Welcome to Riddarnisse ("knight elf"), the utterly unofficial Mausritter hack where you play Santa's little elves, in a North Pole, Inc. factory where all is not well this year. This hack re-skins some of Mausritter's tables, and adds a cute horror adventure, perfect for the holidays.
To create your Riddarnisse, follow the standard Mausritter procedure, but replace the relevant tables with the following ones.
Look (replaces "Coat")
Roll d6 each for Outfit, Colors, and Pattern, or choose your favorites.
|1||Dungarees||Black, white, red||Separate|
|2||Bow tie, shirt, vest, shorts||Green, red||Striped|
|3||Princess gown||Purple, pink||Chequered|
|4||Coat & tails, frilly shirt, top hat||Blue, yellow||Polka dots|
|5||Mermaid dress||Black, gold||Leopard print|
|6||Hot pants||White, red||Flower print|
Roll once or twice, or pick.
|11||Fit body||41||Smell of flowers|
|13||Muscled body||43||Tattooed body|
|14||Willowy body||44||Undersized gossamer wings|
|15||Tiny body||45||Long limbs|
|16||Relatively tall body||46||Full lips|
|21||War paint||51||Night black eyes|
|22||Long curly locks||52||Glowing silver eyes|
|23||Frizzy hair||53||Blood red eyes|
|24||Straight long hair||54||Wise eyes|
|25||Emo hair||55||Sharp eyes|
|31||Pointy teeth||61||Small pointy ears|
|32||Unibrow||62||Long pointy ears|
|33||Beautiful face||63||Dainty curly horns|
|34||Round face||64||Manicured claws|
|35||Delicate face||65||Large feet|
|36||Elongated face||66||Very sharp teeth|
Jobs & squirreled away items (replaces "Backgrounds")
This is your current job at the North Pole, Inc. toy making facility.
|HP||Pips||Job||Item A||Item B|
|1||1||Focus group member||Spell: Magic missile||Lead coat (Heavy armor)|
|1||2||Baker||Shield & jerkin (Light armor)||Bread knife (Light, d6)|
|1||3||Supply runner||Spell: Animate toy||Bottle of wine|
|1||4||Sugar Plum fairy handmaiden||Spell: Heal||Comb|
|1||5||Clothier||Shield & jerkin (Light armour)||Shears|
|1||6||Focus group grotto jailer||Poking stick (Heavy, d10)||Flask of coffee|
|2||1||First aider||Spell: Restore||Mending tape|
|2||2||Pixieherd||Hireling: Enslaved pixie||Pole, 6"|
|2||3||Eggnog mixer||Hireling: Drunken torchbearer||Basket of eggs|
|2||4||Fishernisse||Net||Ice hole saw (Medium, d6/d8)|
|2||5||Thresher tender||Hammer (Medium, d6/d8)||Metal file|
|2||6||Wire wrangler||Wire, spool||Electric lantern|
|3||1||Woodcutter||Axe (Medium, d6/d8)||Twine, roll|
|3||2||R&D/Bat cultist||Spell: Darkness||Bag of bat teeth|
|3||3||Basic building blocks miner||Pickaxe (Medium, d6/d8)||Lantern|
|3||4||Trash collector||Trashhook (Heavy, d10)||Mirror|
|3||5||Inventory keeper||Ink & quill||Step ladder|
|3||6||Transporter||Hireling: Pack rat||20p IOU from another nisse for services rendered|
|4||1||Frozen river rafter||Hammer (Medium, d6/d8)||Wooden spikes|
|4||2||Reindeer groomer||Harness and twine||Soap|
|4||3||Black-legged Kittiwake rider||Fishhook||Goggles|
|4||4||Assembly line worker||Metal file||Bag of basic building blocks|
|4||5||Pixie hunter||Chain, 6"||Spear (Heavy, d10)|
|4||6||Chef||Dried mushroom (as rations)||Cookpots|
|5||1||Stable nisse||Shovel||Bucket of dried flowers|
|5||2||Mine cart maintainer||Bottle of oil||Hammer (Medium, d6/d8)|
|5||3||Inventor||Block of cheese||Glue|
|5||4||Trail maintainer||Tent||Treasure map, dubious|
|5||5||Fairy dust farmer||Spear (Heavy, d10)||Hair tousler|
|5||6||Message runner||Bedroll||Documents, sealed|
|6||1||Executives’ troubadour||Musical instrument||Disguise kit|
|6||2||Quality inspector||Set of scales||Magnifying glass|
|6||3||Sap tapper||Bucket||Wooden spikes|
|6||4||Painter||Jar of red and green striped paint||Fine brush|
|6||5||Gift wrapper||Ribbon, spool||Scissors|
|6||6||Executive distributor||Book of names||Perfume|
Replace the following Mausritter spells with these Riddarnisse ones.
