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Cards vs chart

4 replies [Last post]
Joined: 06/07/2016

I've seen this topic cone up a few times and I've searched through those threads, but I haven't seen anything really useful to me, thus I am throwing the question out there in hopes of gaining some insight.

So, the game involves skill checks to overcome challenges. There are 8 different skills. In order to roll the check you roll dice equal to your skill rating plus modifiers, but no more than 6 dice can ever be rolled.

For the chart, that means 8 charts with 7 entries (0 successes to 6 successes). The chart would describe the benefits of success (meaning more successes rolled means greater benefits on the skill check).

The cards, on the other hand, would be a success deck and a failure deck. If you pass the check, regardless of by how much, you draw a card to see specific results. The same goes for failure.

Pros and Cons
The way I see it, the charts allow for more specific bonuses gained. They also encourage players to develop their skills in order to obtain better rewards more consistently. They also provide fewer parts - an extra page or two in the rule book as opposed to 60 or 80 more cards (the game currently already has 2 decks of cards in it).

By contrast, the success or failure cards can grant random rewards, reflecting more serendipity than skill. It would mean you are good enough to get the job done, but factors outside your control have contributed to the consequence of your action. I believe the cards will also grant more flavor to the game, and I think that flavor will entice people to play more than the chart. Cards can also make for smoother game play with less consulting charts. They are, however, less specific and would have to be written as essentially reward +1 sort of things.

I'm not sure which way to go on it. Prototype work and cost aren't issues. Only the mechanics and feel of the game are issues right now.

Thanks for your thoughts


I Will Never Gr...
I Will Never Grow Up Gaming's picture
Joined: 04/23/2015
Cards over Charts any day..

I find looking through the rule book or referencing charts to be tedious when playing games unless it's a straight up, pen and paper style Role Playing Game.

Personally I would avoid that at all costs.

Card drawing sounds more streamlined and interesting to me.

Perhaps if you include a way to potentially influence the draw (draw X cards, pick Y, return the rest to the bottom of the deck maybe)? That way it's not entirely luck of the draw.

Joined: 03/02/2014
I agree with the previous

I agree with the previous poster, that looking up a chart in the rulebook is awful.

However, I do like the idea that there are degrees of success, determined by how you roll and not just by the luck of the draw.

How about this? On the cards that describe the challenges, there is a small grid of results based on success. For instance:

Poison Dart Trap: Roll Mechanical ability
0-2: Take 2d6 damage
3: Take 1d6 damage
4-5: Take no damage
6-7: Take no damage, Gain a single-use poison dart @ d6
8+: Take no damage, Gain two single-use poison darts @ d6 each.

Stealthpike's picture
Joined: 12/30/2015
Cards as dice

Have you ever heard of FAITH RPG? They use an interesting card drawing mechanic instead of dice.
You draw 7 cards from a regular deck of playing cards and those are all the cards you get until you rest. When you run into an encounter, you can use cards from your hand up to your stat (i.e. if it's a strength check and you have strength 3, you can play up to 3 cards). It allows the players a certain amount of planning where they could use their big cards now and succeed, but they'll be weaker in a later encounter, putting some serious concern in the player's mind.

It sounds similar to what you're proposing, hope this helps! :)

Joined: 06/07/2016
Thanks for the input

Thanks for the input everyone!

Taking into account your comments and some of my veteran playtesters thoughts, we have decided to go with the card drawing because it interrupts the feel of the game less, and with this game it's all about how the game feels rather than strictly how it plays. I should have this project prototypes and bein v tested hopefully in about a month, so when play tests commenced, look for posts in my blog under the working title Piracy!

Thanks again!

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