Catfolk build


Advice


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I‘d like to build a catfolk focusing on natural attacks, still in the design phase.

Role in he group: scout, lucky charm and maybe diplomat.
I‘d be the 5th character and don’t want to play a bard ;-)
atm I looked at Ranger with maybe a level or two of cleric.

I took the Cat’s Claws alternate racial trait and planed for Catfolk Exemlar (Sharp Claws) Improved Natural Claw and Erdrich Claws.
then I noticed: no iterative attacks with natural weapons.
I won‘t be the main damage dealer, but it somewhat sucks.

any ideas for a build?
or feats I overlooked to gain iterative attacks?

Silver Crusade

Those are two wisdom heavy classes. Catfolk are not known for being wise.
Merciful Healer with Oath of Charity might be a fun build for a Paladin.


You could go with a slayer over ranger- similar options, but it doesn't do wis casting.

Slayer is also great because its main damage mechanic is also its main social mechanic- studied target gives bonuses to attack/damage/and a bunch of skills (including most social skills once you hit level 7). There is no downside to using this on every single NPC that talks to you- it just takes an move or swift action (which isn't important when out of battle), and you can do it as much as you want.

Slayer is also nice because it can grab TWF feats for you. Why is this important? BECAUSE THERE IS A SOLUTION TO YOUR CLAW PROBLEM, AND IT TURN YOU INTO A TWF CHARACTER.

The claw blades are an item made for catfolk which basically turn a claw into a regular light weapon- which means iteratives and TWF. The claw blades cost the same as a masterwork weapon (and you get the usual masterwork benefits), and only covers 1 hand (ie- you need 2). They can be made of special materials, and you can even enhance them like a normal weapon.

Additionally, the claw blades go really, really, really out of their way to have awkward language so they are still labeled as 'claw' attacks. Most likely, this is intended to allow you to use the claw blades with the claw pounce feat.


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Mystic_Snowfang wrote:

Those are two wisdom heavy classes. Catfolk are not known for being wise.

Merciful Healer with Oath of Charity might be a fun build for a Paladin.

don‘t need much Wis for CL1 to 3, I’d only grab it for the Luck & Travel domain.

lemeres wrote:
You could go with a slayer over ranger- similar options, but it doesn't do wis casting.

the Slayer looks fun.

Studied Target: very Cat like.

Vanguard (Archetype)
Granting teamwork feat to companions: Lucky Carm like.


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Yeah, slayer is fun, because every time you talk with someone, you look at them in the same way you look at the guy you are going to stab in the kidneys.

That is how you turn mechanics into flavor. It makes it so that the slayer is a guy that doesn't trust anyone, and he is always ready to be betrayed. That is good for a bounty hunter/assassin/etc type character.


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Sniper and Stygian look like good archtypes for my purpose, though I‘m a bit disappointed that the slayer is not proficient with the Hand Crossbow.


Don't forget the other bonus for Slayer that helps TWF, sneak attack damage. This will help with the other issue for claws, low damage. Multiple attacks with extra Xd6 to each can go a long way.


Iterative attacks are not as important as you think. Until your number of iterative attacks exceeds your natural attacks you are better of using natural attacks. Not having to take the penalty to hit for the extra attacks often mean the natural attacks do more damage. The -5 to hit on the second hit, and -10 on the third really reduce the amount of damage you actually do.

As long as you can get a good static damage bonus you will be fine.


DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘d like to build a catfolk focusing on natural attacks, still in the design phase.

Role in he group: scout, lucky charm and maybe diplomat.
I‘d be the 5th character and don’t want to play a bard ;-)
atm I looked at Ranger with maybe a level or two of cleric.

I took the Cat’s Claws alternate racial trait and planed for Catfolk Exemlar (Sharp Claws) Improved Natural Claw and Erdrich Claws.
then I noticed: no iterative attacks with natural weapons.
I won‘t be the main damage dealer, but it somewhat sucks.

any ideas for a build?
or feats I overlooked to gain iterative attacks?

I do have ideas for natural attacks builds.

Rather than try to gain iterative attacks, try to gain more attacks.

Take some levels in Barbarian. Take the Rage Powers that give you a Bite Attack and a Gore Attacks.

Some other ways to get Gore and Bite Attacks: Ring of Ratfangs, Feral Mutagen Alchemal Discovery, levels in Bloodrager (kind of the same idea as Barbarian, really), Animal Mask, Helm of the Mammoth Lord. Some of what I'm throwing at you here are Class Abilities; some of them are Magic Items. Which you should take depends a lot upon the availability of magic items in your campaign. In Pathfinder Society, magic items are generally available at the listed market prices, and when you have the treasure to buy them and the experience to use them, you can usually just buy them. Consult your GM for options.

