For my upcoming Mouse Guard adventures, I decided to add Rats to the game. For the purposes of my adventures, I envision them as a sort of Mouse Guard cross between Romany, Rangers, and Istari (i.e. the wandering wizards of Middle Earth). They’re cousins to Mice, but they also consort with Weasels. They have been rumoured to eat flesh, but they’re not necessarily into full-on Mouse predation. They can be rather like the Mouse version of “Coyote”: the trickster who sometimes helps, sometimes causes nothing but trouble.
In my Deeps of Darkheather adventures, they may turn into full-on Istari, bringing Magic into the Territories (as the Mice may need it as they seek to explore, secure, reclaim the Darkheather tunnel expanse under their Territory).
I’m recording stuff about Rats in the wiki (http://www.burningwheel.org/wiki/index.php?title=Rats_in_Mouse_Guard) if you want to add, please feel free (more denizen examples, for example) – I might edit your contributions to keep it more in line with the Rats I’m using, but if you like the idea and you want to contribute, please feel free.
I feel if you plan on making them playable characters, then leave them with stats like the one from your wiki. Otherwise just give them a Nature rating and weapons like the animals in the book.
Was this the intention with Weasels (i.e. that they could be playable characters)? I thought about just the Nature and leave it at that, but kind of decided I wanted enough different variety in the kinds of Rats that might be run across that it warranted having more detail.
But that’s a good point, and we’ll see through play, I guess, how much they get developed as part of the game. I guess I don’t want to at all rule out using them as playable characters: I can see that a Rat playable character (once we get a better idea of what exactly they’re like) might be fun! I’m not sure what a player group of Rats would look like, and why they’d be together like that, though… for the most part I seem them as solitary wanderer/trickster types (viz Gandalf, Strider, etc), and those types don’t tend to congregate much I guess…
viktor_haag, i’m new to gaming and i admit i probably have some seriously ugly ideas (possibly inappropriate in the sense they do not belong if i were more experienced) but i had some here about rats:
o have you thought about mouse-rat hybrids like a were-rat/ mouse? once a full moon, etc.
o a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde combo from one of those sciency places where a mouse healer drinks a potion and gets crazy strong / crazy by turning into a rat (not quite hulk y’know)?
o maybe this one has floated around; Darkheather is a version of MORIA from Lord of the Rings. The deeper ya go the uglier it gets. though what would live that far down? worms? bugs? snakes? Glow-in-the-Dark-Stuff? OOOoooo, diseases and fungi, molds! the mice start disturbing the dirt/ soil in the dark heather and some of them are slowly overtaken by diseases, fungi, and/ or molds that have no cure! maybe they are zombi-fying fungi, and/ or molds!
Those sound like interesting ideas, but don’t fit my mental picture of what I’m doing with my MG adventures.
My general image, using LotR as an analogy is that: Hobbits == Mice, Weasels == Southron Men, Rats == Rascally Northern Men/Istari. The Orcs and Goblins are more like the Stoats, Martens, Minks, and so on – the even more brutal, not quite as clever, “forces of Darkness”.
So, there really isn’t much space for thinking of Rats as “the dark half” of Mice; either inherently (the Jeckyll/Hyde scenario) or externally-imposed (the Lycanthropy scenario). Rats are cousins to Mice, yes, but I really thought of racial comingling along that line.
But “Darkheather as Moria”, yeah, that’s pretty much right on the nose for what I had in mind.
Viktor Haag-“Was this the intention with Weasels…”
I happen to believe so. Since weasels are the flipside of the coin to mice. I believe some people would want to every now and then to play the bad guys. It’s like Star Wars for example. We all like Yoda, Obi-Wan and Luke. But every so often my players want to be Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Count Dooku.
Does this help. Ferrets and Sables are cousin’s to the weasels. Yet they don’t need a state bar just to have a personality.