Thursday, December 29, 2005

Card Mechanics

Why no, I'm not spending a lot of time thinking about these because I want to use cards for Imp...

This is also based off of some half-remembered posts by Ron about how cards are usually not used to their full capacity as determinents.

So, what qualities do (a normal deck of playing) cards have that can be used in resolution?
- numbered cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
- face cards (jack, queen, king, ace)
- color (red, black)
- suit (diamond, heart, spade, club)
- (sometimes) jokers
- face up vs. face down
- number of cards in hand
- and all the combinations of the above

Thats a lot of options. I think there's a lot of potential for depth and interaction here.

I think a good stategy is to identify which of those basic qualities you think will be most useful to how your game works. Try to keep it to one or two.

*Example: Stats are 1-10. Draw a card, if it's equal to or below your stat you succeed, if its above you fail.

Then see which of the others could be used to complicate the main qualities, and for what reasons. Look at what things you want to be connected in with resolution, go for those first.

*Example: If you draw a face card, you fail at the action but you get to keep the face card. Using kewl powerz requires you to spend face cards.

Then, look at the other options, and ask what happens if. You can say nothing, but think about it:

*Example: What happens if I draw a red card? What happens if I draw a black card? Nothing. I don't want that to matter.
*Example: What happens if I draw a certain suit? Hmmm...what about, you can key the skills to certain suits, and if you draw one of that suit it counts as being one lower. And the suits mean things - like, clubs means violence, hearts means emotions, etc. So, if you key your "Fast-Talking" skill to Clubs, it means that you incorporate violence into your fast talking - getting really close and pushy, stuff like that. Expanding on that, whichever suit you draw colors your action - which means that you need to declare intent, then draw, then describe.
*Example: What happens if I can play cards face down? Oooh....put bluffing into it, for contested actions. Instead of just drawing, you draw a number of cards (figure out way to determine how many), and then you can play them face up or face down. Time to brainstorm how bluffing should work.

The lesson here? Try looking at all the possible ways to use your resolution medium to generate results, and then figure out which ones are appropriate, which ones can be used to complicate matters, etc.

You also have all sorts of stuff based on the hand you hold.
How many cards are in your hand?
How many cards do you / can you draw?
How many cards do you / can you discard?
How many cards do you / can you play?
Do the cards you discard or play have to be all one suit, in a run, all of the same number, etc?
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