Dane Asmund’s Zoetrope mixed some of the conventions of a card game with tabletop roleplaying. The project is up on Kickstarter, asking for $2,000 and at the time of writing there are three weeks still to go, and he’s raised nearly $1,200. It looks like there is still everything to play for.
Can’t get your head around the concept? That might be why there’s an 11-minute pitch video that shows how the game works. You can follow the campaign’s progress from their page.
In essence, the cards act as prompts as to what is going on in the game. Combine those prompts with an experienced GM, a Story Leader as Zoetrope calls the role, and you have got an RPG that doesn’t need much set up. You can dig into it as you might a card game you’ve just taken out from the game shelf.
The time travel aspect is a good fit with how cards come and go from the table and allows for the ‘time as a river’ visual.
A pledge of $30 gets you the game in paper. There’s no PDF option to go cheaper and international shipping might be more expensive than you’re expecting because this project can’t be described as ‘books’ for customs.
A popular pledge tier is $60 which gets you the Kickstarter exclusive expansion as well as designing your very own card for a second, also exclusive, expansion.
Here’s a close up of some the cards. As Dane explains in the video, he’s done this himself to keep costs down and get on with the project.
Zoetrope describes itself as a card-based TTRPG made for one-shots. That’s right. I don’t see why you’d need to go with cards if you had the time to do a campaign. I’d add that it will require a group with some experience, as most one-shots do, as the Story Leader will need to be able to handle the pacing themselves and players ready to improvise their actions with card plays.