Tiny Library is an upcoming collection of role-playing games (the tabletop kind) that takes everything you know about them and strips them back until they’re as small, simple and experimental as they can be.
Influenced by the culture surrounding itch.io game design jams, Tiny Library comes as a deck of 50 cards, with each single card having an entire RPG printed on it. How do you cram an entire role-playing experience onto a single card? Like this:
That’s just one of the 50 included in the deck, with most of them being kept a secret until you open them so that you can be truly surprised by some of the weird and wonderful stuff that designers have come up with. Like this one, which is just about farming some crops:
Each game has been created by a separate designer, picked from 90 submissions the publishers received; Tiny Library is an anthology, not the product of a single team of developers, so the themes, systems and art behind each game are going to be as different as they could be.
While some players might find this jarring, that’s kinda the point. Publishers Long Tail Games say they’ve tried to be “as hands-off and ‘punk’ as possible”, meaning “the chosen games were not modified, edited or changed in any way except to ensure they each fit on a single bridge-size playing card”.
This means that as a collection the games don’t really follow any rules; some can be played solo, others in parties. Some are designed to be played standalone, others can be dropped into bigger campaigns. Some contain beautiful little stories with some art and detailed instructions, others are some basic icons that want you to just have at it.
Tiny Library is currently up on Kickstarter, with physical copies available for AUD$15 (which works out to be around USD$10-11).