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Ratfolk are small, rodentlike humanoids; originally native to subterranean areas in dry deserts and plains, they are now more often found in nomadic trading caravans. Much like the pack rats they resemble, ratfolk are tinkerers and hoarders by nature, and as a whole are masters of commerce, especially when it comes to acquiring and repairing mechanical or magical devices. Though some are shrewd merchants who carefully navigate the shifting alliances of black markets and bazaars, many ratfolk love their stockpiles of interesting items far more than money, and would rather trade for more such prizes to add to their hoards over mere coins. It's common to see a successful crew of ratfolk traders rolling out of town with an even larger bundle than they entered with, the whole mess piled precariously high on a cart drawn by giant rats.
Physical Description: Typical ratfolk are average 4 feet tall and weigh 80 pounds. They often wear robes to stay cool in the desert or conceal their forms in cities, as they know other humanoids find their rodent features distasteful. Ratfolk have a strong attraction to shiny jewelry, especially copper, bronze, and gold, and many decorate their ears and tails with small rings made of such metals. They are known to train giant rats (dire rats with the giant creature simple template), which they often use as pack animals and mounts.
Society: Ratfolk are extremely communal, and live in large warrens with plenty of hidden crannies in which to stash their hoards or flee in times of danger, gravitating toward subterranean tunnels or tightly packed tenements in city slums. They feel an intense bond with their large families and kin networks, as well as with ordinary rodents of all sorts, living in chaotic harmony and fighting fiercely to defend each other when threatened. They are quick to use their stockpiles of gear in combat, but prefer to work out differences and settle disputes with mutually beneficial trades.
When a specific ratfolk warren grows overcrowded and the surrounding environment won't support a larger community, young ratfolk instinctively seek out new places in which to dwell. If a large enough group of ratfolk immigrants all settle down in a new, fertile area, they may create a new warren, often with strong political ties to their original homeland. Otherwise, individual ratfolk are inclined to simply leave home and take up residence elsewhere, or wander on caravan trips that last most of the year, reducing the pressure of overcrowding at home.
Relations: Ratfolk tend to get along quite well with humans, and often develop ratfolk societies dwelling in the sewers, alleys, and shadows of human cities. Ratfolk find dwarves too hidebound and territorial, and often mistake even mild criticisms from dwarves as personal attacks. Ratfolk have no particular feelings about gnomes and halflings, although in areas where those races and ratfolk must compete for resources, clan warfare can become dogma for generations. Ratfolk enjoy the company of elves and half-elves, often seeing them as the calmest and most sane of the civilized humanoid races. Ratfolk are particularly fond of elven music and art, and many ratfolk warrens are decorated with elven art pieces acquired through generations of friendly trade.
Alignment and Religion: Ratfolk individuals are driven by a desire to acquire interesting items and a compulsion to tinker with complex objects. The strong ties of ratfolk communities give them an appreciation for the benefits of an orderly society, even if they are willing to bend those rules when excited about accomplishing their individual goals.
Adventurers: Ratfolk are often driven by a desire to seek out new opportunities for trade, both for themselves and for their warrens. Ratfolk adventurers may seek potential markets for their clan's goods, keep an eye out for sources of new commodities, or just wander about in hopes of unearthing enough treasure to fund less dangerous business ventures. Ratfolk battles are often decided by cunning traps, ambushes, or sabotage of enemy positions, and accordingly young ratfolk heroes often take up classes such as alchemist, gunslinger, and rogue.
Male Names: Agiz, Brihz, Djir, Ninnec, Rerdahl, Rikkan, Skivven, Tamoq.
Female Names: Bessel, Fhar, Jix, Kitch, Kubi, Nehm, Rissi, Thikka.
Ratfolk Racial Traits
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, –2 Strength: Ratfolk are agile and clever, yet physically weak.
Ratfolk: Ratfolk are humanoids with the ratfolk subtype.
Small: Ratfolk are Small and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty on combat maneuver checks and to their CMD, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
Slow Speed: Ratfolk have a base speed of 20 feet.
Darkvision: Ratfolk can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Rodent Empathy: Ratfolk gain a +4 racial bonus on Handle Animal checks made to influence rodents.
