Characters will draw Background Cards. This constitutes their character sheet.
A Background card can be general or specific. Initial backgrounds will cover any specific innate features of the character. Athletic, Clever, etc.. Each character can have ONE innate background card. These are fairly immutable.
Each character also draws TWO personality cards. One is their Personality Temperament, the other is their Personality Type.
He or she will also have one or more background cards associated with a profession, hobby or the like.
Then as one adventures other background cards can be added that will give characters the ability to accomplish various things routinely, and intervene in situations requiring a draw.
Background Cards are taken from a separate deck (not the draw deck). The rank of the card indicates how proficient someone is.
Basic Rule Mechanic: Draw Cards to Determine Success
There are two basic mechanics.
1. Draw a card from the draw deck to determine success where there is uncertainty.
2. Substitute cards from your hand to improve your draw.
That is it.
Determining Success from the Draw.
Either compare cards (competition) or hit a target number (challenge)
Competition: Doing something against another’s wishes, or fighting mano a mano is a competition.
- If two people draw the same suit, high card wins decisively (ending the competition).
- If two people draw the same color, high card wins advantage (draw two, take best on next draw)
- If two people draw different colors, there is no effective winner of the competition but the drawer of the high card can “alter the scene” to their advantage.
- A tie of any suits means that the competition is unresolved.
If more than one person is actively engaged, each person draws once, and applies that to all opponents.
Each draw may represent various lengths of time from a single gunshot to several minutes of brawling. A resolved draw represents that some change has occurred and there is an opportunity for new actions to occur.
Combat is usually a competition. There is no specific suit that is privileged in combat, however there may be certain background cards that do. Strategies
Challenges Doing something difficult presents a challenge
Target number is based on difficulty, suit based on type.
- Clubs (Physical)
- Diamonds (Skill)
- Hearts (Social)
- Spades (Reasoning)
If a task is less than one’s rank in a background suit, assume automatic success (unless there are extenuating circumstances), in other cases draw a card.
- If you hit target number the same suit, you succeed completely
- If you miss, you can draw two cards (taking extra time)
- If you hit target number in same color, you succeed partially (and can change the suit of the challenge if you wish)
- if you miss, you draw again (taking extra time)
- If you hit target number in different color, you succeed, but at a cost related to that suit.
- if you miss, you fail, and cannot continue until the scene changes.
The Fray: Special situation. Group vs. Group fights
In cases where two groups are competing and acting against each other (such as gun fight, or brawl) this constitutes a Fray. The key element is that people are not paired up in a fight, but rather taking opportunity actions or attacking whomever is vulnerable.
Every PC draws a card. GM draws 1-3 depending on the level of opponents.
Only the person who draw the high cardª gets a success. (takes out an unspecified opponent, accomplishes a small goal, changes position, etc..) Everyone else is assumed to maintain the status quo (cover fire, hiding, etc.) If two people are trying the same thing, they both draw.
This draw continues until one side has accomplished its goals, or the others opts to surrender, give in, or change the scene somehow.
Substituting Cards from your hand.
Each Player will have at least 3 background cards at the start of a game. One innate card, and two personality cards. As you gain experience this will increase. A player may only play a limited number times (either once per session (red), or once per scene (blue)).
Players may also be given Bonus Draws for various reasons: Cool role play, out of game contributions (summaries, wiki additions), getting incapacitated, heroism, Intentional Failure.
Substitute: After seeing a draw, a character can substitute a card from their hand. This card is played instead of the drawn card. In order to play a card, the player must describe how they are using the card, in a general way, to gain some advantage.
Ex. Franz and Hans are having a sword fight. Franz draws a 7 Clubs, Hans a 9 Diamonds. Franz decides to play his Jack Diamonds (Performer Personality Type). Franz describes tricking Hans by pretending to see something frightful. “Look! a Distraction!” He plays the Jack of Diamonds and disarms Hans. He sets the card aside until the next scene.
If a player chooses, either because she is out of cards, or because she is saving cards for later, she may instead Draw a Disadvantage Card. This is just another Draw from the deck, but once a disadvantage card is drawn, it is kept by the player as a disadvantage.
Disadvantages – A player may opt for a disadvantage. This is a temporary penalty to draws. It works like this. The card is held and whenever that player draws a card of the same suit, the worse of the two cards (drawn and disadvantage) must be taken. Characters can take multiple disadvantages, but if they draw the same suit twice they are incapacitated for that scene (plus any effects of the disadvantages).
Note: As disadvantages Aces have a value of 1.
A disadvantage lasts either until the end of the next scene (in the case of an unsuccessful disadvantage draw) or the next episode (in the case of a successful use).
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