||A squirming, roiling mass of squeaking rats draws closer, teeth flashing and claws scratching everything in its path.
Everywhere verminous rats thrive, there are dark tales told of hungry rat packs that can consume men and strip livestock to the bone in minutes. Although somewhat exaggerated, rats can pose dangers if encountered in sufficient numbers. Even if beaten off, rat bites often carry virulent diseases, which can be just as deadly. When attacking as a swarm, if the rolled number of injuries exceeds the victim’s Armour Points, then each successful injury inflicts 1 Hit Point of damage. In addition, the victim is exposed to a disease, which is resolved after the combat is concluded.
Unless there is some good reason, the collective can affect any and every Hit Location of a target who fails to Evade, Fly, or Swim clear (as applicable).
Melee weapons are useless against a flock, horde, pack, or shoal since each blow can only kill an insignificant proportion of the entire group. Each individual creature is considered so minor that it possesses no characteristics; however, the collective has a total number of Hit Points, which must been defeated to disperse it. Of course, the characters must use melee weapons that can be swung at the group as a whole. Thrusting attacks are generally useless, as are most missile weapons. Area effect attacks capable of damaging a volume rather than a single target are typically best. Crushing attacks and brute strength can also be effective.