Troika Initiative

The initiative of Troika! is difficult to simulate in any way other than as it is presented in the book, but here are a few ideas.


1-Number list


This is my least favourite but highest fidelity solution to not using the token bag. Write a numbered list of the participants of a fight, each with as many instances of their name as they should have initiative tokens with #1 being END TURN.

So:


  1. End turn
  2. Bob
  3. Bob
  4. Billy
  5. Billy
  6. Brian
  7. Brian
  8. Orc
  9. Orc
  10. etc...
To generate the number you're got to random.org to get it without having to come up with some magic dice yoga.


2-Divining


Do this, it's probably better.

Change "initiative 2" to "initiative d6", 3 to d8 and 4+ to d12.

Now gather up the dice or make everyone roll seperately. Resolve the initiatives by counting backwards from the highest. Anyone rolling a 1 doesn't act.


3-Kind of the same old same old


Or this. Roll 1 d6 for each point of initiative you have, resolve them in order from top to bottom (lots of simultaneous actions) and ignore any 1s.

Call of Cutroika

or How To Do Sanity in Troika!

Keep everything as it is but add a sanity score that every player character possesses. Their sanity is equal to d6+6.

Terrifying situations, interaction with outsider entities, psychic attacks and so on can drain your sanity. When exposed to this potential drain you test your sanity by rolling 2d6 looking to roll under your current score. If you fail you lose sanity according to the source.

Dead body - 1
Brutally butchered dead body - d3
Ghost - d3+1
Some kind of body horror thing - d6
Catroika Himself - 6d6

Exposure to cosmic terror drains even the most fortified mind. Some creatures or situations will have an automatic sanity drain. You express it as [automatic drain]/[drain if you fail a sanity test]. To repeat the above examples:

Dead body - 0/1
Brutally butchered dead body - 0/d3
Ghost - 1/d3+1
Some kind of body horror thing - 1/d6
Cutroika Himself - 6/6d6

So like Call of Cthulhu, right?


Running Out of Sanity


I like the Victorian melodrama school of insanity. Keep it light and only vaguely comical.

When you hit negative sanity and every time you lose any sanity thereafter roll d66:

11 - Fainting fit. Unconscious for d6 minutes.
12 - Trembling. Until you remove yourself from the situation you tremble uncontrollably. -2 to all rolls.
13 - Panic. Test your luck every time you gain initiative or wish to take some kind of action. If you fail you flee from of the presence of the sanity drain.
14 - Dumbstruck by the uncaring cosmos. You drop what you're holding and just stand there staring for d6 initiative rounds. Can be led but won't defend themselves.
15 - Get them off me! Overwhelmed by the feeling of crawling insects you tear at your skin and pull at your hair. Take no action until you successfully test your luck, while losing 1 stamina per turn due to your scratching.
16 - Unburden yourself. You strip off your clothes and possessions and then sit in a corner hugging your knees or knee analogue. Takes one round per 3 burdensome items carried to fully disrobe, starting from the top of the list.
21 - Wild eyed. People meeting you notice something a bit off. You now have a case of the crazy eyes. People will also tend to remember seeing you, making blending in to crowds awkward.
22 - Tongues. You babble uncontrollably for d6 days. You can reduce your volume but can not stay completely quiet. If you roll a 6 it is permanent.
23 - Mute. You suffer acute aphasia, unable to speak for d6 days. If you roll a 6 it is permanent.
24 - Incomprehension. Words on the page no longer make sense, they slip and slide to confound you. Lasts for d6 days. If you roll a 6 it is permanent.
25 - Trichotillomania. From this day on you nervously pull out your hair. You do it out of sight or at least infrequently, but your patchy baldness stands as evidence.
26 - Hyperventilation. You skip your next turn due to this nervous attack, but are otherwise ok.
31 - Dyskinethsia. Once per game the GM may ask for you to test your luck or perform an involuntary spastic motion.
32 - Akathisia. You constantly fidget about, twiddling, hopping from foot to foot, you can't stay still. Otherwise fine.
33 - Mental callouses. You lose one permanent sanity point and then return to your new maximum sanity score.
34 - Steeled. Now you've seen everything. Gain one permanent sanity.
35 - Cosmic insight. Gain one spell at rank 1 from the random spell list.
36 - Berserk. Gain d6 skill but you must attack someone every initiative. Lasts d6 turns.
41 - Nervous vomiting. Spend a round evacuating your guts, lose 1 stamina. Otherwise fine.
42 - You are strangely ok with this
43 - Gnashing of teeth. Lose d6 teeth.
44 - Kleptomania. The GM will arbitrarily assign items from your environment to your inventory. This might be from other players, or it might be evil ancient artefacts.
45 - Pyromania. When around fire you must test your luck every hour or burn something significant.
46 - Compulsive diet. You secretly eat some inedible substance as a coping mechanism. This costs 1 stamina per day and lasts for d6 months. On a 6 it is permanent.
51 - Hysterical laughter. You laugh in the face of madness! And laugh and laugh and laugh. This continues for d6 hours. If you roll a 6 you die from laughter right there on the floor.
52 - Auditory hallucinations. You hear a loud ringing, screaming, whispering, crunching or other unpleasant sound which distracts you. -1 to all rolls for d6 days, if you roll a 6 it is permanent.
53 - Delirium. You can move and talk but no longer know where you are or what you're supposed to be doing. -4 to all rolls due to confusion and incoherence. Lasts d6 days, if you roll a 6 it is permanent.
54 - Mad flight. If there is a window you will smash through it, if not you bash your head against the wall or a floor until it passes. Damage as falling or as club, lasts d6 turns.
55 - Auto mutilation. You start harming yourself with whatever you're holding. Deal damage to yourself every turn until you successfully test you luck. May defend yourself but do nothing else.
56 - Never the same again. No outward signs, but you lose 1 point of permanent sanity because of the experience.
61 - Screaming forever. You never stop screaming, ever. After d6 days you lose the ability to speak at all and it goes quiet.
62 - Hysterical blindness. For d6 turns you are completely blind. You recover fully when it ends.
63 - You scream like an animal with its leg in a vice, raw and disturbing. Everyone else must test their sanity or lose 0/d6. You stop screaming when removed from the source of terror. People test only once.
64 - It cannot be unseen, but you try. You attempt to gouge your eyes out. Test your luck. If you fail you succeed and suffer 3d6 stamina loss.
65 - Fugue state. You gain no experience checks from any rolls made during this game (including prior to the event) because you don't remember it. You wake up at the beginning of the next game feeling very confused.
66 - Scared to death. Make a new character




