Ratkin (5e Race)

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Author: Ghostwheel (talk)
Date Created: November 7th, 2017
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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It would be ugly to watch people poking sticks at a caged rat. It is uglier still to watch rats poking sticks at a caged person.
—Jean Harris
Rodents of unusual size? I don't think they exist.
—The Dread Pirate Roberts, The Princess Bride

"No, shiny!" the ratkin cried pitifully as the half-orc grabbed the gem in its hands. "Give it 'ere," the half-orc rumbled, smiling in pleasure at the red-tinted jewel in its hand. It turned it around, bringing it closer to its eyes all the while ignoring the wretched creature scrabbling impotently at it. "Shiny, shiny, shiny, mine, mine, mine!" the ratkin pleaded to no avail before the half-orc pushed it violently aside. "Ger'off," the half-orc muttered, his smile widening; this would fetch a pretty price at one of the vendors, and no mistake of that. Suddenly, the ratkin's voice changed, words growing long. "Give me back the shiny! It's mine! Give it back now!" The half-orc's eyes widened at words, and barely noticed a half-dozen more of the ratkin's kind appearing from the dark alley before a whirlwind of fangs brought him low.

Matted Fur and Hungry Eyes[edit]

Twitchy and bright-eyed, ratkin appear to be rats almost as large as a human, often with fur thick with debris and garbage. Though in truth some are as tall as humans, their naturally hunched posture causes them to stand between 2 and 5 feet in height. Thinner and more sinewy than most humans, they often weigh 40 to 150 pounds, and members of either sex are virtually indistinguishable from one another except to other ratkin.

Ratkin most often have brown or piebald fur, with beady black or red eyes, and long tails that are almost as long as their body. They often carry pouches on them filled with various rocks or coins of various shades that gleam in whatever light may be around.

Curious and Greedy[edit]

Ratkin tend to be a curious breed, always exploring various nooks and crannies looking for new shinies. They often travel in packs of half-a-dozen ratkin, feeling safer within the group and not realizing that they tend to survive longer the more of them there are. Lazy, they tend to do minimal work feeding themselves, and at most have a small fungus farm within their scratches, their name for the dwellings they carve beneath the ground.

Easily frightened, especially when alone, ratkin far prefer to run and hide rather than fight, though a throng of biting fangs and claws can often meet unsuspecting intruders, especially should the intruders attempt to part them from their "shinies".

The Deep Grimdark[edit]

Most ratkin live in communal colonies called "scratches" deep within the ground. Naturally quite stupid, ratkin communicate with each other through a series of ultrasonic squeaks virtually inaudible to other races. This rapid communication, called Skritt, allows them to share very basic information very quickly, and when more gather they can be quite intelligent. They by far prefer the darkness, their sensitive eyes easily blinded by a sudden burst of light, a trait that many other races use to their advantage when dealing with ratkin.

However, ratkin are also hunted by another race very similar to their own, the skaven. There are two major differences between ratkin and skaven that cause them to hate one another; the first is the ratkin's fear and disdain of the warpstone, a strange mutative substance that skaven are incredibly fond of, and the other is that there are almost no distinctive differences between males and females among the ratkin, while the skaven females are broodmothers, huge, almost mindless monstrosities covered in teats that birth dozens of young at a time.

Escaping the Machine[edit]

Some ratkin are curious to a fault, and leave their scratches to see the wider world in search of new shinies. Due to their lack of intelligence when venturing far from their own kind, many die but a few find friends who keep them safe from the dangers of the world which they do not understand in their stunted state, valuing them for their sneakiness and how easily manipulated they are.

