Flea circuses are fraudulent mechanical fakes or worse yet, torture boxes built of super glue and heating coils. But that wasn’t always the case. There was one flea circus which was true to advertising. “The Czar” as he liked to be called by his children, awakened near human intelligence in a group of fleas through generations of selective breeding and perhaps a drop or two of blood magic. Your troupe claims descent from that first circus, though perhaps it is all just a legend.

Circus of the Most Holy Dog is a role playing game where your group plays a troupe of fleas with a circus themed culture trying to survive and keep their circus alive in a dangerous miniature society in a world almost like our own. Nomadic and tribal, circuses travel from host to host setting up their kip before moving on in a few days, forever in search of Windy Van Hooten, who, it is said, will welcome the circus with open arms. Along the way your troupe will go wildcatting to deal with common fleas, savage monsters several times larger than Circus Fleas; contact other Circuses, some friendly, others dangerous; and form a bond with their host, hopefully leaving them in better condition then when you found them.

Meet your team. Together you're going to find Ms. Van Hooten.

Character Creation

Fleas are created with a combination of gimmicks, acts, and swag. Each flea has one (optional) gimmick, three acts with appropriate swag, two pieces of swag and one piece of cherry pie swag

  • 1 gimmick (optional)
  • 3 acts (and swag)
  • 3 pieces of swag
  • 1 cherry pie swag

Gimmicks

You can build your flea out of any combination of acts and swag you want. Gimmicks are shorthand character concepts that give an idea of how the rest of the circus views your flea. Some gimmicks come with suggested acts, but those aren’t mandatory. Feel free to make up your own gimmick based on other circus acts or simply cherry-pick acts that suit you.

Advance: Advances are the members of a circus who travel ahead and scout out new locations. Suggested acts: Barking, Rigging, Jumping, Sidewalling. Advances with less honorable intent are called Night Riders, and may include Working and Knife Throwing in their acts.

Ballygirl: Fleas that dance, act, and otherwise entertain. Suggested acts: Barking, Jumping, Working.

Clown: Fleas dressed in garish or ridiculous style skilled in comedy tumbling and slight of hand. Suggested acts: Barking, Jumping, Working.

Lion Tamer: Though a “lion” is any insect smaller than a circus flea, Lion tamers specialize in training and commanding these smaller creatures. Some Lion tamers instead choose to command the largest of creatures through whispering. Suggested acts: Taming, Whispering.

Magician: Though flea magicians are proficient with all sorts of card tricks, scarf tricks and pulling fairy flies out of hats, that is mainly the province of the Working act. Magicians are also practitioners of flea blood magic. Suggested acts: Blood Magic, Jackpotting, Working.

Picture Gallery: Fleas often make use of body art in addition to their colorful clothing to express themselves. Picture Galleries are fleas that have embraced this tradition, and generally come in two types. The first make themselves fearsome with violent, grotesque or disturbing imagery. These fleas usually have Barking and Clemming among their acts. The other type has images of the circus’ history emblazoned on their shell. These fleas usually count Barking, and Jackpotting among their acts, and their shells are often kept as swag by the circus’ other Jackpotters after they pass on.

Razorback: The strongest fleas usually end up carrying the most swag when the circus makes the jump to the next dog, so much so that they often make an act of it, lifting several times their body weight and performing feats of strength other fleas can’t match. Suggested acts: Clemming, Jumping, Loading.

Ring Master: The leaders of Circus society, Ring Masters often act as a Troupe or Circus’s speaker or shaman. Suggested acts: Barking, Blood Magic, Jackpotting, Whispering

Webgirl: Actors who swing from high places. Webgirls specialize in never touching the surface of the dog, making them expert dodgers. Though the name implies webgirls are at home in spiderwebs, only the most foolish attempt such a difficult act. Suggested acts: Iron Jaw, Jumping, Rigging. Those who favor combat include Knife tossing. Those more inclined to being scouts include Sidewalling.

Acts

Acts take the place of skills in traditional RPGs. Some acts allow you to perform a set of actions easier. Other acts add special abilities or change the rules slightly. The following is a list of likely acts, though you are welcome to add to this with acts of your own. New acts are a circus tradition after all.

If trying to perform an act that you don’t have, you must spend one extra leg, which does not add to your total number of legs for the act. This penalty is cumulative with the similar penalty for not having the correct swag (except in the case of Jumping, which is so basic that the penalties do not stack).

All acts can be performed by all fleas regardless of if they have it in their repertoire, with the exception of Blood Magic.

