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.
Table of Contents
- Ratfolk Ancestry Traits
- Ratfolk Heritages
- Ratfolk Ancestry 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.
Ratfolk Ancestry Traits
- : 6 hit points is low.
- : Small. Medium and small size have few functional differences in Pathfinder 2e.
- : 25 ft. is standard.
- : 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.
- : Racial language plus Common is standard.
- : Low-light vision.
- Deep RatAPG: Darkvision is fantastic, but you can also get it from one of several Versatile Heritages which will give you Darkvision if you already have Low-Light Vision like the Ratfolk does.
- Desert RatAPG: Unless you’re a spellcaster like a wizard or fighting unarmed, you’re likely to need a weapon in your hands, so it’s hard to justify this on most characters. This might work for many monks or other unarmed combat builds, but otherwise there’s not much here.
- Longsnout RatAPG: Imprecise scent is fantastic. Arguably better than Darkvision.
- Sewer RatAPG: Only situationally useful, but disease and poison are fairly common across the level range.
- Shadow RatAPG: 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 it is really neat.
- Snow RatAG: Damage resistance to a common damage type.
- Tunnel RatAG: Extremely situational.
Ratfolk Ancestry Feats
- Cheek PouchesAPG: Why? I get it, Ratfolk are rodents, rodents have cheek pouches, and putting stuff into your mouth and having difficulty speaking is comedic gold. I get that. But this provides no meaningful improvement over a belt pouch.
- Pack RatAPG: 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 FamiliarAPG: 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 LoreAPG: Two good skills for Dexterity-dependent classes like the Rogue and the Swashbuckler.
- RatspeakAPG: 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.
- Skull CreeperAG: An easy choice if you plan to make Demoralize part of your tactics, and access to a unique item bonus to Intimidation.
- Tinkering FingersAPG: Too situational. Unless your GM disarmed your group, it’s pretty easy to carry around a Repair Kit.
- Vicious IncisorsAPG: Most natural weapons with Finesse also have Agile but only deal 1d4 damage. This is roughly on par with other Ancestry-based natural weapon options.
- Warren FriendAG: Very situational. It’s weird that finding another ratfolk community is gated behind a feat because it implies that you couldn’t do it otherwise.
- Warren NavigatorAPG: Too situational.
- Cornered FuryAG: Unpredictably useful. This is the most useful if you’re a front-line character with poor AC because you’re more likely to take critical hits. If you’re repeatedly taking critical hits just to trigger this feat, something has gone horribly wrong.
- GnawAG: Use this to chew through obstacles like locks, doors, walls, etc. Still, this is only situationally useful. You’re not going to snack on buildings on a daily basis.
- Lab RatAPG: Too situational for a +1 Circumstance bonus.
- Plague SnifferAG: Extremely situational. If a creature has symptoms of a disease, then can typically tell you about it.
- Quick StowAPG: Finally a reason 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 MagicAPG: Either learn to cast the spell or buy a scroll. Animal Messenger isn’t a good enough spell to justify this.
- Ratfolk RollAPG: Absurdly situational, dubiously useful even when the situation arises, and potentially self-destructive even when it does. This is novel, fun, and silly, but it is mechanically unjustifiable.
- Big MouthAPG: If you’re using Cheek Pouches a lot, this may be worthwhile. 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.
- OvercrowdAPG: Situational. There’s not a lot of benefit to doing this.
- Rat FormAPG: A great option for infiltration and spying, and rats are ubiquitous enough that even if you’re noticed, you may be ignored.
- Uncanny CheeksAG: Prescient Planner and Prescient Consumable are great options to mitigate the cost of situationally-useful consumables, and getting two General Feats for the cost of one Ancestry Feat is a good trade.
- ShinstabberAG: Questionably useful, and it takes two feats to get here.
- Skittering SneakAG: Fantastic for characters who depend on sneaking, like Rogues.
- Warren DiggerAPG: Burrow speeds are spectacular and very difficult to get.