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Pathfinder 2e - The Catfolk Handbook

Last Updated: September 3rd, 2020

Disclaimer

I will use the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances
  • Green: Good options.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.

Introduction

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 Ancenstry Feats which are amusingly cat-themed.

Catfolk Racial Traits

  • Hit Points: 8 hit points can be hard for front-line martial classes, but it's fine otherwise.
  • Size: Small. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
  • Speed: 25 ft. is standard.
  • Ability Boosts: 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.
  • Languages: Racial language plus Common is standard.

Catfolk Heritages

  • Clawed Catfolk: Claws comparable to a short sword.
  • Hunting Catfolk: Scent is really good.
  • Jungle Catfolk: Too situational.
  • Nine Lives Catfolk: Too situational.
  • Winter Catfolk: Damage resistance is always good.

Catfolk Feats

Level 1

  • Cat's Luck: Rerolls are always fantastic. Reflex saves are most commonly "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 accidently turn a Failure into a Critical Failure.
  • Catfolk Lore: Two skills and a lore skill is normally a decent trade, but Suvival is very situational.
  • Catfolk Weapon Familiarity: Access to the Kama and the Kukri are interesting for some builds, but they're still niche options that you can typically do without.
  • Well-Met Traveler: Unless you're absolutely desperate for skills, you should have plenty of capacity to get Diplomacy and if you can't find a background which offers Hobnobber you can take it as a Skill Feat at 2nd level.

Level 5

  • Catfolk Weapon Rake: Some critical specialization effects are worthwile, 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 Claws: Admittedly slow, but a climb speed is still a powerful tactical option.
  • Expanded Luck: Rerolls are always great, and now you can reroll any save rather than just Reflex saves.
  • Light Paws: Situational.
  • Springing Leaper: 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.

Level 9

  • Aggravating Scratch: Persistent damage is really good. It would be nice if there was some sort of scaling, though.
  • Shared Luck: The range to share the effect is really short, and it's limited to Reflex saves, but it's still pretty good.
  • Wary Skulker: 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-Groomed: Too situational. Diseases can be easily solved by a number of methods, including the Medicine skill and magical healing.

Level 13

  • Black Cat Curse: If your party includes a spellcaster who enjoys save-or-suck spells, this is a great tactical option.
  • Caterwaul: 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 Expertise: 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.

Level 17

  • Reliable Luck: 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.