In the arts district, across the river, in the older part of downtown, there is a small and unassuming coffee shop, in a shambling brick building. An ordinary-looking place, without ostentatious signage or even a chalkboard of specials set out in the sidewalk.
If you peer in through the dusty window, however, you will see an unusual array: almost all the patrons are supernaturals.
The Queen of Cups is a peaceful place. Everyone pledges to be on best behavior. You don’t find the faeries fighting with the cave trolls, or else nobody gets their coffee. Sometimes you run out of oat milk or caramel syrup. Sometimes the toaster is broken. Sometimes a selkie misses home, or a medusa lost her job (again). These are the kind of problems it’s up to you to listen to, sympathize with, and maybe even help fix.
This is a diceless and GMless game. It is recommended for 4 players (though 3 or 5 should be fine too!) and intended for play over any number of sessions; there are no real long-term advancement mechanics in any quantitative sense, though context and story deepen over time. All you need is a single tarot deck, a stack of index cards, and a pencil for everyone. (And maybe a cup of coffee or tea as well.)
Please be sure to discuss safety tools before playing the game. See the TTRPG Safety Toolkit by Kienna Shaw & Lauren Bryant-Monk for a thorough survey of commonly used safety tools and consent mechanics.
This game was created by Nick Wedig, Jason Vanhee, and Blake M. Stone as a part of Ben K. Rosenbloom's Threeforged Jam 2019. As per the jam's rules, none of us knew who we were working with until the project was finished.
Cover graphic created in Canva with licensed free images.
Typefaces used are Grand Hotel and Averia Serif Libre.
The game is available in two formats: a color A4 PDF version for screen (which should be lightly colored enough to be fine for printing in b&w) and a plain text version, which is the actual round 3 submission for the jam.