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Cranium Rat

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Fine-Size Magical Beast
Hit Dice: 1/2 d 10 (3 hp)
Initiative: +10 (+6 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 40 ft.
Armor Class: 24 (+6 Dex, +8 Size)
Base Attack/Grapple: 0
Attack: 0
Full Attack: 1 Bite +4 melee
Space/Reach: ½ ft. by ½ ft./0 ft.
Special Attacks: Group Mind
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 ft., Low-light vision, Group Mind, Special
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities: Str 1, Dex 23, Con 10, Int 1, Wis 13, Cha 7
Skills: Spot +2, Listen +2
Feats: Improved Initiative
 
Environment: Outer Planes
Organization: Pack (2-20)
Challenge Rating: Special*
Treasure: None
Alignment: Neutral Evil
Advancement: By size of pack
Level Adjustment: 0
*The challenge rating of an encounter with cranium rats depends entirely upon how many of them are present and must be overcome. A single cranium rat has a CR of ½. 5 to 40 cranium rats have a CR of 8. 40 to 50 cranium rats have a CR of 9. 50 to 60 cranium rats have a CR of 12. 60 to 70 cranium rats have a CR of 15. 70 to 80 cranium rats have a CR of 17. 80 to 90 cranium rats have a CR of 20. 100 cranium rats would have a CR of 22.

Cranium rats are scavengers and vermin that remain a plague throughout much of the Outer Planes. Their purpose is unknown but their very manner and appearance is sinister enough to cause many planewalkers pause as to what the true purpose of these creatures is. Cranium rats resemble common rats, roughly 6 inches in size, except for the open, glistening brains, which remain revealed through the tops of their skulls. They live in groups, subsisting on whatever food they can happen across.

CombatCranium rats are not known as combatants when they are on their own. Typically, cranium rats might hide in alleys, amidst garbage, in sewers, and other places that grant shelter, occasionally springing to attack if they can catch the element of surprise. However, on their own, or in small groups, cranium rats are unlikely to sustain a protracted battle. After a few bites, the creatures are likely to retreat in whatever means they can. It is when cranium rats gather in a large group that they can become quite dangerous. It is for this reason that guilds of rat catches exist in Sigil, preventing large groups and populations of cranium rats from gathering and becoming a threat to the residents of the Cage.

Darkvision (Ex): Cranium rats possess darkvision to a distance of 60 ft.

Low-light vision (Ex): Cranium rats possess low-light vision, able to see perfectly in conditions with as little light as that shed by a candle.

Group Mind (Su): Cranium rats, entirely social creatures, actually grow in power as the collective intellects of a group of the vermin grows in size. As such, they gain increasing powers, the larger a pack grows. For every 5 rats in a pack, they gain 1 point of Intelligence. With increased intelligence come powerful psionic abilities. Cranium rats can only use psionic powers from the Metacreativity discipline. The DC for cranium rat psionic powers is d20 + Intelligence modifier + Power level. These will be detailed in the table below. In addition to granting extra powers, cranium rats find safety in numbers. When a group grows large enough, they can use their HD as a communal pool to defend against area of effect spells and attacks. As such, casting a 15-die area effect spell on a pack of 60 rats would kill 15 of them. In addition, the rats in a pack will gain increased saving throws, saving as a Magical Beast with 1 HD per point of intelligence of the pack.Last, all members of a pack with Intelligence of 5 or higher become immune to sleep spells. Finally, enchantment spells of the charm and compulsion types that influence individual creatures will only affect one rat in a pack, as the remainder of the pack cuts the charmed member from the group mind.

Cranium Rat PsionicsInt Psionic Ability1-4 None5-7 Immune to sleep8 Mind Blast 1 per 3 rounds10 Power Points: 2, Powers 2 0th11 Power Points:3, Powers 2 0th/1 1st12 Mind Blast 1 per 2 rounds13 Power Points:5, Powers 2 0th/2 1st14 Power Points:11, Powers 3 0th/2 1st15 Mind Blast 1 per round16 Immune to gases, Power Points: 19, Powers 3 0th/2 1st/1 2nd17 Immune to cold18 SR 5, Power Points: 24, Powers 4 0th/2 1st/1 2nd19 SR 1520 SR 25, Power Points: 38, 4 0th/3 1st/2 2nd/1 3rdHabitat/SocietyThe true purpose for the existence of cranium rats is unknown. They gather in groups, get into just about anything, and are capable of powerful psionic feats when in large groups. Yet, very little research or information about them can be found, which in itself is rather mysterious.0EcologyCranium rats follow the same sort of diet as normal rats, though they are known to pursue a more carnivorous diet than ordinary rodents.

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