Under the Hood – Hands (Part 1)

I’m going to be discussing the ‘Hand’ mechanic in our RPG system Strive, not hands in general. Apologies for any confusion.

This is the first post in a planned series on the mechanics and theory behind the use of  Hands in Strive.

The series will cover human behaviour, decision matrixes and both kinds of game theory.

In order to explain those and how they relate to the hand mechanic, I must first lay the groundwork by explaining how the mechanic functions on a physical level.

If you’ve played the game, feel free to skip this post.

So, you’ve sat down at the table and everyone has finished building their characters. Your deck of 12 stat cards (above) sits to your left, brimming with potential, the world is your oyster.

The adventure begins and you employ the mechanic of DRAW, taking a card from your deck until you have 5 cards in your hand.
Well done!
You’ve just turned the potential of your deck into less potential in your hand.
The world is now your slightly smaller and more specific oyster.
By holding the cards in your hand and being able to see them, you become slightly limited, actually helping you to formulate solutions to the problems that arise as part of the adventure. Limits breed creativity and RPGs are really just exercises in creative problem-solving.

Ok, so a problem has arisen, how do you deal with it?
By PERFORMING AN ACTION of course!
Declare your action then take up to 2 complementary stat cards from your hand and play them in front of you.
After you finish the back and forth with the GM and they accept your perfectly logical request to skin the Prince and wear his face like a mask, you DISCARD. Taking all the stat cards in the play area and placing them on your right, forming a neat little DISCARD PILE.

“But now I’ve got fewer cards!” DRAW a card! Keep going till you have 5 again.
“But there aren’t any cards!” SHUFFLE!
SHUFFLE your discard pile and turn it into your deck!

Now, if you had any cards in hand that have been reversed by STRIVING. Reverse those and DRAW back up to 5.
If you don’t have any reversed cards, take a VIGOUR card to hand before drawing back up to 5, including your new VIGOUR card.

That is all.

Next time, thematic mechanics.

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