Card-Based Resolution System

Crossposted to rpg.net here: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=282552 

Here’s an idea I have kicking around: an rpg with a resolution system akin to the 2 player Lord of the Rings game or the Game of Thrones board game:  I have some number, you have some number, and we both play a hidden card and add.  The card has a number, and maybe a special ability.

Your character gives you an innate special ability, and a deck of cards.  So a D&D-style warrior takes less damage from physical combats, and his deck has more cards that get bonuses in physical combats.

The problem is, I could refine that all day long, but it seems to minimize the roleplaying aspects.  Right now it seems and awful lot like a ‘parlor-narration-game,’ with a very heavy rules component.  That’s not a bad thing, but the characterizations seem shallow.

Thoughts on how to inject some premise exploration?

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2 thoughts on “Card-Based Resolution System

  1. Josiah says:

    I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at, but you could still assign situational modifiers or (if you wanted to be really crazy) have different decks and which is used is determined by player actions leading up to the resolution.

  2. Rahvin says:

    Masterbook had some interesting stuff where cards altered battlefield conditions from round to round by rewarding particular actions listed on the card. “Anyone who uses a ranged weapon this turn can draw a card!” It was a little wacky, but you may want to look at it.

    Also, it had the occasional “special event” card and “subplot card” that were kind of cool, if vague. They took a little bit of practice. My favorite was probably “Interloper” which introduced a mysterious stranger. There were also cards like “Romantic Interest” that rewarded you for roleplaying a, well, you get the idea.

    It also included cards like “Drama” which granted you a +3 bonus to interaction skills, I think. Stuff like that. It was cool.

    One big issue for me though with a card system like this is that I don’t like the way it interacts with physical session timing. That is, I don’t want to keep track of what card everyone’s got (played or in hand) everytime we end or start a session. That’s just annoying. The alternative, however, can encourage players to want to end a session early just so they can replenish their hand next time they start play. Never really found a solution to this, but it was enough to make me stop playing. Well, that and the crappy magic system.

    If you want to further your exploration of a card-based magic system, I strongly recommend getting your hands on masterbook. (It’s based off torg, but I don’t know if torg used cards or not. Probably. Torgs easier to acquire, I think…)

    Hope that helps.

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