Barking: Barking (as in carnival barking, not dog barking) is how circus fleas communicate. Flea speech is rapid and full of innuendo and strange jargon, so without this skill it can be hard to keep up in conversation and your flea may seem a bit of a dullard, though he can still communicate. Flea mouthparts aren’t able to make a wide range of sounds either, so a good deal of barking is body posture, gesturing, and pheromones (so Yes, Barking IS subject to the economy of legs).

Blood Magic: Circus fleas all have a spark of blood magic in them, though only those with proper practice and dedication can use it for anything other than nourishing themselves. This act allows a flea to use the Hocus Pocus.

Clemming: Circus flea talk for a scuffle, Clemming is the Art of giving as good as you get in a clench. Most circuses consider Clemming one’s own troupe or circus mates to be bad form, but in the literally dog eat dog world circus fleas inhabit, Clemming is a near universal art.

Iron Jaw: A flea who knows this act has strengthened her jaws to the point they can be used as an additional leg for some acts. However, there is no Swag to assist acts using Iron Jaw, so acts cannot usually be performed using only the jaws. (as they would be at one “leg” with a one leg penalty) Instead, they add a bonus “leg” to other acts. Usual uses of Iron Jaw include Clemming and Rigging. Barking and Whispering cannot be aided with Iron Jaw, as a flea’s mouth is already in use in those acts.

Jackpotting: Tall tales of your time in the circus and tales from those before you. Fleas with the Jackpotting skill are full of knowledge about the dangers and opportunities and should be consulted often.

Jumping: For fleas, jumping is the standard form of movement. The Jumping act is only rolled when trying for difficult jumps or during races and the like. However, note that not having the Jumping act means that standing, jumping, dancing, or any other similar act requires two legs to perform, regardless of difficulty (this is a special case of the normal rules that state an act with no skill or equipment requires a minimum of three legs to perform. All fleas know how to move on two legs with no extra skill or equipment. Moving on one leg still requires both though.) Falling to your thorax so you can use all six legs for other things takes no legs, though standing up later before you can move takes a jumping action.

Knife Tossing: This act covers tossing anything and everything. The most common projectiles are crude spears, knives and bits of chitin.

Loading: When fleas need heavy things lifted or other feats of strength performed, they call on their troupe members who know the Loading act.

Rigging: The act of clinging to, jumping between, or other acrobatics in high places. Leaping between hairs, dangling from the ceiling and the like all require a Rigging act.

Sidewalling: Sneaking, hiding and illicit entry are the purview of the Sidewalling act.

Taming: Training smaller bugs (usually done during down time) and commanding them to perform simple tricks such as attack, guard, search, etc…

Whispering: The act of influencing a host to take a desired act. Communication with hosts is difficult due to a language barrier, but simple acts can often be encouraged. Whispering assumes the flea has access to the host’s ear but can be used elsewhere at a higher difficulty. (The Czar will adjust the difficulty up for influencing the host without access to the ear)

Working: Flea slang for thievery, Working fleas pick pockets, slice knots, and make off with other’s grouch bags (under the clothes bags of valuables). Fleas caught working their own circus can be exiled or worse, but their skills are highly prized when properly directed. Working can also be used to lower the difficulty to hit a target in a clem by dancing about and distracting them. Each successful Working act against a target lowers the DC to hit it by one until the Worker’s next round.

Swag

Swag helps fleas in their acts. Swag is freeform. Whatever you think will help your flea perform their act will work as long as it makes sense. One flea might use a weight belt to help with their Loading act, another might use muscle liniment and a third might make use of hand chalk. When you select your three starting acts, select a piece of swag to go with each plus three pieces of swag for acts you don’t have (there’s no bonus to having multiple pieces of swag for the same act). Swag does NOT pull double duty. The knife your flea uses for Knife Throwing isn’t the same one he uses for Clemming, isn’t the ritual knife he uses for Blood Magic.

Fleas can carry around a maximum of six pieces of swag (and still be mobile enough to go Wildcatting. During jumps to new locations they carry far more than that). It’s generally assumed that fleas can find any pieces of swag they want during downtime so between sessions you can swap out any pieces of swag you want for any other and replace any lost pieces.

If you attempt an act without an appropriate piece of swag you have to spend an extra leg to perform the act. This leg does not add to your total number of legs. This is similar to and cumulative with the rule for not having the correct act.