Swarming: Ratfolk are used to living and fighting communally, and are adept at swarming foes for their own gain and their foes' detriment. Up to two ratfolk can share the same square at the same time. If two ratfolk in the same square attack the same foe, they are considered to be flanking that foe as if they were in two opposite squares.
Languages: Ratfolk begin play speaking Common. Ratfolk with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aklo, Draconic, Dwarven, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc, and Undercommon.
Alternate Racial Traits
The following racial traits may be selected instead of existing ratfolk racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.
Cornered Fury: Ratfolk can fight viciously when cut off from friends and allies. Whenever a ratfolk with this racial trait is reduced to half or fewer of his hit points, and has no conscious ally within 30 feet, he gains a +2 racial bonus on melee attack rolls and to Armor Class. This racial trait replaces swarming.
Scent: Some ratfolk have much more strongly developed senses of smell, instead of keen eyes and ears. These ratfolk have the scent ability, but take a –2 penalty on all Perception checks based primarily on sight or hearing. This racial trait replaces tinker.
Skulk: Some ratfolk can blend easily into their environments, and move with surprising grace. Ratfolk gain a +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks, and take only a –5 penalty on Stealth checks made to hide from creatures they have distracted with a Bluff check (rather than the normal –10 penalty). This racial trait replaces tinker.
Unnatural: Some ratfolk unnerve normal animals, and train to defend themselves against the inevitable attacks from such creatures. These ratfolk take a –4 penalty on all Charisma-based skill checks to affect creatures of the animal type, and receive a +2 dodge bonus to AC against animals. An animal's starting attitude toward ratfolk is one step worse than normal. This racial trait replaces rodent empathy.
Favored Class Options
The following options are available to all ratfolk who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the class reward.
Alchemist: The alchemist gains +1/6 of a new discovery.
Barbarian: When raging, add +1/4 to the barbarian's swarming trait's flanking bonus on attack rolls.
Druid: Add a +1 bonus on wild empathy checks made to influence animals and magical beasts that live underground.
Fighter: Add +1 to the fighter's CMD when resisting a bull rush or grapple attempt.
Gunslinger: Add a +1/2 bonus on initiative checks when the gunslinger has at least 1 grit point.
Monk: Add +1 feet to the speed the monk can move while making a Stealth check without taking a penalty. This has no effect unless the monk has selected this reward five times (or another increment of five). This does not allow the monk to use Stealth while running or charging.
Ranger: Add +1 to an animal companion's CMD when adjacent to the ranger. If the ranger ever replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains this bonus.
Rogue: Add a +1/2 bonus on Escape Artist checks.
Summoner: Add a +1 bonus on saving throws against poison made by the summoner's eidolon.
Witch: Add +5 feet to the range of one hex with a range other than "touch."
The following racial archetypes are available to ratfolk.
Gulch Gunner (Gunslinger)
Ratfolk warfare often occurs in cramped, claustrophobic spaces such as the ratfolk's own underground warrens and heavily trapped gulch fortresses, or the subterranean tunnels of goblins and similar foes. Since these battlegrounds often have tight corners and few areas with long lines of sight, those ratfolk who seek to master the use of firearms almost inevitably become experts in close-quarters combat. These gulch gunners often specialize in proficiency with a single pistol (easily handled in tight spaces) and wander from warren to warren selling their tunnel-shooting skills to the highest bidder. A gulch gunner has the following class features.
Grit (Ex): At 1st level, a gulch gunner gains grit as a standard gunslinger. However, the close-combat focus of the gulch gunner results in a slightly different set of circumstances for regaining grit.
Daring Adjacent Shot: The first time each round the gulch gunner makes a ranged firearm attack against an adjacent foe and provokes an attack of opportunity, she regains 1 grit point. Making an adjacent firearm attack against a helpless or unaware creature or on a creature that has fewer Hit Dice than half the gulch gunner's character level does not restore grit, nor do ranged attacks using some ability that prevents the gulch gunner from provoking an attack of opportunity. This ability replaces the ability to regain grit from a critical hit with a firearm.
