It’s time to blast tabletop role-playing right into space. Consider it the final frontier, if you will. Ahem. Galaxy of Pen & Paper follows in the footsteps of the previous Pen & Paper games by simultaneously celebrating and poking fun at RPG conventions and pop culture in general.
Except, you know, in space.
The fun thing is that if you’ve played turn-based RPGs before, there’s not a lot that will stump you. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind while adventuring throughout the galaxy, which is why we’ve put together these Galaxy of Pen & Paper Tips, Cheats and Strategies to aid you in your quest to find all the DICE and find your fame among the stars.
Don’t leave Earth without them.
Pick Your Characters Carefully
A balanced party has always been a plus in the Pen & Paper games, but it’s even more important in Galaxy because you start your adventures with just two characters. That can make things a bit hairy early on if you don’t pick two to complement each other.
Happily, you have choices, as you can pick your characters’ role-player, species and class. Let’s take a look at each choice.
Your role-player is the real life (well, in-game “real life,” if that makes any sense) person playing the Galaxy of Pen & Paper character. The choice here comes down to stat bonuses and a unique passive skill.
- Achiever: +1 Power, +1 Senses, achieves bonuses for each achieved achievement.
- Buddy: +1 Power, +1Body, slight chance he will join other characters’ attacks.
- Showoff: +1 Mind, +1 Senses, may counter enemy attacks.
- Slayer: +2 Power, recovers some HP each time he finishes off an enemy.
- Socializer: +1 Body, +1 Mind, receives huge discount on weapons and armor upgrades.
- Storyteller: +2 Senses, gains more XP for finishing quests.
- Thinker: +2 Mind, doesn’t end turn on strategic movements.
- Romantic: +2 Body, increases chances of positive travel events.
Sci-fi isn’t just for humans! Your choice of species, while limited, impacts your starting stats and introduces another passive ability.
- Human: Starts with +2 in every stat, begins with 3 points to buy new skills and can equip an extra gadget.
- Green: Starts with +1 in Power and Body but +3 in Mind and Senses, has a chance to not spend SP when skills are cast.
- Simian: Starts with +3 in Power and Body but +1 in Mind and Senses, has slight chance to damage adjacent targets upon a successful attack.
What is your character best at? Their class selection will seal the deal. Different classes have vastly different skills, making this choice the most important. Still, the idea is to have all three choices work together to create the most effective finished product.
- Bounty Hunter: Trips enemies up with speed and traps.
- Engineer: Supports the party and blows stuff up.
- Gadgeteer: Hacks into mechs, lifeforms, the game …
- Trooper: Heavy guns to force enemies into submission.
Since you have just a party of two to start the game, a good way to go is to create one front line combatant (Bounty Hunter or Trooper) and one support character (Engineer or Gadgeteer). And no worries: without spoiling the plot, you will have a chance to increase the size of your party later on.
Bonus tip: Look for special side quests that unlock new character classes as you progress in the game, but you might want to hold off on tackling them until your characters are at least level 10.
Skills (to Pay the Bills?)
Not happy with the roles your characters fall into after you first make them? Good news, then, because the skill system in Galaxy of Pen & Paper is flexible enough for you to change them as you play.
Each character can have four skills split between active and passive skills. Active skills can actually be used in combat and are activated simply by tapping the icon and paying the necessary amount of SP. Often these are attacks, but usually they cause status effects or do something other than just damage. There are also healing and support skills. Passive skills, as you might expect, don’t need to be activated and grant their benefits at all times.
At the beginning of the game, your characters will start out with two generic skills that can change the positions of an ally or enemy and two more specific to their class. You can view the current skill loadout at any time in the character sheet, which you’ll find by tapping on the icon at the bottom of the game screen.
As your characters level up, they earn points to unlock new skills at the rate of one per level. Certain skills can take up to five points to unlock, so you may have to save up, but the important thing to remember is that once a skill is unlocked, you can always swap it into one of the four slots at any time. This allows you to change up your characters’ roles as you add to the party or even to tackle specific bosses. There’s a lot of flexibility in this system, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of it.
Take Your Turn: The Basics of Ground Combat
Played the previous Pen & Paper games? Sweet, then you can probably skip this section. If you haven’t, unless you’re completely new to RPGs in general, you’ll get the gist of what’s going on when fights start pretty quickly.
Galaxy uses a turn-based combat system with an initiative system that means every character and enemy has a specific order to act, displayed in the bar at the very top of the screen. The order can be altered by Stun or Slow effects, but otherwise it remains the same throughout a battle.
When one of your characters takes a turn, he or she can either use a basic attack, signified by the fist icon, activate a skill with their own icons, use a consumable item from your inventory via the pill icon or use the chess piece icon to access strategic options, including waiting and fleeing (which needs a d20 roll to see if it works). Skills other than the basic attack use SP, indicated by the blue bar under each character; skills for which you don’t have enough SP will be grayed out during your turn.
Since this is a sci-fi game, each character (and many enemies) has a shield that is indicated by a gray overlay on their health meter. Most attacks deplete shields first before reducing character’s HP, though some skills allow shields to be bypassed to varying degrees. Shields regenerate at the rate of several points per turn, and there are numerous skills and consumables that can be used to manipulate that rate.
Bonus tip: Using a consumable does not end a character’s turn, a very useful thing to keep in mind at all times. It’s possible to heal yourself or a teammate before attacking, or recover SP with an item before using a big skill. This will save your butt during tough boss battles, guaranteed.
There Are Space Battles Too
Because you can’t just expect to fly from one plane to another and jump through warp gates to different systems without running into a few hostile ships along the way. Space combat is slightly different from fighting on the ground but also pretty simple in its own way.
When it’s your ship’s turn to act, you’ll see a die roll (and upgrading the die you use is one of the main ongoing quests in the game) that indicates how many AP you have, along with actions you can take at the bottom of the screen and the number of AP they cost. You can then perform as many actions as your AP will allow, in any order you desire.
There’s a trick, though: performing the same action more than once costs more AP. Your ships basic attack is the best example; it costs just 1 AP to fire the first time but 2 AP the second time and 3 the third time. So if you end up with 6 AP, you’ll be able to attack three times, not six.
You’ll also have access to ship-specific consumable that can be used at any time during your turn just by tapping on them. Usually these modify your AP total in some way, either re-rolling the die or by outright giving you extra AP.
Oh, there are shields in space battles too, but they activate based on a percentage chance for each different kind of ship, so there’s nothing you need to do to use them.
Bonus tip: AP can be saved between turns, so don’t feel the need to spend them all. An extra AP or two could turn the tide of battle in your favor the next turn, especially since it only takes 2 AP to heal some of your damage.
The Wonders of the Mission Creator
While its predecessors had some non-linear elements, Galaxy of Pen & Paper allows you to ignore and then resume the main storyline at will. Tackling other quests can be done using the Misson Creator, which you can find by tapping on the list-looking icon near the upper-left corner of the game screen.
Main storyline missions can be started here as well, but when you just want to level up characters or do something other than advancing the story, this is the place to come. Among the mission types you’ll find are …
- Hunt: Travel to a specific planet and take out a boss. You’ll have to defeat some of their underlings first.
- Intercept: Tackle a space battle at the behest of an NPC.
- Collect: Head to a specified world and collect items for an NPC. Usually involves some combat.
- Escort: Ensure an NPC gets somewhere safely. Expect to get attacked along the way.
For successfully completing missions, you’ll earn Reputation points that can grant you ongoing bonuses once you’ve crossed certain thresholds. Alas, fall in battle and you’ll lose Reputation too, which kind of makes sense if you think about it.