Apothecaria: Review

Apothecaria by BlackwellWriter (itch.io)

Apothecaria will be my first solo TTRPG. I’m mostly in the games for the shared storytelling and in person tabletop experiences. The whole solo thing really missed me for a while. Then COVID happened and all my in person games just shut down. It got me re-evaluating what I find important in a game, and while we eventually did some Roll20 games, I also started exploring the idea of solo journaling RPGs.

Apothecaria was written largely in character, with a few call outs to how to play. This kind of caught me off guard, because I’m used to games telling me how to play, and dropping a few in lore pieces to help along. Thinking on it though, it makes total sense. I don’t need to explain the game to other players, I just need to pick up the game and read. The book acts as my DM, and I’m ready to just start playing. It works really well, and it tells you quickly what to expect.

In Apothecaria, you play the role of a villages new witch. Your job is to brew potions, and cure whatever weird or magical ailments start cropping up amongst the townsfolk. The game plays like a Stardew Valley, or Animal Crossing. You meander throughout the setting, taking on tasks that sound interesting, and uncovering little story writing prompts. You then write a short story about how Marquis, the fisherman who caught Sailor’s Step sent you on a trek to Moonbreaker Mountain in search of the Nimbus Fish. Its a nice relaxing game where you can sit and write, and I imagine it could go a long way to helping some break out of some writer’s block.

The whole ascetic of a slow burn, play a half hour here and there of the game really gives off a big cozy, sit by a fire sort of night. I’m planning to go to the beach in the near future, and this is looking like it my one beach book. A 55 page little zine, is replacing my normal stack of novels. You can get a copy at their site or itch pages.

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