View Full Version : Card-based Roleplaying Game

2015-12-16, 01:42 AM
So I was browsing the forums, and I saw something that piqued my interest: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showsinglepost.php?p=20170267&postcount=3

Long story short: Trekkin was looking for a way to remove dice from their campaign. LnGrrrR offered the idea of a game in which in lieu of rolling dice, characters had a deck of cards from which they drew to make actions. This deck would be improved by adding more powerful/specialized cards into their deck; this would be the equivalent of leveling up.

Intrigued, I quickly searched the forums for what this game was, as I now wish to run a game like this.

There was no thread on it.

So, instead of searching for an already-existing system, I've elected to make one.

Any of you are free to help me create this deckbuilding RPG system. And when it's (barely) functional, I'd like to run a game here with it.

So, without any further ado, here we go!


First order of business - on what mechanic should we base this system? Do we want a game like Magic the Gathering/Hearthstone, where cards are physical entities that may be manipulated, or do we want a game like Go Fish/Canasta, where cards are collected until played in a combination that launches an attack?

2015-12-16, 02:30 AM
Personally, I like the Go Fish method. That system would allow players to create combination attacks once they had the necessary cards in their deck.

2015-12-16, 03:07 AM
With D&D's 4th through 5th edition there's been implemented this concept of average damage which most monsters deal. Same ideal could be translated into 4th edition spells and powers of each classes. In lots of ways, 4th edition was somewhat a hybrid of tabletop dice-and-cards game, in my opinion. So, instead of rolling the dice for the damage and such, you could just have each ability to be an average total of the dice rolled and bonuses applied (e.g. 2d8+4 would average into 13). In regards to attacks vs. defenses, there might be some leeway to go and improvise if you didn't want any rolls made even with the d20.

Something like calculating the leftover from one's attack bonuses vs. target's defense in question, and just think of it as the requirement that each of the characters must meet or they miss. The 4th edition power "cards" already function on encounter basis, so that the very minor abilities are usable over and over without a limit per day, but some can be used only once per encounter, and the most effective ones only once per day (or in this concept, once per game, perhaps).

Just throwing out ideas to improve from. :)

2015-12-16, 10:19 AM
In the OOTS game, players use cards called Schticks to activate their abilities. V tends to need to flip their Schticks after using them, while Roy doesn't need to do that with most of his Schticks. Characters who rest can unflip their Schticks. Monsters and treasure are also represented by cards. Die rolls are still used, but this could be taken out.

I have a game called Mage Wars that I could show you which isn't an RPG, but it's entirely card based and could be converted into an RPG.

2015-12-16, 04:59 PM
Thanks for your input!

The first question - what is the core mechanic - has been settled!
I'll be making a system based on both Magic the Gathering and Canasta - playing a set of cards will create permanent or instant effects, and playing like cards onto an already "melded" minion or weapon will increase their staying power.

Now, the lynchpin here is the idea of melding. In order to play something, you have to have at least two copies in your hand. Once a card is melded, then additional copies may be played to strenghten the overall stack - because at the end of every turn all persistent effects weaken.

What do you think of this concept? Needs reworking, or alright to start building a game on?

2015-12-16, 06:02 PM
I see lots of cards potentially being dead if you need doubles of them. Depends on how cards are earned.

2015-12-16, 06:52 PM
And that's why I'm not planning on instigating a cap on how many copies of a single card you can have.

"But GAAD, what's to stop me from building a deck with nothing but an arbitrary number of copies of a single OP card?"

Absolutely nothing. That is a PERFECTLY viable strategy... once you have all those cards.
Well, and the fact that if you want to play more powerful cards, you'd need to put in mana cards as well in order to actually play them.
And the fact that the 50X deck (Do you think 50 is a reasonable deck cap?) of anything would swiftly run out of cards to play, is quite predictable and nonreactive, and a few tech cards on the opponent's side that counter whatever the only card in your deck is would absolutely slaughter it.

But as for singleton cards being dead in hand... well yes. The more versatile you make your deck, the less copies of a particular card you run, and the less consistent your deck is. Want to pop in some card draw? Some shields? A Fireball or two? Well, sure. But the less streamlined your deck, the more times you will be drawing dead... And the more streamlined, the less able to come back from a losing position.

2015-12-16, 06:56 PM
If you make decks 50 cards and you need two of the same name to cast them, you can be sure that the maximum number of cards with different names that a single player will play is about 10. That makes play really stagnant and boring. I don't see what the benefit of the minimum 2 is meant to be, either.

