The new season of R.L. Stine‘s The Haunting Hour hits the Hub this Saturday, October 1st! If you’re a fan of Little Fears or Little Fears Nightmare Edition, you need to watch this show. I loved the first season and can’t wait to dig into the new one.
Mary Downing Hahn knows how to write a Middle Grade thriller, and in her 2004 release The Old Willis Place, she spins one of her best, a ghostly yarn of loss and loneliness about a pair of siblings forced to live under some very strange restrictions.
From the Clarion paperback:
Diana and her little brother, Georgie, have been living in the woods behind the old Willis place, a decaying mansion, for what seems like forever. A strict set of rules won’t allow them to leave the property or even show themselves to anyone.
But when a new caretaker and his young daughter, Lissa, come to live there, Diana is tempted to break the mysterious rules for the first time in hopes of making a new friend. She and George learn quickly, though, that breaking the rules can have deadly consequences…
This book is perfect inspiration for a Little Fears episode (or mini-series of episodes). Its tone, as well as the truth the story slowly reveals, is straight out of the original Little Fears*, but the events have very strong ties to some of the elements found within Book 2: Among the Missing (for Little Fears Nightmare Edition)**. Whichever edition you fancy, The Old Willis Place has something for you.
If you enjoy the book, I highly recommend Ms. Hahn’s other works as well, especially Wait Till Helen Comes. I have another of her books, All the Lovely Bad Ones, on my to-read list as well. She’s one of the few authors whose books I’ll pick up without hesitation.
*The tenth anniversary edition of which just came out in PDF (and will be out in print shortly).
**And, coincidentally, touches on some stuff in the works for the not-yet-announced Little Fears Nightmare Edition Book 3.
If you ordered a digital copy from me, you should have received a code from DriveThruRPG about ten hours ago because Happy Birthday, Little Fears is now available in PDF!
For those waiting on the print copy, I will submit the print files next week which should get copies in my hands about two weeks after that. I’ll ship out orders as soon as I can. If you ordered another book along with Happy Birthday, Little Fears, you’ll get your entire order at that time.
I really appreciate your patience and I hope you enjoy Happy Birthday, Little Fears. If you ordered a PDF from me and did not receive your code already, please email me at email@example.com and I’ll sort it out.
If you’re on the fence about Happy Birthday, Little Fears, you can check out an excerpt on the DriveThruRPG site, the PDF preview I posted earlier this month, or this new PDF preview I uploaded just now!
I only have some final polishing to do and Happy Birthday, Little Fears is ready to launch. Should be out Thursday (fingers crossed).
Thank you all for the patience and good thoughts. It’s almost here!
(And for those of you who were afraid you were late for the party, you can still order the book for the pre-order price here.)
First, The Good News!
Ten years ago today, I released the original Little Fears at the 2001 Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio. That game changed my life and was the first brick in the path that would become my career. I cannot overstate the impact that game about kids fighting monsters had and the number of doors it opened for me.
I owe a lot to all the people who have supported me through the years: The fans, the friends, the stores, and family members who have stood by me as I reached for a seemingly-impossible dream. Thank you all very much, from the bottom of my heart.
And thank you, Little Fears. I couldn’t have asked for a better first game than you.
Now, The Bad News…
Unfortunately, the tenth anniversary edition of Little Fears, which I planned to release in PDF today, isn’t *quite* ready yet. I’m afraid I need to push the release back a week. Happy Birthday, Little Fears will see release in PDF on July 13th. I am leaving the pre-order pricing up until that time. Not a fix for the delay but it’s what I can do.
My sincerest apologies, but the extra time gives me a chance to polish the book a bit more and make it much better in the end. Thank you for your understanding and, to help smooth things over, please have some cake.
Seems there’s some confusion about what Little Fears Nightmare Edition is and what Happy Birthday, Little Fears is and what’s compatible with what and isn’t Nightmare Edition just the original game, anyway?
Let me try to clear things up.
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. There were a few online supplements released 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. 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. It was released in print and PDF. So far, one physical product (Book 2: Among the Missing, also available in PDF) and three electronic products (the Campfire Tales episodes) have been released for it.
Happy Birthday, Little Fears
Happy Birthday, Little Fears is the tenth anniversary edition of the original game. 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 released by me is included. It uses all-new art but is otherwise similar to the 2001 release. It is slated for release in PDF on July 5th and in print sometime in August. You can pre-order it at a discounted price until June 29th. You can read about the pre-order here.
I hope that clears things up. If you have any other questions, drop them in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My, how time flies.
That game about kids fighting werewolves turns 10 years old next month. To commemorate the event, I am releasing a new version of the classic game called Happy Birthday, Little Fears. This new edition will contain all the original rules and setting information as the original plus alternate rules and commentary by yours truly and all-new artwork from LFNE and Book 2 contributing illustrator Grumbleputty.
Here are the current specs for the book:
Title: Happy Birthday, Little Fears: the 10th anniversary of the original game of childhood terror
Size: 6×9, 192pp
Stock Code: FSZ101
MSRP: $25 (US)
Back cover text:
Remember when you were young and you were afraid of all those things that went bump in the night?
