A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Jormengand's Avatar

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    Oct 2012
    In the Playground, duh.

    Default Cards Over Swords: A Card-Based Roleplaying System (WIP;PEACH)

    This game is currently very much a work in progress - it only actually has one class so far, the mage - and any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Cards Over Swords is a card-based roleplaying system where players gain access to cards by leveling up in their classes, and use those cards to do battle or perform other actions outside of battle.

    To start, each player chooses a class, and gains access to a number of cards based on their class. They can either choose neutral cards, or cards available to their class only, or some combination. For example, a mage can choose 6 spells, 1 piece of stuff, 2 summons, 2 sources and 2 skills, and all of them must be first-level cards. For the mage's piece of stuff, they could choose a Quarterstaff - a piece of stuff available to everyone - or a Staff of Air, a piece of mage stuff. Once a player has chosen which cards they will have access to, they then make a deck of 60 cards, using any number of instances of each card they have chosen. At the start of each day, the player shuffles their hand and discard pile into their deck, and draws 10 cards.

    To use a card, the character must gain power equal to the power cost of the card. They do this by discarding other cards into their discard pile, where the card they are using also goes once its effect is finished. Each card gives one power of its own type - for example, a card listed as a "Fire" card (whether it be a mage fire stuff, barbarian fire skill, or warlock fire spell is here irrelevant) adds one fire power. The exception is that Source cards can either be discarded in this way, or discarded for the effect written on the card.

    The cost of cards, as well as effects that give power, are written in code. Any number means the number of any type of power if it is in a cost, or the number of neutral power if it is in an effect giving you power. The other letters refer to the type of power of which they are the first letter. That is, A is air, B is bludgeoning, D is dark, E is earth, F is fire, L is light, P is piercing, S is slashing and W is water. Therefore, "Discard: Get 2A" means "You can discard this card to get two neutral power and one air power".

    When a card is cast, its effect depends on the type of card it is. Skill, Summon and Stuff cards stay on the board. You can Augment a Skill, Summon or Stuff card by paying the Augment cost once it's already on the board, which has the effect listed on the card. Skills last between combats, but Summons and Stuff are only usable in combat and are discarded at the end of it. Spells have a one-time effect and are discarded when they resolve. To Augment them, you need to pay the Augment cost as you cast them.

    Summon cards have health, attack and speed, and work like characters. Each turn, a Summon can move and attack. A summon that dies (by running out of health) is discarded.

    When a character is not in combat, their player automatically redraws cards so as always to have ten until there are no more cards in the deck. They may also discard cards to no effect if they wish to draw more cards to have better ones. You can't keep power until you need it, though.

    When characters do enter combat, their players secretly bid cards, by placing a number of cards face down where no other player can see the pile. They then reveal how many they bid simultaneously. The player who bid most cards is first to act, followed by the player who bid second most cards, and so on until the player who bid the least. It is possible to bid zero cards. If two or more players bid the same number of cards, randomly determine which one goes first out of those players. In any case, all players then discard cards that they bid.

    As soon as characters are in combat, they enter a square-based tactical system. One square is about 5 feet on each side. On each player's turn, that player may, in any order:

    • Move their character up to 3 squares.*
    • Move any summons they have up to their speed.**
    • Cast a single card.
    • Attack with any summons they have that can attack.
    • Flip any cards with a flip effect that aren't flipped.
    • Unflip each card they have which is flipped.*
    • Draw up to 3 cards.*

    *These effects must all be resolved at once, so you can't move 2 squares, draw a card, unflip a card, move 1 more square, unflip another card and draw 2 cards.
    **You can move one summon, cast a card, and go back and move a second summon, but you can't split the movement of a single summon.

    To flip a card, turn it through 180 degrees to symbolise that it is flipped (and perhaps let your opponent read what you've just done to them). To unflip a card, move it back through 180 degrees.

    Each player has 10 hit points, plus some number of hit points based on their class and level. A character who reaches zero hit points is defeated, and if they run out of allies, at the mercy of their foes. Remove them from the battle. A summon that reaches 0 hit points is just discarded.

    A character who runs out of cards in the deck is powerless, save for their flip cards and any summons they might have. However, a character who gets a good night's rest shuffles each card that player owns into their deck and draws a new hand.

    A character who attains a great feat of conquest, personal development or historical interest gains a level, entitling them to choose new cards as given on their class table. They needn't choose the same class, meaning that they may gain entirely unrelated abilities.


    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.
    Level Spells Stuff Summons Sources Skills Max Card Level
    1 6 1 2 2 2 1
    2 8 1 3 3 3 1
    3 10 2 4 4 4 2
    4 12 2 5 5 5 2
    5 14 3 6 6 6 3

    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'm aware that the rules are hard to read and I haven't explained any of the Bold Keywords, but shh, I'll work that all out eventually.


    {A,B,D,E} Necromancer
    {A,B,D,F} Warmage
    {A,B,L,W} Monk
    {A,D,L,P} Bard
    {A,D,S,P} Rogue
    {A,E,F,W} Mage
    {A,E,L,W} Druid
    {B,D,E,F} Assassin
    {B,D,F,L} Cleric
    {B,E,F,W} Engineer
    {B,E,S,P} Fighter
    {B,F,S,P} Barbarian
    {B,L,S,P} Paladin
    {D,F,S,P} Warlock
    {E,F,L,P} Scout
    {E,L,P,W} Ranger
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2016-10-21 at 11:05 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Jormengand's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    In the Playground, duh.

    Default Re: Cards Over Swords: A Card-Based Roleplaying System (WIP;PEACH)

    I may, one day, need this reserve post.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
    MoleMage's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Cards Over Swords: A Card-Based Roleplaying System (WIP;PEACH)

    I was wondering why that other thread had died. Subscribing here, when I'm caught up on my other homebrew ideas I'll come back and hopefully make a class.
    Currently operating the 5e Subclass Contest and the 5e Base Class Contest. Check them out if even just to vote or give feedback, we love that in there.


    My DMsGuild content. Most of it was written with feedback from right here on the forums.

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