member, 797 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Sat 12 Jan 2019
at 15:59
Looking for a card game based RPG
I'd like to play in a game where the GM uses a card game (MTG, Warlords, WoW, Legendary) as combat system, but then another system for the non-combat parts. It could even be free form out of combat, but if it has a system here are the ones I'd be fine with; D&D 3.x, 4e, 5e. Exalted 1.x & 2.x, dX and BESM 2e (Revised).

I really don't have the time to learn a new system for this. I'm already trying to learn a few currently, and it's time consuming. I can only spend about eight hours at max per week on RPoL. I want to spend the majority of the time playing and GMing. :D

I'd prefer the same to go with card games, but I'm not adamant on that. I know MTG (though I have dated knowledge) Warlord TCG (my first choice), Legendary (again I have dated knowledge), and WoW TCG (personally my second choice).
 member, 810 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Mon 18 Mar 2019
at 15:48
Looking for a card game based RPG
Still looking, and am excited more than ever, after finally getting into some RL cards.
 member, 823 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Wed 3 Apr 2019
at 23:13
Looking for a card game based RPG
Ohhh yeah...still looking...
 member, 839 posts
 You can call me V, just V
 Life; a journey made once
Sat 17 Aug 2019
at 22:04
Looking for a card game based RPG
See first post. ^_^
 member, 322 posts
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 Thu, 28 Nov, 2013
Sun 18 Aug 2019
at 12:02
Looking for a card game based RPG
I like the idea, but how would it work? What's the kind of plot you're looking for?
 member, 843 posts
 Remember me as V, just V
 My journey is near an end
Mon 9 Sep 2019
at 19:52
Looking for a card game based RPG
I've been thinking about this since the post was made, and really it's just recently I've been able to articulate the answer.

To me, dictating a plot is something I'm leery of. I mean, after all, it would be the GM coming up with their own take and interests of what they want to GM. Leaving it nebulous, if something of a balancing act in that I can't be as vague as I have been.

So bearing in mind this is just for reference, and that I am merely putting an arbitrary flag in the earth, when it could very well be in a lot of other places, I'll try to ground my interests.

So here are some games' story-lines I've enjoyed in the past. These games are not only dead, but no longer exists in the registry, so while not confident, I'm pretty sure this is okay to discuss.

These are the highlights are my RPoL experience.

The be explicit, these systems mentioned are what they were at the time, I'm definitely wanting as I already indicated, a card based combat system. You're asking for plot, but some of this is derived (initially) from the system. So in the same way as the these systems had an affect on the plot, the card game will also play that role in shaping the narrative.
  1. An Epic D&D 3.0 game. The group were champions from the gods, to decide why magic was failing. Magic acted (pretty much everywhere) as it does in Wild Magic areas. In that every time we cast a spell, we had a chance for something random to happen. It was annoying! but nonetheless gave a basis for the verisimilitude. It played vital role. Most of the time it was manageable, the GM made it very low single digit percentage for something unfounded to occur. I think this was key. We as the champions went from plane to plane, fighting these creatures of chaos; the Nothing, if you will, the very chaos that makes the the word "entropy" evil. We memorable battles. One was in the air, and while it might as well of been on a 2D plane, every combatant had to be able to fly, and some level of tactics were used for those will bett56er maneuverability. Our wizard played a crucial role is making those will average flight plummet by blocking their ability to maintain forward velocity.  Another fight, massive explosion nearly killed everyone. I was the healer, and had the ability to resist "lethal" damage. Because of this, I was not only able to recover, but ansure the whole party was alive by the end of what should have been the end. This along with in game days passing, and scenes at "Camp" (in reality the epic equivalent, a magical extra dimension mansion...but resting) the main characters (the players that stuck with it) had chance to bond. Rhath (the ogre warrior), Baristus (the shade wizard) and Jiash (the cleric of the god of the dead) had an exceptional relationship; another Rakshasa sorceress was dearly missed, by me if no one else, when the player dropped out. I remember there being another clique, two or three other players who were possibly more friendly with each other, and than The they were us; be there was almost no bickering, certainly none out of game.
    • The team had "team" dynamics, and I think you'll find this is what I'm actually after. Character centric games. Not games that are sandobw, but game where the plot is just the vessel for commradery. A plot that no matter how monumental the plot (we were saving not just the "world" but the "cosmos" [plural]) it took a backseat to character devlopment. The latter requires the former. but the latter is the priority. Like fire and food, you enjoy the food, the food is what feeds you, but you need the fire to cook. The plot is like that.

