What makes you, you? Is it your name? Is it where you’re from? Is it your memories and experiences? In the rainbow fantasy world of Found, you and your companions can explore the depths of identity, self-expression, and yourselves. There are diverse people that you will meet that may need your help, secrets to uncover, and places to explore. Fear not, there is no right or wrong way to play. The important thing is to have fun, be yourself, and make some friends!

A square image of a cute dragon and the word "FOUND" at the top.

For my final project of my Capstone at the University of Washington’s MLIS program, I worked with two of my peers to develop a tabletop role-playing game (think: Dungeons & Dragons, if you’re not familiar with TTRPGs) to encourage people to think about gender in new ways.

If you want to access this project, you can do so through this link to our Google Drive Folder! It includes the Game Leader’s Guide and the Player’s Guide that you can use to run a game yourselves, as well as a metadata schema about TTRPG mechanics that we developed as a preliminary step for this project.

The Game Leader’s Guide includes an adventure scenario (basically a pre-made micro-story that you can follow that includes a plot, locations, items, and non-player characters), but you’re completely welcome to develop your own stories and places in the world! The only caveat: this project is held under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike License, which means that you’re free to develop your own things and share them with people so long as you don’t try to sell anything or try to claim it as your own.

This is our official description:

In order to go beyond the “Trans 101” programming common within libraries, we developed Found, a tabletop role-playing game and discussion inspired by the well-known Mission to Mars passive education and problem-solving activity. Between experiences-based character creation, diverse non-player characters, flexible abilities, a soft tone to allow for vulnerability, a setting that encourages engagement with systemic issues, thought-provoking puzzles, and contemplative discussion questions, Found is a program designed to foster transgender community while giving space to comfortably explore gender, while also increasing cultural competency of cisgender allies.

The advertising poster for the TTRPG Found, which includes objectives such as "Give everyone a space to explore and question their relationship with their gender identity". It also includes a section on the origins of the project, which were a response to Seattle Public Library's choice to allow a transphobic hate group to sell tickets to one of their events at SPL Central. There is an image of a dragon and a map of the Vibrant Plains, the larger setting of the story.

This was a long project I was really happy to work on, and I hope that folks also find it enjoyable!

If you’d like to check out how to play the game and maybe start a session or campaign of your own, go check out the project at our Google Drive here!