Rattenkönig (3.5e Race)

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Author: Eiji-kun (talk)
Date Created: 9-24-12
Status: Complete
Editing: Clarity edits only please
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There is the legend of the rat king, a monster rat of unusual intellect and malice, formed from dozens of rats bound by the tail which rolled over the land spreading disease in its wake. Most of it is legend, but some of it has truth. Formed when a swarm of rats gather and are imbued with hivemind intellect, the rattenkönig is a bizarre collective being born from filth. Though not the bad omens of death they are said to be, they are still ill received.


The rattenkönig is an unnatural being formed by unusual means. No one is certain why they occur... magical radiation, strange eons, or some little understood mundane effect, but the rare times a rattenkönig is born it is often surrounded by its own unenlightened kind and by the urban squall which rats are wont to reside in. And almost universally the intellect formed by the rattenkönig is one of arrogance and pride ill fitting its origins.

The classic rattenkönig acts the part of a king, finding itself given some divine mandate as to its existence or insisting on attention and worship. This arrogance is tempered by a wisdom knowing that they aren't really kings of their own land, and many creatures are stronger and unwelcoming of them, yet given the opportunity many will try. They range from cruel and fickle tyrants to those convinced of some noble good and purpose. They usually end up in adventuring parties as a curiosity picked up, or because they become convinced that their rule, benevolent or not, is needed elsewhere.

Physical Description[edit]

The rattenkönig are a phenomena born of a swarm of rats whose tails become intertwined and entangled in themselves and surrounding filth of blood, dirt, ice, excrement, and mysterious supernatural goop. The animals grow together joined at the tail and gain a collective hivemind of unusual intellect, dim compared to the average man but far better than their rat kin. This quasi-swarm of rats often has individual members live, die, join and escape, but the mass as a whole remains constant. As they grow in power, additional rats join the fold yet its size does not increase, seeming to suck the additional rats in extradimensional space when no one is looking.

As a rat swarm, they have the appearance and properties expected of rats, and breed normally with rats. The condition of being a rattenkönig does not appear to be genetic, and there is no extra chance offspring will be anything but normal rats. Because they are a swarm, they always have part of their mass awake at one time, but must still eat and breath. They are known to be voracious eaters and can devour whole foodstocks many times their size. Even if properly cleaned, they still seem to retain an unnatural odorless goop around their main mass which keeps them together. A rattenkönig speaks in a chorus of voices which do not seem to come from any particular rat. Rats do not display vocal abilities when separated from the swarm.

Rattenkönigs age quickly and rarely live long, due to predation and other effects, but theoretically can live forever. It's not that the individual rats live any longer than normal, but the rats in the swarm regularly recycle in and out with their number, and as a result the rattenkönig has no maximum age. Because they are made of both male and females, there is no gender to a rattenkönig, though it may adopt a male or female voice.


Rattenkönigs are a rare sight, and many with they were rarer. Even without the negative legends about rat kings, few want to deal with a sentient ball of rats. As such, they find themselves unwelcome in most lands.


While rattenkönigs can be any alignment, a life of rejection and disgust pushes many rattenkönigs to chaos and sometimes evil, which does not help their position as harbingers of doom.


Rattenkönigs form in areas heavy in rat plagues, such as in urban areas and sewers. They are not numerous and have no civilization of their own. Two rattenkönigs meeting are a rare sight indeed, and a volatile one as each rattenkönig's arrogance will likely clash with the others.


As rattenkönigs are born from random occurrence, most lack any understanding of religion and those that do much overcome their own arrogance to bother with it. As such, most rattenkönigs are non-religious.


Rattenkönigs speak Common, the language most usually hear in urban lands. They also speak Rodent and can speak with rats and other rodent animals as if using speak with animals.


