One of the trends in gaming lately has been trying out new mechanics and ways of resolving conflict. Suited takes the whole “using cards” thing to its logical conclusion and breaks out the playing cards to create a wacky, setting-adaptive system, excellent for one-shot adventures. The best part is that the system was developed in the best place ever to use playing cards: a road trip. Check out what designers Ted Pick Jr. and Erin Johnson had to say about the game below.
First, Suited looks like a blast, but it seems like the car ride that spawned it may not have been. Did you have the idea to work on a game before you set out, or did the deck of cards get you thinking?
The car ride itself actually was a lot of fun, Texas has a gorgeous countryside that is worth driving through if you get a chance. But to answer your question, we had discussed working on designing a tabletop game the night before the drive, and we decided to spend some of our time during the drive working on one. At the time we had just gotten our hands on a copy of WYRD'S "Through the Breach" which uses a card-based system, as opposed to dice, and we fell in love with that idea and couldn't figure out why there weren't more card-based game systems out there. So we started spit-balling ideas on how we could put together a Two-page RPG using card mechanics, and about 3 hours later we had the bare bones of Suited. Side note: We seem to do our best game creation while driving, over the course of two other drives we designed two completely new playsets that we are planning on releasing as stand-alones at some point.
You state in the sample document that one of the goals of the game was to keep it quick. What was your biggest challenge to keeping the pace of the game up?
The biggest challenge to keeping the game fast was in trying to keep everything slimmed down. There are volumes of games out there (that we love dearly) that have page upon page on game mechanics, enemies, weapons, and chapters detailing how to level your character. While these games are fun, we wanted to create a game that people could pick up, spend maybe 10-15 minutes reading over the rules, and then start playing. Originally we designed Suited for a Two-Page RPG challenge, but as we worked on it we realized that we could never fit everything on just two pages, and as we designed more playsets we had to add in a few more rules mechanics to accommodate actions that could occur in that setting, which then required trying to keep the rules slim enough to not slow down the game, but in-depth enough to do what they needed to do.
All of the missions are randomly assembled by the GM. What’s been your favorite combination, and what were some of the hijinks that ensued?
I think my favorite combination so far occurred in the Post Apocalypse Playset. The group in the Post Apocalypse game had gotten a world that was run by robot overlords. Working with them to design the world, we decided that it was a world where humans were cloned and used as batteries by the machines, but that some humans had gotten free, but they were dying off because the robots wiped the knowledge of how to reproduce from their genes. The item that the group started with was a VHS Tape and their mission was to Save The Information. So they decided the tape was a copy of Debby Does Dallas and the information they had to save was the way humans reproduced (as demonstrated in the tape). The downside was that the only way to copy the tape was controlled by the villain, Emperor Gor-Urs, so they had to make a dangerous trek across the land to his base and convince him to allow them to transfer the data and copy the VHS tape. They started in Guttown in a desert and immediately got into a scrap with some robot sentinels out looking for free humans. The group then had a run in with some free people hiding in an old scrapyard (The Dumps), and were then chased up into the Mountains where Emperor Gor-Urs lives by a Robot Hunting Pack. They successfully destroyed the pack, found Gor-Urs base, and convinced him to let them use his VHS copier. It was a blast!
In the free sample you have rules for noir, western, and post-apocalyptic settings, and you have announced rules for anthropomorphic animals, space exploration sci-fi, and wushu settings. Can you give a hint for future settings?
Our plans are to release two Pay-What-You-Want expansion packs, both with 3 new playsets, and then combine the two expansions and the free edition playsets into a high-quality full book that will be available for purchase on DriveThruRPG. So right now we have the six playsets you mentioned, and then another seven playsets planned for the core book that would range over all of the common settings people enjoy roleplaying, everything from 80's action hero to horror to high fantasy. We also have a couple of stand-alone playsets like I mentioned earlier that we will save for special events, kickstarter stretch goals, and the occasional April Fools release. One example of the stand-alones is a touring band simulator in the idea of Spinaltap/Airheads.
We cannot express how awesome it feels to have people looking over our works and playing our game, and if you haven't checked out the DriveThruRPG file lately, we released an updated version of Suited: Free Sample Edition last month with better graphics, and much nicer layout, and a slightly larger section on the rules mechanics of the game. We hope that you enjoy Suited, and should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to let us know!
Check out Suited here.
Phil Pepin is a history-reading, science-loving, head-banging, river-running nerd, who would like nothing more than to cuddle with his pups and wife.
Picture Reference: http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241178/Suited-Free-Sample-Edition
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.