A downloadable Solo Roleplaying Game

Buy Now$6.99 USD or more

WHAT IS GRIMOIRE?

GRIMOIRE is an award-winning story game designed for one player in which they will create spells and explore what it means to be a wizard.

In other classic dungeon crawling games, the wizard seeks out and finds grimoires - powerful books of mystical energies that contain the spells of an ancient wizard.

Who was that wizard?

What spells did they discover?

What happened to the wizard?

GRIMOIRE will provide you these answers and help you create those mystical tomes for other wizards to uncover.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

GRIMOIRE begins with you writing down some details about your wizard such as their name, what they value, what drives them, and whom they know.

Next, you will begin your story of spell crafting via responding to a series of prompts that are generated using a deck of playing cards.

You may conduct research for low risk progress on a spell or spend some coin to obtain the exact component you need for that spell. If you run out of coin or take too many wounds, then you may need to seek aid from friends at the risk of running into enemies. A selection of actions are described in the book to help you navigate through your story (See the rules reference image).

As you play, you will create a journal that describes your wizard's story, and the spells created and how they have been twisted by your wizard's changing values. This will continue until your wizard either completes their goal or perishes.

Will your wizard succumb to the years?

Will the lust for power drive your wizard mad?

GRIMOIRE will help you tell their story.

Physical copies available at


Want more content?

You can subscribe to the Bardic Inquiry mailing list to receive occasional free content for GRIMOIRE such as new bond types, name tables, and whatever else I can think of to improve upon the game.

Subscribe here.

Find more games from the Bardic Inquiry here


StatusReleased
CategoryPhysical game
Rating
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(38 total ratings)
AuthorThe Bardic Inquiry
GenreCard Game, Role Playing
TagsGM-Less, journal, journaling, Singleplayer, solo, spells, trpg, Wizards
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
LanguagesEnglish

Purchase

Buy Now$6.99 USD or more

In order to download this Solo Roleplaying Game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $6.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

GRIMOIRE_DIGITAL.pdf 34 MB

Community Copies

Support this Solo Roleplaying Game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copy

If you are in need and cannot afford a copy of the game, help yourself to a community copy of GRIMOIRE.

Every direct purchase of GRIMOIRE adds a community copy.

Development log

View all posts

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

(+1)

If I'm understanding bonds correctly, it's a huge game mechanic that should never be used.

You start the game with four bonds. I think that means one of each suit, though the book doesn't ever seem to say that. It looks like you can never have more than four bonds. The only ways to get new bonds is to replace existing bonds.

The starting bonds seem roughly balanced. Hearts remove a wound, Diamonds gain a coin. Spades gain a wound. Clubs gain a wound or remove two coin. Pretty much balanced. Near the beginning of the game, it's 50/50 whether I gain or lose.

Since the Heal action exchanges a coin to remove a wound, it's pretty much always a bad deal to take the club option to pay two coin to avoid taking a wound. The only reason I would want to do that is if the only other option is death, in which case I probably should have healed instead of consorting ... unless I have zero coins, in which case I should Perform because losing a few cards is better than a 1 (or 2) in 4 chance of death.

Once I resolve spades, I can gain three coin. But resolving spades means taking three wounds, which costs three coin to heal, so it's not really much of an incentive.

If I take three wounds at once, it's game over. So I never want to consort with two wounds, unless spades (and probably clubs as well) are resolved. 

If I'm fully healed, and I draw a heart, that's wasted. So I may want to consort fully healed for coin, but it's not worth as much as consorting with exactly one wound.

If I replace a bond, the Glinting Idol is the only replacement that is better than the original. (I think the Cordial Person is still subject to the normal clubs rules?) Two of other replacements make consorting (already close to 50/50) an even worse deal. And even the Glinting Idol isn't that good, because it heals two wounds, and I almost never want to consort if I have two wounds, because drawing a spade (or possibly a club) will kill me.

It just seems like I would almost never want to consort, except under very specific conditions:

1. I have exactly 1 wound (unless I have the People’s Militia) and I would rather risk inflicting a second wound than spend a coin. And the odds are not good, unless either spades or clubs is resolved.

2. I have zero wounds, and I'm willing to take a wound or two on the off chance that I might get a coin.

3. I have two wounds and spades and clubs are resolved. (And I do not have the Horned Wizard.)

4. I have two wounds, and the deck is so low that I'm pretty sure there's better than 1 (or 2) in 4 odds of ending the game.

So basically I don't want to consort unless bonds are resolved (which won't happen if I don't consort) or I'm really desperate.

It just feels like one of the core actions is something that I'll probably go many games without using.

Hi Oscardiggs,

Wow! This is a great analysis and I love it!