Regaining Sanity and fixing your donkey brain


If you spend a night in safety and comfort you return to maximum sanity. Dungeons and the wilderness never count.

If you have a permanent madness then you're shit out of luck. Put out feelers for a Width Doctor or Oneiromancer and hope they can help.

Hex Mapping Notebook

I wanted hex grid paper and all I could find was a guy who copied some online templates and sold them for a fortune on Amazon. So I made my own without copying them like an arse and for a fraction of the price.

GET THEM HERE

They're A6 notebooks, saddle stitched, with thick enough paper that you could probably get pretty heavy with the colours, and plenty of space for you to blab on. One of these could contain months and months of games that you scribbled together on the bus.


The intention on how to use them is that you'd link the maps together inside the book by writing page references on the borders, telling you what maps link where. Or you could create a single big scale map and then do loads of sub hexes and reference them that way. I like the first method, since you end up with a much weirder map if you collate them, kinda like this.

Someone better buy these, 'cos I didn't make many and I intend to use the crap out of them.

6 What's in the box?


  1. A smaller box, which contains a still smaller box, which in turn has a smaller box. Make the player think this is a stupid joke but roll a d100. That is the final box, in which is the portal to a pocket dimension containing a dead sorcerers wealth. Any boxes past 20 or so will be extremely hard to open, requiring microscopes and special instruments and hired experts.
  2. Your own severed head! Not really, it's just a wizard-joke. If you're unlucky you die of a heart attack. If you survive you find that the power source for the magic head illusion is a ruby the size of your nose. 
  3. Skittles.
  4. Wax. Inside the wax you can barely make out a dark patch of something. 50/50 chance it's nerve gas (lucky or lose one skill to permanent brain damage) or a magical bar of lead that when rubbed on food makes it taste delicious and nutritious. Turn anything masticable into a ration. The wax tastes like brown bread.
  5. A tiny person has made it his tiny house. His will fire a tiny blunderbuss at the adventurers to warn them off while his tiny wife gathers up the valuables and runs out through the back door. 2d6 coins worth of tiny silverware.
  6. Skittles, but just the yellow ones.


Goodbye Instructions for Crushing It

Spread that shit around,
Spread it so thin you can't see it,
Spread it through aerosols and tell them you're the cleaning lady,
(comment on how fresh it smells)

If they won't sit down and rub the armchair,
If they won't roll on the floor in front of the fire,
There is nothing you can do,
Except shut the door and bolt it and pass notes underneath explaining the process by which they can never return to your halogen heaven.

Take out the bulbs and stomp them,
(you don't need eyes)
Pass the shards under the door one by one,
They now have the tools to make their own.

