Rabbit in a field

Is That a Bunny? With an Axe? (5 Things To Do With “Murder Bunnies”)

Flaming Crab Games recently compiled a letter titled “Murder Bunnies.”  As soon as I heard of its impending release, I was intrigued.  I mean, how (and why) would such a soft, adorable creature be linked with murder?

One of the things I love about Letters From the Flaming Crab is their strange and unique take on things.  This company takes something overlooked, seemingly dull, or otherwise unexplored and turns it into something intriguing or thought provoking.

I loved the way Hygiene raised some great points about how nail care can affect a disguise, I had my taste buds tickled with magical food in Culinary Magic, and I appreciated the exploration of banks and lending institutions in Coins and Credit. 

When Murder Bunnies was released, FCG offered up a few copies on Paizo, with the hopes of a review or two.  As a 3PP writer, and publisher, I feel weird writing typical reviews.  I know how much work goes into a product, and what people want out of a product varies. This hesitancy with reviewing FCG products is amplified by the fact that I’ve written for them, but I received a review copy, all 3PPs appreciate feedback, and well, who doesn’t want to know more about this PDF?

So What About Murder Bunnies?

This is a bonus letter, which means it was not one of the initial letters scheduled for release in 2016.

The letters released this year have generally been longer than those compiled in 2015, and as such the price was increased slightly.  Murder Bunnies is back to the lower page count (clocking in at 9 pages), and priced accordingly at $2.99.
Rabbit with a swordThe focus of the letter was exploring the race of trius vrai, more commonly known as lepus hostili or “murder bunnies.”  It opens with a note from Aldus Emberidge, a sage and advisor unfortunate enough to have been held for a time by these strange rabbit folk.  I loved this.  It is the stuff of the letters.

The PDF went on to detail the physical descriptions, alignment, society, relations, adventures, and all of the typical things that need to be discussed when introducing a new race.  From there it features four different racial archetypes, new racial rules, including trius vrai equipment such as the abduction rope. There’s a collection of feats, some neat magical items specific to this savage and creepy race of rabbitfolk (lucky halfling foot anyone?), and then a few spells.

I loved the idea of this race.  I think it has a lot of (creepy) potential.  And the society and relations write-ups were a lot of fun to read.  And then…

(Honesty here) I’m not a big lover of reading mechanics.  I know: Pathfinder has a ton of rules, and they are meant to be followed, and you need the mechanics to make the game work.  I get it.  I get this is a letter about a race.  And I was prepared for that.

The archetypes use the kineticist, spiritualist, brawler and druid classes, and I appreciate the way these archetypes suit the race or trius vrai, and also use a variety of class types. The visual of the primal vessel archetype with its manifestation of the ancestral spirit of the trius vrai race is particularly cool, and a neat take on the class.

But the bottom line is that I love the fun twists FCG’s puts on their letters.  I love how easy it has been to incorporate the ideas from the letters into our game sessions.  A bit here, a bit there, heck a whole fair ready to go.

Murder Bunnies fell short. It’s “just” a race.  A cool race.  An interesting race.  A race with potential.  But it’s a race, not an easy to use/adapt/insert Letter From the Flaming Crab.

It did get me thinking about some cool things to do, but I guess the bottom line is I wanted some of these ideas or springboards included.  I wanted that little extra that made Letters from the Flaming Crab: Murder Bunnies easy to drop into an ongoing campaign.  That made it a Letter.
Cover of Murder Bunnies by Flaming Crab GamesAt the end of the day, I have to give Letters from the Flaming Crab: Murder Bunnies 3.5/5 stars.  I’m rounding it up to 4 stars, you know, for purposes of this platform, and because once you mull it over, there’s some cool potential.  If you are looking for a new race to test out, this is a fun little PDF full of flavor and potential (and some creepy art). If you are looking for a fun and funky letter you can easily drop into your campaign, this PDF is lacking a little something. (Never fear though, folks.  After mulling it over for a bit, I have come up with a few quick, and not so quick, ways you can drop Letters From the Flaming Crab: Murder Bunnies into your campaign.)

So, on that note, we bring you…

Five Things To Do With This Product:

