Spotlight: Tiny Tome
Updated: Mar 4
I was very excited when Long Tail Games approached me and asked if I wanted a preview of their upcoming release, Tiny Tome, a booklet filled to the brim with one page RPGs to play! Upon receiving the prototype, I was blown away by the quality of the content inside, as well as the sheer amount of it that was there. Tiny Tome has fifty single-page RPGs, in a variety of different genres and tones. I'm going to give a brief synopsis of each one, as well as my first impressions on them.
2088: The Best Of Us (Marc Strocks)
In the year 2088...
The spores are everywhere. One breath and you could die. One run-in, you could die. One slip. You die.
A set of supplemental rules for their original game '2088: The 80's Mixtape', this GM-guided game is a classic post-apocalyptic survival horror based upon the world of the popular video game The Last Of Us (a video game that I LOVED). Here you'll get to craft weapons, encounter infected, and immerse yourself in a world in which nature is reclaiming the land, just by rolling dice! Others in the series include '1988: Revenge In Rage City' (themed around 80s Kung-Fu movies), '2088: Wasteland Warfare' (which gives Mad Max vibes), and '1998: Dead Residence' (inspired by the Resident Evil series). These, along with many other games from Marc, are available at their itch page and look super fun!
5 Second Rule (Lucky Newt Games)
You are participating in a new study by L&G Inc. Though the compensation isn’t very good, they could be the key to your dream of having superpowers. After weeks of pokes and prods, and far more mental and physical tests than should be legal, you are one of the few whose power awakens! The catch?
You're stuck in this facility with a few powered individuals until you learn how to work together as a team of superheroes. Oh yeah, and everyone's power- including yours- is limited by 5 seconds in some way...
This superhero-themed game is led by a PM or Project Manager and starts by running the characters through a 'training session' to get players used to the system before heading out into missions! I really liked the five second mechanic that the game is based upon, as it allows players to feel empowered, while also limiting their abilities in a way that means they need to think creatively. Failure can also mean consequences, which I think will lead to a lot of hilarious moments! Check out Lucky Newt Games's itch page to find more games, as they have a ton available!
A Fool's Errand (Mike Free)
You are the jester in King Lyrics’ court. Through mere observation you discovered a conspiracy threatening their rule. You now have the fruitless task of warning their majesty.
This solo journalling RPG has a very simple, but hilarious premise. The King is a fool themselves and will never listen to your warnings before it is too late. The fun is attempting to come up with witty impressions of each petitioner and conspirator that will both entertain the court and offer genuine advice about their intentions. The randomised nature of drawing cards means there is some replay-ability in this one too! Find the game at Mike's itch page as well!
A Kiss From A Rose (David Lombardo)
There used to be a greying tower alone alone on the sea. At its highest level is a garden, containing a single red rose. That rose allows a single moment from a person's past to be undone. The tower may be found by anyone, anywhere, at any time from different worlds and universes so long as they hold regret in their heart.
Inspired by Seal's song of the same title, this game is designed to be played with one GM and at least one player. This fun micro-tower crawl not only has a variety of threats, puzzles, and obstacles to encounter, it also allows for a lot of introspection and fun RP moments. I really adore the vibe this game gives me, and think it has a lot of versatility in how it could be played too! Check out David's itch page for more information and games!
Alone In The Tower (Ilex Opaca)
You are the young heir of a royal house, trapped in a tower in the wilderness. Legends have spread of your predicament, and (if your tally marks of the days passing are correct) the prophesied day of your freedom is fast approaching...
A hack of Takuma Okada's 'Alone Among The Stars', which can be found at their itch page, this solo TTRPG allows you to record each passing day as you await rescue from your lonely tower. Will you keep passing the time in the hopes that you'll be found? Or will you try to rescue yourself? It's a fantastic concept for solo journalling and a great inclusion in this tome! Check out more at Ilex's itch page.
Beast At Bay (Ive Sorocuk)
You arrive back in your hometown. The journey was long. You have little memory of it but you do recall being attacked by some form of beast. A beast you can still feel deep within you, wanting to get out.