Take a level in White Haired Witch, and get a Hair Attack.

So now you have 2 claws, Hair, Bite, and Gore, you should start looking into ways of increasing your Damage/Attack. It seems to me that the simple, solid way to do this is to take levels in Warpriest. Warpriests get a Class Ability starting at level 1 called Sacred Weapon. The damage for starters is 1d6, and it gets better and better as you gain levels. You get to apply Sacred Weapon Damage to every Natural Attack you take Weapon Focus for.

So, I'm thinking start with a level in Barbarian to get 12HP at level 1. Take a level in Warpriest to apply Sacred Weapon Damage to your Claws. Take more levels in Barbarian to get a Bite and a Gore Attack. Then take more levels in Warpriest until your Sacred Weapon Damage gets up to 1d8 and take Weapon Focus for your Bite and Gore to get them to keep up. Take that level in White Haired Witch you you get that Hair Attack, too.

Since I'm talking about only taking a few levels in Barbarian, it might make sense to choose the Dreadnaught Archetype: you only get +2 St/Con, but you aren't Fatigued when you come out of your Rage. Honestly, I haven't thought that part through.

Since I'm talking about a character with multiple attacks, you'll be wanting effects that grant global bonuses. That's the nice part about Barbarian, that +4 Strength Bonus applies to ALL your attacks. What are some other ways I like to get global bonuses?

There is the Amplified Rage Teamwork Feat. Since it is a Teamwork Feat, you should take it with some kind of Tactician ability. So maybe rather than just be a Warpriest, be a Divine Commander Warpriest. I don't exactly recall: if there is no other Barbarian or Bloodrager in the party--no one else with Rage--you will need to come up with a way of giving the party Rage for Amplified Rage to work, There is a Feat for that: Sympathetic Rage. Probably worth it: your Strength will bump up from +4 to +8! You'll only be able to do this if your GM grants you an exception to the rules: Amplified Rage and Sympathetic Rage are Half Orc Feats.

Even 1 level in Ranger will give you the abiilty to use a Wand of Strong Jaw. That will give all your natural attacks a bump in damage as if you were 2 sizes bigger. So, if you can get your Wand after you have 5 levels in Warpriest and your base Damage is 1d8, that Wand will bump up your Damage to 3d6 for each of your attacks. You might instead take Improved Natural Attack for each of your natural attacks-=a full-time 1-step virtual size increase instead of a self-buffing 2 step size increase: a very basic choice for a min-maxer. I like the Freebooter Ranger Archetype. Instead of the regular Favored Enemy, a Freebooter can, as a Move Action designate any single opponent to be the Favored Enemy for the whole party, and you and everyone in the party get +1 Attack and Damage on all your attacks until combat is over or until you designate someone else as the party's Favored Enemy.

You might dip a level in Alchemist to be able to use a Mutagen; +4 to Strength, +2 Natural Armor Bonus. The Alchemal Mutagen Strength Bonus will stack with your Rage ST bonus.

If you dip a level in the Living Monolith Prestige Class, you get Enlarge Person as a Spell-Like Ability. Virtual Size increases stack with actual Size Increases, so if your base Natural Attack Damage is 1d8, between your Strong Jaw and Enlarge Person, your base Damage jumps up from 1d8 to 4d6! And that's on top of your +4St from Raging and your +4 Alchemal bonus to ST. And all that is multiplied by the number of attacks you'll get: Bite, Hair, Gore, and 2 Claws!

DropBearHunter wrote:
I won‘t be the main damage dealer, but it somewhat sucks.

No, I think you will be the main damage dealer.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

/\ thanks for that, while mostly not my style, it does give me ideas to follow up on.

such as: Would a Catfolk Barbarian with the Cats Claws alternate racial trait gain another two claw attacks with the Lesser Beast Totem rage power?


DropBearHunter wrote:

/\ thanks for that, while mostly not my style, it does give me ideas to follow up on.

would a Catfolk Barbarian with the Cats Claws alternate racial trait gain another two claw attacks with the Lesser Beast Totem rage power?

No. You only get one natural attack per limb (excluding stuff like haste, of course). The claws cannot be put on other limbs (talons go on legs for humanoids).

If you do something like monstrous physique, you might get extra arms to put them on (but then... why not just turn into something with more natural attacks from the get go?)

This road has been tread down many times before. I am far, far too familiar with catfolk barbarians and alchemists due to the rules section.

