A figure stands in an ancient ruin, bare feet on crumbling stone. Her gown far too fine, her sword much too dark. She can not put down the sword until she finds where it came from. So she has come.
PRINCESS WITH A CURSED SWORD is a journaling role-playing game for one player. It requires a tarot deck and can be played in half an hour or more. And it fits on one printed page.
Explore the ruins. Turn over a tarot card and let the game prompts and the card image guide what you find there. Explore stone courts, torchlit dungeons, overgrown gardens and tattered libraries. Play with a different deck for a different adventure.
Face challenges. Throw coins to find out if the princess staggers and stumbles or succeeds with supernatural prowess. Will the princess give her sword what it wants in exchange for its power?
Find the sword's resting place. What is the princess willing to sacrifice to leave the sword behind? Or will the sword offer her something so tempting she cannot rid herself of it?
Chronicle her journey. Write in third person as you play, as though transcribing a fairy tale. Where will the princess' quest lead her, and how will it be remembered?
The princess’ own shadow mocked her, caricaturing her worst aspects. But she had faced far worse ridicule as a poor tailor. She extinguished her torch, and her shadow, and crept forward in the dark.
Designed & written by Anna Anthropy and illustrated by Rayne Klar. Journal photograph by @willnapforbooks.
BONUS MATERIAL: Pay $3 for the game to receive the notes I kept while designing and revising it, including a list of games that inspired Cursed Sword and a terrible variant to play it with.
THE PRINCESS SWORD SERIES: Princess with a Cursed Sword is free, but you can also support it by purchasing my other games that are based on it:
MAKING YOUR OWN GAME: The Princess with a Cursed SRD (System Resource Document) is a free guide to making your own game with the Princess Sword system.