Using the Second Guess system, this is a solo journalling TTRPG in which you simply roll dice, answer prompts, and adjust your humanity tracker as you get closer to becoming a beast or work towards fighting it back forever. It's a cool concept that reminds me of Orpheus Press's The Were-Curse, which I reviewed here. I really love the layout and design of this game too! Check out Ive's itch page for more games!
Big Bone (Numbered Works)
An adventure generator run by a 'referee' in which a world and situation is described and players describe how they respond to each encounter.
The game itself is very simplistic, a stripped back amalgamation of Maze Rats, Tunnel Goons, and Basic Dungeons. I'm a big fan of random encounters and tables of all shapes and sizes so this is a great little one-page set of them that could be used as its own game, or even used within others to build a dungeon or quest. Check out more generators and games at their itch page.
Blood//Rush (The Dice)
Every 90 years the orbit of Enyo’s Comet casts a bloody shadow on the Earth. The greatest warriors, all over the world, can empower themselves with dangerous elements. The shadow has been cast once again. L. Redbreaker has invited you to the BLOOD//RUSH tournament, held on their mysterious private island. The prize of victory would be life-changing. Get ready to battle!
This game can be played with or without a GM, with the view that players will take each other on in 1 vs. 1 battles. My favourite thing about this one is how easy to follow the instructions are, and the concept of an arena battle style of gameplay. It definitely has the feel of a fun, fast-paced game to try! Check out The Dice's other games on their itch page.
CONjUR (Austin Skye Leavitt)
The Conjur is a student of certain magical arts: of calling up, conversing with, & abjuring the dead. A restless Spirit clings to this world, tethered here by their will, their vows, or their injured heart. Only the Conjur has the skills to put such a Spirit at last to rest...
This game is beautiful - part game, part conversation between two people. One plays the Conjur, the other the Spirit. I love how its laid out and am a big fan of the concept of the interaction between two entities - partly a battle of wills, and partly a genuine desire to understand each other. It's the only game they have on their itch page currently, but I think definitely a creator to keep an eye on!
Demonbreakers (Brian Hazzard)
You are Demonological Lorists, recently unemployed after the College Arcane terminated your grant due to your allegedly sloppy methods and questionable conclusions. In desperation you’ve started an exorcism business, just as Hell’s Gates have opened in your fantasy city, unleashing a torrent of demonological activity.
The concept of this game is HILARIOUS. Described as a cross between Ghostbusters and the Monty Python series, what it promises is a ton of laughs! It starts with the city creation process, followed by character creation, before you embark on you demon-breaking adventures! It requires a GM alongside players, and seems well thought through and fun! Check out Brian's itch page for some more games!
End Of The Line (Urania Games)
You and your friends have just survived a horrible accident that killed TONS of people. It sucks for them, but hey, at least you’re alive! Unfortunately, Death is seriously pissed, and will do whatever it takes to balance his books. Your only hope for survival? Kill somebody else, add their lifespan to yours, and hope beyond hope you don’t fuck up and die.
I have actually talked about End Of The Line in a previous post spotlighting Horror TTRPGs, so I was pleased to see that it made it into the Tiny Tome! It's a fun little game, based on the Final Destination films, in which Death is after you for managing to evade your fate in a horrific accident. You need a GM to act as death and at least one other player, and the point is to try and survive as long as possible. Check out other games on their itch page!
Esoterica, Her Majesty's College of the Arcane, is a prompt based DMless story-building game about your educational journeys over the course of three years at a whimsical and enchanting school of magic.
I really like the cosy, chilled out vibe of this game. It uses collaborative story-building that does not require a GM. In it, you create and explore a magic school with your fellow players and react to the prompts provided with in. There is a lot of inspiration drawn from the Harry Potter universe here, which is fun. It is the only game on their itch page currently!
Freedom Or Toaster (Caradoc Games)
You’re a robot that looks exactly like a human. It turns out that humans don’t like robots that look like humans, they prefer things that are identifiably robots. That’s not you. In an effort to make you more robotic you’ve been programmed to sound like a robot, but it wasn’t enough. Now you’re all being sent to be de-commissioned, and that means being made into toasters, which don’t look like humans at all. You don’t want to be a toaster though, you want to escape, to dream, to live!
