Trying something new with this post, we’ll give you more of an outline instead of a fully written encounter. Let us know in the comments if you like this layout or prefer fully written!
I Smell A Rat
Location: Tim’s Tiny Tailory, a boutique clothier who makes tiny outfits for animals. Owner by a kind oafish orc named Tim Gar Mont.
Problem: Tim had much of his clothing go missing, specifically the small weapons, armors, and cloaks, and is getting quite worried. He has called for the local houndmaster to bring his dogs and sniff out the source of trouble.
Why the party should care: Tim has offered a large reward for the retrieval of his thimble-size threads as he has a runway show coming up soon.
Resolution: The party can try and assist before the houndmaster arrives or follow the nose of the hounds to determine that whatever stole the outfits has gone through the walls. Should the party choose to investigate, Tim will allow them to gently remove wall parts where the hounds are pointed. He will shriek if too much damage is done, but pulling back bits of wall will reveal a tunnel of sorts that the hounds dash into.
I Fink I Can
Location: Tunnel into a sprawling tiny city beneath the city, with rats (normal-sized) scurrying about.
Problem: Before they can stop themselves, the dogs and party slide down the tunnel and through a strange force field. As they do, a weird variation of Enlarge Reduce is cast on the party and the dogs, with everyone shrinking to 1/4 their normal size. The party sees the dogs chase after something but get trapped in a tiny net. The tunnel collapses behind the party as they come through, sealing them off from Tim and the houndmaster.
Several rats leap on the dogs, muzzling them and seemingly taking control of their minds, riding them away. The party notices garments Tim mentioned on the rats who leap out. One rat stands atop the net and doffs a tiny invisibility cloak, becoming visibile once again.
The rat sees the party and yells, “sieze them!” to which tiny ropes shoot up and over the party, restraining them unless they pass a DC18 DEX save. The rat identifies himself as Ratrick Goodheart. Ratrick apologizes for the shrinking, but notes it had to be done. [see footnote for addition DM considerations]
Resolution: The party can attempt to fight off the rats while restrained, but will be interrupted by “The Rat Kings,” two well-dressed rats whose clothing has gotten snagged on each other.
In The Court of The Crimson (Rat) Kings
Location: The court of The Rat Kings, surrounded by hundreds of rats. It appears to be a an open area within the center of their rat kingdom.
Encounter: The Rat Kings announce that the party are to be the main competitors in the arena games, which garners a load roar from the rats in the stands. The party must then participate in three rounds of combat:
- 10 swarms of mostly normal rats emerge from doors in the surrounding area, and the party must. To intensify the battle, several can be afflicted with plague or some such sickness that causes poison damage, potentially paralyzing the party.
- 5 swarms of rats and 5 Rat Warriors (halved in size) emerge to attack the party. The Rat Warriors are larger, sturdier and capable of doing much more damage.
- 3 Rat Warriors, 3 Rat Mechs (as seen below, roughly the stats of a Shield Guardian, but halved)
Resolution: If the party is victorious, The Rat Kings will offer to throw them an honorary feast. They are not displeased with the party unless they have done a lot of additional damage past the damage done in the arena.
Regarding Tim’s clothing, the party can attempt to barter or murder to get them back. The Rat Kings note that Tim has impeccable taste and exceptional quality, but was so frightened of the rats when they would emerge that he seemed unwilling to trade with them. A deal may be struck, or the party can determine what else to do, but if leaving on good terms, the party will be given Potions of Enlargement that will put them back to normal size once they leave.
Returning to Tim with the clothing will get the party a seat at the upcoming runway show and 250gp.
If the party returns with nothing but a story, Tim will be annoyed, as will the houndmaster. He will give them some tiny clothes if any of the party has a familiar, but will dismiss them without anything else.
Footnote: We posted this one on Reddit and got some great feedback from u/Grasswalker (link to YouTueb) regarding the high DC for preventing seizure by the rats.
If you want a fight to be possible something around DC 8-13 Dex to avoid the ropes is fair.
If they fail and are restrained, they can attempt a check themselves to break free, something like a DC 10-15 Strength check as an action on their turn.
Or another creature can free a creature by using an attack (symbolising cutting the rope).
It’s also totally valid to have a cutscene if you need a way to get them from the sewer entry to the courtroom. Cutscenes are okay sometimes.
If you want to get a little cheesy for this encounter, Only Crits has a great Cheese Dice Set, check them out!