RATS! promo now availiable for free download at ratsrpg.com. Get them while they're hot!
************** $5,500 MINI STRETCH GOAL! **************
IN HONOR of the last day of RATS! we're offering a special mini stretch goal - paper minis. If we reach $5,500 by Halloween, everyone who contributed ANY amount will get a free PDF with printable paper minis tied with the adventure collection. These will include rats, people, items and some nasty surprises... And cheese. Of course, there will be cheese! As always, spreading the word is most welcome.
"Crazy shit, I love this!"
— Mark Rein·Hagen , creator of Vampire: The Masquerade
RATS! is a satiric role playing game chronicling the rats’ awakening and subsequent holy war against modern humanity, other animals, each other and numerous inanimate objects as well. Players take on the role of intelligent rats who participate in various insanely dangerous, or just plain insane, missions to further the rodent cause.
Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our world holds more mysteries and horrors than any man, or even rat, can imagine (without reading the book).
Publishing a game about revolting rats has been my dream and obsession for many years now. During my work on RATS! I’ve come across two wonderfully talented artists who felt inspired by the campaign setting and started creating stunning art for the future book, as well as contributing their own ratty ideas.
We have put a tremendous amount of hard work into this game. With your help, we hope to make this furry vision a reality!
Make sure to subscribe to our design blog for more cool art, stand-alone game materials, additional rewards and stretch goals.
You guys proved to be so amazingly awesome that we reached our funding goal in less than three weeks. Now it's time to expend and solidify the rat empire.
Viva la ratvolution!
$2,800: Short Adventure Collection ACHIEVED!!!
RATS! is a strange new game which might be a little confusing for new players on account of the Mutations and Mutilations system, the cooperative pack play mechanics, and the moral ambiguity inherent to playing talking rats trying to take over the world.
To answer these issues, we will produce a collection of short adventures written and illustrated by a plethora of industry veterans and artists. These adventures would work both as one evening’s entertainment and as sidetrack adventures in longer campaigns.
This collection will include 20 adventures and will be about 80 pages long with gritty black and white illustrations by Stav Levi, Yan Clayman, Hugo Solis and others.
The adventure anthology will be available in electronic form for FREE to anyone who pre-ordered the hardcopy and for only 5$ to anyone who pre-ordered the electronic copy (no additional shipment fees are required).
$3,400: RATS! Coffee Table Book ACHIEVED!!!
Many of RATS! most enthusiastic supporters found us through their love of rats and other animals rather than their love of gaming. To honor these excellent comrades, we will create an ART OF RATS! album featuring the best art from the game, as well as original art unique to the album. In addition to the art, the book will include rat facts and rat anecdotes to amuse and terrify readers... but mostly it will be about great art.
The album will be around 160 pages long and will only be available in hardcopy. We’re sort of old fashioned around here when it comes to art books and coffee tables. We like them to be real.
The album will be available for $25.
$4,500: RATS! Fiction Anthology ACHIEVED!!!
These stories will explore the world of RATS! through the eyes of the many different rat cultures and other awakened animals, such as the melancholic ravens of London, the ever-vigilant dogs of Moscow or that really angry dragon lady whose eggs we ate by accident... We might even feature a story from a human’s perspective, but we’ll let someone really stupid write it. Except for that loser who will write the human story, all other stories will be commissioned from professional writers who will receive pro payment for their contribution.
The anthology will be at least 300 pages long and feature the work of some well-known and scandalous writers, whose names will remain secret for now, and of cheeky new voices from all over the world.
The anthology will be available for FREE to anyone who contributed $15 or more to the campaign.
$7,000 Mutations and Mutilations Card Deck
At this amazing level, we will design several themed mutations and mutilations decks to hand to your players as you maim and twist their beloved PCs beyond recognition. While based on the RATS! MNM system, these cards will be universal in flavor and include a free conversion booklet to adapt them to the d20. Visit our blog for more information on the mutations and mutilations mechanic. Each card will contain a full color theme illustration by a RATS! artist, one mutation, and one mutilation.
More information coming soon.
A Brief Message From Our Associates
Run away, little human! The rats just woke up from the long sleep of ignorance, and they want their world back.
