"Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you the Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger."
This character is a quiet smart guy
or girl who is physically unimposing, but with Hidden Depths
of formidable physical and practical skills.
Their physical abilities might result from applying their genius to solve physical challenges like math problems
. Their attention to detail might also result in a Diagnosis From Dr. Badass
. While some badass bookworms are surprisingly strong
, others might be Weak, but Skilled
, relying on flawless technique or supernatural abilities
. Sometimes a bookworm can lack any special physical traits, but has access to an Impossibly Cool Weapon
or enough firepower
to make toe-to-toe combat a bit, as they say, academic. A favorite weapon of the bookworm might even be what's always close at hand.
Elderly examples are often Old Masters
who have spent decades contemplating philosophy and punching trees in half. Another common type is the Adventurer Archaeologist
, who spends as much time studying in the University as he does evading the poison-tipped arrows of angry natives. If the bookworm is a bit of a ditz
, expect him to be Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass
. If they prefer not to fight, doing so only when they must, then they have Minored in Asskicking
. They are very
likely to wear Specs of Awesome
The trope is the converse of Genius Bruiser
. A Badass Bookworm looks like your standard geek, but then displays a surprising amount of physical prowess, whereas a Genius Bruiser
looks big, strong and tough, then unexpectedly shows off an intellectual side.
Note this is a different trope
from the typical Secret Identity
superhero like early Peter Spider-Man
Parker, as no one suspects the nerd
to be the superhero.