A downloadable game

So, you want a realistic fantasy setting huh? But also one where mobility aids and the like – presumably including conveniences like clean water, safe roads, and sterile surgical tools don’t exist. And since you want to play a medieval European fantasy, you also don’t want the scientific and medical advances that were happening in the Islamic world. 

So what you’re basically saying is you want a setting that more closely resembles pop culture than actual history. One where life is nasty, brutish, and short. And you want to beat the odds and make it to adulthood without meeting any of the awful fates that could end a medieval life. THESE ARE THE TABLES FOR YOU. 

These tables help determine what mundane but unpleasant things happened to your character before their adventuring career even started. They won’t all kill you, and in some cases they might make you stronger (because this is a game tool, not a study in grimdark bleakness), but they’re not nice.

Content Warnings
This supplement includes the possibilities of infant and childhood mortality plus a wide range of unpleasant adult deaths. If you have any trauma around medical matters or violence, I strongly – strongly – recommend you do not put yourself in harm’s way by reading these tables. If you do use them, always put your comfort and safety first. If a particular result is something you don’t want to deal with, don’t use it. Roll again or just choose an outcome. 

One thing I can promise you: physical disability, neurodiversity, and stigmatised mental or behavioural traits do not feature in these tables. Those are parts of a person, not a bad thing that happens to them. To turn them into punishments for a bad dice roll would be ableist and vile, and we don’t do that here. 

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
AuthorEx Stasis Games


Nasty Brutish and Short v1.1.pdf 308 kB

Development log


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Well, this made me look up the history of the wheelchair. Okay, wow, yeah, I didn't know it was that old. Not sure if it would be good to link this in the pdf, but it's here at least.


That's very cool! If I ever get around to doing a print run I'll update the PDF to add this link too. Thanks!

I feel this is a game made from plenty of spite - which tbh makes it pretty amazing

5/5 stars

Beautifully laid out and wonderful content. I love it.