Ratfolk (4e Race)

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Austin_Rat Character Concept by Chocobochic, on Flickr

Silent and lethal, nothing slows down those born in the shadows.

Racial Traits
Average Height: 5'3"-5'9"
Average Weight: 110-150 lbs.
Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity; +2 Wisdom or Charisma
Size: Medium
Speed: 7 squares
Vision: Low-Light
Languages: Common, choice of one other
Skill Bonuses: +2 Perception, +2 Stealth
Nezumi Footwork: You gain a +1 racial bonus to AC and Reflex against area and ranged attacks.
Wild Step: You may ignore difficult terrain when you shift.
Shadow Blend: You hide in the shadows more effectively than most. If you have cover or concealment against an attack, that attack has an additional -1 penalty (-3 for cover or concealment, -6 for superior cover or total concealment). Add 2 to the attack penalty at 21st level.

Born on the streets, ratfolk are accustomed to tough lives. They are typically born of a low standing and are forced to carve a difficult life in the underground. However, they have a gift for shrouding themselves in shadow, and any ratfolk with the will to become greater than themselves will always find a life away from the streets they once stalked the shadows and picked pockets in.

Play a ratfolk if you want...

  • To blend into the shadows
  • To have a larcenous or murderous streak
  • To be a member of a race that favors the assassin, monk, ranger, or rogue classes.

Physical Qualities[edit]

Ratfolk are rat/human hybrids. Short and lanky, ratfolk average only 5'6" in height and weigh around 130 pounds. Though not very strong, they are exceptionally quick, and their ability to blend effectively into the darkness makes the ratfolk a difficult race to find.

Ratfolk generally have rat-like faces, bearing an elongated skull and larger-than-average ears. They typically sport thin brown or black fur on their bodies, with the same color for hair. This hair allows them to blend into dark environments more effectively. As they grow older, this fur begins to gray.

Ratfolk live very long lives, rivaling even the elves. They do not mature as quickly, reaching full adulthood at around age 20, but they usually do not begin feeling the effects of old age until around age 200, and even then, these effects are minimal at best. Most ratfolk live to age 220, with a select few reaching 240 years.

Playing a Ratfolk[edit]

To be a ratfolk is to forever lurk in darkness. Ratfolk eat, sleep, and breathe the shadows. In a way, this could not more accurate describe the typical ratfolk. Quiet, mysterious, pragmatic, all of these qualities perfectly describe them, and despite a desire for people to look at them differently, they usually do not make illusions of who they are and where they came from, an aspect of their lives they look at with delightful irony.

Though not privy to social interaction, ratfolk have been known to display an impressive skill for entertaining others with their nimble fingers. Though they may appear indifferent or unconcerned with the outside world (and sometimes, this is true), ratfolk are always on their guard. Superstitious people often comment that ratfolk are never far from a shadow to disappear into.

Ratfolk are somewhat odd in the races they mingle with. They find surprisingly good company in tieflings. Since both races are largely shunned by society, they have no difficulty finding common ground with each other. Ratfolk mingle little with humans, but harbor them no ill will. They enjoy the company of halflings, but sometimes loathe their carefree and lackadaisical nature.

Ratfolk Characteristics: Agile, cold, cynical, dark, dedicated, humble, larcenous, perceptive, polite, pragmatic, quiet, reserved, silent, stern, suspicious

Male Names: Typically human names, as well as Nezumi, Fang, Claw, Knife, Kuro

Female Names: Human names, as well as Talon, Prey, Fran, Mouse

Ratfolk Adventurers[edit]

Three sample ratfolk adventurers are described below.

Fang is a rat-man rogue originally from the merchant city of Vendo. A man of few words, Fang grew up in the underworld, forced to the life of a street urchin and a pickpocket. One day, he snuck a pouch of a lieutenant of a local thieves’ guild, and his life changed. Now fully grown, Fang wishes to leave the thieves’ guild and strike out on his own.

Talon is a rat-woman assassin who lives in a monastery dedicated to K’tan. Persecuted for her race, she prefers to wear a mask at all times, to allow others to see her for what she is on the inside rather than the outside. Accepted by the other priests of K’tan despite their knowledge of her race and profession, Talon wonders if the time has come to stop hiding herself from the world. Her job leads to bloodshed, and she wishes to use her skills for pursuits other than killing.

Kuro is a rat-man sorcerer from Misticris, the City of Mist. Shunned by the nearby towns and cities, Kuro prefers to carve out a life for himself in the wild, a place that holds no bias or prejudice, and where he can live in relative peace. He has established good relations with the halflings and helps them when needed. When reports of orcs making more daring raids in the mainland prove true, Kuro must decide if he will join them against the pirates or go his own way.

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