Designing the 'perfect' spell card

Discussion in 'Design and Development' started by zweihander, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. zweihander

    zweihander Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    76
    I've been working with one of my new designers over the past couple of months to create the 'perfect' spell card for Zweihänder Grim & Perilous RPG. We're getting closer to locking down the look, leaning towards utility and elegance in design. We aimed for the following:
    • It has to be DriveThruCards compatible, period
    • It needs to be in tarot-card format to support a wall of text
    • It needs to have only one image on the backside, and playable rules on the frontside (business in front/party in the back)
    Has anyone else designed their own spell cards or utility cards for their game? Inquiring minds want to know!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Goosebuster Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,406
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    I designed a set of Skaven cards for WFB based on Magic: The Gathering formatting:
    http://pariedolia.weebly.com/nimh/skaven-magic-cards

    A fan later printed a set up for me, which is awesome.

    For my RPG, I actually use Tarot cards as the mechanic for the magic system
     
    Edgewise and zweihander like this.
  3. zweihander

    zweihander Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    76
    These are great!

    Tell me more about your Tarot card magic system. Perhaps a new thread?
     
  4. TristramEvans

    TristramEvans Goosebuster Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2017
    Messages:
    1,406
    Likes Received:
    1,210
    Maybe when I've got more to say. For right now, its a pretty simple framework (mainly as I use it for Cthulhu games, so each spell is adventure-specific).

    A magic user employs some way of gathering magical energy (based on the tradition they follow). This determines how many cards they can draw from a deck. Spells have a cost based on the associated suits (Fireball, as an easy example, might cost Wands 3). The player must either play the appropriate Suit of a number equal or higher , or combine cards, or they must discard the cards drawn and try again the next turn (taking a point of Stress for each card discarded). Magic users having an Arcana rating based on the Trumps, and if they draw a Trump card under their rating, they can use this as a 'Wild Card' towards the spell cost. If they draw a Trump card higher than their rating, they take Stress equal to that card's value. If a character's stress exceeds their Psyche, they suffer a psychotic break, otherwise the paradigm shift causes them to increase to the next Trump rating. Other than that, there's a few wrinkles in regards to ceremonial magic, sacrifices, etc. but its all just notes jotted down in my playbooks that I tend to wing during play.
     
    Edgewise and The Butcher like this.
  5. Raleel

    Raleel Active Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2017
    Messages:
    212
    Likes Received:
    189
    http://www.godeckyourself.com/home.seam I've used this for my own decks at home to help remind my players of stuff. Might help in designing some things. It's not particularly feature filled, but it supports a wide variety of views.
     
  6. Necrozius

    Necrozius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    303
    I think that reference cards benefit from brevity: just the mechanics are necessary, unless some extra fluff provides useful descriptors of the effects.

    In the above example,
    • I'd remove things like "After successfully casting this spell..." from the SUCCESS section because it's a bit redundant.
    • If I was low on space, I'd remove text like "Fortune favors the bold... except for you guys" or whatever. It's nicely written, but I'd rather just know what the mechanics are for easy, quick reference.
    Question: how are each deck differentiated? From the background image only? Would it be possible to write out the name of the "school" or deity on the mechanics side as well? Nothing too big or prominent. Might not be necessary, just brainstorming.
     
  7. Edgewise

    Edgewise Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    46
    This is good stuff. There's so much you could do with tarot cards for the magic system. I'm thinking about all kinds of quirks (what DCC might call mercurial effects) that can be associated with the major arcana. There's so much opportunity for great flavor.
     
  8. Edgewise

    Edgewise Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    46
    I mostly agree, but a single line of italicized flavor text could go a long way.
     
  9. Necrozius

    Necrozius Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2017
    Messages:
    352
    Likes Received:
    303
    For sure. The best cards that I know of all have a single line of of flavor text (always in the same spot, so users can easily skip or ignore them later). However mixing in extra flavor with the lines describing the mechanics can be a bit unnecessary.
     
  10. zweihander

    zweihander Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    76
    Good feedback!

    So if you know anything about Zweihander, it's that Magick is divided into two traditional approaches: arcane and divine. Within each approach, there are nine different lores or prayer sets. Each of those sets are then subdivided between three principles. those three principles make up a total of nine spells. Whew!

    Beyond the long explanation, that means there are nine unique images for arcane, and nine unique images for divine. This is a total of 18 total unique images for all spells, of which 9 spells always share the same unique image (because they belong to the same lore or prayers).

    Here's a great example: https://grimandperilous.com/coming-soon-to-zweihander-magick-cards/
     
  11. Edgewise

    Edgewise Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2017
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    46
    The art and fonts are fantastic.
     
  12. zweihander

    zweihander Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2017
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    76

Share This Page