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Resourceless card game

9 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/10/2011


Today i am thinking about what if we have a resourceless card game.

A game that instead of using mana to pay the cards ,you just ... play the cards.

I think in a way to control a little the game to avoid luck in the game: divide the game in Rounds (or hands). And 8 turns per hand

Each hand each player draw 8 cards, and the Round/hand will be played just with those 8 cards per players.

Each turn the player can do one action (or 3, or 4 i have decide it yet), and after doing his actions he passes the turn to his oponent.

Example: Player 1 in his turn, can put in play 1 creature, equip his creature, play an effect card, and pass his trun. Player 2 can put in play another creature, attack with it, after player 1 declaring blockers player 2 can play an instant effect card ... and so on

Depending in how much actions you can do in a turn, the hand will finish in more or less turns ...

What you think :) ... good idea, huh? :D

bonsaigames's picture
Joined: 12/20/2010

I worry that what you will basically end up with is a variation on Poker. No resources seems to mean far less strategy since it will be a matter of luck whether I draw a powerful creature to play and you don't.

Now you could balance all of the creatures. Say Attack / Defense / Intelligence are your three Monster stats. Attack & Defense are self-explanatory, Intelligence would let you equip gear to that creature (the gear would have to be rated in required Intelligence).

Then you could have a Goblin (2/3/5) and an Ogre (5/3/2), but you couldn't have a Dragon or any other creature that has high scores in all three stats because you couldn't balance it and if I was lucky enough to draw one and you weren't I'd dominate.

You could put resources on the monster cards. Like say the aforementioned Goblin and Ogre each have 3 Dragon's Teeth on them. The Dragon (5/5/5) might require 9 Dragon's Teeth in play on other creatures in order to put it into play.

Basically, your moving the resources onto the creature cards this way, not really eliminating them.

Hope that helps,
Levi Mote

Joined: 09/10/2011
The turn/play mechanics is

The turn/play mechanics is what i want to improve in this game, it can be simultaneous turns or can be like "normal" card games like Magic The Gathering.

But this game is not collectible, is just a set of fixed cards and the player has to the best he can do with his cards.

The idea i have in mind but i am trying to improve is:

I want to include something like "energy" in to all creatures but i don't know how do implement the energy + permanent damage, a creature loose Health Points every time it is attacked, equal to the attack power of the enemy creature. What i don't know how to keep track without putting millions of counters in the creature is how to implement the energy with counters + HP's with counters too ...

The idea is that each creature enter the game with X counter of Energy, where X will depend on the "level" of the creature. That level is more or less the same as your intelligence attribute.

There are 4 colours of energy and removing one energy and combining the colours of the energy, it will generate different effects.

To execute an ability from any creature, you must remove X energy counters from it. The counters can be placed again in the creature after resolving the ability, or the counters can moved out from the game and not being reusable for that creature.

I want to limit the number of powerful creatures, something like this: 8 of the most commons, 6 less commons + 4 + 2 +1. The deck will have just ONE BIG creature and the probability of getting that card is 1 / 64 (64 is the number of cards i want in the deck), so it is very hard to get the big creatures.

Instead of having card producing the energy, i think is better, to simplify the resource management that, each turn (and this time i am talking about a normal play/turn like M:TG), the player gets one energy that he chooses and he can accumulate until he can put it in a creature and play it.

A creature cannot enter the battlefield if there is not enough energy to place in it, so the player needs to accumulate it before he can play the creature.

Another think i want is to implement 3 zones where te creatures are placed:

Attack Zone - The Creatures are moved here when they attack
Battlefield - The Creatures are here when they enter the game and are waiting to attack or using an ability
Out of Combat - after using an ability, the creature must move to this are and cannot, defend, attack, or play another ability

Using the tree zones will help to avoid rotating the creatures (remember that they have the counters on it) because rotating with the counters on it well do a mess with the counters ... but moving a card from zone to zone with the counters ... is not easy with loosing all the counters... so dont know how to do it. Where do i place the energy counters to avoid counter jumping from place to place? do i remove the energy system? (but energy is the heart of the game). Do i use Dice instead of counters (but how can i implement the 4 colours of energy with the dice?).

I have almost all the rules to make a prototype but i still have ideas that i have study because i want a game easy to play but with great strategy.

Thanks for your help.

