Originally published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1976, only two years after the first role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons was published, this edition is now long out of print. The game was inspired by Richard Adams' fantasy novel Watership Down, and the players were given the opportunity to take on the role of rabbits. As such, the game emphasized role-playing over combat for, according to Steffan O'Sullivan, "You're playing a rabbit, after all – how much combat do you want to do?" The poor production values provided a barrier to the acceptance of the game. The art, by Charles Loving, was "sketchy and of poor quality", while the document as a whole gave the appearance of having been typewritten.
Building on this first edition, in 1979, B. Dennis Sustare wrote "Different Worlds Present the World of Druid's Valley: A Bunnies & Burrows Campaign" in Different Worlds, a magazine published by Chaosium. It detailed how to combine the world of Bunnies & Burrows with other fantasy worlds. This was followed by the mini-adventure "The Jackrabbits' Lair", written by Daniel J. Maxfield, in Pegasus, a magazine published by Judges Guild.
A second edition of Bunnies & Burrows was printed in 1982 by Fantasy Games Unlimited, although the continuing popularity of the first edition is evidenced by how it was still being actively played in 2008.
During a rise of "retro" games in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Steve Jackson Games entered negotiations with Dennis Sustare and Scott Robinson, the current owners of the Bunnies & Burrows copyright, to publish an official GURPS supplement. In 1988, Steffan O'Sullivan wrote an unofficial conversion of Bunnies & Burrows to GURPS while the negotiations continued. He indicated that he hoped to one day work on the official supplement.
GURPS Bunnies & Burrows was published in 1992. It was written by Steffan O'Sullivan with interior art by Jim Groat. The book is now out of print, but (as of November 2012) is still available via digital download. Loyd Blankenship, the managing editor of Steve Jackson Games' former Illuminati BBS acknowledged that Steffan received his wish, and kept the original conversion article online. Steve Jackson Games continues to support the game, releasing an updated errata sheet in 2007.
The setting also had an unofficial conversion in 2004 to be used in Risus: The Anything RPG by Boyd Mayberry under their "Rules for Free Fan-Supplements and Articles".
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