  2. So as to stay on this theme, the a lower level, but in fact around "mid-level" D&D 3.5 game, was where good and evil were pitted against each other. The funny thing was, while we picked which side we were on, we (us "bad" guys") actually were far more cooperative, evocative and caring than the "good" guys. Yes, were were evil (well, I wasn't, but the rest were, and I went along) but we never did anything in the course of the game that would be considered evil.  The plot was to go to this tower, a beautiful game of G.O.D. (Game operations Director as she was called) where we were the chosen ones, and only we (both the good and bad guys) could enter this tower of great omen. The group that prevailed to explore/conquer it first would afford their god...something...never really found out...because!...because...well, I'll tell you. It takes some setup though.. Us evil people were shopping,, the game had begun. WE were making preparations. We met, and talked, shared our dreams of the tower, sort of found our niche. Realized we were of "like" mind. A dark paladin warrior princess (using Suidokken portrait) a charming lunatic magess (sort of like Harley Quin if she was magical) a half-fiend...something...VERY nasty claws and bite, I know that...and then half undead mage. My mage and the female mage both had fiend familiars. Both were disguised as animals, her quaist and my imp, a cat and bird respetcively. e shared spellbooks, talked about her favorite topic "murder" and it was a humorous exchange. Well, this naturally paired the hal-0fiend and paladin alone. Which went to a "fade to black" love scene. Being curious as cat, I asked to see the tyhrerads afteer they were over, and...the "adult" material? just that the "fade" was really the end. The players had naturally reached the conclusion of what they wanted to do, and so the characters (in "adult" only private threads) just chatted, about inncuous stuff, then got back to the issue of shopping...so the group met back up. We were joyfully walking, and talking in politely quiet outdoor voices. WEll! the "Good" paladin was detecting evil, finally saw us, and decided to confront us, on that alone. Granted, he's paladin, and had some social liberty, he's like a cop. The problem was, just like a cop, his engagement set the whole frame of how we would be viewed. Rather than just talking to us, being charming, friendly; or even just cacually cool, or heck, just having the rougue spy on us, he demanded we give over our gear and submit to inquistion. Naturally we refused. If I remember correctly the lunatic mage, a fabulously fun character, was talking about charming him, and I urged her not to. Well the a papoaldin saw he was going to have to do a citizen arrest...for shopping while evil (which again, I wasn't evil, I was neutral at worst). So he drew a sap (a non lethal weapon) and hit the lunatic mage. Well, being mage, she used her charm, when that was realized, all hell broke loose. Since the charm was not lethal, we figured it was not escalating the figght...welll! The cleric decided ANYTHING could be forced on the paladin by the charm, even evil things (they KINEW we were evil...well not me...but the paladin and half-fiend? Oh YEAH!). So he did flame strike, which to be fair, explicitly states it does NOT harm the terrain, so the nearby shop was undamaged. IT was, however, the declaration of war. Through great knowledge of the magical language, and spcellcraft I deduced the character the was a cleric, and probably their only method of healing. WE had no cleric, and our paladin was not much of healer, it was offense as the best defense. So I empowered (basically did a one time boost to make it more powerful) my orb of fire (a concentrated fireball, that doesn't explode into conflaguration, but bores a hole into flesh like a motlen steel ball) and killed the cleric in one attack. Granted my damage roll was exceedingly high, but it WAS also empowered...and had an extra modifier...that apparently was ALSO empowered. I could do only once each day...but that was a serious show of power. From there, the entire fight went downhill for the good guys. WE knocked two out, and killed one that made himself immune to nonlethal, saying that he wouldn't be taken alive, and we murdered a holy man. That was the only reason we killed him. The cleric was just so he couldn't heal, and truth be told I hadn't thought he;d have such low health. It never occurred to me he'd die in just that one shot. Anyway, the town guard came, and arrested us. Unlike before, we submitted, at least for then. We all (us bad guys) agreed we'd placate the guard if it came to that, but has an escape plan. Anyway, the GM rolled random roll, ;slightly skewed in our favor, but then skewed slight less back in the favor of the paladin who saw the evil aura. Well, as she rolled it, a bystander had seen teh whole thing, a bystander that couldn't "see" evil, but like everyone else, had to judge facts as observed. To her, we were shopping, chatting quietly, be plite if anyhting, and this guy, whio said he was paladin, but had no proof, and was now dead, attacked us. the mage just wiggled her fingers, but nothing happened. Teh cleric (alos dead) wiggeld his finger and prayed for vengeance, and burned us. Then I shot fire at him, and well, we just defended ourselves...while the rogue and other paladin were givento the guard. We (well I did) even offered to give the group's gear, but the guard said "Oh no, if nothing else, than the fact we have proof of their attack, you keep the spoils of domestic dispute. Thank you for doing everthing you could to preersve life. If they complain, I'll let them know the raise dead fee, and they're lucky they're alive". WEll...out of character our group were stunned. WE honestly thought it was a stitch, funny, but not that big of deal. It made the good guys have reason to hunt us now. They were going to get raised by the other two, and it would be fine...but it wasn't. Sadly, the good group wanted to make new characters, so as to not suffer the penalty to those that died (basically they lost some powers they previous had), and those that had no gear (well not NO gear, the GM gave them some) wanted to start with new character with starting (better equipment). The GM was soured by the attitude, tried to mitigate the complanits, the good guys' players deciuded then to be somewhat ugly to the GM. So the GM, G.O.D declared that ALL the PCs( the characters of the players) were the "chosen" ones. Sure, fine, make new characters. You can't enter the tower though. You didn;t have thye dreams of the omen and so...yeah...evil is unchecked. The good guys stay in jail...game over. Congrats evil team!" and it was said earnestly but with great regret.

