Human Humanoid

Humans have exceptional drive and the capacity to endure and expand. Though many civilizations thrived before humanity rose to prominence, humans have built some of the greatest and the most terrible societies throughout the course of history, and today they are the most populous people.

Humans’ ambition, versatility, and exceptional potential have led to their status as the world’s predominant ancestry. Their empires and nations are vast, sprawling things, and their citizens carve names for themselves with the strength of their sword arms and the power of their spells. Humanity is diverse and tumultuous, running the gamut from nomadic to imperial, sinister to saintly. Many of them venture forth to explore, to map the expanse of the multiverse, to search for long-lost treasure, or to lead mighty armies to conquer their neighbors—for no better reason than because they can.

If you want a character who can be just about anything, you should play a human.

You might…

  • Strive to achieve greatness, either in your own right or on behalf of a cause.
  • Seek to understand your purpose in the world.
  • Cherish your relationships with family and friends.

Others probably…

  • Respect your flexibility, your adaptability, and—in most cases— your open?mindedness.
  • Distrust your intentions, fearing you seek only power or wealth.
  • Aren’t sure what to expect from you and are hesitant to assume your intentions.

Physical Description

Humans’ physical characteristics are as varied as the world’s climes. Humans have a wide variety of skin and hair colors, body types, and facial features. Generally speaking, their skin has a darker hue the closer to the equator they or their ancestors lived.

Humans reach physical adulthood around the age of 15, though mental maturity occurs a few years later. A typical human can live to be around 90 years old. Humans often intermarry with people of other Human ancestries, giving rise to children who bear the traits of both parents. The most notable half-humans are half-elves and half-orcs.

Humans have exceptional drive and the capacity to endure and expand. Though many civilizations thrived before humanity rose to prominence, humans have built some of the greatest and the most terrible societies throughout the course of history, and today they are the most populous people.


Human variety also manifests in terms of their governments, attitudes, and social norms.

Though the oldest of human cultures can trace their shared histories thousands of years into the past, when compared to the societies of the elves or dwarves, human civilizations seem in a state of constant flux as empires fragment and new kingdoms subsume the old.

Alignment and Religion

Humanity is perhaps the most heterogeneous of all the ancestries, with a capacity for great evil and boundless good. Some humans assemble into vast raging hordes, while others build sprawling cities. Considered as a whole, most humans are neutral, yet they tend to congregate into nations or communities of a shared alignment, or at least a shared tendency toward an alignment. Humans also worship a wide range of gods and practice many different religions, tending to seek favor from any divine being they encounter.


Unlike many ancestral cultures, which generally cleave to specific traditions and shared histories, humanity’s diversity has resulted in a near-infinite set of names. The humans of northern tribes have different names than those dwelling in southern nation-states. Humans throughout much of the world speak Common (though some continents have their own regional common languages), yet their names are as varied as their beliefs and appearances.


Hit Points 8

Size Medium

Speed 25 feet

Ability Boosts Two free ability boosts

Languages Common, additional languages equal to your Intelligence modifier (if it’s Positive). Choose from the list of common languages and any other languages to which you have access (such as the languages prevalent in your region).

Traits Human, Humanoid

Human Heritages

Unlike other ancestries, humans don’t have significant physiological differences defined by their lineage. Instead, their heritages either reveal their potential as a people or reflect lineages from multiple ancestries. Choose one of the following human heritages at 1st level.


Either one of your parents was an elf, or one or both were half-elves. You have pointed ears and other telltale signs of elf heritage. You gain the elf trait and low-light vision. In addition, you can select elf, half-elf, and human feats whenever you gain an ancestry feat.


One of your parents was an orc, or one or both were half-orcs. You have a green tinge to your skin and other indicators of orc heritage. You gain the orc trait and low-light vision. In addition, you can select orc, half-orc, and human feats whenever you gain an ancestry feat.

Skilled Heritage

Your ingenuity allows you to train in a wide variety of skills. You become trained in one skill of your choice.

At 5th level, you become an expert in the chosen skill.

Versatile Heritage

Humanity’s versatility and ambition have fueled its ascendance to be the most common ancestry in most nations throughout the world. Select a general feat of your choice for which you meet the prerequisites (as with your ancestry feat, you can select this general feat at any point during character creation).