It is simpler just to get the claw blade item and turn your claws into light slashing weapons. They are easier to enhance too (so no amulet of mighty fists; that means you can get an amulet of natural armor instead).


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this is where I‘ll probably go:
Ranger
Wild Hunter - for the Animal Focus
Shape Shifter - more enhancements and I don’t much like Favoured Terrain
Devine Tracker - get a Bite Attack with the Animal Blessing
Skirmisher - I can dump the Wisdom if I don’t cast spells.


DropBearHunter wrote:

/\ thanks for that, while mostly not my style, it does give me ideas to follow up on.

such as: Would a Catfolk Barbarian with the Cats Claws alternate racial trait gain another two claw attacks with the Lesser Beast Totem rage power?

No, but Barbarian Beat Totem Claws do 1d6, and Cat's Claws do 1d4. The fact that Barbarian Totem Claws + Cat's Claws do not give you 4 Claw Attacks contributed to my thinking behind recommending a Demon Totem Gore Attack for your Barbarian Rage Powers and increasing your Claw Damage via Warpriest Sacred Weapon.

What's not your style?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
DropBearHunter wrote:

/\ thanks for that, while mostly not my style, it does give me ideas to follow up on.

such as: Would a Catfolk Barbarian with the Cats Claws alternate racial trait gain another two claw attacks with the Lesser Beast Totem rage power?

No, but Barbarian Beat Totem Claws do 1d6, and Cat's Claws do 1d4. The fact that Barbarian Totem Claws + Cat's Claws do not give you 4 Claw Attacks contributed to my thinking behind recommending a Demon Totem Gore Attack for your Barbarian Rage Powers and increasing your Claw Damage via Warpriest Sacred Weapon.

What's not your style?

I think he was going for 'rogue, but ... not ACTUAL rogue', and your build... is a very strong flavored heavy natural attack build.

I could see your build going as a boss monster in a video game, where the character turns into some japanese demon with its long, flowing white hair and tendency to use a beast like full natural attack style. While that can be cool, it is a very particular niche.


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lemeres wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
DropBearHunter wrote:

/\ thanks for that, while mostly not my style, it does give me ideas to follow up on.

such as: Would a Catfolk Barbarian with the Cats Claws alternate racial trait gain another two claw attacks with the Lesser Beast Totem rage power?

No, but Barbarian Beat Totem Claws do 1d6, and Cat's Claws do 1d4. The fact that Barbarian Totem Claws + Cat's Claws do not give you 4 Claw Attacks contributed to my thinking behind recommending a Demon Totem Gore Attack for your Barbarian Rage Powers and increasing your Claw Damage via Warpriest Sacred Weapon.

What's not your style?

I think he was going for 'rogue, but ... not ACTUAL rogue', and your build... is a very strong flavored heavy natural attack build.

I could see your build going as a boss monster in a video game, where the character turns into some japanese demon with its long, flowing white hair and tendency to use a beast like full natural attack style. While that can be cool, it is a very particular niche.

that sums it up nicely: I want to play a cat(folk).

with the bite attack ½ level times a day from the animal blessing I‘m all geared up with 3 primary attacks at full BAB for the important encounters. Animal focus gives me a scaling +x to base damage levels per day minutes.
and I can do all that without gear, magic gear is than the cream on top, rather than a necessity.


lemeres wrote:
your build... is a very strong flavored heavy natural attack build.

I didn't really offer a build, while I might have suggested one. I offered a lot of ideas for giving the OP exactly what he asked for.

DropBearHunter wrote:
I‘d like to build a catfolk focusing on natural attacks... any ideas for a build?

It's fair to say I made an assumption.

DropBearHunter wrote:
I won‘t be the main damage dealer, but it somewhat sucks.

I took this to mean that not dealing much damage is a bad thing, that the OP thinks that that sucks. So, I did focus on build ideas that could be used to make a Natural Attack Character build that doesn't suck.

DropBearHunter wrote:
Role in he group: scout, lucky charm and maybe diplomat.

I didn't go into details, but Barbarians can be Scouts, and Cleric Spells can make you a lucky charm. Diplomat was a weak suit in my advice.


DropBearHunter wrote:

Role in he group: scout, lucky charm and maybe diplomat.

I‘d be the 5th character and don’t want to play a bard ;-)
atm I looked at Ranger with maybe a level or two of cleric.

I noticed you want to be a Catfolk

DropBearHunter wrote:
I‘d like to build a catfolk

And Catfolk can get Scent as a Racial Trait.

