Sunday, June 3, 2012


It all started when I read the Harry Potter series.

Of course I immediately wanted to run a d20 game in Hogwarts, but d20 always seemed like poor fit. There wasn't a good way to reflect the quick resolution of the wizard's duels, to create the variety of the young wizards or the character's ability to come up with the solution to problems presented in the nick of time. Houserules could be made, but to really capture the flavor I wanted a complete overhaul was required. So I figured, why not just start from scratch?

I never liked level-based advancement and I never liked class-based character creation, so they went out the window.

I wanted the system to be story focused, and hoped to reduce or eliminate the silly failures that sometimes derail RPGs, so that's where the playing cards come in. They enable the characters to make sure they can make simple tests and reach for the sky when necessary. 

I wanted the system to be universal, simple and modular, and I'm willing to sacrifice forced balance and fine detail to do so. I'm sure there are parts of the game that a player could break if they so desire, but the Dealer should feel free to stop anything that might damage the campaign. 

The default setting I had in mind during creation is a Victorian/wild-west setting. Future settings will include new skills (Transmogrification, Elements, Defense and Charms for the "Wizard Academy" setting for instance).

So, yeah, here it is, the first public release of RPG52. I haven't had the opportunity to do much play-testing yet, so getting some eyes on this will be extremely helpful. Feel free to make whatever comments and suggestions you like.

Google Docs Full Text

Creative Commons License
52: The Playing Card RPG by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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