A Magic Academy Horror Tabletop RPG
A one-player structured journaling game or a two-player tabletop roleplaying game driven by drawing tarot cards
Purchase on any of these platforms
➡ Raised over $11,000 while crowdfunding! ⬅
Brackroot Academy, a magical school you’ve never heard of, invites you to enroll. But be warned. You’ll have to worry about far more than just the difficult exams.
Can’t find a group to play with?
You can play Tangled Blessings alone or with one other friend! The rules are only slightly different when you play with one person versus two.
Don’t have a game master?
You don’t need one! Tangled Blessings provides a lot of surprise and delight all on its own!
Don’t have a lot of time?
While Tangled Blessings can run long if you want it to, it’s easy to keep the game on the shorter side, and there are optional rules to help!
Want something with less math?
Tangled Blessings doesn’t have any stats to track, and it doesn’t require a character sheet.
Tangled Blessings is a solo journaling or two-player tabletop RPG inspired by dark academia media, ghost stories, and graduate school. The core mechanics are based on the ENnie-nominated Anamnesis game by Samantha Leigh.
Featuring a wizarding college, wandering specters, assigned houses, curses, devils’ bargains and more supernatural flavor, Tangled Blessings blends horror and the fantastical to help players craft a story that spans their time at the Academy — culminating in one final showdown against their rival.
The game only requires a deck of tarot cards and a way to record the story.
Watch the vibes trailer to get a feel for the tone of this solo tabletop RPG!
S. Kaiya J. (Mirror_lock)
Designer of Her Odyssey and many other TTRPGs
“Brackroot Academy doesn’t waste any time pretending to be a fluffy, chintzy magic school. The larger magical world doesn’t pull its punches, and neither does Tangled Blessings. Danger will find you early and often. The first lesson you need to puzzle out is how to protect yourself… and from whom.”
Who is Tangled Blessings For?
If your favorite stories ever involved sneaking around an ancient building, uncovering dangerous secrets, studying in a dusty library, practicing spells on the lawn, or making perilous deals with creatures lurking in the darkness… This game is for you.
If you ever romanticized the university or boarding school experience, add a dash of terrible magic and this game is for you.
This is your chance to study somewhere special and threatening. You’ll find magic mingled with risks. You’ll be a magnet for disaster, but you could also lead others to ruin
“This game is beautiful and eerie and you can (and should) romance your rival. Top tier stuff.”
Two Play Modes
No game master required!
Even if you’ve never played a journaling game before, Tangled Blessings makes it easy to dive in, walking you through the simple character creation process step by step. As you play, you’ll draw cards from your tarot deck and respond to prompts that guide you through 4 years at the academy. You can record your responses in whichever way pleases you most.
When you play with another person, you’ll take turns exploring what the Academy holds for you, adding to each other’s memories as you go. Just like in solo play, you’ll use a single tarot deck to uncover events where your characters cross paths.
Watch: the concept explained in about 90 seconds
Rivalry (for solo and two-player versions)
A highlight of many academic-centered tales is the rival.
In Tangled Blessings, your rival can be your best friend, a family member, a stranger, an enemy, a romantic interest or a combination of relations. Your rival is present in most of your memories at the academy. How your relationship evolves with them is up to you, but at the end of four years, you’ll still stand against each other in one final test of academic and magical mastery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Tangled Blessings be played with more than two players?
Tangled Blessings was not designed to be played by more than two players. You can certainly tweak the rules to make it so, but there is no support in the text for more than two players.
I don’t know anything about tarot decks. Help?
The good news is that you don’t have to be a tarot expert to play Tangled Blessings! If you don’t want to read the complete answer, you can watch my video where I talk through tarot for tabletop games here.
Any tarot deck will work for Tangled Blessings, but make sure you’re using a tarot deck and not an oracle deck. A tarot deck will always have 22 Major Arcana cards and 4 suits to make up the Minor Arcana for a total of 78 cards. Some tarot decks will have variations on what they call the different Minor Arcana decks, but each suit will have 14 cards. Typically the Minor Arcana suits will be: Wands (alternately batons, clubs, staffs, or staves), Cups (chalices, goblets, or vessels), Swords (or blades), and Pentacles (coins, disks, or rings). If the deck you choose uses different Minor Arcana names than what’s listed in Tangled Blessings, have no fear. Just match up the suits as best you can. It’s pretty easy.
When picking out a tarot deck for the first time, I recommend finding one that comes with a good booklet and detailed art on the cards. It’s harder to pull meaning from simple cards, so the more art and symbolism the better! In the end, what the symbols mean is up to you! A great site for looking at meanings of the Major Arcana is Biddy Tarot!
Where can I find a good tarot deck? What if I can’t afford one?
Knave of Cups has a great selection of tarot cards. Just make sure you choose a tarot deck and not an oracle deck. If you use code
THETOWER when checking out, you’ll get $5 off your order of $25 or more!
There are also print at home tarot decks!
- –Dark Tarot offers a printable tarot deck that is lovely and printer friendly here (PDF warning).
- –Spells 8 offers a PDF of the classic Rider Waite-Smith deck here (PDF warning).
- -You can even cut out 78 pieces of paper or cardstock and simply write the names of each cards on them, looking up interpretations on the internet as you play. You can find a complete list of tarot cards here.
How many tarot decks do I need to play? Will I need two for two players?
You only need one tarot deck when playing Tangled Blessings, even if you are playing with another person.
What is a solo journaling tabletop RPG?
A solo journaling tabletop RPG describes a roleplaying exercise where you create a character and answer prompts about that character and their activities. You can write out your answers, record yourself, or simply hold everything in your mind. You have a lot more agency over the world and your character compared to group roleplaying games, but solo games use chance and random generators to create diverse playthroughs and experiences.
Tangled Blessings uses a tarot deck to create randomness and unique playthroughs.
Watch: How to Play Tangled Blessings
Interviews and Actual Plays
- –Listen to Planet Arcana’s AMAZING two-player playthrough featuring incredible sound design.
- –Listen to Errant Adventures solo playthrough: It’s moving and eerie.
- –Listen to Dread and Breakfast’s two-player playthrough that’s humorous and horrifying.
- –Read Kaden Ramstack’s Journal of terror and tension.
- –Read Jen’s novel-length playthrough, detailing an epic journey of self-reflection and angelic destiny.
- –Cassi Mothwin interviewed by Wintry D&D and flipping through Tangled Blessings.
- –Watch Ghost Candle play and meet an unforgettable cast.
This is a horror game that explores the harmful areas of academia. You will find mention of dark magic, rituals, murder, death, violence, depression, suicidal thoughts and ideation, isolation, claustrophobia, and self-harm.