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Advanced Race Guide Preview: Letting the Cat out of the Bag

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Actually, we are letting the cat out of the book. Last week, after previewing the tengu section of the Advanced Race Guide, we asked you what you wanted to see next. We received many good suggestions, but it seems that many of you wanted to see the catfolk.

These lithe and agile creatures make excellent monks, rangers, and especially rogues, but they also have a mysterious side, as they are sometimes able to control luck and can draw on supernatural powers and spells that are very catlike in nature. This week’s preview examines just some examples of these themes in the catfolk section.


Illustration by Kieran Yanner

Catfolk Rogue Talents

The following rogue talents can only be taken by catfolk.

Deadly Scratch (Ex): A catfolk rogue with this talent can apply poison to her claws without accidentally poisoning herself. A catfolk rogue must have the cat’s claws racial trait and the poison use class feature before taking this talent.

Disarming Luck (Ex): Once per day, when a catfolk rogue attempts to disable a device and fails by 5 or more, she can reroll the check as a free action. She must take the result of the reroll, even if it’s worse than the original roll.

Graceful Faller (Ex): A catfolk rogue with this talent lands on her feet even when she takes lethal damage from a fall. If the catfolk rogue also has the nimble faller racial trait, she takes damage from any fall as if it were 20 feet shorter than it actually is.

Nimble Climber (Ex): A catfolk rogue with this talent gains a +4 bonus on Climb checks. If she has the climber racial trait, she can take 10 on her Climb checks even when in immediate danger or distracted.

Single-Minded Appraiser (Ex): A catfolk rogue with this talent is skilled at determining the value of sparkly things. She can always take 10 when appraising gems and jewelry.

Vicious Claws (Ex): A catfolk with this talent uses d8s to roll sneak attack damage instead of d6s, but only when she uses her claws to make the sneak attack. A catfolk rogue must have the cat’s claws racial trait before taking this talent.

Catfolk Feats

Catfolk have access to the following feats.

Black Cat
Bad luck befalls those who dare to cross you.
Prerequisite: Catfolk.
Benefit: Once per day as an immediate action, when you are hit by a melee attack, you can force the opponent who made the attack to reroll it with a –4 penalty. The opponent must take the result of the second attack roll. This is a supernatural ability.
Special: If you take this feat and don’t already have all black fur, your fur turns completely black when you take this feat.

Catfolk Magic Items

The following magic items are often created and used by catfolk.

Daredevil Softpaws
Aura faint enchantment; CL 3rd
Slot feet; Price 1,400 gp; Weight 1 lb.

Description

This pair of magical softpaw boots (see above) allows the catfolk wearing them to gain extra maneuverability while moving through hazardous areas. As a free action, the wearer can click her heels together to grant herself a +5 competence bonus on Acrobatics checks made to move through threatened squares or to move through an enemy’s space without provoking attacks of opportunity for up to 10 rounds per day. The rounds need not be consecutive. Furthermore, anytime the wearer of the boots successfully moves though the space of an enemy without provoking an attack of opportunity, she gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls against that enemy until the end of her turn.

Construction

Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, cat’s grace; Cost 700 gp

Catfolk Spells

Catfolk have access to the following spells.

Steal breath
School transmutation [air]; Level bard 2, druid 2, sorcerer/wizard 2, witch 2
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one living creature
Duration 1 round (see text)
Saving Throw Fortitude negates; see text; Spell Resistance yes
You pull the breath from a creature’s lungs, dealing damage and leaving it unable to speak, use breath weapons, or cast spells with verbal components. If the target fails its saving throw, it takes 2d6 points of damage, and it cannot speak, use breath weapons, or do anything else requiring breathing, and a visible line of swirling air leaves the target’s mouth and enters your mouth.
If, during the duration, the target moves out of range or line of effect to you, the spell immediately ends. This spell has no effect on creatures that do not need to breathe air.

Stephen Radney-MacFarland
Designer

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Tags: Catfolk Kieran Yanner Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I for one am glad to see more options meant for members of a particular race. I like the idea that some races have some "talents" that set them apart. I have proposed the idea that there be racial spells that required casters be a certain race as a material component. Evil casters would use blood magic to cast such spells. Maybe even make certain spells work better if the caster is of a certain race. Example: Half-orc arcanists being better at castin the Rage spell.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Removed a few more posts and their responses. Please revisit the messageboard rules.


xorial wrote:
I for one am glad to see more options meant for members of a particular race. I like the idea that some races have some "talents" that set them apart. I have proposed the idea that there be racial spells that required casters be a certain race as a material component. Evil casters would use blood magic to cast such spells. Maybe even make certain spells work better if the caster is of a certain race. Example: Half-orc arcanists being better at castin the Rage spell.

