TV Tropes Trading Card Game:
edited 27th Aug '09 6:44:20 PM by Wicked223
- How to win:
- Fulfill an Ending card
- Get all the Influence
- Deck out your opponent.
- General stuff:
- All cards cost SP as long as they're out. SP is supposed to represent a writer's ability to juggle stuff. Will explain this more later.
- Some cards affect Inf. Inf represents how much influence you have over the story. Get all of it (I think?) and you win the game.
- Types of cards:
- Character: Just a blank card you can write anything on. Needed for:
- Characterization: Cards you put on characters that do stuff. Almost all of them give stats (Combat, Int, Love...) and some sort of effect. Some of them are restricted by gender or age; I think we're currently going with "first card that it matters to sets age". These are all permanent.
- Plot Device: Permanent cards that aren't trope cards. These all work sorta like enchantments or artifacts in Magic. Cost SP, do something.
- Interaction: A plot device that compares two or more character's stats and does something depending on the comparison. We're not quite sure where to fit this as yet.
- Story Arc: You can put one of these out at any time, they have some conditions that you have to fulfill and some reward if you fulfill the conditions. Sometimes any player can fulfill the conditions; on Ending cards the reward is always "you win the game".
- Trope: Tropes are almost exactly like instants from Magic. You play them one turn, they do something, they get discarded. These are the only temporary cards in the game, and so they only cost SP for the turn they're played. (Oh, also: these can be played anytime you want, again, like instants in Magic)
- Writer: All players have one writer they put out at the beginning of the game. It sets how much SP they can use and has some effects. I think so far normal is about 75; anything above that has some kind of negative effect and any positive effect forces you to go below that.
The BasicsTV Tropes The TCG is all about two (or more!) writers vying for control of a shared story. Each player takes the role of a writer and adds to the story using ideas in the form of tropes. Players take turns adding tropes to the story until one writer has all of the influence over the story. Players take turns in sequence until either one player wins or all other players are eliminated. Before we get to the rules, let's go over some of the concepts that will appear throughout the rules.
Card TypesThere are three types of cards in the game.
- Trope Cards — Trope Cards are the basic cards that make up a player's deck. A deck needs at least sixty Trope Cards.
- Character Cards — Character Cards represent characters in the story and simply need to be kept somewhere handy apart from the other cards. There are only fifteen standard Character Cards, so it shouldn't be too hard to get your hands on at least a few copies of each.
- Writer Cards — A player's Writer Card reprsents the particular writer the player has taken the role of. In most games, each player will only need one Writer Card, but it is generally good to have a few more handy, just in case.
The Game AreasCards in TV Tropes The TCG will inhabit different zones throughout play. Two of these zones are Card Piles and the other three are Story Zones. All of the details in of the story will be represented by cards in one of the three Story Zones; all cards in these zones are said to be In Play. The two Card Piles contain trope cards that are not Out of Play. A player's current Writer Card is always said to be In Play, while unused Character Cards, extra Trope Cards, and unused Writer Cards are said to not be In Play.
- Idea Pile — The Idea Pile contains face-down Trope Cards representing individual ideas that the writer could have in the future. At the beginning of the game, a player's deck becomes his Idea Pile, and the pile usually gets smaller from there as the potential ideas are used.
- Trash Bin — The Trash Bin contains face-up Trope Cards representing ideas that ran their course in the story or were discarded by a writer as not being good enough. It is generally very difficult to retrieve cards from the Trash Bin.
- Storyboard — The Storyboard is the main Story Zone and the area where most of the action of the game takes place. By default, Trope Cards enter play in this Story Zone. Returning things from one of the other zones to this zone is informally called "retrieving".
- The Bus — The Bus is a Story Zone that contains characters, locations, and other story elements that were written out of the story with the possiblity of returning later. Things in this zone are said to be On the Bus. There are several Trope Cards and Writer Cards that allow the retrieval of things that are On the Bus.
- Afterlife — The Afterlife is a Story Zone that contains characters, locations, and other things in the story that have been killed or destroyed. Retrieval from this zone is generally more difficult than retrieval from The Bus.
The PointsThere are two types of points in TV Tropes The TCG: Story Points (SP) and Influence
- Story Points represent how many story elements a writer can handle at once. Character Cards and Trope Cards each have an SP Cost. Writer Cards have an SP Limit that is the maximum total SP of all of the cards the player controls.
- Influence represent the influence a writer has over a story. Players begin the game with 0 Inf and win the game by collecting [Placeholder] Inf.
The Cardinal Rule: The text on a card overrides the rules of the game if they are ever in conflict.
