Ratfolk should be a Core Ancestry


Ancestries & Backgrounds


13 people marked this as a favorite.

Ratfolk should be a core ancestry. Their race writeup makes them perfect as a core race.

They love collecting things, and actually prefer finding trinkets and treasures instead of gold, but in combat they're not afraid of using their collection of goodies to help themselves or others.

They're communal and form close bonds with their families, and will jump to protect their communities if something threatens them.

They are commonly found in cities. They love trade and commerce, and they get along well with humans, and it's implied that they either match or outnumber human population.

They have a stat block that isn't represented (+int, +dex, +free -Str), and they would create a bridge between Starfinder and Pathfinder, since Starfinder has the Y'soki as a core race.

Despite Ratfolk being apparently really common, they're almost never listed in any of the population breakdowns, and are basically ignored. I find that really strange, given their race block.

Here's a link to the PRD ratfolk page


12 people marked this as a favorite.

Ratfolk is better than goblins as a core race.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

I'd like to have them both personally. More small races are a good thing!

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I too like Ratfolk/Ysoki :3


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Personally I want Tengu
But from a thematic and mechanical standpoint, Tengu and Ratfolk are pretty similar. I could probably squint my eyes and be like "yes, this is tengu now."

That said, nothing will be more fun than my PF1 Tengu witch with their Raven familiar squawky talkin' all the time.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would have liked to see wyrwood and kitsune so we'd have an idea what they were planning for very different creature types and for shape shifters. Ideally there would have been a very non-humanoid, but I don't think there's much in Golarion within the playable power band that doesn't have two arms and a head.


4 people marked this as a favorite.
Gloom wrote:
I'd like to have them both personally. More small races are a good thing!

I explicitly left out any comments about them being a replacement to Goblins because I think Goblins are a fine Player race.

I think they should get +con instead of +cha, but that's a different argument.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Draco18s wrote:

Personally I want Tengu

But from a thematic and mechanical standpoint, Tengu and Ratfolk are pretty similar. I could probably squint my eyes and be like "yes, this is tengu now."

That said, nothing will be more fun than my PF1 Tengu witch with their Raven familiar squawky talkin' all the time.

Here I was thinking I was fun and unique for being in love with my Tengu Witch (Dan) with a Raven (Ted):(

Off Topic:
That's ok though, they were awesome. I focused all the RP and personality into the Familiar and treated the Witch himself like a complete tool. The familiar was ALWAYS having a power struggle over who is most important, and frankly that's not a battle the Witch can win when his pet/boss bird decides to just fly away with all of his spells or simply decides that he needs the lions share of WBL to invest in his own Fish-monger side business to keep those fresh snacks flowing. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure I ever "let" the Familiar lose an argument with his Witch, he really had him bent over the trashcan constantly dangling his spells over his head and also blackmailing him to keep his in place.

Eventually I took Improved Familiar and got permission from my GM to pay for a Magic Jar spell to transfer his soul into an Imp so he can shapechange but retain his base form.

Sorry to detail, I just cannot resist sharing when I hear of other people with a similar PC idea to my personal fav.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Ratfolk are pretty cool, and they do make natural alchemists in PF1.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Ratfolk are pretty cool, and they do make natural alchemists in PF1.

Oh heck, I forgot to mention, they'd make a much better iconic Alchemist than a Goblin because they actually get INT.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

While I like Ratfolk as an ancestry, I don't feel they fit very well into the current lineup. Let's look at what we have in terms of the number of ancestries with bonuses and penalties:

Strength: 0 bonuses, 2 penalties
Dexterity: 3 bonuses, 0 penalties
Constitution: 2 bonus, 1 penalty
Intelligence: 1 bonus, 0 penalties
Wisdom: 2 bonuses, 1 penalty
Charisma: 2 bonuses, 1 penalty

So if another ancestry is added, the last thing we need is a dexterity bonus with a strength penalty. So while I like the flavor of Ratfolk, I feel they'd be redundant with the current lineup.


Strength bonus with an intelligence penalty is an obvious choice if we're just rounding out the numbers. It's hard to say if that's the best motivation for including race options. That and with the state intelligence is in, it wouldn't be a good idea to include a race with a penalty to it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber; Pathfinder Tales Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

No.


Themetricsystem wrote:
Draco18s wrote:

Personally I want Tengu

But from a thematic and mechanical standpoint, Tengu and Ratfolk are pretty similar. I could probably squint my eyes and be like "yes, this is tengu now."