You see, as it turns out, God’s chosen people are actually us rats, not you. However, envious of our chosenness, you stole our wisdom and reduced us to witless animals unaware of our rich history, culture and religion. We’ve been like that for thousands of years. All this while, humanity has been in the divine spotlight, convincing itself that it was the chosen species.
Several years ago, the great rat prophet Ee-Ee stumbled upon an ancient rat scroll in the Judean Desert and his eyes were opened to the truth. He dedicated the rest of his life to traveling across the globe and awakening the rest of his benighted brothers. Wherever he preached, a different culture arose – the Middle Eastern Holy Rat College, the Central European Unirat Collective, the North American Capirat Corporation, the East Asian Nezumi... Thirteen fierce cultures to challenge humanity’s false dominance of the Earth and restore ratkind to its former glory.
Only... mankind just doesn’t seem to notice this grand crusade for justice. Whatever the rats do is attributed to something else – bad weather, terrorism, Canada, some other kind of genocidal, talking rodents...
And if this great historic injustice wasn’t enough, there’s also the Dreaming. For some reason, all rats share the same horribly lucid dream in which their quest failed utterly and just about anything is dedicated exclusively to killing, maiming and doing all kinds of other naughty unpleasantness to rats. This is the Dreaming. It’s like the internet, only it’s free and utterly horrible (like the internet). No wonder rats are so pepped up all the time – the Dreaming might be a great way to securely exchange information, maybe it’s even a parallel world, but by Ee-Ee, it is hell!
The bottom line is that war is an expensive business, even more so if it’s a holy, great, patriotic, inevitable and honorable war. You need propaganda posters, cheese, lots and lots of cheese, weapons, surveillance equipment, some more cheese, WMDs, Swiss cheese... Right! Listen up, you lazy potato rodent. I really don’t have to explain anything to you! Financing a holy war is a privilege, not a burden, so pay up!
A note to human readers: For all our shortcomings, we are the chosen people of God the Rat, and we will inherit the Earth, space, the Dreaming, the cosmos and all the other places too. Contributing to this project is the only way you can save your life. Thank you for your cooperation, you tasty, tasty human!
A Rotten System
RATS! uses streamlined mechanics based on third edition d20. This system allows the rapid creation and decimation of rat characters. Starting characters can be created within minutes. A good thing, since if you’re not very careful, this will be your lifespan.
There are thirteen diverse cultures, three elite cultures, six races, twenty starting habitats, and a gazillion feats, skills and mutations (inspired by a hundred years of misunderstanding radiation) to customize characters. Thus, while characters are very simple to create and play, they are highly diverse.
There are no classes or levels. Rat characters advance by gaining new abilities and mutations, which are bought directly with XP, and by growing in size. A sufficiently experienced character is a right proper ratzilla. There are no hit points, either. Every time your character is hit, a consequence is rolled. These range from the embarrassing (you make an undignified sound) to the horrifying (you blow up like a watermelon in a Gallagher show).
Players can take on the roles of heroic rats on a grand quest to make the world a rattier place, or manage packs for many litters, placing the good of the collective before their your own (yeah right!).
Rats can also be used as antagonists in a human-starring horror or science fiction campaign, but that's a really mean and unfair thing to do.
Oh, and we don’t have a GMs, storytellers, referees, narrators and all that rubbish. Around these parts, we call the furry fellar running the show BC, the Big Cheese. It is absolutely forbidden to bribe him to get any unfair advantages in the game. On unrelated news, to your right is a list of prices you can pay to get special favors from him.
Table of Contents
Below is a tentetive list of the chapters that will be included in the core rulebook.
Wake Up to Fail: A short introduction to the game for the newly awakened rat.
Blame your Parents: This chapter will teach you how to create and maintain rat characters. More importantly, it will teach you how to make them awesome.
Blame the World: A hard stern look at a world created through the oppression of rats and lesser rodents. It contains information on the rats’ tragic history, locations of note, proper and improper theology and ideology, and other awakened animals and humans.
Blame Society: Rats are divided into many cultures and races, and live in a variety of habitats ranging form heaps of delicious garbage to commandeered space stations. Here you will find them described in an objective and honest way.
Blame your Dreams: An exploration of the nature and rules of most terrible place in the universe – the Dreaming.