Deeds: A gulch gunner has some unique deeds, which replace some of the standard gunslinger deeds as listed in each entry. These deeds follow all the general rules and restrictions of gunslinger deeds.
Flash and Shock (Ex): At 1st level, the gulch gunner can take advantage of the flash and sound of a firearm to throw off an attacker's aim at close range. When she makes an attack against a foe within her firearm's first range increment, she may spend 1 grit point to gain a +4 circumstance bonus to AC against that opponent until the beginning of her next turn. She can only perform this deed while wearing medium, light, or no armor, and while carrying no more than a light load. This deed replaces the deadeye deed.
Powder Burns (Ex): At 3rd level, the gulch gunner learns to maximize the damage dealt by a firearm at extremely close range. When the gulch gunner successfully hits an adjacent foe with a ranged firearm attack, she may spend 1 grit point to deal an additional 1d6 points of fire damage from the muzzle flash of her weapon. The target must also make a Reflex save (DC 10 + 1/2 the gulch gunner's level + the gulch gunner's Wisdom modifier) or catch on fire. This deed replaces the pistol whip deed.
Staggering Shot (Ex): At 15th level, when the gulch gunner hits an adjacent target with a ranged firearm attack, the target must also make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the gulch gunner's level + the gulch gunner's Wisdom modifier) or be staggered for 1d4 rounds. This deed replaces the menacing shot deed.
Belly Shot (Ex): At 9th level, a gulch gunner can press her firearm directly against a vulnerable location of an adjacent target, dealing additional damage. When the gulch gunner successfully hits an adjacent target with a ranged firearm attack, she deals +1d6 points of damage. This damage increases to +2d6 at 13th level and to +3d6 at 17th level. Creatures immune to precision damage, critical hits, or sneak attacks do not take this additional damage. This ability replaces the gun training ability gained at 9th, 13th, and 17th level.
Plague Bringer (Alchemist)
The plague bringer sees disease as the ultimate weapon, and has worked tirelessly to master new diseases and disease-delivery systems. A plague bringer feels no more remorse at unleashing his armaments on his enemies than an archer does when firing an arrow in the heat of battle. Disease is a tool, and the plague bringer is its master. A plague bringer has the following class features.
Plague Vial (Su): At 1st level, a plague bringer can create a plague vial, an alchemically grown and concentrated disease sample. It takes 1 hour to prepare a plague vial, and once prepared, the vial remains potent until used. A plague bringer can only maintain 1 plague vial at a time—if he prepares a second vial, any existing plague vial becomes inert. A plague vial that is not in a plague bringer's possession becomes inert until a plague bringer picks it up again.
It's a standard action to drink a plague vial. Upon being imbibed, the plague vial infects the plague bringer's blood, sweat, tears, and other bodily fluids for 10 minutes per class level. Any creature that harms him with melee attacks (except with reach weapons) must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 the plague bringer's level + the plague bringer's Intelligence modifier) or become sickened for 1 round per plague bringer level. The plague bringer is immune to the effect of his own plague vial, but not that of another's plague vial. The effects of multiple plague vials do not stack.
As a standard action, the plague bringer can infect a weapon with this sickness (typically by licking it or wiping his blood or pus on it). The disease on the weapon works like a poisoned weapon, except the source is a disease instead of a poison (so a dwarf's resistance to poison does not apply).
Anyone other than a plague bringer (including another alchemist) who drinks a plague vial must make a saving throw against the vial's DC or become nauseated for 1 hour. Unless he learns how to brew a mutagen by taking the mutagen discovery , he can never benefit from a mutagen and reacts to it as if he were a non-alchemist. At any particular time, a plague bringer can only be under the effect of either a plague vial or a mutagen (not both); drinking another immediately ends the effects of any ongoing plague vial or mutagen.
All limitations to mutagens apply to plague vials as if they were the same substance. The infuse mutagen discovery and persistent mutagen class ability apply to plague vials. The sticky poison discovery applies to a weapon infected with a plague vial. The plague vial is a disease effect. This ability replaces mutagen.
