*As a note, the intro for this was written by Steph from TTRPGkids, and the below description was written by the project’s creator
The TTRPGkids.com review of The Librarian’s Apprentice can be found here.
Infinite, ever-shifting, and sometimes dangerous, the Great Library exists in the space between worlds and times. Among the many who call it home are the Librarians, and only those who truly understand it may join their ranks. You seek to do so.
The path of a Librarian’s apprentice is a long one. Your current task is designed to test your skills at traversing the Library and finding information. Retrieve the six documents requested by your Librarian before the day is out and you will have completed one more step on your journey.
What is The Librarian’s Apprentice?
The Librarian’s Apprentice is an all-ages solo journaling game. You play as the titular apprentice, tasked with finding six documents in the Great Library, and discovering places, patrons, and secrets along the way.
The game itself consists of two trifold brochures and a character sheet:
- The Librarian’s Apprentice, Volume I covers the game rules, actions you can take, and character creation.
- The Librarian’s Apprentice, Volume II contains the bestiary and roll tables for fleshing out areas of the library (descriptors, features, content categories, and document formats), events and secrets to discover, and complications to encounter.
- The Character Sheet is a bookmark that gives you a space to document your stats, fatigue, resources, and familiar. It also has library-related quotes on the back.
How Do You Play?
To play, you’ll need two six-sided dice (2d6), a deck of cards, some scraps of paper, a token, a method of documenting your journey, and a desk or some other flat space to create your map using the cards.
You start your adventure by creating your character. This involves deciding how good they are at various skills, giving them a name, and choosing a familiar. Next, you select truths about their background, their community, and the Library itself from provided lists. Maybe your character was found as an infant at an entrance to the Library. Maybe their family are royal librarians of a lost kingdom. Maybe the Library is a living creature. You get to decide!
Then it’s time to start exploring!
The general game loop consists of:
- Arriving in a new location and finding out if it has one of the documents you seek,
- Randomly determining features, document formats, and an event/secret for the area,
- Dealing with any complications that occur,
- Exploring the area further if you want, and
- Traveling to the next location.
And you are invited to document as much or as little about your journey as you wish. If you want to write a full-fledged story, great! Want to keep it all in your head? Also great! It’s entirely up to you and what you consider fun. You might even give yourself challenges, like only writing dialogue or sending messages back to your Librarian that are only 25 words long.
The Crowdfundr Campaign
The Librarian’s Apprentice has thus far only been available digitally. A Crowdfundr campaign will be running from June 27 to July 27, 2023, to fund a print run of the game. This campaign includes stretch goals for a library card to the Great Library, a third brochure with content for creating patrons and inhabitants of the Library, and an actual play write-up to serve as an example for new players.
Check out this project to support the creator, and, if you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!