If you take the Blind Fighting Feat too, your character will be very effective at functioning while Blinded. If you get an Eversmoking Bottle, you can Blind everybody, but you will be able to function, locating opponents by Scent and using Blind Fighting to help you hit them.

The problem with this is that the Eversmoking Bottle will Blind your allies, too. But if they know you are going to do this, they can take their own countermeasures against being Blinded, and this will be a powerful weapon your party can use. Another solution to this would be for you to take some levels in Bard with the Flame Dancer Archetype.

DropBearHunter wrote:
I‘d be the 5th character and don’t want to play a bard ;-)

I know, but hear me out. If you take only 3 levels in Bard with the Flame Dancer Archetype, you can get

Song of the Fiery Gaze (Su) wrote:
At 3rd level, a fire dancer can allow allies to see through flames without any distortion. Any ally within 30 feet of the bard who can hear the performance can see through fire, fog, and smoke without penalty

Talk about a Good Luck Charm? How about everybody the party fights is stricken Blind except for the party?

So that's a dip. What would your real class be? How about Ranger, shooting arrows with Gravity Bow cast on them so they do 2d6/hit? How about a Grendadier Alchemist, shooting exploding arrows, spamming Smoke Bombs until you can cast Pyrotechnics or get the Eversmoking Bottle? You know what I would do: I would do both. Take 2 levels in Ranger with the Freebooter Archetype. Take Precise Shot and get a Wand of Gravity Bow. Then take 3 levels in Bard with the Flame Dancer Archetype. Then take the rest in Alchemist with the Grenadier Archetype, or maybe Vivisectionist: Blinded people don't get their Dex Mods, and everyone knows Cats like to play with their food...


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sorry I‘m not as elaborate as might be required to put out a perfect spec.
natural weapon in the context of catfolk for me are the five pointy ends of a cat, so while the hair and gore attack qualify as RAW natural attack they are not for my purpose.

I‘m all ears if you know a way to get talon attacks for the cat, or even a way to weaponize the tail, but mostly you are trying to sell me stuff I don’t want to buy.
It’s mostly a question of flavor: there are others who might like your dipping dance, but it’s it’s just not for me. I like my Picasso from his early works, you appear to like his later works.

I do not play a bard, unless there is an archetype that doesn‘t have Bardic Performance.


I ran into this problem with a similar build concept I had with a Tiefling that used it's claws.

The answer I came up with was to use Improved Unarmed Strike and TWF to get basically a monk-like flurry of blows, which you can then add the claws on top of.

Remember that unarmed strikes can be with any part of the body, so you could be mixing in elbows, knees, kicks, etc with your claws to retain the "My body is my weapon, I need no blades buy my own two claws" feel while opening up your combat options.


I know it is Wisdom based, but you can use the new Shifter Monk archetype with the Catfolk Monk. The Catfolk monk doesn't do a whole lot, but it can help body block some for the party and eventually get the ability to transform into a full cat.

Alternate option is Scaled Fist Monk that actually uses Charisma over Wisdom. It saidly doesn't stack with either previous archetype, but if you are that worried about stats, it is an option. You can ignore your natural weapon's damage die and go heavy into strength with the Dragon Style line of feats, getting 2x Str on your first hit and 1.5x every after. This does not affect power attack bonus damage.

It is feat intensive, but if you go Ascetic Style, at 7th level you can have your claw damage deal damage as a monk at your level -4. You need Weapon Focus (Claws) and the 3 Ascetic Style feats. Not really worth it if you don't get other feats based around unarmed strike, but you can take that with the Dragon Style of feats too and gain a ton of damage. You have to be a class with Weapon Training class feature, which limits you to fighter, swashbuckler (another CHA based class), or take another feat to let you take Weapon Mastery Style.


DropBearHunter wrote:

sorry I‘m not as elaborate as might be required to put out a perfect spec.

natural weapon in the context of catfolk for me are the five pointy ends of a cat, so while the hair and gore attack qualify as RAW natural attack they are not for my purpose.

I‘m all ears if you know a way to get talon attacks for the cat, or even a way to weaponize the tail, but mostly you are trying to sell me stuff I don’t want to buy.
It’s mostly a question of flavor: there are others who might like your dipping dance, but it’s it’s just not for me. I like my Picasso from his early works, you appear to like his later works.

I do not play a bard, unless there is an archetype that doesn‘t have Bardic Performance.

5 pointy ends; you mean each foot and a bite?

You don't want to animate your cat's hair with the White Hair Class Ability and develop how cat hair just get all over any cat owner's things? You remember how Jon supposes that Garfield "sheds at will?"

