To understand Nezumi history one must fi rst understand how a Nezumi thinks, as well as how they are regarded in the Empire they sometimes call home. From the Nezumi’s perspective, they are a proud and heroic species with a history marked by tragedy. From the viewpoint of most Rokugani, however, the Nezumi are nothing more than fi lthy vermin and scavengers. They scurry through the Shadowlands and live on the fringes of civilization. They feed on garbage. They spread disease in their wake. They have no nobility, no culture, and no real place in the Celestial Order. Nothing typifies their lowly status more than the pejorative name they have been given – Ratlings (gesshirui in the Rokugani tongue).

Nezumi Tribes
Nezumi Schools

Nezumi Physical Abilities

These abilities are automatically available to all Nezumi at character creation, without any cost in Experience Points.

  • Bite: A Nezumi can inflict normal unarmed damage with its bite, and can chew through wood and soft stone at the rate of 1’ per hour.
  • Burrowing: Nezumi can burrow through soft earth at one tenth their normal movement speed. If they wish to leave a stable tunnel behind, they may only burrow one foot per hour.
  • Disease Resistance: All Nezumi are immune to most normal diseases and infections. If the GM judges a disease suffi ciently virulent to infect a Nezumi, the character still gets a +3k0 bonus to any rolls made to resist its effects.
  • Nezumi Agility: All Nezumi gain +2k0 on any Athletics rolls that involve climbing or jumping, and on any Sleight of Hand rolls made to escape bonds.
  • Nezumi Scent: A heightened sense of scent grants Nezumi +1k1 on any Hunting Skill rolls where scent may be a factor.
  • Pheromones: Nezumi can leave pheromone trails that indicate gender, tribe, and the direction in which they are traveling. These are imperceptible to humans, but can be detected by other Nezumi up to twenty feet away. Pheromone trails linger up to one month, unless washed away earlier. Some animals, notably horses and dogs, become extremely aggressive when they encounter Nezumi pheromones.
  • Swift: All Nezumi have Swift 2 (as per the creature ability from the Book of Void, L5R 4th Edition Core rulebook).
  • Taint Immunity: All Nezumi are completely immune to the Shadowlands Taint and, consequently, cannot cast maho spells.

Nezumi-only Advantages

Clever Tail [Physical] (4 Points)
Many Nezumi use their tails only for balance, but some manage to “train” their tails to function as a prehensile limb. You may use your tail to pick up and manipulate small objects (including Small weapons). If you make a Knockdown attack with your tail, you gain a +1k1 bonus on the Contested Roll to see if the Knockdown succeeds.

Favored Pup Of The Chief [Social] (5 Points)
You are the favored child of a prominent Nezumi – most likely a tribal chieftain, although a famous Rememberer or Shaman would also be applicable. Other Nezumi treat you with respect and tend to offer you gifts and friendship in hope of future reward. You start play with +1 Rank of Niche.

Fearless [Mental] (5 Points)
You are that rarest of Nezumi, one born without fear, ready to always fi ght rather than back down and fl ee. You gain +3k3 when resisting Fear effects, and you may potentially join the Nezumi Berserker Advanced School.

Forever Memory [Mental] (6 Points, Rememberer Only)
While other Rememberers can draw upon memories from a few generations past, a Nezumi with Forever Memory can recall stories from ancient times, sometimes even from when the Nezumi Empire was at its height. This extended memory allows the Rememberer to create Memory Sticks with an ease that other Rememberers can only envy. You gain a +1k1 bonus every time you create a Memory Stick. Other Nezumi who are aware of your talents will regard you will awe, respect, and deference.

Human Allies [Social] (4 Points)
You have friends and allies among a group of humans, most likely in the Crab Clan although your specifi c tribe and history might dictate otherwise. You gain one additional item of human equipment (which can be a weapon) and may potentially learn human-specifi c Skills, at the GM’s discretion.

Namebound [Spiritual] (5 Points, Shamans Only)
Some Nezumi Shamans have exceptional gifts. Choose one Name magic spell – it does not count against the maximum number of spells you may know, and you gain a +1k1 to your Spell Casting Roll when casting this spell. You may purchase this Advantage again each time you gain a School Rank (subject to GM’s permission).

Shine-Shiney Eyes [Physical] (3 Points)
Nezumi mate for a period of one year, the females choosing new mates each autumn. Competition for the more desirable tribe members is fi erce. You are considered exceptionally attractive by Nezumi standards, and gain a +1k1 bonus on all Social rolls with Nezumi of the opposite gender.

Teeth Of Stone [Physical] (4 Points)
All Nezumi have extremely sharp and powerful frontal incisors, but some are truly formidable. Your unarmed bite attacks infl ict an extra +1k1 damage, your speed of chewing through wood and soft stone is doubled, and you may chew through hard stone or metal at the rate of 1’ per hour.

Tribal Wanderer [Social] (3 Points)
When a Nezumi tribe is too small to properly train all its youth, some of them will travel to larger tribes to seek learning – especially if they have gifts that their own tribe cannot properly evoke. You have trained with Nezumi from another tribe, and may learn a school from them that would be unavailable in your own tribe. You also have friendly contacts in the tribe where you train, which may come in handy if your own tribe faces danger.

Nezumi-only Disadvantages

Kwa’thch [Physical] (2 Points)
This word roughly translates as “ugly as the boiling pit.” You are considered unattractive by Nezumi standards, and suffer a –1k1 penalty to all Social rolls with other Nezumi, regardless of gender.

Lost Tail [Physical] (4 Points)
Some gruesome accident or battle has cost you your tail, severely impacting your balance. This carries great stigma in Nezumi social circles (-1k0 to all Social rolls with other Nezumi) and also reduces your natural bonus when running and jumping from +2k0 to +1k0.

Nameless [Spiritual] (9 Points)
A Nezumi Shaman has cursed you to remove your Name, cutting you off from your race. Your friends and relatives no longer remember you and you have been cast out from your tribe. Your Niche Rank is zero and cannot increase, and you may not spend Name Points. If you manage to join a new tribe, you may begin to form a new Name and remove these restrictions, but such a quest may only succeed at the discretion of the GM.

Nezumi Madness [Social] (5 Points)
A Nezumi with this Disadvantage is considered insane by other Nezumi, although their judgment may not be accurate. You are not allowed to mate and are unable to gain Niche while you are considered mad. However, other Nezumi will not harm you for fear of becoming mad themselves.

Nose Blind [Physical] (2 Points)
You do not have the normal Nezumi sense of smell. You may have been born without it or you may have suffered some sort of accident or trauma. You cannot use a Memory Stick and cannot read the pheromone messages from other Nezumi. You are something of a pariah in Nezumi society, and suffer a -1k0 penalty on all Social rolls with other Nezumi.

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