Bunnies & Burrows was one of the earliest RPGs, the
first edition being published in 1976. In this game, players take on the
roles of rabbits, as in Richard Adams' excellent novel, Watership
Down. The setting is enhanced, however, with more potent seers
(beyond Fiver's powers in the book) and the addition of herbalists, who
have powers similar to, but faster than, fantasy alchemists. There are
also empathic healers.
The setting is ideal for roleplaying as opposed to hack-n-slash.
You're playing a rabbit, after all - how much combat do you want
to do?!? If a GM in a fantasy game sends a wolf against a party
of PCs, the players laugh at him. If a GM sends a wolf against a
party of rabbit PCs, however, the players get very nervous!
This means the players concentrate on out-tricking their opponents
instead of fighting them - which makes for a very satisfying game.
In addition, B&B has a wonderful advantage over
most games in the richness of character races available. Imagine
a fantasy world with over fifty different NPC character races, each
with its own detailed background - and each of them already known
to all the players in the game! Such is B&B:
each species of animal is a different race, and can communicate
and interact with the PC bunnies. There is only one monster race
in B&B, though: humans. Their thought processes
are so different from a rabbit's as to be utterly alien and monstrous.
At least for most humans - a few empaths and saintly folk can be
understood by bunnies, and understand them in turn. Of course,
the GM is free to introduce space aliens or fantasy creatures as
The original game was very innovative for its time (less than two
years after the first published RPG). Not only could you play
non-humanoids for the first time, but it was the first role-playing
game to have detailed martial arts rules, the first attempt at a
skill system, and the first RPG to appeal as widely to women as to
men. The game has also been published as a GURPS
supplement, but I usually play it in Fudge
these days - the simpler rules seem to work better for this genre
in particular. I've also run it in Sherpa, which is
oddly evocative of the original rules ...
Personal note from Steffan: The original B&B
is my first exposure to the world of RPGs. I ran B&B
for over a year as a novice GM with novice players before ever even
seeing a game with human PCs being played. At that point,
I added T&T, then TFT and Gamma
World to my repetoire. But through it all, I never abandoned
B&B - my first RPG love. I've only played
AD&D once, by the way - and I never understood
what was going on at all.
I was the GM for all the B&B games I had played
for many years. I was finally a player for the first time in 1994
- thanks, Paul! It was a great game!
If you've never tried B&B, I highly recommend it!
Back to SOS' Gameviews
Back to the Fudge Page
Back to Steffan O'Sullivan's Home Page