(flavor text for Winter in the Willows RPG)

Let me have a look at that. You say you made this? What do you know about clockwork, eh? It’s a mighty fine piece of brass you’ve got there, so long as you take good care of it.

We toads know how to keep things ticking. Why, I’ve been tinkering longer than I’ve hopped, and it’s best to know who keeps the cogs running in this city, if you know what I mean. It’s all well and good to shine and polish the brass, but unless you really understand the mechanics, then it’s best to let the experts handle things.  That’d be us, by the by. Toads have a sixth sense for all matters brass and gear, we grasp the nature of the sproings and sprockets.

Better not touch that, or you might lose a hand.

Oh yes, we toads know what’s what when it comes to the machines. We keep our factories running, and we allow the rabbits to manage the simpler tasks, out of the kindness of our hearts. After all, if it weren’t for us, who would make sure they had work to do and food to eat? It’s all up to us. Toads keep the city moving, although these days the moving is slow. That Knifewinter left the lot of us a bit worse for the wear.

See these skins? These furs? It’s not just about Fash’n, keeping up with the Weasels, no! Without these and a bit of steam, we would freeze to death. It’s just as much about survival, though it isn’t polite to be asking about whose skins we’re wearing. Do I ask you who made your fur coat? You young ones have no manners these days. Chills my feet to think of it! Best to pump a bit more steam into the pipes now, and then we can talk about what you bring to our, uh, operation here.

Watch out! Those peppers boxes aren’t toys, you tomfool! Give that here and see you keep your curiosity in check. Could have blown us from here to the ocean, and then where would all my hardwork get me? Maybe you’d prefer Rabbit’s work, hm?

Steam and clockwork aren’t the only Lores we Toads keep. Powder gives a big kick for a small pinch–best keep that in mind, and keep your paws in your pockets if you know what’s what, and see you not be smoking around this building. Over here are the pistols and muskets, they’re needed to help keep certain upstarts in line. Keeps ’em hopping, too, eh?

Now that you’ve seen the place–oh, mind your foot, don’t want you stepping on my latest prototype there–I think it’s about time you start showing me what you’ve got that would make me want to share my secrets with you. Isn’t worth my time to have some ninny or busybody around who won’t do their work or starts gossip, got me? Mind, if I take you on, I don’t want you in my sights all the time, a Toad needs space!

So, your turn. Fine references you’ve given, to be sure, but for me you’ve got to earn it on merit. Give me three good reasons why I should take you on. Make that four.