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Simple online deck/card server?

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 02/05/2016

Hi people,

I am running a play-by-email game of Kepler, and would like to step in to replace one player.

I can GM and play at the same time for most aspects of the game, but there is some hidden information in the game, coming from cards. I would like to keep myself ignorant of which cards have been drawn by other players, where necessary. I would also like to be able to draw random cards without being open to the accusation that I have drawn a card that suits my needs.

Some sort of random deck-dealing server could do this part of the GM process for me. I could probably write one myself but do not want to reinvent the wheel.

Can anybody recommend an automated online solution for:
- dealing random cards to different players
- keeping hidden hand information for each player



ElKobold's picture
Joined: 04/10/2015
Why not use Tabletopia?

Why not use Tabletopia?

Joined: 07/26/2015
Have you heard of VASSAL? An

Have you heard of VASSAL?

An online server might be painful, as you need hosting, and as the admin, you will still be able to cheat.
Writing a local email application, would be the easy way.

Find a email sending library in the language of your choice.
Have a file with the list of possible cards, and assign each a number.
Have a file that keeps track of who has which cards, and what cards are in the deck.

The program randomly selects from the cards in deck, and emails the player that drew the card.

Joined: 02/05/2016
Thanks for the

Thanks for the suggestions...

Writing a server would probably not be too difficult. I have a website that could host, say, a php file.

Vassal occurred to me as the best option, but I have no experience with it and it would probably require all of my playtesters to download vassal.

Tabletopia would require everyone to get a copy for a limited part of the game, and I suspect in the end the host could cheat.

What may work best is if I use a simple program to write the deck contents to a set of anonymously named text files, where I know that each text file contains a card, but I don't know which is which. I can simply email a cardfile as an attachment using normal email, and the receiver can open it to know which card they have. I keep copies to keep them honest.

Sure, I could cheat, but I think I could cheat with many of the solutions, including writing my own server. Vassal might provide the best cheat-proof solution, but could be more work than is needed, and if it requires my playtesters to learn a new interface it will not be worthwhile.

I was hoping some webpagee somewhere could just be given email addresses and then mail them cards on demand. Even normal playing cards could do, because these could always be translated. Indeed, for the deck I am using, there is an obvious translation from regular playing cards to my own cards, using suits/pips.

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