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Takaro's Challenge Cards

The Enchiridion - Your Guide to Belletristica.

What are Challenge Cards?

Challenge Cards are one of Takaro's inventions, meant to be used by game masters to host pen and paper games in our chat. Instead of thinking up your own system for RPGs, you can always just use the Challenge Cards. Type /cc in the chat, to see all the necessary commands to use them.



Challenge Cards offer a lot of freedom for improvisation and, for new players, the results are probably easier to understand than those from most dice-based systems.

This Enchiridion page is written especially for game masters. Those who just want to join a game do not need to know how the cards work exactly.

How does it work?

What is played and how is really up to you, the game master. Just like dice, the cards are merely an instrument to generate some random numbers in your games.

Whenever someone from your group wants to perform an action, you can have them draw a card, to determine whether this action will be blessed with success or not. The cards can lead to six different results, from "heroic success" to "critical failure".

You have multiple decks with varying difficulties at your disposal. Cards can be drawn from those decks using chat commands from /cc1 to /cc7. CC1 cards are meant for tasks, which should be laughingly easy for a player character, whilst CC7 cards are meant for tasks, which should are nearly impossible to pull off.

For all this, only the relative difficulty of a task should be considered. If a young adventurer wishes to slay a werewolf, you might have them draw a card from the CC6 deck (extremely difficult). If an experienced monster hunter, equipped with silver bullets, tries to do the same, you might have them draw a card from the CC4 deck instead (challenging).

How exactly you use these decks and how you interpret the results, is completely up to you. You just need to consider, for every action, how difficult it would be for a player character, based on their current class, skills, equipment and possible status effects.

The various decks

The following provides a list of decks as well as examples and suggestions on how they should be used.

CC1 - Very easy

For tasks, which a player character should master without problems. For example, fighting a weak little slime. ~95% success rate.

CC2 - Easy

For tasks, which present a certain amount of threat, but are nonetheless considered very easy. A single goblin, perhaps? ~80% success rate.

CC3 - Tricky

For situations, which are not trivial anymore, but in which the player character still has the upper hand. Maybe a barfight with a drunkard? ~66% success rate.

CC4 - Challenging

For a balanced fight with a worthy opponent. A duel with someone of roughly the skill and gear of the player. ~50% success rate.

CC5 - Very difficult

For situations, in which the player most certainly doesn't have the upper hand anymore. For example, a battle against a stronger opponent, maybe a bloodthirsty orc warrior? ~33% success rate.

CC6 - Extremely difficult

For situations, from which your players should probably rather escape. Or for boss fights, which your group should tackle together to stand a chance. An enraged mountain troll, perchance? ~20% success rate.

CC7 - Almost impossible

For actions, which are almost guaranteed to fail, but might technically succeed. No matter if it's about pulling off the perfect shot with bow and arrow, or sneaking up to an assassin to steal the keys right out of his pockets - whenever your party tries to do something they shouldn't really be able to succeed with (but might), use this deck. ~5% success rate.

Special decks

There are two other decks, which are neither mentioned in the list above, nor with the help command /cc. These can be used by typing /cc0 or /cc8.

CC0 - Guaranteed success

This deck will bring guaranteed success, no exceptions. It also has a 35% chance to yield a great success and even a 5% chance of yielding an heroic success. One possible use for this deck is while determining how much treasure was found or how many ressources where collected.

CC8 - Completely impossible

Exactly what the name implies. This deck is the exact opposite of CC0. It only ever leads to failure. With a 35% chance even great failures and critical failures with a 5% chance. If you experience one of those moments, where your group, despite all your warnings, insists on smacking that dragon in the face with their bare fists, it is time to pull out this deck.

Possible results

Last but not least, we'll further explore the six distinct outcomes of the cards and offer some ideas how you might interpret them.

Heroic success

The heroic success is an extremely rare card. Most decks only offer a 1% chance of drawing this card. If your group gets this card during battle, feel free to grant them a very lucky hit, leading to instant victory. If this card shows up whilst looting treasure, giving them a powerful new item would be appropriate.

Great success

The great success is a more rare variant of the normal success. The higher the difficulty of a deck, the harder it becomes to draw this card. In battles, you can count these as especially effective hits.

Success

One of the two base cards, which make up most of the decks. The action your player tries to do is successful. There really isn't much more to say about this.

Failure

One of the two base cards, which make up most of the decks. Whatever your player is trying to do, it fails. If it is an attack, this might simply mean that the attack misses. If it is a defensive move the player might take a light hit.

Great failure

Just like the failure, but with harsher consequences. After a great failure during an attack, the player character might stumble or loose their weapon. Or they might have to take a counter strike. If they greatly fail to do a defensive maneuver, they might get seriously hurt.

Critical failure

The critical failure is the worst card in the game, but just like the heroic success, it is extremely rare (only 1% of the time, in most decks). Will an expensive weapon break in the midst of battle? Will the player accidentally hit an ally instead of the enemy? Or will this misstep even be their last one ever? In the end, you alone decide, what toll this card will take.

Have fun, game master!

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