RPGs for Kids: The Savage Peanuts

The Savage Peanuts Title

The Savage Peanuts is a role-playing scenario for kids, in which the players must rescue a boy who has been kidnapped by feral peanut people.

I use the term scenario deliberately. This is not an adventure; the story is not linear (well, except for the set-up).

This article describes a problematic situation and the characters in it, but does not describe what happens, or how the problem is solved. That is up to the players.

This adventure can be run in any role-playing system.

Setup

Thomas, a boy in the player-characters’ home village, has gone missing. His worried parents say he often snuck out of the house at night to drink from the stream near the village.

At the stream, any sort of investigation will reveal tracks in the soft mud near the shore, leading into the wilderness. A good investigation roll will reveal the footprints of a boy struggling in the mud, but even a poor roll will reveal the tracks.

The tracks themselves look like giant bird feet. Following the tracks leads to….

The Scenario’s Location: The Clearing

Dozens of strange, tall trees surround a large clearing. In the middle of the clearing, several strange creatures dance around a bubbling cauldron. A simple wooden scaffold has been erected over the cauldron, and dangling from a rope over the cauldron is Thomas.

The creatures have big, bulbous brown bodies and thin, bird-like legs. Their arms and hands are stick-like. They are chanting gibberish.

Inside the cauldron is a brown, sticky liquid. From the woods, it’ll take a good perception check to reveal that the cauldron is full of boiling peanut butter. This will become clear if the characters get near it.

If your players are squeamish about the idea of a child getting boiled in peanut butter, as silly as it sounds, just make the peanut butter very hot.

'Rickety Tree House' by CmdrGravy on Flickr
'Rickety Tree House' by CmdrGravy on Flickr

Simple tree-houses perch in the top of the trees. If the players don’t take an interest in the trees, mention the tree-houses to the players after a few minutes. A savage peanut with long eyelashes looks out of a tree-house window at the scene below, and seems worried.

Primary Elements

  • The clearing
  • Thomas dangling over a cauldron of hot peanut butter
  • Four savage peanuts dancing around the cauldron: Chief Nut (the leader) and Larry, Darryl, and Darryl (the followers)

Secondary Elements

  • The tree-houses in the big trees at the clearing’s edge
  • Paula, the savage peanut woman looking down from a tree-house

The Scenario’s Characters

Chief Nut is the leader of the savage peanut tribe. He is covered in a smelly, tar-like liquid. He’s fierce, stubborn, and suspicious, but he will talk for a bit.

He will explain that the tribe is making their special once-in-a-lifetime batch of peanut butter, and tradition says that a human child must be dipped into it. If a child is not dipped in, the peanut butter will “taste weird.”

Larry, Darryl, and Darryl are ordinary savage peanuts who go along with whatever Chief Nut says. They’re pretty stupid. Larry is the only one who talks, and he just drones on about how great Chief Nut is.

Paula is a savage peanut woman who is looking out worriedly from the tree-house above. The other savage peanuts are hiding, but she’s afraid that it isn’t right to dip an innocent child into the cauldron. The players may be able to get her aid. Larry is infatuated with Paula.

Combat Statistics

Chief Nut

D&D HP 25; Bloodied 12, Initiative +3, Speed 5
AC 17; Fortitude 13, Reflex 15, Will 12
Pointed Stick (standard, at-will) – Weapon
+5 vs. AC; 1d6+2 damage
Savage Peanuts Stick Together (standard, encounter)
When another savage peanut is hit, the savage peanut moves up to half its speed and makes a pointed stick attack without provoking an opportunity attack.
FATE Aspect: Savage Peanuts Stick Together(1)Weapon: +1 pointed stick
Savage Worlds Attributes Agility d6, Smarts d4, Spirit d4, Strength d6, Vigor d6
Skills Fighting d6, Intimidation d4, Notice d4
Pace 6, Parry 6, Toughness5Pointed Stick d6+d4

Larry, Darry, or Darryl

D&D HP 50; Bloodied 25, Initiative +3, Speed 6
AC 16; Fortitude 12, Reflex 14, Will 15
Powerful Funk (aura)
Zone 1; any creature in the zone at the start of its turn take 2 damage.
Spear (standard, at-will) – Weapon
+6 vs. AC; 1d10+5 damage
Savage Peanuts Stick Together (standard, encounter)
When another savage peanut is hit, Chief Nut moves up to his speed and makes a pointed stick attack without provoking an opportunity attack.
FATE Aspect: Savage Peanuts Stick Together (1), Powerful Funk(1)Weapon: +2 spear
Savage Worlds Attributes Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d4, Vigor d8
Skills Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d6
Pace 7, Parry 7, Toughness 6
Hindrances Mean, Stubborn
EdgesCommand AlliesSpear d8+d6

Background Information

Savage peanut culture

(Never thought you’d read that title, huh?)

Savage peanuts eat roots and berries, but they act like savage hunters because they think it looks cool. They live in simple tree-top houses, in families called “bunches.” About two dozen savage peanuts live in this scenario’s tribe.

Savage peanuts usually keep to themselves, though adolescent savage peanuts must pull a prank on a non-peanut to be considered an adult.

Once-in-a-lifetime peanut butter

This is a religious ritual that the tribe goes through every ten years (peanuts have short lifespans). The recipe is secret, and only the tribe’s chief–plus a few hand-picked assistants–are allowed to even see the sacred peanut butter until it’s ready. The peanut butter is then consumed by the tribe; this is thought to bring good fortune and the strength of a walnut.

The savage peanuts steal children from a different nearby village each decade, and are usually good at covering their tracks. It’s the rare villager that will notice a pattern of abductions this infrequent.

What is peanut butter made of?

Depending on how you want to take the peanut butter joke, peanut butter can be a special blend of nuts and berries, or can be the bodies of dead savage peanuts ground up into the butter.

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