I'll stop there to show that in neither instance was the plot obscured. It wasn't a mystery of what we were doing. We knew what to do, and were just finding out how to do it. In the first case, the GM was having trouble with our power level ( it is hard to challenge effective godlings) and in the second case, the rotten apples spoiled the GM's fun. In both cases, most of the group was there to keep going. IT made sense to stop, the GM called it quits, but the excitement laid banked and never did the fire go out, even now. And you might say "you didn't do much". No, you're right, sadly in the fifteen years I've played &D, that was actually farther than we got in 97% of the games. Those that made it further, were very rare, and I do have other games like the above, but the real theme is character development. Cooperative players, making cooperative characters, and going along with a predictible, but necessary story, to bond, to learn, to grow, and yeah,...to have some kick ass fights!

So this is why a plot, in my eyes, needs to be nebulous. Medieval Fantasy themes, D&D-esc if you must, should be present. MTG, Warlords and WoW, fit this perfectly though. "VS" wouldn't, despite the supers craze going on presently. Helping people, and fighting bullies is my number one theme  I enjoy in plots for games. I don't like mysteries. Mysteries are great for fixed media, they suck for games unless the players enjoy the squirming investigation. I most certainly do not. I like combat, I like time to be able to have casual conversations, I like parties, balls, festivals, but a brisk pace (even if posting isn't brisk at all!) of action and scenes moving along. Getting caught in the moment is fine, as long as it's occasional. I also like cards, because save for very few opposing hands having a reaction or instant, you can dictate what you're going todo and know fairly well what's going to occur...without need for roll spoiling it. I LOVE descriptive combat. If nayhting, I  enjoy descriptive combat, much more than descriptive...say...appearance of clothing, or the richness of a ballroom. I appreciate these things too, but not nearly as much.

On that note, I will say, I probably wrote too much...so I'm not really sure how to edit it to be easier to read. I'm tempted to scrap it, and start again another time, but it's so hard to get anything posted, I'd rather it be tons of dirt with some gems in the mix, then nothing ya know? So I hope you can make sense of this.

TL;DR: I want to have combat that's descriptive. I want plot that is obvious, and not hard to follow, where the what is bold asbrass and the how is the fun part the PCs have. I like some challenge, but the odds to be in the players' favor. I want plot that takes a backseat to character developement, where the PCS have conversations, go to social events, and have "dwontime". I really want a medieval fantasy setting; which Warlords, WoW and MTG all have richly in them. The plot would be up to the GM, but fighting bullies and helping people is sure win in my book.
 member, 75 posts
 ...Perhaps through words
 I'll find the answer
Mon 9 Sep 2019
at 22:27
Looking for a card game based RPG
 I understand where you're coming from, definitely. Entirely Freeform games have the problem of falling to pieces because the plot starts to unravel. There's another thread that's given some good advice in how to solve the problems with freeform that I've found quite useful.

 In order to keep my games more freeform but have some structure I've been experimenting with format. While one is strictly freeform, Two of my games are a bit atypical to freeform with one (emperor) being semi-guided with plots and some rolls for the dungeon areas, and the other (Nephilim) having events and quests where I'll be using this system:


Of course since I allow 4 powers, everyone (with powers) would start out with 4 dice instead of 1, but it would be pretty much the same.

