SW Adventure Deck - "Jerk" cards

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phloog
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SW Adventure Deck - "Jerk" cards

#1 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:04 pm

I just picked up the Adventure Deck, and I'm trying to decide the best way to use it.

There are some cards that do something bad to the whole gang of PCs, but then offsets it by giving everyone another draw from the deck.

But then you have a card like Backstab, which only seems to serve the purpose of hurting/annoying a fellow player (I won't give the full text here).

Am I reading this wrong? Is there a rule that the players HAVE TO use a card during the session? It says unused are discarded...I guess I just can't figure out where this card has any value. I know there are groups that like to pretend that this makes for a better/deeper 'role playing experience', but after thirty years of RPGs I've learned to avoid any "My action potentially kills your character" options...granted, it says against 'allied character'...

If this card is truly used against friends, it seems like the target of the Backstab should get SOME benefit, like a free draw...

Is anyone using this deck, and how has this card worked out?

There's another POTENTIALLY 'jerky' card that let's you steal bennies, but you could take them from an ENEMY wild card, or could use them in extremis to take one from a friend...but backstab just seems like something that the player would just sit on then discard at game's end.

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#2 Postby tylermo » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:03 pm

In my nearly 5 years of Savage gaming, I'm not sure if the "backstab" card has come up, or been used in any of my games. I'm kind of like you, I'm not sure if it has any real benefit. That said, maybe a pc is playing a character who constantly causes grief for the rest of the party. If not a truly evil character, maybe somebody along the lines of a Dr. Smith from Lost in Space(tv series). Or, maybe a party member wishes to(if possible) interupt another player, and prevent him from doing something stupid. Still yet, I can't imagine much use for it in most campaigns.

The other card you refer to is "karma thief". I assume most players characters would take the benny from an enemy player. Then again, maybe two party members are at odds with one another, and the card holder takes their benny. Better yet, maybe "karma thief" could be used in a cooperative effort between two players. Player 1 is out of bennies, and needs to make a vigor roll, etc., and Player 2 has bennies to spare. Both players might agree that "karma thief" could be used to "share" the benny so-to-speak. Benny sharing isn't allowed under "normal" circumstances, so the card might be beneficial. However, if somebody just outright uses the card to take another players benny that might lead to an argument. Not saying that gamers argue. :lol:

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#3 Postby phloog » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:23 pm

tylermo wrote:...That said, maybe a pc is playing a character who constantly causes grief for the rest of the party. If not a truly evil character, maybe somebody along the lines of a Dr. Smith from Lost in Space(tv series). (snips)

The other card you refer to is "karma thief".


I think that if the first is happening, there's a deeper issue with the character/party....either the player is playing a 'Dr. Smith' and the group is cool with it (so no real need to 'stab' them), or the player is playing a character that annoys the group - therefore problem.

Karma Thief for me makes sense for all the reasons you cited...I see it being used primarily for enemy 'sapping', but also for a friendly 'Dude...take one of my bennies so you don't die'

Thinking that I'll either pull it from the deck, or add to it a provision of 'targeted character receives a draw' or similar.

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#4 Postby tylermo » Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:44 pm

Good thing about any rpg is that it's YOUR game, so you can do as you like. :-D Sounds like a plan to me. P.S. beware that "love interest" card. That card has reared its head 3 times over the course of running two 50 Fathoms campaigns. Just popped up in our re-start of 50 Fathoms last night in the same Savage Tale that the card appeared in last year. :lol: I might share that story on the forums.

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#5 Postby Jordan Peacock » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:10 pm

When I use Adventure Cards anymore, I usually sift through the deck and pull out cards that I think are only going to cause disruption. "Backstab" is definitely on top of the list. When backstabbing happens in my group (and it sometimes does), I'd rather it not be further facilitated by some sort of "gotcha!" card enabler. I've had a few guest players who chortle when they get a chance to backstab someone, but I don't think anyone in my group much likes being on the receiving end.

"Love Interest" has joined the "ban" pile just because whenever it DOES get used, it's usually accompanied by player giggly-fits and it shoots a hole plain through anything resembling a plot. ("I play it on the Wild Card Arch-Villain! So he's a guy? Who cares?") If, however, I was running a traditional "dungeon crawl," rather than a pulp epic, it wouldn't matter quite so much ... and some GMs absolutely love the crazy antics that come up when someone pulls out a card like that. Your mileage may vary.

Sure, I'm the GM, and I could just veto whatever I don't like, but I prefer to use that option sparingly.

Anyway, I'd just like to emphasize that while I've run afoul of a couple of cards (because I left in the deck without really thinking much about the impact they'd make), the concept of the Adventure Deck overall is pretty popular with my group, and I've employed it in some form for most of my Savage Worlds games.

I'd just recommend familiarizing yourself with the cards so you know what sorts of situations might come up. If there's a card that could derail your intended gameplay, or encourage a sort of gameplay you'd really rather not encourage (e.g., "Backstab" when you'd prefer the heroes actually work together for once), the deck can still be customized to better fit the mood.

