Hmm...Let's see if I can't expand this into a prototype...
Untitled Stack-Based Card-RPG
Each player has 3 stacks
Stack 1: Health (Unharmed, X Injured cards, Unconscious, Corpse, Undead)
Stack 2: Condition (These are cumulative, but Corpse removes conditions. Starts empty.)
Stack 3: Gear (Also cumulative. Starts with a starter item for default attack)
Some classes have more injury cards, granting more effective HP. Other classes have more ability cards to modify the different stacks.
Conditions: Bleeding (DoT), Poisoned (DoT), Paralyzed (CC), Zombie/Vampire/Ghost (Only applied to Undead characters, and is added automatically based on the effect that added Undead), and Class Conditions (See the rogue's improved dodge)
"The next time you would receive an Injury while unharmed, put dodge on your health stack instead. At the beginning of your next turn, return Dodge to your hand if it is still the top card of the stack.
Class Condition (meaning it's class specific, and goes on the condition stack, effectively buffing you until you die and remove all conditions): You may use Dodge when injured or unharmed.
Interesting... though dying removing all the conditions on the Health track isn't what I was going for personally.
I was thinking something along the lines of a Tag system, which each tag being shorthand for something:
To give an example, your Dodge example would be a [Temporary] condition; Temporary conditions are removed after X time (standardized for all Temporary )
I'm envisioning Undead to work with an [Undead] tag, rather than having an Undead condition in and of itself. The [Undead] tag would be shorthand for "If the character would receive an Injured condition, they instead remove this Condition."
For example, Raise Zombie would read something like this: "If the top condition in the target's Stack is the Corpse condition, give them the Zombie condition."
The Zombie Condition would read: "[Undead]. This character replaces their stats with <X>, and is under the control of the character that placed this Condition on them."
Then, a Ghoul Condition might apply on top of the Zombie Condition, which also has the [Undead] tag, and which is basically an upgraded version of the Zombie Condition.
Attacks would read "If successful, the target character gains one instance of the Injured Condition." The HP rules would, once someone reaches a certain number of Injured Conditions, smack them Dying, Dead, and Corpse, whichever would be the next in the sequence.
Healing would read "If successful, remove the top Condition in the target Character's Health Stack."
To give a concrete example, let's assume that a character with an Injured Capacity of 3 gets mobbed by a bunch of monsters (I'll be using the Healthy->Injured->Unconscious->Dead->Corpse
set up, with Dead just transferring directly to Corpse.)
So our Healthy hero gets successfully hit, so he places one instance of the Injured condition on top of his Stack. He's still good!
A few turns later, and he has 3 Injured Conditions on his Stack; he gets hit again, and adds another; however, because he's gone above his Injured Capacity, he replaces that Condition with the Unconscious Condition.
Now, let's set up some counterfactuals to see what happens!A)
The monsters lose interest, and a friendly healer ambles by and decides to help our hero out. So he uses the Heal ability, which removes the top condition (Unconscious), leaving the hero with three Injured Conditions on top of their Healthy Condition. Our healer has his work cut out for him!B)
The monsters hit our hero while he's lying on the floor; he gains an Injured condition, which immediately transitions into the Dead condition, which reads "Immediately gain the Corpse condition."; thus he adds the Corpse condition on top of his Stack.
His Stack now looks like: [Corpse <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
Now the healer from A) ambles by, and uses Heal on him. Then, his Stack looks like this:[Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
However, due to the effects of Dead, he regains Corpse, thus leaving him at:[Corpse <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
Unless the healer can cast a healing spell that removes two Conditions from the stack, our hero is SOL.C)
As B), but a necromancer walks by instead of a healer, and the necromancer is looking for a new Undead servant. So he uses Make Zombie on the hero, which leaves his Conditions at:[Zombie <- Corpse <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
Zombie, of course, let's him amble around doing the Necromancer's bidding. If the Healer comes along and uses Heal on the hero, he removes the top Condition, leaving him looking like this: [Corpse <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
(Look familiar ;))
Alternatively, hero #2 comes along and hits the Zombie; thanks to the Zombie Condition having the [Undead] tag, the added Injury Condition instead removes Zombie, with the same results as the healer's Heal.
D) The necromancer looks up at the last counterfactual and decides that that's a load of bunk. He casts a stronger Undead making spell and adds two
Zombie conditions to the top of the hero's stack. Like so:[Zombie <- Zombie <- Corpse <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Injured <- Injured <- Healthy]
There! Now the Zombie can take more than one hit, and he can just stack more Zombie states on top of that to "heal" the Zombie. There is some limit to how many Zombie Conditions can be placed on the Stack, though (I'd say the same limit as how Injured Conditions the body can take, though necromancers would be able to adjust that.)
E) Dayum, that necromancer is annoying! So hero #2 goes up to him and shanks him until he dies (stupid Injured Capacity 1!) However, the necromancer has an ability that says "When this character would gain the Corpse Condition, they instead gain the Ghost Condition." Ghost is an [Undead] Condition, for obvious reasons.
So the Necromancer's Stack looks like this:
[Ghost <- Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Healthy]
If someone does something that would deal damage to him OR heal him, he removes the Ghost Condition.[Dead <- Unconscious <- Injured <- Healthy].
However, because of his special ability, when he regains Corpse, he instead gains Ghost. If they want to kill the necromancer for good, our heroes will have to find out a way of suppressing his "become a Ghost" ability.
I hope that adequately got my ideas across; I'm terrible at explaining things!