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Old 05-30-2018, 04:23 PM   #1
ultimated
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Default Card-game Caster?

Hi all, got a quick one for you tonight.

In an upcoming game, which will actually be the first I've played in, having binged on Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and the physical card game, I've been discussing with my GM the idea of a character who carries with him a deck of cards that actually do summon monsters and cast spells when activated.

We came up with some basic ideas. It'd essentially be a mix of general spells and monsters that fight on this guy's behalf; without the deck of cards, he can't fight or provide much of value to the party except his nerdy mind (good for plans of attack and solving puzzles!). However, we're not sure how to go about modelling this.

I was originally thinking of making the deck like a spellcaster's grimoire - memorise a "hand" of spells, replace them one by one as you play them. However, the hand would be randomly generated. We'll say the deck works either on some form of magic or quantum physics such that the cards only function if the player doesn't know what order they're being drawn in.

So I looked into Signature Gear, Ally, Modular Abilities, Super Memorization, and limitations like One Use Only (fast reload), but this being my first game, I'm having trouble translating the concept I have into the mechanics I need.

Let's say, given a deck of, I dunno, 20 cards, where there are some spells, some generic goon monsters, and a small number of unique, more powerful monsters, how can I emulate the idea of randomly drawing a hand of 3 cards, playing one, then drawing another random card to replace it, entirely within GURPS mechanics? Ideally, drawing a card or hand of cards would take 1 second, and activating a card would take 1 second too, so my character won't be left out of combats due to the lag he takes in drawing and playing cards, but slightly longer times should also be acceptable.

The game uses 300 point buy.

Bonus round: Would it be possible to have the card-draw system interact with Super Luck so that he can pull off "Heart of the Cards" shenanigans to draw exactly what he needs during tense moments? Not required, but certainly fun.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:27 PM   #2
Phantasm
 
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Sounds like it'd be a variation of a Modular Ability build, with the deck as the source of what abilities are available. The number of slots would indicate the number of cards available at any given time.

Summons would probably be Ally (Minion; Summonable; Power Modifier), with buffs, debuffs, and attacks built as powers ala Sorcery, Divine Favor, and similar. Probably not bad places to turn to for various items.


Super Luck with the Wishing modifier would probably be a start for "I need to draw a particular card or we're sunk" and having it be the right one. Balance Wishing with an Accessibility for "only cards in my deck"; not sure about pricing.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Incidentally, it's perfectly legal to have "Limited Power: only abilities corresponding to the cards I draw from a deck", and then use a physical deck of cards. You could do this with lookup and a regular deck of cards, though if you can make the cards fit I'd be tempted by using the major arcana of a tarot deck.
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Old 05-30-2018, 08:46 PM   #4
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Sounds almost exactly like the RAW Alternative Ability mechanic, but in the expanded "N active" version, as in PU8, Limitations, or the Simultaneous Spells section in Sorcery. (In this case, N is 3.) Pay full price for the three most expensive abilities in the AA group, and 1/5 price for the rest. You can use any of the three abilities.

To swap in another ability, you need a Concentrate Maneuver, so that requirement is taken care of. (Strictly speaking, switching an attack ability for another attack ability is a free action. But Sorcery feels free to sweep that distinction under the rug, so we can follow suit.)

To have the abilities take time to activate, simply make that a rule for the character's abilities. All of them have to have Requires Concentrate, if an activation time isn't already built into the base Advantage. Switchable abilities generally require a one-second Ready Maneuver to activate, so most of the abilities will match already. For the other abilities that are Always On, just add Switchable.

That just leaves the random factor. Easy enough just to require as part of the concept, but the question is how to price it. The choice of a new ability is random, rather than chosen by the player whenever he uses a power. That interferes with their ability to choose the most appropriate power in their AA set, so it's worth a small Limitation -- say about -10%. Past suggestions have included using the discounts for Accessibility with a frequency based on the die roll (card draw; that is, one over the number of abilities in the AA group).

If the number of abilities is large, a Modular Ability might be cheaper. Just invent a new slot type that slots in a random ability rather than a chosen one. The slot will be a few points cheaper than usual since lack of choice affects the slot, not the abilities in that slot.
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Old 05-30-2018, 09:18 PM   #5
Dalin
 
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimated View Post
In an upcoming game, which will actually be the first I've played in, having binged on Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and the physical card game, I've been discussing with my GM the idea of a character who carries with him a deck of cards that actually do summon monsters and cast spells when activated.
I'm intrigued by this concept. Sounds like a lot of fun. I don't know anything about Yu-Gi-Oh, and I'm not enough of a GURPS gearhead to offer technical advice, but I can imagine a lot of fun stories coming out of an ability like this. Please report back to let us know how you manage it and, more importantly, how it works out in play.
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Old 05-31-2018, 06:55 AM   #6
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Well, there are a few other ways that you could do it, depending on your preferences. First, you could use a card-based form of ritual magic, where each card corresponds to a specific spell. Second, you could use a form of card-based symbolic magic, where each card represents a word. Third, you could use a form of card-based syntactic magic, where each card represents a noun or a verb.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Well, there are a few other ways that you could do it, depending on your preferences. First, you could use a card-based form of ritual magic, where each card corresponds to a specific spell. Second, you could use a form of card-based symbolic magic, where each card represents a word. Third, you could use a form of card-based syntactic magic, where each card represents a noun or a verb.
This could work a lot like the worked examples of rune-magic given in Thaumatology which specifically involve drawing tokens ... swap that for a deck of cards and you have it. Also, given that the worked examples include an incomplete set of runes, you could add the collectability aspect...
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:17 PM   #8
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

The following is an ancient post, but I had to unquote it to meet the letter count requirements:


Well, here's a 50-point ability I came up with for a Pokemon-equivalent character. It gives you six creatures to call upon whenever you want, although you can only utilize one at a time. As mentioned below, they're kept in containers... whether it's a Pokeball or Dungeon Monsters cards is a special effect up to you. Each additional ally (using this write-up) would cost 5 more points. However, you can probably heap on certain disadvantages in the allies fairly easily: Slave Mentality or Reprogrammable are both obvious choices, as are any combat-oriented mental disads. These would certainly allow you to lower the percentage of your point total each ally is worth.

