Take a pack of cards and introduce one joker. Shuffle the cards. Whenever a conflict is in need of resolution and the player has a relevant ability the player draws. If the ability is a keyword ability (more general), only one card is drawn. If the ability is a breakout ability beneath a keyword ability, draw 2 cards — one for the keyword ability and one for the breakout ability. Favorable environmental conditions may result in the player drawing additional cards.
Conversely, environmental conditions and character flaws may result in removing cards drawn. For each environmental condition or character flaw, following the fiction, that would adversely affect the conflict resolution, removes a card from those drawn by the player to resolve the conflict. Remove cards from the highest to the lowest.
If it makes sense in the fiction and another character has an applicable ability to help, draw an additional card for the assistance. Note that any success or failure consequences falling out from the conflict resolution may also affect the character helping.
Choose one card for resolving the conflict from those that are left.
After a card has been chosen from those drawn (not a King) and evaluated it and all other cards drawn for this conflict are placed into a discard pile. When the Joker is drawn the discards and Joker are immediately placed back into the pack and the pack is shuffled. Conflict resolution then continues with the player making the next draw from the top of the freshly shuffled deck.
Degrees of Success
Of course, there are 12 possible conclusive results from every No Dice draw. It’s always been the habit of myself and my players that a Queen (lady luck) is not just a raw success but a success with style, a Jack (knave) is not just a failure but a proper botch job. Aces are low, 10s are high. Kings are kept by the player and traded for redraws on future tests. When a king is drawn it is placed into the possession of the player who drew it and the test continues with another draw.
|1 or Jack||No, and (something terrible/annoying)|
|4, 5||No, but|
|6, 7||Yes, but|
|10 or Queen||Yes, and (something great/special)|
Card draws are a storytelling aid, not an administration process. They give clues to you as the Host how to pitch someone’s success or failure given all the information you have to hand.