2015-12-16, 07:22 PM
Okay, thanks! There's a reason I'm crowdsourcing this after all.

The point of the multiple cards was... because I was kind of hung up on the idea of CanastaRPG.
I like the idea of having to play multiple cards for one effect, from an aesthetic level, but it would make decks quite stagnant. I agree.

So... how about we only keep that concept for the magic system?
Spells need time and preparation, and are much more complicated than punching someone in the face! For massive damage!
You mean for temporary inconvenience, right? Because I'm pretty sure he won't be feeling that tomorrow. :smalltongue:
Shut up! That was totally awesome. :smallmad:
So I like the idea of spells being quite powerful, but as an offset rather tricky to pull off.

So, concept for spells - each spell is separated into several distinct cards. The spell is powerful, but requires all its requisite cards to be played simultaneously.
So the more spells you have, the less everything else you have.

Now that I think about it, I don't think I should HAVE a deck cap. If the players want to have a ton of options, let 'em! They just won't be guaranteed to have the answer.

2015-12-16, 07:48 PM
Maybe make it so that the more powerful a spell is, the more copies of it you need to cast it? And if you have more, you can empower the effect, perhaps. I don't think you should have the copies be distinct, because that just gets irritating (more problems with dead cards).

So you could have cards like this:

Lightning Bolt 2
Mage Spell
Lightning Bolt deals 5 damage to an enemy within 3 squares.
Augment 1: Increase range by 1.
Augment 2: Lightning Bolt deals 5 damage to another enemy within 3 squares of the previous one.

Or this:

Visions 2
Cleric Spell
Draw 3 cards.
Augment 1: Draw another card.

(This allows you to chuck your last Visions card for a new card if you have three Visions in hand and don't think you'll get a fourth).

Or maybe this:

Adamantine Armour 3
Warrior Equipment
You get +5 armour.
Augment 1: You get another +1 armour.

Equipment would stay on the table once you'd played it. I have no idea what +5 armour means.

Dragon Companion 5
Mage Ally
Move 6/Attack 4 Range 3 or 6 Range 1/Health 15
Augment 1: +4 health.

Because Allies and Equipment stay on the table when played, it only makes sense to give them one augment each because otherwise you'll forget which one you've used.

This is just me throwing ideas at you. Let me know which ones you like and which ones you don't. :smalltongue:

2015-12-17, 12:47 AM
Alright, I'm mostly here to express support for Jormengand's ideas, as well as tack on one of my own.

Normally, when you augment a card, you use a card of the same type. I'd like to propose a companion system to allow magic items and/or creature template-like effects.

So let's take an example card:

Longsword 2
Warrior Equipment
Your attacks deal +3 damage.
Augment 1: Your attack cards deal an additional +1 damage.

And augment it with this:

Equipment Augmentation
If played on a weapon: The weapon may be used to attack as though with a Lightning Bolt spell. This requires discarding the augmentation.
If played on armour: The armour gains +3 resistance to electrical damage.

What I was thinking was that special augmentations cost you the normal benefit you'd get from augmenting the card in exchange for the benefit of the special card. In the case of the longsword above, it wouldn't get the normal +1 damage for being augmented, but it would give its wielder a oneshot Lightning Bolt spell.

I also have an idea for armour, but it's a bit late here, so that's all I've got for now.

2015-12-17, 01:31 AM
I haven't read very thoroughly, so I might have missed, but it seems like what is being described is pretty similar to card hunter (http://game.cardhunter.com/) (both the mechanics and that it's an rpg being played with cards.

I think a port of something like card hunter would be very fun. As a roleplaying game, it doesn't need to be as reliant as number boosting and video game rpg mechanics, and card hunter has shown there is a lot of room for creativity with just that.

2015-12-17, 03:38 AM
So. Theorycrafting time.

The way I see this working is in four different types of cards: Summon, Stuff, Spell, and Skill.
The basics - every card has a mana cost. In order to play a card, this cost must be paid.

In combat, three of the types are used.

First is what you have dubbed "ally", or Summon. These are cards with a health, an attack, a move speed, a mana cost, and whatever else have you. Then they stick around until killed. Considering I want equipment to be the main arsenal at low level, I'd rule that summons should be low-tempo but high value. Can't attack the turn they're played, and all that jazz.
To play a summon, one must simply have the card and the requisite amount of mana remaining in hand. It is then on the board and may be interacted with. The Canasta Element is nonexistant - Summons are essentially a stack of one.