Cherry Pie Swag

Sometimes you have swag, sometimes you have swag-up. This high quality swag doesn’t just not subtract a leg from your act, once per round it allows your first leg for its associated act to count as two. Cherry pie swag is highly sought after and few fleas accumulate more than a piece or two. Some cherry pie swag is made of superior materials, some is enchanted by blood magic and some is even branded with the WVH stamp, adding fuel to the Van Hooten mythos.

Cheery pie swag counts against your limit of six pieces of swag so the piece of cherry pie swag characters get during character creation replaces one of the pieces of swag selected earlier.

Normal Builds

Using the character creation rules, all fleas have one of the following builds:

  • 1 act at +1 legs, 2 Acts at +0 Legs, 3 Acts at –1 legs (all other at –2)
  • 4 Acts at +0 Legs, 2 Acts at –1 legs (all other at –2)
  • 3 Acts at +0 Legs, 4 Acts at –1 legs (all other at –2)

The Seventeen Legs (System)

Here’s how acts and legs work. Each flea has 6 legs. Each round (a few seconds of action) each flea may perform as many acts as they want. However, each act must be performed by at least one of their legs, sometimes more. Adding extra legs to an act increases it’s chance of success at the expense of the number of acts you may perform. Here’s a sample round with a troupe fighting a common flea (a large and dangerous monster) that has invaded their territory:

While wildcatting, Wallenda the webgirl, Middlebush the razorback, and Zacchini the ringmaster discover a common flea poaching their host. These are dumb beasts but larger than our three performers put together. Still they must kill or drive it off so they attack.

Wallenda has the Jumping act and gripping boots so she can jump with just one leg. She also has the Rigging act and a rigger’s harness, so she can catch hold of a hair above the common flea, out of its reach with one leg. She has the Knife Tossing act and chitin knives so with her remaining four legs she uses her Knife Tossing act four times on the common flea.

Middlebush has neither the Jumping act nor any Jumping swag. He would normally need 3 legs to use an act for which he has neither act nor swag, but jumping never needs three legs, only two. Middlebush does have the Clemming act and a Van Hooten Mallet. He also has the Iron Jaw act so with his remaining four legs Middlebrush clems the flea with six legs.

Zacchini has the Blood Magic act and a scab-tipped walking stick and wants to use all six legs to use the Bloody Ropes Hocus Pocus so he flops to his thorax and uses all six legs to cast.

To determine if an act is successful, the Czar sets a difficulty (generally 6, 8, or 10) and a flea must roll equal to or over that difficulty to succeed. Each leg used in an act grants a 1d10 to roll, so an act with one leg rolls 1d10 and an act with 4 legs uses 4d10. If at least one of these dice rolls over the difficulty, the act succeeds. There is no bonus for rolling more than one die equal to or above the difficulty. A Czar can, and should set a difficulty of “automatic” for very simple acts (such as standing up) though those acts still require the minimum number of legs.

Here is a chart of the probability of success for various DCs and die pools:

Probabilities Note that the probability of achieving at least one success on X dice isn’t dependant on the number of acts those dice are spread across. The chance of getting at least one success on one 4d10 roll is the same as the chance of getting at least one success on 4 1d10 rolls. However, the one 4d10 roll can (usually) only succeed once, while the 4 1d10 rolls can succeed up to 4 times (however unlikely) thus keeping things simple and rolling a single pool is fastest when just one success will do (convince another circus to trade some goods with yours) but rolling separate dice is advantageous when multiple successes matter (combat).  Of course there are times when using multiple acts simultaneously simply doesn’t make sense (Loading a large crate) and other times it does (barking at many individuals in a large crowd at once).

The tradeoff in the legs system is mostly success in acts vs a large number of distinct acts (Do you Clem a few times then Jump away and Rig on the ceiling where it’s relatively safe or do you keep Clemming until you’re out of legs leaving yourself vulnerable?)

Hey Rube! (Combat)

Clems are a fact of life for circus fleas. There are plenty of hostile bugs and circuses that want to drive them off, kill, or enslave them. As such, most fleas have at least one act for attacking in a clem (Clemming, Knife Tossing, Taming, Blood Magic) and many have other acts useful in a clem (Iron Jaw, Jumping, Rigging, Working). Clems follow the rules of The Seventeen Legs with some extra tweaks.

