Wild Cards: The Gameplay

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A note: these rules are based on Dealer' interpretation of the Suits. Other Dealers may change them at their own discretion, such as reverting them back to their original in-universe meanings in the greater Wild Cards canon.

The Suits[edit]

These are the "canon" suits. They're considered thematically best, and are used in most of the writefaggotry, but are not evenly balanced in terms of actual gameplay.

  • Clubs: Power
  • Spades: Trick Shooting
  • Hearts: Accuracy
  • Diamonds: Quickdraw

Dealer's Suits[edit]

These suits are balanced fairly evenly for gameplay.

  • Clubs - "Blew a hole straight through that sonuvabitch" raw, unbridled power
  • Spades - "Fancy shootin' there, kid" Trick-Shooting, Luck, and Accuracy
  • Hearts - "For some folks, things just fall into place" indirect effects and force of personality
  • Diamonds - "Ten men dead before I could blink" speed-shooting and putting out a hail of bullets

Character Creation[edit]

All players begin with 7 Suit Points, which they may place as they see fit (though a score cannot be higher than 3 or lower than 1 for any given Suit).

Sample Character:

Desperado

  • Spades: 2
  • Clubs: 2
  • Hearts: 1
  • Diamonds: 2

This could be written as above, or in any of the following ways:

Desperado ♥♦♦♣♣♠♠

Desperado

  • Spades ••
  • Clubs ••
  • Hearts •
  • Diamonds ••

Drawing your Card[edit]

A character's Gun can be determined in one of a few ways. The simplest is to just draw a card from a deck.

It can also be determined by rolling 1d12+1 (which negates the chance of rolling an Ace).

The following table is used to determine the Gun's Number:

  • 1.....Ace*
  • 2.....2
  • 3.....3
  • 4.....4
  • 5.....5
  • 6.....6
  • 7.....7
  • 8.....8
  • 9.....9
  • 10....10
  • 11....Jack
  • 12....Queen
  • 12+1..King
  • N/A...Red/Black Joker*

(Note: Jokers and Aces are intended to be on a whole different plane of power from that of normal Cards. Allowing players to use them may have a high risk of unbalancing the game.)

A Gun's suit is determined in a similar manner by rolling 1d4.

The following table is used to determine the Gun's Suit.

  • 1...Hearts
  • 2...Spades
  • 3...Clubs
  • 4...Diamonds

Alternately, the Dealer may choose to allow players to choose their own Suit/Number, if they so wish, though this option is at the Dealer's discretion.

A player receives an extra point in whatever suit his gun is connected to. So let's say our example character got the six of clubs. He'd look like this:

Desperado

  • Spades: 2
  • Clubs: 2+1=3
  • Hearts: 1
  • Diamonds: 2

A player's Wounds are determined by the suit of his Gun + his Clubs Score.

So Desperado has 3 Clubs (Gun's Suit) + 3 (Club level) Clubs = 6 Wounds

In addition, each gun has an extra ability to it, which goes beyond the normal sort of things that guns can normally do. See the Stories for examples. These abilities must be agreed upon by both the player and the dealer to be valid.

Enemies[edit]

The scores of enemies are determined in the same way as that of Players, though they have three key differences:

  • Enemies are only given 5 points to assign to Suits unless they have a Card; if they have a Card, they use the normal 7 points. This may be changed for each individual enemy at the Dealer's discretion.
  • Enemies may have 0 in a given suit (though they still cannot pass 3 in any one suit).
  • Enemies (unless they have a Card) are not given a +1 Suit bonus.
  • Enemies may, at the Dealer's discretion, have an Ace or Joker. Aces give a +2 suit bonus. Jokers give their +1 suit bonus to every suit.

Example:

Bandito (no Card)

  • Spades....0
  • Clubs.....1
  • Hearts....1
  • Diamonds..3

Wounds: 0 (no Gun Suit) + 1 (Club level) = 1 Wound

Play methods[edit]

Well, there's a bit of a thing here. A game about Cards, folks feel like they ought to have some cards involved. But that doesn't work too well over IRC, which is where the playtesting has gone on. That means we have two systems worked out.

Dice[edit]

Rolls are resolved by rolling a number of dice equal to your Suit Score for that given Suit. The Dealer may ask you to roll Hearts for a social encounter, Clubs when determining damage, Diamonds to determine who is quickest on the draw, or Spades to see if you managed to hit the enemy around the corner. If you're trying something and nobody's opposing you, the number you rolled is higher than the number that the Dealer decided on for the difficulty of the action, you succeed. If you're against a different character, then whoever rolls higher wins.

Alternately, you may choose to roll a different score, if you think its appropriate. For example, a roll to intimidate somebody might use Clubs, rather than Hearts. A roll to see who is fasted might use Spades, due to luck, instead of Diamonds. While this is at the Dealer's discretion, it allows for a bit more flexibility when it comes to resolutions.

Resolving Actions[edit]

Players must roll over a certain number (as determined by the Dealer). If shooting at someone, being shot at, or using an action against someone, Players must roll over their opponent's roll.

