Under the Floorboards is a system-lite tabletop RPG published by Loot the Room that is inspired by stories, movies, and shows about little people living in a big people world, such as The Borrowers, The Littles, and The Secret World of Arrietty, to name a few.
Under the Floorboards uses a simple dice+stat system, combined with a basic three-phase story structure to set up a scenario that the players and gamemaster – or “Guiding Voice” – can collectively build a story from.
The game uses a simple 2d6 system. Characters are described in 8 abilities, and are built with point buying, or can be selected from a collection of premade Roles. Ability rolls are 2d6+Ability versus a target number. Success gives the player story control, while failure gives it to the Guided Voice. A Lucky ability allows players to roll to change the environment to their benefit, but it drops by a point every time it is successful.
The game has no system for combat or hit points, as it is expected that any sort of combat would be avoided by the little people. “Floorboard folk have no word for coward, because there is no shame in running away.”
This game would be a fantastic introduction to RPGs for kids, or for anyone who enjoys the genre. The system is simple and easy to grasp, and the story structure is an excellent method of giving new players some guidance when trying out an adventure game for the first time.
The writing is clear and well organized, and the majority of the PDF contains locations to explore, with lists of goals and complications related to each one – a wealth of options for potential scenarios, and something that really increases the replay ability.
I also really enjoyed the name table, for players having trouble coming up with a character name. It includes names like Stumble, Bucket, Percivie, and surnames like Underbed, Overmantle, and Chimney-Stack – this was an excellent addition that helps establish the feel and theme of the game.
Bonus point for gender inclusivity – there’s a space on the character sheet for gender pronouns. I’m always happy to see this, and happier to see it occurring more and more.
Overall a well-written and well organized product that captures the thematic elements very well, and would be an excellent choice for kids, a quick-prep one-shot, or a convention game.