Bunnies And Burrows General Rules
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Rabbits in Action
Everything in a Bunnies & Burrows game is scaled to rabbits, so a few words are necessary on how rabbits differ from the humans who'll be roleplaying them.
Terminology: Male rabbits are "bucks," females are "does," and children are "kittens" (or "kits"). The word "bunny" doesn't mean a baby rabbit; it's just a slang term for any rabbit. They are territorial and live in groups of five to 40, in underground burrows called "warrens." A warren has several entrance ramps leading to "kettles" (rooms) connected by "tubes" (tunnels) that are usually just wide enough for one rabbit at a time to move through. Most warrens are openly ruled by a male king, who is subtly ruled by his queen (yes, rabbit society really is a subtle matriarchy); in a large warren, he will also have advisers. (See Bunnies and Burrows Bun Fu for other important warren groups.)
Size and Strength: A typical rabbit is about 15-20" stretched out and weighs about 4-5 lbs. (Hutch rabbits are often 1-2 lbs. fatter.) One can carry up to about 1 lb. without much difficulty, 2 lbs. with effort and reduced speed, or 4 lbs. with extreme fatigue and moving at a crawl.
Speed: If unencumbered, rabbits are about twice as fast as humans; outdoor/open zones in this game should be fairly large! They move at a bound, leaping to leave large gaps between their tracks to make themselves harder to track. A rabbit can leap about 8-9 feet forward or 3-4 feet straight up; double these values with a running start. Rabbits can climb and swim, but they're not good at either and do both very slowly. Rabbits are amazing diggers, and can burrow about 1 to 1.5 inches per minute.
Manual Dexterity: While the rabbits in this game are cinematic, they don't have actual working hands. They're best described as "semi-fingered" -- what they have lies halfway between a paw and a hand. They lack opposable thumbs and run around on all fours, but they can throw herbs, weave backpacks, pry a window open, and so on. They cannot wield weapons! Any grasping action requires both paws and lacks fine control.
Senses: A rabbit's senses are amazing compared to a human's. They have peripheral vision, optimized for noticing movement, with excellent night vision. They can hear noises and smell scents from 20-50 times further than a human could. And when up close, their whiskers provide an exceptional sense of touch. However, the ability to notice so many potential dangers does make them a bit edgy; see Fear Checks, below. Rabbits warn each other of danger by thumping the ground with their rear legs; this can be heard (by other rabbits) at up to a half-mile away.
Mental Limitations: Rabbits are not technology users. Thus, an Anthropology roll is required for even the most basic tool use, such as opening a door. They also do not have great memories; the GM should feel free to throw a compel whenever a minor fact from over a month ago becomes relevant. Perhaps most interestingly, rabbits cannot count past four! A rabbit counts, "One, two, three, four, lots!" Rabbits don't do math, so players can't try to get around this ("What if I took four truffles off the pile, how many would there be?"). They do recognize a further designation -- "Lots and lots!" -- for overwhelmingly huge numbers.
Food and Other Stuff
Rabbits can survive on nothing but grass, but that's a low-energy food; a typical rabbit would need to spend 5-6 hours each day grazing. An area rich in clover, dandelions, berries, etc., is twice as efficient (2-3 hours grazing), but rabbits definitely prefer higher-calorie food. A rabbit can be powered for a day by about 5-6 heads of lettuce or 2-3 large root vegetables or about half a pound of oats, nuts, and/or fruit, or a single truffle (such a delicacy!). This gives a rough idea of trading value; if the PCs are trying to trade lettuce for a truffle, they're going to need lots of lettuce!
As noted above, a typical bunny can carry up to about 1 lb. without much difficulty, 2 lbs. with effort and reduced speed, or 4 lbs. with extreme fatigue and moving at a crawl. These aren't intended as hard-and-fast encumbrance limits! It's just a helpful way for the GM to gauge how difficult Physique checks should be to do more. At any rate, the biggest issue is rarely weight, but the fact that rabbits need all four limbs to move. Fortunately, crafters can weave plants into simple fabric backpacks that allow a bunny to carry several items. All backpacks have the aspect Crafted by Bunny Paws which the GM can compel for the pack to fray at narratively appropriate times.
Anything stored in a backpack is not easily accessible. It takes one action to take off or put on a backpack, and it takes one action to retrieve something from it. (If the backpack is full of a variety of small items, the GM may require a Notice roll to overcome that obstacle.) Thus, retrieving something (like an herb) from your own pack takes at least two actions. It's faster for someone else to reach into your pack and grab it -- that takes only one action.