Second is what you have dubbed "equipment", or Stuff. This is attached to your character. Weapons and Armour. These stick around, like Summons, but cannot be targetted by sources of damage. Instead, they are a resource you may use at will: for example, a swing with a sword or blocking with a shield. Since these are harder to remove, it therefore requires more effort to put into play. So, this is where the Canasta Element comes in. You need to have at least two copies of a particular card, plus the man cost, to play it. This produces an immediate effect that can be used for as many times as you have a copy of the card in play. Having nine copies of your +1 Flaming Axe will (Taking damage while attacking, of course. I AM inspired by Hearthstone after all) give you a (assuming axe is 1 damage, +1 is 1 damage, and Flaming is Damage over Time) 2/9 weapon hitting an enemy of your choice once per turn that gives whatever you hit the Burning penalty.

Third is Spells. The idea is, the more powerful the spell, the more it costs in mana and cards - so a level 2 spell would cost 2 unique cards. Now, there are several ways of doing this. First, to give each spell their own card. Stacking a deck with twenty Lightning Bolts would allow consistency in drawing Lightning Bolts. The second would be to have each spell component be its own unique card and to cast a spell, one must have a precise combination of component cards. The downside to this method would be that if you drew a combination in excess of what you already had, it would be useless whereas if all components are identical then drawing the final "cardslot" of the spell would have enabled you to cast it anyway. BUT! Using components would allow mages much more versatility - nobody said the components were EXCLUSIVE to one spell, after all. A mage can build up a hand, find what spells their given cards are able to cast, and work from there. I'd rule that that is the difference between Divine and Arcane magic mechanically - the Gods grant power towards a miracle, but specifically that one. You ask your god for Cure Light Wounds and shuffle some Cure Light Wounds cards into your deck. When you draw enough of them, you can cast Cure Light Wounds, and only Cure Light Wounds. A wizard, on the other hand, would shuffle some bat guano, quicksilver, and petroleum (not bothering looking up the material components for a Fireball, and we can always change it later) into his deck. When he draws the right combination of all three specifically, he can use it to cast Fireball (which may or may not be a Level 3 Spell. We're still into basic mechanics at this point and all examples are apocryphal in nature). BUT! If he gets a different or smaller combination (say, bat guano and quicksilver) he can still cast a spell. (In this hypothetical example, while the wizard can't cast Fireball, he could still cast Haste, which has those two cards specifically as its components. And if he had all three cards, he could cast them together for their combined effect... OR use any pair for the different, lesser effect associated with that pair, for fewer mana and cards).

Also, how to gain mana and card draw - if you take no action during your turn, you gain one mana (permanently) and draw an extra card (you of course draw a card at the start of your turn regardless). Thus, if you want to make more powerful plays, you have to wait a bit to prepare while everyone else is taking actions - how much do you ramp before you have to defend yourself against the inevitable onslaught of your foe?

And then you'd have a different deck archetype for out of combat. This would be the particular ability scores you have at your disposal - STR, DEX, CON, WIS, INT, CHA, in all their glory. Each ability score would have its own deck - 30 cards, with each point in that ability being a card with "Success" written on it and the rest blank, except for (optionally?) one which reads "Fail" and one which reads "Fantastic". These are your Skills. Essentially, in order to make a skill check, one must merely draw a card. If you draw "Success", you succeed. If you draw a blank, you fail. If you draw the Fail card, then that's essentially a nat one. Hilarity shall thus ensue. If you draw the Fantastic card, then that's essentially a nat twenty. Awesome shall thus ensue.

Training in a particular skill (trapfinding, diplomacy, "diplomacy", spellcraft, etc.) would allow you to draw an additional card per level of training taken, when attempting an action that you have been trained in. If you draw the Fail card while drawing multiple cards, then it is essentially "worth" -2 points and you must draw 3 points worth of "Success" cards (The Fantastic card is worth 3 points) in order to succeed beyond your bad luck.

Thus, this brings the MinMaxer into play. Penalties would shuffle more Fail cards into the ability deck the disadvantage would give you. So in DandD terms, a penalty, instead of subtracting from your score, adds more ones onto your dice.

Ooh! That gives me an idea - curses or delayed effects that shuffle a negative card into someone's deck for a powerful and inevitable but delayed effect would be totally awesome.