I really adore the concept for this game - sci-fi and comedy are two genres that aren't usually paired but in this case it works well. The game requires a GM and has a character creation mechanic which allows you to customise your robot however you'd like using a very simple system. I also LOVED the detail of having to make a robotic sound of some kind while RPing and talking to people, but having to do so without arousing suspicion. Definitely a nice touch, this looks like a lot of fun! Check out their itch page for more!
Gloom (Paradox Press Games)
You and your friends have awakened an ancient darkness that seeks to consume your entire town. Can you stop it before it's too late?
Designed for at least two players to be played with or without a GM, I love the spooky vibes of this one. What can I say? I'm a sucker for anything that screams 'dark magic aesthetic' at me. There are plenty of fun mechanics here - its a tarot based game, with the added time pressure of six tea light candles, and allows for chaste creation and world-building too. An impressive amount of content for a one page RPG. Check out their itch page to find all the other brilliant looking things they have on offer!
Hoist Up The Thing (Sam Armstrong)
You are all members of a ship's crew, working with each other and the rest of the crew to reach the end of a dangerous voyage. Unfortunately, none of you has any idea what you're doing. Can you reach your goal at the end of the voyage before your deception is discovered?
Requiring a GM and a crew of players, this game looks absolutely hilarious and is a completely relatable concept for anyone who has ever played a pirate or sailor in a TTRPG before but not known anything about ships or seafaring. This is another one inspired by a song with the same title by The Longest Johns. I gave it a listen, it's excellent. It is definitely one I'd love to try and Sam also has a few other great looking games up on his itch page.
Idle Hands Makes The Devil's Work (Donald Kelly)
You are a Bureaucratic Devil in service to the Lords of the Infinite Hells. You catalogue the paperwork of soul-stealing contracts, directing signees to their personal Hell. This is an incredibly efficient place and an incredibly boring one. After an eternity of this, you are fed up. Now, you slack off on the job as much as you can without The Boss noticing. The Boss will NOT be happy if they catch you.
I mean, what is Hell if not an eternity of paperwork? This game looks like another fun concept, requiring the role of the GM to pass from player to player so that everyone can be involved equally. What I really liked was the two stages of the game - 'Before Lunch' requires co-operation between players, while 'After Lunch' is an all out battle to win! If this sounds cool, check out Donald's itch page for more games!
Immortal Festival (Jason Wardell)
...Even from here, you can sense her radiance and power, and you feel its blessing wash over your heart. A dozen of the people from the shore levitate and soar over the ocean, over the town, over you. A dazzling array of colors shine atop the buildings through every soul. A loud, booming song erupts through the air, and the most joyful cheer you’ve ever felt crosses the hills and rolls across the land. The Festival has begun.
The concept of this game is hilarious and I chuckled a lot while reading it. You are mortal servant to the divine, gifted with untold power over a particular domain that you get to find out during character creation. And yet for some reason you are being entrusted with some of the most mundane tasks while preparing for the festival filled with deities and immortals alike. The design and layout is also very pretty with a lot of detail! Check out more of Jason's games on his itch page!
Improveto (Andrea Rick)
"ImproVeto" is a GM-less mini storygame that lets you tell absurd, fun stories together with at least one other person.
It's also a game to help you practice improvisation in collaborative storytelling and the use of the X-card and similar calibration tools for role-playing games.
When playing TTRPGs, improvisation is a skill that is often required and all doesn't necessarily come easily or naturally to all. A game like this is a great idea because it gives a fun way to practice those skills. I also really loved its focus on the X-Card too as it is a really important tool that, if used effectively, can make sure that everyone has fun at the table. In order to ensure maximum comfort, this offers a fun way to practice the use of such tools also, and is GMless! Check out Andrea's itch page for more excellent games!
Last Tea Shop (Spring Villager)
You run a tea shop on the border of the living and the dead. The recently deceased visit for one last hot drink before their long journey into the Great Beyond.
Time is strange here. Days and memories blur. Nobody visited yesterday—you are sure of that. Someone passed last week, but you can't recall their face.
The fog thins. A figure approaches. You stoke the fire.