Problem is, mechanics-wise some will be better, and others will be inferior. Also, it still smells racist to me. Exceptions in that to me are Tiefling, Aasimar and Changeling magic. Then again, those with the blood of powerful celestials, fiends of hags SHOULD have something unique to them.


Personally, I really enjoy race-specific spells, feats, and traits. I feel like it allows more customization and it helps to make characters more unique. I'm really excited to see what all new options are going to be available.

P.S. Could someone post a link for me to show where the polls are to vote what race we want to see next, if they're still open?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
Personally, I really enjoy race-specific spells, feats, and traits. I feel like it allows more customization and it helps to make characters more unique.

I, too, enjoy race-specific spells, feats, and traits... when they make sense. Compare:

My character's a dwarf, so he can take a feat that expands upon the stonecunning racial ability. Awesome.

My character looks like a cat, so no one else can be as highly trained with the Appraise skill. Wait, what?

Racial options that don't build upon unique racial abilities decrease customization, because they add artificial limitations on game mechanics based purely upon optional flavor text.

Quote:
P.S. Could someone post a link for me to show where the polls are to vote what race we want to see next, if they're still open?

There's no separate poll. Just state your preference in this thread.


Epic Meepo wrote:

I, too, enjoy race-specific spells, feats, and traits... when they make sense. Compare:

My character's a dwarf, so he can take a feat that expands upon the stonecunning racial ability. Awesome.

My character looks like a cat, so no one else can be as highly trained with the Appraise skill. Wait, what?

Racial options that don't build upon unique racial abilities decrease customization, because they add artificial limitations on game mechanics based purely upon optional flavor text.

+1


June 20 cannot come quickly enough... ;_;

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Varthanna wrote:
That said, I DO like catfolk. I dont think of anime catgirls, though, but the Kilrathi from my old school Wing Commander days.

I go even further back, to Traveller's Aslani. Their art was always a bit ambiguous on their foot structure. Pretty much depended on the artist - just like Paizo's Catfolk.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Foghammer wrote:
But seriously, I can't think of a reason you'd need to appraise while in danger or distracted. Unless you're one of those roguish types who uses the chaos of combat to pinch valuables while everyone else fights..

The one that comes immediately to mind as a great example is Bilbo Baggins using the skill in Smaug's lair to pick out a nice bit of treasure.


Jiggy wrote:
Varthanna wrote:

Ugh.

You can already take 10 on Appraise. Hate.

Well, the ability says you can always take 10, meaning even while in combat/distracted/etc.

As I noted earlier, it's just downright confusing to include the boilerplate about being distracted (etc.) 50% of the time and leaving it out the other 50% of the time.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Why do people think that just because the catfolk can take 10 on appraise checks that no one else can? The rogue talent is highly thematic for cat folk.

Why is there the belief that somehow this excludes other races from having similar things? It didn't stop Half-Orcs from getting the Sacred Tattoo racial trait when halflings already had the same thing.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
hogarth wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Varthanna wrote:

Ugh.

You can already take 10 on Appraise. Hate.

Well, the ability says you can always take 10, meaning even while in combat/distracted/etc.
As I noted earlier, it's just downright confusing to include the boilerplate about being distracted (etc.) 50% of the time and leaving it out the other 50% of the time.

It really isn't.


J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
I want to make a ratfolk alchemist and I'm hoping there'll be some pretty awesome options for them.

RATFOLK. ALCHEMIST. Sweet idea!


A. Hamon wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
I want to make a ratfolk alchemist and I'm hoping there'll be some pretty awesome options for them.
RATFOLK. ALCHEMIST. Sweet idea!

An albino ratfolk?

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

A. Hamon wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
I want to make a ratfolk alchemist and I'm hoping there'll be some pretty awesome options for them.
RATFOLK. ALCHEMIST. Sweet idea!

I put my players up against one of those in a home game a while back. He was super fun to run :)


Cheapy wrote:

Why do people think that just because the catfolk can take 10 on appraise checks that no one else can? The rogue talent is highly thematic for cat folk.

Why is there the belief that somehow this excludes other races from having similar things? It didn't stop Half-Orcs from getting the Sacred Tattoo racial trait when halflings already had the same thing.

