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A swarm of bats descend on adventurers.

Type Animal
(swarm [bat swarm only])
CR 1/8 (common bat)
2 (dire bat and bat swarm)
Environment Temperate and hot forests and deserts (common bat)
any temperate or tropical (dire bat and bat swarm)
Adjective Chiropteran, chiropterous
Images of bats

Source: Bestiary, pg(s). 30 & 131
See also: Mobat and skaveling

Bats are small winged mammals that are usually harmless to larger animals. The giant cousins of the common bat, known as giant or dire bats, are nocturnal hunters far deadlier than their smaller, more mundane cousins, while swarms of vampire bats can quickly overtake unsuspecting prey with their taste for blood.1


Bats are small, furry mammals that resemble rodents (though they are not related). Their wings are actually highly modified forelimbs with leathery skin stretched between elongated fingers. Most bats have large ears and sharp pointed teeth to help them hunt.2

Giant bats resemble their smaller cousins grown to massive proportions. Their wingspans can reach almost 15 feet, and they can weigh more than 100 pounds.1

Habitat and ecology

Bats of all sizes are usually active at night and are among the few mammals capable of powered flight. Most bats have only average eyesight honed for places with little light, but use echolocation to "see" with their ears.1

Common bats eat insects or fruits, and can be found in caves, ruins, or even city sewers. Though harmless on their own, they sometimes gather in huge swarms that can overwhelm larger creatures.3 These tiny animals are often chosen as familiars by wizards.4

Vampire bats

Vampire bats are about the size of normal bats, with a wingspan of only 7 inches, and earned their name by feeding on the blood of sleeping creatures. However, some swarms of them are much more aggressive and can fell a much larger foe in short order by inflicting many bleeding wounds.1

Giant or dire bats

Giant bats are nocturnal creatures who prefer to lair in remote caves or similarly isolated, sheltered locations where they can sleep away the day and emerge to hunt at night. Not all giant bats hunt beneath the night skies; some stalk the endless black of the Darklands. Unlike their smaller cousins, who can live in colonies of thousands, giant bats tend to be solitary and groups into no more than eight adults.3 Despite their fearsome appearance, most eat fruit or insects, and fight only out of hunger or fear.1

As mounts

Some smaller humanoid creatures have tamed and ridden giant bats as mounts, especially in underground or mountainous regions.1

On Golarion

Bats are among the totem animals of the Lyrune-Quah, or Moon Clan, of the Shoanti.5 Dire bats fly over the Ketz Desert in Qadira.6


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Logan Bonner, Jason Bulmahn, Stephen Radney-MacFarland, Mark Seifter, et al. (2019). Bestiary (Second Edition), p. 39. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-64078-170-2
  2. Bat, Wikipedia.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Bestiary (First Edition), p. 30. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
  4. Jason Bulmahn. (2009). Bestiary (First Edition), p. 131. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-183-1
  5. F. Wesley Schneider, Amber E. Scott, Tork Shaw, James L. Sutter, and Jerome Virnich. (2012). Varisia, Birthplace of Legends, p. inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-453-5
  6. Jessica Price. (2017). Qadira, Jewel of the East, p. 37. Paizo Inc. ISBN 978-1-60125-912-7

External links

  • Bat (real-world animal)