Thursday, June 30, 2016

Featured Creature -- Rats!

Rats are living paradoxes: individually fastidious, but notorious as plague-carriers; brave when facing bigger opponents, but always willing to run and hide when not being watched; adorable, yet feared by many species.

Rats exploit their reputations for skullduggery and deceit for maximum effect, and some even embrace the role of thugs towards smaller rodents like mice.  Nonetheless, they are exceedingly loyal to those who see past this veneer to their true selves, and will think nothing of rushing into battle in defense of their friends, no matter how fearsome the opponent.

They typically live in large communities, and are experts in the geography of longpaw settlements.

     AC: 9
     AT (Dam): 1 bite (1d6 + disease)
     Beginning HP: 3 [4]
     Habitat: Any
     MV: 4 (3 climbing, 2 swimming)
     SZ: Tiny

Species Traits:
  • Courageous: Rats are notoriously brave (some would say foolhardy) when facing foes larger than themselves.  They get a +2 bonus on all Fear saves.
  • Disease Carrier:  Though not individually unclean, rats are widely known as disease carriers by other species.  When a rat character is first created, the BM should make a secret core dice roll (2d10); on a result of 2 (or 1, if using the classic 1d20), the rat character carries a disease of the BM's choice that does not affect the rat herself, but can infect other animals.  Anyone bitten by such a rat must make a Poison save against the disease's listed Threat Level, or become infected.  Diseases commonly carried by rats include leprosy, plague, and rabies.  Note that a rat PC does not necessarily know that she is a disease carrier; if and when she finds out, she can take any actions she chooses to be healed of the affliction.
  • Iron Stomach: Consummate omnivores, rats are highly resistant to the effects of spoiled food, and can often eat things that are totally inedible to other species.  Rats get a +2 bonus on all Poison or other saves against the effects of spoiled foods, and with a successful Healer check, can eat an object or substance that other species find impossible to digest.
  • Low-Light Vision
  • Natural Climber: +1 bonus on all climbing checks.
  • Primitive Hands
  • Scent
  • Sneaky: Rats get a +2 bonus on all Scout or Trickster checks that involve hiding or moving silently.
  • Suitable Niches: Herbalist, Scout, Seer, Trickster

Re-Introducing The Blog

Financial difficulties have been consuming me lately, eating up a great of my free time as I scramble to make ends meet and try to improve my work situation.  Nuff said.

I've decided to put myself on a weekly writing schedule: one new entry here every Thursday.  It will usually be a Featured Creature, possibly other snippets from the larger manuscript as I develop it, and/or occasionally some 5e material.  Now and then, I'll review an animal fantasy work (novel, movie, etc.) that can serve as an inspiration for a Great & Small character, adventure, or campaign.

I hope to be ready with the final manuscript by the end of this year. Please stay tuned, and thank you for your interest and support.

And apologies for the long absences.