out a character.

Rather than the wildly imbalanced mechanical mess they are, where one trait can be literally useless and another can be better than a feat. Some traits are so unique and strong that entire builds HINGE upon them.


Craig Frankum wrote:
Furthermore, your Master of Many Styles Monk argument is weak as they do not lose their Wisdom bonus to AC or the AC bonuses at later levels, which you lose if you wear armor.

Yes, but aren't monks typically disparaged for having low AC? So are you really losing out if you get this bonus? For low level monks, the AC bonus only works better than armor if you put a ton of your point buy into Wisdom. You can forgo the "must be high dex and high wis" builds you often see. Just do what every other melee class does with armor and use equipment that the game was built around. The trait trick is nice if you do not wish to multiclass to get armor or for those that want to dip MoMS at early levels.

Admittedly, I think it might be more common for characters to use the trait to make up for a lack of medium armor proficiency. Rogues, bards, alchemists, and summoners could all enjoy a mithral breastplate with this trick.


Mithral Breastplate (or mithral any medium armor) is light armor. NO proficiency deficiency there. Mithral lessens the step by one. Medium becomes light, while heavy becomes medium.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Craig Frankum wrote:
Mithral Breastplate (or mithral any medium armor) is light armor. NO proficiency deficiency there. Mithral lessens the step by one. Medium becomes light, while heavy becomes medium.

See here:

PRD wrote:

Mithral

HP/inch: 30; Hardness: 15; Cost: Weapons or armors fashioned from mithral are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.; Weight 1/2 normal; Weight (Longer Wording) An item made from mithral weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals. In the case of weapons, this lighter weight does not change a weapon's size category or the ease with which it can be wielded (whether it is light, one-handed, or two-handed).
DESCRIPTION
Type of Mithral Item Item Cost Modifier
Light armor +1,000 gp
Medium armor +4,000 gp
Heavy armor +9,000 gp
Shield +1,000 gp
Other items +500 gp/lb.

Mithral is a very rare silvery, glistening metal that is lighter than steel but just as hard.

When worked like steel, it becomes a wonderful material from which to create armor, and is occasionally used for other items as well. Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. This decrease does not apply to proficiency in wearing the armor. A character wearing mithral full plate must be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor's check penalty to all his attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving. Spell failure chances for armors and shields made from mithral are decreased by 10%, maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 2, and armor check penalties are decreased by 3 (to a minimum of 0).

Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of mithral. (A longsword can be a mithral weapon, while a quarterstaff cannot.) Mithral weapons count as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.


Apologies. Either in 3.5 it was treated as one step lesser, or maybe it was a common oversight.


In 3.5, mithral made it lighter for all purposes.

PF changed it to light for all purposes except whether you're proficient in it or not. I guess they didn't like the lightly armored non-caster classes pulling off a decent AC.

So yeah, reducing acp to 0 makes proficiency not matter. Same reason that masterwork bucklers/light shields and darkwood/mithral heavy shields allow you to use them w/o penalty (other than spell failure %, for non-bucklers).


Another note: while most of the pure arcane casters would have trouble with armor (arcane armor training is an option, but it takes up action economy for quickened spells), but a witch could easily function in a party through hexes. Obviously spells would require removal of armor, and maybe a focus on buffs and heals, but it is workable.

Admittedly, if you wanted to play in armor and with hexes, a hexcrafter magus might be a better pick. But options are always nice.


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This is one that I recently learned: Hedge Magic. 5% off all crafted magical items. While this is situational (you need a crafter), it is a MASSIVE money advantage.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Some traits are so unique and strong that entire builds HINGE upon them.

Any examples of that off hand?

I was thinking the bow prof would be one. Maybe Heirloom weapon.


Havoq wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
Some traits are so unique and strong that entire builds HINGE upon them.

Any examples of that off hand?

I was thinking the bow prof would be one. Maybe Heirloom weapon.

Blade of Mercy + Enforcer comes to mind


Those are good.

Magus also enjoys Magical Lineage to make Intensify Spell free. Then he can buy a ton of cheap 1st level pearls of power and never run out of 10d6 shocking grasp attacks.

Eldritch Knight would be a lot tougher to play w/o Magical Knack to partially erase those 2 lost CL.

Pragmatic Activator makes use of magic items possible for any high int, low cha character.