|8||Animate toy (replaces "Be understood")||Animate and command [DICE] small wooden toys for [DICE] turns.||Restore a broken toy to pristine condition.|
|9||Ghost polar bear pup (replaces "Ghost beetle")||Create an illusory polar bear pup that can carry 6 inventory slots for [DICE] x 6 Turns.||Bury near a den for three nights.|
|16||Mistletoe (replaces "Catnip")||Turn sprig into an irresistible kissing compulsion. Lasts [DICE] Turns.||Give another a gift they truly desire.|
This is everything that concerns players. What follows is a full seasonal adventure, for the GM's eyes alone. Do not venture further into this cold night, unless you'll be running the scenario!
All is not well at North Pole, Inc.
The nissar have been making toys at North Pole, Inc. under the benevolent guidance of CEO Mr Claus and CFO Mrs Claus, for centuries. But this year something has changed. The CEO smells of brimstone, the CFO has grown horns. The working hours have increased dramatically, but both the pay and the play have been reduced. The nissar have reached the end of the line, and it's time to stand up to this tyranny and put an end to it!
In this adventure, the players are the oppressed nissar, plotting and taking up arms, to become the titular Riddernissar!
What the characters know
- The general layout of the factory and the surrounding lands and landmarks.
- That they cannot take on the executives without a plan, help, and weapons or spells that give them an edge.
- That they'll have to prepare and gather these under the cover of darkness, outside of their daily shifts, to avoid suspicion.
- That the executives have changed, become evil, in the last few weeks or so.
- That Mr and Mrs Claus have a longstanding agreement with the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Gingerbread Witch.
Where the magic happens. In the form of sweatshop labor, with blood, sweat, and tears. The whole place is human-sized, but with tiny stairs, tools, and other furniture for the workers. It's lit—poorly—by torches and candles, smells of fear and exhaustion, and the only sounds are the sighs and cries of the workers.
- Assembly line. A long table with a manually operated conveyor belt, where the majority of elves work, assembling toys.
- Painting & finishes. Once assembled, the toys are painted here. Many jars of paint, and brushes of all sizes can be found here.
- Inspection. Once assembled, all toys undergo a quality assurance test. Toys that fail are carted back to the start of the assembly line.
- Wrapping station. Accepted toys are packaged and wrapped here.
- Kitchen & mess hall. Even overworked sweatshop slaves need to eat. The chef is overworked like everyone else, and the overseers demand all the best food at any rate.
- Office. Set on a mezzanine, it is here that distribution and general logistics are managed. Working in this office is the fanciest job that an elf could hope to strive for.
Treasure: Numerous jars of paint, a myriad of brushes, glue, files, shears, wrapping paper, magnifying glass, finished and unfinished toys.
Denizens. Unswervingly loyal and surprisingly well armed hobgoblin overseers.
Cramped bunk beds are stacked precariously, 2–3 meters high, with rickety stairs between them. Each "tower" stack has a shared combination lockbox at the bottom, and 1 human-sized candle between them. There are 7 rooms of 6 towers each, arranged in a snowflake pattern.
The outside door is locked and barred at night, and none of the small, frosted windows open. There are rumors of a skylight, but the only way to reach the attic would be to fly.
In recent weeks, Mrs Claus, hunched and cloaked, and reeking of perfume, has occasionally entered in the middle of the night and dragged 1 or 2 elves out, never to be seen again.
Treasure: Each lockbox has 1 or 2 special items found in the mines, or otherwise squirreled away.
Home to both the reindeer and the Claus sleigh. Only the executives carry the key to start up the sleigh, but the stables are otherwise unlocked. Include bales of hay, plenty of fresh water, and questionable decorations.
Treasure: A cracked mold of the sleigh key, from an escape attempt decades before when a similar possession occurred. A reindeer cloak pin, passing as a spear (Heavy, 1d10).
