By Tyler Trosper / July 7th, 2017
Have you ever wanted to get into tabletop role playing games but are too intimidated by the process? Or maybe you just don’t want to play with other people? Galaxy of Pen and Paper is an RPG that tries to capture the elements of tabletop gaming in a simpler and more streamlined experience.
In Galaxy of Pen and Paper, you not only get to create your characters, you create your GM (Game Master) as well. In the unfinished build of the game I played, I started off by creating two players. First, you decide what kind of player your character is, like if they enjoy fighting or crafting a story. For example, I chose Storyteller for one of my characters, which gives them an added perk of more XP for finishing quests. From there, you designate what each player’s character is in the game, such as their race and class. At certain points in the story, the game presents you with choices to make, and depending on the type of players your characters are, these choices will differ. For example, with a character focused on combat, they might want to fight their way out of situations, while a character that’s more into the story might try to negotiate with their enemies instead. It’s your decision which character gets their voice heard during these situations.
As for the GM, the creation is purely aesthetic, only allowing you to choose their appearance and name. It would have been interesting if you could customize them a bit further, maybe impacting the game’s difficulty in different ways. However, just like with the players, you do sometimes make choices as the GM, which can help shape the story in different ways.
Once your characters and GM are created, the GM sets the scene. The story within the story takes place in 2999, a thousand years after the the real time in the game. Your player’s characters are enslaved by the alien Vestro on a desert planet. Through a series of goofy and light-hearted events, you eventually get your own ship and leave for the stars.
The game spoofs various science fiction stories, such as Star Wars and Star Trek. The tongue-in-cheek humor never quits, even with some of the enemies you run into. My personal favorite is the living washing machine. The humor has been my favorite aspect of the game so far, and I hope it continues to not take itself so seriously in the final build.
Speaking of enemies, battles are of the typical turn-based RPG variety. However, before a battle begins, you are given the option to manually adjust how many enemies you face. In order to proceed further in a quest or the main story, these battles will have a required number of enemies to kill. If you choose to fight more than the number requested, you are rewarded with extra experience points. It’s pretty neat, and also a good way to strategize in case you are running low on HP or healing items. Do I take them all on at once or do I space them out into multiple battles?
As mentioned earlier, you are able to explore space once you get a space ship, and that’s not the only thing you can do with the ship. Space fights play out a bit differently than normal fights. Actions are simpler, boiling down to attacking and healing. However, since I only sat down with the game for a little while, I’m not sure if it becomes more complex than that.
The main problem I have with the game at the moment is something I assume will be fixed by the full release: it’s very buggy. On multiple occasions, the game would stop working during battles. Eventually, I couldn’t even launch the game. However, as I said, hopefully Behold Studios irons out these wrinkles before the game’s release in late July.
Galaxy of Pen and Paper is gearing up to be a hilarious trip through the galaxy. The premise of tabletop gaming gives it a unique spin I haven’t seen too much in digital RPGs. Behold Studios has a trend of taking pop culture concepts like tokusatsu (Chroma Squad) and turning it into an amusing experience. The same looks to be the same with tabletop RPGs and Galaxy of Pen and Paper. The game releases on July 27th for PC, Mac, and Linux.
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