Thursday, December 22, 2022

Fight A Slime

I mentioned in the post: My Grail RPG, that I have been working on a redesign of the Saga system that uses a standard deck of playing cards. I thought that you might like to see a small sample.

Look here for the previous chapter.


Fight A Slime

The innkeeper at your local hostelry has offered you a reward for the extermination of a slime that has found its way into his cellar. (He would handle the job himself but the blobby, amorphous creature gives him the yicks.) He gives you the club that he keeps behind the bar to cow rowdy drunks, and wishes you luck. The large club is unwieldy and probably looks more threatening than it is, but it's better than nothing.

You now have: Club [MH] +2♥ (crushing)

(Shuffle your deck lay three cards face up in a row in front of you. This is called your tableau.) 

Each of the suits in the deck of cards corresponds to an action that you can take in combat.

♥ Hearts correspond to the Hack action.

When you take the Hack action, you play a card from your tableau in order to strike an enemy with a melee attack. The card that you play does not have to be Hearts. You can play a card of any suit. However, when you perform the Hack action, the suit of Hearts is trump.

Playing A Card

To play a card, select one of the three from your tableau and place it in a discard next to the card deck. The number shown on the card is called your "effort." If the card doesn't have a number (Ace, King, Queen or Jack) then the effort is equal to 7.

To the effort you add any bonuses related to the action. Bonuses related to an action are designated by the trump suit symbol for that action. Since the Trump suit for the Hack action is Hearts, bonuses to the Hack action are denoted by the heart symbol: ♥.  

The club that the innkeeper gave you, grants a bonus to effort for Hack actions.

Club [MH] +2♥ (crushing)

The last piece of information (crushing) refers to the type of damage the weapon inflicts. This isn't important right now, but later it will make a difference.

The [MH] means that the club is equipped in your Main Hand. All treasure is designated a specific location where it can be equipped, called a branch. You can only equip one treasure at each branch. 

The +2♥ means that the club grants a +2 bonus to effort for Hack actions. (You know this because the ♥ symbol is the trump suit for the Hack action.)

Hint: Hack and Hearts both begin with the letter H.

Playing Trump

When you play a card that matches the trump suit for the action, take the top card off the draw deck and place it with the card played on the discard pile. The effort for the action is now equal to the sum of these cards added together. This is known as Playing Trump.

Exploding Results

If the card that is added to the played card is also trump, draw an additional card and add that one too. Continue doing this until you draw a card that is not of the trump suit for the action in question. All cards played for this action are then added together for potentially massive outcomes. This is known as an Exploding Result.

You descend the stairs into the cellar to face the slime. The monster emits a foul odor that smells of rotten eggs. As you approach, you catch sight of it in the lantern light. It is shaped like a gumdrop nearly three feet in height. Its color is a pale purple, and its skin, if you can call it that, is translucent, nearly transparent. Inside it at the center of its mass floats a single eyeball about the size of a grapefruit. It quivers at you, and you shiver back. (No wonder the innkeeper didn't want to deal with this himself.)

The Three M's

Monsters are defined by three M's: Menace, Might, and Mojo.

  • Menace (Me) – This is the number that you are trying to beat with your effort. For every point over this number your Hack effort has attained, the monster loses one Might.

  • Might (Mi) – This is the amount of life or health the monster has. It becomes reduced when the monster is hit by an attack. When Might is reduced to zero or less, the monster is defeated.

  • Mojo (Mo) – This covers any special rules or effects that are specific to the given monster.


Me: 8, Mi: 6, Mo: The slime doesn't attack, but it emits a noxious odor that causes its attacker to take damage at the end of every turn.

The slime has: Menace 8 and Might 6.

Time To Hack

Attack the slime by playing a card from your tableau. This is a Hack action. You will add the +2♥ bonus from your club to the effort of any card played. If you play the suit of hearts remember to flip over the top card of the deck and add this to your effort per the playing trump rules.

Inflict Damage

For every point over the slime's menace of 8 that your Hack effort is, the slime loses 1 Might. This is referred to as, "inflicting damage." If your effort is equal to or greater than the slime's menace then the slime also suffers harm.


In addition to Might lost through the effort of an attack, all weapons can inflict additional damage called: Harm. Harm is only applied if the initial effort is greater than or equal to the monster's Menace. Harm is equal to the heart ♥ bonus, in this case +2.

Hint: Harm and Hearts both begin with the letter H. 

Record Damage

When you play your card and calculate damage that you've done to the slime, track any loss of Might in your notes. This damage carries over into the next round of combat.

Example: None of the cards in your tableau are hearts, so you decide to play your highest card which is a 9 of spades. To this you add the +2♥ bonus that the club gives you whenever you perform the hack action. Your total effort is 11 (9 + 2.) You inflict 3 damage (effort 11 - menace 8 = 3), and because you inflicted damage through effort, you also cause +2 harm for a total of 5 damage. This means that for the next round of the fight the slime has only 1 (6 - 5 = 1) Might remaining.

End Your Turn

After you have recorded any damage done to the slime, draw one card. This ends your turn. If you didn't defeat the slime (reducing its Might to 0) then according to the Mojo for the slime, you must take damage.

Take Damage 

To take damage you must choose a card from your tableau and turn it face down. You cannot play a face down card. If all cards in your tableau are face down, then you have been defeated. You survive if any card in your tableau remains face up. If you survive, you can attack again, but remember that you can't play any face down cards..

Continue The Fight

Play another card to hack at the slime again (don't forget the playing trump rule and to add your weapon bonus to your effort). If your effort exceeds the slime's menace, apply effort damage and harm. 

End your turn by drawing a card. If the slime survived then choose another card in your tableau and turn it face down, then continue the fight.

Did You Win?

If you reduce the slime to zero (or less) Might, then you have won and are able to return to the innkeeper in Victory. (Proceed to Chapter Two: Dressing For The Occasion.)

If every card in your tableau is face down, then the slime has defeated you. Reset the Slime's Might to 6, redraw three cards into your tableau, and try again. (Heroes never die during the tutorial!)

(Look here for the next chapter.)

More coming soon! In the meantime feel free to join my Facebook Group to discuss this post and anything related to RPG's and geekdom! Stay tuned!!

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