Friday, October 30, 2009

A Tradition Abandoned

Normally, around Halloween, I whip up a one shot of Little Fears, the rpg of Childhood Terror. (Well, sort of... it's actually a giant metaphor for child abuse methinks, but that's another post)I always set my game in Templeton, Iowa, a town that I thought I had made up, but turns out it is actually a real town. (In fact, last year I swiped a map of the real town and used it to run my game) The characters are always in a different school class and the events pretty much ignore whatever happened the previous year.

This year, I let apathy get to me, as well as the fact that I no longer find Little Fears as endearing as I once did, system-wise. I ignore the setting completely, mainly because parts of it are thoroughly icky. (Call me a coward if you want, but I don't roleplay to tackle uncomfortable real world issues) I suppose I could have prepared a session of World of Darkness: Innocents, but I'm going to plead apathy again.

Jason Blair, the author, publisher, and guru behind Little Fears, has just released a new edition. Normally I get cranky about new editions as a reflex, but this one is nine years in the making, so fair play. It sounds like he has retooled the game conceptually, making it a game about kids vs. Closetland monsters without all the subtext of kids vs. adult abusers. I've taken a look at some of the previews and the character sheet, and it looks like the game has also shed some mechanical baggage. (Such as the stats that exist only to harm you over time as they inevitably decrease from exposure to monsters and the loss of innocense as the characters grow older)

The wife actually wants me to order this new edition, but I'm still on the fence. Little Fears original edition has a lot of heart to it, despite the mechanical bugs, and WoD Innocents is pretty mechanically solid (aside from my minor quirks with the WoD system, most of which are combat related and unliklely to come up in a game about kids...right?) I guess the question is how many games about kids vs. monsters do I need on my shelves? (We also have Grimm, which the wife bought, which is about kids lost in fucked up nursery rhyme/fairy tale land)

Still, I do have fond memories of Little Fears, and I am interested in a version of the game that focuses on the aspects that interested me the most. (Which is all the non-molesty parts)

*sigh* I still have all day tomorrow to whip something up, I guess.

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