Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-15-2010, 10:38 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default Drama Cards For GURPS

So I recently been lurking on the Something Awful forums and come across tales of the use of drama cards in a Dark Heresy game.

For those not in the know; (WARNING: MAYBE NSFW!!)

Drama Cards are a series of cards to introduce drama into your 4e D&D campaign while simultaneously giving your players a small measure of say in what goes on. They are awarded at the DM's discretion, mostly for being a good player, and then played by the player at any time. While made specifically for a 4e campaign, some of the dramatic situations presented in the cards generalize fairly well.
Drama cards are a set of printable cards that you, as a DM, can introduce into your game as a reward for your players; give them out as a reward for your players providing you with a character history, story log, or if they go above and beyond with their in-game actions, do something amazing/funny in-game, or just outright bribe you.

This set of cards contains 180 different cards; some with mechanical effects, many with, appropriately enough, dramatic effects that may change the course of actions of an NPC, a monster, the environment or the story as a whole. The cards are sorted into different "values" - copper, silver, gold and platinum; generally reflecting how rarely you should award these cards. For example, in my campaign, I intend on printing them out in a ratio of 8:4:2:1, so that the copper cards show up a great deal more often. Whatever the case, I recommend you only use these cards if you're confident as a DM.

The cards are also sorted by type of action - Adventure, Assist, Attack, Combat, Defense, Movement, Recovery, Subplot and Meta; these categories are pretty self-explanatory, and their purposes for drama cards are deliberately vague; it's just another means to allow you to sort through cards you may or may not want your players to have access to, or perhaps only use in certain situations.

Using a card itself, in-game, takes no action, although there are cards that can only be used under special circumstances. There is no limit to how many cards a player may have, or how many a player may use at any given time; however, once again, this is just how I'm using them; you can limit a player to a set "hand" of cards, forcing them to discard a card if they want a new one, you may limit how many can be used at once, or when they can be used. Find the way they best suit your campaign, and use them as you see fit.
Continued next post....
ajardoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 10:39 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2010
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

So, how about some drama cards for GURPS? Here's some potential examples I've adapted from drama cards for other systems I've seen (text only so far, I'm okay with you guys finding some actual artwork to go with them);

