Author Topic: Card Based Action Economy  (Read 787 times)

Offline Amechra

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Card Based Action Economy
« on: April 29, 2014, 11:23:02 PM »
Alright, the basic idea is really simple:

1. Give everyone 3 cards; color 'em differently for each player, and make sure you can tell the difference between the front and back.
2. Place the cards in front of you face up.
3. Whenever you take an action, flip that action's cost in cards face down.
4. You don't have to have spend all your cards in a turn; after you take all the actions you want, pick someone who still has face-up cards in front of them to go next.
5. The round ends when all cards are face down.
6. When a round starts, flip all cards face up.

OK, sounds kinda alright... it doesn't take advantage of the fact that we're using physical props to keep track of our actions. So we'll add a special action.

7. A player may gift a card to another player. This is an action that costs one card; pick one of your face-up cards and put it in front of another player face-up.
8. Whenever you would flip a card of another player's color face up, put it in front of them face down instead.

I feel this would do for an example: Assume for now that attacks cost 2 cards and movement costs 1.

Alice and Bob get in a fight with the nefarious Eve, who ambushes them out of nowhere (and therefore goes first).

Eve flips one card to move to where Bob is, and flips two cards to strike him with her horrific Neutronium Mace. She then passes her turn to Alice, who is two moves away, and therefore wouldn't be able to reach her to make an attack.

Bad move on Eve's part; Alice flips one card to move towards Eve, and then flips another to put her last card in front of Bob, passing the action to him.

Bob now has four cards in front of him; one red, three blue. He flips all of them to make two attacks against Eve, stabbing her viciously with his +8 Sword of Stabbitude. All cards are flipped, so the round ends.

Everyone flips their cards face up; however, Alice is still down a card because the card she gave Bob didn't flip back face-up. After all, he only gave it back to her.

Now the fight progresses as normal, but with Alice 1 card down.

Now, there are some interesting things you can do with the "action gift" mechanic; for example, you could make a Rogue class who gets a sizable bonus if one of the cards used in an attack isn't theirs.
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Offline Amechra

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Re: Card Based Action Economy
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 11:37:51 PM »
Another potential wrinkle that could be added is typed action cards. To give a simple example, let's add another action type: Spell. Spells, much like attacks, cost two cards. A typed card may only be spent on actions of that type.

Now, to distinguish action economies, a Warrior would have two untyped card and one Attack card, while a Mage might have two untyped cards and one Spell card. What does this do?

Well, if a Warrior uses an Attack action, they use up one Attack card and one Untyped card, and still have another Untyped card they can use for moving or whatever. If they instead use a Spell action, they use up both their Untyped cards, and have to pass with their Attack card (they can't use it to attack unless someone gifts them with another card.) A Mage gets a similar distinction; however, at this point hands are small enough that it doesn't cause to much of a difference.

But what about making someone with more actions? The secret is in being careful with what cards you put in people's hands.

If you are taking an ordinary hand and increasing it to four actions, just add another typed card; if it is of the same type as the one already in their hand, replace one of the Untyped cards with a copy of it.

For example, if I wanted to take that Warrior's action hand and expand it into a Troll's action pool, I reason that Trolls are big tough boss-type monsters, and so he should have extra actions. I slap another Attack card in the hand, and then replace another one to get three Attack cards and one Untyped card.

This hand arrangement means that the Troll can have one of the following turn structures:

1. Two attacks.
2. An attack and a move.
3. An attack and then giving someone else an Attack card.

Notice the lack of spells; a Troll built like this just can't manage the wherewithal to cast a spell.

Let's say I wanted to build a Werewolf instead; I reason Werewolves are fast, so I take the Warrior and slap a Move card into the hand.

Now the Werewolf can have one of the following turns:

1. An attack and two moves.
2. An attack and grant a Move card.
3. Two moves and granting an Attack card.
4. Cast a spell and move.
5. Three moves.

It's a bit of a skirmisher now; it can move in and out of combat with relative ease, making attacks on the way.

Similar expansions can be done with larger hand sizes; you just need to keep in mind what kind of actions you want available, and it should be fairly obvious (a good number for bosses should be around 5.)
"There is happiness for those who accept their fate, there is glory for those that defy it."

"Now that everyone's so happy, this is probably a good time to tell you I ate your parents."