Tuesday, September 17, 2013

30 Day Challenge: Day 17 - Vermin & Animals - Bones Rats

In the Rules Cyclopedia, the closest category to vermin is lowlife, which is mostly plants, bugs, slimes, molds, and fungus. Vermin on the other hand tends to include things like rats, bats, and other small animals, as well as the bugs, while plants and slimes each get their own category.

It's splitting hairs, really.

In my games vermin are hinderances and annoyances, and should only be a serious threat if the players are stupid.

Take a swarm of bats. The players find a big cave, and guano on the floor. Up above there are hundreds, if not thousands of normal bats. Without some serious effort they'll never kill even a significant number of them. But why would they want to? Piss them off however, and not only will they take some damage as the bats flee, but all that noise will draw other bigger meaner things to the bat cave to see what's pissed them off.

Or think of the scene in The Mummy, where the party is running from the scarabs. Sure, dangerous, even deadly, but avoidable.

You can do the same thing with rats. Don't bother killing them, just avoid them. Unless of course they have 2,000 coppers, then you should drive them off.

My Reaper Bones Rats
Bone Rats
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1hp* (s)
Move: 90’ (30’)
Swim: 45' (15')
Attacks: 1 per pack
Damage: 1d6+Special
No. Appearing: 2d6 x4 (2d6 x2)
Save As: Normal Man
Morale: 5
Treasure Type: L
Intelligence: 2
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 3

Monster Type: Vermin
Bone rats are a slightly larger versions of the normal rat found in sewers, docks, and ships holds, averaging 1.5-2.5 feet long (not counting the tail). They attack in packs of 6. Any attack that hits by 4 or better will trigger a save vs. paralysis or the target will be knocked down. In addition, the rats squeak with such volume and ferocity that they cause fear, as per the spell.

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