A downloadable game

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Welcome to High Rannoc!

If you’re reading this, I’m probably missing...or dead. Let’s hope just missing.

I wish I could be there to explain all this in person, but life takes unexpected paths.

Hopefully this journal will be enough to guide you.

Apothecaria is a solo journalling RPG in which you take the role of a village witch creating potions for the unfortunate villagers, adventurers, and monsters that come to you for help. The potions you create and the stories that unfold come together to create a beautiful journal that is unique and personal to you. Fill pages with drawings of ingredients, stories of run-ins with thieving fairies and sleeping giants, and recipes for the potions you have created to keep you right in the future.

With loads of unique ailments like Fairy Fever, Candlesick, and Yeti Chest, Apothecaria aims to capture the humour and feel of games like Theme Hospital and Stardew Valley with the cosiness and wonder of Studio Ghibli films.

What You Need To Play:

  • A deck of cards (Jokers in)
  • Journal
  • Something to write with

Apothecaria is intended to be a long term game and while you can rush through to discover what happened to the missing witch, I feel that its much funner to take your time and expand on the various discoveries that prompt you to create the world and characters around you.

Much like Stardew Valley, Apothecaria drops you into an existing world with characters, unique locales, and plenty of mysteries. As you progress, the stories you create will weave together to flavour your village and the people that come to you for help.

And, at the end, you'll be left with a journal full of memorable moments that makes for great comfort reading or as an artefact for a fantasy RPG.

Physical Copies and Art Postcards can be found at blackwellwriter.com

You can also find @bespoketacle's awesome Reagent Finder at https://potionbrew.softr.app/ 

And while I get the soundtrack sorted out, you can enjoy this playlist compiled by @GoblinMixtape - Spotify


Get this game and 148 more for $10.00 USD
View bundle
Buy Now$13.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $13 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Apothecaria Pages.pdf 8 MB
Apothecaria Spreads.pdf 8 MB
Apothecaria Pages (Printer-Friendly) formatted by Andrea Rossi.pdf 6 MB
Apothecaria Commentary.pdf 7 MB
Postcards and minigames.zip 86 MB
Apothecaria Soundtrack.zip 371 MB

Exclusive content

Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.

Community Copies

If, for whatever reason, you can't afford the usual price, feel free to grab one of these if there are any left.

I will put up 2 Community Copies for every Rating that people leave :)

Development log


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My kid keeps coming back to this. He hasn't ever "finished" it, but it continues to spark his imagination and sense of wonder.

just started this and I love it already. I’m very new to rpgs and solo rpgs so it’s daunting with all the rules, but easy to start slow.

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Hi hi, I just got this game through Bundle of Holding and I'm wondering if there's a way I could get the singles version of the PDF? It only has the two-page spread (that's the only file at all) and I'm struggling to read it. I completely understand if not, and I hope I can enjoy the game full stop!


hi, i just bought this game and it looks awesome but I'm not sur how to start. Are there any instrucciones on hoy to estará a gameplay?


Most people like to write a bit of freeform backstory detailing how they took up the position of village witch in High Rannoc while others like to just jump in with their first patient. 

ok, thank you!


Hi, I recently acquired a copy of this game and 2 expansions through Bundle of Holding, but I'm unable to print them because it's only the full colour spreads. I was wondering whether there was a way I could get a hold of the print-friendly (or at least single-sheet) PDFs without purchasing again? I've read through the core book and I'm really looking forward to playing :)

Hi, I'm from the UK but on holiday abroad. I wanted to buy myself the PDF while here but it won't accept my purchase on here as my billing address is different to my current IP address location. Is there another way I can pay and get the pdf while on holiday?!


Try blackwellwriter.com. 🙂

Oh brill, it does work through there, thank you!!


I keep having questions. Where's the best place to go to get answers? I'm really enjoying the game and I want to be sure I'm playing it correctly.


The best place to go would be the Blackwell Games Discord https://discord.gg/8CTgWRB8

I would love to join the Blackwell Games Discord but this invite link seems to be invalid. Is the discord still open for joining?