So, critique on these concepts? What needs streamlining? Any suggestions?

Thank you Jorm, Urist, and Qazz for your input, by the way. Good to know there are some systems sort of like this out there. But this thread is not about them! We are forging ahead! Creating our own RPG system! To boldly go where men, but no Playgrounders have gone before!

Mark Hall
2015-12-17, 03:20 PM
May I suggest ODE (http://rpgcrank.blogspot.com/2013/08/ode-one-deck-engine.html)?

2015-12-17, 05:31 PM
I'm a little late to the party with this but I'll throw it in the pot anyway.

Regarding your previous concept of cards requiring extra duplicates of themself instead of mana, I had an idea. Instead of a given card requiring you to play a minimum number of identical copies and getting powerful with extra copies, instead give all cards essentially a suit. In order to play a card, you have to spend the card itself plus a minimum number of cards of the same (or even any specific) suit. You can have as many suits as you think appropriate, but for now let's say the four classic elements and Aether just to get the ball rolling. So here's Lightning Bolt III in this method:

Lightning Bolt III (Air)
Mage Spell
Requires: 2 Air
Deal 7 damage to any enemy within range 4.
Augment (1 Air): Increase the range of this spell by 1, or the damage of this spell by 1.

As an alternate feature, you could make cards require different suits for different augments. Here's an alternate Lightning Bolt III:

Lightning Bolt III (Air)
Mage Spell
Requires: 2 Air
Deal 7 damage to any enemy within range 4.
Augment (1 Air): Increase the range of this spell by 1.
Augment (1 Fire): Increase the damage of this spell by 1.

Finally, you can have (in addition to their deck) characters with special passives as part of their design. This doesn't require the use of my idea above. Here's an example of a mage passive in a couple of different versions.

Stormblood (suit version)
Mage Passive
Whenever a card has "Augment (Air)", you can spend any Mage Spell to qualify for that Augment.

Stormblood (mana version)
Mage Passive
You can burn any number of Mage Spell cards on your turn to gain an equivalent amount of mana. Those cards are removed from your deck until you rest.

2015-12-18, 12:46 PM
Oh! Yeah, that would work - paying mana as cards in your hand - every card would cost an amount of mana to play, but would give another, smaller, amount of mana when discarded. Does this work?

Also, thanks Mark for coming up with a similar idea several years ago. Still doesn't change the point of this thread, though, as we're MAKING a system here. From Scratch. Uphill. Both ways.

2015-12-18, 01:12 PM
Ooh, I have an idea! Maybe make it so that each card requires that you discard a number of cards of the same type? Or, even better, have it that each card's cost is expressed as a combination of the cards you need to play it (So 2FA is 2 of any type, one fire and one air, while 1SSB is 1 of any, two slashing, and one bludgeoning).

For example:

Fireball (1FF)
Mage Fire Spell
Choose a square within range 6. Fireball deals 3 damage to each creature in that square or an adjacent square.
(Augment F: Fireball deals 1 more damage to each of those creatures.)
(Augment 3BBB: Each creature that takes damage from Fireball falls Unconscious for 2 rounds.

Longbow (1P)
Warrior Piercing Equipment*
Flip Longbow: Deal 3 damage to a creature within range 6.
(Augment P: Unflip longbow.)

Grand Theft (2AADD)
Rogue Air/Dark Skill
On play: creature in range 1 discards their hand. Draw that many cards.
(Augment 2A: Draw that many cards again.)

Walk on Clouds (1A)
Rogue Air Spell
Move 4, ignoring obstructions.
(Augment A: Move 1 more.)

Roaming Bear (2E)
Druid Earth Ally
Move 4/Attack 3 range 1/Health 8
(Augment E: Next attack +1 damage)

So for example, a mage could discard two Dragon Companion (Mage fire/air ally) and one Ice Sword (Mage water equipment) to cast a fireball. The idea I have is that Spells do something when they come down, Equipment does things after it's landed, Skills do both, and Allies actually appear and fight things.

Does this sound like a plan?

*Incidentally, I think that "Stuff" should probably be called "Equipment" instead. It just sounds silly.

2015-12-18, 02:03 PM
I'll also point out that mage knight the board game had a deckbuilding style for action taking, where each card could be very good at something (such as moving) but could also be used as a bad card in any other area (like playing the movement card for a weak attack). You played your whole hand each turn, and tried to find the optimal ground between what your hand wants you to do, and what you need to do most.