Ever wonder where they went?
Well, wonder no more because the old monsters are back!
Featuring the classic rules and setting of the original game, this tenth anniversary edition includes alternate mechanics, author commentary, all-new artwork, and the original online-only supplements—in print for the first time ever!
This book is a standalone game is not compatible with Little Fears Nightmare Edition or its supplements.
The PDF version will launch on July 5th—exactly ten years after the original’s debut at Origins 2001—with the print version shipping shortly after.
Get in early and save some cash! Pre-order pricing will run until June 29th. Afterwards, you will be able to get the PDF via DriveThruRPG and RPGNow and the print from me as soon as they come in.
The Pre-Order is over but you can still grab the print, pdf, or print/pdf combo.
Order the Print Book + the PDF!
Order the print book plus the PDF for just $30 (+ s/h). Save $7 off the retail price!
Order the Print Book!
Order the print book for just $25 (+ s/h).
Buy the PDF!
If you would like just a copy of the PDF, you can buy it directly (and immediately!) from the fine folks at DriveThruRPG.
To Those Who Pre-Ordered Book 2: Among the Missing!
If you pre-ordered a physical copy of Book 2: Among the Missing (either alone or bundled with the PDF) and you would like to consolidate shipping with a physical copy of Happy Birthday, Little Fears, please email me at email@example.com for details. Consolidated orders will be delayed until hardcopies of Happy Birthday, Little Fears are in stock.
You read that right.
An outfit called Regret Games runs a series they call “saga games” at conventions and this year they’re running steampunk variants of a bunch of games, including Dogs in the Vineyard and Misspent Youth. My own 2001 release Little Fears is included in that batch. Here’s a snippet of the event description:
The child-engineers of the Undercity agree that the Overcity must be falling apart, what with all the broken pipes, ruptured valves and, worst of all, the coal lines exploding at random. Any Undercity kid can tell you the stories – the warnings – that if you don’t clean your face before you sleep, especially around your eyes, they will take you. If you’re lucky, you’ll come back in a day or two, walking like a zombie and seeing the Undercity through new, coal-blackened eyes, and you won’t remember anything you once were. If you’re unlucky, well… that’s a story best left untold.
All the games take place inside the same world but are standalone adventures. So you can play event to hear one part of the story, or play all to get the big picture.
Sounds like fun to me.
If you’re going to be at GenCon 2011, check out their event schedule here.
When I was a kid, turning 10 was a big deal. Growing up, you’re always looking for milestones, minor victories that mark your path toward adulthood, and joining the double-digits club was huge. As an adult, I still look for those moments though I’m less focused on “growing up” and more on accomplishments. While I published my first book in 1999, a poetry collection put together with a couple friends, I consider the release of the original Little Fears my first real professional accomplishment and it was a huge step forward along my career path.
This year, my modest game about kids fighting werewolves turns the big 1-0. I released Little Fears on July 5th 2001 at the Origins Game Fair and it changed my life completely. To honor Little Fears and everyone who has supported me and that game throughout the past ten years, I am re-releasing the original game in a new version with fresh edits, errata, new art, and fixed system oddities. The same game, just a little older, a little wiser, but with the same look of terror in its eyes, all dolled-up in a brand-new party dress.
Happy Birthday, Little Fears will be released on July 5th, 2011 in PDF and in print format in mid-July with pre-orders throughout June. I will release details of the pre-order later but there will be some special incentives as a thank-you to all those who have been so good to me over the years.
Thank you for supporting Little Fears back then, and thank you for supporting Little Fears now. I can never truly convey what your support has meant to me.
So that’s two Big March Announcements down. Come back next week for the final Big March Announcement that I hope excites you as much as it does me.
In previous posts, I mentioned that March was slated to be a big announcement month here in the House of Little Fears and I aim to hold up that promise. But first, some not great news you all already know:
Campfire Tales is halted for now.
I’ve had to dedicate my time to finding a full-time job (my sanity demands it) and working on freelance work (my bank account demands that) and finishing the Little Fears movie script (my producer demands it). In order to do this, I’ve shelved Campfire Tales until another time. But hey, I’m glad I got the first three out and was able to (finally) fulfill my promise to the folks who pre-ordered the game. To help ease the pain, I’ve decided to put what energy I can toward bigger projects that I hope Little Fears fans will dig.
So which projects? And what’s the big deal with March?
I have three big announcements for March and will reveal a different one, possibly, I dunno, on March 9th, 16th, and 23rd, just to pull some dates from thin air. One won’t be that big of a surprise, one should evoke a few a-ha! responses, but I don’t think any of you will see the last one coming.
So when we will see the fruits of these soon-to-be-announced labors? I won’t put a pin in any specific time but keep in mind that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and May 25th is National Missing Children’s Day. Y’know. Just sayin’.
Now, all of this could change—life happens when you least expect it—but that’s the plan so far. Thank you all for sticking with me and always being right behind me.