The Structure of a TurnThe Active Player is the player whose turn it is. Unless otherwise specified, all actions are taken by the Active Player. A turn has three Phases:
- The Beginnning Phase
- The Scene
- The End Phase
The Beginning PhaseThe Beginning Phase has four parts, which must be completed in order:
- Resolve all effects that end at the beginning of the turn.
- Draw a card (two cards?)
- Perform Standard Actions (see Taking Actions below). Note that a Standard Action can only be performed during a Scene unless something on a card indicates otherwise.
- Set the Scene: choose all Characters and Tropes that will be used in the Scene, and set all others to the side.
The SceneOnce all of the Characters and Tropes have been chosen for a Scene, the Scene begins. During the Scene, the Active Player may play Tropes, bring Characters into play, activate Trope/Writer abilities, and otherwise perform any actions allowed by a Trope or Writer. Whenever the Active Player has completed all of his actions during the Scene, the Scene ends. Resolve all effects that end at the end of the Scene, then proceed to the End Phase.
The End PhaseThe End Phase has three parts that must be completed in order, just like the Beginning Phase.
- Perform Standard Actions (see Taking Actions below). Note that a Standard Action can only be performed during a Scene unless something on a card indicates otherwise.
- Resolve all effects that end at the end of the turn.
- Discard cards until you no longer exceed your maximum hand size.
Taking ActionsThere are two kinds of general actions a player may take during a Scene: Standard Actions and Interrupt Actions. Either of these may also be considered a Meta Action.
Standard ActionsThree of the actions that players can perform are considered Standard Actions:
- Playing a Trope
- Activating an ability of a Trope already in play
- Any Writer Ability
Interrupt ActionsSome actions that would otherwise be Standard Actions are be considered Interrupt Actions either by the action description or by the effects of another card. If a player performs either a Standard Action or an Interrupt Action, players have a chance to respond to that action with an Interrupt Action before the first action resolves. Think of it as putting a new action on a stack on top of the previous action. (Yes, this rule is pretty much the Stack from Magic: The Gathering.) The option of first response goes to the player who performed the original action and passes around until every player has had an opportunity to respond. If a player does decide to respond, that action goes on top of the stack and a new cycle of response options begins. Whenever all players pass their response chance, perform the action that prompted the cycle and pick up the last incomplete cycle where it left off. Example: Troper X, Troper Y, and Troper Z are playing a game. Troper X performs Action A. He has the option to respond first, but chooses not to. Troper Y has the option of responding and performs Action B. First response to Action A goes to Troper Y, who declines. Z and X both decline (in that order), so Action B resolves. Since Action B was Troper Y's response to Action A, the option of response to Action A goes to Troper Z, who declines. Action A then resolves and gameplay continues. Note: Actions that can be peformed as Interrupt Actions should be rather rare and generally be actions that can only make sense if they are interrupting another action. Tropes can generally be played during another player's turn, so there is no need to make an Action and Interrupt Action just so that it can be played during a turn other than the controller's own.
Meta ActionsBoth Standard Actions and Interrupt Actions can also be considered Meta Actions. If a Trope has the Meta subtype, both playing the trope and activating its abilities are considered Meta Actions. All Writer abilities are considered Meta. Meta Actions have two special properties:
- They can be performed during a phase other than the Scene.
- They cannot be interrupted by non-Meta actions.
The Parts of a CardEach card has several fields that can contain information relevant to the game. Some of these can appear on multiple card types.
- Name—Each card is named after one of the tropes on TV Tropes Wiki. Any two cards with the same Name are functionally identical.
- Ability Text—Ability Text includes all card abilities that are not covered by one of the other relevant fields. Character Cards do not have Ability Text
- Quotes Text—Quotes Text features one or more quotes that epitomize the Trope or Writer. Character Cards do not have Quotes Text.
- SP Cost—The SP Cost of a card determines how much of a writer's SP total is used up by the card. Writer Cards do not have an SP Cost.
- Age — The age of the character falls into one of [Placeholder] Age Categories: [Placeholder].
- Gender — The age of the character falls into one of [Placeholder] Gender Categories: [Placeholder]'.
- Type — Trope Cards may have one or more Types, each of which has its own rules and potential Subtypes. The rules specific to each Type and Subtype will be discussed later in this document.
- Genre — Most Trope Cards have a Genre, which is also indicated by the design of the card frame. Tropes that are not associated with any particular genre are Universal. The Genres are:
- SP Limit — This number is the maximum total SP worth of cards a player can control while the Writer Card is active.
- Favored Genre — This is the genre that the writer is most comfortable with. Tropes only take up 75% (round up) of their SP Cost if they are in this genre. (Writers generally have only one Favored Genre, but it is possible for a writer to have more or none at all.)
