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Pathfinder 2e - The Ratfolk Handbook

Last Updated: October 13th, 2020

Disclaimer

RPGBOT uses 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

The Ratfolk is a small, rat-like humanoid. Generally they won't satisfy your fantasy of playing a Skaven (the Shadow Rat heritage might work) since they're depicted more as fancy steampunk rat people: a victorian aesthetic with lots of pouches and goggles. Still, if you like humanoid rodents, or if you enjoyed the Redwall novels, you might like the idea of an adventuring humanoid rodent.

Mechanically, the Ratfolk has great base traits and excellent Heritage options but their most interesting Ancestry Feats center around shoveling items into your cheek pouches like a slobbery bag of holding. There's very little here that's truly exciting, so consider Adopted Ancestry.

Ratfolk Ancestry Traits

  • Hit Points: 6 hit points is as bad as it gets, but at least you don't have a Constitution Flaw like the Elf.
  • Size: Small. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
  • Speed: 25 ft. is standard.
  • Ability Boosts: Strength is an easy dump stat for a huge number of classes, and Dexterity is often essential for those same classes. Intelligence is obviously crucial for the Witch and the Wizard, but it's also helpful for builds that rely heavily on skills.
  • Languages: Racial language plus Common is standard.
  • Senses: Low-light vision.

Ratfolk Heritages

  • Deep Rat: Darkvision!
  • Desert Rat: Unless you're a spellcaster like a wizard, you're likely to need a weapon in your hands at any point that a 5-foot difference in speed would matter, so it's hard to
  • Longsnout Rat: Imprecise scent is fantastic. Arguably better than Darkvision.
  • Sewer Rat: Situational.
  • Shadow Rat: Situational, but neat. You can address the language issue with Intimidating Glare, so there's little reason to take this from a character optimization perspective. But is is really neat.

Ratfolk Feats

Level 1

  • Cheek Pouches: Why? I get it, Ratfolk are rodents rodents have cheek pouches, and putting stuff into your math and having difficulty speaking is comedic gold. I get that. But this provides no meaningful improvement over a belt pouch.
  • Pack Rat: Maybe helpful for builds which depend heavily on items like alchemists, but even then it's not important unless you're going absolutely nuts on items.
  • Rat Familiar: Familiars are really useful, and even if you use it for nothing else you can use its abilities for things like extra Focus, extra Infused Reagents, and as an extra set of eyes for Perception. However, this familiar will be Charisma-based, so avoid relying on its numerical stats if you can. For more help with familiars, see my Practical Guide to Familiars.
  • Ratfolk Lore: Two good skills for Dexterity-dependent classes like the Rogue and the Swashbuckler.
  • Ratspeak: Rodents are common. Mice and rats live just about anywhere that humans do. You'll want to invest in Diplomacy to get the most use out of this, but you may not need to go past Trained.
  • Tinkering Fingers: Too situational. Unless your GM disarmed your group, it's pretty easy to carry around a Repair Kit.
  • Vicious Incisors: Basically a shortsword strapped to your face.
  • Warren Navigator: Too situational.

Level 5

  • Lab Rat: Too situational for a +1 bonus.
  • Quick Stow: Finally a reaswon to take Cheek Pouches, this means that instead of dropping items mid-combant you can stuff them into your mouth as a Free Action. You still need to Interact to pull it back out, but you no longer need to drop your wand or whatever to change items in a hurry.
  • Rat Magic: Either learn to cast the spell or buy a scroll. Animal Messenger isn't a good enough spell to justify this.

Level 9

  • Big Mouth: If you're using Cheek Pouches a lot, this may be worthwile. But you're still limited to items no longer than 1 foot, so even at 1 bulk you're not shoving shields and spears into your mouth.
  • Overcrowd: Situational. There's not a lot of benefit to doing this.
  • Rat Form: A great option for infiltration and spying, and rats are ubiquitous enough that even if you're noticed you may be ignored.

Level 13

  • Warren Digger: Burrow speeds are spectacular and very difficult to get.