Guerilla Warfare and Urban Experts
Details: Ratkin are survivalists and they adapt very well to urban settings, just as they adapt to rural ones. Ratkin have gotten a very bad name for themselves because unfortunately, some found out a truth that higher powers didn’t exactly want let out to the Umbra or to the Shifters themselves. To punish them, The Weaver forced the Wyrm to release corruption upon the lot of them and very few have escaped this fate. This has made those Ratkin and their nest-mates corrupted in such a way that they have carried diseases and are alleged to have been behind some very serious plagues and influenza that have killed so many people. The Ratkin before and after might think that humans are way too overpopulated but the plagues didn’t really slow humanity down and they’ve gone and created more than if the corrupted Ratkin had left them alone. Metis Ratkin are all corrupt and that is the majority of Ratkin currently. Even the playable Ratkin are deranged and their blood is putrid with plague. This is what they must live with as they try to find out what their real purposes are.
Breeds: Homids usually live on the fringes of human society or hide in mundane jobs until they snap. Rodens are unusually feral rat-born. Breed determines Gnosis. Homids have Gnosis 1 and rodens have Gnosis 5.
Aspects: Tunnel Runners wander the world as scouts of the swarm.
Shadow Seers hunt for spiritual secrets, skirting the boundary between wisdom and madness.
Knife-Skulkers strike temporary deals, conspiring as negotiators, assassins, and executioners.
Blade Slaves wage wars with dirty tricks and guerrilla tactics.
Stranger “Freak Aspects” have also been sighted. Each aspect determines starting Rage: Runners have Rage 1; Seers have Rage 2; Skulkers have Rage 3; and Blade Slaves have Rage 4.
• A Ratkin’s starting Willpower is 3 (unless he belongs to a rare Ratkin tribe.)
• Ratkin use Rage and Gnosis like Garou. However, when a Ratkin’s temporary Rage exceeds Gnosis, she becomes twitchy and more prone to violence; as temporary Gnosis exceeds Rage, she becomes more delusional or introspective.
• A lone Ratkin needs privacy and a “shiny thing” to step sideways; a pack uses the Rite of the Bolthole.
• Ratkin regenerate like Garou, and they’re vulnerable to silver.
• Ratkin never get lost underground. They’re immune to disease, their blood is toxic, they have night vision, and they can speak to rats. When one induces Delirium, treat the victim’s Willpower as two points higher on the Delirium Chart. (Ratkin characters have other useful traits that antagonists don’t often use.) Ratkin Kinfolk have supernaturally tainted blood. Ratkin can bite Kinfolk and perform the Rite of the Birthing Plague to incite a First Change. Some victims successfully transform; others die.
Forms: Wererats can assume three forms. Homid: In Homid form, Ratkin infiltrate human society, especially its seedier or more fringe elements. Many of their human breeding partners are sketchy, recklessly promiscuous, misunderstood, or “ratlike.”
Crinos: In Crinos, a Ratkin is about 20% taller and a little bulker, but many slouch. Claws and teeth inflict aggravated damage. Whiskers shiver, and eyes are bright. Modifiers: Strength +1, Dexterity +4, Stamina +2, Charisma –2, Appearance –1, Perception +1
Rodens: This form resembles the species Rattus rattus or Rattus Norwegicus. It might be as small as a kangaroo rat or as large as a housecat. In Rodens form, rodens bred wererats have tiny opposable thumbs. Modifiers: Strength –1, Dexterity +2, Stamina +2, Perception +3.
Sample Gifts: The Rat Totem bestows many Bone Gnawer Gifts to Ratkin. Basic Garou Auspice Gifts make for good quick-and-dirty Aspect Gifts, such as Ragabash Gifts for Runners, Theurge Gifts for Seers, and Ahroun Gifts for Blade Slaves. Knife-Skulkers combine Ragabash stealth with Philodox negotiation.