Player driven plot using hands of cards

More than several years ago I worked on a game that unfortunately never got published. During that time I worked on some different mechanics for players driving play. This is one of those ideas.

The rules system I was using was FATE and Fate points, but this could be adapted to a number of different systems.

Instead of the normal Fate points represented by some sort of token, instead those points are represented by cards. During play, the card suit and value doesn’t have any extra value (though in the original game there were thematic twists to the Fate point use based on suit and value – take that as an extra bonus idea).

At the end of the game, each player would create as good of a poker hand of cards as possible. With the player with the best hand being able to request a specific theme or narrative element for the next session. This allows the players to have agency in the game and let the GM know what they want to see in the game. It’s also great for GM’s since it gives them some seeds for the next game to grow some plot from.

When I originally had this idea I was using the Spirit of the Century version of FATE. With the newer versions, players start with far fewer Fate points, so doing a full hand might require the GM to put out a “river” of two to three cards so that players can create a hand.

Short and fairly simple. Let us know if you decide to use this idea and how it worked out!

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