Rattenkönigs are known to have a flair for the dramatic. Completely inappropriate for appearance, rattenkönig names are often a long series of titles better suited for a monarch than a pile of rats.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • -4 Strength, +2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma: A swirling ball of awakened rats, the rattenkönig has the fortitude to survive filth and the senses of a rat, but also the poor strength, intelligence, and charm of dirty rats.
  • Magical Beast: Rattenkönigs are magical beasts due to their enlightened natures.
  • Medium: As a Medium creature, a Rattenkönig has no special bonuses or penalties due to its size.
  • Rattenkönig base land speed is 20 feet. They also have a climb speed of 20 feet.
  • Darkvision: A 60 can see in the dark up to 60 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but it is otherwise like normal sight, and a Rattenkönig can function just fine with no light at all.
  • Low-Light Vision: A rattenkönig can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. She retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Disease (Ex): Choose a disease with a DC equal or less than 12 + 1/2 your HD + Con. You inflict this disease on creatures you bite. The DC for your disease is 10 + 1/2 HD + Con, and the effect takes place immediately as per contagion. Every time you level up, you can change what disease you deal as you increase in power.
  • Filth Born (Ex): Rattenkönigs add their character level as a resistance bonus against disease and poison (minimum +4).
  • Fortification (Ex): Rattenkönigs have 25% fortification against critical hits and sneak attacks, as their central mass is the only weak point in their swarm.
  • Hardened Filth (Ex): Even when clean, the magic which creates rattenkönigs seems to keep a constant hard filth around them which provides protection. They receive an armor bonus equal to 3 plus an additional +1 per two HD.
  • Natural Weapons (Ex): Rattenkönigs have a natural bite attack that deals 1d6 points of damage, plus their disease ability. The rattenkönig may use its Dexterity in place of its Strength for its natural attacks. Unlike most natural weapons, the rattenkönig may choose to treat it as a manufactured weapon, gaining additional attacks due to a high BAB, and they may enhance their bite as if it were a masterwork weapon.
  • One of Us (Ex): Rats and rat swarms do not instinctively consider the rattenkönig an opponent and ignore the rattenkönig until attacked.
  • Quasi-Swarm Traits (Ex): The rattenkönig is a swarm of individual, normally mundane rats bound by the tails and other body parts and magical essence. As a result, the count as being of the Swarm subtype, but do not have complete Swarm traits. They threaten out to their normal range (5 feet), do not have a clear front or back, and lack the swarm attack or distraction ability. They are subject to critical hits and sneak attacks by striking at the center of their mass and can be flanked (though they possess fortification), but flankers do not receive a +2 bonus to attack for doing so. They take normal damage from all weapons, and do not break up until they hit -10. A dying rattenkönig is merely an unfocused collection of rats still stuck together and unable to move. If killed, the swarm disperses leaving a single rat as the rattenkönig's body, for the purpose of raising and resurrection. The rattenkönig can be targeted by effects which target individual creatures, but takes half damage from it. Non-damaging effects still function as normal, as do mind-affecting effects. The rattenkönig is vulnerable to area effects, taking half again as much damage (+50%) from these sources.
As a quasi-swarm, the rattenkönig can pass through spaces as if it were a Tiny creature. They can pass through occupied squares (through they provoke attacks of opportunity for doing so). They cannot wear armor, instead relying on shields and their hardened filth abilities. They possess all the body slots of a human, holding magic items within their mass, and they can hold (but not wield) items as if they had two hands by supporting it in their bulk. This allows them to hold a wand or use a shield (but not attack with the shield). They need to take the feat Monstrous Hand in order to use weapons.
Because the rattenkönig is made out of many individuals, the rattenkönig does not sleep and is immune to sleep effects for there are always portions of it that are awake and mobile.
  • Scent (Ex): You gain the scent ability.
  • Swarm Intelligence (Ex): One rat is an animal, and a dozen rats bound in a rattenkönig is intelligent, but dim witted. However as their numbers grow, so do their intelligence. The rattenkönig receives a +1 enhancement bonus to Intelligence at 2 HD and every two HD beyond, to a maximum of +16 Int at 32 HD. When a rattenkönig loses HD due to temporary or permanent negative levels, their intelligence subsequently drops as well.
  • The rattenkönig gains a +8 racial bonus on Climb checks, and may take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. In addition, the rattenkönig uses its Dexterity modifier in place of Strength for Climb and Swim checks.
  • Automatic Languages: Common, Rodent.
  • Bonus Languages: Goblin, Gnoll, Orc, Sylvan, and Undercommon.
  • Favored Class: Druid and Wizard
  • Level Adjustment: +0
  • Effective Character Level: 1

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Rattenkönig Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
1 years +1d2 +1d3 +1d6
Table: Rattenkönig Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
8 years 12 years 16 years +Unlimited years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Rattenkönig Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' +1d4 25 lb. × (1d4) lb.
Female 4' +1d4 25 lb. × (1d4) lb.

Back to Main Page3.5e HomebrewRaces

Eiji-kun's Homebrew (5482 Articles)
AuthorEiji-kun +
Effective Character Level1 +
Favored ClassDruid + and Wizard +
Identifier3.5e Race +
Level Adjustment0 +
Racial Ability Adjustments-4 Strength +, +2 Dexterity +, +2 Constitution +, -4 Intelligence +, +2 Wisdom + and -2 Charisma +
RatingUnrated +
SizeMedium +
SummaryFormed when a swarm of rats gather and are imbued with hivemind intellect, the rattenkönig is a bizarre collective being born from filth. +
TitleRattenkönig +
TypeMagical Beast +