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Calypso is a narrative solo ttrpg system, powered by the apocalypse, revised from the original Compendium and blended with new techniques developed over several years of play. It is designed to support an open-ended, strongly narrative (as in "writing with dice") style of solo gaming that aims to produce an experience that's as much fun in the moment of creation as it is to read later!  

It doesn't try to model a traditional GM and player experience, instead letting you, and your own reservoirs of creativity, steer the show (and push your characters around) overtly, using dice, system prompts, and step-by-step scene guides to build and maintain momentum.

It is divided into four sections; 

  • core, with the base system, complete with a simple motifs-based framework to guide your story, and ready to play with whatever premise inspires you
  • scenarios, containing seven (gently) evocative premise packages (aka, scenarios)
  • frameworks, with four robust narrative structures that insist you finish what you started
  • appendices, with alternative motif charts, a people and motivation generator, some random event tables, co-op and GM-led play instructions, and troupe play mini-framework and mini-scenario.

The original Calypso Compendium is a barebones mashup of Lady Blackbird-style character creation and Apocalypse World resolution, with a heap of refinements for solo. In this edition, I've revised everything in light of years of soloing with it, included DNA from other systems I've found useful in solo, included more explanations and examples, made it clearer what this is, and what it is not (hopefully), and (attempted) spiffied up art and layout.

If you'd like to check out the original, it's at katarpgs. Have fun!

StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(21 total ratings)
GenreRole Playing
TagsNarrative, PbtA, solo, Story Rich, writing
Asset licenseCreative Commons Attribution v4.0 International


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Click download now to get access to the following files:

Calypso.pdf 40 MB
Calypso_cover.png 1 MB

Development log