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Feedback on mini RPG

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13 Apr 2017 10:50 #246464 by Matt Thrower
I was bored the other day, and the concept for a simple RPG just popped into my head, almost fully formed.

Do the rules I've written down make sense? Does it sound any fun?

Ace of Spades

3+ players choose one to be GM and use one suite of 13 playing cards to make a deck. “Reshuffle” means to shuffle cards and discard pile together into a new deck.

The GM starts describing a dangerous situation. Then the other players should say who their character is and pick one thing they're good at.

Play continues as per a normal RPG with the GM narrating and players explaining their actions.

To complete a non-trivial task, the GM picks a difficulty up to 10 and the player draws a card. If the task is what they’re good at, add 2 to the value. If it's higher, they succeed. If it's a court card they succeed and narrate the results of the action themselves. If it's the ace, their character dies, then reshuffle.

After a draw, the card goes into the discard pile and the next card is handed, face down, to the GM. These cards form a separate GM deck. If it's the ace they give it back and reshuffle.

Once only one player is left, both they and the GM reshuffle their decks. Now on each action, both draw. If the player draws higher, they overcome the situation and survive. If they draw an ace before that happens, they die in the struggle.
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13 Apr 2017 21:09 #246523 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Feedback on mini RPG
Makes sense but possibly of limited fun. Having a minimum of 1 in 13 chance of dying is pretty stiff. Might be good for a one-shot horror game.

I would also consider making it more forgiving. I mean if you have a 1/13 chance of not dying, then failing is a pretty stiff penalty for drawing a card. Why risk it? I'd suggest that if you don't draw an ace, you succeed, but if you get less than the difficulty number then there's a complication. E.g. You get over the fence in time, but cut yourself on the metal and now there's a blood trail that the monster might track.

Overall it is very reminiscent of Dread.

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13 Apr 2017 22:39 #246531 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Feedback on mini RPG
I recommend that you try one of the excellent diceless role-playing games. Amber is probably way out of print, but Lords of Olympus and Lords of Gossamer and Shadow are relatively new and in print. Diceless can be scary, because it puts more responsibility on the gamemaster to be flexible and tell a good story. It also demands that the players pay more attention to the gamemaster instead of coasting along between combats. But the results can be more satisfying, with players held accountable for the choices instead of meaningless luck.

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13 Apr 2017 23:03 - 13 Apr 2017 23:03 #246533 by Cranberries
Replied by Cranberries on topic Feedback on mini RPG
Echoing Shellhead's advice, the following story-based RPGs seem really interesting. I own Fiasco, and it has been mentioned here repeatedly.

Fiasco
A Quiet Year
Dogs in the Vineyard
Apocalypse World
Dungeon World

So I think what I'm saying is that if you have a solid, interesting narrative-engine wrapped around those mechanics then it would make a big difference.
Last edit: 13 Apr 2017 23:03 by Cranberries.
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14 Apr 2017 09:40 #246549 by Shellhead
Replied by Shellhead on topic Feedback on mini RPG
I bought a download edition of A Quiet Year, but haven't gotten around to printing it off yet. Almost feels like it would work better with non-gamers, or else very open-minded gamers.
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14 Apr 2017 22:50 #246591 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Feedback on mini RPG
TYQ is amazing but you really have to get everyone on board with the "no talking when it's not your turn" thing. You can't have the normal kibitzing and wisecracking and still maintain the feel of the game.
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15 Apr 2017 17:11 #246607 by Cranberries
Replied by Cranberries on topic Feedback on mini RPG

dysjunct wrote: TYQ is amazing but you really have to get everyone on board with the "no talking when it's not your turn" thing. You can't have the normal kibitzing and wisecracking and still maintain the feel of the game.


I would love to hear more about your experiences with TQY.

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16 Apr 2017 17:30 #246639 by dysjunct
Replied by dysjunct on topic Feedback on mini RPG

cranberries wrote:

dysjunct wrote: TYQ is amazing but you really have to get everyone on board with the "no talking when it's not your turn" thing. You can't have the normal kibitzing and wisecracking and still maintain the feel of the game.


I would love to hear more about your experiences with TQY.


fortressat.com/forum/17-other-types-of-g...he-quiet-year#246638
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17 Apr 2017 08:25 #246655 by Matt Thrower
Replied by Matt Thrower on topic Feedback on mini RPG
Thanks for the replies and suggestions, everyone.

Yes, it was definitely inspired by Dread. Yes, it's supposed to be a very deadly short, one-shot game.

There's a little competition that collects 200 word RPG's that inspired me to come up with a couple of entries. This is one. That's partly why it's so terse and a bit unclear - I'm trying to keep the word count down to the absolute minimum.

I don't have the time or inclination for rules-heavy role-playing much any more. Except for maybe D&D because I know it like the back of my hand. I thought I might as well have a go at inventing some super-light narrative games that I'd fancy playing myself.

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