Skaven (5e Race)

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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 hind legs in a foul parody of a human. Rats as tall as man, and blessed with the vilest 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

The Skaven are human-sized anthropomorphic rat 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. Night Runners and Free Slaves look very similar in terms of build and physique both having many scars with grimy short fur. The Rat Ogres are towering Skaven who lack the intellect to talk back or think twice towards their masters. These Skaven have the rippling muscle of their Ogre parents along with their lower intelligence. The Grey Seers are most prominently known for their grey to white fur, curved horns that adorn their heads, and their innate connection to their god the Horned Rat. These Skaven are always appointed as leaders in Skaven society wherever they show up.


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. 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 Skaven.


The 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 rock, 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 nonmilitary purposes. Such as, massive drills that can do what would take thousands of slaves a month to do, in a week's time. 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, a horrible fusion of an Ogre and a Skaven the result more brutal than it is cunning. Clan Eshin is a clan of assassins, trained by ninjas of Nippon to the East. Eshin is almost permanently bought out by the Council of Thirteen, for their services in dealing with troublesome Skaven or those of other empires. The fourth clan is Clan Pestilens, an entire clan of decease-ridden monks who screech the teachings of Horned Rat from their tomes. They love inventing new plagues and would want nothing but to watch the entire world rot. At the center of all is the Pillar of Commandments, a large stone of pure Warpstone containing thirteen sides with thirteen commandments. If you survive the horrible mutations, you have a chance at getting a seat in the Council of Thirteen. That is if you kill one of the current members in a fight to the death. Though some have tried 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 riddled with scars, filthy plague-ridden fur, and unbridled envy wanting nothing more than to put themselves at the top of their hierarchy.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age. Due to their extremely fast metabolism Skaven can live naturally to 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 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 have a strict hierarchy to their volatile lifestyle, and they will often use their position to exterminate any and all who oppose them. The only way to go up in their society is to murder your rival and to obtain his position in a sly or cunning way. They favor trickery or short-lived truces with enemies to which they will eventually backstab at a later date if they don't get backstabbed themselves. They always turn out chaotic evil.
Size. Most Skaven grow to no taller than 5 feet tall but some can be much bigger. Your size is Medium.
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 120 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.
Claws and Teeth. Your overgrown buck teeth and unkempt claws are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your claws, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed strike. If you hit with your bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d6 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed strike.
Plagued Upbringing. Growing up and spawning in filth has its advantages. You are resistant to poison, have advantage against poisons, and are immune to the effects of diseases. However, you can still spread them.
Conniving. You are proficient in two of the following skills: Deception, Perception, Stealth, and Sleight of Hand.
Sunlight Sensitivity. 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, read, and write Common and Undercommon.

Night Runner[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Skitter. Your base walking speed is 35
Shadow Meld. You have advantage to Stealth (Dexterity) checks to hide in ruins, sewers, alleys, and other urban areas.
Ready to Strike. If you surprise a creature and hit it with an attack on your first turn in combat, the attack deals an extra 2d6 damage to it. You can use this trait only once per combat.

Free Slave[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Strength score increases by 2.
Slave Willpower. After getting out of the slave pits, a rare feat by Skaven-kind, you work diligently to keep your position of power and not show weakness. If you miss with an attack roll or fail an ability check or a saving throw, you can gain a bonus to the roll equal to the number of allies you can see within 30 feet of you (maximum bonus of +5). Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you finish a short or long rest.

Rat Ogre[edit]

Design Note: This subrace uses the Large Player Characters (5e Variant Rule).

Ability Score Increase. Ignore ability score improvements from the main race. Instead, your Strength score increases by 2, your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Intelligence score is reduced by 2.
Large Size. Your size is Large.
Bigger is Better. Your larger size has given you larger and deadlier natural weapons. Your claw attacks now deal 1d6 + your Strength modifier. Your bite attacks now deal 1d8 + your Strength modifier.
Natural Armor. You have tough, thick, leathery skin from your unnatural origins. When you aren't wearing armor, your AC is 13 + your Constitution modifier. You can use your natural armor to determine your AC if the armor you wear would leave you with a lower AC. A shield's benefits apply as normal while you use your natural armor.

Grey Seer[edit]

Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 2.
Warpstone Token. When casting a spell you can roll a 1d6, on a 4, 5, or 6, you gain advantage to the attack spell you are casting or give disadvantage to the enemy when they are forced to make a saving throw against your spell. If you roll a 1, 2, or 3, you take 1d6 necrotic damage for every spell slot used to cast that spell. The necrotic damage can't be healed until you take a short rest or a long rest and you can't use this feature again until after your next long rest.
Horned Rat's Gift. You know the Infestation cantrip. Once you reach 3rd level, you can cast the Ray of Sickness spell once as a 2nd-level spell. Once you reach 5th level, you can also cast the ray of enfeeblement spell once. You must finish a long rest to cast these spells again with this trait. Wisdom is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

Random Height and Weight[edit]

4′ 10″ +1d10 100 lb. × (1d12) lb.

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

10′ 0″ +3d12 600 lb. × (3d12) lb.

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

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