Intelligent, spell-casting rat swarm looking for a good home


Advice


Ok, this is the creature in question. It currently resides in a maze-like area in the sewers under a plaza, a series of short tunnels and small, high-domed rooms topped with sewer grates. The creature recently came into its spells and is interested in building a lab-type lair where it can experiment and build things. Given its stated resources and its rat-based nature, what sort of lair should it be?

I was envisioning an excavated area below this area, reachable through a few different rat-sized tunnels, but I am not married to the idea. Thoughts?


Or perhaps it could wall off one of the galleries and seal the grate? naaawww...


No one has any thoughts?

As a quick update, it has claimed the entirety of the sewer as its domain and taken a gnomish druid hostage (that it has a tempestuous father/son-esque relationship with). The druid has a small one room den in the sewers, but I doubt that the rat-swarm creature would want to use it as a base of operations because of it being known to the party as well as bad "memories" for the rat-creature. I'm kicking around the idea of having the swarm Baleful Polymorph the druid into a rat and absorbing him into itself if he fails his save...

Scarab Sages

Oh, nice. This reminds me of Cranium Rats.

Standard sewer lair should be nice, but any of the rat tunnel into the den should be hidden by illusory walls.


This looks like a continuation of this thread. There is a lot of back story and other ideas there.

As to the laboratory, it is not humanoid. Tables are OK, but chairs are out. It is at best in darkness, and often pitch black. Shelves are everywhere, at all heights. Some areas require you to squeeze to get into. Some require you to duck unless you are small. There are jars of semi-identifiable people parts scattered about. [Think of Dr. Frankenstein's lab.] There are some creatures caged up, including at least one sentient. Could have a small "humanoid" as a "familiar", or perhaps a monkey or vanaran (? monkey-man). Doorways are not square. Could have holes in the wall for extra storage, like bags of holding, but not extra-dimensional.

As rats tend to scavenge, I could see it using another creatures lair after defeating (consuming?) it. I do not see it creating a lair beyond making paths here and there. As it is likely not going to be accepted in normal society, I could see it masquerading as a mysterious stranger in the sewers and gain followers from the others that wander into its domain. Such followers would do its bidding above ground. If the hostage druid dies, I could see a Norman Bates "Psycho" recreation of the druid.

Remember, it understands the eat-or-be-eaten world, but has little concept of merchandise or ownership. It has simple needs: food. It has gained complex wants" magic. It is Neutral in outlook, as it used to be just simple animals. Its experience has given it differences, and those differences should show up in ways different that civilization would expect.

/cevah

PS: Did you like the movies I suggested in the other thread?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

How intelligent are we talking here? It could make a lab and attempt to build itself better rat bodies.

Maybe experiment on some were-rats? Either trying to adapt itself to learn the power of opposable thumbs and humanoid frames, or modify the were rats to get rid of the humanoid taint.

I had a similar thing in a campaign once, except it had a separate main body (a gelatinous cube who absorbs the minds of those it eats.) Obsessed with evolving beyond it's current state, it tried developing armored rat swarm bodies, among it's other experiments.

Some dungeon decoration ideas:
Rat's tend to shred and gather crap for nests or just as part of scavenging, so add some torn small items, papers, cloth etc. to your box text maybe?

Maybe it reads from multiple pages at once (with a single rat at each page) after tearing the binding out of a book.


Watch Ratatouille


Cevah wrote:

This looks like a continuation of this thread. There is a lot of back story and other ideas there.

As to the laboratory, it is not humanoid. Tables are OK, but chairs are out. It is at best in darkness, and often pitch black. Shelves are everywhere, at all heights. Some areas require you to squeeze to get into. Some require you to duck unless you are small. There are jars of semi-identifiable people parts scattered about. [Think of Dr. Frankenstein's lab.] There are some creatures caged up, including at least one sentient. Could have a small "humanoid" as a "familiar", or perhaps a monkey or vanaran (? monkey-man). Doorways are not square. Could have holes in the wall for extra storage, like bags of holding, but not extra-dimensional.

As rats tend to scavenge, I could see it using another creatures lair after defeating (consuming?) it. I do not see it creating a lair beyond making paths here and there. As it is likely not going to be accepted in normal society, I could see it masquerading as a mysterious stranger in the sewers and gain followers from the others that wander into its domain. Such followers would do its bidding above ground. If the hostage druid dies, I could see a Norman Bates "Psycho" recreation of the druid.

I like all this imagery, but I was actually looking for an actually location in the sewers that I could put all this cool stuff. Think an open gallery in the middle of a host of other galleries would be the place, with all this stuff located in nearby pillars? Should I excavate a "den" under the galleries and place it there?

Cevah wrote:
Remember, it understands the eat-or-be-eaten world, but has little concept of merchandise or ownership. It has simple needs: food. It has gained complex wants" magic. It is Neutral in outlook, as it used to be just simple animals. Its experience has given it differences, and those differences should show up in ways different that civilization would expect.

Hmmm, I didn't think that it would come from a neutral perspective. I will have to revisit it's motives and drives with that in mind, thanks!

Cevah wrote:
PS: Did you like the movies I suggested in the other thread?

I could only find one online that I could download (Willard, 1974 version), but I haven't yet been able to watch it. I will make an effort tonight, if I can get it to work. I did read the IMDB synopsis on all the rest though. I like Willard the best of those I read, I think it has the most relevance to the creature I am envisioning. I'll let you know what I thought of the movie soon.


Cevah wrote:
PS: Did you like the movies I suggested in the other thread?

Ok, watched the movie. I liked it for the imagery and will be stealing some parts for use in game, although I found story was a bit flat. I see there's a remake, I'll see if I can watch that one and hope that they did an update and not just add bloody special effects like they so often do with remakes.

Now, the party will be facing off soon against this bad boy. The rats have become a nuisance to large to ignore and they have been tasked with getting rid of them. So they are gearing up with anti-swarm items (they just leveled and I'm allowing them a shopping spree with open books, advice/suggestions welcome) and preparing to enter the sewers to track it down and destroy it. This will be an epic (5+ level) encounter for them, and I want it to be memorable. They are already creeped out by the creature itself and are dreading having to face it (thanks all for the suggestions there!) and I was wondering about tactics, habits or anything else that could help make this a wild ride.

They've added a couple players, so now the party numbers seven. Human Earth druid, half-elf fighter, kitsune sorcerer, human monk, half-ogre arminger, and dwarven cleric. Fighter will be using flaming two-handed greatsword with swarmbane clasp, druid is looking up AoE spells and bought some dragon breath potions. Sorcerer added a Spellpage with fireball, arminger plans on just soaking up insane amounts of damage and monk is still in process of shopping. Any Druid or Cleric spells I should suggest to the party?

I am SO looking forward to this! :D

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