Happy Birthday, Little Fears!

Rewind to 2001. I’m just getting into the small press roleplaying field. I’m hanging out on places like RPG.net and the Gaming Outpost. And, one night, I find myself in an IRC chat channel related to RPG.net talking to a guy named Jason Blair. Jason Blair is writing a horror RPG starring children called Little Fears. I want to know why. Really. What sicko wants to write a game about children being threatened by monsters?

And he answered me. He told me about how the monsters were metaphors for various forms of child abuse. He tells me that he wants to educate, to bring awareness. He tells me that he wants a game about children fighting back. (At least, this is how I remember the conversation. As I say, it’s been a while.)

What can I say? He sold me.

I encouraged him to include a disclaimer. I wrote an example right there in chat. Jason turned around and used what I wrote in the front of his book.

I was in.

I went on to write the opening fiction for the game and to provide editing services. Jason and I went on to become friends. Little Fears went on to be nominated for the Origins Award. The rest is history.

Yes, I remember the controversy over the game. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who questioned the moral rectitude of someone who would make a game about child abuse. But I was proud of my work on Little Fears. Before Dirty Secrets or A Flower for Mara, Little Fears was a game about issues. And I knew that I wanted more.

It’s been ten years since Little Fears was released. Life has changed a lot for both Jason and I. But, it’s fair to say that we’re both still proud of the work that we did on Little Fears. So, when I heard that Jason was putting out a tenth anniversary edition of Little Fears, I was pretty stoked.

And then, a complimentary copy of Happy Birthday, Little Fears showed up in my inbox. Because Jason is a class act.

So, if you’re interested in a piece of gaming history, check out Happy Birthday, Little Fears. If you’re not afraid of the dark….

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