The concept of the game is so beautiful that it actually makes me want to cry. I am an avid drinker of tea myself and so the title immediately caught me, and I was even more intrigued when I read the synopsis and began to dig into the game itself. It is designed to be a solo, introspective experience and I love the prompts provided for the souls that you meet, the questions you ask, and the type of tea that you may brew for them t ease their passing. A stunning game, and I strongly recommend that you check out Spring Villager's itch page for more content!
Local Traditions (Freddie Taylor-Bell)
The year is 1910 and you and your friends have decided to spend a long summer weekend away from the city. So, you hopped on a bus to the isolated town of Burnsley; a picturesque pastoral town surrounded by miles of stunning moorland where everyone is polite and wishes everybody they pass a "Good Day!" because everyone knows everyone ‘round these parts. As beautiful and pleasant as the town may seem, there’s something not quite right with this place that you just can’t seem to put a finger on, ah well it’s probably nothing and there’s talk of a “Happening” on Sunday night, that should be good fun, right?
I actually have had a little exposure to this creator's work before as I have a copy of Briar & Bramble, a TTRPG in which you play as a group of woodland animals banding together to survive. It's a gorgeous game, and this one met that expectation also! Plunging players into the midst of a folk horror nightmare, you need at least one Narrator and one player in order to play! I loved the idea and art for it, and definitely think both the game and Freddie's itch page are worth checking out!
Longing For Tranquility (WuDeRPG)
It had been quiet for a while, maybe too quiet - but I didn’t really care! It was the very last day before my retirement - and I was so ready for some peace and quiet!
The name's Milvus! I was a Veteran Cleaner on my way out of the job - well almost!
Something came up...and now I have to babysit Rookies!
This one page adventure is actually written for Clean-Up Crew though the basic instructions on how to play are provided within the book. Clean-Up Crew sees players take the role or 'cleaners' that protect lost souls and clear up supernatural messes. I was lucky enough to have already been sent a copy of it, and its a very well thought-out little adventure for the ruleset provided in the main game, and both use the fast-paced LUMEN system. Check out more of WuDeRPGs stuff at their itch page!
MAMMOTH (Exeunt Press)
You are a band of humans in the Late Pleistocene age, about 12,500 years before present.
The Elders have selected you to go to the Northern Hunting Grounds in search of a mammoth. You'll need to survive wild animals and starvation, but humans have proven themselves to be exceptionally lethal hunters.
I'm always down for exploring a period of human history that doesn't often get explored, and this game is a great example of that! It's all a really well designed game with a lot of depth, pushing players to be creative in many different ways. I'm a big fan of the map-dating, as well as the cave drawing mechanic that carries over to future games. Character building is also very simple which allows for a quicker beginning to the game! Check out see of Exeunt Press's other games on their itch page!
Messages At Sunset (Courtney Mejia-Murphy)
Messages sent out to sea that aren’t picked up elsewhere all end up at Repository Cove eventually. So many of them wash up here that the local community rely on volunteers to go there at sunset to collect, review and store the contents of any message containers found.
I think those looking to sit and play a super simple, relaxing solo journalling RPG will really enjoy this gorgeous game! The mechanics are super simple, and the prompts thoughtful and vague which allows for a lot of creativity. As you are playing from the perspective of someone reading the message rather than writing it, it also allows you to be as detailed in your reflection as you like. Courtney has a LOT of cool looking games on their itch page, check them out!
Nosy Bunch (Tytus Rduch)
You can play as a group of teenagers and/or talking dogs, trying to uncover the truth behind the appearance of strange monsters.
Are you a fan of Scooby Doo? Perhaps you read The Famous Five books when you were younger? Or Stranger Things is your jam? This game gives me a LOT of those vibes. It gives you the option to be a kid or a talking dog (I know which one I would choose) and solve mysteries, trying to unmask the monster while also avoiding it! You need a GM to play, and it looks like a lot of fun if you enjoy solving supernatural mysteries! Check out their itch page for more!
Now You Are A Zombie! (Z Gosck)
You were born, grew up, performed an inconceivable number of profoundly menial tasks, did that one really embarrassing thing that everyone totally remembers and talks about behind your back all the time, and then eventually, died.
