Finished up all the sewer sections (A-E) that's under the City of Vermilion. As stated in my last article, it's hard to justify not using rats in a sewer. Really made me hesitate as I know I'm sick of fighting rats. But rats have some uses and here is a few.....
1. Interaction with the Environment
I kept picturing rats crawling over debris piles and getting underfoot, screeching and hissing and making noises. Makes it a little more interesting than just another long, empty passage. I kept thinking of those debris piles....I had to imagine there was so many items and tiny lost treasures that could potentially be down in a sewer and collected with the debris. I decided to put together a random table. Why? Because interaction with the environment is part of the game and can make the adventure feel more alive. Here is what I came up with:
Nothing too crazy, but still makes things a little more interesting, whether good or ill.
2. Ecology of the Sewer
Rats became important to me from an ecology stand point. Rats would be near the bottom of the food chain, and since I like my adventures to make a little sense, I started to think what would eat rats---probably everything...so not real helpful on what to put down there. I didn't think humanoids made sense because they would eventually get curious and go wreck havoc in the city causing guards to dispatch them and destroy the lairs. So I started to think of monsters that viewed rats as a 'treasure' as they were their main food source. So I came up with a new monster...one that is completely chaotic neutral in its actions. It might attack, it might run, or it might completely ignore a party. The Gilk.
Finally, rats can be used as hints that a trap is ahead, or foreshadowing of a bigger creature in the area. Half-eaten corpses, or rat cocoons gives the party a heads up to be on their guard.
The Kickstarter for The City of Vermilion is launching in a few weeks.