Bunnies & Burrows is a role-playing game inspired by the novel Watership Down. Players take the role of rabbits as their player characters. Interaction with many different animal species is part of normal gameplay; humans, whose thought processes and motivations are completely alien, are the only monster to be encountered. The game encourages problem solving; outwitting obstacles, rather than out-fighting them.
The first edition, published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1976 - only two years after Dungeons & Dragons - is now long out of print, though still actively played. A second edition was printed in 1982. During a rise of "retro" gaming in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Steve Jackson Games entered negotiations with original designers Dennis Sustare and Scott Robinson to publish an official GURPS supplement. In 1988, Steffan O'Sullivan wrote an unofficial conversion, which was reworked and published in 1992 as GURPS Bunnies & Burrows with interior art by Jim Groat. The book is still supported and available in digital form.
Bunnies & Burrows was the first role-playing game to allow for non-humanoid play. It was also the first role-playing game to have detailed martial arts rules (known as "Bun Fu"), and the first attempt at a skill system. It was also the first role-playing game to appeal equally to women as well as men. For its time, the game was considered "light years" ahead of the Original Dungeons & Dragons.
Frederick Walter Patten (born December 11, 1940) is known for his work as a historian in the anime, manga, and furry fandoms, where he has made contributions to both print and online books, magazines, and other media. He has received honors from several fandom organizations, including the LASFS Evans-Freehafer Award, Westercon's Sampo Award, Inkpot Award, Ursa Major Award and the Worldcon Life Achievement Award.
Patten learned to read with comic strips in the Los Angeles Times and Examiner. At age 9 he began to collect books from Ace Books, Ballantine Books, and other science fiction publishers of the time, as well as magazines such as Astounding, F&SF, and Galaxy Science Fiction.
Patten entered the University of California, Los Angeles in 1958, and its graduate School of Library Science in 1962. He became active in science fiction fandom on discovering the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society in 1960, starting to publish his own stories and write for sci-fi fanzines. He received a Master's degree in Library Science in 1963 - his thesis was on the books of Andre Norton - and worked as a technical catalogue librarian from 1969 to 1990.
In 1972, Patten partnered with Richard Kyle to create the Graphic Story Bookshop in Long Beach, California. He discovered manga at Westercon in 1970, and began to import it from Japanese publishers through the bookshop. He was a founder of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization in 1977. Over the years he contributed to several books on animation history, and wrote dozens of articles for publications such as Albedo Anthropomorphics, Furrlough, and the Comics Buyer's Guide.
From 1991 to 2002 Patten was employed at anime production company Streamline Pictures, where he acted as writer, translator or publicist for over twenty animation films. He subsequently wrote Watching Anime, Reading Manga: 25 Years of Essays and Reviews, and edited Best in Show: Fifteen Years of Outstanding Furry Fiction.
In March 2005, Patten suffered a stroke which left his right arm and leg paralyzed. No longer able to keep his collection, he donated almost 900 boxes of comic books, records, tapes, paperbacks, fanzines, anime, manga, convention programs and T-shirts to the Eaton Collection.