Never mind, I found it through your patreon!

I adore this game, I was just wondering if there a way for someone with the physical copy to buy the minigames and commentary or shally I bite the bullet and buy the PDF version in full? Thank you, I appreciate how much work has gone into this and I love how much additional content you’ve produced to keep things going! 


I really enjoyed this game! It's expansive and well worth the money; you can spend a long time playing it, and it's so whimsical and charming and allows so much story. I've written a full review of Apothecaria on my blog.


I hadn’t rated since my purchase, and I see I can generate some community copies by doing so!  I appreciate those being out there when cash is tight, so I hope someone gets to play and enjoy through this!

Apothecaria is a tidy, cozy little role playing game that you don’t need to round up a play group for.  It’s self contained and meant to be enjoyed solo!  Previous to this, the idea of a journaling game was something I had never heard of!  I am pretty sure I have a problem with writing supplies, judging by my collection of pens and markers… and partially started journals and notebooks from every trip through the office supplies store.  I can’t keep a real diary - I always end up throwing them out - but Apothecaria creates something I’m actually pleased to go back to read.

The system may seem daunting at first, but as with all rule systems (and pirate codes) they can be mostly a guideline for you to settle into the world and start exploring and telling cute stories. But i fully suggest sticking to the text until you find what you think fits your story best.

There’s so many colorful locations to explore, each with fantastic events and mysterious flora and fauna.  Just in the base game!  

A simple deck of playing cards (some players substitute or supplement with tarot cards, Ive read!) can generate everything you need for the creative bits in the game, along side the charts in the book.

If you’re more of a salty D&D gamer like me, and don’t own any cards at all, card generators exist online, like Random.org (new tab) or Random-card.com (new tab) - or if you also like the real materials feel, a d12/d20 and d4 (12, 20, and 4 sided dice for use with games like Dungeons and Dragons) can stand in.  As any polyhedron, dice need to have an even number of sides, so it can’t represent the full 13 in a suit.  You could treat any roll of 12 as either a Queen or King as you choose, or use the d20 and reroll any result above 13!  (Makes it more complicated than needed, but if you hate computer generated stuff and really don’t have a deck to hand, you can make it work) Use that evil little d4 to find the suit if you need it (ie: random choice of patient chart - Villager, Monster, Adventurer, repeat patient).

There’s so much room for the player’s imagination.  One event in my trial play led to the discovery of a chest, and let me fill in the blank of what was inside.  Being a D&D gremlin, I imagined a magical item.  Then randomly designed one that would be of help and not break the game by making challenging things moot.  I made: The Necklace of Screaming!  It has 3 total uses - represented by a stylized stone skull amulet with 3 cartoonish teeth.  A use removes a tooth.  It basically scares away things that might force you to drop a reagent.  (if it makes sense) allowing you to escape with your loot but not pick up anything new that turn.  I think I may have used it to frighten off some naughty fey creatures that wanted my stuff.  I even took time to make a little doodle of it.

You may encounter other people.  You’re encouraged to develop them as reoccurring characters, and describe how you interact with them over time.  A siren singing a song?  A message in a bottle you can reply to?  All delightful.

I haven’t yet dived into the main story about the witch you’ve replaced!  But the minimal reading through the book so far tells me it’s going to be an interesting plot!

All in all, personal rambling and experiences aside - Apothecaria is restful and creative, and is very deserving of a play.  Play as is, or use as a springboard for your own creative stories solo, or to share with likeminded friends! 

Cheers to the author, and all contributors to the publishing.  Any expansions to the base game that I purchase will undoubtedly be joyful.


Thank you so much :) This was a joy to read and I'm glad you're enjoying it so much!


Okay! I've got the game and just spent the past couple of hours learning to play! I had a lot of fun, especially coming up with names and my familiar. (I may have used the Teacup Dragon from Dragon Stew as inspiration.) I've written more this evening than I have in the past couple of years. Thank you so much for this!


