This common but surprisingly dangerous creature dwells in billions of households worldwide. Your child may appear harmless, but it uses guile and special abilities outlined below to disrupt your life and drain you of leisure, wealth, and peace of mind, ultimately leaving you a depleted shell of the person you had been before becoming a parent.

Thirst for revenge. Your child’s fury is born in the shriek it gives with its first breath, as it emerges from a paradisial world of warmth and security into the cold reality of this plane of existence. This scarring experience motivates your child to seek revenge—even if it takes decades. Your child is clever though, and it knows its survival depends on maintaining bonds of affection with you, so it enacts its deliberate vengeance in subtle, almost hidden ways that evolve through several phases.

As a baby, your child is physically helpless but gains a +12 bonus to its charisma score. This “cuteness bonus” will engender so much love in you that the baby’s facial expressions as it passes gas will seem endearing. The baby also has a special ability it can use up to twice per day to shoot from its backside a quantity of noxious liquid that will overwhelm any diaper. This attack will automatically interrupt whatever activity you are attempting to concentrate on, such as work or trying to just enjoy a movie for once; roll 3d6 and multiply by ten to determine how many minutes you lose cleaning up the resulting mess.

When it becomes a toddler, your child gains “demonic speed.” Your child can use this ability unlimited times per day to run toward any source of life-threatening danger, such as a busy highway, a steep drop, or an uncovered electrical outlet. This attack forces you to take action to block your child by putting your own body in harm’s way. By the time your child is four, you’re guaranteed to have either a bad back or a bum knee.

At school age, your child’s intelligence score becomes higher than yours by at least two points, so that you have a disadvantage in any contest of wills or attempt to get the child to clean its room. Your child also gains invulnerability to reverse psychology at this stage.

As a tween, your child begins a physical transformation that can be terrifying to witness, as it slowly and sickeningly molts into its adult form. Amidst this change, your child becomes an agent of chaos and can disrupt any established plan. For instance, if you need to choose a restaurant and you select one your child previously declared their favorite, they will now hate it and use either whine or sulk attacks to ruin the rest of your evening.

When it morphs into a teenager, your child makes random mood rolls at least once per day and uses the result to make an area attack that affects the entire household, often by slamming doors or loudly weeping. You have no defense against these attacks and will be constantly upset and confused. At this age, your child will establish a lair, which it decorates with symbols of power and hatred for its oppressors, such as heavy metal posters or crudely scrawled middle fingers. Your child withdraws there to recoup power for its next attack, and while wearing headphones is invulnerable to any request to help carry in groceries. The teenager also gains pack abilities and can move in large, coordinated groups with other teens. Each member of a pack of teens gets a bonus for any rudeness attack on its parents, causing 12 points of ego damage any time you try to remind them of their curfew.

If you survive raising your child for eighteen years, you automatically lose any treasure you’ve accumulated when you try to pay for its college education. With that said, successfully parenting your child to adulthood is considered an epic feat and will be rewarded with knowing sighs and sympathetic nods from other heroic, exhausted parents. But beware: many children turn to evil no matter how many parenting books you read. For more detail, see the entries in this manual for bandits, assassins, necromancers, and tech bros.