I suggest rather than make something else that will probably be equal quality to all these existing systems, you do what I do and cannibalize what exists to take the best of each, and go for something better than everything around today. At the very least, research what exists and find their strengths and weaknesses.

2015-12-19, 12:33 AM
@Jormengand: That is an EXCELLENT idea!
Thanks so much!
Also, the four types of cards are: Spell, Stuff, Summon, and Skill. Skill cards are outside of combat, and have a different format than Spell, Stuff, and Summon cards.
Sure, they might sound stupid, but I avidly advance alliteration for added appeal.:smallwink:

@Qazz: What? Research? BLASPHEMY!
But seriously, this is a group effort. The endgame is a PbP game on the forums using this system (and hopefully me as the GM. Do NOT expect a serious grimfest.) So, anything you find that's related to this concept that works well, come and share it! This will be the best play-by-post tabletop roleplaying game utilizing imaginary and incredibly specific trading cards in lieu of dice of ALL TIME.

But I think more powerful cards should be worth more mana when you discard them, to make things fair. Also, it would be how to use cards for spells and other things you don't "know" - as mana sources until you are powerful enough to cast them normally.

2015-12-19, 07:51 AM
But I think more powerful cards should be worth more mana when you discard them, to make things fair. Also, it would be how to use cards for spells and other things you don't "know" - as mana sources until you are powerful enough to cast them normally.

Mm, the trouble is, that would lead people to run, say, extra Grand Thefts they never actually expected to cast to fuel random air/dark spells (it's actually already a better mana source because it discards for A or D). The alternative, of course, is to introduce a fifth type, complete with alliteration:

Dark Ritual
Warlock Dark Source
Discard: Lose 5 life. Get DDDD

Summoner Neutral Source
Discard: Destroy a minion you own. Get power equal to its Cost.

Fire Agate
Mage Fire Source
Discard: Get FF

Bag of Weapons
Warrior Bludgeon/Slash/Pierce Source
Discard: Get 1B or 1S or 1P

EDIT: I have too much time on my hands.


A mage uses Earth, Air, Fire and Water cards primarily. They use a large number of spells.

Magi get 4 hit points per level in addition to the 10 hit points that all characters get.

Max Card Level






Apocalypse 4AEFW
Mage Air/Earth/Fire/Water Spell III
Choose a square in range 6. Everyone in that square, an adjacent square, or a square adjacent to one of those squares loses all stuff and takes 8 damage. Every summon in that area dies. Move everyone in that area 2 squares and they discard a card each.
Augment F: Deal 1 more damage.
Augment 2A: Move 1 more square.
Augment E: Discard 1 more card each.

Barrier E
Mage Earth Spell I
Choose a square within range 3. That square becomes Impassable and Blocks Line of Sight
Augment 1E: Then do it again.

Component Pouch
Mage Neutral Source II
Discard: Get 1, plus one power of any type.

Counterspell 2WW
Mage Water Spell II
Immediate. Negate the casting and the effect of a spell or summon, but its components are discarded anyway.
Augment AEFW: Then copy that spell. You choose new targets for the copy.

Mage Neutral Source III
Discard: Get 1 for each card you've discarded this turn.

Dispel Magic 1W
Mage Water Spell I
End the effects of a spell.
Augment AEFW: Then copy that spell. You choose new targets for the copy.

Dragon Companion 2AFF
Mage Air/Fire Summon III
Move 6/Attack 4 range 3 or 6 range 1/Health 15
Augment 1: +4 health.

Earthquake 3EE
Mage Earth Spell II
Choose a square in range 4. Deal 3 damage to each creature in that square or an adjacent square and they are Unconscious for 1 round.
Augment 1EE: Unconscious for 1 more round.
Augment 1F: 1 more damage.

Earthshatter 2E
Mage Earth Spell II
Destroy a Stuff.
Augment AEFW: Then equip a copy of it.

Mage Earth Source I
Discard: Get EE

Familiar 2
Mage Neutral Summon I
On turn: Draw a card.
Move 2/Can't Attack/Health 6
Augment 1: +2 health.
Augment 2: Draw a card.

Fire Agate
Mage Fire Source I
Discard: Get FF

Fireball 1FF
Mage Fire Spell II
Choose a square within range 6. Deal 4 damage to each creature in that square, or an adjacent square, or a square adjacent to one of those.
Augment F: Deal 1 more damage to each of those creatures.
Augment 3EE: Each creature damaged like this falls Unconscious for 2 rounds.

