Deckbuilding with playing cards in a ttrpg, Freelancer's Guide to a profit focused living


I love games that inspire my creativity, focus on character growth, and have meaningful choice. I think playing cards can do this better than any other resolution mechanic.

The deck of cards represents your character and is used to resolve any actions that are in question. The standard deck for a character is 22 cards consisting of the 2s, 4s, 5s, 6s, 8s, and both the red and black joker.

A Skill Check is required whenever an outcome is in question. This is done outside of an encounter by drawing one number card. The value of the check is equal to the value of the card number, plus the suit modifier, plus the Skill modifier.

Card Number + Suit Modifier + Skill Modifier = Check Value

You can use face cards to change the suit of the card you drew for the Skill Check. Each General Skill has an associated suit where it will gain additional benefits when that suit is present.
The Red Joker is a critical success, a value of 14 with whatever suit you want, while the Black Joker is a critical failure, a value of 0 with no suit. Both reset your deck of cards by causing you to shuffle, but the Black Joker allows you to perform a card upgrade before you shuffle. These are the basics of how the cards add more to the game but there are systems throughout the system that utilize cards in ways that only cards can be used.

Every player starts with a deck of 22 playing cards that represent your character. As your character grows stronger, so does the deck, allowing you to trade lower cards for higher cards, or add face cards for additional flexibility and control.

When you build your character, selecting your Skills and upgrading your cards, you can shift your character's priorities from one suit to another. Because some Skills perform better with some suits, your choices shape your character's growth. Furthermore, the face cards give you more control over the suits in your deck, allowing you to change the suit of your currently drawn card so you can be ready when you need to be.

Deckbuilding specifics
  • For number cards, the card being added can be no more than 1 higher than the card being removed. The suit does not matter.
  • Aces cannot be added or removed from the deck.
  • Jokers cannot be removed from the deck.
  • There cannot be duplicates of cards in the deck, For example, you can only have one 6 of diamonds.
  • A Jack can be added without removing any cards.
  • A Queen can only be added if a Jack is removed.
  • A King can only be added if a Queen is removed.

The Setting
"We're tired of being taken advantage of in this soul-crushing galaxy.
The mega corps get relief funds. We get to work the relief shifts.
They report record profits. We report record hours.
Now we are free. Now we will report our own record profits.
Right from the coffers of the corps."

Freelancer's Guide to a profit-focused living is a deckbuilding tabletop roleplaying game about making a living in a megacorp ruled galaxy. You and your crew will create great plans like in movies like Ocean's Eleven and Now You See Me, and then execute those plans like the characters in shows like Cowboy Bebop or Firefly.
Kickstarter live now

You and your crew will go on missions to meet new contacts, earn new equipment, and upgrade your ships and bases. Each mission is divided into key stages that highlight the important moments in that mission. Each stage has a planning phase where you create your plan, and an execution phase where you play out said plan. The planning phase inspires creativity by taking what you discuss and using it to set up the perfect scene for the execution phase. The choices you make during planning directly effect what you play in the execution phase. The checks you make will create opportunities later on.

Once the mission is over, there is always downtime, where you and the entire table will create your next mission by performing a Recon. You Recon your next mission by asking the questions to best set up your next heist. The details of the next mission is then built from these questions. Your creativity actually shapes the next mission.
What is being a Freelancer without tools, weapons, and space ships. The core game progression is earning money to buy better equipment, expand your contact list, and establish hideouts all throughout the galaxy.

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