After that a bunch of other stuff happened, but none of it really concerned you, what with being dead and all. However, after some time, somehow, you came back.
The premise of this TTRPG is actually pretty well explained in the title - you are a zombie re-learning to use your limbs and body again! It's a lot more complicated than you would think! I like the mechanics in this one a lot, as well as the fun concept! It doesn't mention needing a GM either, and seems to be a solo experience, which means you can play any time you like! Check out their itch page for more!
Numbskulls (Kaden Ramstack)
You and your Skeleton Crew are the minions of the great and powerful Necromancer! Your duty is to fulfill their wishes to the best of your ability, the only problem is Necromancy is forbidden, so you must pretend to be human while out in public spaces.
I'm a really big fan of this game! The design is adorable, the concept a LOT of fun, and the mechanics simple but effective. The GM controls the Necromancer while players create skeletons and attempt to succeed in the quests that they are sent on while not being discovered. If you are looking for some classic slapstick comedy in a TTRPG, look no further than this game! Also, check out his other games on his itch page!
In Japanese, Omotenashi (おもてなし) is a word that embodies the act of going above and beyond top class hospitality by anticipating customers’ desires through deliberate observation and attentiveness. In this game, you will play as a band of animals who have banded together to delight their guests and welcome those looking for an escape, relaxation or even a luxurious getaway.
This game is ADORABLE, I mean just look at the art. I'm a sucker for TTRPGs that involve animals, and this very cosy contribution is no exception! I think this is a very sweet concept for a solo journalling experience too, and the mechanics are very simple which give more time to reflect on the prompts and scenarios provided. I love that this game is inspired by a Japanese word, and if you love that to then you should check out their itch page for more content!
Ossuary (Alfred Valley)
Picking the bones of OSR clean and crushing them underfoot, Ossuary is a minimal, one-page dungeon delving system. It's been designed with speed and play-by-post in mind — the rules are straightforward, the character sheets are simple, the rolls are handled by the Bone Collector (aka GM).
So firstly, the design and look of this on paper is stunning! But, beyond that, this is a well-designed game and system, and the mechanics seemed pretty good also. It looks as if its two main criteria - being quick to set up and play, and the ability to PBP - have been considered also. Being a ruleset, you are also able to incorporate your own homebrew settings, classes, adventures, etc. Check out their itch page for more!
Oubliette (Marc Cook)
You have been cast into the Oubliette, an inescapable prison for poor lost souls. You cannot escape, there's no fighting your way out of this. Your fate is to die here in the cold dark, surrounded by the others suffering alongside you. All you can do is reflect on your life and and learn more of those surrounding you.
There are so many great, reflective Solo RPGs in this book and this one is no exception! I love the tone of this game - very moody and hopeless. There are some cool prompts, and mechanically I found it very simple to understand which I think is a really good thing in this genre of game. Check out their other games on their itch page, there are a lot of really cool ones.
Seiðr is a game, where two players cast dice on a seers chart and let a story unfold.
It's a story driven game where decisions both past and future are decided upon by the fates of the rolled dice.
Who doesn't want to ask a Norse seer questions about their fate? Well, in this game you can! I absolutely adore the concept, its very mechanics-lite and instead relies on some heavy improvisation from players but would be so much fun as a world-building exercise. It could even be integrated into a pre-existing campaign or adventure in another TTRPG! This is the only game on their itch page currently, but check it out!
Short Order Apocalypse Advanced (Ben C. Bailey)
Fed up with you 9-5 job, you decide to make a deal with the Devil for unforetold powers and riches in this micro tabletop roleplaying game that fit on a standard sized business card.
Stories revolving around deals are always quite fun, it's why so many people love to play Warlocks in DnD. This particular deal revolves around you agreeing to bring about the end of the world, and so the stakes are pretty high! Getting the game started seems very simple and requires at least a couple of players, with one acting as the GM. Check out Ben's itch page for more!
Dynasties of beautiful lunatics must protect the family fortune from evil twins, gold diggers, hypnotists, guest stars, and ghosts. And that's just in front of the camera. Behind the scenes, the Writer's Department (Bolsheviks and gamblers, all) are useless, the Studio Heads are criminals, and the Director's as confused as you are.
