About the Game
Tricube Tales is a minimalist, narrative-driven tabletop roleplaying system. It is designed to handle a variety of different genres and settings, and doesn’t require much setup or bookkeeping.
This book assumes that the reader is already familiar with tabletop RPGs, but the rules are reasonably straightforward and should be easy to explain, even to beginners or younger players.
One person assumes the role of Game Master (GM), and they create the world and control the Non-Player Characters (NPCs). Everyone else controls a Player Character (PC), narrating the actions of their protagonist as they drive the story and interact with the game world.
Each player will need three six-sided dice (3d6), as well as three “resolve” and three “karma” tokens. The GM will need some “effort” tokens for challenges, but they don’t require any dice.
Players roll 1-3 dice (depending on their character archetype) against a difficulty of 4-6 (depending on the situation), and need to succeed with at least one die.
Perks can reduce the difficulty, while quirks can increase it. The players spend karma on perks, and can recover karma from quirks.
The players make all of the rolls. The GM never rolls dice—they only describe challenges, assign the trait and difficulty, and narrate the outcome.
Choosing a Setting
Before you begin play, it is important to define the setting. The story could be set in the same world as a popular movie or novel, or you could adapt an established setting from another roleplaying game.
When using material from a different RPG, focus on copying the flavor rather than game mechanics. System-agnostic settings are a good fit for Tricube Tales, as they come without any baggage.
Example of Play
A crafty mage explores an ancient crypt...
GM: At the end of the tunnel, a heavy wooden door blocks your way.
Mage: Can I open it?
GM: The door is solid, but its lock is crude. You could pick the lock with an agile roll at difficulty 4, but that requires special knowledge, so you’d lose one die. Alternatively, you could break open the door with a brawny roll at difficulty 5.
Mage: I will summon a fire elemental with my “pyromancy” perk, and order it to incinerate the door!
GM: Nice! Make your brawny roll.
Mage: [Rolls 3, 4]—I’ll spend a karma token to reduce the difficulty to 4.
GM: Okay, your fire elemental blasts the door apart. On the other side, a pair of skeletons turn to face you.
Mage: I’ll hurl a fireball at them!
GM: That’s a crafty roll at difficulty 5, with one effort token per skeleton.
Mage: [Rolls 6, 6, 2]—Boom! I fry them both with my fireball!