10 Things to Find in a Rats’ Nest

Giants rats infest the upper levels of many dungeons and the recesses of countless abandoned buildings.

By Bradley K. McDevitt

By Bradley K. McDevitt


Often their nests hold nothing but gnawed bones, chewed wood and other leavings of their voracious hunger. Other times, adventurers may find objects of greater interest or value.

Use the table below, to determine what the PCs find:

  1. A mass of faeces intermingled with ripped pieces of cloth and shards of bone.
  2. A seven-foot long length of frayed hemp rope. One end is tied around a rusty piton.
  3. A mouldy leather boot lying on its side. A small rat skeleton fills the boot.
  4. These ripped and shredded wool trousers are missing one leg below the knee. A hidden pocket at the waist holds a single shiny platinum piece; only perceptive PCs find the coin.
  5. A great mass of sawdust and gnawed pieces of wood hide the remains of a now ruined, but once beautiful, carved wooden deer.
  6. The bones of a small dog (or possibly a large fox) are scattered about the nest. All the bones show signs of extensive gnawing.
  7. A half-eaten, now rotting rat corpse. A small arrow protrudes from the remains of its back.
  8. Strips of red silk are intermingled with scraps of leather and wool. A strand of fine silver thread (worth 5 gp) runs through the silk. A hasty searcher misses the thread.
  9. What was once a fine oaken wand lies amid the detritus of the nest. Chewed arcane sigils once held the power to conjure forth mystical fire but the rats’ attentions have destroyed their power.
  10. A bizarrely twisted and warped rat skeleton. Strangely—perhaps even worryingly—the rat seemed to have had six legs and two heads!

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This article will appear in GM’s Miscellany: 20 Things II, available in March 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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