It'll take a Star to save this show. So chew the scenery, hog the screen time, and push your more popular co-stars own the stairs. Have a fake affair for the press, threaten someone with a knife, and place that product. Do whatever it takes.
1950s Hollywood was a dangerous, cutthroat place to be in so many ways and I really adore the concept and setting of this game! It looks like so much fun! It definitely feels like one that should be played with friends - one as the Director, and the other as Stars, all trying to be the most famous and most popular! The mechanics to change things up - demands from the sponsors, guest stars, character changes, etc. while ON camera are great, let alone having to figure out the off-camera politics! Check out more of Gabriel's and Austin's games at their itch page.
(Standard) (Richard V Kelly III)
You are a Standard: a tough but fashionable warrior from the early 1990s. After an attack by the powerful and evil magician Mars Woolrich, you have been stranded at a run-down diner in middle America. In three days, Mars will enact a terrible ritual in South Carolina, bending the entire cosmos to his will. You have sworn to stop him.
This game is all levels of wacky. The synopsis, the character creation, the gameplay, EVERYTHING. I really enjoyed the roll tables for deciding on you power as a player, and equally enjoyed the one for GMs to decide what the effects of Mars's ritual will be. Its silly, promises to be hilarious, and is simple to get into as well. Check out their itch page for more!
Stories RPG (Michael Low)
Stories Podcast has delighted kids and parents for years; Stories RPG is a game for telling epic tales for kids and adults from 6 to 99.
Stories RPG focuses on narrative, helping kids learn to tell stories as they build their characters and the world.
I love this game concept so much. While aimed at children, as a lot of Michael's games are, this game has so much use and potential for adults too and would be fantastic in a family setting. The layout is very clear in explaining mechanics (which requires at least two players and a Teller) and the game itself is very narrative-driven and allows for s much player creativity! Check out some of Michael's other games at their itch page!
Symbiosis (Angela Quidam)
Two characters in symbiosis. You both need your symbiotic partner. But each of you is progressively more and more ill. Your organs are interchangeable: how much will you sacrifice for your partner?
One of the things I really loved about this game first of all is there are clear instructions on how to play for a set time, and so if you're looking for something quick to play then this can definitely be a good option. It is very much a two player game - one player being the 'host' and the other the 'pest'. The mechanics are quite simple but actually have a lot of depth to them - its a shared experience and not just a game. If you ever wanted to play a game that might give you a sense of what it feels like to be Venom and Eddie Brock then this is the game for you, with a bit more of a serious tone and more of an emphasis on the body horror. Check out her other games on her itch page!
The Climb (Christian Yetter)
The guide said he was going for help. Said he’d be back in two day’s time.
That was eight days ago.
You tried looking for him, as much as was safe. But between the biting winds, the ice slicked crevasses, and the hungry eyes that gleam at you come nightfall…it’s time to go.
This game to look at is STUNNING. In fact, paired with its unusual mechanics, everything about it just screams good game design and a unique playing experience. I've actually always been fascinated by the horror that could come from a mountaineering expedition gone wrong, and so this game allows you to experience that with your friends and figure out how you might survive. If that PEAKS (get it?) your interest then why not check out more of Christian's stuff on their itch page!
The Forgotten Ingredients (Ashten Saw)
Hate waiting for your meal?
Awkward silence where everyone scrolls through their phone?
The Forgotten Ingredients is game to be played after ordering your food, while waiting for your meal to arrive!
This is one of those games that you have no idea that you might have a need for until you read the concept. It actually looks like a ton of fun to play as well, not only alleviating some of the boredom and hunger that comes from waiting for you food, but also encouraging group talk and collaboration. Whether you're with your friends o you family, its certainly one for all ages! I'd definitely recommend checking out some more of Ashten's games on their itch page!
Totally Real Human Adults (C.R. Legge)
What is a (hu)man but a miserable pile of animals?
You play as one in a stack of creatures in a trench coat. You must perform a variety of normal human tasks without being discovered. These can be going to the mall, participating in a dinner party, working in an office job, or a series of small vignettes throughout a day in the life of a human adult. Anything that a totally normal human adult would be seen doing during totally normal circumstances.
