Elementary! Feats & Traits

Table of Contents Show



Pathfinder has a lot of feats. Seriously, there’s a lot of them. Go check out the feats page on either Archives of Nethys or d20pfsrd and bask in the number of feats that are currently out there. For good reason, I’m not rating every single feat in the game. Instead, what I’m going to do is focus on a couple major areas. In general, Investigators need feats early in order to let them do their in combat strategy, but once they have that set, their feats slots become much more open, and you can do a lot of different things with your feats. Also by this point, you should know what’s more important for you to focus on for your campaign and can make more informed decisions about where to focus.

Melee Damage Dealing Show
Ranged Damage Dealing Show
Making Your Class Better Show
Skill Feats Show
General Feats Show



Paizo really likes publishing traits. After all, they don’t need to be that powerful, it’s okay if they’ve duplicated the mechanical effect before as long as the flavor is new, and they only matter for new characters, so they’re not going to drastically upturn a campaign. Much like feats, I’m not going to review every single trait, but I am going to group them by their mechanical benefit and judge them as a group.

Getting New Class Skills – As an Investigator, you are only missing 5 skills from your list: Fly, Handle Animal, Ride, Survival and Swim. It is currently impossible to get Fly from a trait, but you can look to fill up 2 of the other 4 holes from your list. Getting a skill made as a class skill is the equivalent of a +3 bonus, and most of the traits also give you a +1 trait bonus to the skill on top of that, so these are all solid choices. Survival is probably the most important skill for your role as a skill monkey, although Handle Animal becomes more important if you want to train animals for combat and Swim becomes really important if your campaign has heavy uses of ships. (Blue)

Handle Animal Show
Ride Show
Survival Show
Swim Show


Initiative – It never hurts to go faster in combat. While you won’t be optimizing initiative, having a +2 doesn’t hurt. If you’re stuck for what to do with your second trait, this is a decent choice.  (Green)

+2 Initiative Show
+1 Initiative Show


Saving Throw Bonuses – Shoring up defenses is not a terrible idea, especially since once you get out of the first couple levels, you are more likely to have to make a save instead of worrying about your AC (unless of course you want to be in the front lines), so spending resources now to help them isn’t a bad thing. Fortitude is your bad save, so if you’re planning on boosting it with some other resources as well, a +1 isn’t a terrible investment. If your attitude towards Fortitude is “Eh, I’m going to fail it anyway,” then a slight bump to Reflex or Will couldn’t hurt. (Green)

Fortitude Show
Reflex Show
Will Show


Aid Another Bonuses – If you’re doing aid another shenanigans, then you’re going to need the trait to go along with it! Helpful Halfling is the gold standard of Aid Another traits, but there are some other options if you don’t want your character to be raised by the pint-sized. (This is rated blue for Helpful Halfling, although all the others are really at green.)

Aid Another Bonuses Show


Spell-Like Abilities – There are a couple traits out there that give you a spell-like ability a certain number of times per day. While the cantrip they give you is okay, the real benefit here is that they allow you to count as an arcane or divine spellcaster for things that require that (like Arcane Strike). The aid another build wants one of these to qualify for Arcane Strike so they can get gloves of arcane striking, but depending on where you want to go with your character, these can open up some more unusual options. (Green)

Note that the ones that operate at your highest caster level still work for you – you have a caster level as an Investigator, just not the ability to cast arcane or divine spells.

Spell-Like Abilities Show


Other Traits – These traits don’t fit into the other categories mentioned above, but are still worth pointing out for power reasons.

Other Traits Show