Death By Cards is a card based game similar to a cooperative game called ‘Mike’s Game’ which gives players a bunch of blank index cards to give themselves various items to then fend off various monsters or ‘rooms’ in a cooperative manner. Mike’s game was a lot of fun, but i decided to give it a more central theme, make it competitive, add a bunch of extra things, and codify the cards.
(See Rules Here, in card form here: DBC_Rules_Cards)
Death By Cards game begins with all players being poisoned signaling when the final round will commence. Before that happens though the players are assuaged by a wave of various, unique, and downright impossible deaths. To fend this off they will use a combination of actions and items and even other deaths to try and live to the end.
Death however is not a release, and deceased players are allowed to use divine intervention cards to impact the rules and players both living and dead. Now with the varied amount of deaths it’s rare you’d find something that is the exact solution to your problems. So in the mindset of Macgyver or often downright bullshitting you have to find a ‘creative’ way to use what you have to get out of the situation.
At it’s core Death by Cards is a storytelling game, where an impartial judge reigns, and is swayed by what is the most logical (although not necessarily practical) solution to a players problems. By beating deaths you gain Victory points, and whomever makes it out with the most wins the game.
The best part of playing Death by Cards is that when you gain an item, or perhaps suffer damage from a death or a player ‘helping’ you is that the dealer allows certain things to be static, these then compound into various situations that are a story all their own.
“Player: Okay well to solve chainsaw hands I use tentacles. Death Dealer: Overruled you now have tentacle arms with chainsaws at the end. (Next turn.) P: Okay well clearly I don’t have tentacle chainsaw limbs – because I Become the Walrus. DD: Overruled you are now a walrus with tentacle chainsaw arms. P: Well there’s your mascot.” (Click Thumbnail to view cards)
“DD: Well then I suppose since you were already naked, and you applied WD-40 all over your body, those topless rollerbladers can’t get a grip and fall right off the cliff.” (Click Thumbnail to view cards)
“DD: Okay we agree that since you’re parents are dead, and you have a cape that you are Batman; however even if you are snorting a literal mountain of cocaine which is why you’d suddenly be okay with waterboarding your enemy – it’s the ghost of a turtle so it’s not like it does anything…” (Click Thumbnail to view cards)
(The above are actual stories that have come from playtesting sessions)
Death By Cards is still in development, the main cards are set, and the rules have been under going some minor tweaks. I’ve been playing with some design aspects via TheGameCrafter, and hopefully once I sort out the final design and I’ve made a full print. Right now I’m in the processing of thinning the herd of cards (there being about 600) because otherwise the game is a bit too expensive.
Below are some in-dev shots of the cards.