Tiny Tome Proves Big Game Ideas Can Come in Small Spreads

Tiny Tome Proves Big Game Ideas Can Come in Small Spreads

It should be no surprise to anyone that I love a TTRPG anthology, and as soon as I got my hands on Tiny Tome I knew that I was holding something special. Collected from an open call via itch.io, Long Tail Games has curated a selection that touches on every genre and gameplay style. Like a lot of games selected from an open call, some of them aren’t perfect. But all of them are playable, as long as you’re willing to fill in the blanks yourselves.

There are hex-crawl games, solo journaling games, lyric games, and classic adventuring modules all crammed into this one book. I’ve selected a few of my favourites to showcase. The Kickstarter has fully funded, and you can support this project by clicking here — I can promise it’s worth it.

Mammoth

Mammoth by Exeunt Press (Image: Tiny Tome)Mammoth by Exeunt Press (Image: Tiny Tome)

I did promise a hexcrawl, right? Mammoth, by Exeunt Press, is about a group of prehistoric humans trying to make their way to the hunting grounds at the far north end of the hexmap. Every day they have to decide how they’ll best survive in the wilderness, taking on starvation, mammoths, and how history will remember them.

Demonbreakers

Demonbreakers by Brian Hazzard (Image: Tiny Tome)Demonbreakers by Brian Hazzard (Image: Tiny Tome)

Demonbreakers, by Brian Hazzard, is Ghostbusters-meets-Monty Python and the Holy Grail, inspired by Avery Alder’s Belonging Outside Belonging game system. Fast-paced and with clear hooks to guide the players without a GM (Game Master), the game follows you and your ragtag crew of Demonbreakers as they have to close the gates to hell before your city gets sucked into the abyss.

Ossuary

Ossuary by Alfred Valley (Image: Alfred Valley)Ossuary by Alfred Valley (Image: Alfred Valley)

Inspired by classic dungeon-crawl tabletop games, Ossuary is a fast-paced combat-focused game by Alfred Valley. This is rules-light but combat-ready, creating a framework for the Bone Collector (aka the GM) to create a dangerous treasure trove where they should “reward cool, dangle loot, and drop hints” to keep the game going.

Freedom or Toaster

Freedom or Toaster by Giles Pritchard (Image: Tiny Tome)Freedom or Toaster by Giles Pritchard (Image: Tiny Tome)

Just the premise of Giles Pritchard’s Freedom or Toaster is delightful — You play as escaped androids on the lam who have found themselves dropped into a very typical, very human mall. You need to get out before the Robot Police figures out who you are. One of my favourites in this book, the mechanics are tight and the premise is immediately playable.

Short Order Apocalypse

Short Order Apocalypse by Benjamin C. Bailey (Image: Tiny Tome)Short Order Apocalypse by Benjamin C. Bailey (Image: Tiny Tome)

You and your buddies have decided that you’re sick of it. In Short Order Apocalypse by Benjamin C. Bailey, you’ve made a deal with the devil for unlimited power and riches, but first you’ve got to bring about the apocalypse. As you hack, slash, and summon your way into damnation, the GM is tasked with inventing the hordes of humans, angels, and zombies that would stand in your way. But as soon as you roll the sign of the devil, it’s all over… and maybe for you, too.

Symbiosis

Symbiosis by angela quidam (Image: Tiny Tome)Symbiosis by angela quidam (Image: Tiny Tome)

A two-player game using a stacking block tower, (like, say, a trademarked Jenga tower) author angela quidam was directly inspired by Venom, where one player is the Host and the other is the Pest. As you dictate danger you pull blocks out of the tower, which represents your failing body. When it topples it’s time to reveal how it all ended up falling apart.