RPG Adventures and design guides for tabletop gamers


Posted In Articles, Front Page, Monsters | 15 comments

ratThe rogue swaggered down the alley and examined his prize, a sapphire liberated from a wealthy widow. He stopped short on hearing a squeak. A pair of rats glared at him from further down the alley.

He drew his dagger and strode towards the creatures, but his eyes went wide as the 2 rats became 8, the 8 became 32, and the 32 quickly became uncountable. The sudden horde of rats overwhelmed him, and his screams echoed through the alley. When the authorities arrived minutes later they found the rogue’s body, as well as the gem and dagger… and dozens of dead rats.

Doppelrat (CR 1)

XP 400
N Tiny animal
Init +6; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +1 …

AC 14, touch 14, flat-footed 12 (+2 Dex, +2 size)
hp 4 (1d8)
Fort +2, Ref +4, Will +1

Speed 15 ft., climb 15 ft., swim 15 ft.
Melee bite +4 (1d3−4 plus disease)
Space 2-1/2 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks arcane mitosis

Str 2, Dex 15, Con 11, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 2
Base Atk +0; CMB +0; CMD 6
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon Finesse
Skills Climb +10, Stealth +18, Swim +10; Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth, uses Dex for Climb and Swim

Environment any temperate
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

Arcane Mitosis (Su) A doppelrat under duress creates clones of itself at the beginning of its turn. Each round for 4 rounds, the number of live rats quadruples but never exceeds 20. Each duplicate appears in the same square as any other rat, can take a move or standard action the round it appears, has 1/4 the main rat’s current hp (minimum 1), and lives for 10 rounds.

Disease (Ex) Degenerate cloning—injury; save Fort DC 11 (Constitution-based); onset 1 day; frequency 1/day; effect 1d3 Str damage, 1d3 Con damage, and the victim becomes shaken for 1 hour (Will DC 11); cure 2 consecutive saves. The rats created through arcane mitosis can transmit this disease.

Typical Characteristics
The result of a clone spell gone awry, a doppelrat uses short-lived duplicates to overwhelm its competitors. An easy battle against a single rat soon spirals out of control as the rat clones itself into a swarm and hides while combat rages. Rat-bitten survivors suffer from a frightening disease: the victim sloughs off a stillborn clone each day and his vitality soon fades. Clones cannot be raised from the dead in any manner.

Doppelrats settle in large city alleys and sewers after they have killed off or driven out their normal cousins. They have an instinctual sense for others of their kind; helpful, since litters born to doppelrat parents produce only 1 such creature out of 10. The rest provide sustenance for their parents and siblings.

In cities with known doppelrat lairs, magistrates hire spellcasters to scour alleys and sewers and quickly obliterate any rats they find. Terrifying rumors of a dire doppelrat have never been substantiated.

(This post is Product Identity.)


  1. Dire? Make that “Giant Monstrous”! ;) I like that a lot.


    September 27, 2010

  2. Love it!


    September 27, 2010

  3. This kicks some serious ass, Mike! Your penchant of taking the mundane harmless critters and turning it up a notch as a gruesome surprise is getting better with each submission. Here’s to hoping that others are taking note. *claps*


    September 27, 2010

  4. Oh, this so needs to meet a spell I’ve submitted to the Frozen Empires and Streets of Zobeck OD projects.


    September 27, 2010

  5. Norwegian rats, meet grudge magic. :D


    September 27, 2010

  6. I like the disease. Creepy.


    September 27, 2010

  7. Cool.


    September 27, 2010

  8. So these guys reproduce more slowly than regular rats? :-)

    Seriously, this is pretty cool and I know just where to use them.

    Steven Hammond

    September 27, 2010

  9. Bravo, Mike! Excellent critter!

    Brandon Hodge

    September 27, 2010

  10. Oh I have got to find a use for these guys!

    Hollis McCray

    September 28, 2010

  11. Thanks, everyone! I’m glad you like the doppelrat. Let me know how it works in your games.


    September 28, 2010

  12. Once again Mike you come up with the goods. Now, to have a Plague Wizard use one of these as his Familiar…


    September 28, 2010

  13. Excellent little critter, once encountered adventurers will be second guessing every future mundane rat they run into! Really nice!

    Rob Gruber

    September 28, 2010

  14. Awesome! Hm, now to introduce a firey variant of these into the City of Brass… :)


    October 1, 2010

  15. Excellent critter! I’ll give it a try this weekend when I run my game…

    ..should be interesting.


    October 6, 2010

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