Other Halves

By default, half-elves and half-orcs descend from humans, but your GM might allow you to be the offspring of an elf, orc, or different ancestry. In these cases, the GM will let you select the half-elf or half-orc heritage as the heritage for this other ancestry. The most likely other parent of a half-elf are gnomes and halflings, and the most likely parents of a half-orc are goblins, halflings, and dwarves.

A half-orc has a shorter lifespan than other humans, living to be roughly 70 years old.


A half-elf is born to an elf and a human, or to two half-elves. The life of a half-elf can be difficult, often marked by a struggle to fit in. Half-elves don’t have their own homeland, nor are populations of half-elves particularly tied to one another, since they often have very disparate human and elven traditions. Instead, most half-elves attempt to find acceptance in either human or elven settlements.

Half-elves often appear primarily human, with subtly pointed ears and a taller stature than most full-blooded humans. Half-elves lack the almost alien eyes of their elf parents, though they do have a natural presence—and often a Striking beauty— that leads many to become artists or entertainers. Despite this innate appeal, many half-elves have difficulty forming lasting bonds with either humans or elves due to the distance they feel from both peoples as a whole.

Half-elves live longer than other humans, often reaching an age around 150 years.

This causes some of them to fear friendship and romance with humans, knowing that they’ll likely outlive their companions.

Playing a Half-Elf

You can create a half-elf character by selecting the half-elf heritage at 1st level. This gives you access to elf and half-elf ancestry feats in addition to human ancestry feats.

You might…

  • Keep to yourself and find it difficult to form close bonds with others.
  • Strongly embrace or reject one side or the other of your parentage.
  • Identify strongly with and relate to other people with mixed ancestries.

Others probably…

  • Find you more attractive than humans and more approachable than elves.
  • Dismiss your human ethnicity and culture in light of your elven heritage.
  • Downplay the challenges of being caught between two cultures.


A half-orc is the offspring of a human and an orc, or of two half-orcs. Because some intolerant people see orcs as more akin to monsters than people, they sometimes hate and fear half-orcs simply due to their lineage. This commonly pushes half-orcs to the margins of society, where some find work in manual labor or as mercenaries, and others fall into crime or cruelty. Many who can’t stand the indignities heaped on them in human society find a home among their orc kin or trek into the wilderness to live in peace, apart from society’s judgment.

Humans often assume half-orcs are unintelligent or uncivilized, and half-orcs rarely find acceptance among societies with many such folk. To an orc tribe, a half-orc is considered smart enough to make a good war leader but weaker physically than other orcs. Many half-orcs thus end up having low status among orc tribes unless they can prove their strength.

Playing a Half-Orc

You can create a half-orc character by selecting the half-orc heritage at 1st level. This gives you access to orc and half-orc ancestry feats in addition to human ancestry feats.

You might…

  • Ignore, embrace, or actively counter the common stereotypes about half-orcs.
  • Make the most of your size and strength, either physically or socially.
  • Keep your distance from people of most other ancestries, in case they unfairly reject you due to your orc ancestors.

Others probably…

  • Assume you enjoy and excel at fighting but aren’t inclined toward magical or intellectual pursuits.
  • Pity you for the tragic circumstances they assume were involved in your birth.
  • Get out of your way and back down rather than face your anger.

Human Ancestry Feats

At 1st level, you gain one ancestry feat, and you gain an additional ancestry feat every 4 levels thereafter (at 5th, 9th, 13th, and 17th levels). As a human, you choose from among the following ancestry feats.

1st Level

Adapted Cantrip Feat 1


Prerequisite(s) spellcasting class feature

Through study of multiple magical traditions, you’ve altered a spell to suit your spellcasting style. Choose one cantrip from a magical tradition other than your own. If you have a spell repertoire or a spellbook, replace one of the cantrips you know or have in your spellbook with the chosen spell. If you prepare spells without a spellbook (if you’re a cleric or druid, for example), one of your cantrips must always be the chosen spell, and you prepare the rest normally. You can cast this cantrip as a spell of your class’s tradition.

If you swap or retrain this cantrip later, you can choose its replacement from the same alternate tradition or a different one.

