Ratfolk – A Bipedal Rodent Race (& Monster) for D&D 5th Edition



Rodents of Unusual Size


Like their overworld mountain born allies, the Ursine, these creatures are an unnatural race.  When news of powerful beastmen swept into underground kingdoms ruled by foul beings such as the deep elves, fungoloids, and other dreadfel beings; they sought their own answer.  Inspired by a clan of wererats that had infected a deep elven city before being purged by their high priests, a new race was born.  Just like their wererat inspiration, these beasts melded humanoid and rodent and were taught the ways of subterfuge and trickery.  Some were mutated by the experiments, readying them for horrific environments that would be torture to many.  After ages of being used as tools to observe the overworld, many broke free to form their own societies.  The angry deep elves were less than pleased by this idea and still vow to exterminate these “profligates” for their failure to serve.


Communal Lifestyles and Fearful Disposition


Within modern Ratfolk society, community is highly regarded.  This is due to the cramped and tight nature of warrens.  Countless clans will inhabit a warren, as resources are distributed to ensure survival of as many as possible.

Racial Traits after the jump.


Ratfolk Racial Traits for D&D 5th Edition

Ability Score Increase – Ratfolk start with a +2 bonus to Dexterity

Age – Due to their rodent heritage, they reach adulthood around 8 years old and live to around 50 at most.

Size – While a huge size for rodentkind, these creature are by no means mighty by human standards.  Ratfolk are typically small in size and stature.  However, there have been some cases where they were medium sized instead, likely from differences between breeds or perhaps even mutation.

Senses – Due to a lifestyle deep within warrens, caves and tunnels; ratfolk have developed a knack for sight in the dark.  You have Darkvision out 60 ft.

Speed – Due to their bestial body shape, walking on their hind legs proves awkward.  Also, many civilized ratfolk have grown portly due to a comfortable lifestyle.  Those who don’t live in such a way rarely consume the most healthy of foods either.  Their base speed is 25 ft.

Scurry – You can quickly scamper away from danger.  When you take the dash action, you gain an extra 10 ft. for that round.  Alternatively, you can choose to drop to all fours as a free action.  You gain a 5 ft. bonus to speed while on all fours, but take disadvantage on any attacks that aren’t your bite.  Standing up consumes half of your base speed.

Rodent Ancestry – You gain training in Animal Handling.  Once per short rest or long rest, you gain advantage when using this check with rodents.

Strong Smell – You are proficient in Perception. You also gain advantage to perception checks made to smell. Anything that would normally induce disadvantage would cancel this out. Furthermore, anything that would block your sense of smell nullifies that advantage bonus until you take a short rest or long rest.

Bite – You have piercing teeth which can deliver a nasty bite.  Your bite attack deals 1d4 piercing damage.  It uses Strength. Damage increases as you gain levels; d6 at level 6, d8 at level 12, and d10 at level 18.

Languages– You begin being able to speak (and write) in Common.  You may also communicate with rodents and ratfolk with a unique “Rodent” language.

Ratling Gun

Sub-Race – Lab Rat

Ability Score Increase – You gain a +1 to Intelligence

Tinkerer – You are adept at crafting strange little trinkets.  You gain the Tinker ability found in the Player’s Handbook (page 37), which grants proficiency in Tinker’s Tools as well as the ability to craft small clockwork devices.

Rat’s Resistance – You gain advantage saves against poison and disease, due to your time messing with potentially dangerous experiments.  You resist poison damage.  You have advantage on saves against poison.

Ratfolk 2

Sub-Race – Scavenger

Ability Score Increase – You gain a +1 to Wisdom

Sneak through Tight Space – You are able to squeeze and sometimes nibble your way through small spaces.  Given the time, you can make your way through tiny sized spaces.  (Or small sized spaces, if you are a medium ratfolk breed.)

Swarm – Ratfolk are more comfortable with allies close. When you are within 5 ft. of an ally who is not incapacitated, you gain advantage on an attack roll.



Prerequisite: Ratfolk

You have harnessed the abilities of your bloodline, scurrying through thick and thin!

  • When making a Bite attack, you may choose to use Dexterity for attack/damage instead.

In addition, you gain a boon based on your sub-race:

  • Lab-Rat: Bite attacks deal an extra 1d4 poison damage once per round and count as magical.
  • Scavenger: When scurrying on all fours, your speed increases by 10ft. instead of 5ft.  In addition, you may shrink down to tiny size. (Or small, if your base size is medium.)



Sample Ratfolk NPCs
Rat Ogre



Small ratfolk, typically neutral, sometimes neutral evil

Armor Class 12 (leather armor)

Hit Points 10 (2d8+2)

Speed 25ft.

STR 11 (+0) DEX 12 (+1) CON 12 (+1) INT 10 (+0) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 10 (+0)

Senses passive Perception 10

Languages Common, Rat

Challenge 1/8 (10 XP)


Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.

Hit: 2 (1d4+1) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target.

Hit: 2 (1d4+1) piercing damage.

Swarm.  Ratfolk are more comfortable with allies close. When you are within 5 ft. of an ally who is not incapacitated, you gain advantage on an attack roll.