Example (Bandito dueling Desperado in Quick Draw)

Bandito rolls Diamonds (3d6)

  • 4 + 5 + 1 = 10

Desperado rolls Spades (2d6)

  • 5 + 6 = 11

Desperado beats Bandito, Bandito takes 1 Wound and is out of commission.

If both parties get the same number, a re-roll must be performed by both parties (using the same Suits).

Bandito rolls Diamonds (3d6)

  • 4 + 5 + 2 = 11

Desperado rolls Spades (2d6)

  • 5 + 6 = 11

Re-roll

Bandito rolls Diamonds (3d6)

  • 5 + 3 + 5 = 13

Desperado rolls Spades (2d6)

  • 4 + 4 = 8

Bandito beats Desperado, Desperado takes 1 Wound and has 5 Wounds remaining.

Cards[edit]

Everybody gets a hand of seven cards. You play cards of the suit that corresponds to the action you're attempting to take. The Dealer may ask you to play Hearts for a social encounter, Clubs for resisting damage, Diamonds to determine who is quickest on the draw, or Spades to see if you managed to hit the enemy around the corner. You can't play more cards than you have points in their suit, but you can play less (such as if you don't have enough of the right suit, or you think you can meet the difficulty number with less than all of your cards, and want to save one for later). After playing your cards, draw some more until you have a full hand of seven again.

Most cards correspond to a number.

  • Number cards - Their number
  • Jack - 11
  • Queen - 12
  • King - 13

Aces and Jokers work a little bit differently. If you play an Ace or a Joker, you automatically succeed. But if, in a contested action, you and your opponent both play an Ace or Joker, you can't both win. So instead, the Ace counts as 20, and the Joker counts as 25.

Now, you'll notice that Jokers don't have suits. That's because Jokers are wild. You can play them with any suit.

Drawing your Card[edit]

The Dealer removes the Aces and Jokers from the deck, and each player draws one. The card drawn correlates to the Card that the character wields. Then all the cards go back in the deck and it gets shuffled.

Players who want to play a certain suit or card should talk to the Dealer; however, stacking the deck to work with a player's character concept is left up to The Dealer's discretion.

Conflict resolution examples[edit]

Players must play cards over a certain number (as determined by the Dealer). If shooting at someone, being shot at, or using an action against someone, Players must draw cards with higher value than their opponent's cards.

Example (Bandito dueling Desperado in Quick Draw)

The Bandito whips out is gun and lets off a shot
Bandito plays Diamonds (3)

  • 7 + 6 + 3 = 16

I shoot the sign above his head
Desperado plays Spades (2)

  • 7 + 8 = 15

Bandito beats Desperado, Desperado takes 1 Wound and has 5 Wounds remaining.
He's too quick for you. His shot hits, and throws your aim.

What if somebody has an ace or a joker? Well, that person wins, and can do an extra wound. So:

The Bandito whips out is gun and lets off a shot
Bandito plays Diamonds (3)

  • 7 + 6 + 3 = 16

I shoot the sign above his head
Desperado plays Spades (2)

  • 7 + J = WIN

Desperado beats Bandito, Bandito takes 1 Wound and is out of commission. Since there was an extra wound, Desperado may be allowed to use it on a different enemy, if his Dealer says it's okay. Bandito's Dealer does.
The sign falls on the Bandito's head, and my bullet ricochets to hit the Bandito's buddy.

But if each person has an Ace or Joker, use the values as listed above (20 and 25, respectively), and proceed normally.

The Bandito whips out is gun and lets off a shot
Bandito plays Diamonds (3)

  • 7 + A + 3 = 30

I shoot the sign above his head
Desperado plays Spades (2)

  • 7 + J = 32

Desperado beats Bandito, Bandito takes 1 Wound and is out of commission.
The sign falls on the Bandito's head, knocking him out cold.

Initiative[edit]

If it matters who goes first on something, the characters involved resolve that as per normal, almost certainly using ♦diamonds, as it is a speed issue.

Variant Rule: Wild Cards: Hands

Advancing[edit]

Throughout the course of the game, players may earn Bullet Points (given at the Dealer's discretion). Three Bullet points equal one Suit Point, which may be assigned however the player wishes. Bullet Points, once spent, cannot be re-assigned; however, before they are spent, they may be allowed to accumulate.

Example (Desperado with 6 Bullet Points)

Desperado

  • Spades: 2 = 2
  • Clubs 2 = 2
  • Hearts 1+1 = 2
  • Diamonds 2+1 = 3

Desperado has spent his six bullet points to buy two suit points: Diamonds and Hearts.

Healing[edit]

Wounds may be regained in three ways:

  • Through a Card's power, if the Card's power has to do with healing Wounds
  • By resting
  • By spending Bullet Points, on a 1 for 1 basis (1 Bullet Point for 1 Wound).



Wild Cards
Spades: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Hearts: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Clubs: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Diamonds: 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - J - Q - K - A
Jokers: Red Joker - Black Joker
Introduction - The World - Gameplay - Stories of the world
On the Attainment, Ownership and Passing of The Cards
Variant Rule: Hands