- Scrappy Genre — This is the genre that the writer hates the most. Tropes take up twice their SP Cost if they are in this genre. (Writers generally have only one Scrappy Genre, but it is possible for a writer to have more or none at all.)
Types of Trope Cards
- Story Device — Story Device Tropes represent development of the plot, characters, or settings. These Tropes remain in play for a limited time (often just one Scene). Once they have reached the end of their duration, these Tropes are put into the Trash Bin.
- 'Characterization — Characterization Tropes are Tropes that can be played on Characters. These Tropes remain attached to the Character so long as the Character remains in play. Whenever a Character changes zones or is chosen to be part of a Scene, all Characterizations go with. Characterizations cannot change zones or be chosen for a Scene independent of the Character the Trope is attached to.
- Setting — Setting Tropes represent different aspects of the world the story is set in, as well as representing specific locations in that world. Settings are always part of a Scene unless the Setting has a subtype that allows it to behave otherwise.
- Phlebotinum — Phlebotinum Tropes represent all technological and magical elements of the story. Phlebotinum is the Type that is most commonly paired with other Types.
- Arc — Arc Tropes represent an intended direction for the story to take. They all have conditions that must be satisfied, after which the effect of the Trope changes. Both the "before" and "after" effects may be one-time or ongoing.
Universal SubtypesSome Subtypes can appear on multiple trope Types.
- Meta — Meta Tropes are Tropes that represent outside influences on the story. They do not have to obey the internal story logic, which gives them powerful game-altering effects...at a price. Meta Tropes are generally Universal and are the only Tropes that can reference the player controlling a card. Additionally, Meta tropes generally cost Inf.
- Interrupt — Interrupt Tropes can be played as an Interrupt Action. These tropes generally have an Inf cost in addition to an SP cost.
Characterization Tropes and Creating CharactersWhen you play a Characterization, you may choose not to play it on a Character currently in play. In that case, you may take a Character Card and put it into play with the Characterization attached. Remember that Character Cards cost SP! This is the only way to create new characters unless a Trope or Writer has an ability that indicates otherwise. Characterization Cards have several standard stats. They are:
- Love Interest
SettingsSettings have one major subtype: Location. When choosing Tropes and Characters for a Scene, no more than one Location may be chosen. In contrast, all non-Location Settings must be chosen. Settings generally grant passive effects instead of activated abilities.
PhlebotinumIf a Phlebotinum Trope is also another Trope Type, it behaves as though it were of that Type. If a Phlebotinum Trope is not of any other Trope Type, it can be included or excluded from a scene at will.
ArcsWhenever the conditions for an Arc are met, its second set of effects resolve immediately. Completing Arcs should generally reward a lot of Inf, cause major changes to the board, or both. Arcs with the Beginning Subtype generally have an ability that allows a player to begin the game with the Arc in play if the player gives up something specified on the card. If a non-Beginning Arc has its conditions fulfilled, remove all Beginning Arcs from play and nor more such Arcs may be played. Arcs with the Ending Subtype generally allow a player to win the game so long as they have some fraction of the required total Inf.
When You Are Not The Active PlayerWhen it is time for the Active Player to choose Characters and Tropes for a Scene, the other players may (in turn order) choose tropes to be included before the Active Player makes his selection. Making such a inclusion costs you [placeholder] IP for an unattached trope and [placeholder] IP for a Character (and all of its Characterizations). Once all such inclusions have been made, the Active Player may either accept them or pay [placeholder] IP to exclude them. Once the Active Player has paid for all of his exclusions, he selects the remainder of the tropes he would like to include. Whenever you take a Standard Action during another player's turn, there is an Inf cost. If you are playing a Trope, you must match the SP cost in Inf. If you are activating the ability of a trope, you must pay the SP cost of that trope in Inf. Writer abilities will specify the Inf cost, if any.
- "Avert _______" means that _________ cannot be played. This generally appears on Setting Tropes that are mutually exclusive with other setting tropes.
- "Avert _______ [condition]" means that __________ may not be played if it would meet the stated condition. This is more common on Characterization Tropes where some Characterizations would be mututally exclusive on that character.
