Ratfolk make up sizeable, secret populations of some of the grandest cities. Those coming from the ‘wilds’ beneath the surface tend to be a more feral and savage bunch that bears little in common with their urbanite king other than general form. Despite these differences, many are prejudiced against the ratfolk and blame them for wererat attacks, plagues, and crimes.

Inhuman Form

Ratfolk have slightly hunched bodies that have a general humanoid form but whose features are distinctly rodent like. Their heads have long whiskered muzzles that sport a pair of sharp incisors, large round ears, and small beady eyes. Most of their bodies are covered in short fur that ranges from white to black, with browns and reddish-browns being the most common. They have very human like hands, but their feet are more paw like than foot like. Their tails are usually hairless and very flexible. This appearance is close enough to the hybrid form of wererats that many confuse ratfolk for the former.

Rapid Growth

Ratfolk grow to adulthood quickly, breed wildly, and produce twins and triplets with a far greater frequency than humans. Their populations tend to grow as rapidly as their bodies, reaching unsustainable numbers in a few decades. When the crowding and competition for resources becomes too great, wild ratfolk tribes invade their neighbors. If they win they have expanded their living space and resources, if they fail their numbers are reduced. Urban ratfolk simply send their excess youths to another part of town or a different city, and ratfolk enclaves tend to sprout up along trade routes.

Wild Tribes

The wild ratfolk tribes live in subterranean warrens beneath many of the major mountain ranges of the Lost Lands. There they battle with dwarves, gnomes, goblins, and other subterranean races, often living in a state of perpetual warfare. Their numbers are so great and replenish themselves so quickly that a wild tribe is difficult to destroy. This is especially problematic for the dwarves and gnomes neighboring wild trine warrens for their own populations grow so slowly.

Gutter Dwellers

The urban ratfolk clans tend to be smaller than their wild brethren. They do not war with their neighbors, even though they often suffer whenever a plague or wererat incursion occurs. Often relegated to the sewers and slums of their home cities, urban ratfolk eek out whatever life they can. Often they work odd jobs or if particularly skilled, rise to the ranks of low to mid level artisans. Many guilds will not admit them, thus forcing ratfolk artisans to produce lower quality goods for their impoverished neighbors. While they have a reputation for criminality, not all ratfolk turn to a life of crime. In fact many thieves’ guilds are just as prejudiced as artisan guilds and will not accept ratfolk.

Standard Racial Traits

  • Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increase by 2, and your Wisdom score increase by 1.
  • Age. Ratfolk reach adulthood by age 8. If they do not die from warfare or accident they can expect to live to see forty years, with the eldest ratfolk on record reaching fifty-two years of age.
  • Alignment. Ratfolk live chaotic lives with little order other than bonds of tribe or clan. Even then there are few taboos that limit their actions. Most ratfolk are more interested in survival than ethical concerns, but they also understand that the group is more likely to survive if individuals do their share. Selfishness is rare among the ratfolk, as is evil.
  • Size. You stand 4-5 feet tall and weigh around 65 lbs. You are medium sized.
  • Speed. Your base speed is 30 feet and you have a climb speed of 30 feet.
  • Darkvision. Within 60 ft. you see in darkness as if it were dim light, and dim light as if it were bright light. You can’t discern colors, only shades of grey.
  • Disease Resistant. You have advantage on saving throws against disease, or any effect or attack that inflicts poison damage or causes the poisoned condition.
  • Natural Weapons. You have sharp claws and teeth that you can use to make an unarmed attack. This attack inflicts 1d4 slashing or piercing damage, depending on if you are using your claws or teeth.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common as well as one language of your choice.


Choose city ratfolk or wild tribe.

City Ratfolk

City ratfolk live lives much like their neighbors. Often forced in to the slums and sewers of a city, these ratfolk are consummate survivors. Often they made treasures out of the scraps that people throw away, make themselves useful by being night soil collectors, or otherwise earn a disreputable but honest living. Even so, most know a thing or two about criminal activities, if not from hearsay and rumor, than firsthand.

Sneaky. You are proficient with the Sleight of Hand and Stealth skills.

Pearls from Sow’s Ears. You know how to make the most out of nearly any material, from turning scraps of food in to nutritious (at least for ratfolk) food to making weapons and tools from junk found lying around. During a long rest you may spend an hour searching for and processing scraps. You can find enough food for one person for one day (mind you it is of ratfolk quality and you are resistant to disease), or a single tool, weapon, piece of equipment, or suit of armor. Any items you create this way are makeshift at best and fall apart if you ever roll less than a 10 when making an ability check or attack roll with them.

Wild Tribe

The wild ratfolk tribes are in constant struggle with other subterranean races. This struggle defines their cultures and their lives, every ratfolk is born to fill the ranks and replace those lost in the last battle. Victory merely means that the next war might be delayed for a while, but population pressures will one day drive the tribe to seek more land and resources.

Swarm Tactics. If you are adjacent to an ally, you gain advantage on all attack rolls.

Sneaks in the Dark. You are proficient with the Stealth and Survival skills.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Lost Lands World Setting: 5th Edition Rules Addendum, © 2020, Frog God Games; Author Kenneth Spencer

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page