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CARTOMANCY RPG the 20-page demo booklet
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/16/2018 12:54:17

Imagine the setting: you are a group of friends and you enter the tent of a mysterious fortune-teller. Then, you ask her what is your future for you and all the persons in your group. She tells you that your group is facing a problem on this one suit or another, and then she draws a few cards. If the suits on the cards are the correct one, she tells you things will go nicely, other wise they may tell an incoming disaster. That's the principle of fortune-telling. And this game works the same way.

Cartomancy is a game that claims to be a simple, math-free role-playing game, for tests it uses a strange process called the oracle. And all is built upon that way the fortune-tellers "work".

All oracles are based on the 3 following rules:

  • Each suit has a meaning, always the same, for characters or situation, like Hearts are for muscles and Spades for mental things like enigmas.
  • The DM draws cards for the group then players may draw for their characters
  • Quality ratings depends on whether or not you draw cards of the correct suit. If any one card is of the suit picked by the DM it's a triumph, if all cards are of the wrong red or black color it's a failure, other wise it's a simple success.

If the group's oracle (called the fate) is not good enough, or if they want to score a special something, players can draw their characters' oracle (called their outcomes). But they need a good reason and there are only 3:

  • Having strategically chosen the current kind of challenges the character expects to face (i.e.: the suit he's ready for). You show it by a counter on your character sheet that you can change whenever you want... except inside an oracle.
  • Having a quality that is relevant to the situation, knowing you are given 6 at character creation plus 1 per suit where you decide you will not be able to pu your counter on (meaning a real disadvantages)
  • Or risking a fumble: it means that if the color of the card drawn is of the wrong color, you botch!

There are more rules above this, like each quality gives you a single-use chip thqt can be a confidence (black) or an effort (red) and you can spend them to get additionnal effects or quickly succeed. They are not like hero points but rather like fatigue bec ause you get them back by eating or resting.

Contrarily to the previous demo, the combats are shown and work exactly the same way that all oracles do: threats levels of enemies tells the number of fate cards. The nice part are two welcome notions: "danger" is the level of meaner enemies: if all cards drawn are below its level, it means that the character suffers a wound and delete a suit, and can't strategically chose it anymore. When you have none left you are dead. BTW why not using it to cover all oracles where you risk hurting yourself with traps coming in mind instantly. "automatisms" are powers for meanest enemies and use the same system. The difference is that instead of giving a generic wound it gives an effect. For example versus a vampire, if all the cards are aces you are enthralled by the undead for a full 24 hours.

There is something amazing about this game: it does not use dice, it has no lists of skills or flaws and edges, there is no maths, it is clearly a narrativist engine but is seems to make sense. Maybe it's the name, maybe it's the lightning-quick character generation, or the oracle process (there are 3 pages of examples and combat is handled the same) or perhaps it's the cover but there is that great feeling that all is simple, evident, and straight-forward.

I long for the magic rules and I don't know neither what to expect nor how the game handles this or super powers but, I must have drawn aces only:

I'm enthralled by this crazy little game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
CARTOMANCY RPG the 20-page demo booklet
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Creator Reply:
Hello Thank you for being "enthralled" and giving us a five star rating. We really appreciate. A lot. M@nu & G@ël
Cartomancy RPG Demo Flyer
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2018 16:22:03

Very pleasant demo, the pages looks weird until you understand that you need to print the 4 pages on a single page in a two-sided way.

There is a character side with a mini character sheet and character generation rules. On the other side there are the basic system explanations and also the game cover. Each side also have a pic. Nice by the way.

I expect the game to come soon because what I read seems really logical and easy to work with. However there is nothing about combat or skills list and I really want to know how the system will handle that.

I've had a strange feeling when reading this over and over and I think that the name of the game has been wisely chosen: the gameplay is really like a fortune-telling scene like you see in a movie. The referee draws a few cards and gives a result then players can try to improve things with a few cards of their own. Very fun.

Gotta see more to make a final opinion and know if the game is a triumph, but "as a flyer" I agree that it's a success.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Cartomancy RPG Demo Flyer
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Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review, We uploaded a 20-page demo that will answer all your questions. It will detail character creation, oracle systems, GM & players cards and combat. If you want to know it all, the full game is already on lulu and the pdf will be soon on drivethrurpg.com. And great thanks for the 5*, we hope you'll enjoy reading further. M@nu
Cartomancy RPG Demo Flyer
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/04/2018 16:22:03

Very pleasant demo of 4 pages that turn into an efficient flyer when you print them on a single page in a two-sided way.