Running Out of SPIf you lack the SP to pay for a Trope or Character, you may send cards you control to the Bus in order to free up SP. This is treated as an additional cost for the Trope. Things that may be sent:
- Characters (with all Characterization Tropes still attached)—this may also free up SP for your opponents if they played Characterizations on that Character
- Phlebotinum that is not also another Type
Limited InfAs it current sits, players in a multiplayer game remain in the game until someone wins—contrast with an "elimination" game like Magic: The Gathering, where the goal is (usually) to be the last one standing. If we don't mind this, let's carry on. If we would like "elimination" multiplayer, we will need a rule for eliminating people that does not play completely differently from a duel. Anyway, here's my idea: Set an Inf Max that is calculated via some formula based on the number of players and the Inf goal (to allow for both, say, 30 Inf games and 100 Inf. games). Put that much Inf in a common "pool". Distribute some fraction of that Inf. equally amongst the players. Players are eliminated if they reach 0 Inf. Players win when they reach the desired total. Now here's the tricky part: what happens when the pool runs out? Ideas:
- If a player would draw from an empty pool, each other player (or every player, including the guy about to take Inf.) tosses 1 Inf. back into the pool. Repeat as necessary.
- If a player would draw from an empty pool, he takes 1 Inf. from each player in turn...
- In turn order
- In order of Inf. totals (defaulting to turn order in the case of a tie)—this could either go from least to most if we want a cutthroat quicker game or from most to least if we want more equalization.
edited 28th Aug '09 2:27:29 AM by Ironeye
- I think it's pretty obvious we ought to fill in all the [Placeholder]s soon.
- So far, I've already folded Sci-Fi into Fantasy on my template. So that makes the genres as we have them now:
- Romance (Tried folding this into Drama; didn't work too well.)
- Action/Adventure (Maybe rename this to just Action?)
- I noticed you've played with the card types. Don't mind you splitting Plot Device; we kind of needed that. Then you gave the name to what I have as Trope cards, and I guess we needed to rename those, but maybe we could find a better name. Like just "Plot Device".
- I think we ought to remove "Scrappy Genre" because as I have it, the writer's favored genre is represented by the genre of the writer itself. (Piro's a Romance writer; his favorite genre is Romance. H.P. Lovecraft would be a Horror writer; his favorite Genere would be Horror.) Adding Scrappy Genres means we've got to note all this down on the card.
- Interesting rules for Meta. Don't have any problems with them right now.
- Also interesting what you've done to the mechanics of a turn.
- EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot. As long as we're adding card types, should I add an Interaction type? It doesn't really fit under anything else.
edited 28th Aug '09 3:13:23 AM by BlackHumor
- Perhaps we could also have subgenres for the tropes that care about Fantasy vs. Sci-Fi? Alternatively, we could just not make cards out of tropes that do care—there are plenty of tropes that just don't translate well anyway.
- Yeah, I messed with a few things to make the rules play better. The SP rules work a lot easier if every trope is a "permanent", for example. Anyway, I think "Plot Device" will work just fine as a name.
- That's a holdover from earlier versions of the rules. I really don't care if we cut it.
- These were just me trying to make Meta vs. non-Meta have a mechanical difference that mattered and worked flavorfully. If we can find a better way to make Meta and the Turn work, I'm all for it.
- The Interaction rules and flavor seem a bit clunky at the moment. We should probably figure out how to smooth things out first.
edited 28th Aug '09 12:19:53 PM by Ironeye
- Ok then.
- Please no subgenres, I have no idea how I'd do that. I think just "don't make those cards" is the way to go. (Also: Should we just axe Mystery? There really aren't too many exclusively Mystery tropes.)
- Yes we should.
edited 28th Aug '09 5:41:27 PM by BlackHumor
edited 28th Aug '09 8:18:07 PM by catch_the_sun
Subtypes: Death, Event
Effect: Send one Character from the Storyboard to the Afterlife. Each player gains Inf equal to the total SP they had invested in the character, paid out of the other player's Inf stock. A Character removed by this card's effect cannot be returned to the Storyboard for three turns.
Flavour: "He's dead. And this isn't like a comic, where he'll be brought back next month. He's actually dead." I originally came up with this one when the rule was that Inf was initially split evenly among the players, with increases in Inf being gained from the other player's pool. The way it works is, if you kill off a character in which you've invested a lot of SP, you lose the effect of all the cards invested, but experience a net gain in Inf. If your opponent has invested more SP, they lose whatever advantage they might have had, but they experience a net gain in Inf while you experience a net loss. Name: Anyone Can Die
Effect: As long as this card is in play, any Character that would go from the Storyboard to the Bus goes to the Afterlife instead. Any effect that would move a Character out of the Afterlife costs 20% more (rounding fractions up).
Flavour: "Where'd everybody go?"
edited 29th Aug '09 4:11:51 PM by VampireBuddha
edited 30th Aug '09 9:35:59 AM by Wicked223
edited 30th Aug '09 9:56:27 AM by BlackHumor
edited 15th Sep '09 2:16:33 PM by BlackHumor
edited 26th Sep '09 9:38:17 PM by catch_the_sun