Advice on running TROIKA!

Hey folks,

I’m running a short 3 session arc of Troika with some friends over Hangouts. I’ve only run Troika once (a short one shot) which was fun but for me was mostly about getting the hang of the rules.

Has anyone here run Troika before? Any advice or tips to share? What went well (or poorly) for your group?

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I’ve never run it online, but I’ve played it face-to-face a bunch and I am very full of the Fighting Fantasy basis it lives on.

Are there particular questions or fears or hopes you have?

I think I’m most curious about how folks approach the setting. My instinct is to share authorship with the players, particularly their backgrounds, homes, etc. Since the world of Troika is fairly eclectic and open-ended I’ve got a bunch of ideas of where things will go but am leaving things pretty flexible until I see what characters we get and what they’re interested in.

Since you’ve played face-to-face (which is just as good for my purposes):

  • What (if anything) did your group do to nail down how the world of Troika works?
  • How much shared authorship did your group use (if any)?
  • Did your group mostly do open-ended exploration? Specific scenarios? A mix?
  • What has gone well (or poorly) in the games you’ve played?

I’m excited about playing it again and don’t have any particular fears. I was mostly wondering if there was any Troika-specific advice folks had? (I’ve run lots of other games so I feel like I have a relatively good handle on running games in general).

We have mostly used it as the core for some open ended one-shots where the results bled into other games, either assaulting a coven stronghold in a dungeon of my creation or coming round deep in the B2 Caves of Chaos.

As such, we did very little to pin down a shared canon of how the million spheres worked, but had a lot of shared authorship pretty explicit upfront. There was a real sense of no true gazetteer, and though it never came to it, if someone was to profess a truth that was game-bendingly convenient, I’d ask they Test their Luck to determine if it were truthful or wilful misbelief.

Some of the most absurd parts came out of combat (in our last game, the Vengeful Child broke his sentimental sword in the very first round of combat) and my favourite parts are the mien tables — I’d advise writing some for every set of NPCs


Just to follow up, we had our first session on Monday.

Two of the players have a fair amount of roleplaying experience and the other two are relatively new to it. I think everyone had a good time: we spent a bit of time establishing bonds and relationships between the characters.

Then after some day in the life roleplaying a merchant recruited them to travel through a portal and we were off!