15 October 2012

TRAPPED RATS

Init +10
Melee Atk
 • none
AC 10
HD none
MV 10 or speed of negligence
Act Special
SP Ghostly traits
Fort n/a
Ref n/a
Will n/a
AL C

Some inns are haunted.

Ghostly manifestations are fostered by particularities in architecture. The proportion of height to width to depth in a room, the span of the helical incline of a spiral staircase, the number of rooms on a floor, the slight variations in the width of opposing and adjacent doorways, even the alignment of the grain of the wood used in construction can—in the right combinations—encourage revenants and spirits to manifest.

Most inns will not be sites to harbor hauntings of violent demise -- except perhaps those deaths of the rodential variety...

Trapped rats are phantasms that can appear by the score, or more likely, by the hundreds, in places such as inns, common houses and way stations. Each ghostly rodent drags the clattering, clunking cause of it's death around with it, creating a deafening cacophony when they appear en masse. They will appear only for those who sleep in a room or rooms whose architectural resonance allows their manifestation, although they can pursue anyone fleeing their visitation freely into other chambers or outside. Trapped rats can be invisible or silent at will, both or neither, whatever will increase the anxiety of their victims.

The trapped rats are driven away by the dawn, even if clouded over. They can only be prematurely driven away by disruptive magic or a vigorous showing of faith. Merely swiping through the intangible rodents with even an enchanted sword will not be enough to dispel their presence. An item deeply imbued with chaos magic may repel them, at the GM's discretion. Similarly, otherworldly items may prevent their appearance. Spells may have little effect on trapped rats, unless the spell is heavily rearranging space and time in the area, or otherwise steeped with chaotic effects. Alternately, to save a victim of trapped rats, a magic user could put the victim to sleep via magic for instance, and spare them further damage while the threat is dealt with.

Trapped rats harm their victims, not by inflicting any sort of physical damage, but rather by traumatizing them in various ways. Firstly, they restlessly rattle the traps that killed them. One trapped rat is thus a strange annoyance, an unknown wooden object tumbling on the bedroom floor; hundreds of them create a maddening, engulfing tidal wave of sound for the victim. The victim will likely become convinced they need to shout at the top of their lungs to be heard, for instance, even though those not perceiving the trapped rats will initially be unable to explain why the victim feels the need to shout. The trapped rats may gnaw the ankles of the victim, or at any other body part they can reach. The spectral teeth do no real physical damage, but the biting and wounds certainly feel real until the victim examines them and sees no harm done. Trapped rats can reach and perch in any space large enough for their shape, and can move with the speed of negligence. If a victim sees them clustered on a chandelier, turns away to exclaim to his unaffected friends that the things are on the chandelier, and turns back, they can be gone. Or they can have doubled or tripled in number...

All such unrealistic events suppress the victim's Personality (or Wisdom, if you prefer), steadily reducing the attribute by 1 for each event. When they reach half of their original score, a victim must make a Will Save versus a DC of 10 plus the attribute penalty so far. Failure indicates they have been driven temporarily insane, and they will flee the scene, not to recover for a number of hours equal to the points of suppressed Personality. If they succeed in their Save, each subsequent 'loss' of Personality will also force another Save to be made. Any and all Personality suppressed from trapped rats returns points-lost hours after exposure ends (i.e., if 8 points were suppressed by the trapped rats, 8 hours later the victim snaps out of their mania).