Reading No Thank You Evil made me feel like a kid again, and for good reason. It’s a tabletop RPG designed specifically to be kid friendly. It immediately put me in mind of using origami models as avatars for the player characters. Not necessarily in the sense of using maps and miniatures, but just to have something in front of them to see and touch.
That ended up being the precursor to many of the thoughts that have led up to beginning work on Paper Talisman, which I’ll cover later.
For now, it got me thinking about how to use origami models as props at the table. Traditional origami models (crane, frog, fish, etc) could all easily become characters in a world made of paper. Think Gumbo or Kubo (which is my JAM), only everything is made of paper. I started a write-up on a setting for a one shot game.
No Thank You Evil uses a pool of resources for your stats, and there are four of them, so what better way to represent that than an inverted cootie catcher / fortune teller? (Bonus points for the Castles and Crusades sourcebook I got at the raffle at AcadeCon in November!)
Since your players characters are traditional origami models, what sort of challenges would they face? That got the wheels turning in the usual punny directions…
- (Navy) SEALs
- An Emperor penguin
- A polar bear who tells awful jokes (wocka wocka)
- A trio of walruses named Coo, Kooka, and Choo
- An orca name Bill who says nothing in life is free
But the big idea I had for the villains was that the most terrifying thing a character might face in a world made of paper would be abominations… pieced together from the cut apart bodies of their friends. Dark, yeah?
So that’s where we get to the evil Lord Scissors, and his lieutenant, a Tape Sorcerer. And they’re the only humans anyone has ever heard of. They’re creating Frankenstein’s monster-esque chimeras using tape! I’ll admit that part of me is uncomfortable with how much this reinforces stereotypes about “real” origami being one uncut square sheet, but this was a first draft.
Anyway, I commissioned the awesome Quinn Wilson to draw up the two big bads, and here they are without further ado: