You're dead. You got lost and went where all lost things and forgotten places go. You'll need one suit from a card deck. Take 2-10 and choose one face card. Jack is sneaky. Queen is charming. King is violent. Ace is clever. This small deck is your soul. Actions have difficulty determined by the Abyss*. Draw a higher card to succeed. When you draw your face card, you automatically succeed and reshuffle your deck. You may discard extra cards to sum them with an already drawn card, but only if the action corresponds to your face card. Discarded cards are gone forever. In conflict, opponents draw from their decks and the higher card wins. Winner takes the card of the looser, both discard their card in a draw. When only your face card remains, you fade away. The Abyss will throw obstacles and monsters** in your way, and reward achievements with inhuman powers. You'll loose pieces of your soul, then patch the holes with stolen bits of others. Your deck will change, until nothing from you remains. You'll be a monster. Damn you, damn us all. *) Gamemaster **) Monsters may be customized by the size and value of their deck.
This is a deck building RPG. Sort of. :)
The action resolution mechanic of this game was built to reflect the central themes of power at a price and slow loss of humanity. The players will start with a full suit of cards in their deck, and then loose them as they perform big actions or get defeated in combat. They will gain new, different cards from successful combat with monsters, and magical powers when the Abyss is pleased.
I suggest that the GM uses distinct decks to build their monsters, so that it becomes obvious how much the players’ decks changed. Hopefully, they will, sooner of later, notice how much closer they are to the monsters than to the humans they once were, and that there are no “monsters” in the Abyss, only other lost souls that survived for far too long.