Hello All! Today marks the one week deadline for the Carta Jam. If you are still interested to make a TTRPG for the jam, there may still be time to join in. If you want to more know about Carta in general, I detailed the basics of the Carta SRD engine in the previous post that you can find here.

As promised, I am going to look at several more submissions in detail. Both of them are on the longer side because they utilize the Carta mechanics in interesting ways to stretch the deck of cards beyond the standard Carta 4×6 board. Both of them also have interesting themes that I think would be interesting to a wider audience then the previous games I detailed.

In any case, let us begin…

La Bête: A Solo Game by Merlin Magraw

In La Bête, you are a “Monster.” You might have been born that way or you might have been transformed at some point, willing or otherwise. Either way, The Guard is coming to end you. How you survive the fear of humanity is up to you.

In a game inspired by stories of werewolves, vampires, and similar creatures of myth, the Character is a being that is not quite human. La Bête uses one or two decks of standard playing cards, a d10, a character marker, and journaling materials. There are four statistics to track in this game: Power, Allies, Control, and HP. Like most Carta Games, these go up and down based on random events or rules explained below.

A bust sketch of a green and blue human like lizard
Your “monster” doesn’t need to be traditional! (Art by Hessan Yongdi)

You have the ability to appear human or transform into the monster. This is represented in the mechanics of the game by having two separate game boards of either 24 or 50 cards (4×6 or 5×10) that you switch back and forth between. Your Control statistic is what marks when you switch from one board to the other.

Starting on the Survival Spread, you play the Character in disguise or hiding. When moving on the Survival Spread, you slowly lose control until you hit zero and transform into the monster. The Collection Spread is where you play the Monster stalking in your territory. On the Collection Spread, you slowly gain Control until you hit the max value and transform back into your disguised form.

The Power and Allies are gathered resources are used to engage in fights or to meet certain requirements on certain Goal Cards. In “boss fights” you engage in combat using your resources and the d10 until either you decide to flee or your or the boss’s HP hits zero. You can choose to either have the Character hitting zero be the end-game or they wake up at the lair. The win state for this game is you defeat the boss on a Collection Spread’s Goal Card and reach a Goal Card on the Survival Spread when you meet the requirements.

Unlike in a lot of other Carta games I have looked at so far, the dice in La Bête have a much bigger role on determining the stat results of the card prompts in addition to their role as a RNG for combat. Switching back and forth between the two boards is also an interesting concept for a Carta game. Overall, if you like Grimm fairy tales or stories of near-human monsters would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

You can find La Bête: A Solo Game on its itch.io page.

De Deorum Elementa by Sepia Mage

In De Deorum Elementa, the player takes the role of one of a group of elemental deities competing for influence over a world. The events on the cards build the history of the world and change the levels influence the elements and Chaos have in the world. Your element’s Influence can be used to change the interpretation of card prompts in a more positive or negative fashion in order to change the results of a card. This is important because if any one element gains too much influence, it can end the world early!

The game goes through three rounds of play with each round representing an age in the world. The typical play board is a 4×4 map representing a part of the world, though there are alternative versions that use a 3×6 Mercator-like projection of the world or a “planet & moon” arrangement. Each era’s map stacks on top of the previous one, as the past never truly goes away. The game also requires some indicator for the influence of the various forces, a d6 for some additional elements of randomness, and journaling materials.

One part of De Deorum Elementa that I found interesting was the suggestions for alternative play at the end. Many of these do not necessarily change the rules of the game, but rather could drastically change the interpretation of the events or allow for a change of genre from the originally designed fantasy setting. I could also see this game working in a multiplayer session with some modifications.

In any case, this could be an interesting way to world build past eras of a world, especially for a revitalized post-apocalyptic setting like Numenera or creating myths of past ages like the history of Tolkien’s Arda as explored in The Silmarillion.

You can find De Deorum Elementa on its itch.io page here!

Other Games

Unfortunately, there are just too many games for me to talk about all of them in such detail here. Instead, I have a comprehensive list of all the other games that were posted at the time of writing.

  • Necromance by Kestrel Rae
    • A witch tries to revive their deceased lover, exploring the forest where they live to gather the resources for a necromantic ritual.
  • Black Box by the instagrahame
    • A simulation of a black box hacking attack.
  • The Witch’s Almanac by cryss
    • A witch needs to find the component for their potion before the Pink Moon sets.
  • Sovereign Slayer Solitaire by Gaét Hoth
    • Available in English and French, explore a dungeon to find and assassinate the 4 kings.
  • Its in the Vents! by biggayuniverse
    • An Alien-inspired thriller, find the ship’s cat and escape the ship before the alien predator turns you into a space-liner food.
  • Into the Glacier by Peach Garden Games
    • You need to trespass into the inhospitable Winter. Try to survive the Glacier.
  • SUBMERGED by Dice Ghost and Peter Graham
    • Explore under the waves in your submersible in one of four scenarios.
  • Borealis by stuartlangridge
    • Try to survive the Great White North and you hunt for the legendary shrine for the gods of winter.
  • The Winding Journey by ArcturusAstriv
    • A young druid goes on a journey of growth in search of their potential mentor, the mystic Eraina.
  • Dredge by scyllallycs
    • A lonely ship captain, you find yourself dredging the bottom of an eldrich lake.
  • Bartell by Solo RPG Voyager
    • Explore an abandoned Multi-User Dungeon (MUD)
  • Follow Me in the Night; A Cursed Radio by The Dice
    • “A solitary game of self-exploration, magic, music and pain.”
  • Net Runner by D3B4G
    • Be a mercenary Network Hacker taking part in digital warfare on a dystopian Internet.
  • 80′ – the Eightieth Minute by Arvi
    • Coming into the final minutes of a football (soccer) game, it is still up for grabs.
  • Carta-Mancy by La Taverne de Babel
    • Use your cards to build-a-dungeon!
  • Gravecard DeLuxe Edition by Javier M. Vadillo of Maleventum Games
    • Available in Spanish and English, create stories by exploring a cemetery.
  • Fata Dira: Dawn of a New Day by Z.R. Capell
    • Inspired by the plot of Majora’s Mask, you explore and try to help a community on the brink of an apocalypse.
  • Theme Park After Dark by Ziva McPherson
    • A multiplayer variation on the Carta SRD system, you design a theme park and then sneak into it at night to find some things you lost when you visited.

The links to all of these games and any other submissions that have been made can be found at the Carta Jam entry page.

Now that I am finished with this, I seriously need to consider making my own submission. Maybe I have finally found an outlet for my obsession with Kim Jeong-ho’s cartographic achievements. ^_^;

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