Skaven (5e Race)

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Scales.png This page is of questionable balance. Reason: This race seems overpowered compared to similar first-party races, and would benefit from having less powerful traits. For example, doesn't take into account the issue of being a Large player character, has superior darkvision but it only goes to 60 feet? Negative ability scores should be avoided and in this case, should be done away with, ASI improvements for a single score really shouldn't go above a +2, flat increases should be avoided, subraces are comparatively unbalanced side by side. Overall requires more work from a mechanical perspective to better compare and integrate with the first party content. Consult the 5e Race Design Guide for help and consider checking out some of the comparable Featured Articles.

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All decent folk find the common rat repulsive. Harbinger of disease, it scavenges on our waste-heaps and frightens our children. How immeasurably worse then is the foul Skaven - standing on its hindlegs in foul parody of a human. Rats as tall as man, and blessed with the most vile intellect and cunning. They are the dark side of our souls, come to destroy us for our sins.
—Albrecht of Nuln

Physical Description[edit]

A Rat Ogre

Skaven are human sized anthropomorphic rats creatures that live in subterranean areas that are often plagued in disease and filth. They are clever vermin, with an itch for the dangerous. Their cowardice is only matched by their tendency to stab their fellow rat-and commander alike-in the back with a rusty dagger.


No one knows where the Skaven came from. Ancient Dwarves, tell horrifying tales of hungry red eyes, scouring through a human settlement in the mountains. Dwarven Scholars speculate, that it was the great bell in the recently constructed cathedral, which rung specifically thirteen times, before going silent. The following chaos was one never seen before, man turning on man, children eating the faces of their own mothers, large green meteors of pure chaos fell from the sky; almost none of those exposed to the bell's tolls were spared from the madness. The few souls that were still sane, knocked the doors of the cathedral open, with the intent of finding the culprits to this dark sorcery. Inside, corpses of dwarves lay scattered throughout its great halls, every single piece of flesh torn from their bones. And from the darkness, lay thousands of red eyes on the disturbers of the feast. Since then, that city has been renamed to Skavenblight, the wretched capital of all Skavens.


Skaven live in large underground cities, where all rats, sooner or later, go. Life here is harsh, with few Skaven reaching the age of a human teenager, before being crushed under a fallen rock from above, stabbed in the back by a colleague, or falling from a high point to his death. Four clans dominate most of Skaven society, and all who wish to make it far in Skaven society will eventually join one. Or get eaten by a rat ogre; whichever one comes first. The four clans are: Skyre, Moulder, Eshin, and Pestilens. Clan Skyre focuses on developing new and interesting toys to blow soldiers up with, and occasionally something useful for non military purposes. Like a massive drill that can do what would take thousands of slaves a month to do, in a weeks time. Of course, these drills have been limited to drilling out new tunnels, far away from cities, as one of them almost got Skavenblight crushed under tons of stone. Clan Moulder are the breeders of the clans, using magical rocks known as warpstone, filled with pure mutating chaos inside it. By far the most popular mutants are the rat ogres, the result of rats mingling with an ogre. Yeah, don't think about it too much. Clan Eshin are a clan of assassins, trained by ninjas of Nippon to the East. These guys are almost permanently bought out by the Council of 13, more about those later. The fourth one is Clan Pestilence, an entire clan of decease-ridden monks who screech autistically from their tomes. They love inventing new plagues, and would want nothing but to watch the entire world rot. Of course, if you're feeling lucky, you could try your luck on the pillar of thirteen sides, a large stone of pure chaos. If you survive the horrible mutations, you may get a seat at the council of 13. That is, if you beat one of the current members. To give some perspective, the members haven't changed for four hundred years.

Skaven Names[edit]

Skaven names are often beast like or attributed to disease, rot, beast features and are often genderless.

Male/Female: Skrin, Vaskal, Roter, Kritess, Scife

Skaven Traits[edit]

Human sized anthropomorphic rats
Ability Score Increase. Skaven gain a bounus of +1 to Dexterity and Constitution scores.
Age. Due to their extremely fast metabolism Skaven can live naturally to the the ages of 12 to 15, however due to their tendency to stab and kill co-workers, they normally live to the age of 4 if they're lucky. Although there are many other contributing factors to the age of a skaven rat. For example, being blessed by their God known as the the horned rat, these skaven rats are known as grey seers as their fur is white, they are strong spell casters and can live up to the age of 70 and beyond. Another example would be a plague priest, these skaven are so disease ridden that it can prolong their life to 50 years. One of the last is the long life elixir created by clan Skyre, it's extremely expensive but it can prolong their life by a minimum of 100 years.
Alignment. Skaven are Chaotic Evil.
Size. Most skaven grow to no taller than 5 feet tall but some can be much bigger.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
Superior Darkvision. Due to living in nothing but darkness. You have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. 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.
Plagued Upbringing. Growing up and spawning in filth has its advantages. You have advantage on Constitution saving throws against nonmagical diseases.
Conniving. Skaven are proficient in Stealth and Deception.
Skiddish. Skaven are proficient in Perception checks.
Languages. You can speak Undercommon and Common.

Night Runner[edit]

Ability Score Increase. +2 Dexterity
Skitter. Your base walking speed is 40
Shadow Meld. Can hide in dim light.
Ready to Strike. Gain +2 to initiative rolls.
Deadly Whispers. If unseen by any enemies, you may attempt to whisper creepy promises of death to a foe, using psychological warfare against it. roll 1d20. If the roll surpass the enemy's willpower stat, The enemy begins to freak out, latching out at any shadow. You and anyone that attacks him gains advantage for 2 turns. If you roll a one, flip a coin, or roll a D6. This Dice will decide if the voice affects yourself, or the closest ally to you at present. 1, 2, and 3 will make the voice affect a party member, and 4, 5, and 6 means you scare yourself; you roll a will save against DC 15+. deadly Whispers has no effect on creatures that are unable to feel paranoia or fear, such as Golems. You may only use this once after every long rest.

Free slave[edit]

Ability Score Increase. +1 Strength, +1 Dexterity
Unarmed Proficiency. Gain proficiency in unarmed attacks and bites.
Claws and Teeth. Claws 1d4 slashing, Teeth 1d6 piercing.
Warlord's slave. After a traumatizing experience after harming a Skaven warlord, you have a hesitation to hurt them. -2 to hit on anything but a 20.

Rat Ogre[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Ignore all ability score improvements from main class. Instead, Gain Strength +2 Constitution +2 -4 Intelligence
Large Size. Your size is now Large.

Grey Seer[edit]

Ability Score Increase. +4 Intelligence -2 Strength
Warpstone token good to eat-feast. roll a d6 on a 3+ add 2 to your next spell role, else take d6 damage that can't be healed until next short/long rest.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

5′ 0″ +1d10 100 lb. × (4d20) lb.

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

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