Pathfinder Playtest: Ratfolk to Goblin

September 08, 2018

Since my friends and I are considering Playtesting the new Pathfinder, I got myself wondering if I'd be able to convert my existing level 1 Ratfolk into something else, since I was pretty sure that race wouldn't be part of the playtest material.

Being a rat, she was really small which made her slower than the average person (20 feet of movement instead of 30) while at the same time remaining fast and slippery (expert in Dexterity) while in combat. She was decent at resisting poison and disease (high Constitution) since she grew up in the sewers and quite charming (high Charisma) since she was still a kid. On the downside, due to her race and young age, she was also pretty weak physically (Strenght was her lowest stat), which meant she struggled to carry her own weight.

Initially, my original idea was to convert my Ratfolk into a Gnome, to try to keep the size as close as possible. But then... I saw goblins. So much more potential with this choice. Just like Gnomes, Goblins are small creatures, but they have a lot more in common with Ratfolk than the Gnomes do.

Both Ratfolk and Goblins are non-humanoid races, often mistreated by the humanoid races for being different (much like the Drow) and not always accepted in society. They both share Darkvision. Their lifespan is much more similar (Ratfolk can live up to over 60 years, Goblins over 50 and Gnomes over 400 years). Ratfolk have a Claw attack and Goblins have a Bite attack (Razor Teeth) if they choose to. Ratfolk have their Tailblade and Goblins have their Dogslicer. This looked rather promising.

So, after considering all these factors, here's the quick Pathfinder original to Playtest conversion I came up with:

Homeland: Sewers (city or metropolis)
Background: Beggar --> Street Urchin
Class: Unchained Rogue --> Rogue
Race: Ratfolk --> Goblin
Age: 4 (6 in human years) --> 3 years old
Eyes: Black
Hair: Brownish grey fur --> Bald
Height: 2'5'' --> 2'
Weight: 25 lbs. --> 12.5 lbs.
Alignment: Chaotic Good
Deity: No Deity

Stats wise, the goblin also works pretty well for the type of char my Ratfolk was. They get a bonus to Dexterity, Charisma and a free skill (so I can just go with Constitution) and take a penalty to Wisdom, so I can choose to either make Strenght my second-to-last worse skill this time around, or bump the Wisdom back up using the points we have to spend on skills. Both valid choices.

But wait, there's more!

But what if... you don't want to play a goblin? What if you really just want to play your Ratfolk? After all, there was something that attracted you to the race in the first place, and it could have been their looks or their story (their interests, the way their society works, etc). And the goblins, no matter how mechanically close they are... are not Ratfolk.

Then what do you do? You get a nice open-minded GM, who is not too strict on using just RAW (rules as written) and would be able to pretty much flavor your Goblin into being a Ratfolk for cosmetic reasons. As an alternative, you might consider being the GM yourself and turning your former Ratfolk into an NPC in the campaign.

One way this can be easily achieved (and I've seen D&D 5e DMs use this trick to incorporate races and classes from Pathfinder in their games) is to re-skin it and simply use the mechanical stats of a Goblin but call it a Ratfolk. The same principle can then be applied to other things. The GM might say you get a Claw attack instead of a Bite, but it's really just for flavor, as you'd still be dealing the same 1d6 damage as a normal Razor Teeth attack (though your GM might want to turn the piercing damage into slashing damage as well). You can also call your Dogslicer a Tailblade (although, sadly, you can't really maneuver it using your tail... unless you have an absolutely AWESOME GM). And other content, such as Feats, would simply follow the same principle: most of them will benefit from a simple change in the name of the Feat, while others might require minor tweaks.

Regardless, if your GM is really set in using RAW (this is a Playtest, after all, some people take their playtesting job seriously), you know that you can, at the very least, transform your Ratfolk into a Goblin. Stats-wise, it works wonders.
You might need to adjust other details though, namely, their backstory. But that can be part of the fun. 😊

What about you? Will you be playtesting the new Pathfinder? Will you try to convert any of your old characters for it? Let me know in the comments below.

Go ahead, treat yourself to something else:


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