Cooperative Nature Feat 1


The short human life span lends perspective and has taught you from a young age to set aside differences and work with others to achieve greatness. You gain a +4 circumstance bonus on checks to Aid.

General Training Feat 1


Your adaptability manifests in your mastery of a range of useful abilities. You gain a 1st-level general feat. You must meet the feat’s prerequisites, but if you select this feat during character creation, you can select the feat later in the process in order to determine which prerequisites you meet.

Special You can select this feat multiple times, choosing a different feat each time.

Haughty Obstinacy Feat 1


Your powerful ego makes it harder for others to order you around. If you roll a success on a saving throw against a mental effect that attempts to directly control your actions, you critically succeed instead. If a creature rolls a failure on a check to Coerce you using Intimidation, it gets a critical failure instead (so it can’t try to Coerce you again for 1 week).

Natural Ambition Feat 1


You were raised to be ambitious and always reach for the stars, leading you to progress quickly in your chosen field. You gain a 1st-level class feat for your class. You must meet the prerequisites, but you can select the feat later in the character creation process in order to determine which prerequisites you meet.

Natural Skill Feat 1


Your ingenuity allows you to learn a wide variety of skills. You gain the trained proficiency rank in two skills of your choice.

Unconventional Weaponry Feat 1


You’ve familiarized yourself with a particular weapon, potentially from another ancestry or culture. Choose an uncommon simple or martial weapon with a trait corresponding to an ancestry (such as dwarf, goblin, or orc) or that is common in another culture. You gain access to that weapon, and for the purpose of determining your proficiency, that weapon is a simple weapon.

If you are trained in all martial weapons, you can choose an uncommon advanced weapon with such a trait. You gain access to that weapon, and for the purpose of determining your proficiency, that weapon is a martial weapon.

5th Level

Adaptive Adept Feat 5


Prerequisite(s) Adapted Cantrip, can cast 3rd-level spells

You’ve continued adapting your magic to blend your class’s tradition with your adapted tradition. Choose a cantrip or 1st-level spell from the same magical tradition as your cantrip from Adapted Cantrip. You gain that spell, adding it to your spell repertoire, spellbook, or prepared spells just like the cantrip from Adapted Spell. You can cast this spell as a spell of your class’s magical tradition. If you choose a 1st-level spell, you don’t gain access to the heightened versions of that spell, meaning you can’t prepare them if you prepare spells and you can’t learn them or select the spell as a signature spell if you have a spell repertoire.

Clever Improviser Feat 5


You’ve learned how to handle situations when you’re out of your depth. You gain the Untrained Improvisation general feat. In addition, you can attempt skill actions that normally require you to be trained, even if you are untrained.

9th Level

Cooperative Soul Feat 9


Prerequisite(s) Cooperative Nature

You have developed a soul-deep bond with your comrades and maintain an even greater degree of cooperation with them. If you are at least an expert in the skill you are Aiding, you get a success on any outcome rolled to Aid other than a critical success.

Incredible Improvisation [free-action] Feat 9


Prerequisite(s) Clever Improviser Frequency once per day

Trigger You attempt a check using a skill you’re untrained in.

A stroke of brilliance gives you a major advantage with a skill despite your inexperience. Gain a +4 circumstance bonus to the triggering skill check.

Multitalented Feat 9


You’ve learned to split your focus between multiple classes with ease. You gain a 2nd-level multiclass dedication feat, even if you normally couldn’t take another dedication feat until you take more feats from your current archetype.

If you’re a half-elf, you don’t need to meet the feat’s ability score prerequisites.

13th Level

Unconventional Expertise Feat 13


Prerequisite(s) Unconventional Weaponry, trained in the weapon you chose for Unconventional Weaponry

You’ve continued to advance your powers using your unconventional weapon. Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons, you also gain that proficiency in the weapon you chose for Unconventional Weaponry.

Half-Elf and Half-Orc Ancestry Feats

A human with elf or orc blood is called a half-elf or half-orc, respectively, which is represented by the corresponding heritage. If you have the half-elf or half-orc heritage, you can select from additional ancestry feats not available to other humans.

Half-Elf Ancestry Feats

The following feats are available to half-elves.