To add to this, Skill Mastery already allows any race to do the same thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Leo_Negri wrote:
A. Hamon wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
I want to make a ratfolk alchemist and I'm hoping there'll be some pretty awesome options for them.
RATFOLK. ALCHEMIST. Sweet idea!

An albino ratfolk?

"What are we going to do tomorrow night, Brain?"

"The same thing we do every night, Pinky... TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!"

Osirion

Leo_Negri wrote:
A. Hamon wrote:
J-Spee Lovecraft wrote:
I want to make a ratfolk alchemist and I'm hoping there'll be some pretty awesome options for them.
RATFOLK. ALCHEMIST. Sweet idea!
An albino ratfolk?

I had one of those in a game, once. His tongue hung out of the side of his mouth, and was numb (and stained black), because he had 'taste-tasted' too many of the wrong chemical concoctions. It (bizarrely) didn't affect his speech too badly, but he occasionally had to tilt his head to flop his black nerve-deadened tongue back into his mouth while he was talking, which looked pretty strange... And then he'd get excited, and talk too fast and his tongue would flop out again.

How weird is it that albino ratfolk alchemists are a recurring theme?


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'd actually be down for some Ratfolk tidbits. Redwall, Secret of Nihm, American Tale... It'd be like my childhood all in one book!

More Ratfolk please!


Cheapy wrote:
The rogue talent is highly thematic for cat folk.

While one could argue that catfolk is a vague blanket term for what would be an invariably wide range of subraces (from housecats to tigers) and doesn't really lend itself to any one 'theme,' I'd rather focus on the choice of the word "thematic."

It comes down to semantics. You are right in that it is [read: could be] thematic for catfolk. However it should not be exclusive. It's too general in its use, and James Jacobs has already cited an iconic fictional character - probably THE iconic fictional character, who happens to be a halfling - as performing an action that this talent would emulate.

But halflings are 'excluded' from taking this talent because they are not catfolk. I put ' marks around 'excluded' because ultimately what matters is what the DM wants to rule on any given text; surely most of us realize this. I also realize that this book is long since finished and sent to print and that complaining will do nothing to change what's in it. I only vocalize my opinion to raise awareness for future products.

EDIT: Fixed a grammatical error and a tag.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber
Foghammer wrote:
probably THE iconic fictional character, who happens to be a halfling

But....Batman isn't a halfling... :(


Did you mean Catwoman? I can see the talent working there...maybe not so much the hairy feet...


I hope the B3 catfolk illustration is still the baseline assumption. I was very happy to see the way catfolk were done in B3.


Set wrote:
How weird is it that albino ratfolk alchemists are a recurring theme?

Poison Wind Globadier!


Wolf Munroe wrote:
I hope the B3 catfolk illustration is still the baseline assumption. I was very happy to see the way catfolk were done in B3.

It can be your baseline assumption for the catfolk. I personally hated that illustration (and there are very few Paizo illustrations I will say that about), it seemed to be a bda mix of anime catgirl and Catwoman from Batman to me. I wasn't even going to have catfolk in my home campaign, but after seeing the illustration from the ARG I've changed my mind.

I am actually quite fond of the notion that Pathfinder has no baseline assumptions as to the appearances of monsters / races / classes. The same can not be said for Golarion, which is not the same as Pathfinder. Since both the ARG and B3 are "setting neutral" it's all good.


Add me to the list wanting to see Ratfolk material next week. Or Orcs / half-orcs. I'm good either way.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Really, really hoping for good news on orcs. That's the race I've got the most hopes and worries for in this book.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Set wrote:
How weird is it that albino ratfolk alchemists are a recurring theme?

Skaven were spreading poison, disease and warp explosions since 1986.

Silver Crusade

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
Really, really hoping for good news on orcs. That's the race I've got the most hopes and worries for in this book.

Can you promise us *not* to start six threads just because there are no options for Lawful Good orcs who shoot Beams of Good from their eyes? ;-)

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I loved the b3 catfolk and would love to see males done in that style. Catboys sell too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I do prefer the more Kajit style of catfolk to the Thundercats style. I feel it just looks less fan service-ey I suppose.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am going to vote with the crowd that likes the B3 Catfolk artwork as well. This whole thread reminds me of "Cat" from Red Dwarf when he says, "I'm so excited, all six of my nipples are tingling."

Cheliax

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I like this illustration far better than the one in B3. I also like Rashasa Tiefling in BoF. Now, if we could get Leonal-blooded Aasimar, that would be sweet.


nightflier wrote:
I like this illustration far better than the one in B3. I also like Rashasa Tiefling in BoF. Now, if we could get Leonal-blooded Aasimar, that would be sweet.

