Educated Rodents (5e Race)

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The Educated Rodents[edit]

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From "The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents", by Terry Pratchett

Folk have always fantasised of beasts that can talk and act as humans do, that walk around in coats and hats and talk with their fellow beasts and even friendly people about the weather, parties, and tea. Sadly, most of these things can only be found within the pages of a storybook. But not all, for even the tallest tales can be rooted in truth. Be they magic, secret, accident, or creation, some rats have developed intelligence equal to that of men, even to the point of becoming capable of speech. These clever rats, or ‘educated rodents’, as they prefer, are cunning, quick, and much more than they might first seem.

Thoughts Beneath Your Feet[edit]

Since the educated rodents are few in number, they frequently rely on their heads to get them out of a situation, rather than the more ratty instincts they invariably portray. However, depending on when the rat’s transformation took place, be that at birth, midway through their life, or in their later years, they will have different opinions on their newfound intelligence. Younger rats will be more used to having thoughts and feelings and words swimming around their head, while older ones will find the intrusive ideas often unwelcome and noisy, relying more on what they think to be the base values of a rat; food, smells, sounds, and widdling. Nevertheless, most educated rodents keep to themselves, hiding and living in the darkness beneath the houses of normal folk. Often, they steal what they need, but never leave anything to spoil. They sometimes even provide compensation, in the form of a few pieces of copper or silver found beneath the carpet, or left lying by a suspiciously slightly smaller loaf of bread. These acts are often mistakenly attributed to faeries or pixies when the truth is far more common.

Civil When Need Be[edit]

Despite being rats, most of them recognize their advanced intelligence should really have them be more agreeable than the keekees, or the regular rats. Though they very rarely interact with people, when they do, they are usually just as wholesome conversation as any person, even if that conversation itself is not entirely well-meaning. Because of what they are, people often react with disgust, and they are frequently surprised when the rat retorts in a similar fashion. However, if one is accepting, the rats are often friendly at least, thankful to not be having pots and pans thrown at them for once. Very rarely, a rat will find itself quite at home talking with the humans and may be able to gather something that, while it couldn’t quite be called respect, may at least be called acceptance.

Physical Description[edit]

For all intents and purposes, they look like rats. Because their intelligence grants them insight into proper health, finding good food, and survival, they are usually slightly larger and stronger than other rats, but not extremely so, like the giant rats found in the deepest sewers of pestilent cities. Instead, their strength is in their thoughts, their eyes holding an intelligence that few normal rats can boast, cunning even gnomes might fail to match. Sometimes, a rat might wear some simple clothing, like a rough cloak and hood made from a scrap of leather, or a small hat woven from straw, and even rarer still, a rat might manage to have tailored clothes made just for them. Normal weapons are always far too large for the rats to wield effectively, and so they make do with pins, razor blades, knife shards, and rarely, custom crafted weapons made for their size.

Educated Rodent Names[edit]

Since the rats gained their intelligence before they could fully understand speech and writing, most of the names they chose for themselves are quite simply noises and words they liked the sound of. These will usually be things they see and hear where they grow up. There isn't really much difference between a male and female rat's name, other than male names traditionally being a little rougher and blunt, while the females might have names that are a little more gentle.

Names: Toxie, Hamnpork, Dangerous Beans, Peaches, Sardines, Stilton, Skip, Juice, Pepper, Cream

Educated Rodent Traits[edit]

The Educated Rodents are a group of rare rats who have developed an exceptional intelligence. Small and unassuming, they still prove worthy allies and harsh enemies because of their pure cunning.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 1.
Age. While the rats have a slightly longer life than usual, it is not a significant difference. They usually live to around 10 years of age, reaching maturity by the end of their first year, but depending on how the rats have been created in the world, this may be longer or shorter.
Alignment. The rats are normally neutral, not really worrying about laws, but basic morality has very quickly become a very important point of discussion among them. They are almost never truly neutral and will be good or evil.
Size. The educated rodents are still just rats. They can be up to about a foot in height when standing on their hind legs, but are usually shorter, around 8-10 inches. Your size is Tiny, you use the Tiny Player Characters (5e Variant Rule), and should consider using equipment from the Undersized (5e Variant Rule).
Speed. You have a walking speed of 25 feet. However, if you have both hands free, you can run on all fours, and have a speed of 35 feet. You also have a climbing speed of 20 feet.
Lithe. You can fit through gaps that are up to 4 inches wide without squeezing, and up to 2 inches wide with squeezing. In addition, due to your size, you have proficiency in the Stealth skill.
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. Even in bright light, colors are difficult for you to discern.
Beast. You are an animal with an intelligent mind, but still, just an animal. Your creature type is beast instead of humanoid. As such, you are immune to spells like crown of madness or dominate person because they specifically target humanoids, but susceptible to spells like dominate beast.
Keen Smell. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell. You are also proficient in the Perception skill.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common (with occasional mistakes). You are also innately capable of speaking with rats, as if you had cast the speak with animals spell, although this works exclusively with rats.
Subrace. There are two main types of rat, the black rat (rattus rattus), or the brown rat (rattus norvegicus). Choose one of these types.

Black Rat[edit]

Black rats are the more common type of the two available options and are frequently more slight than their brown cousins. Their minds manifested a more logical, intelligent type of thinking, displaying an impressive speed of learning and recollection.

Ability Score Increase. Your Intelligence score increases by 2.
Keen Hearing. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.

Brown Rat[edit]

Brown rats are the larger of the two and are usually found on ships and by docks, hailing from foreign climes. Sturdy, and more linked to their base rattiness, their thoughts became like an extension of their existing knowledge, a cunning matched by no rat before.

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Sturdy. Your hit point maximum increases by 1, and it increases by 1 every time you gain a level.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Base
Height
Height
Modifier*
Base
Weight
Weight
Modifier**
0′ 8″ +1d4 1.8 lb. × (0.1) lb.

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


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