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Tricube Tales

Tricube Tales

Phone PDF

Payment is optional! You can download the full PDF by clicking on the Publisher Preview. If you’d like to support the product by paying a dollar, you’ll also receive the tablet version (4:3 aspect ratio—this also looks good on laptops and desktop computers when using “Two Page View” in Acrobat Reader) and a Word document version (convenient if you want to copy the text for your own products).

What is Tricube Tales?

This product started out as a simple set of guidelines I created to run short games for my five-year-old son. However, I found the rules worked really well for adults as well, so I decided to expand them into a full game.

  • Versatile: Tricube Tales is a rules-light roleplaying system capable of handling a wide variety of genres and settings.
  • Portable: Games require little preparation or bookkeeping, and the PDF is designed for reading on a 16:9 aspect ratio smartphone screen, so you’ll always have the rules at hand.
  • Free: You can download the full Phone PDF for free by clicking on the Publisher Preview, and the entire text has been released under the CC BY 3.0 license, meaning you can also use it for your own commercial publications.

Character Creation

The player makes up an archetype, a perk, and a quirk. An archetype consists of a trait (agile, brawny or crafty) followed by a concept (usually a profession or calling), a perk typically represents a special ability or item, and quirk describes a foible or drawback. The entire character can be summarized in a single sentence, such as “an agile masked vigilante who is skilled with a rapier and loves to humiliate his foes, or “a brawny cyborg cop who has a cybernetic exoskeleton and is programmed to uphold the law, or even “crafty professor with telepathic superpowers who requires a wheelchair.

Resolution System

To overcome a challenge, players roll 1-3 six-sided dice (depending on their archetype) against a difficulty of 4-6 (depending on the situation), and need to succeed with at least one die. Perks can be used to reduce the difficulty, while quirks can increase it, but both are controlled by the player using karma tokens—they spend karma on perks, and recover it from quirks. This core mechanic is used for everything, including combat, and all rolls are made by the players.

Actual Play

If you want to see an Actual Play using the Tricube Tales system, check out “Tellers of Tales by Eli Kurtz and Drew Mierzejewski (note that the second episode delves more into system mastery):

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (6)
Customer avatar
Micah T November 29, 2019 2:35 am UTC
This is a great rules-light system. I've run a good bit of Lasers & Feelings for friends when we don't have time/ability to pull off more complicated RPGs. That leaves a little bit to be desired though--I prefer some rules crunch to support the narratives we weave. Tricube Tales keeps the simple character creation while opening up the field to any genre and play style and providing structure for both me as the GM and players as characters.

I just ran a game where each player was a crazy cat lady's pet trying to obtain extra food. (Because TT really can support any narrative.) The perks and quirks each of the five players chose helped differentiate their colorful characters and pushed the narrative in hilarious directions. Three sessions in, I highly recommend this system for not only one shots, but serial narrative-driven games as well.
Customer avatar
Daniel D November 11, 2019 10:36 pm UTC
Does a player get 1 Karma for a Complication caused by lack of Karma to support a Perk?

E.g. I can fly over the river (because of my Perk), but it costs a Karma. I don't want to spend it. So GM must provide some Complication (right?). Should I get a Karma for that?
Customer avatar
Richard W November 11, 2019 10:54 pm UTC
No, "If a perk allows you to overcome a challenge without a roll, it costs karma" but "you can accept a complication instead". So in effect, you gain karma for the complication, but then immediately spend it to use your perk.
Customer avatar
Daniel D November 11, 2019 10:12 pm UTC
Pardon, I didn't get how many dice a player rolls?
It's 1-3d6 through out the text. But when it's 1, when it's 2 and when it's 3 exactly?
Customer avatar
Daniel D November 11, 2019 10:15 pm UTC
Oh. It's on page 21!
I made that comment, when I have read page 20. Funny
Customer avatar
Michael H November 10, 2019 9:22 pm UTC
No preview at the moment
Customer avatar
Richard W November 10, 2019 9:25 pm UTC
You should be able to click on "Publisher Preview" directly below the cover image, or on one of the colored hyperlinks in the product description. Or just follow this link:
Customer avatar
Michael H November 10, 2019 9:21 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Jeff M November 10, 2019 3:45 pm UTC
Thanks for the free sample, I'll definitely purchase the 16:9 version.
Customer avatar
Richard W November 10, 2019 4:38 pm UTC
The free preview is the full game in 16:9, enjoy :)
Customer avatar
Jeff M November 10, 2019 7:22 pm UTC
still planning to purchase it :)
Customer avatar
Richard W November 10, 2019 8:44 pm UTC
Thanks for the support :)
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Product Information
Copper seller
Rule System(s)
File Size:
3.14 MB
Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
November 25, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on November 08, 2019.