Denizens: 8 reindeer—Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. They are: 1) docile, 2) unmoved, 3) uncaring, 4) peckish, 5) a little impatient, 6) flat out irate, 7) hungry for chocolate, 8) livid and baying for blood ("hangry").
Mines of basic building blocks
The secret is that most wooden toys aren't carved or made, but assembled from basic building blocks found in North Pole, Inc.'s mine. Toy soldier limbs, doll parts, pieces of automobiles, and much more are mined here, and brought to the assembly fine.
Every once in a while a finished item is found; not always a toy, but always marvelous. These are immediately locked away in special, dedicated trunks by the overseers.
Trap: The lockboxes for the special items are trapped to dissuade sticky fingers. Ironically with glue.
Denizens. 1 cruel hobgoblin overseer per group of 6 miners. With a lantern, a whip, and a whistle.
A network of underground caves are filled with fields where helpless pixies are tied to sticks and staked into the ground, to harvest their fairy dust.
Fairy dust is generated much faster when pixies are happy, but since they're loathe to part with it, patience, dedicated tools, and an automated thresher are the next best thing.
The fairy dust is a crucial ingredient in Mission: Yuletide, as it sends people to sleep and slows time for the sleepers.
Treasure: Whatever fairy dust can be coaxed out of the pixies or wrenched from Betsie.
Denizens. Betsie, the automated thresher whirls and clangs, and goes from docile industrial scale pixie hair tousling and sweeping up of resulting fairy dust, to murderous rampage in the twitch of an elven ear.
Focus group grotto
It's no good mining, assembling, and painting toys if no one likes them. In the hills just beyond the frozen forest lies a grotto where a representative selection of children are kept in cages hanging from the cavern roof, ready to be brought out for testing new merchandise.
Treasure: One of the caged kids stashed away a small sling that's big but manageable to a nisse—Oversized sling (Heavy ranged, d8).
Denizens. Horned, lolling-tongued, cloven-hoved, birch-cane wielding Krampus is just dropping in with a new batch of focus group volunteers, neatly heaped in the basket on his back.
- Frozen river. This time of year, the river is completely frozen. Last year, the elves would ice skate and frolic. This year, they've no time for such unproductive behavior.
- Frozen waterfall. A little up the frozen river is the multi-stepped frozen waterfall. Hardly an obstacle for humans like the Clauses, it's whispered about in wonder and fear among the elves, for within its icy falls the shape of a narwhal is clearly visible.
- Gingerbread house. This wondrous place is the home of its namesake witch, the daughter of a fearsome, old crone. Avantgardia, while calculating and business orientated, is more open to discussion and compromise than her mother ever was. Nevertheless, she is very powerful, and much taller than an elf. Her cooperation is crucial to Mission: Yuletide, as it's her magics that make the Claus sleigh fly. She is as of yet unaware of the Clauses being possessed by demons.
Denizens. Despite its remoteness, the frozen forest is full of dangerous life. Arctic foxes are on the prowl, snowy owls keep watch, wild reindeer graze the clearings, all of them under the oversight of Avantgardia, the gingerbread witch. Lastly, gingerbread men and women are her loyal spies and soldiers.
Also known as the Land of Sweets. Home to candy-maker and violinist Sterla, the Sugar Plum Fairy, who rules over the garden. She supplies sweets to the factory, under an ancient agreement, beneficial to both parties. She is also unaware of the recent possession of the Clauses, but loyal to them in any case.
Treasure: The Enormous Hoop Skirt of Mother Gigogne. When worn by a human, or a creature of similar size and physiology, as many creatures as can physically fit underneath it can be displaced into a cozy, worm extraplanar space, for up to 6 turns. They can be called back at will.
Denizens: Sterla is protected by her Cavalier, and her small army of Nutcracker toy soldiers. Mother Gigogne is protected by her children, the Polichinelles.
The personal lodgings of Mr and Mrs Claus lie at the top of the frozen waterfall, in the shape of an innocent, bucolic cottage, crowned by icicles, surrounded by hobgoblin guards. But all is not well inside. Both Clauses have been possessed by demons keen on spreading a massive plague via the toys created and distributed by North Pole, Inc. on Yuletide.
Worse yet, the demon that possessed Mrs Claus has managed to fully manifest in this world, and keeps Mrs Claus a prisoner in the cellar.