Just some examples...

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Wasn't there a build utilizing Wayang Spellhunter?


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Wasn't there a build utilizing Wayang Spellhunter?

Probably magical lineage (shocking grasp) and wayang spellhunter (frostbite) for free intensified SG and rime FB


Dotted for posterity


I think SECOND CHANCE is seriously the most powerful trait, being able to re-roll your failed save once per day is crazy. Even multiple feats don't come close to being as good.


Finding Haleen = Best...trait...ever!


Yeah, I can't believe I forgot Finding Haleen. I just always kind of assume no sane DM would allow it and thus don't think about it.

By RAI, it's giving you either Toughness or +1 skill point per HD (no feat for that).

By strict RAW, it's actually giving you BOTH. On top of the normal favored class bonus. Read it carefully.

Crazy.


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I wonder how many PCs are related to Haleen.

I'm sure they take it for RP reasons!

Scarab Sages

Deadalready wrote:
I think SECOND CHANCE is seriously the most powerful trait, being able to re-roll your failed save once per day is crazy. Even multiple feats don't come close to being as good.
Ferious Thune wrote:
Havoq wrote:

My go to trait is Lessons of Chaldira. It's the best of the best IMO.

*edit* Wasn't aware of Second Chance. That's even better with no diety requirement.
Second Cance IS Lessons of Chaldira. Second Chance is just what pfsrd calls if to avoid copyright issues.

Adding to this, it is specifically a trait for a Halfling God. So seeing that this is a Racial God, thre might be conflicts explaining to a DM how you were able to worship such a niche diety unless you are a halfling. Similar to how Nivi Rhombodazzle is the god to Gnomes and Svirfneblins.


Other than possibly clerics (and I think PF ditched this rule from 3E), any race can worship any god. It was only clerics of a racial god that had to be of that race. And again, that was an explicit 3E rule, I don't think I've seen it in PF.

I just wish Religion didn't house so many awesome, powerful traits. Most of which have nothing really to do with religion anyway.

Oh well, I just take the trait and don't talk about my character's faith at all. *shrug*

EDIT: D&D 3.5 Player's Handbook, p. 32 in the Cleric entry:

Quote:
If the typical worshippers of a deity include the members of a race, a cleric must be of the indicated race to choose that deity as his own. (The god may have occasional worshippers of other races, but not clerics).

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StreamOfTheSky wrote:

Yeah, I can't believe I forgot Finding Haleen. I just always kind of assume no sane DM would allow it and thus don't think about it.

By RAI, it's giving you either Toughness or +1 skill point per HD (no feat for that).

By strict RAW, it's actually giving you BOTH. On top of the normal favored class bonus. Read it carefully.

Crazy.

I find it's very easy to restrict campaign traits to the campaign in which they feature. That having been said, 3/4 of my Legacy of Fire party were looking for Haleen.

The trait was written for 3.5e, so it predates favored class bonuses. It does indeed give you both as written, and then you can take your normal bonus as well.

Campaign traits in general tend to have the wildest power swings towards weak or strong I find.


To be fair, I don't really think 'Finding Haleen' is all that busted. Is it powerful? Sure. But in all honestly, I actually like the idea that characters can spend a 'feat' to gain the benefit (Additional Trait feat obviously). I probably wouldn't allow it as a starting feat, but if a player wanted to get 'Additional Traits' for it, I wouldn't see a problem.


williamoak wrote:
This is one that I recently learned: Hedge Magic. 5% off all crafted magical items. While this is situational (you need a crafter), it is a MASSIVE money advantage.

Thanks for mentioning this. I forgot, and I'm a card-carrying owner of the Cooperative Crafting Conjuring Hedge Wizard Cohort Club. 5% off at 1/2 the time with Crafter's Fortune (APG) on both crafters equals money, money, money.

Edit: Of COURSE it's legal to do this. Where do you think all those rich parents for the Rich Parent trait (APG) comes from? :)


Secane wrote:

What about Dangerously Curious?

Dangerously Curious- You gain a +1 bonus on Use Magic Device checks, and Use Magic Device is always a class skill for you.

The OP isn't including any +1 to a skill traits.

I agree with you however, this trait grants access to every wand on every list. Furthermore scrolls are possible at higher DC's. This trait is worth way more than one feat and should be included on its merits.