(That's one reason why I like dealing with cards more than rolling dice and consulting charts/tables. The other major reason would be that it's easy to avoid pesky duplicate results by just making sure only one of a particular type of card is in the deck.)
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#6 Postby TheLoremaster » Mon Aug 24, 2009 10:29 pm

When I last used Adventure Cards, I instituted a house rule: the GM can give the player a benny to cancel the use of an Adventure Card. The player retains the card, but can't use it again in the same scene/encounter. It helped the cards from being completely overpowering, and helped me extend some key scenes.

Mind you, I only applied this rule sparingly, and highly recommend paring down your deck.

We are also still waiting for the "printed" Adventure Deck that was discussed at Origins. It's supposed to have updated cards and rules. Any news?
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#7 Postby The GIT! » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:37 pm

My group loves the cards and we use them a lot. That said, I think they are more suited to some settings better than others. Not sure I'll use them when I run Realms of Cthulhu for example.

At present we're playing Rippers and the cards are getting a lot of use. I still think a modicum of common sense is required. In the last session my players wanted to play "Here Comes The Cavalry" and "Angry Mob" during the climactic battle. They thought it would be a deal breaker for me and were patting themselves on the back. When I casually pointed out that they were in a room underground that had tight corridors leading to it and that the large mob would effectively restrict any chance of a tactical withdrawal they decided not to use "Angry Mob" :wink: . As for "Here Comes The Cavalry" I basically told them that it would be in the form of decrepit hookers from the Whitechapel district which probably wouldn't help too much; after all, the only people that knew what was going on were the hookers they'd just released from incarceration :-?

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#8 Postby The GIT! » Mon Aug 24, 2009 11:42 pm

BTW - has anybody used the "Uh-Oh" card? It's the one that has a foe's (GM choice) Size and Strength increased two steps. That part is fine. It's the part that says every player gets to draw a card from the deck. Does that mean that they also get to play extra cards or are they still restricted with only playing one card per session (unless they've taken an edge that says otherwise)?

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#9 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:40 am

My interpretation was that any card that caused a new draw gave a new usage...otherwise I'm not sure how that works when most have used their card and they get a draw...could be wrong.

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#10 Postby TheLoremaster » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:46 am

The GIT! wrote:BTW - has anybody used the "Uh-Oh" card? It's the one that has a foe's (GM choice) Size and Strength increased two steps. That part is fine. It's the part that says every player gets to draw a card from the deck. Does that mean that they also get to play extra cards or are they still restricted with only playing one card per session (unless they've taken an edge that says otherwise)?

Yes. Oh god yes. Then they used "Once More, With Feeling", picked it up from the discards and played it AGAIN. And then ran away from the now Gargantuan great white shark. I think we ran out of cards that night... :)
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#11 Postby DaoLong » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:55 am

Last time I played love interest was in evernight.

The sorceress in question proceeded to light my elf on fire and then tried to drag him off to her love dungeon.

Lets just say it was a short turbulent romance.
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#12 Postby DerFinsterling » Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:01 am

The GIT! wrote:BTW - has anybody used the "Uh-Oh" card? It's the one that has a foe's (GM choice) Size and Strength increased two steps. That part is fine. It's the part that says every player gets to draw a card from the deck. Does that mean that they also get to play extra cards or are they still restricted with only playing one card per session (unless they've taken an edge that says otherwise)?


You can still only play one card per session UNLESS you were the one who played the card.
So you could play the Uh-Oh card and then another one. But the rest at the table would not get an additional card to play, just one. They only get a broader hand to choose from.

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#13 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:45 am

That's an important clarification! Is there an errata/FAQ for just the cards anywhere?

So the offset to the negative of enlarging the foe is not as good if lots/all have already played their card for the night. If you play it early, everyone gets more choices and you get a replay. But if you play it after I've played my one card, do I even have to draw another?

I'm having a hard time thinking through the adjudication of some of this - if I play a card that lets me draw a card, I get another opportunity to play one..if THAT next card played lets me draw a card, do I get a THIRD play?

I could see some abuse - I play a card that lets me search the deck, find a card that lets me draw another card, etc.

Anyway...so the official rule is that the only person who gets another PLAY of a card is the one whose card generated a draw? So Uh-Oh gives multiple draws, but only one extra play. The actual rules text says "cards which give you an additional draw give you an additional play of any of your remaining cards as well" - - I had interpreted "you" as being "any person given a draw from the deck".

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#14 Postby Jordan Peacock » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:01 am

TheLoremaster wrote:We are also still waiting for the "printed" Adventure Deck that was discussed at Origins. It's supposed to have updated cards and rules. Any news?


