Ten Dead Rats Rules – 1.4

It’s been over a year since I updated the official rules, though many of the changes have been rolled into our weekly streamed game. For those who care, however, here is at last an update to the official Ten Dead Rats rules as used on our stream.

Ten Dead Rats v 1.4

And here’s a quick list of changes you’ll find from the previous version:

  • Secondary stats (weapon skill, ballistic skill, and wounds) are called out early so you know what the heck they are.
  • Difficulty level names have been renamed to Moderate, Challenging, and Onerous. This is to highlight that I consider the Target Number 10 to be the baseline for Tests, reserving 15 and 20 for more difficult Tests. I wasn’t crazy about the term “Easy”, because honestly if it’s Easy I think you just shouldn’t roll at all.
  • A note was added to the Talents section about how GMs may allow players to take Talents outside their career based on the state of the campaign. I have done this when my players invested in it (eg. Yeffi buying a children’s book to teach herself how to read), or when magic items or other circumstances dictate it.
  • Increased healing amounts added to Surgery rolls.
  • Note added to Surgery about using one die of healing towards removing a Critical Injury.
  • Magick casting Target Numbers updated.
  • Insanity rules removed. The old Insanity Cards are being revamped and we don’t use them in our game, so I just removed them from the rules.
  • Corruption rules formally added.

5 thoughts on “Ten Dead Rats Rules – 1.4

    1. Ha! I had totally forgotten what I had written and had to go look it up. Glad you appreciate it. “Oh my God, they do exist!” is just about one of my favorite things to roleplay in a Warhammer RPG. It never gets old 🙂

  1. Very belated comment, but maybe you get email notifications or something –
    I was browsing your rules and was curious, is there some unwritten advantage to a Great Weapon? As far as what’s printed, they seem to cost twice as much (4 GC vs. 2 GC), deal less damage (1d8 vs. 1d10), and weigh just as much as polearms.

    I also wonder if, in version 1.5, you might want to make a few of the talents a little more appealing. Some ideas that sprang to my mind:
    1. Combine Orientation and Stone Soup somehow, maybe have three versions of it – one where the “Orientation” portion applies to sea navigation, one for land/river navigation, and one for city-dwellers. Both Stone Soup and Orientation are a little underwhelming on their own, and it seems like a fairly logical pairing since those who are accustomed to long journeys (or subsisting in poverty) would be both accustomed to lean rations and good at getting and keeping their bearings.
    2. Frenzy; typically in old versions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, this actually provided a bonus to both hit and wound rolls (later versions it was one or more extra attacks), yet you’ve assigned a penalty to WS. In my opinion, this penalty combined with its other restrictions (requires one round to activate, forced to attack nearest enemy) makes it pretty lame compared to Strike Mighty Blow or Rapid Strike. I think it’d be a lot more desirable if the WS penalty were removed.
    3. Flee! As written, it’s strictly inferior to Fleet Footed. Maybe up it to +2 M when retreating instead?
    4. Two-Weapon Fighting should maybe be compatible with shields as well as light weapons. As it stands, with this talent a dagger gives you a superior AC compared to (based on the 10 lb. weight) a 24″ round shield, or the equivalent surface area heater shield.

  2. I can’t remember how I stumbled across Ten Dead Rats but I’m so glad I did. I’ve listened to 31 episodes of the podcast in a little over a month. That’s unusually consistent for me. My need for novelty (ADHD) normally sends me looking for something new very quickly. Instead, I’m hooked.

    I also love the rules. For ages, I’ve wanted a simple system that gives characters an initial flavour while allowing them to grow in whatever direction the story might push them. The combination of class/career/talents does that beautifully: Freedom within constraints, with an easy way to break out if necessary.

    I have so many questions for you but I assume this isn’t the right forum. Thank you so much for the free podcast and the free system. Now I’m on tenterhooks waiting to find out what Fearful Ends is like! 😊

    1. Hi J! Sorry I am so delayed in responding. I’m really glad you enjoyed the system, and I’d totally be happy to answer any questions you have here.

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