This idea is still in its infancy but I've gotten some positive responses from the people already playing. Let me know if you would be interested in playing and I'll post the link.
 member, 845 posts
 Remember me as V, just V
 My journey is near an end
Wed 11 Sep 2019
at 05:33
Looking for a card game based RPG
Eh...I mean it's interesting, but I really want to play a game where combat is governed by the cards. I feel like I would be unsatisfied when vicious conflict occurred. So the pre-established card combat would be key. The premise is that acrds would be used, so I'd say your reply falls under the "this isn't what you asked for but.." clause. So...eh...it does sounds interesting though...just what I'm looking for. :)

Previous to my last post, they also asked "how would that work?" and didn't answer that part, focusing (entirely!) on thew question of plot.

So, how would it work? That would (obviously) be up to the GM. I do have some experience with a game like this, and it's what prompted me to ask for this type of game. So I'll share what was done before. By all means, there are other ways to do this.

Character advancement is always a theme in RPGs. There's a difference between cards and RPGs, namely like there's a difference between...oh...Heroes of the Storm and Diablo 2. In the former, you rinse and repeat the process of starting from a very base point, and growing from scratch each time. In the latter, you have some sense of growth you'll never lose. Both can be productive to a story. In much the same way a sniper might need to: find cover, remain unseen, spot (or have spotter) mark their target, aim, and take a shot; this can be represented by "starting over". It can also be that warrior picked up, say a magical sword, that gives substantial power. In the case of reset, maybe drawing the card represented that the sword awakened was now ready to provide its magic fully. Maybe it was always in the hand of the warrior, but sword was intelligent and needed to sleep. Drawing it meant the sword had awakened. In the case of full growth, a departure from the rules of the card game is required, but certainly it can be compensated. This, I think, it was makes the RPG element shine in the card games I've mentioned. So I'll detail the growth mechanic heavily, while the reset could really be any number of starting points below that never rise above certain point.

Here's how you show progressive growth.

I'll start with MTG.

Commander. Your character is the commander (or if partnered, two characters). Spells you cast come from the deck. Perhaps at certain milestones, you may have a creature that starts in play, provided they haven't been slain. This creature also retains any auras it accumulates, this can also allow for previous battles, even those won, to have bearing on the future battles. Say your creature (besides your commander) had a few auras...but one was pacify. This could be played out by the GM, by the character being lethargic, being timid, or even being partially paralyzed, maybe even phasing in a and out inopportunely. But nonetheless, as you may know, there are cures for this. A single destruction of the pacify would restore the character. In much the same way this creature (or later in the games plural) could stay out, maybe certain equipment could too. It maintains a tight starting point, you still need to draw cards, but you can also start with more. Would this unbalance the game? Well, if you didn't have the group go up against more advanced foes, sure. You can always balance this through opposing commander decks. Alternatively, if the GM REALLY wants to play a PC (as some GMs do) you can make a horde or encounters deck that will run "itself". Horde rules are casual format, but are supported by WotC (somewhat) even if not actually sanctioned.

Warlord: Saga of the Storm
This one is far more simple to do on RPoL than MTG. In fact, you don't even need a deck. Sure, it makes it's a steep departure from the card game, but the core concepts are still robust enough to play through. In the deckless format, the GM assigns certain obvjectives, sometimes secret sometimes obvious. As those objectives are complete, such as killing a character for instance, or making the opposing formation have only, say, two ranks in their army, then the GM might give out an item found, or possibly a character that was otherwise held hostage. Again, great for NPCs and hirelings so the GM has the chance to RP with the group, as NPCs are the only real chance GMs have to enjoy their own work. With a deck you draw actions, andf potentially characters your character may have co9ntact with. Say maybe you're summoner, you might justify having monster in your deck as summon spell. Really even dwarves, freaks, devs and ANY character are fine to be summons too. I don't reccommend, for this format, to put items in the deck, it often breaks the immersion. Characters should also be scarce, as again, it's an RPG.

If you have no deck, the GM gives you so many action cards you have to either choose from (as a pool) or the GM just gives you the cards you have to play. Maybe bewteen turns the GM will add more choices, but maybe not.

In any case, your warlord is your character. They can be a commander that leads from the front, summons from afar, uses mostly diversion, or is a one man wrecking crew. There is room for people to have leadership and command NPCs, or some to be lone units that act more as peers to other PCs, but have no following of their own.