That said, nothing will be more fun than my PF1 Tengu witch with their Raven familiar squawky talkin' all the time.

Here I was thinking I was fun and unique for being in love with my Tengu Witch (Dan) with a Raven (Ted):(

Haha. :)

My birds are Tengu (Ruk) and raven (Kraw).

I haven't actually done that much RP back and forth between them, as no one else speaks Tengu (but I can still imagine them having private conversations about things).

I've also not let the other players and PCs know what gender either of them are. Always speak in 3rd person and never use gendered pronouns.


ErichAD wrote:
Strength bonus with an intelligence penalty is an obvious choice if we're just rounding out the numbers. It's hard to say if that's the best motivation for including race options. That and with the state intelligence is in, it wouldn't be a good idea to include a race with a penalty to it.

Apparently there's only one int bonus.

Are you counting the Half Orc and Half Elf ancestry traits in your list?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The ARG writeup is from setting-netural perspective. In Golarion, ratfolk are certainly second fiddle to, at very least, Aasimar and Tieflings.

And if we're looking at actual in-play popularity of races, it seems like Kitsune are way ahead of all non-core races and even outnumber dwarves


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Demonskunk wrote:

Ratfolk should be a core ancestry. Their race writeup makes them perfect as a core race.

They love collecting things, and actually prefer finding trinkets and treasures instead of gold, but in combat they're not afraid of using their collection of goodies to help themselves or others.

They're communal and form close bonds with their families, and will jump to protect their communities if something threatens them.

They are commonly found in cities. They love trade and commerce, and they get along well with humans, and it's implied that they either match or outnumber human population.

They have a stat block that isn't represented (+int, +dex, +free -Str), and they would create a bridge between Starfinder and Pathfinder, since Starfinder has the Y'soki as a core race.

Despite Ratfolk being apparently really common, they're almost never listed in any of the population breakdowns, and are basically ignored. I find that really strange, given their race block.

Here's a link to the PRD ratfolk page

They certainly make a lot of sense as a core race for the reasons you mentioned. Numbers, temperamentally suited for adventuring, playing well with others and the Starfinder connection. I made a similar point during the previews. And I do have a soft spot for rodents. I've had a great time with two rat-man characters (One ratfolk and one from a much earlier game, a Nezumi from the 3rd ed Oriental Adventures book. Both were really cool, fun characters with an odd perspective. And more recently there was a were-rat, so I do like to get ratty).

As for the numbers not being reflected in city populations and such. I think that actually makes sense. I think most of that is that while they go into the cities a lot, they tend to live there as often. They're more nomadic or live in their own separate warrens where they can be themselves. So probably only a minority travel into the cities often, while the others are staying in the warren or traveling. And I think they're concentrated in a few areas like northern Garund, Numeria and Druma, but can conceivably be everywhere due to their nomadic and mercantile nature.

I can understand them not making it into core, but I think they should certainly be in the first batch of new ancestries along with Tieflings, Aasimar, Changlings, Dhampir, Tengu, Kitsune and Kobolds. I never realized there was a significant kobold fanbase until I started hanging around here. Others should be in there too, but I think those are some of the more popular who should be at the front of the line.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I’d like to see wererats as a player race as they turn up in almost every city, but also as I’d like to see how they implement more powerful ancestry options into the game.

I’d like to see regional ancestries as an early source book.. Andorran Kobolds, Chelish Stryx, Belkzen Orc, etc..


Doktor Weasel wrote:
As for the numbers not being reflected in city populations and such. I think that actually makes sense. I think most of that is that while they go into the cities a lot, they tend to live there as often. They're more nomadic or live in their own separate warrens where they can be themselves. So probably only a minority travel into the cities often, while the others are staying in the warren or traveling. And I think they're concentrated in a few areas like northern Garund, Numeria and Druma, but can conceivably be everywhere due to their nomadic and mercantile nature.

The writeup made it seem like they were very common in any kind of sizeable city, what with the line about them squeezed into slums. It's possible that the city doesnt' even realize they're there half the time, since they apparently also tend to live in sewers and stuff, but the % breakdowns should definitely include them.

I know the reason they probably don't in most places is because Golarion was largely written before the Ratfolk were a thing in any real capacity, so I hope they fix that going into PF2.

CaniestDog wrote:

I’d like to see wererats as a player race as they turn up in almost every city, but also as I’d like to see how they implement more powerful ancestry options into the game.