Disease Resistance (Ex): At 2nd level, a plague bringer gains a +2 bonus on all saving throws against disease. This bonus increases to +4 at 5th level, and to +6 at 8th level. At 10th level, a plague bringer becomes completely immune to disease (including magical diseases). This ability replaces all increments of poison resistance and poison immunity.
Discoveries: The following discoveries complement the plague bringer archetype: explosive bomb, precise bombs, smoke bomb breath weapon bomb, fast bomb, nauseating bomb ; plague bomb.
The following new discoveries can be taken by any alchemist who meets the prerequisites, but are more common among ratfolk.
Greater Plague Bomb: The effects of the smoke created by an alchemist's bomb duplicates the effects of greater contagion instead of fog cloud, filling an area equal to twice the bomb's splash radius for 1 round per level. An alchemist must be at least 16th level and must possess the plague bomb and smoke bomb discoveries before selecting this discovery.
Lingering Plague: Any creature that must make a save against a disease caused by the alchemist's extract or other class ability must make a second save 1 round later to avoid doubling the duration of the disease effect. If the disease doesn't have a duration, this discovery reduces its onset time and frequencies by half. An alchemist must be at least 8th level before selecting this discovery.
New Racial Rules
The following options are available to ratfolk. At the GM's discretion, other appropriate races may make use of some of these new rules.
Ratfolk have access to the following equipment.
Blight Tonic: Blight tonic increases the potency of a creature's disease attack transmitted by physical contact, such as a dire rat's filth fever. The next time a creature must save against the drinker's disease save DC, the DC for the initial infection increases by +2. The tonic lasts for 10 minutes or until the next time a creature must save against the drinker's disease DC, whichever comes first.
Pox Burster: A pox burster is an alchemically preserved animal bladder or gourd that has been filled with toxic, rotting materials. You can throw a pox burster as a splash weapon. Treat this attack as a ranged touch attack with a range increment of 10 feet. A direct hit forces a target to immediately make a DC 13 Fortitude save or contract filth fever. Every space adjacent to the target square of the pox burster is covered in disease-causing filth. For the next minute, any creature that is injured while in one of these spaces must also make a DC 9 Fortitude save or contract filth fever.
Stink Ink: Stink ink is a special, pungent, musk-based ink that allows its user to encode information with smell rather than visually. Stink ink dries clear but its sharp, extremely localized smell can be picked out by those with sensitive enough noses to make it possible to read by sense of smell. Only creatures with the keen senses trait or scent ability can read stink ink without aid of some form of magic. Reading or writing something with stink ink takes twice as long as going through the same amount of information written in normal ink.
Stink Ink, Arcane: Most common among ratfolk alchemists, arcane stink ink is used to inscribe formulae or spells into formula books and spellbooks. Like normal stink ink, the arcane version can only be read by creatures with the scent ability (although read magic works normally on spells and arcane formulae inscribed with stink ink). Using arcane stink ink to inscribe a spell or formula into a book costs +10% of the normal amount .
Tailblade: A tailblade is a small, sharp knife designed to be strapped to the tip of a wielder's tail. It takes a full-round action to strap on or remove a tailblade. The wearer can loosely attach the tailblade (without strapping it securely in place) as a move action, but using a loosely attached tailblade gives the wielder a –4 penalty on all attack rolls made with the weapon, and other creatures get a +4 bonus on disarm combat maneuver checks to disarm the tailblade. A ratfolk wielding a tailblade can make a tail attack, adding its Strength modifier to the tailblade's damage. Ratfolk are considered proficient with such attacks and can apply feats or effects appropriate to natural attacks to tail attacks made with a tailblade. If used as part of a full attack action, attacks with a tailblade are considered secondary attacks.
|Blight tonic||150 gp||1 lb.||20|
|Pox burster||50 gp||1 lb.||20|
|Stink ink||5 gp||1 lb.||15|
|Stink ink, arcane||special||1 lb.||—|
|Martial Weapons||Cost||Dmg (S)||Dmg (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type||Special|
|Light Melee Weapons|
|Tailblade||11 gp||1d2||1d3||20/×2||—||1/2 lb.||S||—|
Ratfolk have access to the following feats.
You have teeth and claws that suit you well to digging.