* Temperance - Automatically succeed on a self control roll for a mental disadvantage.
* Fortitude - Automatically succeed on a HT roll to remain alive or conscious.
* Faith - Play this card when your character either attends religious services or similarly grand and ceremonial (not just a quick prayer, but a wedding or rite of passage would do it). Something significantly good happens to your character as a result (GM decides the details).
* Hope - Support the goals or ideals of another character (NPC or PC) at the expense of yor own. That character WILL be victorious (GM decides the details).
* Charity - Choose a character (NPC, PC or you). Material aid will be granted to that character as a gift from another (GM decides the details).
* Prudence - Play this card when using Extra Time (B346) to gain a bonus to a success roll. That bonus (and ONLY that bonus) will be tripled.
* Justice - Choose a character (PC or NPC) who has commited a crime or ethics violation. That character will be punished to an appropriate extent, by official legal means or otherwise (GM decides the details).
* Wrath - Play this card when you enact revenge upon another character (NPC or PC). You get a +5 bonus to the next success roll you make.
* Pride - You are immediately seen as the most important, interesting and competent character by everyone for the remainder of the scene. People may see you as a threat or a tool to be used, if so inclined.
* Lust - A character of your choice (you, PC or NPC) is immediately presented with the chance to engage in sex and/or romance, if the character so chooses (GM decides the details).
* Greed - A character of your choice (you, PC or NPC) gains possession of a valuable treasure (GM decides the details).
* Sloth - A character of your choice (you, PC or NPC) becomes apathetic and lazy for a moment (GM decides the details).
* Gluttony - Your character gets the chance to enjoy a suitably lavish meal (GM decides the details).
* Envy - Play this card when a rival or enemy humilates or defeats your character in some way. The rival or enemy WILL suffer negative consequences as a result of his/her victory (GM decides the details).
* Bloody Mess - Play this card when a character dies. That character dies in a particularly dramatic and gory manner, possibly destroying the body. GM decides the details and how such a death impacts the scene.
* New Toy - A magic item or similarly powerful artifact/ultratech comes into your possession. GM decides the details.
* True Unity - Play on a group of NPCs who appear to be faithful. They are exactly as faithful as they appear to be.
* Unhidden Lair - Use on an enemy. That enemy leaves a clue or trail back to their base or safe haven.
* Freedom! - Use this card whenever you are arrested, trapped, imprisoned or restrained. You immediately escape such bonds.
* Blunt Soul - For the rest of the scene, all of your resistance rolls against supernatural mind control gain a +5 bonus.
* Second Wind - Roll 1d and regain that many missing FP.
* Walk a Mile in My Shoes - Play this card at the start of combat. Exchange character sheets and control of those characters with another player or allied NPC until the end of the encounter.
* Fresh Start - Discard your card and draw five new cards. The GM or another player of your choice must do the same.
* Calling Fate - All players and the GM must draw a new card.
* Canny Handling - Pick an item. You immediately figure out what it is and what it does.
* Good Business - Play this card when you make a deal with someone. They will keep their end of the deal.
* All or Nothing - The next time you make a success roll, flip a coin instead. Heads, you effectively have made a Critical Success. Tails, you made a Critical Failure.
* Backstabbing - You can use this card to make an enemy trust you or make an enemy turn on his/her own boss.
* Blunder - Play this card when an enemy makes a Critical Success. The enemy suffers a Critical Failure instead.
* Reinforcements - Some manner of help arrives to assist your party. GM decides the details.
* Cameo - Some famous or nortorious NPC of your choice makes a brief appearance. GM's discretion.
* Rest Easy - Play this card while your character is sleeping, entertaining himself somehow or similarly relaxing. He will not be disturbed by any negative event for the remainder of the scene.
* Good Impression - A NPC of your choice takes a particular liking to you.
* It's TIME to D-D-D-D-DUEL!! - Challenge a NPC to a contest of some sort. He or she will agree and play to win.
* Cheater! - Take any single die that was just rolled and place it face-up however you like.
* Circumnavigate - You discover an easy way around an obstacle or enemy, avoiding it completely.
* Gate Crashers - Play this card during combat or some other confortation. An third party, hostile to both you and your enemies, enters the conflict.
* Cutscene - The GM must play out a scene involving only NPCs that have a part in future events.
* Deus Ex Machina - An enemy or obstacle is dealt with by an outside force. GM decides the details.
* Disaster! - A disaster, natural or otherwise, occurs. GM decides details.
* Don't Mess With Me! - Play this card when using the Intimidation skill. You automatically get a Critical Success.
* Elusive - You automatically manage to find a decent hiding place and escape the notice of all in the scene.
* Tick-Tock - Choose a goal or task of any PC or NPC. That goal or task now has an immediately noticable time limit of the GM's choice.
* Fancy Seeing You Here - Play this card when you are discovered somewhere you are not supposed to be. Those discovering you also have no business being there, either. GM decides why they're there.
* Flashback - Your GM must run a short scene that occured in your or your party's past.
* Free Samples - You acquire a sample of something a NPC in the scene either creates or carries. GM decides what kind of something.
* Gremlins - A trap, device, artifact or process fails to work properly for a short period of time. GM decides details.
* Guesswork - Suggest a theory or assumption about a situation or a character's motivations to the GM. The GM must have such speculation proven at least partially correct in the future.
* Guts - You automatically succeed on your next Fright Check.
* Grand Theft Auto - You find an usable mode of transport nearby.
* Veto - Play this card whenever another player or the GM plays a card. The effects of playing that card are negated.
* Just as Planned - Choose an enemy. That enemy falls for a trap of your own design.You may take as long as you like to design this trap.
* Long Time, No See - Choose a NPC you haven't encountered before. From this point forward, you and the NPC have been lifelong acquaintances or old rivals.
* Looking for Trouble - Play this card when not in combat. The GM must run a special combat encounter. You can specify in broad terms what kind of encounter you're looking for.
* Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Choose a target. That target loses a part of their memory. GM decides details.
* Mistaken Identity - Choose a NPC. That NPC mistakes you for someone else. GM decides details.
* Imposter! - Choose a NPC. That NPC is revealed to be someone else all along. GM decides details.
* Sickness. - Choose a NPC. That NPC suffers health problems. GM decides details.
* Mysterious Stranger - An unknown NPC comes to your aid, only to leave as abruptly as he came. Either GM creates the stranger, or you may design him yourself.
* Narrow Escape - Play this card when moving through some sort of passageway. That passageway immediately becomes blocked for any pursuers.
* Running! - You encounter a party being pursued or escaping something. GM decides details.
* Parley - A combat encounter becomes a purely social one due to some turn of fate.
* Power Surge - Play this card when a character rolls to activate a supernatural ability or cast a spell. Choose to either negate a Critical Failure that has been rolled or declare that the success roll is an automatic Critical Failure.
* Prepare to Die! - A character shows up to get revenge on you or another PC. GM decides details.
* Protege - You can either elect a friendly NPC to mentor, or create one who seeks you out.
* Ruination - The place you played this card at will be destroyed within a short time of you leaving it. GM decides details.
* Safe Travel - Play this card to cancel a wandering random encounter.
* Stealing the Spotlight - You encounter another party that has similar or conflicting goals as your party's. GM decides details.
* Strife - Choose two enemies. They now both consider each other an enemy as well.
* That's Just Crazy Enough to Work! - Play this card when you or another player comes up with a silly, overcomplicated, stupid or risky solution to a challenge. That plan will now have the best chance of success.
* Dread Gazebo - Some seemingly harmless thing becomes a dangerous threat in some fashion, or some haunting environment turns out to be completely safe.
* What's He Planning? - Play this card to be given insight into the most likely next move of a chosen enemy.
* This Way! - Play this card when you or your allies are lost. You immediately find a map or the correct route.
* Take Your Time - Play this card while under a time limit of some sort. The time limit will be extended or annulled, GM's decision.
* Going Shopping - You come across some sort of merchant, selling things. GM decides details.
ajardoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
nik1979's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Philippines, Makati
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