1st Level

Elf Atavism Feat 1


Your elven blood runs particularly strong, granting you features far more elven than those of a typical half-elf. You may also have been raised among elves, steeped in your elven ancestors’ heritage. You gain the benefits of the elf heritage of your elven parent or ancestors. You typically can’t select a heritage that depends on or improves an elven feature you don’t have. For example, you couldn’t gain the cavern elf’s darkvision ability if you didn’t have low-light vision. In these cases, at the GM’s discretion, you might gain a different benefit.

Special You can take this feat only at 1st level, and you can’t retrain out of this feat or into this feat.

5th Level

Inspire Imitation Feat 5


Your own actions inspire your allies to great achievements. Whenever you critically succeed at a skill check, you automatically qualify to use the Aid reaction when attempting to help an ally using the same skill, even without spending an action to prepare to do so.

Supernatural Charm Feat 5


The elven magic in your blood manifests as a force you can use to become more appealing or alluring. You can cast 1st-level charm as an arcane innate spell once per day.

Half-Orc Ancestry Feats

The following feats are available to half-orcs. Some of these feats are common to people with orc blood, and have the orc trait, while others are specific to half-orcs and have the half-orc trait.

1st Level

Monstrous Peacemaker Feat 1


Your dual human and orc nature has given you a unique perspective, allowing you to bridge the gap between humans and the many intelligent creatures in the world that humans consider monsters. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to Diplomacy checks against non-humanoid intelligent creatures and against humanoids that are marginalized in human society (at the GM’s discretion, but typically at least including giants, goblins, kobolds, and orcs). You also gain this bonus on Perception checks to Sense the Motives of such creatures.

Orc Ferocity [reaction] Feat 1


Frequency once per day

Trigger You would be reduced to 0 Hit Points but not immediately killed.

Fierceness in battle runs through your blood, and you refuse to fall from your injuries. You avoid being knocked out and remain at 1 Hit Point, and your wounded condition increases by 1.

Orc Sight Feat 1


Prerequisite(s) low-light vision

Your orc blood is strong enough to grant you the keen vision of your orc forebears. You gain darkvision, allowing you to see in darkness and dim light just as well as you can in bright light.

However, in darkness, you see in black and white only.

Special You can take this feat only at 1st level, and you can’t retrain out of this feat or into this feat.

Orc Superstition [reaction] Feat 1

Concentrate Orc

Trigger You attempt a saving throw against a spell or magical effect, before rolling.

You defend yourself against magic by relying on techniques derived from orc cultural superstitions. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to your saving throw against the triggering spell or magical effect.

Orc Weapon Familiarity Feat 1


In combat, you favor the brutal weapons that are traditional for your orc ancestors. You are trained with the falchion and greataxe. In addition, you gain access to all uncommon orc weapons.

For you, martial orc weapons are simple weapons, and advanced orc weapons are martial weapons.

5th Level

Orc Weapon Carnage Feat 5


Prerequisite(s) Orc Weapon Familiarity

You are brutally efficient with the weapons of your orc ancestors. Whenever you critically hit using a falchion, a greataxe, or an orc weapon, you apply the weapon’s critical specialization effect.

Victorious Vigor [reaction] Feat 5


Trigger You bring a foe to 0 Hit Points.

Your victories in battle fill you with pride and imbue you with the energy to fight a bit longer despite your wounds.

You gain temporary Hit Points equal to your Constitution modifier until the end of your next turn.

9th Level

Pervasive Superstition Feat 9

Prerequisite(s) Orc Superstition

You steep yourself in superstition and practice ancient orc mental exercises for shrugging off the effects of magic. You gain a +1 circumstance bonus to saving throws against spells and magical effects at all times.

13th Level

Incredible Ferocity Feat 13

Prerequisite(s) Orc Ferocity

Given time to collect yourself after a near-death scrape, you can rebuild your ferocity and withstand additional finishing blows. You can use Orc Ferocity with a frequency of once per hour, rather than once per day.

Orc Weapon Expertise Feat 13

Prerequisite(s) Orc Weapon Familiarity

Your orc affinity blends with your class training, granting you great skill with orc weapons. Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in a given weapon or weapons, you also gain that proficiency in the falchion, the greataxe, and all orc weapons in which you are trained.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Core Rulebook (Second Edition) © 2019, Paizo Inc.; Designers: Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, and Mark Seifter.