There is a character side with a mini character sheet and character generation rules. On the other side there are the basic system explanations and also the game cover. Each side also have a pic. Nice by the way.

I expect the game to come soon because what I read seems really logical and easy to work with. However there is nothing about combat or skills list and I really want to know how the system will handle that.

I've had a strange feeling when reading this over and over and I think that the name of the game has been wisely chosen: the gameplay is really like a fortune-telling scene like you see in a movie. The referee draws a few cards and gives a result then players can try to improve things with a few cards of their own. Very fun.

Gotta see more to make a final opinion and know if the game is a triumph, but "as a flyer" I agree that it's a success.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for your review, We uploaded a 20-page demo that will answer all your questions. It will detail character creation, oracle systems, GM & players cards and combat. If you want to know it all, the full game is already on lulu and the pdf will be soon on drivethrurpg.com. And great thanks for the 5*, we hope you'll enjoy reading further. M@nu
Adventures in 54 cards - the instant tales RPG
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2018 07:55:23

A role playing system designed to make you start quickly.

By quickly, think about 5 minutes after having a scenario idea.

Also there is no computations: game is played with cards, their suits meaning characteristics (like heart is body, spade is mind, club is social etc).

CHARACTER GENERATION You draw cards for checks but you have a few ones you draw at game start that give your basic suits values (the more clubs you go the more social you are, the more diamonds the most dexterity and accuracy you have).

You can add a few suits levels by taking weaknesses.

The first trick is that you will keep these cards and use them like hero points. The second trick is that there is only the one you've chosen to put on your sheet that you will be able to use as such so you gotta chose carefully.

Lightning quick, and also tends to give a very balanced group because there are only 10 cards per suit to draw from and number drawn is limited.

SYSTEM Checks are made according to a simple code with a suit and a difficulty number.

  • Drawing the requested suit means critical success, the other suit of the same color is minor success, the 2 suits of the other color means failure.
  • If your suit level is superior to the difficulty you get one free card.
  • You can draw one more card to succeed at all or improve your result by sacrificing something (like takilng a lot of time to do the test, breaking a weapon etc)
  • You can draw a last third card if you are ready to concede a fumble if the wrong color is drawn

Very easy, not that realistic but greatly improves players to GM relationships as you need to describe what you do but also HOW you do it.

Also there is quite nothing to remember in fact.

PROBLEMS I've had minor issues like the character sheet that is not that much readable but maybe it's my pdf reader. (edit: this has been changed their new one is way better)

But I still I miss settings specifics (magic, psionics, etc). I would say yes to a full book version with themes specifics.

UPDATED OPINION Each 4 times i've played it now it works amazingly well all times (horror, sword-and-sandal without magic, medfan with ad&d rules, scifi with traveller's psis).

I also appreciate that they changed the character sheet when told the previous one was crap and added details lately on combat.

all in all, your scenarios starts quickly, the system works efficiently and all in all it's a very efficient little RPG system.

Will definitely keep on playing it.

It's something between my initiation system for newbies or my swiss-knife or first-aid kit forever.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventures in 54 cards - the instant tales RPG
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Creator Reply:
Hello Goran We were on the french version this last days and we probably haven't tested our pdf enough. You're true about the readability of the character sheet, really sorry for that. We gonna edit a new one and implement it asap. We'll describe the new file as having this new character sheet. Then, by the end of this week we are going to make a whole new version with 28 pages as the french version. Thanks for the info, and for the review.
NEW version is now online. Called ADVENTURES IN 54 1/2 CARDS Thanks a lot for the advice about the character sheet.
Two Sided Roleplaying
by Goran E. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/21/2018 10:52:54

Well, I can't believe that: a game that says it allows you to role play in two minutes and that just does that.

There is no character sheet but who cares after all in a one page rpg ruleset. System is funny (i like the roleplay with a 2 dided diMe thing) and not that unrealistic after all. At least it's damn quick.

Perfect to play rpg in a bus or with kids on holidays' car trip (btw is that the "trip" in the name of the company???)

Doubleplusgood as a game but only 4 stars because it is just a one-page game. However this is really a universal system, not a "one scene scenario mini rpg" one.

(sorry for posting two times the same post, this is my first day here;)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Two Sided Roleplaying
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Creator Reply:
Hello Goran, We are very happy that you enjoy the game enough to post a critic here. Very nice of you. We played this game on a wide numbers of locations but not yet on a car family trip, gonna try this out soon (8')- Thanks again for the review.
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