Introduced in the Advanced Player’s Guide, the Catfolk is pretty much exactly what you would expect from a cat-based humanoid. Nimble, Charming, and with heritages and Ancestry Feats which are amusingly cat-themed.
Mechanically, the Catfolk is well suited to Dexterity-dependent classes like the Fighter, Rogue, and Swashbuckler. Their Ancestry feats offer ways to manipulate luck which are appealing in nearly any build, and they can get access to several interesting weapon options including both natural claws and the Catfolk Claws weapon. Catfolk also get a handful of feats which can support both themselves and their allies, including Shared Luck and Caterwaul.
Table of Contents
- Catfolk Ancestry Traits
- Catfolk Heritages
- Catfolk Feats
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
Catfolk Ancestry Traits
- : 8 hit points can be hard for front-line martial classes, but it’s fine otherwise.
- : Small. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
- : 25 ft. is standard.
- : The Catfolk’s ability increases work well for a variety of classes and builds, but a Wisdom flaw is hard for many classes and hurts crucial stats like Will saves and Perception.
- : Ancestry language plus Common is standard.
- Clawed CatfolkAPG: Claws comparable to a short sword.
- Flexible CatfolkAG: Too situational.
- Hunting CatfolkAPG: Scent is really good.
- Jungle CatfolkAPG: Too situational.
- Liminal CatfolkAG: Detect Magic doesn’t care about your spellcasting stats, so it’s a great innate cantrip. The circumstance bonus is nice, especially for builds that rely heavily on Recall Knowledge like Thaumaturgists and some Rangers.
- Nine Lives CatfolkAPG: Too situational.
- Sharp-Eared CatfolkAG: Creatures that hide or rely on invisibility are’t ubiquitous, but they’re enough of a problem that being prepared to handle them is helpful. The circumstance bonus is good, and being able to Point Out as a Free Action means that your party can rely on you to find enemies without spending the bulk of your turn doing so.
- Winter CatfolkAPG: Damage resistance is always good.
- Cat NapAG: A nice increase in durability, provided that you remember to use it before walking into a fight. If you’re not relying on things like Focus Spells and if you don’t need to do other post-combat tasks like repairing items or using Medicine to heal your allies, grab a quick Cat Nap before you continue exploring whatever dangerous place you’re in. Given the choice between this and Toughness, I would choose choose Toughness, but they’re different types of feats so you generally won’t get to choose between the two at the same decision point.
- Cat’s LuckAPG: Rerolls are always fantastic. Reflex saves are frequently “Basic Saves”, so rerolling can frequently negate a lot of damage. You get to use the better of your two rolls, so if you roll worse on the second attempt, you won’t accidentally turn a Failure into a Critical Failure.
- Catfolk DanceAG: Excellent if someone in your party relies heavily on area damage effects (probably a spellcaster). The Critical Success effect won’t be reliable, so this won’t replace Feint for making enemies flat-footed.
- Catfolk LoreAPG: Two skills and a lore skill is normally a decent trade, but Survival is very situational.
- Catfolk Weapon FamiliarityAPG: Access to the Kama and the Kukri are interesting for some builds, but they’re still niche options that you can typically do without. The Claw Blade is an excellent weapon similar to a rapier with Agile, but a smaller damage die, making it an excellent off-hand weapon for two-weapon fighting. The Whip Claw is novel in that it’s a reach weapon in the Flail group with Finesse, enabling Dexterity-based area control builds looking to capitalize on the excellent Critical Specialization Effect offered by the Flail weapon group.
- SaberteethAG: Helpful for unarmed fighting builds, but without Finesse it’s a difficult choice for the Catfolk. You could certainly use the Alternate Ability Boosts rule and not build around Dexterity, but at that point there are other ancestries which will fit your build better.
- Well-Met TravelerAPG: A skill proficiency and a skill feat. Decent for a Face build, especially if you have poor Intelligence and few Trained skills at level 1.
- Winter Cat SensesAG: Too situational unless our campaign takes place exclusively in a tundra setting.