Now, WoW, one of my favorite card games to RPGs. This one is probably the best. Again, follow the rules for warlord. You have have a deck, or your can have the GM simply feed you cards, either from pool you get to pick, or chosen for you based on RP and other choices your character has made.

Your hero is your character. You can equip items, again, as rewards, either from objectives (kill this character) or not combat help. Maybe you had to negotiate for the goblin rif raf that were peasants poorly treated becausew their often malicious kin, into having homes in a human or dwarf, or what have you, town. MAybe these goblins had no malice, maybe they did. In either either case, the conflict would be between the goblins and the...whatever...and resolving it one way may say, get you an item the goblins gave you, maybe a ring they stole they were going to use to trade for food. If, say, you ran the goblins out of the town, you might get a potion, or even staff from the local temple. The thing is, I imply you have objectives only achieved through battle, they don't have to be though. Certainly RP is a huge part of what makes an RPG. The conversations, the choices made in sake of staying true the character, despite the players knowing better. Items, and especially allies can be represented as rewards for the players. In much the same way as warlord.

Now, what about non-combat? there's still conflict. How do you resolve that? Another system certainly can be used, it doesn't have to be. I would advise something simple. I don't personally know of many simple systems. I use dX, but if the players are used to D&ED, use that, but eschew anything that would prompt or involve combat. Exalted is fine too, especially since many themes overlap already with the above games, granted you havr to reflavor the world, but the core charms and powers, the conflict resolution is fine. You have to pare down the accessible parts of these systems. Many, if not in some cases most, of the system needs to be largely ignored and restricted. Ideally you want something really just to show other skills, powers and traits. Even just having darkvision can change scene. Less is more, IMO. Skills will also play a much bigger roll. Maybe instead of craft, the skill, being basically worthless, you might less players roll craft to make certain items or equipment. Then think about magical crafting. Maybe it would be a A HUGE incentive to magicallky craft and lose "XP" to make a weapon. You might also allow the players to get recipes to be able to make certain items from finding others. This can make for rplo9t hook. "the dragon's blood artifact is needed to make  the worldbreaker sword" so the group needs to be on the hutn for a dragon. In thw world, perhaps there's only a few, or perhaps there's thousands. Either way, you can transition the future plot based on the recipes you give.

And this, as far as I'm concerned, is sufficient. Many RP scenes don't need conflict resolution, they;'re just discussions, choices about conflict, strategy and management, moral decisions; but the scenes themselves need no conflict resolution "system" they just need players and NPCs to be able to reach an agreement, or at least compromise. A heroes feast in an inn, is still a great scene. Evcen if it has no affect on the cards. Personally, I'd allow the characters something like a potion, or aura (in MTG) or ongoing ability (in WoW) to represent this, but even if you don't, you can have nice meal, and talk about your history, what motivates you, your family, your reason  for doing what it is you all are doing.

So yeah...that's how I have done it. Remember, it doesn't need to last ages in terms of storyline to be a successful campaign. Often, on RPoL, a very very short idea can be years of IRL time. Just something think about. :)

It's up to the GM though. Don't get locked down by any system, including the cards. As long as thr rules are transparent, and the group knows at least as players, the rules, and thr eules don't just change to "challenge" the party, it's all fine.

Many people say you can make any syetm  what you want it to be. For D&D, and exalted that's ALOT easier said than done. For cards, it really isn't any different than formats already established. So playtetsing has already been done enough, and if ever in doubt just give the player s slight advantage. It's not gamekilling if the heroes stomp the enemy. There can always be someone worse. It is, howeverm, gamekillingl,k when the whole party dies, unless death is reverible, which TBH, death should be, even if very limited, it should be somethin that can eb reversed. If you so choose you can say wehn a character is "killed" they're just Koed, but to me at least, this seems stupid. It's a lot more sensible to say dreadlord villain won't have scads of investmen tin ressurecting his minions, and that players have maybe a three strikes you're out rule for resurrecting each other. The pro outweighs the cons. The Lazarus effect is nowhere near as pervasive as people who oppose it make it out to be. That's just my opinion though. I always hated that Batman can't truly die, and Joker is never killed. To people who advocate against resurrection, explain that crap to me (this is hyperbole, don't actually, as it's not germane).
 member, 853 posts
 Remember me as V, just V
 My journey is near an end
Tue 17 Sep 2019
at 17:55
Looking for a card game based RPG
Definitely still interested. I'd more than willing to see someone else's adaptation to the cards' normal configuiration as well.