Saturday, April 15, 2017

More Troika Goodness

I'm in a giving mood today.

As you should probably be aware, I'm a huge Troika! fan (what's that? See this interview I did a couple of days ago) -- I love the rules lite design, the descriptive and charming character backgrounds, just everything about it. Well, almost everything. I'm honestly not a fan of the character sheet included at the back of the book.

So I had my friend Jim Magnusson draw up some new ones:

I think they are absolutely fantastic!

I also have them stored in a Drive folder for easy access:

But wait! There's more!

So check these out:

These are Troikan Initiative Bags, which are the best method for tracking initiative in Troika!. They are sold as a set of 30, 10mm dice of varying colors. To understand better, here are the initiative rules from the Troika! rulebook:


5.1 Assemble the Bag. During combat or at other times where it is important who goes first, you will need to assemble the Initiative Bag. To do this, get a container and a selection of coloured dice or other convenient markers. Each player will be assigned two dice of a single colour, while all enemies will share one colour of the number specified by their Initiative Rating or the GM’s whim, and a final single token of a distinct colour will be added to mark the end of a round when drawn (5.3).

5.2 Using the Bag. The GM will remove a token from the Bag at random, the colour of which will determine who holds the Initiative and takes a turn.

5.3 End of round. If the end of round token is drawn then all tokens, including the end of round token, are put back in the Bag. Resolve any per round or end of round activities such as magic effects, fire, poison or bleeding out, then draw another token and carry on.

5.4 Henchmen. If you have any hired help that are willing to fight for you, treat them as their own character that only gets 1 Initiative token in the Bag. 

5.5 Rationale. The random turn length adds a degree of uncertainty where you never know how much time you have left. When actions are not taking place it represents hesitation, panic or other incidental delays that can happen in a tense encounter where every second counts. The goblins have few dice because they are cowardly, not because they are slow; the dragon has many because it knows exactly what it wants, not because it is fast.

They're only £3.50 (plus shipping) for a bag...not, bad, right?

...but how about FREE instead?

So here's the deal: 

I'm going to give away (5) sets of Troikan Initiative Bags. How do you win one? Easy.

Create a new character profession and background for use with Troika!

Troika! features 36 original backgrounds, which are more than enough and cover a variety of options for use in the game, as well as providing details that paint the unique setting of Troika itself.

They mention things like the Million Spheres, Lost Corda, the Phoenix Throne, and fleets of golden ships...a lot of interesting details about a diverse range of places.

So lets add to the setting by providing new professions and backgrounds. Don't worry about details like skills and possessions (unless you really want to) -- all I'm really looking for are new background details to play around with.

Post them below in the comments and, when I have at least 10, I'll pick my favorite 5 and send the Troikan Initiative Bags, along with a bonus surprise, at absolutely no cost.

And, if we can get to 36, I'll have them fleshed out as full character profiles (with skills and possessions) and release it as a free supplement for use with Troika!.

Here's an example character background from the book:

Sorcerer of the Academy of Doors

As a student at Troika’s very own wizarding academy, pride of the city, experts in pan-dimensional mobility, you were able to penetrate the (2d6)th door. You are no master, certainly, but few outside your peers can claim to know more about the vagaries of skyward travel than you.

You are welcome to provide multiple entries, but I'll only pick one per person, so that five unique people can win a Troikan initiative bag.

And besides, who doesn't love having more dice?

Purchase a copy of Troika! here:


  1. Friend of the Blood Lily Situationist Syndicate

    You belong to the radical secret society of artists and anarchists who spread surrealism and sabotage in anticipation of the revolution. The BLSS meets in coffee shops and underground performance spaces writing and drawing messages in exquiste corpse code, distributing incendiary leaflets calling for the dissolution of the bourgeoisie and generally causing mischief throughout the city. You are but a thorn, but perhaps someday your revolution will rise.

  2. Dumpster Gnome

    Some say they got goblin blood in em, others say they are cursed. Fewer still call em spider fuckers and tell stories of their hidden extra arms they use to pick pockets. All I know is the live in the alleys, sewers, and garbage of the city, they are crazier than a nut house on fire, and they'll swindle you for all you got. Never trust a dumpster gnome.


    Due to an accident that was verifiably not your fault, you are now the leading expert on encasing wasps and other vermin in clay. During the rainy season, you plied your trade surveying the mud huts in the estuary floodplain.

  4. Initiate of the Blind Order

    Having deprived you of the sight, the holy order has gifted you the freedom to find a deeper understanding of nature. Your daily regimen is dedicated to sharpening your remaining senses, and seeking out enlightenment. It is your greatest desire that when you next undertake a pilgrimage or quest, your dreams will be blessed by the countenance of Kopenii the Unwavering. This is no curse; it is a blessing.

  5. Chthonotaur

    You were torn from the earth, the mud and oil, screaming in the dark. The soil is your mother, the mountain your father. Your horns of stone scrap against the rock walls of the eternal maze as you roam the world through subterranean roads. Your past follows you like a silver string snaking through the dark. You are a pathfinder, a hunter in the vault.

  6. Clockwork Pixie

    With bones of wire and skin of brass,
    Wings of mesh and eyes of glass,
    You flicker and flitter through sky and light,
    Through keyholes, pie shops, and starless night.

    On howling winds you do skitter,
    By dragon blood and sickly ichor,
    Through crimson fire and ocean heart,
    To find that single missing part.

    A soul, small and new,
    To place neatly at the core of you,
    And from it shivers, joy, and tears,
    A moonsilver coating of your gears.

  7. Somatopomp

    What with necromancers, resurrection men, outbreaks of Lazarus Fever, &c., the mortal remains of the great and good don't always stay in their appointed sepulchres and crypts. When the great and good (or the monied middling sorts) find their ancestors missing, it's your job to put them back where they belong. Ideally, in the same condition they left in.

    2 Tracking
    1 Strength
    3 Morticianship
    1 Shovel Fighting
    1 Bolas Fighting
    2 Spell - Disanimate Dead

    Sturdy Shovel (as club)
    Repair Kit (makeup, needle & thread, metal wire, bone glue, &c.)

  8. Shedskin: You are a former snake culter seeking redemption for the sins you committed in the cult.

    Psychopomp: The souls of the restless dead talk to you. You can help them move on by carrying out their final wish. In return, they share their secrets with you.

    Musometer: You can hear the music of the spheres and they teach you the secrets of magical geometry. When you play an instrument, you can generate Platonic solid objects.

    Grammarian: Where you come from, they say "Talk precisely and carry a big sword." In a world of reason, your grammatically correct rhetoric would carry the day. In this world, your skills with a sword are required to make your arguments stick.

    Changeling: You were raised by humans, but your blood tells you that you are something else. You search for a place where you can belong. Your magical talents help you on your journey.

    Articulate Tiger: The Palace of Tigers was your home until the wanderlust struck you. Now you travel the spheres. You often find dealing with people a nuisance because they usually assume that you are a bloodthirsty beast. You're getting more practiced at telling them what they need to hear in their language. They don't need to know how ferocious your appetite can be & what you will do to satisfy it.


Remember what Bill and Ted told the citizens of the future? "Be excellent to each other".  Comments are always welcome, as long as we treat each other with respect and avoid getting flamey, snarky, spammy, or trolly. Be cool, have fun, and most importantly, be excellent to each other, okay?