  1. Your players, out venturing in unknown territory, accidentally stumble into an area inhabited by trius vrai.  Grab their character sheets, hand them some premade “murder bunny” character sheets. Describe the humanoids venturing into their territory, emphasizing the way their rabid bunny blood boils and their muscles scream at the chance to bury their sharp weapons into the flesh of these trespassers, or you know, that kind of thing.  Let the dice fall as they may. This gives your players a chance to try out this seldom seen race of rabbit folk, makes them see what it feels like when the shoe is on the other foot, and gives you a chance to peruse their character sheets.
  2. If you don’t like switching character sheets, why not set a game night or two in a village of trius vrai? Have your players make PCs with this unsociable race, send them out on guard duty and have a group of adventurers find them, and their bunny clan.
  3. A local farmer has been having trouble.  He recently built a new pen for his livestock, moving them out into a field previously used to grow crops that kept disappearing.  The animals were all brutally murdered, and now his young daughter insists she saw giant rabbits do it.  He asks the PCs to investigate.
  4. The PCs, venturing through the woods, happen on a young, injured trius vrai. The wounded bunny creature is unlike anything they have seen before. If they offer assistance, he seems to trust them enough to accept, and in thanks, he leads them back to his home. The group is welcomed well enough, but quickly the friendly farce falls away and suddenly the group is trapped inside the village of a savage rabbit folk. The trius vrai could attack openly, wait until the party is asleep, or give the PCs a chance at a game: outrun us and live.  Was the injured trius vrai aware of what his people would do?
  5. And if you want something more simple, throw a fun, and Person dressed as a rabitdifferent, NPC their way. He (or she) could be hiding out in the woods as a refugee or a survivor, or could be wandering the town, or there on a mission.

For the full story on these not-so-cuddly creatures, you should head on over to OBS or Paizo and grab yourself a copy.

More Dinosaurs Please

What kid doesn’t love dinosaurs? There is something about them that just seems magical, special.  Maybe it’s because while there is evidence they existed, it isn’t like any one of us is ever going to get to see a real live one.

Which could be one of the reasons they show up in Pathfinder (and other RPGs).  If you live in a world with dragons, ogres, and gelatinous cubes, it stands to reason dinosaurs are just as likely to be walking around.

If you loved them as a kid (or adult), and I mean really loved them, you probably know exactly how many claws a T-Rex has, what the difference between a brachiosaurus and an apatosaurus is, and why a pterodactyl is super awesome, but isn’t a dinosaur.  If you just think dinosaurs rock, and want to call the long-necked ones a brontosaurs, that’s cool too (I did until I had Rugrat #1 – he will take any chance he can to correct me and my dinosaurs knowledge).

In either event, maybe you want to see a little more dinosaur action in your game.  Heck, maybe you want a whole dinosaur world!

Forget the dragons!
Ditch those gelatinous cubes!
And ogre – take your stinky self somewhere else.

It’s time for a foray into the prehistoric world!

There are lots of cool ways to do this: the party ends up on an island (think Jurassic Park); the party steps through a portal into a prehistoric world; the whole campaign is set in a world where dinosaurs are more common.  Whatever set-up you chose, what you need is more dinosaurs.

I have combed through the Bestiaries.  There’s a bunch of dinosaurs, and a bunch of other prehistoric beasts, but there’s definitely room for more if you want a whole campaign set with these radical reptiles.

Or there was.

Flaming Crab Games put out a fun Letter back in September.

Letters from the Flaming Crab: Dinosaur Companions details 25 new prehistoric creatures (mostly dinosaurs), and includes a bunch of them as animal companions, mounts, and/or familiars.  But more than just a bunch of stat blocks, this product also includes encounters. What do you players do when they find an injured dinosaur? Or when they have to pass through a nesting ground?

Yes, I worked on this project. Rugrat #1 is obsessed with dinosaurs and I could not pass up the opportunity.  He’s on the verge of gaming, and we are trying to draw him. A way to add something he loves to something I think he’ll love was a no-brainer. I actually had him brainstorm some of the dinosaurs he’d like to see, and we talked about what sorts of things the dinosaurs might be doing.  It was awesome to see him use his imagination.
Never fear though, at the end of the day, Letters from the Flaming Crab: Dinosaur Companions was written by a great team of writers (who aren’t 6 – that I know of), and overseen by J Gray, a talented developer.

If you love dinosaurs, or you have someone in your life who does, this is a great PDF to pick up.

Grab it today and make your game a little more prehistoric.

And because I don’t want you to think this is just a plug for an awesome product, here’s an encounter (not found in the book). The troodon can be found on the SRD, while the maiasaura is in Letters from the Flaming Crab: Dinosaur Companions.


Encounter: Egg Thief

The PCs emerge from a dense jungle and find themselves at the edge of a large clearing filled with nests of maiasaura eggs. A dozen huge reptiles are spaced throughout the breeding grounds, paying close attention to their unborn children, and don’t seem to have noticed the PCs.  On the outskirts of the breeding grounds, fifty feet away from the PCs, a troodon can be seen eyeing an unattended nest.

Two rounds after the PCs arrival, a second troodon is seen across the clearing; it makes a move toward a nearby nest, and several maiasaura immediately take notice.  With a lot of noise, the soon-to-be-mothers charge toward the invading egg thief.  The nearby troodon makes its move, scurrying toward the closest nest. 

If the PCs don’t retreat, the maiasaura quickly notice the troodon near them fleeing with an egg, and attack all apparent invaders.