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Video Game / Knights of Pen and Paper

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A video game RPG about controlling a group of people playing a tabletop RPG. As silly as that sounds, that's the premise behind Knights of Pen and Paper, an indie RPG, and the first game of both Behold Studios and their Of Pen and Paper series, 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.


The game received a Numbered Sequel, Knights of Pen and Paper 2 developed by Kyy Games and also published by Paradox Interactive, as well as a Sci-Fi Spiritual Successor from its original developer, Galaxy of Pen and Paper.

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.
  • Auto-Save: The game does it after resting.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Multiple:
    • 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.
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    • 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.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: Near the end of the game the opening dialogue from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is quoted. In the Brazilian version of the scene, the "ill" part of the line "Mankind ill needs a saviour such as you!" is wrongly translated as "sick" rather than "doesn't/hardly". It's hard to tell if this was done on purpose or not, given the tone of the game.
  • Bonus Boss: The most difficult boss in the game, faced after defeating all the dragon enemies in a room, is a... Mom on a kitchen? You won't be laughing anymore once she slaughters your entire party in a single turn.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: You can pay real money to obtain gold and save yourself lots and lots of cash grinding.
  • Catching Some Z's: Sleeping in an inn is represented by an icon of bed and a Z beside it.
  • Chest Monster: Mimics are referenced when the chest icon for the dungeon Random Events are selected:
    Master: Don't worry, it's not a mimic!
  • Creator Cameo: You can actually unlock and use the game developers as players. Naturally, they break the game.
  • Difficulty Spike: The random encounters at the final dungeon of the main campaign throw groups of 5 or 7 of one of the toughest enemies in the game. There is a clear gap of difficulty between those guys (plus the occasional lv70 dragon on the same dungeon) and the previous quests. Then when you get to the final boss, possibly being lucky to avoid all the encounters, you'll find out he's much easier to deal with!
  • Elite Mook: Elite monsters.
  • Foreshadowing: The "Wizards of the East Coast" location is - oddly enough - placed on the west side of the map. It's eventually revealed that this is because your world map encompasses the far eastern portion of the rest of the world.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: The King, due to being cursed into evil on more than one occasion.
  • Hipster: Is one of the players.
  • Hit Points: Called HP, presumably for "Health Points", as the "Health" stat is what it tracks, and represented by a red Life Meter.
  • 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.
  • Level-Up Fill-Up: For Hit Points and Mana.
  • Life Drain: Dark Bats may attack with an attack that heals them while damaging party members, along with a few points of Mana Burn, averaging around 2.
  • 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.
  • Mana Meter: A blue meter, called MP, presumably, for Magic Points, as the "Magic" stat is what it tracks.
  • Musical Assassin: Bards present a variation on this, in that they do damage by playing badly.
  • Mystical 108: One of the equips is a set of 108 assembled similarly to prayer beads.
  • Never Mess with Granny: One of the playable characters is actually someone's grandma, and she can become quite awesome with the right set of skills.
  • 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.)
  • Recursive Reality: On top of the example listed in the The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You entry, eventually the players pass through a mysterious portal that takes them to the real world. Both times they're still acting as their characters, and everything still runs on RPG mechanics.
  • Self-Deprecation: The team that made the first game, Behold Studios, is from Brazil, and they included a side quest where the heroes have to escort Saci, a figure from Brazilian Folklore. Saci talks like the stereotypical Brazilian troll, saying stuff like "HUEHUEHUEHUE" and "GIBE MONY PLS".
  • Shout-Out: Quite a list:
  • 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.
  • Useless Useful Spell: Zigzagged. Techniques that cause status ailments are immensely useful most of the time, including ones that cause sleep or stun status as they're perfect for managing huge hordes of enemies. Elite enemies, however, are completely immune to sleep and stun, and coincidentally every boss in the game happens to be an Elite enemy.
  • You All Meet in a Cell: How the main campaign kicks off:
    All you know is that you're a group of friends locked up in a Tower Prison for no reason at all and everyone's calling you assassins.