I have come up with a nifty variant for Supercrew using playing cards. Here’s the basics:
Assign a ‘trump suit’ to each ability your character has. When using the ability, draw a number of cards from a standard deck of playing cards equal to the dice you would normally roll.
– Each card with a suit matching the color of the trump suit is one effect.
– Each suit that matches the trump suit itself is one effect, AND allows you to draw another card.
Keep drawing for trumps and adding effect the same way you re-roll sixes in the base game.
Example: Captain Sweden is trying to keep that vilely-illuminated fiend Fiat Lux from threatening a bus full of nuns, orphans, and puppies. He uses his Power Beams, which has a trump suit of Spades, and draws 2 cards. Some different results:
– Cap gets a Club and a Diamond. That’s one effect.
– Cap gets a Spade and a Club. That’s two effect, and he draws again, getting another Club for three total effect. Pretty good.
– Cap gets two Spades. Wow! He draws again twice, and gets a Club and ANOTHER Spade! That’s FOUR successes, and Cap draws again for the second Spade! He draws a Club, for FIVE (!) successes! Fiat Lux is defeated single-handedly by Captain Sweden! “Your torch is EXTINGUISHED, villain!”, quips Cap, as the other Supercrew members wince at the pun.
Tricks work the same way:
– Re-roll lets you discard the cards drawn and draw again
– For Effect 2, ignore the cards drawn and assume two effect
– For Change One Die to a 5, discard one card of the opposite color (that is, one that did not produce an effect) and count it as one effect.
Now, assigning fixed trump suits to each power is OK, but it might restrict the player’s options a bit much. I would recommend assigning a suit based on what the hero is trying to do with the ability at the time. For instance, let’s say black cards are for physical actions, and red cards are for mental and social situations. Clubs are for attack, and Spades are defensive. If Captain Sweden blasts Fiat Lux with his power beams, he is looking for Clubs as the trump suit. If he is using Powerful Defense (or Reflex Defense if he has already blasted Fiat this round), then he is drawing for Spades.
Furthermore, let’s assign Diamonds for mental tasks, and Hearts for social interactions. If Cap is trying to fuse a crack in a dam that Fiat Lux’s gang tried to blow up as a diversion, he would draw looking for Hearts as the trump suit (this is a delicate task that requires concentraction and focus of his power beams into a fine welding beam). If he were trying to interrogate those thugs at the biker bar that Bullfinch and Massif roughed up instead of them, he would be using Diamonds as the trump suit (something that RPG.Netters referred to as ‘eyebeam diplomacy’).
One more trick: You can track the Hero Points the players earn and spend with cards themselves. Whenever a player earns a Hero Point, let them draw one card off the top of the deck and keep it. When they spend it, they simply discard it. The player can even choose to use that card INSTEAD of drawing one extra when activating their level 3 ability.