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Tricube Tales: Solo Rules & Deck

Tricube Tales: Solo Rules & Deck

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Print-and-Play PDF + Card(s)

If you only want the Solo Rules (and not the Solo Deck), you can download them by clicking the Publisher Preview!

Tricube Tales is a rules-lite tabletop 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.

The Solo Rules can be printed double-sided on five sheets of paper: Page 1 explains how to get started and answer questions, and offers some general advice for running solo games, while page 2 explains how to structure the story. Pages 3-6 cover urban scenarios, wilderness adventures, dungeon crawls, and voyages. Page 7 covers social interaction, page 8 provides a name generator, page 9 contains rules for arcane items, and page 10 offers tag and twist tables. The PDF uses layers for ease of printing.

The Solo Deck is designed to complement the Solo Rules. Its similar to a standard deck of playing cards, except the scene tables are incorporated into the cards, so you dont need to look them up during play. Each card suit also has a different color, making it easier to track the scene progression at a glance, and there are 4 jokers in the deck. A preview of the cards is provided below (you can right-click on the image and open it in a new tab to see more detail). The Print-and-Play PDF version of the deck is intended for home printing and comes in both A4 and US Letter format, with a Virtual Tabletop version of the cards in a separate ZIP file.

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 games 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).




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


 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (3)
Discussions (5)
Customer avatar
Stephen S January 22, 2022 12:11 am UTC
Just bought it... who made the cover art BTW?
Customer avatar
Richard W January 22, 2022 8:07 am UTC
Thanks for your support! The cover and interior illustrations are by Felipe Gaona.
Customer avatar
Brian H December 17, 2021 8:14 pm UTC
I really love these tables, and the fact that there are custom playing cards makes it even better. The only thing is the complex question table is kinda confusing. The roll tables are amazing. The scene guide is wonderful too!

I am looking forward to order the cards after the holidays!
Customer avatar
Richard W December 18, 2021 12:17 pm UTC
The complex questions are just a matter of rolling on the table and interpreting the result in a way that fits the question. For example, if you ask "What are the goblins doing?", a result of "betrayal" might mean they're plotting to overthrow their chief, while "neglect" might mean they're slacking off work, "barrier" might mean they're walling up a tunnel, etc. But (as mentioned in the advice section) don't overthink it, just go with whatever answer first springs to mind!

The secondary table for the complex questions is designed to help tie the answer to other elements of the story (but only occurs on a double, so it's not overused). For example, let's say you're playing Rotten Odds, you've rolled 1/1/1 on the adventure generator, and you've decided to use the examples on the back page. That means the main plot involves rescuing a survivor from the roof of a shopping mall while dealing with a biker gang. You see the bikers driving around and ask what they're...See more
Customer avatar
Mathias B November 29, 2021 6:32 am UTC
Currently can't leave a review.
Just wanted to say: Wow, from skimming I'm quite fascinated. This has all I was wishing for in such a concise way. The art is also quite fitting. Although it isn't free anymore, it's worth the money if you want to try solo. And it's quite adaptable to any system or setting.
Well done (as usual) ;-)
Customer avatar
Richard W November 29, 2021 7:18 am UTC
Hi Mathias, thanks for your kind words, I'm glad you like it! The "free" comment from Benji is probably a reference to the product description, which mentions you can download the solo rules (without the deck) by clicking the Publisher Preview. That's the hyperlink under the cover image -- if you're viewing this product page through DriveThruCards rather than DriveThruRPG, the link is instead called "View Rulebook".

This is important for people who buy the physical (print-on-demand) version of the deck, because otherwise they'd have no rules to go with it. However, it also means people can download the rules PDF for free if they don't want the deck (although of course, I appreciate the support from those who do buy it).
Customer avatar
Benji T September 27, 2021 6:50 pm UTC
Thank you for making the solo rules free! Such a wealth of random tables!
Customer avatar
Richard W September 27, 2021 7:43 pm UTC
You're welcome, I'm glad you found them useful!
Customer avatar
Fernando C August 27, 2021 1:40 pm UTC
Any chance for a more printer-friendly version?
Customer avatar
Richard W August 27, 2021 1:58 pm UTC
If you mean for the rules: You can switch off the background layer (and the artwork as well if you like) in Acrobat Reader before printing.
Customer avatar
Fernando C August 27, 2021 2:46 pm UTC
Awesome! I did not realize there were layers!
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File Last Updated:
December 24, 2021
This title was added to our catalog on May 14, 2021.