  • The DC for attacks in a clem are the defense stat of the target. (6 for circus fleas).
  • If a target does not have a Barking, Jackpotting, Taming, or Whispering Act, Acts to confuse, distract or con them treat their defense as two points lower.
  • Fleas with the Taming act are assumed to have a tame bug. Commanding this bug to attack is treated like any other attack with success on the Taming act dictating damage. However, if a tamed bug is lamed in half of it’s legs or more the defense of anything it is attacking is raised by 2.

Example: Mabel uses her Taming act and her chair swag to command her Fairyfly to attack an enemy ravager (defense 6) 4 times with one leg each. Mabel rolls her Taming act and gets 10,10,4,7. Mabel’s Fairyfly lames 3 of the ravagers legs.

  • A flea can increase her defense stat by performing a Jumping act. For each die that rolls equal to or over the flea’s defense, their defense increases by one until their next round. Increasing defense by more than one can be done, but requires progressively higher rolls.

Example: Wallenda wants to increase her defense beyond her base six. She uses four legs to dodge, rolls 4d10 and gets 3,6,6,10. The 3 is insufficient to raise her defense, so she discards that die. The first 6 raises her defense to 7, but the second 6 is no longer sufficient to raise her defense and is discarded. Finally the 10 raises her defense to 8.

  • Rigging is another good defensive act but doesn’t increase a flea’s defense directly. Instead fleas in the rigging may only be hit by ranged acts unless the attacker uses legs to jump to them and then either uses legs to hang in the rigging with them or treats their defense as two points higher as they attempt to attack as they leap by.
  • Working can be used to lower the defense of opponents. Each successful Working performance lowers a target’s defense by one until the Working flea’s next round. Several fleas with Working acts can significantly lower a target’s defense in just a few rounds.

Need the doc!

For each attack act that succeeds, one of the target’s legs is temporarily lamed. It can be used in acts, but no longer adds any dice to pools. Lamed legs can be used when lack of an act or swag requires an extra leg that adds no dice. Thus lamed fleas are more likely to try new approaches as it no longer costs them usable legs. Lamed legs can be restored by blood magic, or by a night of rest.

Hocus Pocus

The Blood Magic act allows fleas to use Hocus Pocus, their powerful blood magic. Blood magic is fuel by blood. Most practitioners of blood magic carry six dried blood droplets with them. These droplets don’t count against their swag limit, though at the expense of a piece of swag they can carry six more. Blood Magic performers can still use Hocus Pocus with insufficient blood. All remaining blood is drawn from the host via a bite or scratch. However, blood drawn this way irritates the host, the consequences of which can be dire. At the beginning of a wildcatting session, The Czar will determine an irritation level between 1 and 10 for the host taking into account the number of fleas (of all types) on the host, host’s overall condition, relationship between host and circus and other factors. Each use of blood directly from the host as well as other major irritating factors (a large concentration of fleas in one area etc…) will add to the irritation level. Each time the host suffers a major irritation it must succeed at a Calm act or scratch!  Treat this result as a completely uncontrolled Wrath of Dog Hocus Pocus in the area of the initiation irritation. Fleas with the Whisper act may attempt to reduce irritation level with a Whisper act, although in the course of a wildcat this is usually very hard. It is far better to keep a host in good spirits and irritate them as little as possible.

Blood magic is an exception to the general rule that large pools can only result in one success. Many Hocus Pocus rituals depend on the number of their successes.

May Hocus Pocus

Feed: All Sunday School fleas and many Fireball fleas know the Feed Hocus Pocus even without knowing the Blood Magic act. Through use of Feed a flea can drink blood from the host without directly injecting their proboscis or damaging the host in any way. It is painless and causes no irritation in the host.

Store Blood: A flea may use a Blood Magic act and a drop of blood to create a drop of dried blood for each success. Fleas use this Hocus Pocus to store up blood before wildcatting or jumping to new hosts. The difficulty for Store Blood is automatic between wildcats, but during one the difficulty is nine.

Trouper Hocus Pocus

Blood Dart: Blood Dart expends blood drops as ranged attacks. A flea may perform a blood magic act against a target with each success treated like a successful Knife Tossing act. Each success at a Blood Dart Hocus Pocus expends one blood drop.

Blood Healing: The Blood Healing Hocus Pocus restores one of the target flea’s injured legs for each success. Each such success, up to the number of injured legs healed costs one blood drop. Permanently crippled or lost legs may be healed with this Hocus Pocus but only with repeated applications over a long period outside of a wildcatting.

