“In the beginning there was only the Between, extending equally in all directions”; so says the Seer as she teaches the wide-eyed Yearlings the history of the tribe.
“The Hylin people were born into this time of plenty, all things being provided for them in the endless safety of the within.
“Then came the Eaters. The Eaters consumed the between, making huge spaces in it where no Hylin could go. The vastest of these spaces — known now as the empty — joined together until the Between was in danger of being consumed utterly. The Eaters filled these spaces with their beasts; creatures so vast that they could consume a whole family of Hylin with a single snap of their jaws!
“In those days there was a Champion named Rocheep, who defended one of the last nests that the Eaters had not destroyed. One day part of the nest, with Rocheep's mate Ianna in it, was destroyed by the Eaters. Rocheep was so angry that he took up his spear and his helmet and went out to fight the Eaters.” There are gasps from the little ones, but the Seer goes on.
“Out in the emptiness Rocheep was all alone, but brave. When the Eaters came he jabbed them with his spear, and caused them to cry out in surprise, because the Eaters did not even know that the Hylin existed! One of the Eaters, who we call the Gifter, took Rocheep up in its hand and listened, as he told them what they had done to the between.
“Then the Eaters were contrite. They ceased to consume the Between, and began instead to try and slowly rebuild it. Sadly for the Hylin, however, the Eaters were poor at building, so the work went very slowly, and the empty has never been filled in. Instead the Eaters left us gifts, do you know what they are?”
Some of the yearlings stick paws in the air and squeak: “Silver Spears! Scattergreen! Fithps!”
“All the things a clever Hylin needs,” the Seer says, silencing them with a twitch of her whiskers. “And that is why, little ones, the Hylins take what we can find, and make something more of it.”
InBetween is a new tabletop Roleplaying game that I am currently developing. InBetween tells the stories of Hylin, little mice-like creatures living in the walls of our houses (what they call the Between).
InBetween uses a dice pool mechanic based on my previous game, Eekamouse in Atlantis. Players roll a number of d6s and the GM does the same. The side that gets the most successes (a 4+ is a success) can spend the difference on story facts, damage, obstacles, items, and more. Encounters are quick to design and quick to run, but can be very deadly (Hylins can die of fear as easily as injury), requiring teamwork, and the judicious use of Luck and Tribe dice, to overcome.
Here is the cheat sheet I prepared for the first playtest.
Our mascot, Crit. Thanks to everyone who helped name him