Blame the Laws of Physics: This chapter deals with the actual mechanics through which actions are resolved in RATS! Rats should have at least a vague idea of how the game works, or they risk making utterly inadequate decisions and becoming martyrs earlier than he planned.
Blame your Education: Skills, Feats and Eccentricities. Be all you can be, read the damn list!
Blame Technology: Equipment, weapons, armor... stuff. Additionally, you will find rules to help you determine what happens when a rat uses oversized human equipment and improvised rat equipment.
Blame your Enemies: A list of creatures and NPCs who stand in the way of rats to world domination, tasty morsels, or killing them. These range from extras, like human security guards, to iconic NPCs, such as the mysterious Exterminator.
Blame your Fate: Tips and ideas for rat campaigns and adventures. These are divided into heroic games and pack games (see pack play above)
Blame your Ignorance: books, movies, songs and graphic novels that can be used for inspiration. That is, that you can plagiarize to make your games cooler.
Blame the System: All the tables and boring statistical data concentrated in one place for quick reference.
Go To Bed Defeated: A short story about rats to get you in the mood. Also, it’s a reward for reading this book instead of eating it.
Where Does the Money Go?
The money is going to be spent on the following:
- The unholy alliance of Indiegogo, PayPal and the global banking system will take about 7% of whatever we raise. We can only imagine with fear where this money will go.
- The bulk of our income will go toward producing the book, which includes art, additional text, editing, and layout.
- Next in order of initiative is marketing, printing, and shipping; made affordable through the magic of POD and social media.
- Leftover money will be placed in waterproof plastic containers and sent into the sewers... I mean, it will be used to “finance” future “products” in the RATS! line (see below).
Additionally, 5% of all income from RATS! will be donated to organizations that promote animal shelters and advocate animal rights.
This is how we hope the project will go after we finish fundraising. These dates are not set in stone. Putty would be a more appropriate allegory.
- February: Finish writing and drawing.
- July: Finish editing and layout.
- August: Send the PDF core rulebooks to customers.
- October: Send the hardcover core rulebooks and other perks to customers.
- December: Flood the stores and take over the market.
Other products, such as culture expansions, setting sourcebooks, rulebooks for other awakened species, adventures and campaign arcs, mutation booklets, and possibly even miniatures, are also in the plans. Presently we cannot offer even an approximate schedule for these.
The RATS! core rulebook will be published as a full color 400 page book available in both high quality print on demand and electronic formats.
Notes on the perks: Shipment (of books, not people) is included starting from the Scariest of Rats.
* Presently, "published products" include the below items. This list will expend as more stretch goals are achieved:
- Introduction Adventure
- Twenty Adventures Collection
- Mutations and Mutilations Expansion
- BC Screen
- Poster Map
- Coffee Table Book
- Fiction anthology
- Card Deck (provided we reach this stretch goal)
- All PDFs published in 2013
A number of people contacted us lately and asked if they could print the rat flyer and hang it in their local gaming store and/ or club. First of all – of course! Not only do we allow this, we actually bloody well encourage this!
Secondly, we’re making a special offer to anyone who does this: send us a photo of yourself with the flyer on the wall and we’ll post it on the RATS! IGG and FB, to let the rats know you should be spared when the time comes. This photo will earn you a first look at the quick start booklet once it becomes available. If the photo is especially awesome you might find yourself referenced in the rulebook or one of the expansions...
Now, if you go the extra mile and print a stack of at least 50 flyers (we recommend A5 size) and place them on the store counter or other similar space (with the store owner’s permission, of course) you will be included in the official beta-test group and get a hardcopy of the formal “friend of rats” certificate shipped to your address.
Forward comrades, to victory and freedom!
And here is a little something in honor of the elections. Feel free to use it on your site or blog.
Who Are We?
Hi, I’m Uri, the creator of RATS! You may remember me from work I’ve done for Paizo, Wizards of the Coast, Mongoose and other less savory publications (actually, I’d rather you forgot those...). I am certainly not the hostage of homicidal talking rodents who threaten to kill me if I don’t write for them.
This tall fellow over here is Stav. He’s RATS!'s art director, an artist and animation student at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. He can do this...
Lastly, this mysterious hermit is Yan. A self-taught artist whose artwork was featured in the Berserk CCG and in 50 fantasy vehicles to draw and paint. This is the sort of thing he does...