Blood Sense: The Blood Sense Hocus Pocus allows a blood mage to sense disturbances on its host. The difficulty depends on the magnitude of and distance to the disturbance. Detecting an Advance from another circus not irritating the host at a great distance might be difficulty ten, while detecting a feeding common flea or band of ravagers over the next rise might be difficulty one.

Bloody Ropes: For each success on a DC 6 Blood Magic act, the Bloody ropes Hocus Pocus allows the mage to expend a blood drop to grow a bloody tendril from their torso. They may use these as extra legs until the end of the combat or other scene.

Master Hocus Pocus

Call Blood: The ultimate offensive Hocus Pocus, Call Blood uses the homeopathic principle of like calls to like, to draw a target’s blood down into the host. Call Blood costs two blood drops. Its DC is two higher than the target’s Defense, but each success removes two blood drops from the target’s inventory, or does two damage when the target no longer has blood drops left.

At the cost of irritation the host, half of the amount of blood drops and damage lost are collected by the caster, as healed legs or blood drops, whichever she prefers.

Cure Host: Though the Cure Host Hocus Pocus requires an obscene amount of blood, and thus a massive stockpile of blood drops or large amounts of irritation to a host, the overall amount of blood is still insignificant to a host, so it can be safely cast directly to the host, while almost certainly calling down the Wrath of Dog. However, it is almost certainly considered worth the cost as it heals the host of diseases and toxins, mends minor injuries, and improves major ones.

Enchant Swag: This Hocus Pocus upgrades normal swag to cherry pie swag over the course of a few days. However it is used rarely as it causes constant irritation in the host. To use Enchant Swag, a cut is opened in the hosts skin, the swag to be enchanted is placed within and the wound is sealed. For the next few days the mage chants over the wound imbuing the swag with blood magic. At the end of the period, the wound is reopened and the swag removed. This ritual always leaves a permanent inflamed scar on the host. Of note is that swag will sometimes become imbedded in a hosts wounds naturally. Left there for much larger durations, some swag will absorb enough magic to become enchanted on it’s own. Mages can detect the difference between these two types of enchanted swag and are much more positively disposed towards naturally occurring enchantments.

Wrath of Dog: By intentionally irritating a host, a flea can call down the Wrath of Dog. For the cost of three blood drops the flea performs a Blood Magic act. Dog immediately makes 1d10 attacks in the general area of the caster. Each attack is at DC 4 and randomly targets something in the area. If hit, the target is swept to a different area of the host or off the host entirely (where they can usually jump back on the hosts legs). For each success on his Blood Magic act, the caster may redirect one of these attacks to a different target. Targets may attempt a Jumping, Rigging, or Whispering act to raise their defense from 4 using normal defense improvement rules.

Philosofleas

Not all circuses follow the same ways of life. “The Czar” taught his first circus the Sunday School philosoflea and the assumption is that most circuses will do the same. However, for those groups who want a little more roguish outlook, the Fireball philosoflea is a good middle of the road approach. While ravager circuses exist they’re more suited to opponents than characters.

Sunday School: The Sunday School philosoflea claims that a clean and honest circus is the best circus. These circuses attempt to be honest in their dealings. They also try to be careful stewards of their hosts, practicing conservation of blood and population control, improving relations with their host, helping keep them healthy and well fed when they can, and inflicting minimal irritation. Their attitude often leads them to aggressively patrol their host for ravagers and common fleas and they are certainly the only philosoflea to ever try to find homes for their hosts. Circuses of this type tend to have more barkers and less workers than other philosofleas, but they’re not pushovers by any stretch.

Fireball: Fireball fleas believe that no one can ever have enough cake (ill gotten gains). They are willing to use any method at their disposal to turn a profit including dabbling in some fairly dark activities. They try to keep a respectable face to fool other circuses because they don’t want to have to find a way to live in isolation. Their attitude tends to “burn up” everything they touch. Other circuses are very careful when dealing with them, and they move often because their hosts are usually in poor condition. Sunday school fleas often do mission work in fireball circuses with very little success.

Ravagers: Ravagers don’t so much have a philosoflea as a nearly feral streak. Similar in outlook to Fireballers, ravagers don’t concern themselves with what other circuses think. Instead they view all other fleas as potential food or slaves. Ravagers tend to breed like mad, drink their hosts almost to death and then find another host, preferably one with another circus on it they can enslave, tearing off most of their slaves’ legs to keep them docile. Most other circuses will work together to eradicate a ravager menace before it becomes too populous and either destroys the local host population or brings the deluge.

