I'm designing a card game based on an ancient fairy tale book. So far my game consists of some hero or character cards with 3 attribute: coins, strength and intelligence. And there are quest cards with the same 3 attributes and what you do is to pick character cards and when you reach to a quest card level, make it complete and then you do that card's actions.

My game at this time is basically a hand management game and somewhat similar to games like and "Quests of Valeria".

But what if I want to add a taste of adventure games to the game with heroes, quests, items, treasures and so on? I still insist on it being a card game without a board.

How can I make my game a little bit more adventur"ish"?

3 Answers 3


D&D's Lords of Waterdeep board game has a similar mechanic - you draw a quest card, then 'withdraw' coloured blocks which represent quest characters; white for priests, orange for warriors, etc. You collect the blocks and spend them on completing the quests, gaining the rewards from the card. I believe a similar mechanic could be implemented, though of course instead of flat-identity blocks, you have differentiating characters with varieties of attributes. I would say that it would be important to balance the ratio of attribute variety for a start - be sure that there's plenty of average characters, with some rare, and some 'elite'-standard characters, just to bring some excitement into the luck of the draw.

Coin-use is an interesting "attribute" to give a character - this could be used as bartering power for your more wiley character. They are able to bribe characters or get discounts for being economy-savvy or some sort of styling.

You say you want items and adventure and such - perhaps part of the quest rewards could include items which could be traded for cash your gold hoard (if that's part of your gameplan) or if kept, provide bonuses to your characters individually or as a general positive effect.

  • Lords of waterdeep is close to my idea. Thank you for mentioning it. About coins, they're neccesary for doing quests and hiring characters(through bidding for permanent use of characters) and in addition to 'coin' attrib of characters, there are physical coins in game. Thank for good answer.
    – klaymen
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 10:01
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    I would suggest that you refrain from asking for clarity within the answer. If you would like something clarifying it is best to use the comments section on the question itself. That way the answer is more to the point. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 10:07
  • Apologies - you're right. Sorry about that. I removed my questions - thanks for the pointer. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 10:48
  • @GrayRoberts Good man :) It may add value to the post if you comment the questions you had and allow the OP to edit his question to reflect the comments. Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 12:25
  • @ThunderToes thank you! I do have some questions to help flesh out my point, actually. Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 8:35

This is an interesting scenario. The first idea that sprung to mind would be to have a set of cards that relate to each other specifically. Each card in the set needs a certain criteria to be met to allow you to then search the deck for another card in the set. The harder the "quest" is the more cards there are in the set that you need to complete the adventure.

On reflection, this seems more like a lore issue than a mechanical issue. The wording on the "adventure cards" may be the best place to include your adventuring aspects. Maybe have "Scenario" cards that explain a certain journey and need choices to be made at certain points (Maybe drawing from two separate decks that accompany the scenario cards?). These choices determine the outcome of the adventure.

This is only a brainstorm. I'd like to think I could come up with more ideas. If so I will update the answer.

  • Very valuable answer. I should think about your ideas. More ideas are appreciated. Thanks.
    – klaymen
    Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 8:46
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    I'd like to direct you to a game within the Magic the gathering franchise that you may take a lot of influence from. Check out MTG Planeschase on Google. It lets you transcend worlds that give you certain benefits. Rather snazzy :P Commented Dec 7, 2017 at 8:59

Eldritch Horror has several types of complex encounters like this, where you usually have a characteristic test (or a decision to make) and then it splits to "pass" and "fail" sections with another test or decision, so there are up to 4 different outcomes with different measures of success. This system feels very "adventury" to me.

Another thing that adds to adventurous feeling is uncertainty of outcome. Having deterministic outcome for each pair of quest+character(or set of characters) just adds unexciting extra step here, so you want some kind of randomization for this to work. In Eldritch Horror it is achieved with rolling dice, but if you want to keep it cards only, I think push-your-luck based skill test is a good alternative.

  • Good point about uncertainty.
    – klaymen
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 9:42

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