Nice, it will add another dimension of fun if the players are up for it. I'd try it.
GMing Blog
nik1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #4
vierasmarius's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Oregon
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

Nice list. Basically a card that's one use of Serendipity, with a preset effect. Many of them would also make neat story hooks.
vierasmarius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2010, 01:44 AM   #5
Stripe's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Midwest, USA
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

I just took a glance, but that looks like an awesome list of cards!
"How the heck am I supposed to justify that whatever I
feel like doing at any particular moment is 'in character'
if I can't say 'I'm chaotic evil!'"? —Jeff Freeman
Stripe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 05:51 PM   #6
Psychotime's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

This is a very nice idea.
Who is this kid? [link]
Psychotime is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Edmond, OK
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

I so wish I could "like" threads, as I really like this idea but have nothing substantial to add.
nanoboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
Pike's Pique
Qoltar's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio U.S.A.
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

GURPS really doesn't need 'drama cards'.
This has got to be one of the worst ideas that I've heard to 'spice up' a game that already works pretty darn good when compared to other roleplaying games.

- Ed C.
Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me....

A vote for charity:
Qoltar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 05:52 AM   #9
griffin's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

Originally Posted by Qoltar View Post
GURPS really doesn't need 'drama cards'.
This has got to be one of the worst ideas that I've heard to 'spice up' a game that already works pretty darn good when compared to other roleplaying games.

- Ed C.
Of course GURPS doesn't NEED drama cards. However, I find they make an interesting reward beyond character points. I like introducing them as an initual reward for good character backstory write ups and as end of adventure rewards.

Limit them to one use per game session per card. Allow for interpretation based on card text, icons, numbers and GM and player joint agreement.
griffin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-06-2011, 08:10 AM   #10
Wedhro's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bologna, Italy
Default Re: Drama Cards For GURPS

Originally Posted by Qoltar View Post
GURPS really doesn't need 'drama cards'.
I feel that the rules under "Influencing Success Rolls" (Basic Set, p.347) are good enough for meta-gaming, I don't need more complexity than that. Also I dislike using printed cards, I'm afraid it's not the best way to let players express their imagination.
That list of effects comes handy, though, I could pass it to my players when they want to spend points as per ISR but they can't come up with a good idea.
IMHO, of course [^_°]

Last edited by Wedhro; 01-06-2011 at 08:15 AM.
Wedhro is offline   Reply With Quote

drama cards, house rules, system hack

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.