A few months ago, my sister and I started working on a card game variant of Cataclysm: DDA. I would design the mechanics of the game while she would draw the pictures. After a bit of time we were able to produce a large amount of cards and had a basic game set up. We enjoyed playing around with it and eventually got bored, so I stashed it away in an altoids tin.
Recently I have had the urge to pick it back up and, once again, attempt to recreate Cataclysm in card form. My goal with this is to mimic the mechanics of Cataclysm as close as possible, without the need for the player to do calculations in their head (or on paper). Although this kind of game would fit better in a tabletop environment, I want to try and fit it into an reasonably compact area using cards as the main pieces. I am posting this here because it would be helpful to see different perspectives on what is a good idea (and what is not), as well as receive suggestions or ideas from people other than myself.
First I will describe the current state of the card game and then what ideas I currently have for it.
This is a quick picture of all of the cards, the top two rows are item cards, below that are the creature cards, and below again are the map, player, and chance cards.
So currently the game only revolves around exploring a small map and killing the creatures that are found within (and then looting said map). The map is made up of some map cards shuffled in a pile. Navigating around the world is just the action of going up and down in a stack of map cards, this way an explored map can be saved by stacking the cards back up on to of each other (saving being an important feature here). This limits the world to roughly two dimensions but makes it easy to manage and stack. Once a map card is flipped right-side up, and the player chooses to enter that map card, then the correct amount of specified tile cards are drawn and placed, face down, below the map card in a stack. This is how the map is made and randomized. The player can travel from any map card to any other adjacent map card. The player can also travel from any tile card to any adjacent map card (the player can not travel from a tile card to a tile card under a different map card).
Once a player travels to a tile card, a chance card is drawn and monsters/items are encountered accordingly (a chance card is just a card with a number on it, they come in a range of 0-9 and are picked from a stack of 20 cards, two of each number are in the pile. This is really just a card alternative to dice, with more flexibility when it comes to what numbers are included in the set. Though, this mechanic can get annoying when the chance cards need constant shuffling). If a number corresponding to an item/s is picked (ex: 2xC3 (two civilian 3 level item cards)) then the specified number of cards are picked from the specified item group. The player can choose to pick up the item/s or leave them, if they choose to leave any items then those items are then placed under the tile card and can be picked up later. On the other hand, if a number corresponding to a creature/s if picked then the specified number of cards are picked from the specified creature group. At that point the player enters combat with that creature/s (currently there is no way to run away from a fight, but I want to implement it later on). I will explain the combat rules later. Once the player wins the combat another chance card is picked for that same tile card, this can only happen two times at most meaning that the player can only have three creature encounters in a tile at once. A tile card will have nothing more to offer if items are picked or three monster encounters happen.
Here is an example of a combat situation:
The player is engaged with a fat zombie. The player is holding a hammer as a weapon and is wearing a police vest. Notice the numbers on the bottom of the player and zombie cards, they act as the creatures attack (left) and defense (right)(This was inspired from the game magic, as my brother is really into it and it seemed like a good system). On each turn the player and the zombie both pick a chance card. These chance cards could modify the attack/defense of the creature who it was picked for if the number matches a number on the creature/item card. Just to keep everything regulated, the player is always given a chance card first, then the zombie/creature. For this example I am going to say that the player got a 3 and the fat zombie got a 0, that means for this turn the player gets +2 attack and +1 defense while the fat zombie gets +1 attack. So for this turn the player has 3 attack and 3 defense while the fat zombie has 3 attack and 3 defense. (Now, because I was completely unoriginal, I copied mechanics from magic once again) To deal damage this turn the attack of the player must be equal to the defense of the fat zombie (the same goes for the fat zombie) and because the players attack is 3 and the fat zombies defense is 3, the fat zombie takes damage and dies (as at this point creatures don’t really have any life and their resilience is their defense, and I plan on changing it to something better), but because the fat zombies attack was 3 and the players defense was 3, the player also takes damage. The difference being that the player has three hit points and can take three damage before dying (I did not show the life cards in the combat example picture, but they are shown in the first picture by the player cards). The player now wins the encounter and gets… as of now, nothing.
I am sure that my description of what I have procured so far is not perfect and there remains some details to be filled, so if any of that did not make any sense to you just ask and I would be happy to describe in further (or less) detail. Also, as a side note, what I have just described is what I have created so far. I still have lots of ideas for other mechanics, it’s just that they are incomplete and would be a hassle to set up properly as a result.
Please share your ideas! And feel free to suggest anything! (including things that don’t fit the model of this game )