A downloadable Double-Zine

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After a long fall, you've landed on something soft. A bit squishy and squelchy, really. And moving. Is it... a worm?

Plunge into the Judicial Well in search of redemption (and possibly escape!) in this fully illustrated adventure, So You've Been Thrown Down a Well.

You will also find 6 well-worthy backgrounds for your players to choose from, as well as a handy list of 36 objects thrown in the well (other than you): Well-dwellers and worm-cultists, flooded tunnels, weird mushrooms, and some invertebrates that might be lunch... or allies! Up to you!

This adventure is intended for use with the Troika! rpg. If you aren't familiar with Troika!, you should be! It's a rules-light, completely wacky RPG by the Melsonian Arts Council*. We're big fans of the surreal fiction it prompts. In fact, it prompted "So You've Been Thrown Down A Well"!

A Miscellany of Backgrounds

And that's not all! In addition to So You've Been Thrown Down A Well, you also get A Miscellany Of Backgrounds, a second Troika! zine containing 12 fully illustrated character backgrounds including "The Manycrowned of Bathe-In-Sky," "The Runewright," and "The Two Bound As One." These character playbooks can be used in any Troika! game, each with their own unique skills and descriptions.

a5, 60 pages, full-color

People have played this and here's the evidence:

Print & PDF

You can purchase the print & pdf from Cold Hearth CollectiveIndie Press Revolution,  Spear Witch, or Melsonian Arts Council

Looking for more adventure in the Down Below? Check out Slime Temple!

Community Copies

This zine also utilizes the Community Copies model to give back to the community. If the purchase price of So You've Been Thrown Down A Well is a hardship for you, feel free to grab one of the free community copies dow below, no questions asked. 

* So You've Been Thrown Down A Well is an independent production by Ember+Ash and is not affiliated with the Melsonian Arts Council.

StatusIn development
CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(54 total ratings)
AuthorEmber and Ash
GenreRole Playing
Tagsnsr, OSR, rpgzine, sworddream, Troika, Tabletop role-playing game


Buy Now$10.00 USD or more

In order to download this Double-Zine you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $10 USD. You will get access to the following files:

So You've Been Thrown Down A Well by Madeleine Ember.pdf 10 MB
A Miscellany of Backgrounds by Madeleine Ember.pdf 7 MB
So You've Been Thrown Down A Well by Madeleine Ember (Pages).pdf 7 MB
A Miscellany of Backgrounds by Madeleine Ember (Pages).pdf 8 MB


Support this Double-Zine at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

If the purchase price of So You've Been Thrown Down A Well is a hardship to you, please feel free to grab one of these community copies. 

Development log


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Hi! I'm going to run this in a few days and I have what may be a silly question: does the gear belonging to the PC's go down the well with them? I presume not, but wanted to know what you suggest. Thanks!

Just ran this for my crew and we had a great time! rich, whimsical, delightfully fucked up story!


Wonderfully illustrated, creative, and strange! To everyone who embarks on this adventure, I wish you well!

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So You've Been Thrown Down A Well is a riotously strong 31 page adventure for Troika. It blends art and layout in a way that makes me think of Mork Borg, but it also maintains a strong, consistent Grecian urn aesthetic that looks stylish as heck.

Plotwise, you play as folks who have been thrown down a particular reformatory well and into an under-dark as punishment for your crimes. This set-up can make it a little tricky to integrate Well into an existing campaign, but it makes for an extremely solid party dynamic if you use it as a first adventure or a one-shot.

The book doesn't have a single dungeon map graphic, but instead plays like a choose-your-own-adventure, with different pages sending you to other pages, and the exit being near the beginning. This *should* be confusing, but instead it's completely intuitive, and genuinely kind of fun.

The adventure overall has a sort of humorous, carnival tone to it, but it's got danger and some body-horror in addition to wackiness (although when I say body-horror, it's basically just one faction, and it was way lower in intensity than what I would normally expect if I saw "body horror" and "OSR" in the same sentence.)

There isn't a lot of insta-death, and the stuff that could swat the party like flies largely chooses not to, but there is a significant assortment of monsters and hazards. Everything is flavorful and extremely well-illustrated, and there are almost always diplomatic options in addition to combat.

Basically, this adventure is good in addition to looking good, and you should get it.

But if that weren't enough, it also comes with a set of wonderfully illustrated Troika backgrounds which spill over into a whole second supplement full of backgrounds. The supplement gets to step away from the urn aesthetic and do super cool things with color, and while like the adventure the backgrounds are all Troika-specific, they can technically be converted to other systems, and they have beautiful art.

Overall, this is a phenomenal Troika adventure, and it may also be fun to play with Fate or another system that allows for easy conversions. If you need a harsh, unrelenting tone in your adventures, Well may not be for you, but otherwise it's pretty much the perfect Troika intro.

Minor Issues:

-Page 7, Shrimple, this points to page 18, but page 18 has a Shrimple Invader which has completely different stats. Also, the Shrimple on page 7 has identical stats to the Ogatcha. Is this intended?

-Page 12, "use the", this paragraph trails off abruptly. Does it connect to the other side of the page?

(1 edit)

How do I contact someone for a print version (to Canada)?

Hi there! Easiest way is to grab it here: http://shop.byemberandash.com/product/so-you-ve-been-thrown-down-a-well


I backed this on KS and the physical edition is absolutely stunning. Production value through the roof and fantastic art. The adventure and new Backgrounds make me want to run a session immediately. Really looking forward to playing through it.


One of the best adventures I've read a in some time, SO YOU'VE BEEN THROWN DOWN A WELL is the perfect mix of adventure, possibility, horror and comedy, and the sort of adventure you can immediately imagine running for your friends, right from the very first scene. Madeleine Ember knocked it out of the park with this punitive-pit adventure and Natalie Ash's layout make it easy to visualize how the scenes work together. 

On top of all that, you get a bunch of Troika! backgrounds! A must-have for anyone who's been thinking of giving Troika! a go.

This is gorgeous. The way you laid out text and background so they act as a map and flowchart while containing all the needed information for the adventure is fantastic. This could have easily turned out to be very messy but it looks great and is very easy to follow.

An adventure unlike anything you’ve encountered, absolutely bizarre and delightful in the best way. Madeline’s writing is whimsical, horrifying and the quality of illustration and layout here is fantastic!

The adventure is so clearly and compellingly laid out! And the backgrounds are great. If someone's new to Troika! and looking for first steps past the basic rules, this is an excellent place to look. (Great for Troika! veterans as well, obviously.)

😊 Thanks so much!