I have been asked for a set of simple solo rules for Troika. The last time this happened if was for Warlock! Both games are rather similar, sharing a lot of similarities with Fighting Fantasy. Warlock! is rather like a rules light Warhammer FRP. Troika is more like a psychodelic Beatles movie set out as an RPG.
From my first read through there appears to be four game mechanics in use. Roll high for any kind of contested roll, not really suitable for an oracle.
Roll Low for uncontested skill tests, which is more like an oracle, replacing your skill with a likelihood target number.
Damage is read off a matrix, that could be more interesting. We could have a three row matix for the likely, unlikey and toss up.
Finally, there is the god aweful mess of the initiative stack.
Of these two I would really like to use either a matrix or the initiate stack. They are the most unique elements of the Troika system.
My goal today is to try and create an initial, or first draft. Then try and play my way though The Blancmange & Thistle and see how it works.
Then I will refine, rinse and repeat.
I have two initial thoughts. The first is to use 2d6. Troika uses double 1s as a fumble, double 6 as critical, and any when searching your own inventory any double penalises you, you find the item but lose your turn. With that many options on a ‘roll under’ dice roll, I could build in some variety.
Thought number two is to have tokens for yes, tokens for no, and every time you ask a question you throw the possible answers into a hat or a bag and draw out an answer.
Taking this idea one step further, If the tokens were playing cards, red could be yes, black could be no, and picture cards could carry special meanings. In fact, all the cards could carry special meanings.
You would start with a deck with just two or three cards, one of each colour for a 50/50 question, or add three cards two of one colour and one of the other if the question is biased.
The undrawn cards would remain in the deck, so it would grow by one or two cards with every question asked.
Would this work? Well, anything that gives you an answer would work.
For my first attempt at The Blancmange & Thistle, I am going to use a card deck and see how that goes.