Nasty Little Freaks is a tabletop adventuring game about strange creatures that may resembles goblins, devils, dwarves, kobolds, gnomes, trolls, or feral children, who talk, walk, scheme, bicker, dream and get themselves into all sorts of trouble.
I'm working on an ashcan edition for this concept so I can play test it with some friends some time and go on from there.
Here's the character creation rules for the game. Later I'll post an adventure and maybe the core game play rules (for now, you can just plug this into Risus or whatever else).
If you read this and have thoughts, or especially if you try playing with it yourself, feel more than welcome to let me know your feedback :-)
Making A Nasty Little Freak
- Roll 1d6 for each of your starting traits: Nasty, Little, and Freak.
- Roll 1d6 for you starting value in your three funds: Coins, Hearts, and Stars.
- Roll a random d20 starting gear package.
- Roll a random d20 quirk.
- Flesh out your character slightly with a name, gender, looks, etc.
Different monsters and NPCs have different Traits. Traits are always ranked from 1 to 6.
A dragon's traits might be: Big (6) Flying (4) Fire-Breathing (5) Lizard (3)
A knight's traits might be: Gallant (3) Holy (2) Warrior (4)
A random peasant might just be: Peasant (2)
and so forth
PCs start with three traits:
- Nasty: Use to do tough or mean things, like chewing through rope, swinging hammers at robotic crabs, or hissing and growling at the townsfolk.
- Little: Use to do cunning or sneaky things, like hiding in old piles of laundry, squeezing through small cracks, or disguising yourself as a lost child.
- Freak: Use to do sorcerous things, like stirring up foul concoctions, weaving charms from stolen spellbooks, or striking bargains with Evil Himself.
Nasty Little Freaks that prove their uniqueness can earn a fourth trait.
Funds are how the game tracks different abstracted qualities that fluctuate over time. Each Fund cannot go below 0 or above 12. You start with however much of each Fund, but from there they'll just come and go. Your starting quantity is in no way a maximum or a default level for your character, it's just how they start off.
- Coins: Spend Coins to buy stuff, bribe people, etc. Get Coins by pick-pocketing people, digging up buried treasure, selling your old knick-knacks, etc. (Each Coin represents a decent sum of money: enough to cover one decent purchase).
- Hearts: Spend Hearts to brush off an attacks that would otherwise injure or incapacitate you. Get Hearts through strange health tonics, mighty feasts, sharing stories around a campfire, or elsewise boosting your health or spirits.
- Stars: Spend a Star to reroll the dice, or, at the right moment, do something wondrous. Get a Star by leaving the proper offering at a shrine, solving a fairy riddle, drinking from an enchanted fountain (risky), or by elsewise obeying whimsical superstition.
(There is a secret fourth fund: Wishes. Everyone always starts with zero, and cannot ever hold on to more than three at a time. Spend a Wish to spin reality to your word. Get a Wish by saving a god’s life, or else by kidnapping one and holding them for ransom)
d20 Starting Gear Packages
Futuristic helmet, ray gun, high-tech bag of tricks*
Colourful outfit, juggling balls, talking monkey, bag of tricks*
Black dress, pointed hat, broomstick, cauldron of weird soup
Chef’s hat, butcher’s knife, shaker of “super-spice”, can of mystery meat
Barrel of ale, funnel, set of drinking horns, three throwing axes
Inverness cape, dashing cap, spyglass, pistol, smoking pipe, tobacco pouch, opium pouch
Chisel, wood block, painting set, an almost-finished set of infinite nestling dolls
Pyjamas, night cap, candle in candle holder, teddy bear, blanket
Garish leaf-print shirt, disposable camera, map of nearby landmarks
Edgy clothes, dagger, vial of poison, lock picks
Frilly garb, rapier, perfume, hand fan, scraps of paper with gossipy scribbles
White shawl, loaf of bread, dead fish, goblet of wine, draft of a new scripture
Medical scrubs, stethoscope sewing kit, box of spare organs
Scary mask, bag of treats, bag of tricks*
Groovy outfit, portable disco ball, set of wind-up music boxes
Flameproof vest, red helmet, fire hydrant, hatchet
Tweed jacket, spectacles, vial of poison, weighty tome of gobbledy-gook
Red-and-white robe, reindeer steed, sack of presents, rabid “elf” helper
Altar robes, studded mace, cheap prayer book, insense, dubiously holy water
Captain’s hat, The Talking Stick™
*To pull out a nifty knick-knack or gizmo, say what you want and roll a d6. On a 6, you pull out just what you wanted. On any other result you pull out something else, as described by the First Amongst Fools - the higher the number, the closer it is to what you wanted. Once you’ve gotten two sixes, the bag’s all out of tricks.
You’re a secret agent sent by Evil Himself.
You can talk with rats, worms, and certain bugs.
You have been nicknamed Stinky, and for a reason.
You have the first signs of a nutmeg addiction.
You have an actual human baby in your care.
You have a habit of hissing at and recoiling from the sun.
You enjoy setting things on fire a disconcerting amount.
Your spit works surprisingly well as a makeshift glue.
You have an old flame in every port.
You are the prime suspect for the assasination of the Queen.
You have caught the cruel affection of an exiled fairy prince.
You’re very good at pretending to know how to read.
Your are biomagnetic, although the intensity fluctuates unpredictably.
You befriended the Wisest Fish In All The Seas, but then he swam away.
You can climb up walls, but not back down again.
You can lick your own elbows.
You are in crushing debt to the King of Badgers.
Unbeknownst to you, you are the one and only rightful heir to the throne.
You’ve fallen in love with a donkey, due to some fairy magic gone haywire.
You can hold your breath for a very long time, but only if your head is upside down.