Thursday, May 12, 2016

Fantasy Race: Ratfolk

When I originally began writing fantasy material like the Borderlands, I, like others before me had been enamored with using Goblins in some capacity besides being a fodder race. However as I've been continuing to write in the genre of fantasy gaming, a feeling of ambivalence has come over me towards Goblins. A sort of over-saturation of a new trope where Goblins are that small cast-off race. That's fine, and there are certainly settings I don't mind seeing Goblins in. But now I have a new race in mind to use in place of the Greenskin, bat-eared ones. That is Ratfolk.

Ratfolk Alchemist

Brief: Ratfolk are bipedal humanoid-rodent hybrid that are known to dwell in settings ranging from semi-underground warrens or along riverbanks. They are known for being a communal race, especially in cities where they can take over an entire quarter and turn it into their own. Ratfolk's fur ranges in shades of black, grey, white with brown being one of the few "colors" of the race. Their eyes are typically black, dark brown, with the occasional red eyes. Their noses are typically a pinkish color. They are known for their sharp claws and sharp senses.

Stats (By Game System)

1974 Style

-Claw (1d4)


-Small (Gain Advantage on checks such as Stealth or Escape Artist. Gain Disadvantage when trying actions that require Pure Strength)


Restrictions: Ratfolk roll a maximum of a d6, regardless of class due to size and are unable to properly use large weapons (such as a majority of polearms) they take a -4 attack when using ill-sized weapons. Ratfolk are typically Fighters, Thieves, Fighter-Thieves, Druids, and Magic-Users.

Special Abilities: Ratfolk have Infravision that allows them to see in the dark. Their sharp senses such as smell and hearing reduces Surprise chance by -1 (to a minimum of 1-in-6 on a d6). Their claws give them an attack that deals 1d4 points of damage. They are never truly considered unarmed because of their claws. Against man-size or larger characters they gain +1 Armor Class.

Saving Throw Adjustments: +4 Save vs. Death Ray and Poison, +3 vs. Dragon's Breath.

Thief % Adjustments: +10% Climbing, +5% Move Silently

QAGS (Core Version)

+1 Body, -1 Nerve. Gain a claw attack that has a ODF of +2 (+1 Small, +1 Sharp).

Automatic Skills: +1 Climb, +1 Notice

-Should resist Poisons. This could be considered always a Job trait regardless of Job or just a Bonus on the roll vs. Poison.

Mini Six

Attribute Dice: 12D
Skill Dice: 6D
Perks: Climbing, Natural Weapon (1)
Complications: Small

Might: 1D / 3D+1
Agility: 2D / 5D+2
Wit: 1D / 4D
Charm: 1D / 4D

Climbing: Automatically gain specialization to Climbing (Agility). If the character fails a Climbing roll, the character gains an automatic re-roll to regain balance.

Natural Weaponry (Claws): Add +3 to Brawling checks made to fight and +3 to physical damage made with brawling.

Small (Perk / Complication): A small character gains +1D Stealth and +1D (+3) to Dodging attacks made vs. man-size or larger creatures. The Drawbacks to their size is their small frames give them a -5 penalty on Might based skill checks, Might based damage rolls, plus Block and Parry. This -5 does not apply to Stamina, healing, or resisting damage. Furthermore, these penalties do not apply when a Small creature fights a Small or Tiny sized creature.


  1. Very cool concept, I'll take it!

  2. Some of my favorite characters have been ratfolk or other rodentoids. It is fun to see this take on them. letting them be fill-ins for goblins is an interesting idea, too.