Originally Posted by noparlpf
Well, if you're armed and armoured and well-rested, sure, that dire rat isn't particularly threatening. If you're not well-trained with that weapon (low levels or nonproficient) or already exhausted (low hit points), then it's not that much of a stretch to have a dire rat or a large dog take down an armed man. And most characters don't wear full plate, so you can't assume most characters will be armoured "from head to toe".
Full plate isn't necessary. If you look at the stuff dog trainers use to get attacked in, it's basically a heavy gambeson, heavy pants and a helmet. In short, it is the equivalent of padded armor to use D&D terms, which is about as light as it gets. As for weapon training, you're essentially guaranteed to have a major reach advantage regardless, while up against something used to fighting other quadrupeds with teeth and claws and not bipeds with legitimate weapons. An ROUS is probably not an issue.
That's not to say that animals shouldn't be dangerous, but that the wrong animals currently are. It's one thing to be seriously threatened by a bear, or by most decently sized water animals while in the water, or a pack of wolves, and another entirely to be threatened by a rat.