These ratfolk often serve as army infantry or as minions/slaves. Few ratfolk gain the capability to excel beyond this lowly status.  It is presumed these are civilian soldiers and servants made to defend on the spot.


Plague Fiend

Medium ratfolk, usually chaotic neutral; sometimes chaotic evil

Armor Class 13 (leather armor)

Hit Points 16 (3d8 + 3)

Speed 30ft.

STR ll (+0) DEX 14 (+2) CON 12 (+1) INT l6 (+3) WIS l3 (+1) CHA 11 (+0)

Skills Arcana +7, Perception +5, Stealth +6, Survival +5

Senses passive Perception 15

Immunity – Poison; Poisoned Condition, Diseases

Languages Common, Ratfolk

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)

Alchemist’s Wrath (Recharge 4-6) As a bonus action, you can utilize your arsenal of potions to create a fantastic effect.  Drinking a new potion will end a previous effect.  Choose 1 effect:

  • Your Strength increases to 18 until your next round;
  • You create a 10 ft. burst 2d4+Int poison-damage cloud attack within 30 ft.(Spellcasting modifier/Intelligence for attack roll);
  • Create a 20 ft burst smokescreen around yourself, impairing everyone else’s vision for 1 round.;
  • Use a bonus action to gain an extra movement until the start of your next turn.;
  • Heal for 1d4+2 hit points.;
  • Their AC temporarily increases by 2 until the start of their next round.


Shortsword. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6+2) piercing damage.

Nasty alchemists with a knack for crafting poison and disease. Rumors tell that they’re also devoted to various evil Gods.  No matter the truth, their potions prove to be a deadly weapon in combat.


Rat Ogre

Large giant (ratfolk), chaotic evil

Armor Class 11 (hide armor)

Hit Points 59 (7d10 + 21)

Speed 40ft.

STR 19 (+4) DEX 8 (- 1) CON 16 (+3) INT 5 (-3) WIS 7 (- 2) CHA 7 (-2)

Senses darkvision 60ft., passive Perception 8

Languages Common, Giant, Ratfolk

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.

Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack +6 to hit, reach 5 ft. one target, Hit 9 (1d8+4) piercing damage.

A disturbing experiment that looks like a crossbreed of ratfolk and ogre. These horrid brutes are just as violent as their gigantic ancestors, with the devotion to their warren of their rat brethren.


Pieter “Pipsqueak” Zulkirovich; Roguish Illusionist

Small ratfolk, Lawful Evil
Armor Class 13 (16 with mage armor)
Hit Points 53 (10d8+7) Speed 30ft.
STR 9 (-1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 12 (+1) INT 17 (+3) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 11 (+0)
Saving Throws lnt +6, Wis +4
Skills Arcana +6, History +6
Senses passive Perception 11

Resistances – Poison damage
Languages Common, Infernal, Abyssal, Elemental, Ratfolk
Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Spellcasting. Pieter is a 9th-level spellcaster. Its
spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 14, +6 to
hit with spell attacks). Pieter has the following wizard
spells prepared :
Cantrips (at will): Friends, Minor Illusion, Prestidigitation, True Strike
1st level (4 slots): Charm Person, Disguise Self, Magic Missile, Shield
2nd level (3 slots): Alter Self, Invisibility, Misty Step
3rd level (3 slots): Animate Dead, Haste, Major Image
4th level (3 slots): Confusion, Greater Invisibility, Phantasmal Killer
5th level (1 slot): Mislead

Sneak Attack – Pieter deals an extra 7 (2d6) damage when it hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll , or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of Pieter that isn’t incapacitated and Pieter doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Cunning Action – Can use a bonus action to Dash, Disengage, or Hide.

Hazard Resistance – Advantage on saves v. Poisoned and Disease

Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. or
range 20f, 60 ft. , one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

Short Sword. Melee: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 3) piercing damage.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

A particularly twisted mage. Few know the origin of his name beyond tales of a Red Wizard of Thay who experimented on animals. One of his subjects, Pieter, later turned into a fanatical devotee in return for his new found sentience. He holds the Red Wizards in high regard, even if his travels have taken him beyond Abeir-Toril.
Machine Parts
Solomon Mordecai

Created by Doctor Necrotic for Doctor Necrotic Media.  Inspired by the Ratfolk from Paizo’s Pathfinder and Skaven from Games Workshop’s Warhammer Fantasy.


5 thoughts on “Ratfolk – A Bipedal Rodent Race (& Monster) for D&D 5th Edition

    • I’ve pondered creating a rabbit race, let alone a whole Redwall-esque ensemble. Granted, I’ve been devoting my time to planar/sci-fi/horror stuff, as that’s what I prefer to do. I might craft more beastly races when I jump to my next theme, Fae.


      • Good idea, in the one idea I have for a kind of ray gun gothic spelljammer I am going to bringing in a lot of monsters from pathfinder to give it that lovecraft feeling. I was less than impressed with some aspects of Dragonstar back in 3E but the idea of making illithids this master race of alien adversaries was brilliant in my estimation. All the animal races here are on my radar as potential PC races in that respect. But I also like to combine sci-fi; horror and fantasy as much as possible.


  1. Pingback: Iron Gods: Session summaries and some adaptations | Dungeon Hacking

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