Skaven, Variant (5e Race)

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Skaven: Children of the Horned Rat[edit]

There existed once two Ratkin from the same breeder
While scouting they encountered a wild beast, but wisely fled from the creature that pursued them for many miles.
"Surely" Said the first Rat-thing to the other "we cannot-cannot outrun this horrid creature"
"We-we don't have to" The second chittered in agreement and tripped the other.
"I only has to outrun you!"
—A Fable from the Lessons of the Horned Rat

Sly and Skiddish[edit]

Self-centered and anxious or just part of a big and unstoppable swarm. While it can be incredibly varied by all the horrible mutations plaguing those creatures, the typical Skaven specimen stand 4 to 5 feet tall in a naturally hunched position. They borrow much from in appearance from their brothers in the animal kingdom. The usual Rat-man typically displays a greater degree of speed and reflexes at the expense of pure physical strength. A typical Skaven has to eat food far more frequently than what is considered normal by other races standards. In fact, a typical Skaven would naturally eat around five times a day. This metabolism makes many Skaven naturally scrawny or even malnourished, forcing many Skaven to eat just about anything, which also leads to frequent acts of cannibalism among their own kind. Due to Skaven live being marked by a constant pack in fighting it is not unusual to see them littered with scars or horrible rashes.

Paranoid and Pressured[edit]

As a whole, the Skaven is, at its base, a very selfish and unloving creature, raised within a turbulent society that only promotes violence, cunning, and the need for survival. With little room for remorse or pity, not even for close "friends" or even siblings or kin. Not only are the Skaven a petty and jealous race, they are also devious and sly in their attitude to one another. In their everyday lives, a Skaven is always looking for an angle to play in order to advance himself and only himself within the grander scheme of things. This trait is most notable when a Skaven tries to claim others an achievement as his own. However, a Skaven alone is a naturally shy creature only being able to show courage when backed up.

Nobody Cares[edit]

Not much is know about the history of the Ratfolk. While they seem to have an incredibly complex writing system they don't seem to bother preserving their history of the past. Instead, they focus on spreading their own individual story vocally. Every respectable rat speaks often and empathically of their own achievements. Therefore their story has been written by other races for them, which meant their anyways dubious nature has been overblown into a perpetual worsening cycle.


Skaven society is often divided between two types of social system, which is separated between a Caste System and a Clan Hierarchy. The Caste System focuses heavily upon the color of a Skaven fur, which denotes the Skaven as being assigned a particular role in society. Outside the Caste System, Skaven society is usually dominated by a treacherous clan-based hierarchy, from which clans of warlords make up the bulk of the ever-growing population of male Ratmen. These militaristic clans, known as Warlord Clans, form a hierarchy defined by the law of the strongest ruling over the weakest. The task of creating their sometimes ingenious devices is being left to a very small guild called the tinkerers but there seems to be little collaboration within this guild. The only god they pray to is the Horned Rat. Every-Rat chitters their prayers to the great horned one multiple times a day with a mass held daily. Believe is not enforced by any authority per se but Rat-men who are seen as non-believers are quickly outcast or even frequently attacked by their peers. Their god seems as chaotic as every Skaven, granting wishes frequently with no matter of status in society and following no moral code what so ever. Females are only known as "Breeders" which seems to be their only place in society, not even granted a Name. While not unheard of, a Skaven is very rarely taken in by other communities and usually seen as an abomination and therefore has very little contact to the outside world of their society. If taken in by circumstances tough they can live relatively normal lives within a community of other races.

Skaven Talk[edit]

Skaven talk is a unique form of undercommon or common. Due to Skavens naturally fast talking speed, words are short, clipped, and often repeated several times in a row in an effort to add emphasis to statements. Similarly in their unique writing, they often use, characters do not constitute an alphabet or a compact syllabary. Rather, the writing system is roughly logosyllabic. Complex pictograms etched by claw refer individually to one concept. Scent has a strong role in Skaven communication. Each Ratkin naturally communicates their emotional state by musk to the creatures around them who can pick it up. A Rat-man may often mention the "musk of fear" in their enemies or particular stench of a creature.

Skaven Names[edit]

When a skaven litter is born, they are taken away from the breeder and brought to a council which sorts the kits by appearance and fur color to be trained accordingly. Weak looking infants are killed and brought into the pit as a food source. Grey and albino colored rats are deemed blessed by the horned ones with grey being trained as spiritual leaders to interpret the will of the horned one and albinos being trained as the lifeguards of important figures. Black rats are deemed to be excellent killers and trained accordingly. While the majority of rats are being born in brownish hues and placed into the commoner ranks wherever a guild needs more workforce. Skaven names are then chosen and represent a usually short high pitched chatter sound. A Skaven may earn a surname if he fulfills a revered deed, stereotype or has a distinct look, but is mostly created by fear of a certain fate in the lower ranks.

Male: Raklet, Squeek, Sleek, Tiklisp, Queek, Snikch, Tretch, Feskit, Ratchit, Reekit, Ikit, Ikk, Snickrat, Veskit

Female: Females are not granted a name within Skaven society.

Skaven Traits[edit]

While breeding practices vary greatly every skaven usually shares a common share of strengths and weakness.
Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
Age. Living within their disease and unrest riddled burrows skaven usually live no longer than to an age of 5-17 and rarely reach true adulthood. All tough their biology seems to grant them much longer lives if they manage to grow up in a better environment reaching 3 digits in a number.
Alignment. The Rat-men usually tent to a chaotic neutral or evil alignment working towards their own benefit but this is highly influenced by their culture and one living outside it might display very different characteristics.
Size. Usually about 5 feet high but with sometimes great variation due to their frequent mutations. All Skaven have a naturally hunched position, a few even preferring a feral stance. Skaven usually weighs about 100 pounds. Your size is Small.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a burrow speed of 5 foot.
Darkvision. 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.
Fetid. Due to living under horrible conditions since hundreds of generations, they are resilient against almost any disease. You are immune to diseases, have advantage on saving throws against poisoned, and you have resistance against poison damage.
Pheromones. Skaven have the unique ability to smell basic feelings of the creatures around them. You can telepathically understand the simple emotions of any creature within 30 feet of you. This form of telepathy doesn't allow for communication.
Bottomless Hunger. Skaven live for their hunger. You require twice as much food and drink as a normal Medium-sized creature.
Only Strong in Numbers. You have disadvantage on saving throws against being frightened if you can neither hear nor see any allies.
Languages. You can speak, read and write Common and Undercommon

Random Height and Weight[edit]

4′ 0″ +1d20 80 lb. × (1d20) lb.

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

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