Firebolt 0
Mage Fire Spell I
Deal 2 damage to a creature in range 4
Augment 1F: Then do it again.
Augment 1F: Each firebolt deals +1 damage.

Fly 2A
Mage Air Skill II
You get Flying for 1 hour.

Gem Golem 3
Mage Neutral Summon II
On turn: Get 1.
Move 3/Attack 2 range 1/Health 6
Augment 2: Get one power of any type.

Ice Shield W
Mage Water Spell I
Gain Resistance to everything 10 until your next turn.
1W: Gain Immediate.

Identify 0
Mage Neutral Skill I
Learn all mundane and magical properties of an object.

Illusory Figure 0
Mage Neutral Summon I
Flying. Resistance to everything 2.
Move 5/Can't Attack/5 health.

Jaunt A
Mage Air Spell I
Move 3. Ignore obstructions.
Augment A: Move 1 more.
Augment 2A: Gain Immediate.

Rock Shield 1E
Mage Earth Spell I
For 3 rounds: Get Resistance to everything 2.
Augment E: Lasts 1 more round.
Augment 1E: Get another Resistance to everything 1.

Mage Water Source I
Discard: Get WW

Scrying W
Mage Water Spell I
Look at the top 5 cards of your deck and rearrange them.
Augment W: 2 more cards.

Shatter 1E
Mage Earth Skill I
Destroy an object that fits within 1 square foot, such as a lock.
Augment E: Increase max size by 1 square foot.

Staff of Air 2A
Mage Air Stuff I
Your Air spells move anyone or anything 1 further if they move it.
Augment 3: Search your deck for an air card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

Staff of Earth 2E
Mage Earth Stuff I
Your Earth spells have +1 range.
Augment 3: Search your deck for an earth card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

Staff of Fire 2F
Mage Fire Stuff I
Your Fire spells deal +1 damage.
Augment 3: Search your deck for a fire card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

Staff of Water 2W
Mage Water Stuff I
Your Water spells cost 1 less.
Augment 3: Search your deck for a water card and put it into your hand. Then shuffle your deck.

Steelsilk Robe 3EE
Mage Earth Stuff III
You have Resistance to everything 3.
Augment 1W: Restore 3 health to yourself.

Stone Fist 0
Mage Earth Spell I
Deal 4 damage to a creature in range 1.
Augment F: Deal 1 more damage.
Augment 2A: Move them 1 square directly away from you.

Stone Golem 2EE
Mage Earth Summon II
Resistance to everything 2
Move 3/Attack 4 Range 1/Health 10.

Stun E
Mage Earth Spell I
A creature in range 3 discards 3 cards.
Augment E: They discard another card.

Moment of Omnipotence 10
Mage Neutral Spell III
Search your, and each ally's, deck for a skill and cast it without paying its cost. (You can augment it by paying its augment cost.)

Potion of Power 1F
Mage Fire Stuff II
Destroy Potion of Power while casting a spell: Spell deals double damage.

Power Stone
Mage Neutral Source II
Discard: Get 3.

Teleport 3A
Mage Air Skill II
You, and any number of allies in range 1, move up to 20 miles.
Augment 1A: Another 10 miles.

Mage Air Source I
Discard: Get AA

Torchlight F
Mage Fire/Light Skill I
For 10 minutes: Produce a light that you can see by.
Augment F: 10 more minutes.
Augment L: 20 more minutes.

Tornado 3AAA
Mage Air Spell III
Choose a square within range 6 and put a tornado counter in it. Then move the tornado counter 4, ignoring obstructions. Each creature who was ever inside the same space as the tornado counter discards 3 cards. Each creature who was in or adjacent to the counter takes 3 damage. Then remove the tornado counter.
Augment AA: Move the tornado counter 1 more.
Augment 1E: Each creature in the tornado counter's space discards an extra card.

Vassal 0
Mage Neutral Summon I
Flying. You can measure spell ranges from your Vassal.
Move 4/Can't Attack/Health 8
Augment AEFW: You and your vassal both cast a spell at once.

Volcano 3EF
Mage Earth/Fire Spell III
A creature within range 4 takes 10 damage and falls Unconscious for 2 rounds.
Augment F: 1 more damage.
Augment 1E: Unconscious for 1 more round.

