A Necromancer, a Nunslinger and a Temple Knight of Telak the Swordbringer walk into a dungeon…
We had made characters and agreed to play the following Friday. I knew how I wanted to prepare but didn’t get to it until the Friday afternoon before the game. I had read the rules but couldn’t quite picture the initiative system but was game to try. I grabbed a Dyson Logos map from this book (always worth every penny, even if it wasn’t just a way to say thanks for the tremendous library of free maps and it isn’t just that). I numbered areas, coming up with about 12, so I could still come up with something random with 6 siders if I needed to.
I like how in this game everything is random.Charlotte, providing my AHA! moment with Troika
Jotted down a 2-12 list, 2 is always a Wizard and 12 is always a Dragon. I rolled a bunch of times, putting results into rooms and the place made sense – an ecology was developing. It was nothing complicated but enough to understand what was in each area and how it was all interacting. I had a haunted dungeon with a Mirror Demon in its depths. There were constructs guarding certain rooms and giant beetles who had been summoned by recent adventurers and then abandoned. There were questions I didn’t have answers to and that was fine.
It was a mess. I liked it but I still wasn’t sure how to describe anything. What did the floor feel like? What were the doorways like?
Random tables are world-building.Stras
I made a mad-libs with the following:
This place was made by the BLANK when they were at war with the BLANK.
It was re-purposed by the BLANK, when they were on the run from the BLANK.
When we got together to game, I asked everyone to roll on the d66 chargen table that we used to make characters, continuing to use it for world-building. Since the game was set up to celebrate Ken helping me get the mailbox up, he rolled twice.
This place was made by the Wizard Hunters when they were at war with the Sorcerers of the Academy of Doors.
It was re-purposed by the Lonesome Monarch, when they were on the run from the Zoanthropists.
Now I can see this place clearly. Love it. Mad libs and the d66 chargen table it is from here on in. I am going to make random tables with solid world-building and cool choices. If a boring result occurs, the table was made poorly. If something doesn’t make sense, we haven’t applied science-fantasy Troikan! logic to it hard enough or waited until the answer becomes clear.
In future uses of the d66 table as a mad libs dungeon/world building tool, I’ll use the character concept’s equipment for treasure ideas.
Troika! is fun. I might replace a few of the choices on the d66 chart rolled for chargen. A few feel off to me. I house-ruled the damage roll away, using the higher of the 2d6 to-hit dice as the damage result. The initiative system is really fun. We used some Campaign Coins and a dice bag. Next time I’ll throw the bag around and ask everyone to take a pick to decide who goes next.
The way characters learn skills is fun and fast. I love learning systems in games. When the players met a Wizard-Robot (a robot made to look like a wizard) the Wizard Hunters had used for training, it taught the necromancer how to fire the laser pistol the ghost nun had given her in return for a successful therapy session and it taught the petulant teen with six swords on his back to use those swords a bit better. The way to make a ruling on that to make it happen was clear with the rules scaffolding given.
The real question is, how long until I write up my own d66 tables and start making my own Troika! hack. I can feel its pull.
How’d the game go in the mirror-demon haunted Wizard Hunter enclave turned Lonesome Monarch hideaway? When Charlotte said, “I didn’t think I would be learning how to fire a laser pistol given to me by a ghost nun,” I considered it a win. Those are the kinds of sentences this kind of science-fantasy generates so beautifully, piercing the gloom like the Nunslinger’s pistol’s blue laser bolts.
The petulant teen with 6 swords on his back sat on the magic artifact that the Sky Monarchs had used to travel the worlds and see the sunsets and starscapes of a thousand thousand skies – the Throne of Winds.
The wind asked, “Where do you want go, Sky Monarch?”
The runaway Temple Knight of Telak the Swordbringer replied, “Someplace cool.”
The next game is taking place in the Temple of Ten Thousand Swords.
Blog of Judd Karlman from Daydreaming about Dragons