A downloadable game

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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.


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Princess with a Cursed Sword.pdf 2 MB
Princess with a Cursed Sword bw.pdf 391 kB
Princess with a Cursed Sword plaintext.txt 3 kB
Cursed Sword design notes.rtf 44 kB
if you pay $3 USD or more

Development log


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I'm loving this game!! Thank you for sharing it with the world! I've been playing it for the past few days. I know it'll be over soon but it's a really fun concept and I appear to be writing a lot.


thank you!! comments like these are so nice to get


I wrote a story based on my play of this game and posted it in a couple of places as a sort of story-within-a-story situation as part of a longer work.  Thank you for making this.  I had a good time with it.




The draw order of tarot cards was:

  1. The Fool
  2. The High Priestess
  3. Death
  4. Two of Pentacles
  5. Ten of Wands
  6. Three of Wands
  7. Temperance
  8. Four of Cups
  9. Queen of Wands
  10. Seven of Wands
  11. King of Swords
  12. Four of Pentacles
  13. Three of Pentacles
  14. Two of Wands

Although that last "draw" of Two of Wands was more like accidentally knocking an extra card off the top of the deck and wound up being used for an alternate ending.


I would like to make you a proposal for a French translation for your games, including Princess with a Cursed Sword. 

I sent you a private message on Twitter on November 7th where there are all the details. Since you didn't read it, I'll contact you here to make sure I can reach you. 

You can reply on Twitter or on services@laloutreroliste.com

Thank you in advance, 


Christophe Dénouveaux - LA LOUTRE RÔLISTE



I really enjoyed my first playthrough of Princess With A Cursed Sword! I've posted the story I wrote with it up on my blog (https://www.fistfulofvalkyries.com/) to share with others. 

Thank you for making such a creative and interesting journaling game!


Thanks for posting about the game! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Really loved this game! The prompts were open/vague enough that I could take the story of my princess anywhere I wanted, and when I couldn't I could look at the image on the tarot card for inspiration as well. I could skip past naming the princess, form a general idea of a personality or let it develop as I wrote, and simply lose myself in the creation process. My princess came to a deathless but tragic fate. Would definitely play again!

Thanks for this! Glad you enjoyed the game!

This was wonderful! I loved how the image of the princess was not only gorgeous decoratiom but also part of the game, so i got to decide why her dress loomed like that or why her feet were bare!

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This was my first time playing anything like this and I really enjoyed it. Thank you for making it and for donating it to the Texas trans rights bundle!

I wrote a bit about it (including a link near the bottom to the story I created by playing) here: gemini://gem.billsmugs.com/gemlog/2022-03-24-solo-journalling-rpgs.gmi

(If you don't have a Gemini client, you can read it in a web browser here)


An interesting game to be sure.


As an avid tarot fan, this was such a fun creative exercise! It helped me flex my improv muscles after being in a bit of a rut. 


I wanted more games I could play with my tarot cards (I have too many).


This game is intruiging and helped me see that's its really possible to make narrative games like these. Thank you for inspiring me through this

I'm glad you're enjoying it!

wow i luv your work !

Thank you!!


What is the tarot deck featured in the picture? 


Lisa Sterle's Modern Witch Tarot!