This one has just been in periphery for a long time. I have really paid that much attention to Index Card RPG but it’s started popping up again in my feeds and Internet searches so I figured I’d a little closer look.
There’s a lot of things that I like and some that I dislike. Just let me get the dislikes out of the way. I’m not crazy about how the classes work and that gear is the main means that character progress. There that’s out of the way. What’s really important and that part the I like is that while it is rules system, it’s much more of philosophy over all of keeping things simple.
Basically, ICRPG is a roll a d20+mod and roll high system. Which means huge chunks of it are easily ported into whatever core rules you happen to be using. One thing that many don’t like but I like is setting a DC/AC/TN for an entire encounter. A regular encounter would have something like a 12. So the monter’s AC is 12. The DC for the Thief to sneak up on them is 12. Lock on the chest, it’s 12. And so on. But wait you say, that don’t make sense. OK. Here me out. There’s also modifiers for making any task easy or difficult with (+3/-3). So really that DC is 9 to 15 depending on what’s going on. I wouldn’t put this up front for the players to see but it does make the work behind the DM screen easier and making those adventure notes even more efficient.
Another thing is the Timer Die. Roll a d4 during an encounter. In that many rounds something detrimental to the PC’s happen. This one I might put the number as player facing so they know something is going to happen but I’ll keep what exactly is going to happen in my back pocket until it’s time to spring it. Surprise!
That last thing for this post is Effort. The easiest way to explain this is that it’s like HP but for Tasks. So a task has a Difficulty (AC) and then the Effort is like HP. Just using your brain and fingers is d4 while tools give you a d6. This isn’t something to be used all the time but when there is a time crunch and exactly how long it takes to perform the is important and may mean life or death for the party. Then that’s a perfect time to use it.
So ICRPG. It’s worth at least look and mining for ideas. Heck, it stands on it’s own so play it if you wish. It does look fun!