Troika Cards! Woo Hoo!

What you are looking at here is a Troika card. This is back, I wanted to catch something of the pyschodelic 1960s look, and, to me at least, the hair styling does that.

Much of the art in Troika is slightly dark and malformed, and discordant, the combination of flowers and the disfigurement of the mask is supposed to capture that element.

That is my card back.

The card face, is where the work happens.

The card face holds a small pile of dice. The uppermost is your 1d6, used for damage, or any sundry 1d6 roll.

Below the 1d6 are 2d6, used for all you skill rolls.

These three alone, allow you to play Troika with just the cards, dice free.

The next part are the two oracles.

The oracles are currently work in progress. They are using the results taken from the One Page Solo Engine by the brilliant Karl Henricks.

The top word pair are intended to be used as an inspiration or improvisation prompt. Something in your scene, the subject of you question should be influenced by these prompts.

Below the improvisation prompt is a yes-no answer.

Taking the card to the right, your 1d6 is a 2, the 2d6 is 2+1 for 3 (what a terrible card?!), the inspiration is “technical change” and the yes-no answer is a simple No.

All in all this is a pretty terribly card, likely to be rubbish damage in a fight, a likely failed skill roll and whatever your question was, it came back with a negative answer!

I have also included a card value, this one is the King of Clubs.

One of the oldest oracles in solo play was a simple pack of cards. Sort them into suits and you can track four events, at once. The event happens when you turn up the Ace. Each turn you would deal a card, and if see if the ace turned up. This goes back as far as solo tabletop wargaming in the 1960s. You would write your orders and they were given to an aide-de-camp. When the deck of cards turned up Ace, the aide had reached the unit and delivered the orders.

You could also attach different means to different cards. If you draw a Jack, then the aide was captured before the orders were delivered. If this was the aide of the fictitious other general, then you could either send that unit alternative orders, or no orders at all.

Anyway, I have included the card value and suit because I think as a simple random number generator they add value. You can also play patience with them while you are on hold on the phone!

Physical Cards?

Yes, eventually.

At the moment card printing only happens in the US. They take 5-7 business days to print, so that is a week and a half, then any print proof needs to be shipped to me. I live in a pretty remote spot, and all deliveries are delayed getting to me.

My plan of attack is to write up a simple into to solo playing Troika. I can get that done this week. I have the a PDF of the entire deck of cards created. I can upload this for you to print at home. They are intended to be US Poker sized (2½” x 3½”), and the PDF has the cards going front, back, front, back. If you just wanted the fronts, you would just print the odd numbered pages.

Another option is chits.

Here I have set up Acrobat reader to print just odd pages, 13 x 4. This will give you a single page of just the card fronts. You can cut these up, fold them in four and put them into that top hat or beret, see my last post, and draw out cards as needed.

This may be a bit small for frequent use but I hope you get the idea.

My next task is to start to write up the instructions. play test, and see if the cards need any refinements. I was only asked for this last Sunday (7th), I think I could get this on DTRPG by Monday at the present rate. The biggest risk is that playing with the card layout is a bit addictive. Many hours can be lost playing with Photoshop!

3 thoughts on “Troika Cards! Woo Hoo!”

  1. How many cards are you planning on using? I can’t help notice that 2d6 would suit a Lenormand-style 36-card deck, which removes the 2-5 cards from each suit of a traditional deck. That’s only important if you insist on having a perfect match to the 2d6 odds, though.

    Although you could go up to 72 cards by adding another card to each suit, a fifth suit, and two jokers. At that point, though, you’re edging in on tarot deck territory. Better to stick with 36 cards, I feel.

    …if strict 2d6-emulation is what you want. Which it clearly isn’t. But I’ve written a bunch of words anyway and you can’t stop me posting them!

    • This is a learning curve for me, as I have never made a card decks before. It is my understanding that 80 cards is the upper limit that DTRPG can cope with if there was any kind of box involved.

      That suggests two 36 card decks or a bigger 72 card deck would be the natural fit.

    • I have had a chance to think about this and I want 72 cards, but I want to increase the number of cards per suit. If I add 5 more picture cards per suit, the Courtesan, Dowager, Bishop, Vizier and Spymaster, I will have 4×18 cards, a 72 card deck.

      You could still use them as traditional cards by discarding the extras, and I am sure someone will create a Troika specific card game that uses the full suit.


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