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Barrow Rat

A chattering swarm of large, sickly looking brown rats emerge from everywhere. The creatures appear both half starved and agitated to aggression.

Barrow Rat CR 1/4

XP 100
N Tiny magical beast
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, scent; Perception +1

DEFENSE

AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 13 (+2 Dex, +1 natural, +2 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1
Defensive Abilities stone skin

OFFENSE

Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., burrow 15 ft
Melee bite +5 (1d3-3)
Space 2 1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks swarm

TACTICS

Barrow rats rarely engage in combat with creatures much larger than themselves, preferring to flee when confronted. Smaller creatures are attacked from ambush and swarmed by the rats.

If threatened or cornered, a barrow rat activates its stone skin ability for defense and either attacks with its bite or simply flees. Multiple barrow rats swarm an opponent. If their nest or young are threatened, barrow rats fight to the death.

STATISTICS

Str 4, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 12, Cha 3
Base Atk +1; CMB -4; CMD +8
Feats Weapon Finesse
Skills Acrobatics +10, Climb +10, Stealth +12; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth, +8 Acrobatics. Barrow rats use their Dexterity modifier for Climb checks.

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Stone Skin (Su)

Once per day, as a standard action, a barrow rat can toughen its skin to the hardness of stone. It gains damage reduction 10/– for 1 minute.

Swarm (Ex)

Barrow rats crawl over each other in an attempt to swarm an opponent. Up to four barrow rats can occupy a single 5-foot space.

ECOLOGY

Environment underground
Organization pack (4-9), swarm (11-20), or nest (10-40 plus 100% noncombatant young)
Treasure none

Barrow rats are scavengers by nature and prefer to feed on dead animals or rotting corpses, even going as far as to gnaw through a wooden coffin to eat the flesh of a newly dead and buried creature. Food that is not immediately devoured is ripped into smaller pieces that can be carried and is whisked back to the barrow rat’s nest and stored for later consumption or fed to the newborn barrow rats.

Barrow rats are 15-inch long brownish-gray rats with long gray or brown, hairless tails. Their underbellies are lighter in color than their fur often appearing white in some rare species, but usually appearing light brown or slate. Some barrow rats have a dark brown or black stripe on their dorsal side that runs the length of their body.

Barrow rats are not as numerous or populous as their normal relatives and are generally only encountered near barrow mounds or graveyards. Most encounters are at night as the rats sleep in underground burrows during daylight hours. A typical barrow rat nest holds 10-40 of the creatures with an additional 10-40 noncombatant young. One or two males dominate the nest. Typically there are two or three females that dominate the colony, but remain subordinate to the dominate male(s). Young are born live and a female typically gives birth to 3d8 young. The typical gestation period for a barrow rat is 1 month and young reach maturity in 3 months. Young are born blind and hairless and are completely dependent on their mother for several days thereafter. Young open their eyes around 20 days and the mother weans her young after about one month. Young barrow rats gain the stone skin ability at 30 days after birth.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Barrow Rat from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.