The consort action is a very risky action which may not always be the best option, but then again, sometimes you need that coin and don't want to risk losing progress on your spell or some other desperate situation you have laid out on your comment.

Though, I will clarify that you should be replacing bonds when they're exhausted, so it is always a 50/50 chance of a positive or negative outcome when taking the consort action.

Additionally:

  • Bonds are assigned to each suit (page. 10).
  • Cordial Person does act as a clubs bond with some the same consequences when they're encountered.

It reads like you have a great winning strategy for Grimoire! I hope you're still able to enjoy the game :) . The bond mechanism is something I would likely change when I revisit Grimoire, not because it's filled with risk, but because I would want to make Grimoire be a less oppressive and difficult game mechanically.

Thanks again, Oscardiggs, for your analysis :)

(+1)

Hello! This is my first solo rpg and I'm glad for a strong start to the hobby! I have a rules question. Do the face cards that start a spell set count as cards added to a spell for the purposes of the Perform action? For example: if I just have the initial face card from set up (a King of Clubs) and I take the Perform action and draw the Two of Clubs, must I then discard the King of Clubs?

Hey BristleBumpkin,

Welcome to solo roleplaying! I'm honored you have chosen Grimoire to be your first solo RPG :) .

Great question! The face card would not count because it is not considered a card added to a spell. The spell doesn't exist until that face card is in play. So, breathe a sigh of relief, Bristle! Haha.

I hope you enjoy your time with Grimoire! I hope this answers your question, and if you have any more then feel free to reach out :) .

(+1)

Just wanted to stop by and say that I have acquired the physical hardcover of this game and it's fantastic!

Hey Helrunar117! Thanks for dropping by! I'm so happy to hear you enjoy the game <3

(+1)

This game is so interesting to me! I'd love to play it, but unfortunately I'm not in a great spot financially these days, haha...hopefully this isn't rude to ask, but is there a chance of any more community copies becoming available soon? If not, thanks anyway!

(+1)

Hi PurpPop,

I have added a few extra community copies, so feel free to grab one :) .

Happy wizarding!

(+1)

Wow, thank you so much! I can't wait to get started!

(+1)

Hey there! I have been thoroughly enjoying the game so much, and I love the story telling mechanics used. I just have a couple of inquiries about different parts of the game:

First is the offering. I'm not exactly sure what the game means by deciding an offering for a spell. Is it similar to spell components in dnd?

And secondly, when questing, the rules for it state that "If you have responded to all prompts for a particular card, discard that card. If that card was the face card, discard the set after responding to the remaining prompts" but none of the prompts offered in the list have a face value. How would this work?

Thank you for reading and thank you for the hard work you put into making this game.

Hi Spagooli (Love the name)!

I am very happy to hear that you have been enjoying GRIMOIRE :) .

For the offering of a spell, you can think of them as spell components in DnD, but they also include strange behaviours or rituals you might have to do. It is really there to add some flavour to the spells and consider what might be necessary for balance if you were to port the spell to another system that has such requirements on magic.

Unfortunately your second point has stumbled on an old rule left over from an early version of the game. I had thought I found them all! You can safely ignore the removal of face cards due to this rule and it will not impact the game.

I hope this clears things up for you and thank you so much for reaching out! If you have any more questions, suggestions, or suggestions, I am always eager to hear them :) .

So I emailed this morning due to a slight issue I had- I meant to buy this game and the expansion to it but accidentally bought the base copy twice instead. I was emailing to see if I could get a refund on the base game so I could buy the expansion, or if you could just give me access to the expansion since it adds up to me essentially just paying an extra $2 instead. I only leave this message here since I don't know how your notifications are set up. That being said- I've enjoyed looking over my copy (or copies?) of Grimoire! It's been a great read and I can't wait to have the expansion so I can sit down and play- it has the best vibes for this spooky season! 

Thanks for reaching out! I have contacted you privately via email :) .

(+2)

Had a great time playing this. Check out my review if you'd like to read a little more about the game and how it plays! I include writing from a few prompts also.
https://croakerrpgcorner.blogspot.com/2022/09/grimoire-solo-journaling-rpg-of-im...

Thank you so much! I really love how you incorporated some of your journaling throughout the post. Very well written and I am glad you enjoyed your time with GRIMOIRE!

(+2)(-1)

this was such a fun game. just the idea of applying mechanics to building a grimoire or spellbook is so great.

Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to play GRIMOIRE!

I loved your narration of Burlak Steelstash's brief adventure and your ideas for conversion to DnD at the end were very cool :) .

And it was most definitely a magnificent moustache ;) .

(+1)

Question - on p24, under the 'discover' action, it says "A player may have as many spells under research at a time which can help research be a less risky undertaking."