I’d like to see regional ancestries as an early source book.. Andorran Kobolds, Chelish Stryx, Belkzen Orc, etc..

I absolutely love were creatures, It's a shame there's rarely a way to play one as a hero.


Demonskunk wrote:
CaniestDog wrote:
I’d like to see wererats as a player race as they turn up in almost every city, but also as I’d like to see how they implement more powerful ancestry options into the game.
I absolutely love were creatures, It's a shame there's rarely a way to play one as a hero.

I'm not allowed to play werecreatures. The universe won't let me.

I tried four g&~ d+*n times to play this one specific concept I had back in college. Every single time the game died within 2 sessions.


CaniestDog wrote:

I’d like to see wererats as a player race as they turn up in almost every city, but also as I’d like to see how they implement more powerful ancestry options into the game.

I’d like to see regional ancestries as an early source book.. Andorran Kobolds, Chelish Stryx, Belkzen Orc, etc..

There are the Skinwalkers that seem designed for just the purpose. Getting the were-critter feel for a PC without being imbalanced. Mostly it's the DR that could be problematic, especially at lower level. Although they also just give a hybrid form, and not a full animal form like a true were does. So that might be a deal-breaker for some concepts. Seems like this should have been possible with a racial feat, but I never saw one.


Eh, they got their turn in the limelight with Starfinder. I'd rather see Tengu, Grippli, or...new favorite since taking the ancestry survey...MINOTAUR.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

If you're familiar with my posts, it's obvious I 100% agree with OP, and I don't really have anything to add that I haven't said before here....
...besides... Ratfolk CORE NOW! ;-)

I do have one question/observation: Ratfolk don't really have their own language, right?
Reasonably, their Racial Common language access for high INT would include Tien and Undercommon, I'm guessing?
(which alone are good reasons for them becoming in Core, expanding relevance/accessibility of Tien and Undercommon)

That does get into one of my reasons for backing them, while globally dispersed especially in port and trade cities but also elsewhere (Druma, Katapesh, Belkzen, Numeria, and Casmaron), they have good connection to parts of Golarion that are less explored so far (Tian Xia as well as Akiton and Castrovel planets). That angle isn't NECESSARY to "get into them", but it is good "opening" IMHO and if they are in Core it makes further development of Tian Xia and those planets more "comfortable" in a way. (i.e. "Oh, I don't know much about Mongolian culture, but Ratfolk are alot bigger deal here.")

EDIT: Is Ysoki a separate language for off-Golarion(planet) Ratfolk? Not that that is really Core Race focus, regardless.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Quandary wrote:

That does get into one of my reasons for backing them, while globally dispersed especially in port and trade cities but also elsewhere (Druma, Katapesh, Belkzen, Numeria, and Casmaron), they have good connection to parts of Golarion that are less explored so far (Tian Xia as well as Akiton and Castrovel planets). That angle isn't NECESSARY to "get into them", but it is good "opening" IMHO and if they are in Core it makes further development of Tian Xia and those planets more "comfortable" in a way. (i.e. "Oh, I don't know much about Mongolian culture, but Ratfolk are alot bigger deal here.")

EDIT: Is Ysoki a separate language for off-Golarion(planet) Ratfolk? Not that that is really Core Race focus, regardless.

Good point about the connection to other regions. Tien is a standard human ethnicity, having ratfolk as another connection to Tien makes sense. And the extra-planetary connection is also another nice hook. I would like to see a planet-hopping AP one of these days.

Going a bit off topic here, your mention of ports gave me a cool idea for a ratfolk trading fleet. There's a lot of mention of clans operating caravans and such, but I haven't seen anything about shipping. A sea-based clan that runs an eclectic trade-fleet could be an interesting feature in the world. I'm picturing a huge swarm of smaller vessels of varying types (and extreme modifications) that tends to rove around together from port to port, with individual vessels breaking off and returning to the main fleet regularly. I'm getting a bit of a Mass Effect Quarrian feel to it. Also the Scum from Eclipse Phase (anarchic space nomads who run a roving black market with a carnival atmosphere). Getting the Rat Fleet coming to town might be something to both dread and look forward to. They always have the weirdest selection of goods, and will buy your stranger goods as well. Could have some cool plot points with them. They could help smuggle fugitives out of a place, or provide quest information, they could hire adventurers to recover one of their vessels or find some exotic item for them. Or the PCs might have to infiltrate the fleet to get something the ratfolk have found. And if you travel with them, there's bound to be some shenanigans on the trip to add to the adventure.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I think there is just alot more opportunity for wider range of NPC interactions involving Ratfolk (positive and negative) and thus wider range of meanings being a Ratfolk can have. The fact they don't have language (and even Tien / Undercommon aren't hardwired in) actually instantly makes for alot of diversity in Ratfolk, so even not being able to speak to some other Ratfolk will be a thing. "Rats on a ship" is good trope like you mention.

