Posted on December 21, 2010 by jasonlblair
Hard to believe I released Little Fears Nightmare Edition over a year ago. The initial reception blew me away and you are still picking it up, playing it, and sharing your stories with me. I enjoyed working on the new edition of the classic game but, by the time I finished the book, I was pretty burned out on it. I ended up taking a break from it, working on other projects and recharging my batteries. All in all, the time away did a lot of good as I’m more excited about Little Fears now than I have been in a long time.
This past September, after a hectic summer, I decided to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the game’s release by committing to a monthly series of standalone, ready-to-play episodes called Campfire Tales. I put up the first in October. Beggars Night tells the story of some monsters who are looking for the perfect costume for their waking master. The second, called The Fall Harvest, is set in one of my favorite types of places (an apple orchard) during my favorite time of the year. The Fall Harvest is about a little girl whose love for her grampy’s farm brings all kinds of monstrous trouble to the unsuspecting attendees of the local fall festival.
The folks at Flames Rising, who ran my 13 Doors column promoting Little Fears Nightmare Edition last year, asked if I wouldn’t mind them putting up a promo of what I’m doing with the line. I was honored they asked and quickly agreed.
The following is an excerpt from the latest release in the line, Campfire Tales #3: The Longest Night of Your Life is about some kids who wake up in a room that seems like a dream but turns into a nightmare. If you like what you see, all the Campfire Tales are available now through DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Also, you can check out www.littlefears.com for the latest information on the game–including news about the upcoming film! Enjoy.
Remember: Sleep tight, and bite the bed bugs back.
Last night, on Christmas Eve, the kids went to sleep in their beds, visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. (Unless they don’t celebrate Christmas of course then they were probably dreaming of something else.) The next morning, while it’s still dark outside, the kids wake up in their bedrooms. And that’s where we begin.
As far as the bedrooms are concerned, there’s nothing out of the ordinary. If the child usually sleeps with the door open, it may strike them as weird that it’s closed but everything else is as it was when they went to sleep.
The next logical step, especially for those anticipating Kris Kringle’s nocturnal visitation, is to throw open the door and head out to see what goodies the fat man left them in their stockings and under the tree. And this is where it becomes apparent something’s not quite right. When the kids open their doors, instead of what they would normally find, they see a brightly lit hallway, stark tile on the floor, with numerous differently colored and decorated doors. The hallway leads to a room with a ten-foot Christmas tree in the center, beautifully decorated with twinkling lights, colored glass bulbs, and strings of shimmering tinsel. The base is draped in a red felt skirt and the remains of Christmas morning litter the ground: shredded paper, unraveled bows, and stacks of every toy and game your kid could ever want; their boxes strewn around the room in varying stages of obliteration.
This is doubly strange if the child’s family doesn’t celebrate Christmas.
This is a Dramatic Scene. As the kids converge on the central room, they’ll likely have a lot of questions. No one knows anything more than another about what’s going on (though some may fake it). Let the kids look around a bit before dropping them into the next scene. There’s not a lot to explore, just the hallway, the room, and the bedrooms, but there’s a lot to accept as the weirdness and limitation of their situation sinks in.
Let’s cover some ground rules about this shared area in which the kids find themselves.
If anyone does a headcount, they’ll see that there are two more doors than kids (so if you have four kids in the cast, six doors line the hallway). Also, this isn’t a dream, so all real world physics apply. Punching or pinching or kicking hurts. Running into a door hurts too and won’t do much good besides. The exceptions are: the windows don’t break, the doors have some special rules, and the tree can’t be knocked over. Other than that, everything is here as it is at home.
Some basic exploration and experimentation will reveal the following:
Folks can only open the doors to the individual bedrooms if the kid who sleeps there allows them. This means a simple “No” (spoken or not) is enough to stop someone from going into a room. If a room is shared by two or more kids, only one needs to give permission and any kids who sleep in the room can’t be locked out this way.
The first extra door is white and has a small (foot square) chalk board tacked onto it. A used piece of pink chalk dangles from a string connected to the corner of the board. The second door is heavy and made of white metal. It’s cool to the touch and it slides instead of turning out or in. The kids can’t open either of them.
As big as an elementary school gymnasium, the room is adorned in postcard-perfect season décor. Most of the room is quite bright but darkness fills the corners. The main source is lighting is the tree and a few recessed lights.
Aside from the hallway full of doors there is just one other door on the wall that opposes the hallway entrance. It’s a large door, dark and wooden, and stands about nine feet tall. Attempts to open it don’t work, even those powered by Belief.
The room has a few windows, each of which show a darkened snow-covered lawn. It’s not actively snowing but it probably just stopped as the pillowy top glistens and is unmarred by animal prints or kids trudging through it. It must look out over a backyard or something because you can’t see a street or any other houses. The windows cannot be broken, if anyone is vandalism-inclined, and they’re set into their frames and have no mechanisms that allow them to be open or shut.
The tree is a real tree. The presents are real too. The tags on them read some variation of “To Tamos, From Santa” in shaky handwriting.
Hard to say what the bedrooms look like. If the kids enter any of the rooms, have the owner give a quick summary—just the highlights please—of what’s in their room.
Once the kids give the area a good once-over and everyone’s anxiety is a bit tweaked, the big door off the main room opens and an enthusiastic boy bounds out, huge smile on his face, arms open wide.
“Finally!” he yells, shutting the door behind him. “New friends!”
And with that, the scene ends.
Tags | little fears