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Week #5 Game Design - “Library RPG”


Heroes of the BookLands

One shy, nerdy librarian has been pining over the unusually hot, overly friendly, hair-tied-back, glasses wearing, neatly dressed, nerd-bombshell, female librarian… for the entire two weeks she has worked in the library.

In that time, she hasn’t looked at him once… and he has always been too shy to say hello. Unrequited love from afar.

Today is the day. He has finally worked up the courage to talk to her… to let her know that he exists.


An ancient, mystical book in the back section of the library unleashes its power over the history section and sci-fi book shelves. Something strange has taken place – the words and pictures in the books are evolving into new and unknown worlds – some more dangerous than others!

Suddenly, a team of ninjas appear in the library and snatch up the beautiful librarian girl, and disappear back into one of the history books. Only one person in the library was there to witness it – and even he can’t believe his eyes. Fortunately, this is the opportunity for him to become more than just a librarian; a chance to prove that he can be a hero, by saving her from the dangers of the BookLands!

The Player:

  • Librarian – not particularly skilled at anything, other than his knowledge of books. Fortunately, history and sci-fi are his specialities.

  • Will have a character sheet with a combination of traditional RPG stats as well as completely new and unusual statistics – Awkwardness (controls most communication skills; ‘awkward silence’ abilities; and general confusion tactics), Guts (affects resistance to spicy food; and chance to cower in fear), Nerdiness (relates to knowledge of internet memes and Star Wars OR Star Trek trivia; assists in relating to other nerds; also gains bonuses from Awkwardness statistic).

  • Does not use conventional weapons (swords / guns), but rather finds alternative tools to help incapacitate enemies – similar to MacGyver. For example, whipping someone with a wet towel, creating a newspaper shotgun or a toilet roll launcher, or belting an enemy with a sock full of quarters.

  • Will learn new, unique skills – specific to each of the BookLands – which may also be useful in later stages of the game – for example, “Communicate to aliens using only synthesised tones”.

The Game:

  • The worlds of the BookLands encompass every imaginable setting that may be found in either history or sci-fi / fantasy books.

  • The player character will visit a particular book to complete quests, find new team mates, learn new skills, and find out more information on where the sexy librarian has been taken.

  • After completing each book, the player will return to the library with their new team mates and equipment, then continue following the trail of the sexy librarian in to the next book.

  • Each book will provide the player with new environment, and completely new challenges and opponents. Some of these environments will be historical, some will be fictional. For example:

  • The ruins of World War II Europe.
  • Medieval castles and counties.
  • Ancient Greece with Gods and men (and SPARTA!!!!).
  • Space Station on Mars (or any other planet).
  • Dark, mystical woods with shapechangers and hobbits.
  • Pirate caves and the Seven Seas.
  • The gameplay will be similar to that of Diablo – top-down / isometric, fast-paced, point-and-click, hack-and-slash.

  • Unlike Diablo, the player will be occasionally be controlling a party of more than one character (up to 2 others plus the player’s character).

  • The additional characters will be interchangeable when the party grows greater than 3 – similar to the party selection in Mass Effect.

  • The player may change the formation of the party, as well as the primary, secondary and special actions of the other characters, but outside of that, the entire party is controlled as one individual entity. Each of the party members will their own health bars – and cop damage as separate entities, however.

  • The player will find team mates in a wide variety of environments, each with their own speciality and abilities. They will have advantages and disadvantages in certain situations. Some of them may even be historical characters, straight from the pages of reference books.

  • Some additional characters include:

  • Hideomorikuma Miyajimamoto, Ronin (masterless samurai)
  • Grognak, Barbarian (not particularly smart, but good at bashing stuff)
  • Bob DaRicci, Inventor (of random gadgets)
  • Wikapedias, Philosopher (has worked out important maths equations)
  • Kloon, Alien (grey, short and weird looking)
  • Snippet, Alien-hunter (female bad-ass)
  • Cecil, Vampire (sparkly and sexually ambiguous)

The Goal:

The player must make their way from book to book, finding out more information on why the sexy librarian was taken, and more importantly, where.

Throughout the course of the adventure, they will gain the skills and confidence to actually TALK to her once she is finally rescued.

Any constructive feedback would be appreciated. E-mail me at: matt @ havedesignwilltravel dot com

Check out my website, and other game concepts, at www.havedesignwilltravel.com

Filed under a-game-a-week games game design game concepts game ideas have design will travel rpg library librarian heroes booklands

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Week #5 Game Design Theme - “Library RPG”

Okay, so it’s that time again - another week, another mildly-insane high-level game concept based on a made up theme.

This week is a role-playing game based around the theme of a library / books / librarians… that kinda thing. The librarian at my old school was pretty damn scary… and she was commonly referred to as an ‘old battle-axe’. That’s gotta mean something, right?

I used to be a huge fan of RPG’s (still kind of am), I usually just don’t have the time to spend on the hundreds of hours required to finish them.

This game should veer away from the stock-standard fantasy, swords-and-fireballs stereotypes that come up in RPG’s all the time.

If you feel like having a go at coming up with a game concept, please feel free. You can e-mail me your concepts and ideas here - matt @ havedesignwilltravel dot com.

Check out my website here: www.havedesignwilltravel.com

Filed under a-game-a-week games game design game ideas game concepts have design will travel library librarian rpg role-playing game