Still waiting for Blood Of Angels preview...


Whiskey Jack wrote:
I am going to vote with the crowd that likes the B3 Catfolk artwork as well. This whole thread reminds me of "Cat" from Red Dwarf when he says, "I'm so excited, all six of my nipples are tingling."

Which reminded me of this little exchange from season 8 (mind you, the boob-count discussion back on page 2 might've helped :P ):

Captain Hollister: What is that, does he have the measles?
Doctor: Those are his nipples.
Hollister: *Six* nipples?! Wonder what the female of the species is like.
Cat: Pretty easy to please in bed. Especially if you can play the piano.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

I just wanted to say that I enjoy the catfolk picture that goes with this blog post, and that I think Paizo's art department is doing a great job. Keep it up!


Cheapy wrote:
hogarth wrote:
As I noted earlier, it's just downright confusing to include the boilerplate about being distracted (etc.) 50% of the time and leaving it out the other 50% of the time.
It really isn't.

(Hint: Search the boards for "Lore Master".)


Custom pony race sample, pretty please!

It would be a great way to show the versatility of the race building chapter.

Humbly,
Yawar


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I hope every race in this book gets at least 5 racial feats if not more.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Azten wrote:
Obviously the people that are allergic to chocolate are aliens then.

WE MUST SEND IMMEDIATELY FOR THE GREAT EARTH WARRIOR WHO ATE THE DREADED CHOCOLATE!


Seems everyone loves the "FOLK" Races.

I love catfolk i like the anime one in B3 but I also like this one!

Ratfolk is what I want to see next! Twitch FTW!

Lizardfolk would be nice also hope they get a tail attack.

Shadow Lodge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 8

I'll vote ratfolk as well! I'm interested to see what they might get in place of their Swarming trait (since that's not really all that helpful for a lone Ratfolk PC)


Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Anyone know if the Spirit Folk race (or something like it) is in this book?

Grand Lodge

I'll add my vote for ratfolk.

Maybe a sensei monk/ninja ratfolk?

SM


My only issue with the artwork is that it doesn't look humanoid enough, it looks like what i would expect a monstrous humanoid to look like. That is, humanoids look more like humans with a couple of distinctive features (strange ears, unexpected skin textures, tails, etc.), where monstrous humanoids look like animals or creatures with slightly humanoid features (such as hands or upright postures)

Or maybe the distinction is something else now? I'm a little confused, since this implies there is no real distinction between monstrous humanoids and humanoids other than "this one takes class levels more often than the other one."


Bladerock wrote:

My only issue with the artwork is that it doesn't look humanoid enough, it looks like what i would expect a monstrous humanoid to look like. That is, humanoids look more like humans with a couple of distinctive features (strange ears, unexpected skin textures, tails, etc.), where monstrous humanoids look like animals or creatures with slightly humanoid features (such as hands or upright postures)

Or maybe the distinction is something else now? I'm a little confused, since this implies there is no real distinction between monstrous humanoids and humanoids other than "this one takes class levels more often than the other one."

The distinction between humanoid and monstrous humanoid is vague at best, and can best be defined by a creator call on "should enlarge person work on this?".

Considering Trolls (even the multiple headed ones) are humanoid and not monstrous, retaining the monstrous type at all in Pathfinder is a bit of a farce...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Count me in for being curious about ratfolk.


Mighty Squash wrote:

The distinction between humanoid and monstrous humanoid is vague at best, and can best be defined by a creator call on "should enlarge person work on this?".

Considering Trolls (even the multiple headed ones) are humanoid and not monstrous, retaining the monstrous type at all in Pathfinder is a bit of a farce...

But Trolls, specifically, are humanoids because giant got folded as a subtype of it and stopped being it's own thing (A move i consider to be odd). Still,if the distinction is not going to be made, may as well fold monstrous humanoids into humanoids as well.


WHERE'S THE TUESDAY PREVIEW? AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHCK!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Mack wrote:
Ok what the heck happend the catfolk seem to have gone from the mostly humanoid look in the Bestiary to Khajit? Also oh god not the multijointed (No way in hell I am ever wearing boots) feet

Technically they are not more multijointed then humans.

1st joint Between the toes and the rest of the feet
2nd joint The ankle.


Khajit actually used to look more like the B3 catfolk till Morrowind, which installment was also the beginning of the franchise becoming consolized.

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