While I've been developing my engine for generating universes to roleplay in, I've also been working on the basic mechanics of the RPG itself.
I wanted something quick and simple, where the whole resolution of a situation could be managed by drawing a single card. Drawing the card should tell us the outcome of - shooting, melee combat, picking a lock, hacking a computer system, jumping across a gap, haggling with a trader etc. And the cards I'll be using are a standard deck of 52 playing cards with the jokers included.
Your PC's stats so far are as follows - Strength, Toughness, Intelligence, Dexterity, Charisma, Stealth, Sense and Courage. The stat will be represented by a playing card. To generate a starting PC's stats, take your deck, remove the jokers, aces, kings, queens, jacks, tens, nines and twos. Shuffle the remainder of the deck and draw 8 cards. The 8 cards can be assigned in the order you drew them to the stats, so you have no control over what your character is good at, or you can place the 8 cards as you like, it really depends on how hardcore you want to play. When you have put the cards with the stats, record not only the number on the cards but also the suits.
When it comes to skill checks in game, check your characters relevant skill stat - for example my character wants to smash open a crate. This requires strength. My characters strength is 7 of Clubs and so I draw a card from the top of the deck.
There are six levels of success or failure in the game when making a skill check -
Critical Success - The card drawn is lower in value than your stat and is the same suit.
Success - The card drawn is lower in value than your stat and is the other suit of the same colour.
Minor Success - The card drawn is lower in value, but is the wrong colour.
Minor Failure - The card drawn is higher in value than your stat but is the same suit.
Failure - The card drawn is higher in value than your stat but is the other suit of the same colour.
Critical Failure - The card drawn is higher in value and is the wrong colour.
In our crate example - a critical success could mean that I not only break open the crate but I also don't break anything inside meaning I get double the loot! A success could mean I break open the crate with ease and just get the loot. Minor success could mean I break open the crate but also damage a lot inside, gaining only half the loot. A minor success could mean I don't get inside, but damage the crate a little, giving me a +1 to my stat if I want to try getting in again. A failure simple means I don't get in and get no bonuses for trying again. A critical failure could mean I don't get in, and manage to hurt myself in the process. What each of those mean, is really up to the solo player, although you should follow these simple guidelines -
Critical Success - succeed and gain a bonus (yes and).
Success - succeed (yes).
Minor Success - succeed with a negative (yes but).
Minor Failure - fail with a bonus (no but).
Failure - fail (no).
Critical Failure - fail with a negative (no and).
I included the 'yes and' system on the side so you know where I'm stealing it from, the only difference here is I've introduced stats to influence the outcomes.
Another example - my Character Nezo Orak is taking a shot at an enemy NPC. Nezo's dexterity (the stat used for aiming weapons) is an 8 of Hearts. A critical success would mean I hit the target and put a negative bonus on their card draw to survive. A success would mean I just hit them. A minor success would mean I hit them but maybe in a protected place, giving them a bonus to survive. A minor failure would mean I missed, but was able to calibrate my aim, giving me a bonus if I take a second shot. A failure would just count as a miss. And a critical failure would mean I missed and maybe my weapon jammed!
Things I'm considering including are Super Critical Successes when you draw the exact card your stat is, and random outcomes which are represented by the jokers.
Thanks for stopping by!