A downloadable game

Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

Hardship River is a one-page, one-move Powered by the Apocalypse Role-Playing Game with no MC! In it, you and your traveling companions sail in the Little Tail boat down a very dangerous river, hoping to reach the great Unconquered City by the seashore. As you overcome each stretch of wild rapids, you discover why you're traveling, what's your cargo or why do you really care for your companions. But trust between strangers isn't found without navigating around lies and misunderstandings. And not all of your companions may be willing or able to face whatever hardship to reach the end of the river.

Hardship River is inspired by pieces from my hometown History and you may learn more about them if you consult what the web has to offer about the Douro River, Rabelo Boats or the city of Oporto. You may imagine it within any setting, just before a time where dams and dynamite made rivers much safer. You can even use Hardship River to kick-start a campaign for another RPG!

CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(11 total ratings)
Tagsoporto, rpgpten, Tabletop role-playing game, yourmovejam
Average sessionA few hours


Buy Now$1.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $1 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Hardship_River_v1.pdf 1 MB

Development log


Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.


I think adding a second file that is an example of the flow of the game would be useful for those not familiar with Brought by the Apocalypse  style play. An example game if you will. If I can get some friends to play online I may make a video for it. 

(1 edit) (+1)

Hardship River is a one-page trpg (or two pages, including the cover) about sailing with uncertain companions into a potentially dangerous unknown.

It's card-based, using the cards for blind-bids that help position the characters in the story. I did have a little trouble understanding the flow of the rules, however, and I wish there was a small overview section showing how play works.

Hardship River does cramp its text a little bit to fit the one-page format, and I think it would be a little more readable if it was allowed to decompress, but this is easy to get around by fiddling with the pdf magnification.

Overall, the game has a strong feeling and an interesting structure that can make for some tense (or alternately mellow and philosophical) conversations. It works as a setup to a campaign or one-shot as well, especially if you're playing something with kind of a wild west feel, and I strongly recommend it if you don't mind rereading a few sections to get a full grasp of how the game works.

Minor Issues:

-Page 2, last para, the spades suite is referred to as swords. This is completely true, but might confuse people. Maybe a holdover from conversion from tarot?


Thank you very much for your review. I've already updated the file to make the change from swords to spades and I will keep your suggestions in mind when working on a newer version. The challenge is of course reducing the amount of text while making it clearer. I do want to keep it at one-page for portability, every player has the entire game on his or her "character sheet". But maybe some of the introduction can go to the other side of the page, for example? I'll think about this. Thanks again 👍