Water Breathing 2W
Mage Water Skill I
You can breathe water for 1 hour.
Augment W: So can one ally within range 1.

I need a few more cards even just for mage; each i represents an actual choice you have - that is, a card that can not be taken and a character still made:

Spell I
Spell II
Spell III i
Stuff I iii
Stuff II
Stuff III
Summon I
Summon II
Summon III
Source I i
Source II
Source III
Skill I i
Skill II
Skill III

But it's a start...

2015-12-24, 02:47 AM
Wow. I am on board with Jormungand's start on the mage. It's holiday time for me but I will try to do a workup on a holy warrior starting Monday. Wr should figure out what elements there are in total. We have the four classic. There was a suggestion earlier of blunt piercing and slashing? Also maybe light and dark? Or Aether and Void if we want to use slightly different words for essentially light and dark.

2015-12-24, 07:26 AM
Wow. I am on board with Jormungand's start on the mage. It's holiday time for me but I will try to do a workup on a holy warrior starting Monday. Wr should figure out what elements there are in total. We have the four classic. There was a suggestion earlier of blunt piercing and slashing? Also maybe light and dark? Or Aether and Void if we want to use slightly different words for essentially light and dark.

I was thinking AEFW as the mage has, then bludgeoning, slashing, piercing, light and dark (Aether is a bad idea as A and E are both taken, so it would have to be T). Each class would have access to 4 of them (meaning that there are 9C4 = 126 possible classes, which is enough to be getting on with), although sources like the mage's component pouch would let it use cards like:

Quarterstaff B
Neutral Bludgeoning Stuff I
Flip quarterstaff: Deal 2 damage to a creature in range 1.
Augment B: Unflip quarterstaff.

So anyway, you could have combinations like:

Barbarian BFPS
Commander BLPS
Cleric BDLW
Druid AEPW
Magic Knight ASPW
Paladin ALPS
Psychic ADLW
Rogue ADPW
Shaman ADEL
Warrior BEPS
Warlock ADEF

2015-12-24, 01:44 PM
In that case I'll chalk my after holiday up for:


2015-12-24, 06:11 PM
So, I think we need some kind of rules for how the game will actually work. Let's see:

Initiative should probably be some kind of bid system - that is, players discard cards and then the players who discarded most go first, with ties broken by a coin flip.
Each turn I think a player should probably be drawing 3 cards, given how expensive even level 1 spells can be (All the staves cost 3 and themselves organically) and they should start with... 60 in a deck, 10 in a hand?
I've arbitrarily decided that you get 10 hit points + (some number) per level; this number could maybe be as high as 8 or even 10 or 12 for something really tanky. It should probably not be lower than 4.
Each player can move, say, 3 and then use one card (apart from discarding for power) per turn. If you use an Immediate card, it uses up your action for next turn instead.

2015-12-24, 11:16 PM
Also: I am envisioning the class system as a sort of "build your own bard" system where instead of taking levels, you use experience to purchase cards directly, and more powerful cards would have various prerequisite cards to unlock first.

2015-12-25, 01:30 AM
Well, in that case, here's a basic character creation idea for build-your-own class:

At character creation, pick four elements from Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Light, Dark, Slashing, Bludgeoning, and Piercing. You gain Basic level in those four elements.

Also at character creation, pick two of the following options and gain them:

Basic Magic
Basic Weaponry
Basic Tinkering
Basic Archery
Basic Defense
(others can be added)

Your choice governs your starting health bonuses and the types of cards you can use.

Whenever you gain a level, you gain a new trait. You can select from any of the basic traits which you do not already possess (including basic elements) or, you may gain the next level in a trait which you do possess. Advanced follows basic, then Expert and Master. You cannot gain an Expert trait until you possess at least two Advanced traits. You cannot gain an Master trait unless you possess at least two Advanced Traits. (alternately, you cannot gain a trait unless you have twice the number of you would have after gaining the new one in the next lower level: IE you need two Advanced for the first Expert, but four before you can get a second Expert).

All cards require a minimum level in both an element and a Category. Some Augments may have additional requirements. For example:

Cleave II (Slashing Spell) 1SS
Requires Basic Slashing
Requires Advanced Weaponry

Deal 3 damage to an adjacent enemy. Then deal 2 damage to a different adjacent enemy. Then deal 1 damage to a third adjacent enemy.

