Good resources for a Sword & Rats game?

Yesterday night I saw a post from an Italian author, Mauro Longo, which got me thinking about a Sword & Sorcery game, but with rats instead of sorcery (he named the genre “Sword & Sorci”, which is a pun on “Sorci”, meaning “rats” in Italian, and sounding like “sorcery”). He started with this gif.

Since historical fencing and rats are my two big passions, I would like to try developing a game based on those and I’m searching for inspiration sources. My current list is:

  • Mouseritter (which is more Sorci & Sorcery)
  • Redwall
  • The Three Muskeeters

Any other ideas?


Is that image from Secret of NIMH?

I’d also suggest you think about the setting: is this Urban or Rural? Are these creatures life-sized or human-sized?

Also, Mouseguard obviously, but I’m guessing you know why that.

And maybe lean heavily into the fencing! Some use foils,and others sabre or epee! Styles are super important. Etc.

I love Alexander Dumas, as I’m guessing you do as well.

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It’s urban for the rats, obviously.

I’d say life-sized, like you play the rats in the sewers of Paris during Alexander Dumas’ novels.

Yep, I just forgot to add it to the list.

That was my idea. There are a lot of nice rulesets for playing animals (or which can be adapted to play animals) but nothing as fencing-oriented as I’d like (full disclosure: I’m a historical fencer and my favorite weapon is the rapier).

In the meantime, I found out two fencing oriented games which I might Frankenstein in something more RPG-like:

I’d also have a look at James West’s “rabbits and rangers” for some ideas.


A few more things:


If you’re looking for more fencing RPGs, check out Honor + Intrigue. It’s built on the Barbarians of Lemuria rules engine and then adds a fencing system atop that.

An American Tail. If nothing, there’s cool ideas for small urban environments.

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Not necessarily Sword and Rat/Mouse, but the Bunnies and Burrows ruleset (inspired by Watership down) might be a good place to look. It recently got a new edition by Goodman Games that you guys might want to look at.

Another rule-set that might provide some decent fodder for inspiration on how a world can be built around Mouse and other animals is the Pugmire rule-set series. More based around Dogs, Cats, and similar pets; it has a weird pulpy potential that has a nice setting that can have lots of depth despite its outer wrapping. The ruleset is 5e based but can be mined out for ideas since it has some nice thoughts.

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TIL there is a Swords & Rats genre!

One of the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser stories I feel like they turn into rats or maybe become rat sized and have to fight rats. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, sorry, but you might want to look into that as well.

It’s a really cool system, imo. Personally, I would hack the fencing and fighting styles into Mausritter and cut down/out the magic elements for what the OP is trying to do.

I don’t think there is… Yet

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Yup, in The Swords of Lankhmar , a shrinking potion does in fact shrink the Grey Mouser and he sneaks into a city of rats, or something.

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Oh, I beg to differ - between Redwall, The Mice Templar, The Secret of NIMH, and MouseGuard, there’s a subgenre of rodent swords and sorcery…

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