RPGaDAY 2019: First Things First

First off, I should say welcome to Strange Stones & my hope-filled first day of RPGaDAY2019. I’m going to use this daily challenge thing to works towards building out a “dying earth” style setting (in the vein of Clark Ashton Smith’s Zothique or, say, Jack Vance’s aptly named Dying Earth) for use with Troika!, the nifty and delicious game from Daniel Sell.

I’ll do this the same way Troika! builds its own “default” setting – via a list of character backgrounds with flavor text that contains morsels of setting goodness. If you’re not familiar with Troika!’s character backgrounds, this may seem a little odd at first. But I’m sure you’ll catch on.

As I proceed, I’ll be taking to heart the sage advice that Ray Otus has shared on his blog regarding designing things for Troika!. You should go read that, but I’ll list his summarized points here:

  • Don’t create material for Troika! that uses dice other than d6s.
  • Utilize backgrounds to build the world; don’t write pages of setting lore.
  • Be mindful when you write skills! Make them sufficiently narrow/situational.
  • Whenever possible, create material that is flexible – without a narrow focus on combat.

What Roads To Madness Does He Travel?

My method, after starting with #1 today (when the prompt is First), will be to roll a d66 to determine the prompt for each subsequent day’s prompt rather than following the numbered path laid out in the graphic put together for RPGaDAY2019 (see previous post). I had originally intended to make this a d30 table, but hewing to the aforementioned design advice, I decided to be true to the game and use the d66 approach. This required some additions to get to the required 36 options, which you’ll see below.

Note that I’m not going to eliminate already rolled results, so it’s quite likely I won’t hit all of the prompts and that I’ll wind up using duplicate prompts over the course of the month. What can I say? I’m a gamer – I like dice and random things.

A Savory Spread Upon The Table

Here’s the list of prompts in a d66 table format, with my additions in the 61-66 section to make it work as such, for reference:

11. Unique
12. Engage
13. Share
14. Space
15. Ancient
16. Familiar
21. Obscure
22. Critical
23. Focus
24. Examine
25. Friendship
26. Mystery
31. Guide
32. Door
33. Dream
34. One
35. Plenty
36. Scary
41. Noble
42. Vast
43. Lost
44. Surprise
45. Triumph
46. Calamity
51. Idea
52. Suspense
53. Love
54. Evolve
55. Connection
56. Last
61. Roll Again
62. Roll Again, Reversing Die Order
63. Use 1d6 Previous Days’ Roll
64. Use 1d6 Previous Day’s Roll reversed
65. Use 1d6 Previous Days’ Roll plus 1d6 steps
66. Use 1d6 Previous Days’ Roll minus 1d6 steps

For any result from the 6x sequence that results in wrapping around the table, I will skip the 6x sequence when counting out the wrap. Otherwise it could get hairy.

What Other Troubles Lurk At The Edge Of Perception?

Should I find that I’m just rocking out on this – as opposed to being stumped, hating everything, and wishing I hadn’t ever started it – I may include more in any given post than the one promised background. If I do, it’s likely to be a creature that is somehow related to the background. Fortunately, Ray Otus has some thoughts on those, too. Or maybe a spell. Or a drawing of a fig.

What Treasures Are Contained In The Nigh-Infinite Web?

If all of this intrigues you, there are a couple of other very cool Troika! resources out there, most notably an online character generator which draws backgrounds not just from the Troika! rulebook, but also from various other internet sources, which it cleverly links to so that you can find them for yourself. Or you can just look at the code to see all of them.

Another place to visit and ponder is the Troika! Appreciation Society group on MeWe. Some fine folks there have posted some interesting content indeed.

When All Is Said And Done?

If this goes well, maybe I’ll keep working on the setting. If all goes poorly, maybe I won’t. I do aim not to flame out or get all Geek ADD and switch what I’m doing every three days. For now, though, I will leave you wondering just what tomorrow brings.

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7 thoughts on “RPGaDAY 2019: First Things First

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      It really is. It’s hallucinogenic in all the right and legal ways. It’s subtle like an assassin’s blade and strong as Turkish coffee. Get yer teeth back into it, G-Man. You’re one of the people I always figured would get the most out of it, what with your love of (and talent for) evocative settings set free by simple systems. Dig it!

  1. G-Man

    And . . . snagged! Because I never could resist ‘weird’ and ‘British.’ Will have an extended look.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      It is indeed. Though that’s a bit like saying KITT was a Trans Am. It’s technically true, but also it’s so much more 🙂

  2. Narmer

    Oh, I’m looking forward to this! I’ve glanced at Troika!, saw it was FF and set it aside because I have the modern AFF. I’ll have to take a closer look.

    1. the venomous pao Post author

      It definitely warrants a closer look, amigo. It approaches a few things differently than the modern AFF in ways I like and it’s just… so… flavorful.

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