Spread it
Shut it
Crush it

6 Villains


  1. Punctilious Redgrave. Believes the gods' monopoly of ambrosia is tyrannical and must be broken. His agents have infiltrated religious orders and intend to be excellent worshippers so as to get into the afterlife and bring it down from within, or rise in the ranks and gain direct access to the archon.
  2. George the Piper. A master multi-instrumentalist who has made it his life's mission to record and perform the music transmitted between the stars across the dark waves of the humpbacked sky. His music is highly technical but mostly unlistenable to an uneducated ear. Its performance and practise also undermines the hypostasis and can initiate spontaneous psychic osmosis in the listener. Most of George's previous band mates are now raving loonies, amorphous beasts, or psychopomps.
  3. The Accident Man. When you want someone dead but don't want to make a fuss, you hire the accident man. He's expensive but has never failed, or at least the people he's been paid to kill have never failed to run afoul of a tragic, terminal accident. His involvement is invisible, he's not an arrogant man. Just leave the money and the name with the mistress of the Bunking Barn and everything will be sorted.
  4. Crow Father. The city of Bedef has a crow problem. When anything dies within its walls it is left out in the street; when an animal is slaughtered an extra one is killed in the square; when a homeless person can't afford room at the work house and can't stay awake, all given to the crows and their babies. When the crows go hungry the city falls sick, plagues and famines flash through neighbourhoods, the crows will get their meal. It is dangerous to be a stranger in Bedef, but you'll never struggle to find room and board.
  5. Miss Kinsey is one of, if not the (though the city does not like to deal in definitives), most famous socialites in Troika. No party is perfect unless her vast unmanageable bulk and sharp eyed, sharp toothed factotums are there. Every host dreams of the day they convince her to eat from their table, but none have done so far. Her tastes run deeper.
  6. Organ the Barbarian has taken a stand against cities. Not of any particular people or sort, but as a general principle. Organ considers them to be a yoke around the necks of the poor, one which must be ripped off. But he's not mad, he knows that the universe has an almost unlimited supply of civilisation and so only hopes to encourage social change through example and threat; by ravaging and despoiling to such an extraordinary degree that people reconsider the order of things and address his issues. His recruiters are a common site in town squares and village greens handing out literature to disgruntled unwashed masses.

6 Hexes in Wartime


  1. Field nurses have set up a small hospital-fort, its stone walls are mossy and damp. Treatment is free but the sister-porters enforce ceasefire within the walls, with all fines being payable in blood donations. They will pay for the recovery of the wounded and the donation of organs.
  2. Mercykillers are digging up a graveyard and smashing the bones to dust so that they can't be used by their enemies. They have laid out all the possession of the dead on the grass with labels on, noting where they were found. If you come back later everything will be neatly reburied.
  3. A native collective consciousness has taken residence in a colony of wasps inside a dead tree. It's a huge number of wasps artificially brought together by the ambient mind and it's struggling to feed this many and maintain the health of its body. In exchange for fruit it will offer insight into interesting goings on within 2 hexes.
  4. A huge pit occupies the entire hex. It descends vertically into a dark lake that is always in shadow. Trees at the edge of the hole are cleanly cut along the line of the cliff, trunks split as though sawn through. Anything flying over the lakepit falls into the water.
  5. A siege giant, sick of the war, sits in the shadow of a hill with his head in his hands refusing to move. The squad occupying the siege tower on his back are beyond shouting at him and are instead trying to reason with him. Some of the soldiers have settled into their temporary lives by the hill and are tumbling off the giant in a small military shanty. Some washing their hats in a nearby brook, chatting and laughing while the sergeant sits on the giants shoulder..
  6. A consultant wizard is strutting back and forth in front of a brass egg, muttering to himself. 4 assistants will prevent anyone approaching, explaining that the Great Sable Geoffrey is currently in talks with an unexploded chromatic time bomb and must not be disturbed. If they party returns at a later date the forest within this hex will be thicker and twisted and also brightly coloured. The conflicting hues make it hard to not trip over the undergrowth and doubles all travel times through the hex.

Get lost to Toika

Reasons you're here and together


  1. Got lost in a rainstorm and took cover with these people
  2. You hid in an unfamiliar room and the door didn't open the same way twice
  3. Followed a familiar road you've walked a thousand times but instead it led you to a crossroad, each from a different one and none leading back the way you came
  4. You were all dreaming of this place but the dream never ends
  5. Got lost in the fog and groped into one another
  6. Your boat was wrecked and here you all are, each a separate castaway
Your motivation is that you have nowhere else to go. You trust these people, you are each your only constant and destination.