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Hecken Good Bois and Gurls-Rats and Malifaux

daniel sprayberry

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(I actually love just about everything about the lore and mechanics this is just me being one of those pet owners)

I've recently got to about episode 64/65 in the breachside broadcast as well as soaking up as much lore as possible. The rats in Malifaux are a bit of divergence from their earthside counterparts. First, their teeth are yellow and not orange/rust. This is due to a excess of iron in there teeth rusting. Any rat owner will tell you that their little snoots seen from under shows the mouth is a little open (exposed to air) when not stuffed with snacks. It would make sense that the Malifaux rat is a descendant of the Black Rat (Ratus Ratus) as here in America the Brown Rat (Rattus Norvegicus) has mostly displaced their smaller cousin. However, as a "fancy rat" (Rattus Norvegicus Domestica) caretaker I can tell the development team a terrain destruction ability on contact is appropriate. Anything in reach of their little grabbies can and will be chewed upon and with a bite force of nearly 12 tons psi I can't imagine a non-magical material that can withstand that for long. The Rat King seems like one of the most terrifying things ever. I can think of no more gruesome a fate than death by hundreds of tiny razors wiped into a frenzy. Shake a yogie bag at a mischief that wasn't expecting it an marvel at the speed and manic energy they exhibit. I think I speak for all rat owners when I say we love our babies but even we don't like to stick our hands in the middle of that XD


(again top notch job on lore and mechanics balancing to the dev team keep up the good works !)   


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New York, then New Amsterdam, was colonized in 1624 becoming a British colony in 1664. The black rat introduced by the Dutch displaced the marsh rat (Oryzomys palustris ) which was displaced by the brown rat in 1776 (as far as I can tell not sure if this is science or just repropagation form the Pixar short, but they did their homework so I'm going with it). The breach opens in 1787 and then reopens in 1897, 110 years between. Accounting for the logarithmic growth of city's (I'm using Geoffery West's body of work if anyone is interested) we can ,for sake of argument, assume the city didn't reach a long form doubling of size till the 1900s. In 2016 New York's rat problem became so over whelming and the rats had gotten so smart that the city had to call in biologist and animal behavior experts to combat the problem. This (to my endless amusement) has had mixed results owing to the rat's ability to adapt and intelligence. So much so that the downtown rats and uptown rats have diverged and are considered subspecies of the brown rat. Malifaux has had the same relative amount of time with presumably unchecked population growth. As Malifaux's self appointed rat expert with due prudence to observational and academic research name the Malifaux rat Rattus Rattus Supermundanae after the Latin word for otherworldly. Obviously, this is pending a taxonomy study and peer review. However, I urge the Guild to allow and support studies into this phenomenon to ascertain any threats to city dwelling humans this rats may pose. 


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Do Malifaux Rats Like Driving Cars as Much as Earthside Rats?

Null Hypothesis:  Increases in the ratio of dehydroepiandrosterone to corticosterone in Rattus Rattus Supermundanae will have no effect on behavior. 

Method: Through classic conditioning teach the Malifaux Rat to drive small vehicles for rewards. Using the same processes employed by Kelly Lambert at the University of Richmond, Earthside (Journal reference: Behavioural Brain Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2019.112309). With all testing set to a 95% confidence threshold the rats droppings will be tested for hormonal levels. These results combined with observational data taken at the time of sampling will be considered for final conclusion. In this context "relaxed" will be attributed under the same criteria as it earthside cousin. One assumes all Malifaux rats are proportional more aggressive than their earthside counterparts. A control group has been established and trained rat catchers employed to interact with the subjects owing to their danger to research staff. 

Below is a link to the article that lead this researcher to this consideration for the readers pursual.


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Malifaux has a well documented history of warping species over generations. Humans are the prime example, but the Guild hounds and horses also show magically induced evolution/mutations.

Since a generation of rats is not very long in the making, it's no wonder that the rats in Malifaux have warped heavily.

As for controls, ratcatchers in Malifaux are a thing on and off the table, and given the opulence of the head ratcatcher's office in the Guild book, it seems that they are a big thing. I can't say whether they use constructs or steampunk traps like the pathfinders, all I can say is that the head office lady can buy furniture from Earth.

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