I'm very interested in any news on this! Or, that is, the updated cards and rules. I think I'd personally prefer it in PDF format over pre-printed in this particular case; I've grown accustomed to being able to customize the deck with my own additions - and still have all the cards use the same backs. But then, on the other hand, having professionally printed cards would look a lot nicer for convention games. Hmm. Tough choice.
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#15 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:09 am

The easiest solution I can offer you, Phloog, is to go through the deck and cull it. Take out any cards you don't want in your game and leave the rest. Don't like the "jerk" cards? Take 'em out. Don't like cards that give everyone more cards? Take 'em out.

In my library game, we use the Adventure deck to reward the previous game's MVP (most valuable player). Rather than everyone getting to draw a number of cards based on their rank, the MVP gets to draw three cards (that's it) and can play as many of them as they want during the game. Each game session has two MVPs (one chosen by the players, one chosen by the GMs).

Since our one run in with "Uh Oh", I've removed pretty much every card that lets the whole group draw from the deck. It just doesn't fit what we are doing with the adventure deck. "Once More, With Feeling" is still there, as it only applies to the MVP player. I've left in most of what you call "Jerk" cards, mainly because it helps (a little) keep the kids in line. Often times, someone will get a wild hair that none of the other players want to succeed, and the backstab card comes in handy. Drawing the "take your bennies" (can't remember the name) card is usually followed by the MVP saying, "you all better be nice to me!"

Of course, the kids aren't very good at spending the cards, and we've had whole sessions go by with an MVP sitting on really good cards that were never spent. They are getting better, and some are better than others at it. But that hasn't stopped me from editing the deck we use to avoid potential problems from arising.

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#16 Postby Clint » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:11 am

DerFinsterling wrote:You can still only play one card per session UNLESS you were the one who played the card.
So you could play the Uh-Oh card and then another one. But the rest at the table would not get an additional card to play, just one. They only get a broader hand to choose from.


Sorry, nope. The rules say, "(Though cards which give you an additional draw give you an additional play of any of your remaining cards as well.)"

Anyone who gets an additional draw gets an additional play.
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#17 Postby blusponge » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:13 am

TheLoremaster wrote:We are also still waiting for the "printed" Adventure Deck that was discussed at Origins. It's supposed to have updated cards and rules. Any news?


Amen brother! I kinda figure a lot of what got discussed at Origins last year got sidetracked by the recession. I could be wrong. Shane's a cagey business guy, so I figure if I'm not sitting here with an oversized adventure deck and three shiny new Solomon Kane books, there is a pretty good reason behind it. Plus it gives me something to look forward to next year.

It could also always turn out to be a Very Savage Christmas. :)

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#18 Postby Yuri » Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:47 am

I've used the Backstab card twice in a Necessary Evil game...

Once, when I targeted a PC with an area of effect power, the hope was that I could take out the swarm of V'sori surrounding his character... the PC was only in a little of danger of suffering damage from the attack since he was so well armored.

Secondly, and this was a stretch - but we play with pretty loose with the interpretation, I used it to usurp leadership of the Liberation group that we formed... at least in the mind of the People...

When we use the cards, the players can play as many of the cards as they want... however, for every card that is played, I get to draw a card for my NPCs... we all like the cards, so Love Interest, or Enemy or whatever get plenty of love... my current group doesn't use things like "Uh Oh" and "Reinforcements"... too bad.

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#19 Postby phloog » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:13 am

Clint wrote:Sorry, nope. The rules say, "(Though cards which give you an additional draw give you an additional play of any of your remaining cards as well.)"

Anyone who gets an additional draw gets an additional play.


Well, the good news there is it limits the need for errata, since the RAW seem to say what you're saying there.

I don't really think I'll remove many if any....MAYBE Backstab, but speaking as a D&D player who has target my own rogue friend with Fireballs countless times (trusting Evasion). maybe it's not so bad.

The Uh Oh throws me though, because the first thing I thought was: what happens when they meet Dietrich the SS bruiser...will he suddenly be twenty-three feet tall? Granted it's only two steps, so maybe it's not so bad, but the multiple use corner case presented makes me worry, since even though it's GM's choice, one of my stormtroopers is going to be more than 8 feet tall. I guess I'll "Rule Zero" stupid stuff and keep the card in.

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#20 Postby DerFinsterling » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:15 am

phloog wrote:The actual rules text says "cards which give you an additional draw give you an additional play of any of your remaining cards as well" - - I had interpreted "you" as being "any person given a draw from the deck".


Apparently your interpretation is correct and mine was wrong. ;-)

I still see little danger of abuse: The "draw one more and play one more" cards aren't that common and usually come with some sort of disadvantage as well, like increasing the number of enemies or making that one enemy more dangerous.

I can't even say how often the cards are used. Sometimes, every players plays one (or two) cards, sometimes there's none. It really depends on the game that night, what sort of situations arise and of course what sort of cards where picked.

I'm having a band of Veterans right now, one even has two Enemies due to the Enemy card played twice on two seperate occasions.
So that's 5 cards for that one player. With all the group present, that means about 20 cards on the table, of which 6 or 7 could be played.

And *still* there are nights where not a single one is used. ;-)


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