Smokin' Joe plays a large role in the Ratcatchers quest. During the quest, players must help rid his home (which is actually little more than a small cave) of a rat-infestation. To do this, they must place weeds in a pot and light them on fire using a tinderbox. They also must use their cat to help kill any escaping rats. Once this is done, Joe will tell them the location of the Keldagrim Rat Pits, as well as instruct his large cat, The Beast, to allow them safe entry.
Due to age, Joe is not a particularly strong or active dwarf. He also suffers from very bad tuberculosis, a lung disease he got when he was younger because of his extensive use of a smoking pipe. The disease makes him hard to understand, as his speech is often punctuated with wheezing, grunting, and coughing. During Rat Catchers, he even coughs something up, and although it doesn't specify what it was, it is most likely a piece of his deteriorating lungs. However, during the quest it is implied that he may be exaggerating his condition to gain sympathy (and, as a result, favours) from others. When he goes for an entire conversation without his usual coughing and wheezing, the player points this out. Joe acts as though he has no idea what they are talking about.
Joe also has a cat named The Beast, which guards the Rat Pits beneath the Laughing Miner pub. He has spent much of his life training cats to kill rats in the Rat Pits, although it is an inhumane and potentially costly business. As a result, he is frowned upon by much of society. Despite this, he has ties with rat catchers in Varrock, East Ardougne, and Port Sarim.
After and during the quest, Smokin' Joe will explain how the Rat Pits work, as well as give players a manual with additional information about the Pits.
- His examine text and name refers to Muhammad Ali's famous line to Smokin' Joe Frazier: "Ask Smokin' Joe what he's smoking."
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