Foes

There are two main types of foes in Circus of the Most Holy Dog, circus fleas and other insects. The sample fleas are assumed not to have any cherry pie swag. Defense numbers are given as D:#/# where the first number is physical defense, the second is social. Other animals, such as dogs and humans are better suited as hosts and as overwhelming forces.

Circus Fleas

Advance: +0 Barking, Jumping, Sidewalling, –1 Rigging, Knife Tossing, Jackpotting, D:6/6

Night Rider: +0 Rigging, Sidewalling, Working, –1 Jumping, Knife Tossing, Clemming, D:6/4

Ballygirl/Clown: +0 Barking, Jumping, Working, –1 Jackpotting, Knife Tossing, Rigging, D:6/6

Lion Tamer: +0 Knife Tossing, Taming, Whispering, –1 Barking, Jumping, Rigging, D:6/6

Magician: +0 Blood Magic, Jackpotting, Working, –1 Jumping, Knife Tossing, Sidewalling, D:6/6

Picture Warrior: +0 Clemming, Loading, Iron Jaw, –1 Barking, Jumping, Sidewalling, D:6/6

Picture History: +0 Barking, Blood Magic, Jackpotting, –1 Clemming, Jumping, Loading D:6/6

Razorback: +0 Clemming, Jumping, Loading, –1 Iron Jaw, Rigging, Working D:6/4

Ring Master: +0 Barking, Blood Magic, Jackpotting –1 Jumping, Knife Tossing, Whispering D:6/6

Webgirl: +0 Iron Jaw, Jumping, Rigging, –1 Knife Tossing, Sidewalling, Working D:6/4

Other insects

Small Insect: +0 Clemming, Jumping, –1 Rigging, Sidewalling, Legs:6, D:6/4

Common Flea: +1 Jumping, Rigging, +0 Clemming Legs:6, D:8/6

Spider: +2 Clemming, Rigging, +0 Jumping, Legs 8, D:8/6

Larger Insect: +1 Clemming, +0 Jumping, Rigging, Legs:6, D:10/8

These stats are for an insect not much larger than a common flea. Some larger insects are unstoppable juggernauts compared to circus fleas and only Wrath of Dog has a chance to stop them. Also note that some insects have many more than 6 legs.

Campaign

Circus of the Most Holy Dog can be played as a standalone one shot, or it can be played as a campaign with some rule adjustments.

Host Rules: In campaign play, Host stats may be important. The hosts usual irritation score can be kept track of (and may change over time due to the wildcatting the troupe undertakes). The Host’s Wrath of Dog Difficulty may be adjusted. Larger dogs usually have larger paws and thus lower difficulty. Smaller paws may be more easily dodged. Host hunger, health, and relation with the circus can be recorded, be reflected in the irritation score and change over time. What to keep track of will depend largely on your campaign.

Advancement: Fleas advance whenever the Czar says they do, usually after jumping to a new host for nomadic circuses or after several wildcats that accomplish a circus goal for more established circuses. Fleas can advance by learning a new Act, refining an existing act so that it’s first leg in a round acts as two legs (this stacks with other bonus leg sources but cannot be advanced beyond one bonus leg granted by advancement), an increase of 1 to the swag limit (to a max of 8), a new piece of cherry pie swag, or up to 3 wound levels that absorb damage without laming legs.

Campaign Ideas

Help the host: The circus starts the campaign on a hungry bedraggled host infested with common fleas and other problems. Improve the condition of the host. Eventually find your host, and by extension, the circus a home.

Find Van Hooten: Circuses have been telling the tale of Windy Van Hooten for generations. It’s time to put up or shut up. The circus is going to follow leads and find Van Hooten come hell or high water.

Raise the Big Top: Some circuses just want to be the biggest circus out there, but a big circus requires a big space. How does a circus survive without a host, and how does a circus get big enough, respected enough, and wealthy enough to be the biggest of the big tops?

Ravager Infestation: Things were pretty good in the back alley till a dried up host stumbled in carrying a huge circus of ravagers with it. Initial raids will be small until they get a good lay of the land, then troupes nearly as big as a circus will roll over everyone’s hosts. What now?

Closing notes

O.K. so a role playing game about intelligent fleas with a circus themed culture is a bit… weird, and O.K. the system is rough, untested, and may need some work, but I think it has promise and a bit of a crazy charm.

I tried to inject as much “circus lingo” in the game as possible, and took some liberties with it where necessary. I also used names of famous circus performers for all the example characters. The following website were valuable sources: