Dysteria (5e Race)

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Also known as plague rats.

Physical Description[edit]

From Sentinels of the Multiverse

Dysteria are humanoid beings that resemble rats from the shoulders up. Their head is exactly like an angry rat, covered in fur, whiskered, and with the ratlike ears. Some remark their face sometimes resembles even a lupine rat. Their teeth, however, are sharper than normal rats and their eyes are not black all the time. The eyes of a dysteria can glow when they are angered. Below that furry part of their upper body, they have a muscular or lithe human torso and lower body and limbs. Their hands and feet are tipped with sharp claws. Behind them trails a thick ropey tail like rats have. Dysteria usually only wear pants, even the females.


Dysteria originated from the god of disease who wanted to punish mankind for their backward ways in the darker eras of history. People thought themselves above the body and hygiene. They did not take care of their children and polluted the land and waters freely. So the god granted the endless supply of rats in the cities the power to bring plague. These rodents spread disease like wildfire. It was such a powerful illness the god had wrought that not even the usual spells like lesser restoration could remove the affliction. Thousands of people died to this plague and many were burned to prevent further disease. After a few years, however, people stopped getting sick. They believed the worst to be over.

Then, at the nights of full moons, they would hear the sound of the rats, but louder than ever before. Along with the sound of the rodents was the heavy sound of footsteps. Children dreamt of a rat's face with a human hand looking at them from outside. People were frightened. They stalked the night in patrols to hunt the beast. Along a river, they found the body of what looked like a man but had the head of a rat. Even more astoundingly so, a woman claimed to know the man from his body. It was her late husband, and he had a distinct scar on his right butt cheek. But how could this be? He died of the plague!

Perturbed, people questioned if the plague actually killed all the ones they thought dead. The coroners went to the field where they had conducted the burnings of the infected. They found the field was covered in large holes from where a human could have crawled out. Terrified, they alerted everyone to the fact that the dead had, in fact, come back as rat people. And these are the dysteria.


Dysteria often live in large groups within the inner workings of a place. If a town has a well system, they may inhabit and build their fortress within its walls. In a city with a sewer, they will fester and live down where the sun doesn't shine. They live like outcasts, unwanted by society. This does not bother them, however, as they are content away from the public eye. Within their groups, they live much like rats do; scavenging, scurrying and just reproducing. People usually avoid them because they are rumored to still carry diseases like regular rats. Also, because of their typical habitat, they can be extremely odorous and unpleasant to be near.

Dysteria stay in one place all year long. When times are hard, their animalistic survival instincts can kick in. There exist little to no morals in dysteria society. Family bonds are nonexistent. If starving, a mother may devour her children to survive. Through famines, dysteria will kill each other for food. Thus, their general groups are built around suspicion of your neighbor, for you never know who may slit your throat. No one can be trusted, not even blood relatives. If one has their life saved, they think nothing of favors. But if they save someone, they expect payment.

Dysteria Names[edit]

Dysteria usually name their children, or themselves if they are orphans, after things they wish to have that may be beautiful or valuable. Sometimes they are named after great people who have made wonderful things they want.

Male: Leonardo, Munch, Glass, Gelt

Female: Diamond, Mona Lisa, Pearl, Frida

Plague Rat Traits[edit]

Diseased filled scavengers.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score increases by 1.
Age. Dysteria can live as long as humans do, but normally they die early due to fights within the pack.
Alignment. Dysteria tends towards chaos and evil since they grow up with no morals.
Size. Dysteria are around 5 foot tall, on average. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
Survivor. Rats are possibly one of the best survivors due to their ability to eat anything. You are immune to disease and you cannot be poisoned via food or drink.
City Monger. Your kind were designed to scurry, jive and get by anywhere, no matter the obstacles. You are proficient with the Acrobatics skill.
Claws. Your claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength or Dexterity modifier, instead of the bludgeoning damage normal for an unarmed strike.
Plague Born. You bear a load of diseases that you can spread to make someone else' life horrible. As an action, you may try to infect all creatures within 5 feet of you with a random disease. All creatures must attempt a DC 5 Constitution saving throw. Upon success, they are immune to this effect for 24 hours. On a failed save, they become diseased. You must finish a long rest before using this feature again.
Languages. You can read, write and speak in Common and one additional language of your choice.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

4′ 8″ +2d6 85 lb. × (1d20) lb.

*Height = base height + height modifier
**Weight = base weight + (height modifier × weight modifier)

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