Okay. I do have another suggestion for a Catfolk Character that uses its rear Claws. There is the Nimble Guardian Catfolk Monk Archetype. They get a Class Ability.

Guardian Feline (Su) wrote:
At 7th level, a nimble guardian can transform himself into a feline creature by spending 2 ki points. The effect lasts for 1 hour or until the nimble guardian changes back. Changing form (to animal or back) is a standard action and does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

You can Polymorph into a Dire Tiger, and you can get Rake, which allows you to attack with your rear claws whenever you hit with your front claws.


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SorrySleeping wrote:
I know it is Wisdom based, but you can use the new Shifter Monk archetype with the Catfolk Monk. The Catfolk monk doesn't do a whole lot, but it can help body block some for the party and eventually get the ability to transform into a full cat.

The Shifter Monk or just plain Shifter look interesting.

Ultimate Wilderness is not in the SRD yet, so I missed that book completely till now.
Must have missed the pdf going online too, dang.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
5 pointy ends; you mean each foot and a bite?

yes, and no to the hair stuff ;-)

the catfolk monk looses evasion, that is too expensive for the polymorph at 7th.
they should have just let her use the claws at 1d4 with the flurry.


DropBearHunter wrote:

I‘m all ears if you know a way to get talon attacks for the cat, or even a way to weaponize the tail, but mostly you are trying to sell me stuff I don’t want to buy.

It’s mostly a question of flavor: there are others who might like your dipping dance, but it’s it’s just not for me. I like my Picasso from his early works, you appear to like his later works.

Actually, I do know some unobtrusive stuff for those.

-you can get a sting attack from the evangelist prestige class- it gives you the power to take on another form with stat boosts and various special ability options (including a sting). The prestige class isn't necessarily bad either, since it is one that allows you to continue to level your main class's abilities (only you use its BAB/saves/skills/etc).
- Talon can be obtained from a totemic tattoo. This item, worth about 12k I think, is a magic tattoo that allows you to steal some abilities from those shaman archetypes for druids (various animal themed archetypes with same structure).You are only treated as a level 5 druid for this, but hey- 5 minutes per day basically means 5 fights per day. The eagle shaman has both flight and a bite/talon/talon option. But... this takes you away from cats. Magical tattoos can be hard to obtain too (they are their own parallel magic item system- both for creation and slots).

But again- catfolk specifically have an item that turns their claws into light blades. So I think it is simpler just to go with TWF, at least in terms of your concept.


SorrySleeping wrote:
I know it is Wisdom based, but you can use the new Shifter Monk archetype with the Catfolk Monk. The Catfolk monk doesn't do a whole lot, but it can help body block some for the party and eventually get the ability to transform into a full cat.

Yeah, Nimble Guardian does do a lot: it lets the OP use rear claws, which is something he wants to do. Also, it gives him a Size Increase at level 7 and another at level 9. Plus, with this he can use Flurry of Blows like a regular Monk only using his Claws and he gets increasing Damage kind of like the Monk Unarmed Strike Damage progression. Also, let's remember that the Catfolk Monk Alternate Favored Class Bonus is to get +1 Damage with Claws every 2 levels.

The fact that NG replaces Evasion with an ability to protect other party members is in keeping with what the OP says he wants: to be the party's good-luck charm without Bardic Performance.

Also, using Shifter Claws means the OP can keep Natural Hunter: +2 Perception, Stealth, and Survival is nice. Shame to give it up. Now he doesn't have to.

Sadly, the level 9 Size increase to Huge comes by polymorphing into a Warcat, and Warcats don't get Rake. Combining Menhir Guardian and Nimble Guardian is inspired: my compliments.

He can still dip a level in Ranger--a class the OP was thinking of taking anyway--so he might use a Wand of Strong Jaw, which will give him a 2-spot Virtual Size Increase.

Of course, another thing he could do is just be a shifter, which provides a whole other buffet of options.


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lemeres wrote:
But again- catfolk specifically have an item that turns their claws into light blades. So I think it is simpler just to go with TWF, at least in terms of your concept.

don’t worry, they are still in the inventory.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Yeah, Nimble Guardian does do a lot: it lets the OP use rear claws, which is something he wants to do.

it’s a wisdom modifier per day ability traded for an unlimited per day ability, which is generally bad deal.

I‘ll start managing yet another resource and a +4 bonus twice a day, under the right circumstances is just lame. especially If I then take the full damage in an AoE attack.

do I grant a +4 to AC now or hedge my bet for a fireball later? - no thanks

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