The idea came when me and a friend played a whole week of Tanto Cuore.
I mentioned to him "what if you make an RPG built around a deckbuilding-mechanic?".
He gave me the theme: "martial arts" and I started laying out the basics.
As of now I only plan to have it as a card-game which we'll start playtesting soon.
I just want to put this idea out and check what you think.
Here's a rough description of the game:
- You don't build the deck during play, you rather buy them before play with a budget of experience points. Play does flow pretty much like Tanto or Dominion, in that you draw 5 cards, play them and when the round is over, discard and draw 5 new.
- Built around the classic ideas of RPG-combat, like initiative, attack, defense, damage and status-effects.
- Cards that would be like currency in Dominion or Tanto now represents the outcome of a die and is also a resource for some cards effects.
Does this sound like fun game?
Do you want to hear more or am I just bad at describing my ideas?
OK, so weekends are dead here so I'll bump with how the game works.
How to build a deck:
All players start with a set of Skill-cards, 7x1s and 3x2s. After that you aquire more cards by buying them with experience points (XP). All cards, skill-cards and action-cards alike have a set cost of XP on them. Standard play gives players a budget of 30 XP, though the amount can be higher and lower.
How to play:
All players shuffle their decks and then draw 5 cards. The players then decide order for the first turn through initative.
Initative is decided by playing skill-cards or action-cards that affect the value of the players initative. An action-card played here counts as either an action spent on an attack or defense.
A Player can choose to not play any cards and get an initiative of zero. If more than one player gets initiative zero they will have to find a way to see who goes before the other, but both are considered to be last for card-effects.
After initiative, the player who goes first attacks an opponent of his choice. Attacker then plays skill-cards and action-cards that boost the attack-value while the defendant plays skill-cards and action-cards that boost the defense value. If the attacker has the highest value, the attack hits and deals damage. If the defender has the highest value, the attack misses and deals no damage.
A successful attack usually deals 1 point of damage though some action-cards affect the damage dealt.
The round ends when all players has ended their turn.
At the end of the round discard all cards left on hand as well as those that were played and draw 5 new cards.
Should you run out of cards while drawing, shuffle the discard-pile and put it where your deck is supposed to be and draw cards from it.
How to win:
By not losing.
You lose by taking 10 points of damage, Being inactive(Having an empty hand when it's your turn) 3 times during play.
A player starts every round with one action for each attack and defense she makes. Playing an action-card costs one action or more (it's written on the card if it costs more actions) so a player can usually only play one action-card, but some cards gives more actions during an attack or defense, letting you play more action-cards from your hand.
Once again; does this sound like a fun game, things I should consider?
You may want to take a look at this game, which has some very similar mechanics to what you were describing:
I think adding a meta element of the character level is interesting, and it actually sounds like a lot of fun for a table top RPG system setting where battles are settled using small decks of cards rather than die rolls. To me, that seems a lot more interesting and gives you a lot of space to play with balance.
Role playing combat is usually one of the worst elements of a table top system (Feng Shui and Prime Time Adventures break this, but mostly because of the heavy story telling elements associated with the mechanics). Having a game within a game to handle that aspect and make it interesting for all parties sounds awesome.