An Introduction to the Quick Action Resolution Deck

The Quick Action Resolution Deck (QARD) is a role-play intensive pastime (RIP) based primarily upon a classic, heroic role-playing game (RPG) first released back in 1998. While long out of print, its last official product having been published a scant few years after the first, this venerable RPG nonetheless has countless fans who still enjoy it to this very day. Fans who yet hunger for new content.

Enter: the Quick Action Resolution Deck, a retro-clone of this ostensibly dead system! A retro-clone is a rewritten compendium of rules that strips the ingrained intellectual property from its predecessor so it may present those rules anew. Some retro-clones hew very, very close to their source material, while others drift far apart from it. The QARD is a retro-clone that occupies a middle ground between these extremes.

The idea behind the QARD was to craft a system that is mainly compatible with the original rule set, while at the same time adding numerous additional ideas to the mix. This was implemented by presenting the game's concepts in a deliberate, linear fashion, streamlining the existing bits of the system somewhat, while greatly expanding the options players may use to generate their own characters in the game.

The QARD was built this way with customization in mind. Itself the result of considerable alterations to an existing, albeit abandoned rule set, the QARD can readily be altered to suit the needs of whoever uses it at their gaming table. This way, players may utilize the QARD as-is, borrow select parts from the QARD for use in the original system, or seize bits and pieces of the QARD to forge their very own RPG.

In practice, Quick Action Resolution Deck refers to both this game and the cards used to determine the course of events while playing it. It is set apart from most role-playing games by utilizing a special deck of cards instead of polyhedral dice to resolve actions, which is neither a better nor a worse solution when generating random results. It's simply a different experience, one the author enjoys to no end.

The product of on-again, off-again development over several decades, the QARD is a perpetual work in progress. It owes its very existence to the original Saga system, which was the substrate on which numerous games were created, and whose design was spearheaded by Sue Cook. The variation on these rules that helped define the QARD most was crafted by Mike Selinker, and the QARD is indebted to both of these individuals.

Last, but not least, the author of the Quick Action Resolution Deck would like to thank everyone that has given feedback and/or suggestions about the implementation of its various components. There are simply too many of these folks to name, some of which are no longer among us, but let it never be said that constructive criticism isn't appreciated - whether by myself or by authors around the world!

The Big Idea Behind the Quick Action Resolution Deck

Now you know what the Quick Action Resolution Deck is, more or less, but in the event that you've never enjoyed a role-playing game before, you may find yourself asking what the heck you do with this thing. Simply put, the idea behind the QARD is to allow players to assume the identity of at least one character, and play out his, her, or their activities in a setting decided upon by all the players involved.

Most QARD players assume the role of just one character. This character is referred to as a player character (PC). This is the player's avatar in the setting, the means by which they interact with everything within. Keep in mind that a player should talk and behave as that character would, not as the player themselves might... unless the player's character is some variation on their 'real' self.

On the other hand, one player must assume the role of the Narrator. They adjudicate all of the rules during play, and handle the roles of every character encountered that is not managed by the other players. A Narrator's characters are hereby referred to as non-player characters (NPCs). It is the Narrator's job to present a scenario for the other players to operate within, as well as to manage all of the action.

Therein lies the beauty of a role-playing game: it is not inflexible fiction, but instead a collaborative effort. The Narrator sets the stage for events, and all the other players act out their roles, taking their characters wherever their personas and circumstances dictate - for good or ill. It is a truly active form of entertainment, one which draws all its participants into the limelight, and lets everyone influence the story.

And that story can take place almost anywhere! From ancient realms lost to legend to distant planets in the deepest reaches of space, the QARD allows its players to adventure wherever they wish, limited only by their imagination! Furthermore, these stories can take the form of solitary tales, a one-shot sort of thing, or instead expand into an entire campaign, a series of adventures that tells a much larger tale.

While the former can be good fun, the latter allows a group to fully explore their characters and the setting presented to them by their Narrator. But either is an acceptable use of the Quick Action Resolution Deck, for both can be equally entertaining. This is just a choice that a group of players needs to make beforehand - though that group can surely mix and match between the two as is desired!

But what is required to utilize the QARD, you ask? Not much, really. All that's essentially necessary are these rules - and a deck of cards. The QARD boasts fifty-two cards in all, most ranging from one to ten, and possessing one of five different suits. In a pinch, this can be simulated by mashing together parts of two different conventional card decks, or one can digitally draw a QARD here.

Other than that, all you need is a tiny bit of creativity - and the desire to have fun!

Main | Next

Questions or comments? Contact the author at your convenience!