Home >Extras >Custom Creations >Caedwyr’s Lab >Noble Animal Species >

Noble Rodent

Rodent are a gnawing mammal that have only two pairs of incisors (front teeth)—one upper pair and one lower pair. The incisors grow throughout life. Gnawing grinds the edges into a chisel shape. Rodents have no canine teeth. In many species, the gap between incisors and molars is filled by a hairy pad that prevents inedible gnawed material, such as wood chips, from entering the mouth cavity by keeping it between the mouth walls and the teeth. Many rodents have cheek pouches, which they use for carrying food. There are more species of rodents, and probably more individuals, than there are of all other mammals combined. Rodents breed so swiftly that they would soon overrun the earth if they were not the prey of almost all flesh-eaters. Most rodents are small fur-bearing animals and some are prized for their fur.

Most rodents are burrowing animals, but some live in trees and others spend much of their time in water. Almost all are vegetarians; some, such as squirrels, eat both plants and animals. Rodents are found in vast numbers on all continents, climates, most islands, and in all habitats except oceans. Their success is probably due to their small size, short breeding cycle, and ability to gnaw and eat a wide variety of foods.

Nearly all rodents have natural enemies. Enemies include bears, wolves, weasels, cats, snakes, hawks, eagles, and owls. Humans, though, cause rodents the most danger. Farmers kill rodents that damage their crops, animals, or property. Beavers and other rodents are hunted for their fur. People often kill rats that carry diseases such as typhus, rabies, and the plague.

Species Descriptions

There is no place in the world that does not have a sizable noble rodent population, existing beneath the notice of larger creatures and societies. They see everything, and say nothing; when a noble rodent has the right disposition, there is no better spy. Most noble rodent species have their flags planted on the challenge side, but occasionally entire populations will choose to serve a humanoid culture they find deserving.

Noble mice are alert, cheerful, and aware of their surroundings.

These minuscule creatures are natural miners and engineers, almost as accomplished as noble beavers, and are both tireless and adept at creating the sprawling tunnel complexes in which they love to dwell and hide caches of food and other possessions. Even when outside of subterranean areas they tend to travel at a scamper in straight lines and along features like walls, rather than across open areas. Noble mice are diligent both in their search for food and in their tendency to store for hard times anything they do not need for the present.

Noble mice tend to be wary of creatures larger than themselves, especially predators inclined to eat them, but might assume a guarded friendliness with those that have proven to be well disposed toward them. Amongst each other they tend to be very gregarious, and are happiest in large natural communities of their own kind.

They are natural singers and, preparatory to mating, male noble mice woo females by singing to them in a vocal range that cannot be heard by most other creatures (e.g., any who cannot speak Rodent). While rare, when they choose service, noble mice will serve humans, halflings, fairies, pixies, or other fey.

Noble rats, on the other paw, seem to have an over-inflated sense of their own prowess. As long as he is being observed by others, a noble rat will take on a foe several hundred times his size, simply to avoid appearing a coward.

When not being watched, he will run and hide and make no apologies. Noble rats are opportunistic and treacherous, and they count those among their good qualities. While extremely loyal to the few friends they do make, they always make it hard for a newcomer to feel welcome.

Noble rat society is organized very much like a gang, with the strongest, most ruthless noble rat assuming the mantle of leader. The few noble rats that do choose to serve seem to have an affinity for the goblinoid races and wizards. Noble squirrels seem to combine the work ethic of noble mice with the fearlessness of noble rats. Provided they are out of its reach, a noble squirrel will not hesitate to scold even the largest predator for disturbing his busy day. While wary of humanoids as a whole, noble squirrels will make friends with individuals on a case-by-case basis (usually after being offered tidbits of food). This is sometimes a point of contention between noble squirrels and noble rats; what the noble rat must steal, the noble squirrel is given freely — a bushy tail goes a long way in public relations.

Noble squirrels enjoy the company of all manner of fey, and can often be found dancing in fairy rings alongside pixies and bogarts.

Noble Rodent Species Traits

  • Size: Tiny.
  • Base Speed: 15 feet, Climb 15 feet.
  • Natural Weapons: bite (1d3).
  • Vestigial Hands: Unlike most animals, noble rodents have vestigial hands that can be used to grasp tools. While their “natural” cousins still have not grasped the higher concepts involved in using tools, a noble rodent can use tools and weapons with only a -4 awkwardness penalty (provided they are of an appropriate size).
  • Senses: Low-light vision (Ex), scent (Ex).
  • Bonus Feat: Weapon Finesse.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus on Stealth checks, and a +8 racial bonus on Acrobatics and Climb checks. A noble rodent can always choose to take 10 on Climb checks, even if rushed or threatened. A noble rodent uses its Dexterity bonus instead of Strength for Climb checks.
  • Family: Mammal.
  • Noble Animal Type: Noble rodents have the noble animal type except where superseded by other species traits and features.
  • Automatic Languages: High Fauna and Rodent.
  • Bonus Languages: Bat, Camel, Canine, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Feline, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Serpent, Simian, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Noble Rodent, Mouse Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: 1 Strength (Noble mice always begin play with a Strength of 1 — this can be increased through level advancement as usual), +4 Dexterity, +4 Charisma.
  • Size: Diminutive. This replaces the Noble Rodent’s usual size of Tiny.
  • Natural Weapons: bite (1hp).
  • Skills: +8 racial bonus on Stealth checks. This replaces the Noble Rodent’s +4.
  • Social Group: None.

Noble Rodent, Rat Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: 2 Strength (Noble Rats always begin play with a Strength of 2, but this can be increased through level advancement as usual), +4 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma.
  • Base Speed: 15 feet, Climb: 15 feet, Swim: 15 feet.
  • Skills: +4 racial bonus on Swim checks. A noble rat uses its Dexterity bonus instead of Strength for Swim checks. A noble rat can always take 10 on Swim checks, even if distracted of endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line.
  • Social Group: Plague.
  • Automatic Languages: Canine, Feline, High Fauna and Rodent.
  • Bonus Languages: Simian, Bat, Camel, Common, Crocodilian, Elephant, Equine, Herdspeak, Hyena, Lizard, Monitor, Raptor, Serpent, Songbird, Ursine, and Woodland.

Noble Rodent, Squirrel Sub-Species Traits

  • Ability Score Modifiers: 2 Strength (Noble Squirrels always begin play with a Strength of 2 — this can be increased through level advancement as usual), +4 Dexterity
  • Skills: A noble squirrel can use the run action while climbing, provided it moves in a straight line.
  • Social Group: None.

Racial Feats

The following feats are available to a noble rodent character who meets the prerequisites.

  • Linked Feat

Alternative Racial Traits

You can exchange one or several of your character’s normal racial Traits, but of course you cannot exchange the same racial trait more than once.

As with any alternate or optional rule, you must first get the permission of your GM to exchange any of your character’s normal racial Traits for those listed here.

  • Ability: This is placeholder text.
  • Normal Speed: This is placeholder text.

Favored Class Alternatives

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a Favored Class, noble rodents have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their Favored Classes. The following options are available to all noble rodents who have the listed Favored Class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the listed Favored Class reward.

Linked Class2: This is placeholder text.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

The Noble Wild. Copyright 2009 by Lee Garvin and Skirmisher Publishing LLC.