I don't know if Paizo will be openly addressing the issue or confronting the specific rationales for each Core race option. Personally I think they can do everything they want to with Goblins as Bestiary race, including their "New School Goblins", and don't think this choice is about precluding that direction or lessening the iconic aspect of Paizo Goblins, whose iconicity was precisely developed while not being Core race.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Count my vote in for Ratfolk, and also for some equivalent of the Vigilante and Witch classes and the Leadership feat.

You see, I want to be able to play a Ratfolk Vigilante with a Tatterdemalion Witch cohort:

* * * * * * * * Ratman and Bobbin * * * * * * * *


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The races in the core rulebook are all classic fantasy and folklore races. That's what binds them together. Anything about ratfolk stats making them fit in stats wise doesn't change that they aren't common in classic fantasy or folklore. I like ratfolk. I like having them in the Golarion campaign world. I'd love to see them as a featured or standard race in a campaign or other rulebook, but their exclusion from the core rulebook makes more than a lot of sense in terms of theme.


Madame Endor wrote:
The races in the core rulebook are all classic fantasy and folklore races. That's what binds them together. Anything about ratfolk stats making them fit in stats wise doesn't change that they aren't common in classic fantasy or folklore. I like ratfolk. I like having them in the Golarion campaign world. I'd love to see them as a featured or standard race in a campaign or other rulebook, but their exclusion from the core rulebook makes more than a lot of sense in terms of theme.

That's largely why I want them in core. The "Classic fantasy races" thing is beyond stale to me. I love a bit of 'color'.

D&D permanently added Tieflings and Dragonborn to their core spread. I think Ratfolk are a perfect addition to Pathfinder's, thanks to how they've presented them in their lore.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

How about this spread:

Human, Elf, Dwarf (core fantasy)
Halfling, Gnome, Goblin (the short races)
Tengu, Ratfolk, [Lizardmen] (the civilized beasts)


Draco18s wrote:

How about this spread:

Human, Elf, Dwarf (core fantasy)
Halfling, Gnome, Goblin (the short races)
Tengu, Ratfolk, [Lizardmen] (the civilized beasts)

That works pretty well. Although I'm not certain about the appropriateness of Lizardmen, they're a bit more 'out-there' than the others and are more rarely found in mainstream society. I suspect that's why you have it in brackets. Perhaps Kitsune would be a better core choice? They're very popular, and more established fit into mainstream society. Although they mostly look human, so that kind of cuts into the "Civilized beasts" theme. Maybe Kobolds could take that spot, but that's also a bit of a stretch for the setting, but arguably no more so than Goblins. I have noticed a significant Kobold fan-club here, that might not represent their true popularity though. If their stats weren't as horrible as they are in PF1, then maybe they'd be more popular. Or possibly just leave that last group at just two, highlighting their uncommon nature.

But the core concept of the three categories is pretty sound. Halflings, Gnomes and Goblins are common fantasy races, but not nearly as much as the classic three of Human, Elf and Dwarf. So I also kind of see these categories as increasing in rarity. Core fantasy races are common, The Short Races are uncommon, and Civilized Beasts as (at least comparatively) rare. I didn't intend this to refer to rarity in the sense of the formalized system in the playtest, but that might work too. GMs can set the allowable rarity level for any given game.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I was not 100% sold on lizardmen, but couldn't think of a better suggestion off the top of my head while I was mobile and on garbage cellular (I actually had to type my post twice as it was!).

Kitsune: works.
Kobolds: considered them.
Just two: not against, but I do like the idea of three-threes.


Zautos' wrote:
Ratfolk is better than goblins as a core race.

Ayup, although I am looking forward to a book later that lets us play the other asain mythos races like kenku, kitsune, ratfolk and maybe others.