Ratkin Names[edit]

Male Names: Brackakk, Btikk, Jinkadink, Mrakturr, Nrekktak, Saretokk, Tchkik
Female Names: Brekkabek, Derratata, Drezzadella, Fetsitakka, Rikka, Sipptikk, Yiktuka
Clan Names: Abarrtak, Arkatopf, Drakkitoka, Ftokchak, Rennatiff, Takkrakka, Tu'scratchtak

Ratkin Traits[edit]


Creature Type. Humanoid
Ability Score Increase. Dexterity +1, Constitution +1, Intelligence -2
Age. The ratkin life cycle is extremely short, and most reach maturity a couple of years after they are born, but do not tend to naturally live more then 20-30 years at the most, though there are tales of some who have lived as long as 50 years.
Alignment. Ratkin tend towards a chaotic alignment, opportunistic and impulsive in their nature. While most tend towards evil, there is a large minority that tends towards neutrality, simply doing whatever they can do survive within the ever-changing society.
Size. When standing completely straight (something that rarely happens), ratkin tend to be between 3' 6" and 5' tall. However, they tend to be hunched over, causing them to look much smaller, and weigh around 80 - 120 lbs. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.  
Darkvision: Having lived almost your entire life in the dark underground apart from the soft glow of warplight, you are adept at seeing even in the deepest hole. 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. 
Bite. Your sharp teeth are a natural weapon with the finesse descriptor, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with your bite, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal amount of bludgeoning damage for an unarmed strike. 
Shiny Search. You have proficiency in the Perception skill. 
Skritt Resilience. You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage. 
Twitchy. You add your proficiency bonus to Initiative checks.
Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common, and speak and understand Skritt.. Skritt is a language that consists of primarily squeeks and chirps almost inaudible to non-ratkin with no written symbols. It is an extremely efficient language for expressing ideas and information, though poor for poetry or song, and is the basis for the increased intelligence of ratkin in great numbers.

Common Ratkin[edit]

The vast majority of ratkin have brown or piebald fur, and tend to be smaller than their dark-furred clan members. They are the most common of their kind, and tend to fight in massed ranks, using their teeth and weapons to their advantage. ' is a subrace of Ratkin

Ability Score Increase: Dexterity +1
Group Intelligence. When you are within hearing distance of at least 10 other ratkin, you have advantage on all Intelligence-based skill checks. When you are not within hearing distance of at least 3 other ratkin, you have disadvantage on all Intelligence-based skill checks. 
Sneaky-sneak. You have proficiency in the Stealth skill.

Dark Ratkin[edit]

Some ratkin are born with dark fur, often jet black. These are almost always bigger than their smaller kin, emboldening them where others of their kind would flee at the first sign of trouble. ' is a subrace of Ratkin

Ability Score Increase: Strength +1
Big Bodied. Unlike most of your race, your size is Medium allowing you to use two-handed weapons usually unwieldable by other ratkin. 
Group Intelligence. When you are within hearing distance of at least 10 other ratkin, you have advantage on all Intelligence-based skill checks. When you are not within hearing distance of at least 3 other ratkin, you have disadvantage on all Intelligence-based skill checks.

Gray Ratkin[edit]

The rarest of their kind, gray ratkin are albino or gray-furred ratkin. They are often the leaders of their clan, and usually learn a form of magic to increase their prowess where they might not be as fast or strong as others of their kind. Their innate intelligence allows them to rival even the skaven Gray Seers in terms of their arcane prowess. ' is a subrace of Ratkin

Ability Score Increase: Intelligence +3
Arcane Training. You have proficiency in the Arcana skill.

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Facts about "Ratkin (5e Race)"
Ability ModsDex +1 +, Con +1 + and Int -2 +
AuthorGhostwheel +
Constitution+1 +
Dexterity+1 +
FeaturesAge +, Alignment +, Size +, Speed +, Darkvision 60 +, Bite +, Shiny Search +, Skritt Resilience +, Twitchy +, Languages +, Group Intelligence +, Sneaky-sneak +, Big Bodied + and Arcane Training +
Identifier5e Race +
Intelligence-2 + and +3 +
Is Racetrue +
RaceRatkin +
Race NameRatkin (5e Race) +
Rated ByVaegrim +
RatingRating Pending +
SizeSmall +
Strength+1 +
Subracetrue +
Subrace Ability ModsDex +1 +, Str +1 + and Int +3 +
Subrace FeaturesGroup Intelligence +, Sneaky-sneak +, Big Bodied + and Arcane Training +
SummaryA race of foul ratfolk who grow smarter in great numbers. +
TitleRatkin +
TypeHumanoid +