Prerequisites: Sharpclaw, Tunnel Rat, ratfolk.
Benefit: You gain a burrow speed equal to 1/2 your base speed. You can burrow through sand, dirt, clay, gravel, or similar materials, but not solid stone. You do not leave a hole behind, nor is your passage marked on the surface.
Your nails are large and strong.
Benefit: You gain two claw attacks. These are primary natural attacks that deal 1d4 points of damage.
You are a master of fighting in confined spaces.
Prerequisites: Ratfolk, swarming racial trait.
Benefit: You count as one size smaller than normal for the purpose of squeezing.
Ratfolk Magic Items
Ratfolk have access to the following magic items.
Cap of Human Guise
Aura faint illusion; CL 3rd
Slot head; Price 800 gp; Weight —
This threadbare hat allows its wearer to alter her appearance as with a disguise self spell, except she can only appear as a plainly dressed Small human child, adult halfling, or adult gnome, such as a peasant, blacksmith, or shopkeeper. The wearer can slightly alter the cap's appearance as part of the disguise, but otherwise must match the overall unremarkable look of the illusory form.
Cloak of the Scuttling Rat
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot shoulders; Price 6,000 gp; Weight 1 lb.
This unassuming cloak initially appears to be made of plain leather. When the wearer speaks the command word, however, the cloak of the scuttling rat wraps itself around the individual, transforming her into a dire rat as if using beast shape I. The wearer can remain in dire rat form for up to 5 minutes per day. This duration need not be consecutive, but it must be used in 1-minute increments.
Pipes of the Warren Guardian
Aura faint conjuration; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 6,000 gp; Weight —
These finely crafted yellow-ivory pipes are bound in bronze and decorated with bits of amber. If the possessor learns the proper tune, once per day he can use these pipes to summon 1d4+1 dire rats as if using summon monster III. The summoned dire rats also have the swarming racial trait, and count as ratfolk for the purposes of the ratfolk's swarming racial trait.
Ring of Rat Fangs
Aura faint transmutation; CL 3rd
Slot ring; Price 5,000 gp; Weight —
This bone ring is the shape of an elongated rat biting its own tail. The wearer gains a bite attack as a primary natural attack. This attack deals 1d4 points of piercing damage for a Medium wearer or 1d3 points of damage for a Small wearer. After about a week of wearing the ring, the wearer's appearance becomes more ratlike, though she still looks like a member of her original race (for example, a human might gain prominent teeth).
Ring of Swarming Stabs
Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot ring; Price 6,000 gp; Weight —
This ring is crafted of hardened leather strips, into which bits of fur, feathers, bone, and ivory have been woven. Twice per day, when the wearer is flanking an opponent, he can as a swift action deal an additional 1d6 points of damage on a successful melee attack against that opponent. This is a sneak attack for any effects that reduce or negate such damage.
Ratfolk have access to the following spells.
School transmutation; Level cleric 2, sorcerer/wizard 1, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Target firearm or alchemical item touched
Duration 1 minute/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (object); Spell Resistance yes
You transform one alchemical item or firearm into another alchemical item or firearm of the same or lesser cost. Magic items are unaffected by this spell. At the end of the spell's duration, alchemical items used while transformed are destroyed and do not return to a usable state and firearms transformed revert back to their original type.
School conjuration (healing); Level alchemist 2, cleric 2, druid 2, inquisitor 2, paladin 2, ranger 2, witch 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, DF
Target creature touched
Duration 1 day
Saving Throw Fortitude negates (harmless); Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
The target becomes temporarily immune to disease. Any disease to which it is exposed during the spell's duration does not affect the target until the spell's duration has expired. If the target is currently infected with a disease, you must make a caster level check against the disease's DC to suspend it for the duration of the spell; otherwise, that disease affects the target normally. Delay disease does not cure any damage a disease may have already done.
School transmutation [disease]; Level alchemist 2, antipaladin 2, druid 2, magus 3, ranger 4, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Duration 1 round/level
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; see text; Spell Resistance yes
You are imbued with disease, and any creature you strike with a melee attack must make a Fortitude save or be sickened for 1 minute. Creatures that are immune to disease are immune to this sickened effect.