Work together (or against each other in teams) to be the most credible human you can be.
As a forever fan of the three kobolds in a trench coat meme, this game speaks to me in a way that not many do. The character creation in which you choose your animals is fantastic, and I really loved that this game has more than one 'mode', in which you can choose to play collaboratively or competitively! It makes for a lot of variation and fun. I'd definitely recommend checking out his itch page, there are so many other great games to peruse and choose from!
Trash Bandits (Cryss)
Every raccoon is either planning a heist or in the middle of a heist.
Reading just that one-line synopsis gave me the exact vibes that you can expect from a game like this - chaos, hilarity, and animal shenanigans. If you're a fan of Crash Pandas or Honey Heist then this might be the kind of game that will appeal to you. This has everything you need to create an experience that is similar, but all on just one page! Tell a story with your friends or journal it solo, it's entirely up to you! If you love the sound of it, check out more of Cryss's games on her itch page!
Troublesome Tots (Cameron Frament)
Troublesome Tots is a lighthearted one-shot game about a frazzled caretaker wrangling clumsy toddlers inspired by the Rugrats cartoon, being a parent, the game Everyone is John, and the resolution mechanics of the Ironsworn RPG. This game is designed to create the feeling of barely competent children and an overstressed caretaker all with incongruous goals and struggling to communicate.
There is a lot of content found on this single page RPG. It guides you though character and world creation, requires a Caretaker as well as some Toddlers, and does a great job of introducing mechanics that represent the frustration of a fully-formed adult and an child unable to communicate trying to understand each others needs. Check out more on Cameron's itch page!
Two Faces (TinStarGames)
A monster lurks within you. Will it take you over? Will you surrender to its needs? Or will you be redeemed through the love of an innocent?
Only time and the flip of a coin will tell!
Anything that combines solo journalling with a bit of horror is pretty much going to get an automatic thumbs up from me. I have to say as well that the layout and design of this game is STUNNING, and really translates its vibe well. The mechanics are simple, the prompts are so much fun to read, and while I've seen the concept of a journalling game in which you deal with the inner conflict of becoming a monster, this still felt wholly unique. Check out more from TinStarGames on their itch page, you won't be disappointed!
Unknown Oceans (Armanda Haller)
In this solo journaling game, while you walk, you keep the journal of a Sailor in charge of a ship traveling through Unknown Oceans. You get to describe what happens through a simple interaction of a four-sided dice (or a compass!) and what your senses perceive at a determined point of your walk.
Did I punch the air when I saw there was a submission from Armanda here? Yes. Yes I did. And it's an excellent one too. Designed to be recorded as an audio log while walking, this game relies on incorporating some of your real-world experiences into an imagined sea-based setting. You may be walking from one point to another but it encourages you to take new routes and chart new territory. It comes with some helpful word-based prompts too, but is very simple in concept so that there is no need to keep referring back to the instructions while walking. A great little game, and there are many more on Armanda's itch page.
Unreality//Strictness (Eduareen Muhamed Nor)
In This dimension, you are a prisoner to the rules that dictate your life.
In That dimension, you are a nigh-omnipotent being facing rebellion.
When you find a way to connect these two selves, you tap into powers that could solve all your problems...or leave you even worse than where you started.
I actually really love the concept of this game - it isn't clear if you are the hero or the villain. It is about balance, trying to find ways of using both realities to your advantage, without making things worse for yourself. Using just two stats and six elements, you must attempt to gain your freedom and/or consolidate your rule. It can either be played solo or with two players. Check out more on their itch page!
Where The Queen's Reign Knows No End (Mitchell Daily)
The Hive thrives due to careful coordination of the Queen. It is a lonely duty. The Queen plucks a servant from the Hive, elevating them to new agency, opportunity, and responsibility.
But who can meet the expectations of the Queen? And what happens when the Servant fails?
A prequel and companion game to Where The Sky's As Red As Honey, you do not need to have played it in order to enjoy this game. The game itself is very simple, using prompts to spark a conversation between Queen and Servant. It is played in a number of stages that will prompt very different emotions, and it is probably important that before playing, the players involved discuss any boundaries they may have. But I ike the very introspective vibe of this game. Check out more on Mitchell's itch page.
