Little Fears is a game played with paper, pencils, and a handful of standard six-sided dice. Players use the game to create their own characters and stories about brave (and sometimes not-so-brave) kids facing down monsters from a place called Closetland.
The first edition was released back in 2001 but a new version, with an entirely new system, hit shelves in 2009. Then, apparently to further muddle things, I released a tenth anniversary edition of the first game in 2011. Confused? Here’s the breakdown:
Little Fears is the original version of the game, released in 2001. It used a very simple system and had a very dark world. The world of Closetland is ruled by the Demagogue and his Kings. I released some online supplements but no physical products beyond the core rulebook. It went out of print in 2003/2004 but shows up on the secondary market, usually at a premium. It was never released in PDF (though PDFs certainly exist, they are not official).
Little Fears Nightmare Edition
Little Fears Nightmare Edition is the latest version of the game, released in 2009. This is the primary line and is one I intend to support through print and PDF supplements. It uses its own system—entirely separate from the original game—and is much more fantastic in its horror than the original game. There are no Kings of Closetland and no Demagogue. Closetland still exists though. The main book was released in print and PDF. So far, one physical supplement (Book 2: Among the Missing, also available in PDF), a series of PDF-only supplements (the Campfire Tales episodes), and a set of custom dice have been released for it. It is not compatible with Little Fears or Happy Birthday, Little Fears.
Happy Birthday, Little Fears
Happy Birthday, Little Fears (also called Little Fears (10th Anniversary Edition)) is the, surprise!, tenth anniversary edition of the original game. This is a one-off one-shot product that will not be supported through print or PDF supplements. It’s the same text as the 2001 release (though edited and updated a bit) and includes some commentary by me, some rules clarifications/additions, and all the supplemental material officially released ever. It uses all-new art but is otherwise similar to the 2001 release. It came out in PDF in July 2011 and in print in August 2011. You can read about the game, and even order it if you like, here.