A video game RPG about controlling a group of people playing an tabletop RPG. As silly as that sounds, that's the premise behind Knights of Pen and Paper
, an indie RPG that takes cues from older turn-based RPGs, and blends them in the most meta way possible.
Controlling both the game master and a group of two to five players, the game follows a fairly stereotypical fantasy game campaign. However, there are a couple of twists. The first is that not only can the characters be customized, but so can the room where the game is played, which provides different statistical effects for the characters. The second is that the player mostly controls what kinds of monsters are fought, and how many, setting the stage for an easy or hard game depending on the player's whim.
This RPG provides examples of:
- An Interior Designer Is You: A subversion, as one of the core mechanics is decorating the room the game is played in.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: The basic concept behind the Little Brother player.
- Arbitrary Headcount Limit: It's three until you earn enough gold to buy a special upgrade, which bumps it up to five.
- Awesome but Impractical: One of the room items is a rug that gives you 30% more EXP at the cost of losing control of your characters, this works as well as it sounds since anything more then a single elite mooks will cause your characters to attack at random enemies, whiles they will all focus your tank when you're unable to heal besides regen.
- Becomes Simple Yet Awesome for a "solo" (two players, but one dies in the first fight of the game and stays that way) run with the lone player being a Barbarian. 30% more EXP helps them stay ahead of the curve, which is important in a solo run, and piling on lifesteal and regen makes them effectively invulnerable to anything in the game that doesn't stun and even to some of those. It also turns the Barbarian's utter lack of variety in its movepool into an asset, as it allows them to just autobattle their way through the entire game on nothing but raw stats.
- Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can pay real money to obtain gold and save yourself lots and lots of cash grinding.
- Creator Cameo: You can actually unlock and use the game developers as players. Naturally, they break the game.
- Elite Mook: Elite monsters.
- Hipster: Is one of the players.
- Holy Hand Grenade: Clerics and Paladins.
- Killer Game Master: You can play as one. A couple of sidequests are also written as the product of this.
- Left the Background Music On: If you turn down the music volume, the game master yells at a bard, telling him to play more quietly.
- Lightning Bruiser: The Rogue class, who are middle of the road in survivability, but are fast and have excellent damage output.
- The Medic: Both Clerics and Bards can take this role.
- Mighty Glacier: The whole point of Paladins and Knights. Warriors and Barbarians can also fill in, although they aren't quite as good at it.
- Musical Assassin: Bards present a variation on this, in that they do damage by playing badly.
- Playing with Fire: This is the main approach that Mages take, with both Fireball and Meteor spells.
- Rain of Arrows: The Hunter's Volley attack. You select one enemy and it will hit it and up to 4 more targets around it.
- Rat Stomp: An early optional easy sidequest is this. (Or not so easy, if you choose to spawn in some Giant Rats.)
- Shout-Out: Quite a list.
- Some of the unlockable GMs are Lawyer Friendly Cameos of various other characters. Examples include Karate Rat (Splinter) and Yoga (Yoda).
- Also, certain areas and area backgrounds have a few cameos/easter eggs.
- Maya Me Beach - play on Miami Beach. You can see Mr Krabbs.
- Sands of Time Desert - Prince Of Persia The Sands of Time. You can see Cyrax's head buried in the sand.
- Volcano of the Phoenix - You can see Gollum's hand with the One Ring sticking out of the lava. As an added bonus, you can get The One Ring as an accessory.
- Journey Village - Characters from the PSN game Journey.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In the first confrontation with the villain, he blasts the party so hard the players feel it, to even the GMs' shock. In the final phase of the final battle against him, he manifests into the room the players are in to kill them. Unfortunately for him, he brought the RPG mechanics with him while being much weaker himself.
- You All Meet in a Cell: How the main campaign kicks off.