Using trading cards as your focus, the DR of the gadget goes way down as well. There should also be some form of randomizing effect added for the fact that you don't choose which partner you get. Hmmm, I'll have to think about this.

Animal Partners (+60%): Ally (100% of your point total, Almost all the time; Summonable, +100%; Requires Ready, -10%; Gadget, Breakable, DR 24, -5%; SM -7, -5%; Can be stolen by trickery, -20%) [24] + Five allies of the same point total as Alternate Abilities [25]

Notes: You have a team of creatures that you can conjure up at will. You can only have one at a time. Each summoning requires a roll of 15 or less at the time of summoning. On a failure, the being is simply unavailable: it may be asleep or unreceptive to your commands. As long as your creatures are around during combat, you may not do anything except issue their orders and walk.
These creatures are kept within individual containers between 3.5" and 5" at their longest dimension. These containers can be anything: common examples are baseball-sized spheres or trading cards. They can be stolen if you're not careful. To have a larger team, each extra ally will cost 5 additional points. 49 points

Trading Card Creatures (+10%): Ally (50% of your point total, Almost all the time; Summonable, +100%; Requires Ready, -10%; Gadget, Breakable, DR 2, -20%; SM -7, -5%; Can be stolen by trickery, -20%; Limited Use, 1 per day, Slow Reload, -35%) [7] + Twenty-one allies of the same point total as Alternate Abilities [42]

Notes: As for Animal Partners, except the cards are very breakable, and each card can only be used once until you shuffle it back into the deck. Shuffling requires 3 seconds per card you've used. You have 22 different creatures you can call upon at any time, one at a time, and each is worth 50% of your point total. Each additional Card Creature adds 2 points to the total. 49 points.
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Old 06-03-2018, 06:48 AM   #9
ultimated
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Thanks for all the replies here!

Phantasm's post makes some good points, but I'd actually already looked into Modular Abilities and Ally; I just couldn't see how to link it all together. I'm not entirely sure why "wishing" would be a necessary modifier for Super Luck - according to P59, wishing just allows the player to modify the rolls other things make? I think that'd only be useful if I model the deck in a very specific way.

Anthony - I like this idea. I'll see if I can make it work. We're probably going to play online via Roll20, but Roll20 actually has built-in custom card deck support, so that's a non-issue.

Anaraxes's post makes several good points, but the core idea is largely crippled by the fact that I don't have access to Power-Ups 8. A problem I had with Alternate Abilities was that it seemed to imply I could only have one active at a time - but the "N Active" modifier sounds like it solves this. Creating a new kind of slot is a neat idea, though!

Dalin - I'll make a post once I've built the character, and another once the game has been played! :)

AlexanderHowl and The Colonel both had a fun idea involving the syntactic magic system, but I think unfortunately it's simultaneously too limiting and too unlimited. I have to draw, from a deck of N cards, 3 cards - but because each card is either a verb or a noun, I end up needing to play two cards to summon a monster, which could reasonably be just about anything since the spell is quite vague, and also has a vulnerability in that I could also draw a hand of all verbs or all nouns, effectively locking me out of my magic until I shuffle all 3 cards back into my deck and draw a new hand! In a more relaxed magical character, though, this would definitely be a fun idea.

Atreyu_Hibiki - That works rather nicely! It'd be fairly easy to tweak for "always available" so that cards aren't wasted when they're played - my understanding is that this means I play a card, then roll 3d6, and if it's 15 or less it works, but if it's 16, 17 or 18, the summon fails and I have to shuffle it back into my deck before I can draw it again? These are listed as Alternative Abilities - I feel I should ask about these. One of the bullet points under Alternative Abilities states,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Powers 11
Itís impossible to use the abilities simultaneously or have a Link (p. B106) between them.
Does this not imply that I could only summon one monster at a time? If this is the case, so be it, but I feel like I need to at least clarify this point :P
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Old 06-03-2018, 07:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Card-game Caster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ultimated View Post
Thanks for all the replies here!
*snip!*
Atreyu_Hibiki - That works rather nicely! It'd be fairly easy to tweak for "always available" so that cards aren't wasted when they're played - my understanding is that this means I play a card, then roll 3d6, and if it's 15 or less it works, but if it's 16, 17 or 18, the summon fails and I have to shuffle it back into my deck before I can draw it again? These are listed as Alternative Abilities - I feel I should ask about these. One of the bullet points under Alternative Abilities states,


Does this not imply that I could only summon one monster at a time? If this is the case, so be it, but I feel like I need to at least clarify this point :P
Yes, it does. I don't remember what book it's in, because it's literally been a couple years since I've played, but the solution is to pay full price for the maximum number of Alternate Abilities you can have active simultaneously, and 1/5 for the rest.

I really recommend picking up Power-ups Disadvantages, it includes a chart for probability equations into limitation percentages.
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