- Catfolk Weapon RakeAPG: Some critical specialization effects are worthwhile, but I don’t know if they’re worth taking two feats to get this if you weren’t already going to benefit from Catfolk Weapon Familiarity.
- Climbing ClawsAPG: Admittedly slow, but a climb speed is still a powerful tactical option, and the normal rules for climbing would still require a Critical Success on an Athletics check to move this fast.
- Expanded LuckAPG: Rerolls are always great, and now you can reroll any save rather than just Reflex saves.
- Focused Cat NapAG: Previously, Cat Nap was easy to justify if you didn’t have anything better to do during the post-combat period of repairing, healing, and refocusing. Now you can multitask! This may not be necessary if your party frequently needs to do a lot of stuff after a fight.
- Graceful GuidanceAG: It’s difficult to time when to Aid someone to prepare for a Reflex save. If you have time to Aid them, why not just help them get out of the way?
- Light PawsAPG: Only situationally useful.
- Lucky BreakAG: Helpful, but Cat’s Luck is only once per day and I don’t think one skill check is enough to justify such a precious resource.
- Pride HunterAG: Great for rogues and for sniper gunslingers. Make sure that your party is fine with you using them as cover before you take this feat.
- Springing LeaperAPG: Very situational, and in most cases a climb speed (such as the one from Climbing Claws) or access to flight can solve these problems better.
- Aggravating ScratchAPG: Persistent damage is really good. If you’re leaning into this, consider combining it with similar feats
- Evade DoomAG: Very situational, and even when it comes up it’s a 1 in 5 chance for this to work.
- No EvidenceAG: It’s extremely rare for enemies to track you. Conceptually this is really great, but it’s more likely to matter for NPCs than it is for players.
- Predator’s GrowlAG: Demoralize as a Reaction. This is great on its own, but it also synergizes nicely with Sharp-Eared Catfolk.
- Sense for TroubleAG: Decent, but going a little sooner in initiative isn’t worth a once-per-day resource like Cat’s Luck. Take Incredible Initiative instead.
- Shared Luck (Catfolk)APG: The range to share the effect is really short, and it’s limited to Reflex saves, but it’s still pretty good. If you have a mount, a familiar, or some other variety of pet, strongly consider this.
- Silent StepAG: Excellent for characters that rely on stealth like Rogues and Sniper Gunslingers.
- Wary SkulkerAPG: If you’re built for Stealth, you probably want to Avoid Notice so that you can use your Stealth modifier instead of your Perception modifier when rolling for Initiative. Adding the Scout activity means that your entire party rolls for Initiative with a +1 Circumstance bonus. That’s not a huge bonus, but across your whole party if one ally goes before one enemy when they normally wouldn’t, it will make a difference.
- Well-GroomedAPG: Too situational. Diseases can be easily solved by a number of methods, including the Medicine skill, magical healing, and antiplagues.
- Black Cat CurseAPG: If your party includes a spellcaster who enjoys save-or-suck spells, this is a great tactical option.
- CaterwaulAPG: This saves you the trouble of having someone spend Actions on their turn to get your ally conscious again. Still, be cautious about using this if your ally is going to be hit immediately and go down again.
- Catfolk Weapon ExpertiseAPG: If you took Catfolk Weapon Familiarity and don’t already get better proficiency from your class, you’ll want this so that your catfolk weapon proficiencies don’t fall behind all of your other weapon options.
- Inspirit HazardAG: Too situational. You would need to lure enemies into the hazard to guarantee that this would apply, and that assumes that you encounter a hazard which you’re able to disable.
- Elude TroubleAG: Move away and prevent your attacker from making follow-up attacks unless they spend another Action to pursue you.
- Reliable LuckAPG: By this level you’ll probably be spending time between encounters doing things like treating wounds and Refocusing, so a 1-hour cooldown on Cat’s Luck means that you’ll go into most encounters with Cat’s Luck ready.
- Ten LivesAG: Having a chance to survive certain death is exciting, but it’s a 1 in 5 chance. Plus, at this level your party likely has resources to raise you from the dead.