Troika!: A Played It Review

Troika! (Numinous Edition) is all about interesting and usually damaged and possibly deranged people exploring the worlds spread across the hump backed sky selling skill for silver and usually killing things along the way. The RPG is tightly built and runs well and the setting is open but defined and overflowing with terrifying wonder, wondrous terror, and madness. I liked it so much I interviewed the author, Daniel Sell. I highly recommend this one.


Troika! kicks off by rolling up three stats and a random profession. Character creation is that simple. I roll and here is my character: Skill 5, Stamina 19, and Luck 11. I’m a Lonesome Monarch with these Advanced Skills: 3 Etiquette, 3 Longsword, 3 Ride, and 1 Tracking. In addition to basic starting gear I have a nice longsword, a crown, and a tired horse. I am a lost sovereign without a kingdom and many people don’t believe me and laugh or worse they believe and just tell me to lump it. My name is Cort.


I join forces with Ababoo, a Thinking Engine (robot pilot, healer, and cook) and a Gremlin Catcher (sneaky tunnel fighter) named Chuckles with a small but vicious dog. We arrive at the city of Troika and head to the Blanchmange and Thistle, an extravagant hotel cast in gold and chrome to stay the night.

We hear there is a party on the sixth floor and it takes us the whole game night to get there. Why? Well let me tell you.

We go to the bar, first, of course, and I buy everyone a round of herbal liqueur in snifter glasses. I learn that the guests here are gathering up fireworks and heading to the roof to celebrate the Feast of the Chiliarch. I do this by successfully rolling equal to or under Skill plus Etiquette (total of 8) on 2d6.

Things get complicated after we choose to use the lift over the stairs. The tiny mandrill lift attendant looks competent enough in his tiny red suit, but a sweet old lady in a blue shawl with blue-rinsed hair boards the lift. She’s nice and all, but full of questions all pertaining to her fascination with mass and the Red Church. Try as I might I can’t get her to tell me how dense she is;, she does just fine prying information out of me. For my show of etiquette I receive a black bonbon which I learn tastes of sesame seeds and restores 1 point of Luck. And I’m going to need it.

On the next floor the little lady gets off and the mandrill dons a little gas mask. Uh oh. A cloud of green gas suspended by little balloon bladders gets on and now Chuckles and I can’t breathe and neither of us have the newly invented Advanced Skill of Hold Breath. I toss 2d6 trying to roll equal or under my Skill 5. I actually manage it! But Chuckles is choking. I then try to roll Etiquette (added to Skill still) to try to tell the gassy guy that he’s killing Chuckles. I need an 8 or less but I get a 9 and he just doesn’t get solids. We have to get out and take the stairs.

That’s when we run into the Slug Monarch, the old villain. We fought and schemed constantly in boarding school and now he disrespects me because I’ve fallen low. Battle ensues.


The GM who got me into this mess puts in 2 Initiative chits for each of us three (the good guys) and 10 for ol’ Sluggy and his four Heralds (the redundant stupid berks) in a Crown Royal bag and shakes it up. The GM draws a chit and I get the first go and draw my longsword. I attack Sluggy and this time I need to roll high and beat Sluggy’s own opposed roll of 11: mine is 2d6 plus Skill plus Longsword for a total +8. I easily overcome Sluggy’s roll and the slimy beast has no Armour, heh. If we’d tied, I could test Luck to win the duel. I test Luck to try to do more damage but fail and my Luck goes down to 10 for now. I do 8 Damage which is rolled on a chart at the front of the book that runs the mechanisms of my life and his Stamina goes down but he’s still in the fight. ‘Course I don’t have Armour either and his Heralds slap the snot out of me, but I do beat one of them meaning I hit them instead of them hitting me by winning the opposed roll.

Ababoo has a Pistolet and starts shooting. His is a roll under attack because it is unopposed. He hits, tests Luck and succeeds, and his Damage goes up: instead of doing 4 on the chart it goes up two spots and it does 12 instead which is enough to take down the Herald who slapped the crap out of me. Take that you slimy git.

We don’t have Spells but those are Advanced Skills too and cost Stamina to cast. They can also go wrong, requiring a roll on the Oops table. What a cute name for such a horrible table.

We go back and forth and the GM threw in the end of the round chit. It comes up randomly, meaning Chuckles might never get to act on his own, maybe still choking from the fumes. But he can defend himself and still get some licks in if he rolls well enough as long as people try to stab him and not shoot him.

Back it forth it goes like this for five stories we’re climbing or riding. But the Feast of the Chiliarch and fireworks duel at the end made it all worthwhile.

In this story, I changed the names and identities of the PCs to protect the innocent. And the guilty. But that is how Troika! rolls. It is a hoot, there are so many shenanigans, and combat is fast and brutal. There’s the Red Church, so many monkeys, Maxillary Uslurpers, Golden Barges, and travel to far off worlds flung across the hump backed sky. Not sure why you’re reading this when you could be shouting and playing Troika!


Bundles at are great: Troika! Starter Bundle and Troika! Adventure Bundle.
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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
Sounds lovely. Appreciate the system details - I really like how easy it sounds to create an evocative character and get to playing.

I'll just copy my last post in a Troika! thread 😂


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