Sorry this is totally off topic but To Doktor Weasel about the kobold fan base thing. I’m new to the forum so didn’t know this, cool. In 3.5 they were a pretty OP race and I loved them. When I switched to PF I was sad to see them get nerfed really hard and in their place the goblin became king. Don’t get me wrong, I like goblins a lot too and am glad they made it to core. Hopefully kobolds make a comeback some day...

On another note I’m fine with the signature alchemist being a goblin but then one of the most entertaining PF characters I ever played was a goblin fire bomber. Good times.


A bit more on topic, I do enjoy various ratfolk in RPGs. I’m glad they are core in Starfinder, though my group hasn’t played it yet, and look forward to them being statted up.

I think my love of rats started with an Old World of Darkness Twitcher I played named Johnny Hot Pockets... (and yes, I did personally perform his naming ceremony, as one should.)


Raylyeh wrote:
When I switched to PF I was sad to see them get nerfed really hard

I have a kobold summoner in an (on hiatus because playtest) game. He's survived a total party wipe.

There's been literally 2 situations he's "failed" at. The first was super early when I failed a save vs. an electrical trap and took 0 damage (because I swapped natural armor for 5 electric resistance) and then got 'eaten' by an animated chest and dropped to -1 from full health (if I had taken damage from the trap, I'd have been outright dead). The second came later and failing saves against Fear.

Fear is the one thing that shuts my character down, due to how long it lasts (but the side effects get me out of combat).


Draco18s wrote:

How about this spread:

Human, Elf, Dwarf (core fantasy)
Halfling, Gnome, Goblin (the short races)
Tengu, Ratfolk, [Lizardmen] (the civilized beasts)

I would add Orcs to core fantasy.


Igor Horvat wrote:


I would add Orcs to core fantasy.

Not necessarily against it, but for the same reason Paizo didn't include (whole) orcs in the playtest, I excluded them from my suggested sampler.

Namely that orcs fall on the "typically evil" side of things and the core races are the ones that are more typically "heroes." Ratfolk might be a bit more chaotic and thieving relative to the other races (see: skaven), but I've run across more than a few more hero-type rats (just as we've run into villainous elves); i.e. as valid a choice as goblins are. The half-orc option would fill the need well enough until the Advanced Races (Featured, or whatever they call it) book, which would contain things like...

Orcs, Kobolds, Teiflings, Drow, Sylph, etc

(Most of the secondary and tertiary races listed on the pfsrd aren't ones I'm very familiar with, so I'm less able to break them into similar groupings. But a rough guide might be "three evil, three barbaric,* three uncommon")

*kobolds, lizardmen, etc

*Shrug* just my thoughts. They can't include everything in core and the playtest has more "core" races than ever before; I'd rather see a broad selection of cherry picked goodies than the previous narrow slice of "human, short human, tall human, green human." I hate playing humans.

So if the selection is going to be bigger, make use of it.


The problem is that half-elves are now defined by being able to take elf or human ancestry feats, while half-orcs can take human or... half-orc?


I agree that it is kind of odd/mismatched, but keep in mind that there are only 2 half-elf feats and 6 or 8 half-orc feats. So the half-human isn't really penalized or buffed either way.

Just different.

When Orc comes out, allow half orcs to take those feats too and print up another slew of half-elf choices (along side other half options, like the half-dwarf or half-goblin).


My opinion on this is that I really dislike Goblin as a "core ancestry", given the flavor of PF1 goblin. PF1 Goblins were/are cool, awesome and iconic, but they weren't PC material being completely psychotic little buggers! (Unless playing We Be Goblins or a similarly specialized campaign - which tend to play a lot more like Paranoia than a standard PF campaign.)

This branding problem, however, is extremely easily fixable, by simply changing the name (and some of the flavor text) - they become Kobolds, which are believable as PC's, unlike the racially psychotic goblins... Not to mention the PF2 ability adjustments look a lot more like a Kobold to me : +2 Dex -2 Wis work for both races, but Goblins are not a +2 Cha for anyone sane; whereas the draconic heritage for Kobolds makes if fit right. The racial feats need minor revisions, but mostly just reflavoring.


I can't really argue about that either.


I don't mind there being rules for goblins as a playable race. But them being a "core" race bothers me. I likely won't allow them in a "standard" game at my table. They'd be fine in a Skull & Shackles type game. I just can't see suddenly having all the shopkeepers and tavern owners selling to the goblins because now they're in the book.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Ancestries & Backgrounds / Ratfolk should be a Core Ancestry All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.