And I'm down to just the campaign traits now - and organizing all those traits.


I realize it's precisely the type of trait you don't want... but Reckless (+1 Acrobatics and class skill) is pretty unique, and Acrobatics brings a lot to the table.


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Linky


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Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

figured this would be a reasonable place to ask, is there a trait that gives a +1 additional Attack of Opportunity that stacks with Combat Reflexes?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

It's a Campaign trait but, for a Barbarian, Optimistic Gambler is irresistibly cheese-tastic.

Optimistic Gambler (from Second Darkness)

Benefit: Effects that grant you morale bonuses persist 1d4 rounds longer than they normally would as a result.

Basically, you use Rage for one round and get 1d4 persistent rounds of Rage bonuses after the round ends. That means a Lv 1 Barbarian with a CON of just 14 can rage for, potentially, 30 rds per day (4+2 from CON+1d4x6.) Even better, that -2 to AC only lasts the one round since it isn't a morale effect. It's a monster and it needs to be stopped.

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Velcro Zipper wrote:
Basically, you use Rage for one round and get 1d4 persistent rounds of Rage bonuses after the round ends. That means a Lv 1 Barbarian with a CON of just 14 can rage for, potentially, 30 rds per day (4+2 from CON+1d4x6.) Even better, that -2 to AC only lasts the one round since it isn't a morale effect.

it is a very strong trait, with a number of uses, but in that particular scenario you described the character would be fatigued for the 2nd and 3rd round of combat (potentially longer than the bonus would last...) so that's not all that terrible (now, pair that with 5 levels of martial artist or lame oracle and you've got a different story entirely...)

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I guess it depends on how the effect is ruled. The way I've seen it played is the fatigue doesn't set in until the effect wears off. That makes for a very tired Barbarian at the end of four rounds of persistent rage (5 total rounds for 10 rounds of fatigue.) Otherwise, the trait would be nullified by the rule that says a fatigued Barbarian can't rage at all. It seems easier and more sensible to say the rage doesn't actually end until the trait bonus wears off, which probably accounts for why I always see it played out that way.

Sczarni

I'd advise listing the entire text of the trait. The +5 bonus to Bluff that the Aasimar race trait "Innocent" grants, for example, effectively only applies when what you are saying is "unlikely". Everybody who tells a lie gets +5 to Bluff when they're telling a "believable" lie.

Sczarni

Also, Threatening Defender does not grant +1 AC. The attack roll penalty you take for using Combat Expertise is lowered by 1.


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Have you considered extremely fashionable?
It's an equipment trait, so there is minimal competition. It gives a flat bonus to THREE common social skills whenever you are wearing pretty much any magic item.

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Velcro Zipper wrote:
Otherwise, the trait would be nullified by the rule that says a fatigued Barbarian can't rage at all.

that's exactly the point... you're not raging anymore- the trait extends the morale bonus, not the effect which creates it (which is why you stop taking the AC penalty). if your GM is willing to let you use it the other way go ahead and (ab)use it... but the way it actually works is: you rage for one round then drop rage, roll to see how many extra rounds the morale bonuses (to Str and Con) lasts, you immediately become fatigued for 2 rounds (during which time you cannot re-enter rage even if the trait bonus ends)- for those two rounds you take the penalties from fatigue and the bonuses from the trait (total: +2str, -2dex, +4con;no run/charge) unless you roll a 1 in which case you lose the bonus before fatigue ends (edit: the scarred rager halves fatigue durations, so he'd only take the penalty for 1 rnd and never have to worry about having fatigue without the morale bonus); if you roll a 3 or 4 you get the full bonus for the extra rounds.

like i said it is a good trait, its just not actually that good for a normal straight-class barbarian.


Nefreet wrote:
I'd advise listing the entire text of the trait. The +5 bonus to Bluff that the Aasimar race trait "Innocent" grants, for example, effectively only applies when what you are saying is "unlikely". Everybody who tells a lie gets +5 to Bluff when they're telling a "believable" lie.

I know what you're trying to say, and I've actually corrected the trait. But please, please make sure you're correct when you correct people - people on this board are generally bad at it, and it annoys me.

(It's a +5 "target wants to believe" modifier, that can apply at any difficulty from believable to impossible, and this trait makes it always apply at believable and unlikely).

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