Brother Bear, Sister Wolf
Publisher: Small Cool GamesBrother Bear, Sister Wolf is a wildpunk tabletop fantasy roleplaying game about sentient animals on a quest to defeat a mystical threat to their home. They live in the Wild, a place like our world but without humans.
They act according to their nature and instinct: wolves form packs and hunt, rabbits dig warrens and forage, mice scurry through the grass alert for danger, falcons soar overhead searching for mice.
The animals of the Wild are not fur-humans.
They don’t make or use tools (except in the very limited way some creatures use objects). They don’t wear clothes. They have no technology or writing.
But they are unlike the animals of our world in a couple of ways. They speak with each other, even across different species. They tell stories and remember them across generations. They respect the boundaries of ancient traditions, bound by codes of instinct and honor. And they observe and pay respect to the spirit world that exists interspersed through the Wild, centered in domains that are each ruled by a spiritus.
When you create a player character, you choose:
Your kind: you can play any species of animal you like, but all of those in the pact should be able to function in the same environment.
Your calling: choose from Jester, Meddler, Rover, Seer, or Warden.
Your knack: something you can do that sets you apart.
Your dread: that which you most fear or abhor.
The group jams together to sketch out the Enemy, a malevolent force that seeks to corrupt the Wild and the animals living there. You are called together, even as animals of different kinds, by the spirits to form a pact to protect the Wild. Together you will build Trust so that you can act in concert to gain allies and rally them to protect your home.
Travel far beyond the parts of the Wild you are familiar with, coping with various encounters as you do.
Find out why a Spiritus has gone mad and is causing havoc.
Negotiate with an unkindness of Ravens to scout a path around a corrupted Wolf pack.
Convince a family of Beavers to dam a different stream in order to protect a spiritus’ domain from flooding.
Find an ancient Owl, wise enough to know the weakness that champions of old used to defeat the enemy in the last encroachment.
Persuade a Bear to follow the law of the Wild and let the pact pass through his territory unharmed.
Help a wounded and panicked animal, much larger than you.
Ask an Owl to carry you over the hills so that you might perform a ritual that will save the valley from the enemy.
Discover a secret hidden deep within an abandoned and haunted Rabbit warren.
Learn a local dialect of birdsong so that you might pass without challenge.
Survive a winter colder than any animal remembers.
The game system is a condensed version of the Forged in the Darkengine by John Harper. This is a playtest version of the game, but all of the pieces are in place and it is fully playable. Development is ongoing.
Number of players: 3-6.
Age of players: 11+.
Length: 2-5 hours per game session.
Pages: 49 (11.9k words).
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