Is that meant to simply read, a player can have many spells etc. etc. (no as many), or is there meant to be a number/comparison (as many spells as something)?

Hi Copperaeon,

That is definitely a typo! It should not be a comparison. A player can have multiple spell sets.

Thank you for taking the time to bring this to my attention. I am in the process of updating the file with the various typos I have collated over these past few months.

Oh, brilliant. Thanks for the clarification! :) I'm just on the creating a wizard part now but I'm going ot start a play-through this week. Looking fwd to it :)

(1 edit)

I hope you have a good time with GRIMOIRE and keep an eye out for the free update to the .pdf in a couple of weeks :) .

(+1)

Is there any chance this game might have Community Copies available?

I’m sorry if this was rude to ask. When turned into my country’s currency USD is terrifyingly expensive. Please ignore if I hurt your feelings.

(+2)

Hi Bubblecandyfloss,

Thank you for your interest in GRIMOIRE :) . You have certainly not hurt my feelings but have reminded me that community copies are important!

I have added some community copies to the page so please feel free to claim one. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on GRIMOIRE :) .

Happy wizarding!

(+1)

Thanks so much! You are so kind.

(+3)

Grimoire is a solo adventuring roleplaying game about being a wizard compiling a grimoire. The grimoire that you compile can also be adapted for use in other rpgs, making this one of the rare games that directly encourages content creation for other systems.

Grimoire's PDF is 60 pages, with a layout that feels like an old tome. There's a lot of visual variety and some nice illustrations, and it's really pleasant to look at. The text *is* ever so slightly difficult to read, but I'm not sure this is a bad thing. Taking your time and poring over the words is thematically appropriate, and there weren't any sections that I struggled with.

Mechanics-wise, Grimoire is played with cards, dice, a journal, and any other book of your choice. The other book serves as a word bank, and is used to select keywords for spells.

Character creation is quick, creative, and story-based instead of stat-based. You define traits about yourself, and you define a goal, but you don't allocate any points to anything.

That said, it is possible to lose Grimoire. Gameplay involves navigating a deck of cards---some of which heal you and build your resources, others of which damage and impoverish you. Taking more than three damage kills you. And while you *can* use spells to nullify the effects of negative cards, doing so causes you to gain Corruption, which can also kill you. Furthermore, drawing jokers at any time can set you on a path towards death.

Thankfully, you do have a lot of control over the gamestate. The structure of the game is divided into turns, and during each turn you can select an action from a detailed list. Actions include things like beginning research on spells, encountering cards from the deck, spending coins to heal yourself, or burning cards from the deck for small amounts of coin.

Grimoire's central mechanic of spell research is also handled through actions, although it feels more detailed and procedural than the rest of the game. You start researching a spell by playing a face card, and then complete it by playing other cards equal to the Spell Point value of the face card. Go over, and the research fails. Succeed, and each card adds context to the spell, giving you a unique and detailed magical ability.

Examples are provided (as is a very helpful condensed rules reference,) but there is a somewhat arcane feeling to the process, and the game seems to intend for you to have multiple spells in progress at any given time, allowing you to shunt new cards over to spells they won't scuttle.

Overall, if you want a meaty solo game that will make you feel like a wizard, has a decently long runtime, and will generate spells that you can adapt to other game systems, I'd strongly recommend checking this out.

(+1)

Thank you for the kind words and taking the time to play GRIMOIRE :) .

(1 edit) (+1)

Hey! I want to run a game of Grimoire since it looks pretty amazing.

I'm having a problem understanding the flow of the game. The rules says I can either RESEARCH or QUEST. Quest gives prompts so I'm pretty clear on what I should do. The RESEARCH part however, only says that you spend 2 coins and make a new spell. 


The question is: what use are the research location prompts then?

I have a theory but I don't know if I'm right. I thought that maybe when choosing RESEARCH you pick a card and react to the research location prompt. And then only when you have 7 cards can you spend 2 coins and get a new spell?

Thanks for your nice RPG!

(-1)

Hey CamilleBC!

Thank you for taking the time to download and play GRIMOIRE - it means a lot to me :) .

Your theory is correct! However, I would like to clarify some things from the process for you here. As I am sure you are aware, the instructions for this part of the game are on page 17-20.

  • When you initiate the RESEARCH action you spend 2 Coin and draw ALL 7 cards to then arrange into the pattern.
  • Once you follow the procedure for determining the 'spell' and 'glyph' you randomly select 1 of the 7 cards you drew to determine the research location prompt to then respond to.

You can find an example of play of this section on page 18.

I hope this clears it up and allows you to play GRIMOIRE further! And keep an eye on this space for the overhauled systems (once I find time haha).

Happy wizarding :)