I'm toying with a simple design that occurred to me when reading about a seemingly cool game called Quest for the Faysylwood (which btw I quickly ordered). First I wanted to make a more complex game, but it's pretty hard to make a more complex thematic card game without special cards, so in the end I simplified everything a lot. What remains is a very simple push your luck card game…
I'm still playtesting and changing the game as I go along, but the basics so far (if anyone wants to try it) are these. Please, if you read the rules or try the game out, let me know how it went and any suggestions you might have… Thanks in advance :)
Note: This is just a quick write up of the rules. I hope to make them clearer as the game gets finished and I create a wiki page for it…
Material: Extended decktet, 1d6
Each player takes an ace (randomly) and places it in front of him/her. This is the character's basic power. The rest of the aces will not be used.
Shuffle the decktet (with pawns and excuse) and deal 5 cards to each player.
On their turn, a player may optionally play a card (see challenges below) and also may attempt to complete a challenge (before or after playing the card). Instead of playing a card, the player may discard as many cards as they want and draw as many as they discarded. Then, at the end of their turn, if they have less than 5 cards, they draw one card.
Cards represent amongs other things, life, so if at any point a player has zero cards in their hand, they're out of the game.
The goal of the game is to complete 5 challenges. When a player manages to complete 5 challenges the game is over and points are tallied.
Cards can be either used to place a challenge on another player (including oneself) or as extra effort used to complete a challenge. If a challenge is attempted but the player fails, cards will also be discarded as damage is received.
A challenge card is a numbered card of a crown card (value 10). The value of the card represents how hard the challenge is, and the suit/s what type of challenge. Challenge cards are played face up next to the player's power card or last completed challenge but side wise (to mean an uncompleted challenge). When completed, it's turned straight up.
When playing a challenge on another player, the value of the challenge card cannot exceed the sum of all the cards in front of that player plus 3. So on a starting player, the maximum challenge can be of value 4.
If a player already has an uncompleted challenge in front of him/her, no more can be placed on that player until it is completed.
When a player attempts to complete a challenge (an optional action) they roll the die and sum the number of suits from their own power card and any completed challenge in front of them that match suits from the attempted challenge card. This way, each card can potentially provide a bonus of 2 points maximum.
If the total number equals or exceeds the number on the attempted challenge card, it is completed and its card turned upright (to be used as power for future challenges). If the number is less than the value of the challenge card, the player must pay using suits from their own hand. If they can reach the target number by using suits from their own card matching any of the suits in the challenge card, the challenge is completed too (and those cards used are discarded, reducing the size of the player hand). The player completes the challenge but is damaged in the process.
Note that 3 suits of that don't match the suits on the challenge card can be used as one of the necessary suit. These suits can be on one card or spread over more than once. Any left overs (if you discard 2 cards for 4 suits) are lost.
If the player can't even complete the challenge this way (or doesn't want to) then they must discard a number of cards equal to the difference between the total number they got (the die roll plus any suits used from their hand) and the target number. As some cards may have two matching suits, it's better to use those cards for the suits before applying damage…
When a player completes 5 challenges (they have 6 cards upright in front of them) the game is over. Each player totals the scores for the challenges they managed to complete and the winner is the player with the biggest score. Crowns score 12 points because having only one suit makes them harder than regular number cards.
Maybe I should include some bonus points for the first player, but I'm not sure…
Pawns are special because they can't be used as challenges, only as effort cards when attempting a challenge.
When the excuse is drawn, the discard pile and the remaining draw pile are shuffled together and a new draw pile is created.