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Soldiers of Fortune is a one-page tabletop rpg that contrasts slow, introspective roleplay with precise and tactical combat without randomization.


Players expand the world as they recreate the feeling of long travel by folding paper tokens used throughout the game. Arriving into the bleak urban world, they spend their thin pile of coins and track down a bounty target.


Defeating a grandmaster requires players to make careful plans and use the breadth of their abilities to navigate the move-by-move combat and look for an opening to land a finishing blow.



The slow, methodical pace of travel is difficult for TTRPGs to capture in real time. Real travel is characterized by monotony, introspection, and emergent idle conversation during the repetitive maintenance of a simple task (such as driving.)


Soldiers of Fortune prompts that emotional experience from players by asking them a complete a similar monotonous task - paper folding. The repetitive act of paper folding slows players down and (with a handful of prompts) eases them into casually conversing in character. 


The resultant paper objects are used throughout the rest of the game as a resource, and the emergent character knowledge is used to expand the remainder of the game.

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It is similarly difficult for TTRPGs to capture the fast paced move / counter action of martial duels between masters. Dueling combat is about system mastery instead of resource management and randomization.


Soldiers of Fortune uses a bespoke combat mechanic that does not use randomization or resource management and requires players to cooperate.


Each player has access to a number of techniques, each of which counter two others. Opponents have access to the same techniques, but are missing a key counter. Players experiment to discover their opponent's weakness, then work together to set up an uncounterable sequence and complete the encounter.

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