This is by far one of my favorite games! I can't wait to introduce this game to my bf's nieces. Will there be an SRD made for this game? I saw you came out with one for Delve and would love to see one for this game too!


Thank you :) 

I'm not sure about an SRD for Apothecaria. I'll have to think about that.

Hi! I found this game after Metal Weave's creator retweeted you & I gotta say, this looks absolutely perfect for once summer starts & I'm able to get some down time. I do have a question, though, is it possible to play this game completely digitally? I mean, using a digital journal thru something like Goodnotes or Zinnia on a tablet. Mostly because I am forever losing paper items due to furry housemates.


Hey that's awesome :) and yeah it can be played completely digitally all you need are cards and a journal so should be easy enough.

I was introduced to this game and it's really great. Good work.


This game is really something special. I don’t often leave comments, but I have to on this one, just because I love it so much.

This game has had me writing more in the past few months than I’ve written in years. It’s helped me gain confidence in my ability to write my own original stories, instead of just writing fanfic (which is absolutely fine, but I’ve always wanted to write/publish original fiction - I’ve just never had the confidence or drive).

The author cites Stardew Valley and My Little Pony as inspiration for this game, and while I agree with it wholeheartedly, I also wanted to add another comparison I thought of while playing: the Atilier series of games, specifically Atilier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk. The stories have some similarities: Someone’s missing and you find out what happens to them and possibly rescue them over the course of a year, and you yourself take on the role of a potions-maker crafting things for your patients - much like the titular alchemists of the Atilier series does. 

I’ve been playing for roughly a month and a half now and am almost at the end of spring. I can’t wait to see what the other seasons bring!


I was wondering if there were plans to release more community copies? :)

Would it be possible to put the Printer Friendly Version on Patreon?


The itch.io and Patreon stuff should be linked, I'll look into it during the week.


This is such a lovely game, my partner and I keep coming back to it again and again!

I made a short video review about it:

Hi there, I'm really excited to get started with this game and I would love to join the discord :), but the link is invalid. Is there any chance I could get a current invite link if this discord is still open? Thank you!

Ah, hey, just a question.  I just got my physical copy, and am about to start my first playthrough, but am having a little trouble understanding the rules and getting started.  Is there extra information in the downloadable pdfs?  Or... is it just the same information as is in the book?

And if it has extra information, do I need to purchase it separately?  I'm just a little unclear on it all...


Hey, the digital PDFS are exactly the same as the physical game. There's a Discord where you can see other people's journals and ask more questions to help clarify things :) https://discord.gg/4WNq34vy


Thank you.  I'll be sure to check it out.  I just finished my first entry (more of a prologue than a first day) and I can tell I'm going to have a lot of fun with this.

Hi there, I think the discord invite is invalid now. Where can I join?


I bought a physical copy as a yule gift to a dear friend - she absolutely loved it, finds it extremely soothing and peaceful. Thank you!!

I finaly got my physical copy, and I love it. Is there was some way to get the Tacker it mentions? Also, the physical copy I got came with the pdf, but just the 1st file listed here. Nothing else besides the physical copy. I'd love the sound track. Is there anyway to get the soundtrack separately? And even the other files? I already paid more in shipping then I wanted to get Apothecaria and Delve; and already have the pdf of Apothecaria. Thank you for these amazing games!


Hey, the tracker is just a circle split into 8 segments not an actual thing I've put together. As for the extra files, please send me a private message here or on Twitter (@Blackwellwriter) and I'll get that all sorted for you. 

Thanks :)

There's no way to send a private message here. I'll send you in on Twitter.


Wonderful game, even though the organization of the rules could be improved here or there, but nothing really deal breaking. Looking forward to Apawthecaria!


I used a community copy to get my copy of the game a while ago when I was down on my luck however I am doing better now and Id love to pay it forward.. Is there a way I can donate a copy of the game?


I love playing this game as a way to write letters to my penpal friends. I have even been using my tarot cards in place of regular playing cards to help full out the world a bit more and build the story. Specifically I use the meanings of the cards to help determine how the events play our in my writing and the characters that I meet. 

