Ratfolk, Variant (5e Race)

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Ratfolk are small, rodent-like 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[edit]

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, which they often use as pack animals and mounts.

Ratfolk adore shiny jewelry made of brass and gold,
and will frequently adorn themselves with it.


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.

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.

Ratfolk Names[edit]

Ratfolk will often use names of whatever society they live closest too, but large warrens that develop their own culture or have strong ties to previous warrens will more often use their own naming conventions.

Male: Agiz, Brihz, Djir, Ninnec, Rerdahl, Rikkan, Skivven, Tamoq.

Female: Bessel, Fhar, Jix, Kitch, Kubi, Nehm, Rissi, Thikka.

Ratfolk Traits[edit]

Short, scrawny humanoids with ratlike physical features.
Ability Score Increase. Ratfolk are short and scrawny, allowing for natural flexibility. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Ratfolk reach maturity around 12 years of age, and can live to be around 60.
Alignment. 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. Most ratfolk are neutral.
Size. Ratfolk are typically around 4 feet tall and weigh around 80 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Rodent Empathy. You have advantage on Wisdom (Animal Handling) checks when dealing with any kind of rodent.
Cornered Beast. When your hit points are less than half your hit point maximum, and you do not have a conscious ally within 30 feet, you deal additional damage on your first attack roll each turn equal to your proficiency bonus.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Undercommon.
Subrace. Ratfolk are divided into two main types, Streetrats and Labrats.

Streetrat Ratfolk[edit]

Despite their name, Streetrats aren't specifically street urchins. They're the more common variety of Ratfolk, notable for having solid-colored fur. Energetic and personable, they're well-traveled merchants at their core.
Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 1.
Tinkerer. You have proficiency with tinker's tools. You can spend 8 hours and 25 gp in materials to construct a handheld Autodrill. As an action, you can use the drill to tunnel through earth, but not sand or solid rock, at a speed of 5 feet at the end of each of your turns, leaving behind a tunnel of your size.
Market Dweller. Born to trade, you've lived your life among the market stalls of your home warren and nearby cities, and in the trade caravans that travel between. You have advantage on all Charisma (Persuasion) and Charisma (Deception) made to barter and sell goods.

Labrat Ratfolk[edit]

Labrats are easily identifiable by their varied, mottled coats. They have a greater propensity for intelligent pursuits than trade-related ones, but many of their creations can be sold at the right market.
Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Poison Resistance. Your exposure to alchemy's unstable reagents has granted you some level of natural resistance to poisons. You have resistance to poison damage.
Chemist. You have proficiency with artisan's tools (alchemist's supplies). You can spend 1 hour and 5 gp to create simple alchemical items. You can create:

  • Glue: An adhesive liquid that takes one minute to dry. The items to be bonded must remain in contact during that time. You create 1d6+4 ounces at once, one ounce covers one square foot of surface, and is strong enough to hold five pounds. A DC 10 Strength check can separate anything held by this glue.
  • Bioluminescent Goo: A glowing viscous gel held in a glass vial. Shaking the vial causes the contents to mix and react, shedding bright light in a 5 foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. This lasts an hour before the mixture separates and becomes unusable. The mixture can be used to create glowing writing that lasts one hour. The writing is still visible after an hour, but cannot be caused to glow again without re-application.
  • Funny Putty: A stretchy gel-like putty that never dries out. It sticks to surfaces, but can't adhere anything. It makes odd noises when pressed together.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

3′ 6″ +2d4 60 lb. × (2d4) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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