Dark Maria System
The past playtests have revealed a *central difficulty& in the current Muckraker systems. Tarot cards are so diverse that it’s hard to utilize them and still have a GM-created scenario. Thus now two versions of Muckraker are being tested. One leans all into Tarot cards and is a no-preptime game. Furthermore the players, not the GM, create the initial scenario. Then each scene is set my a player by drawing a tarot card. The GM holds a hand of evidence cards and a hand of plot twist cards. Thus both players and the GM have powerful ways to decide where the story goes. This version of the game uses a very simple dice system when needed, and retains the memory system that has proved to be the most liked part of the game.
Currently just a three-page set of core rules exists. If playtests prove this to be promising, then a longer book with recomended plot twists for each tarot card will be created.
The other version of Martian Muckraker, in favor of a more traditional GM / player dynamic uses a system called Dark Maria. In many card games the Queen of Spades, the Dark Maria, is the most influential card. In this system characters have to draw a card from the crime deck whenver they do a skill role or pay insight points to see extra detail around evidence. If the Queen of Spades is drawn the Mastermind is able to execute a shocking and terrible crime. Lesser crimes are comitted when Jokers are drawn. Either way the players will want to choose when to use their skills or insight points carefully in hopes that they can crack the case before too many crimes are comitted! The rules for Dark Maria run about 28 pages - largely because of chapters on power ups characters can buy in the form of Martian Tech, Mutations and Creatures. The core rules themselves are very simple and easy to remember.
Constructive feedback always welcome!
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