The Short Order Heroes cards have me brimming with game ideas!  SOH is a 90-card deck (+3 expansions) intended for storytelling or roleplaying games.  On each card, the adjectives and art provide inspiration for characterization or new material, and the number provides a handle for comparisons (yes/no, win/lose, etc.).  I could see adding this to many of my favorite RPGs in different ways, and possibly making a brand new game by adding them up:

Swords Without Master's binary tone -- "Grim/Jovial" -- could be replaced with any two cards' adjectives.  These could be chosen to represent a vision for the tone of the game, or picked randomly to inspire one.  Suppose you draw Wise and Unnerving -- what kind of story does that imply to you?  I think "paranormal detective story -- creepy phenomena occur, special experts deal with them, and the story ebbs and flows between (1) Here's more scary stuff and (2) Here's insight pointing to solutions".  

Ties on a card draws during play could flip between Wise and Unnerving, as dice pairs flip between Grim and Jovial in SWM.

Once you know your genre, you can then draw SOH cards to describe a cast of characters.  Plop a handful down on the table, and see which ones grab people.  Add more cards (by luck or choice) to the front-running characters to flesh them out.  Once you have a cast that suits your genre, pick individual player characters from it.  I've doen this before with index cards, and it was fun -- with SOH, I bet it'd be even more so.

In Sideload, characters are given mini-decks, with number values representing potency and suits representing color.  How cool would it be to construct a character deck with Short Order Heroes cards?  If your character is already defined, pick cards 1-9 that suit your vision of what your character is good (9) and bad (1) at; otherwise, pick randomly and find out!  Then in play, manage your deck, spending your high cards when you want victory the most, and bluffing to waste your opponents' high cards when you are more content to fail.

To spice up resolution, I might do a 3-card comparison like in PIE.  For the first card played, high card narrates how the environment plays into the outcome, according to the nature of their card.  The second card does likewise, but coves opposition rather than environment; the third card covers the performance of the protagonist.  The sum of all 3 cards determines the protagonist's ultimate success.

Once a scene or conflict ends, some of the cards played might represent changes to the character, and could be taken into the player's hand, like in Triptych, where the GM lays out 3 cards in framing the scene.

Add it all up, and what do we have?

Draw two cards for genre and tones.  Draw 6 cards for possible characters.  Add a second card to the best 4 characters.  Match these 4 characters to players, and then construct 9-card mini-decks for each.  Frame scenes by laying out 3 cards.  Arbitrate conflicts by playing 3 cards from the mini-deck, with individual number comparisons determining color and the overall sums determining the winner.  Take new cards into your mini-deck to reflect the changes the scene produced.  I think the concepts and art on the Short Order Heroes cards, full of personality as they are, would make this a blast.
Calico Games
Calico Games
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