Home > It's a Trap > Holy crap its actually a game

Holy crap its actually a game

So we’d thrown together a deck of 40 cards, grabbed a die, and took it to our roleplaying sessions with the intention of seeing if it worked when exposed to actual play. We had a few games, added a few cards, played some more games.

After a few sessions, people were actually asking if we’d brought Trap with us. This was a Good Sign™.

So we took an afternoon out of our hectic schedules of no lectures, to sit down and pull more cards together. Starting with about 40 unique cards (for a deck of 80 cards), we decided to hit our target deck size of 80ish, and split our current pile into two decks, so we could each playtest separately. Up until this point, we’d kinda just pulled numbers out of thin air, but as the balance was (slightly mysteriously) more or less spot on, we decided to actually MATHS’d the new cards. That afternoon was filled with a lot of laying out cards in a big grid by various properties; chance of taking out an adventure, number of kills, possibility of misfire, pretty much everything that existed became and axis at some point.

We also realised packaging a dice was a lot like effort, and that we could put the randomiser on the card. This meant we needed a multiple of 6 cards, which, with the deck size we wanted, meant about 84. That’s a lot of cards to generate in one sitting, so we decided it was probably worth it to make less (I seem to recall settling on 66 or so), so that the last few could tweak our numbers if we broke the balance (spoiler warning: we did). As we went through the deck adding numbers, we also standardised the naming scheme to that every card was of the form ADJECTIVE NOUN, such as Steel Portcullis (from Portcullis) or Deep Pit (from Pit Trap), such that overlaying cards produced meaningful if not sensible names (at this point Robust (née Huge) became Reseting Mechanism).

And with our brand new deck(s), we shuffled up, and played some more. Then we were late for the next lecture.

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