Ratmen (5e Race)

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"Sarcasm is a foreign language to you isn't it?" - Timon The Rat King.

Physical Description[edit]

Ratmen stand roughly the same size or smaller than the average dwarf. They have thin, lean bodies and very rarely become what humans would consider fat thanks to their high metabolism. All ratmen have the same characteristic yellow eyes, buck teeth, and large rounded ears. City rats' fur takes on colors that are bland in nature. Colors like light shades of black, grey, and rarely white. Rural rats have more colorful shades of fur, such as browns and oranges, golds, and reds. City rats prefer to wear more layers of cloth and even cloaks to help protect against the cold of city nights. On the flip side, rural rats prefer to wear more open clothing for warm summer days of sleeping out in fields and dug-outs in the ground.

A rural ratman, ready to strike. Art by chichapie.


Ratmen are natural creatures that have a closely entwined history with kobold. Originally allied with the Kobolds under the protection of their draconic masters, the ratmen acted as infantrymen and even undertook special missions that their brothers-in-arms could not complete. Ravenous and deadly as goblins without the ingenuity, ratmen served their draconic leaders without much question. But, eventually, the dragon's armies became too lofty and cumbersome to maintain. With food supplies running low, kobolds and even lesser dragons turned to the ratmen as a new source of food. Some ratmen were able to escape the dragon's wrath, but many weren't able to do so. The few tribes of ratmen that did escape soon disbanded, and became lone stragglers in a world they were not welcome in. Most were able to find refuge feeding off of the unwanted trash of human societies. After years of acclimating to live in rural human communities, eventually, they were able to move into the walls of larger cities. The most famous myth in ratman society is "The Ballad of Billy Punchyface," where a rat named Billy punches out an ogre over twice his size.


Ratmen once lived in clan-based societies, but since their social evolution into human civilization, they have adapted based on the society which they have assimilated too. Rural rats live in a structure that closely resembles human family units. Parents, children, and occasionally grandparents stay in the same 'home', which is usually a dug-out hole in the ground. Most 'work' by sneaking crops from farmers to stockpile for the winter, searching through trash for their meals, or the occasional few will do work for local farmers, such as ranch-hands and even exterminators for small pest problems. While these ratmen aren't widely accepted as friendly, many farmers will not turn away their aid. Their brother's, city rats, couldn't be farther from them. City rats are slightly thinner, repulsive looking creatures that are the subject of discrimination, hate, and even acts of flat-out violence. Because of this, city rats have developed a crueler outlook of the world and a hatred for most humans. Unlike their rural brethren, city rats live in one of two family structures. First, a sort of 'lone-wolf' mentality in which a ratman will only care for themselves and possibly a mate, but abandon their children at young ages to pursue their own interests. The second kind live in a single, massive hive-like colony. Each rat hunts for the hive, steals for the hive, lives for the hive, kills for the hive. In these clan-like societies, only the meanest and the cruelest survive, with the only way to gain any respect being to prove that you are more deadly than the rat next to you.

Ratmen Names[edit]

Ratmen generally will take simple, witty names or words from the Common tongue and may even change names depending on deeds which bring them honorable repute. Last names traditionally include the name of one parent, followed by either "son" or "dotter" depending on the gender of the child.

Male: Biggie, Cheese, Smalls, Furball, Furby, Shank, Slammers, Dagger, Shorty, Twitch, Punchyface

Female: Charm, Maus, Nibbles, Mini, Pixie, Flower, Stealthy, Summer, Dawn, Stabbytha

Male Last Names: Stabberson, Vileson, Fisherson, Daggerson, Direson, Brickson, etc.

Female Last Names: Lilysdotter, Thevesdotter, Pixiesdotter, Thornsdotter, etc.

Ratmen Traits[edit]

As sneaky and agile as a rat but you are a humanoid.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Ratmen mature to adulthood at age 15, and very rarely live over 65 years old.
Alignment. Ratmen tend towards the neutral alignments, often only really only caring about themselves and-or their families.
Size. Ratmen are around 3'3 and are normally pretty light. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
High Metabolism. You digest food quickly, meaning they must eat the same amount of food as Medium-sized creature.
Rodent's Immunity. You are immune to disease. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage. In addition, you can eat putrid or rotten food and still gain half the nutrition.
Darkvision. You can see in dim light 60 feet as if it were in bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of grey.
Crepuscular Scavenger. Your senses work best when you are halfway between light and darkness. You have advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks while in dim light, or during dusk and dawn.
Sunlight Sensitivity. Your eyes have become so attuned to the darkness that they cannot bear direct sunlight. You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight.
Languages. You can speak, and only speak Common, Rat-Speak, and Draconic.
Subrace. Pick one of the two available subraces from, City Rat and Rural Rat.

City Rat[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
Sneaky. You are proficient in the Stealth skill and are proficient in Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) checks.
Skulker. When you are hidden from a creature and miss it with a ranged weapon attack, making the attack doesn't reveal your position.

Rural Rat[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score each increases by 1.
Survival Instincts. You are proficient in the Survival and Nature skills.
It'll Do. Through your years of surviving in rural areas where weapons and armor are scarce, you have proficiency with improvised weapons.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

Table: Ratmen Random Height and Weight
Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
2′ 8″ +2d6 15 lb. × (2d4) lb.

Ratmen Personality[edit]

When creating a Ratmen character, you can use the following table of traits to help flesh out your character. Use this table in addition to or in place of your background's characteristics.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I have a tendency to hide from my enemies and avoid conflict if I can.
2 I get a thrill from trespassing into places where I'm not supposed to be.
3 I am afraid of large creatures, I feel like they might accidentally step on me.
4 I like to watch people fight and will cheer them on instead of try to break it up.
5 I hate mediocre food. Anything I eat must be exquisite and delicious or I'd rather starve.
6 I hate people who are overly clean and proper. It makes me sick.
7 I hate to be the center of attention; it makes me extremely anxious.
8 I love it when rich people feel what it's like to be poor. It makes me feel better.

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