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Tricube Tales: Solo Rules

Tricube Tales: Solo Rules

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Payment optional! You can download the full PDF for free by clicking on the Publisher Preview, but if you'd like to support my work, thank you!

Tricube Tales is a rules-lite roleplaying system capable of handling a wide range of different genres and settings. Its simplicity lends itself well to solo play, and it should work with most generic solo rules, but these guidelines are designed to complement the Tricube Tales one-page settings.

This product can be printed on a single sheet of paper. The first page explains how to answer questions, and offers some general advice for running solo games, while the second page explains how to structure the story, and provides random tables for scenes, locations, people, and events. The PDF uses layers for ease of printing.

Solo and GMless Gaming

Roleplaying games are traditionally played with a Game Master, who runs the adventure and answers the players’ questions. By contrast, these rules are designed for playing without a Game Master, using dice and random tables (usually called “oracle tables” in the solo gaming community) to provide interpretive answers—much like flipping a coin, using a Magic 8-Ball, or rolling Story Cubes.

So why play without a GM? Sometimes it may be difficult to find a group willing to play your favorite game, or prove impossible to schedule a time that suits everyone. Or perhaps you’re in lockdown during the pandemic and have limited internet access, or simply don’t like playing online. You might even have a regular group, but find that nobody wants to be the Game Master, so you’d like some way to play without one.

One-Page Settings

Tricube Tales offers a selection of micro-settings that double up as standalone one-page RPGs, and once you’ve read a few it should be easy to create your own. You can also combine two or more to create your own mash-up scenarios—for example, Metahuman Uprising and Rotten Odds could make an interesting game about superheroes surviving a zombie apocalypse (perhaps that experimental super serum is tied to the zombie outbreak?), while Interstellar Troopers could push Chrome Shells & Neon Streets into a distant future reminiscent of Altered Carbon. And of course, Interstellar Bounty Hunters fits very nicely with Interstellar Laser Knights!

Card-Based Story Structure

One problem I ran into with my earlier solo rules is that the story would sometimes start to drift aimlessly. I could use random events to keep the action flowing, but it didn’t feel like the story was moving toward a decisive conclusion unless I actively pushed it. So I decided to introduce some rules to give the story a bit more structure.

I used playing cards for a few reasons. They create a psychological divide from the challenges (so it doesn’t feel like you’re just rolling dice over and over), they provide a visual aid to track your progress through the scenes, and because you can never draw the same card twice it helps balance out the difficulty (e.g., if you draw a hard challenge this scene, you’re more likely to draw an easy or standard challenge next time—and the longer you go without a scene change or plot advancement, the more likely you are to draw one in the future).

Many of my older adventures used a fixed five-scene structure which I’ve found works well, but for solo gaming, I wanted to make the adventure length less predictable, so I tied it to the card suits. Each adventure has at least 5 scenes, but can potentially stretch as far as 9, so you can’t be sure exactly when the final scene will arrive (although you’ll know when it’s getting close).

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Don’t forget to pick up some micro-settings (one-page RPGs) to go with the Solo Rules!

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Product Information
Copper seller
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Pages
2
File Size:
2.35 MB
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Original electronic
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File Last Updated:
May 14, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on May 14, 2021.