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200 Words of Real RPG • 2017rpg

Jesse W Cox • no link

Suit Key: character trait: challenge types

♠️: Swift. speed, maneuverability, reflexes.
♥️: Fearless. Morale, health, resistance, immunity.
♦️: Trained. Use tools, know lore, know people. 
♣️: Primal: in tune with wilds, beasts, elements.
Court Cards: Spellcaster, or racial abilities. 

Adventurers have race & class. 

Fighter ♥️♦️ Barbarian ♠️♣️
Rogue ♠️♦️ Warden ♥️♣️
Ranger ♣️♦️ Monk ♥️♠️

Spellcasters use all court cards, and…
Mage/Bard ♦️
Druid/Sorcerer ♣️
Cleric/Paladin ♥️
Warlock/Sorcerer ♠️

GM describes challenges/adversaries, with a DC value & and ace to start each pile.  Characters play, narrating actions by suit.

If your class has a suit, you may match suit -- anyone can match value. When DC is met, discard the stack and take a Treasure.
When no-one wants to play any more cards, take a Setback for each part of the challenge failed, or a Treasure if all are beaten. Then draw a new hand, and adventure on!

Spend Treasure to draw a full new hand and distribute the cards among the party, described as magic items and loot. 

Hand size starts at 7. Between adventures, spend 10 (setbacks plus treasures) to increase hand size for everyone, and make adversaries more epic. If setbacks > treasures, Badness Happens.

Author Comments

it’s a joke, riffing off the fact that many 200 word RPGs aren’t “real” RPGs, like, y’know, d&d. So sayeth (a loud segment of) Reddit.

So here’s d&d, using cards instead of d20s, in 200 words and some Unicode symbols. The generally unlimited power of the GM, the tension between describing your actions in game or by mechanics, and the way everything breaks when the level gets too high is intentional.


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