Augment (S): Increase the damage to all enemies by 1.
Augment (A): Requires Basic Air. You can affect enemies at a range of up to 2 with this ability.
Augment (W): Requires Basic Water. After using this ability, move one space.

EDIT: Occasionally, you might want to have a card which fits into one category but doesn't require Basic Level of that category. In those cases, you might use the Novice level. Characters are assumed to possess Novice level in all Elements and Categories unless otherwise specified (by racial or personal traits, for example).

2015-12-25, 09:11 AM
The problem I have with that is that it seems unnecessary, complicated, and as though it's not going to fit on a card. I mean, compare my complex spell with your simple spell, and then look what happens when you put it all together:


I mean, it might be better to have experience used to buy cards directly rather than have a level system, but this whole trait system seems too complicated for something that could otherwise be so easy.

Ooh! You could have a Diablo II style skill tree! (http://hydra-media.cursecdn.com/diablo.gamepedia.com/3/37/Sorceress_Skill_Trees_%28Diablo_II%29.png?version= b74b3d4097ef7ad4e26ebee0dcf33d01) Thoughts?

2015-12-30, 12:10 AM
Okay, let me backpedal here a bit.

Alright, so the way I did it originally was too intense on card size. So here's a revised version that should fit.

When you create your character, choose four of the following elemental traits:
Basic Air
Basic Fire
Basic Earth
Basic Water
Basic Light
Basic Dark
Basic Slashing
Basic Bludgeoning
Basic Piercing

You can deck cards of any of your elemental traits. You must possess an elemental trait in order to play or use an augment of that element.

Additionally, select two of the following character traits.
Basic Weaponry
Basic Tinkering
Basic Acrobatics
Basic Larceny
Basic Magic
Basic Faith
Basic Defense
Basic Archery

Your choices govern starting health bonuses and what type of cards you can deck and use. In order to use a card, you must possess the required character trait.

Elemental traits will still have levels, but those levels will not restrict what cards are available. If you have Basic Air, you can use any Air card and any Air augment.

Here's the new Cleave and Cleave II

Cleave 1S
Basic Weaponry Spell

Deal 2 damage to an adjacent target. Then, you may deal 1 damage to a different adjacent target.

Augment (S): Increase the damage dealt to all targets by 1.
Limited Augment (W): After using this ability, you may move one square.

Cleave II 1SSS
Advanced Weaponry Spell

Deal 3 damage to an adjacent target. Then, you may deal 2 damage to a different adjacent target. Then, you may deal 1 damage to a third adjacent target.

Augment (S): Increase the damage dealt to all targets by 1.
Limited Augment (W): After using this ability, you may move one square.
Limited Augment (AA): This ability may affect targets at a range of 2.

This cuts back on all of the extra text needed (since the rank is included in the spell's type, instead of in the spell's description), while still allowing traits to govern.

Then, advanced versions of elements (instead of giving access to new cards) give passive bonuses to characters.

Advanced Light: Any Spell you play with the Light Element gains the following Limited Augment (LL): Restore 1 health to your character after this card resolves.

NEW TERM: Limited Augment. A Limited Augment can only be used a maximum number of times each time the card's effect activates. By default, this is one. Limited Augment X indicates the Augment can be triggered X times.

2016-01-05, 05:10 PM
Buckler 1BB
Basic Weaponry Stuff
You have Resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing 1.

Refresh B
Reaction Augment (2): Destroy Buckler. Negate all Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage done to you until the start of your next turn.
Reaction Augment (1L): Exhaust Buckler. You have Resistance to all 1 until the start of your next turn.

Piecemeal contribution here, but a couple more terms.

Exhaust means an active card cannot be used. Its passive effects cease to function. If it is a summon, it cannot act on its turn. If it is a skill or stuff, the player cannot use any of its effects and otherwise treats it as though it is not in use.
Refresh On their turn, a player may pay the Refresh cost of a card in order to remove the Exhaust effect from that card.
Reaction Denotes Augments or cards which can be used not on the player's turn.
Resistance was taken from Jormungand, but I assume he meant it to reduce the damage done by certain things indefinitely.

Halberd 3SP
Advanced Weaponry Stuff
Refresh SP

When you deal damage with a S, P, or S/P spell, you may change the damage type of that spell to S, P, or S/P.

Augment (1S): Pay an augment cost of P for another card.
Augment (1P): Pay an augment cost of S for another card.
Augment (SP): Increase the damage of your next S, P, or S/P spell by 3. Exhaust Halberd.