A substantial part of my work day is spent on Twitter, following conversations and tracking trending topics. While it’s one of the better ways to keep track of the indie tabletop RPG space, specifically, the practice constantly harms my already strained mental health.
Then, every so often, something crosses the timeline that hits like a second cup of coffee in the late morning. Sanctum of the Ori Magi, a Mausritter-compatible adventure from writer Brian Stauffer, caught my attention not for its design, art or construction - at least not in the traditional sense - but with a gif of him folding and unfolding the printed pamphlet seemingly without end. I was still watching after ten loops, a wide and goofy smile plastered on my face.
I've just released Sanctum of the Ori Magi, a short origami-themed adventure for the @mausritter RPG laid out on an infinity card for extra paper folding fun!— Brian Stauffer (@brstf) September 15, 2021
Links to the adventure and a template to make your own infinity card below pic.twitter.com/1JgC3Xk5Tz
The printed roleplaying game adventure, folded like an infinity card, packs a surprising amount of information into the same real estate as a front and back sheet of A5 paper. One fold takes players from the cover, which explains the background and provides plot hooks and game setup information, to the dungeon layout and whatever treasure and traps lay inside. Folding again expands the center of the construction for encounter information, and a final horizontal fold displays the dungeon's denizens, both dastardly and demure (sorry).
I’m a sucker for pamphlet games and zines, especially those that toy with its physical form. Sanctum of the Ori Magi is an inspired bit of work that seems a natural fit for Mausritter’s diminutive world. Every line of text and stippled illustration can be held in one hand, making this a handy supplement that will likely fit in the title’s box set, whether from the first print run or the second that recently finished crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
The origami inspiration extends further than just the pun in the title and the document layout. Mausritter’s system is all about players filling the tiny shoes of brave rodents and delving into remarkably dangerous locations, and this is no different. An origami swan leads the group to a paper realm ruled by a lich who wants the entire world to, ahem… fold beneath their influence.
Along the way, players can learn to create origami pets that they can create at the table using included instructions, learn paper-based magic spells and attain unique items such as the petal flower, talking papers or bone folder. One of the most powerful of these is a piece of paper enchanted to take on six different forms, depending on the wielder's needs - a simple paper shield can become a glider, sword, hat or (relatively) gigantic paper boat. All of these fit with Mausritter’s unique equipment rules, where weapons, armour and dungeoneering gear take up physical inventory slots, limiting what each character can bring with them into the wilds.
The adventure is available on Stauffer’s Itch.io page for a steal at $2.00 (£1.45), containing both an infinity card version and a decidedly more boring one that’s friendly with digital devices and screen readers. He also includes a link to a generic infinity card template for those who want to grasp this mote of practical paper-based magic for themselves.