Rabbits have a lot to be afraid of, but the biggest would be loud noises and predators. When a bunny hears a loud noise or encounters a predator, he must make a fear check, trying to avoid the aspect Panicked by rolling against Will. The difficulty depends on the threat; unless otherwise stated, assume noises are about 100 to 200 feet away.
- Average (1): A dropped tool chest, a close-by car horn, a chainsaw, severe thunder.
- Fair (2): A gunshot, a firecracker, a distant explosion, an air horn.
- Good (3): An explosion (not distant).
- Average (1): Less aggressive (house cat, small dog, snake, human)
- Fair (2): More aggressive (large dog, bobcat, hawk, mongoose, badger)
As usual, a tie creates a boost (for the GM to use against the player), failure creates an advantage, and failure by 3+ shifts gives a second invocation. However, a rabbit can immediately overcome this aspect, and get an immediate fate point (it's considered a compel), by entering "flee or freeze" mode. After deciding to do this, the player rolls a single die: plus means flee, minus means freeze, and blank means the player gets to choose.
Flee: You immediately turn and run from the scene at full speed. If you can make it to cover, you may attempt Stealth, but that is secondary to getting away. This lasts until you have lost visual contact with the scene or any threat.
Freeze: You flatten against the nearest object and become perfectly still. Depending on the situation, you may be able to make a Stealth roll. If someone attacks you, your first defense is at -1. This lasts until someone attacks you or you can be sure that the threat has passed.
Damage, Death, and Recovery
Bunnies & Burrows is based on some pretty rough fiction. Rabbits die -- heck, entire warrens are sometimes slaughtered. As such, death is always on the table in any fight more serious than an intra-warren scrap. Everyone should be aware of the option for Extreme Consequences (see Fate Core, p. 166), as it can sometimes be the only way to stay alive.
Stress clears normally, but recovering from physical consequences (see Fate Core, p. 164) is trickier in a world without doctors. By default, recovery is a process of self-healing; you have to find a safe place to lie down and lick your wounds, after which you can make a Physique roll to mark the consequence as recovering.
- Mild Consequence: Spend 10 minutes licking your wounds. Roll Physique, difficulty Fair (2). Success marks it as recovering; it will heal by the end of the next scene.
- Moderate Consequence: Spend an hour licking your wounds. Roll Physique, difficulty Great (4). Success marks it as recovering; it will heal in one full session.
- Severe Consequence: Spend half the day (about six hours) licking your wounds. Roll Physique, difficulty Fantastic (6). Success marks it as recovering; it will heal in one full scenario.
If your Physique roll fails, you must wait at least one full scene before trying again. Alternatively, you can mark it as recovering, but give the GM a free invocation against it (or two invocations if you failed by 3+).
All poison has the following statistics:
- Onset: How much time until the poison takes effect. With venomous creatures, this is usually too long to be useful in a fight, but after poisoning their prey their tactic is usually either to grapple it until it dies or to back off and follow it stealthily until it dies.
- Potency: The effectiveness of the poison, ranging from +1 to +5. This is usually used to inflict damage, but it can create and bolster an aspect instead (or alternate between the two).
- Stealth: Optional, for ingested poisons. This is the difficulty of a Notice roll to detect the poison before eating it. If better, you may substitute Flora for natural poisons or Anthropology for man-made ones.
Rabbits who are attacked by a venomous creature and take a consequence from the attack acquire the Poisoned aspect (attacks soaked with a stress box are safe). Eating poison automatically inflicts Poisoned.
Once poisoned, the victim must make regular resistance rolls. The frequency depends on exertion: every minute if swimming, climbing, sprinting, fighting, etc.; every 15 minutes if walking, crafting, etc.; or every hour if lying perfectly still. To resist, roll Physique with difficulty equal to Potency. A failed roll inflicts stress equal to the missed shifts, or creates an advantage with one free invocation plus another per three full shifts of failure. Two successes in a row, or a single success with style, overcomes the poison.
Empathic healers can roll Empathy with difficulty equal to Potency to overcome the aspect. Herbalists have access to Arrow Root, which will help. Unfortunately, First Aid (the Fauna stunt) is useless for resisting and purging poison.
Most naturally poisonous plants and creatures have Onset one hour, Potency +2, and Stealth +2. Venomous creatures will always list their statistics; see Bunnies and Burrows Other Creatures for examples. Man-made poisons tend to be especially horrid:
- Compound 1080: Onset one hour, Potency +4, Stealth +3.
- Pindone: A long-term poison, with Onset one week, Potency +2, Stealth +2. Every additional two days of eating poisoned meals during the onset time adds +1 to Potency!
- Strychnine: Onset 30 minutes, Potency +3, Stealth +1. Alternates between inflicting damage and creating the Partially Paralyzed advantage.
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