It was a little challenging to get started as I am a visual learner and dyslexic. It took me about 3 test runs to fully grasp how the game works. I ended up creating a little worksheet to help me playthrough the game without always having to refer to the rules. (You can download it here if you want) I understand that there is room for misinterpretation of the rule but I like the structure of having a visual representation of how to play the game. It helps me spend more time enjoying playing and practicing writing rather than getting blogged down in the details. 

I took a look at your worksheet and I love it! I often get lost when trying to keep track of resources and other things in games because I write stuff down all over the place. Your sheet is beautifully designed and I've found it super helpful. Thank you so much for making it available! :)

I’m not dyslexic that I know of, but have had a bit of trouble organizing mentally lately.  This is really gorgeous to start, and is such a tidy little template!  I will certainly use this, and maybe even create a page to use myself for assorted other trackable things - character / familiar details (maybe familiar’s silly adventures?), wands, upgrades to tools, location unlocks, reagent shelf stock…anything else I’m forgetting…

Many thanks for the tool!


my friend is brazilian and therefore poor please make more community copies i would really appreciate that i am sorry for rudely harassing you, please have a good day BBB)))


I have a question, though I haven’t started playing yet. I’m starting by drawing a village map. I see the tinker expansion adds a new workshop building, would you able to say if there will be any more expansions with new village buildings in the near future?


I always picture the Workshop as being separate from the village. Most of the expansions so far are separate from High Rannoc except for the Familiar Shelter which is near High Rannoc.
Sorry if that's no help.


That was really helpful, I can finish the map with out overthinking where to leave space. I can always redraw it down the road if need be. Thank you. 

The page number references in the text of the printer friendly version are incorrect. There're only a few and it's quick to correct on the printout. The TOC is correct. 


Many of the page number references in the printed version from blackwellwriter.com are also incorrect, making it a bit harder to play. Sad, as I bought it as a present.

A minor question, and definitely falls under the “misinterpret rules” command, but I notice that their are several reagents listed under a locale (i.e. mountain) that also show another locale available from the beginning (I.e. forest, or village). Is there a reason why the reagents are listed under specific locales rather than by alphabet? (Narratively, I’ve said it’s the order the witch discovered them, but I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing something!)


Just to be thematic really :) I tried to create the feeling of flicking through all the witche's old tomes to find the right reagents and sorting by locale felt best to me.

<3. Awesome! I was hoping it was something like that, and not me missing a major rule somewhere ! :)

I'm also really sorry to ask, but I've got all of three dollars in my bank account and was hoping to grab a community copy. Is there any chance you're releasing any more soon?


There are now :)


Thank you so much!!!

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Is there any chance this game might have Community Copies available?

I’m really sorry if this is rude. When turned into my country’s currency USD is terrifyingly expensive. Please ignore or delete this if I hurt your feelings.


There are now. Have at it.

Thanks so much!


I am loving this game!  I am playing with a set of tarot cards and it works wonderfully!

Is there a community of players somewhere?


Awesome :D and yeah there is: https://discord.gg/GygdYnA

We share journal entries, homebrew content, and discuss all of my games in the Discord above :)


You’ve created a really wonderful game here! My 7 year old and I just spent the whole weekend playing. We’re having so much fun inventing villagers, running around collecting pretend reagents, and coming up with stories about the events! We’re both just completely enamored with the game. Thank you so much for making it!

I got my paper copy in today from Kickstarter? What is the estimated playtime? I guess what I am asking is if it is reasonable for one sitting.


You could probably complete an Ailment in like 5 to 15 minutes (more if you really sink into it and write a lot) but to get to the highest Rank, find the missing witch, and see all the locales will likely take multiple hours over multiple sittings. 

Think of it as something you can come to whenever you like rather than a game to be completed.


I gave it a go, and, yep, it is a full on campaign! I wrote about two pages of prose for my first "week".


Awesome! :D

I am the same!  My first week ended up being about 6 pages of me rambling about the various events, locations, peoples, and my witches random thoughts.  I am not sure I will ever get to Winter!