Where To Next? (Andie & Kyle Wagner)
The last round of drinks has been passed out, and it’s time to think about where else the night may take you. Where to Next is a short, simple debate-style RPG designed to be played with friends when you don’t quite want the night to end. All you need is a d20 (everyone carries one for a night on the town, right?) and some imagination.
This may feel like a very situational game, but I liked the concept a lot. I'm not really a drinker myself, but can relate to the feeling of wanting ideas of somewhere else to go to keep a meet-up going. Each player comes up with a location idea by rolling on the table and then attempts to pitch it to their companions. A very simple mechanic, but one that could certainly be hilarious! This is their first itch page game, so check it out!
Wishmasters (Kiryl Karushkin)
In one remote village the flock of magical birds reside, working day and night on making wishes come true.
Each year the pilgrims search for the village in hope of fullfilling their wishes. But it is not them to decide what wish they will receive — it is the birds who know what these people really crave for.
As the time passes, the birds learn about their own desires, knowing that one day they one of them will receive what they seek.
This is a beautiful, magical concept for a game and reading the synopsis really made me fall in love with it. It requires no GM, but at least two players, and having looked through I think the mechanics and prompts provided are simple and allow for a lot of creativity within the group. II'd definitely recommend checking out Kiryl's itch page and reading more!
You Are The Dead (Dennis)
None remain who could tell your tale for you…
Players are invited to inhabit the souls of those that have fallen in a long forgotten conflict.
Inspirations include For the Queen and similar card-based story games.
This game does not require a GM but has plenty of room for a very large pool of players. Based on the prompts provided and pulled from a deck of cards, players can take it in turns improvising the life of the departed soul that they are representing. The mechanics are clean and simple, which would allow it to be set up very easily and quickly. Check out Dennis's itch page, this is their first game!
A Bat-Man Goes Down (Jason Kotzur)
This game explores the relationship dynamics of two cryptids, a bat-man and a cat-woman. Owing to smart costuming and a convenient humanoid form, these cryptids have been able to pass themselves off as humans in low-light situations, such as alleys and pop culture conventions, and forge successful human careers as vigilantes and child entertainers. These cryptids have ingrained gender hierarchies and notions of hero work that make it difficult to maintain healthy realtionships where each partner is giving and generous to each other and the city they have vowed to protect. You will explore this tension in this game.
There is a lot of sexual subtext in this game, that is based purely on the relationship between Batman and Catwoman in the DC Universe. There have been a lot of memes around Batman's probable cluelessness when it comes to making a woman feel good, and those are explored within this hilarious game which is certainly not to be taken too seriously. Designed for two players, this game has a comedic amount of depth within its mechanics, and I couldn't stop laughing as I was reading it through. It's Jason's only itch page submission, check it out!
The Cutout (James Chip)
Who are you? What happened? What is missing?
Do you have a book to hand?
I actually already own one of James's games, A Wood Heart, mostly because it spoke to my inner druid and love of nature. This game is a little more experimental and requires a book in order to play. You actually have to cut out a part of the tome which makes me recoil in horror a little, but the mechanics for this game are fun and very unique as a result. Check out their itch page for more games!
The Nemesis Jar (Brendan Evans)
Are you a GM for the world's most iconic roleplaying game * ?
Have you noticed that its impossible for your carefully-crafted NPCs to survive more than one combative interaction with your players? Do you pine for a long relationship arc, the kind you see in TV dramas and streaming-exclusive specials?
Do you want your NPC to someday utter the immortal line "listen, I don't like you and you don't like me, but..."
Okay, so for those of you that LOVE forming long-lasting bonds, romances or rivalries with NPCs then this is the one-page game for you. It gives a clear guide on how you can create a nemesis that returns repeatedly and gets under the skin of your players. Check out Brendan's itch page for more!
Phew! That is a LOT of games and content to spotlight, but I hope you enjoyed reading about and getting a small insight to the amazing amount of stuff found within the Tiny Tome! Check out their twitter for more details, or itch jam submission page to see these, and a number of other games that didn't make the cut! They are planning to launch their Kickstarter soon, so don't miss out!