Joined: 09/10/2011
when i say moving a card the

when i say moving a card the counters on it, i am talking about the counters fisically ... moving the card togheter with the counter is not easy taks ... the counters are a little problem when moving the cards

JaffetC's picture
Joined: 09/19/2011
Resourceless Card Games.

Actually there are a lot of resource-less card games out there. The biggest one being Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards are restricted upon hen you can play them however they do not take any form of resource in order to play.

Another game is Resident Evil. Where you are only limited based on how many actions you have per turn.

The idea isn't new, however how you make it work for your game, can either brake or make your game. There are many times where even in games of Magic: The Gathering players can play spells as if though there were no resources.

infocorn's picture
Joined: 07/30/2008
The Tower?

Have you considered something like a two-step game?

Like you've got a building step, where you marshal your creatures, equip them, etc. Here's where your action-based system would be good. Call it like 3 full turns to marshal/equip.

Next, combine the total "energy" of your horde into like a stack of poker chips or checkers or similar, where you're as strong as the sum of your parts. Subsequent damage to your minions is taken from the entire stack, and the stack can be allocated as "Remove X from the stack to this creature: Effect." That might even allow some small regeneration to the stack as well.

OHMS Gaming
OHMS Gaming's picture
Joined: 03/13/2011
Check out a game called

Check out a game called Spoils. In their game they still have a resource mechanic - but it is supported by the capability to place any card as a resource. The "Universal Fighting System" card games have a mechanic that isn't too far from this idea as well (being able to place cards any or most cards as a resource).

While luck is certainly a large part of most games it isn't necessarily a bad thing... When you take a component like that out of the game you are then forced to find some other way to instill balance. What would happen if player 1 (p1) were to put a really buff creature on the field on turn 1? Then p2 places a much weaker creature and gets unlucky (luck is still a part of random decks) enough to not draw an equivalent card - game ends.

As others have said, it will be poker like in that it is all dependent on "hand ranking". Keep the gears turning though. ;) If you don't know how Magic: The Gathering (Magic, then Mana Clash, then M:tG) was created ask around or google it. :D It's mostly about tenacity and happenstance.

Joined: 06/07/2010
My Ideas about Cards without Resources

Hello, ptkaisen

You're talking about card games, which don't need resources to pay... I've been doing on something like it a few months ago: When cards are played, they don't do anything instantly. They are laid in front of the player (or onto a central board), where they stay and provide effect until removed/changed. I meant them to be something like economical bonuses or abilities performed by the player, but with an exception, that you can have at most three/four of them active at a time.

The other (following) idea was, that the cards are laid in the central board, and enable to use their abilities for the player on turn. Of course the cards could be changed and should be changed. This looks like a possible option for your combat game (you mentioned similarity to MtG), but the cards wouldn't be owned by the players, but shared. Here comes the strategy, which combination you allow to your opponent...

Well, I don't like your idea as much as mine, maybe just because I'm not yet excited about combat games.

And the last point I'll make: You could introduce some marks on the cards (the simplest are spades, hearts,...), and each card would tell you, which other card it can follow (can be played after, can replace,...)

Hope I've helped

hotsoup's picture
Joined: 08/28/2009
Some ideas for making a

Some ideas for making a resourceless game balanced: disguise the resources needed by using time or space instead. So for instance, if you play a powerful creature, it starts upside down, and every turn you twist it 90 degrees clockwise. When it is upright you can use it. Weak characters can be used right away, and mediums strength characters only have to wait one turn. This would also force players to seriously think ahead.

Using space as a resource could be done by having a limited number of slots available in play, and more powerful characters take up more of them.

Joined: 10/23/2011
It may prove difficult to

It may prove difficult to make a truly 'resourceless' card game with creatures, spells, and so forth. The reason it's not easy is because balance will be very difficult to attain - whoever draws the big creature is likely to have a significant advantage, and trying to make nothing but 'balanced' cards is likely to prove difficult and could hurt interesting gameplay.

For me, the most elegant resource system is to use the cards in your hand as your resources (like Race for the Galaxy or San Juan). That's a mechanic I can get behind in a creature-fighting game, and you'll be able to more easily create a range of creatures and abilities by using that resource. If players have an 8-card hand, the big powerful creature could require seven cards to play (thus not playing anything else that round).

Now, don't let me dissuade you if you're dead set on a resourceless card game. Just consider the difficulties involved and be willing to work through them in innovative ways.

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