- Living room. Furniture and decorations are strewn about and broken as if a tornado had passed through. A bookshelf lies toppled over, most of its contents mere ashes in the fireplace.
- Bedroom. The bed is destroyed, its remains pushed to the sides, to make room for a large, occult circle that has been carved into the wooden floor. Candles surround the circle, though they're no longer lit, since the summoning was completed weeks ago. A dark grimoire lies open in the circle.
- Cellar. A black, cramped space full of load-bearing posts, bereft of light and sound but for the faint moans of Mrs Claus, gagged and tied to one of the posts since her demon escaped fully into this world. She is ringed by an invisible magic circle that alerts the Mrs Claus demon as soon as anyone steps into it, as well as unleashes arcs of lightning all over it.
Trap: See Cellar.
Treasure: Candles of various sizes, the dark grimoire of summoning evil for questionable empirical gain plus 2 random spells, 2 sleigh keys.
Denizens: Hobgoblin guards surround the cottage. Demon-possessed Mr Claus, demon that used to possess Mrs Claus, bound Mrs Claus.
These are items found naturally in the area, discovered in the mines, carried on a person, or stashed away from prying eyes.
|11||Sharpened candy cane. Hook things with one end and spear them with the other (Heavy, d10).|
|12||Candle helmet. As Light Armor and Torch combined.|
|13||Striped tights. Red and white, extra elastic.|
|14||Pip purse. With 50 pips, 3 tiny sugar cubes, and half an acorn.|
|15||Spell: Knock. Rune on obsidian tablet.|
|16||Wooden whistle. Mimic bird calls.|
|21||Magical miniature rocking horse. Ride around at twice the speed of ramblers.|
|22||Doll armor. A pretty, Victorian doll, but hollow and articulate. As Heavy Armor.|
|23||Tree bauble. Fragile, and filled with glitter.|
|24||Spell: Ghost polar bear pup. Rune on a wooden toy soldier leg.|
|25||Silk ribbon. On a spindle.|
|26||Yuletide cracker. Explosive (Light ranged, d6, group of targets).|
|31||Mini mince pie. Mass produced, yet delicious.|
|32||Magic sack of coal. Can dispense endless amounts of small bits of coal. Slowly.|
|33||Clothes peg. Pretty big for an elf.|
|34||Spell: Mistletoe. Rune on obsidian tablet.|
|35||3 chestnuts of roasting. Fiery explosion when thrown (Heavy ranged, d8, one group).|
|36||Mug of hot eggnog. Can fit two elves.|
|41||Peanut brittle sword. One attack (Medium, d8 + sticky) then breaks into tasty pieces.|
|42||Scrap of the naughty list. “Exerasbatus”, demon truename. Summon, command, live with the consequences.|
|43||Tinsel rope. Long, knotted. Always knotted.|
|44||Sugar shirt and shield. As Light Armor, but shatters after preventing a total of 6 damage.|
|45||Trident of Winter’s Agony. A silver dessert fork turned weapon (Medium, d6/d8).|
|46||Ugly sweater. Elf-sized, warm.|
|51||Small, inter-lockable blocks. A handful. Dangerous like caltrops.|
|52||Silent night boots. Super padded, super quiet.|
|53||Toy soldier’s sabre. +1 Armor to people you lead while wielded.|
|54||Silver sewing needle. On critical damage, clear all usage dots from one of your non-spell items.|
|55||Huge bottle of fine brandy. 4 slots, 500p.|
|56||Disguise kit. Including 2 wigs.|
|61||Wrapping paper. Garish. Big roll.|
|62||Yule log. Feeds a whole family.|
|63||Spell: Grow. Rune carved obsidian tablet.|
|64||Fractured tea cup and saucer. With straps, as Heavy Armor.|
|65||Fairy twine. Makes pixies more docile when bound with it.|
|66||Piercer pine cone. Rounded, with sharpened edges. As Heavy Weapon when rolled over targets.|
My thanks go of course first and foremost to Isaac Williams, Losing Games, and Games Omnivorous for making Mausritter such an addictive, cute game. My thanks also go to the modern RPG scene, which is not afraid of hacking games to create their own fun. My thanks go to my regular Thursday roleplaying group, who are about to be subjected to all of this. And finally, my thanks go to the fine people of the Mörk Borg Discord, who helped me come up with a grammatically correct name for this hack.