Additional Rules - Physical Challenge

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This is an additional set of rules for Dvorak that should be widely applicable. It is most suitable for games that involve some kind of physical conflict, such as:

  • War
  • Battle (including many kinds of fantasy and sci-fi)
  • Games that have characters, heroes, or units in them

It assumes that you have already read the rules and glossary for Dvorak. These rules add onto those rules, rather than replacing them (except that "Action: Effect" cards are replaced with something equivalent). Mostly it defines terms that can be used across multiple games. Note that games that do not claim to be using this ruleset may define the same terms in different ways.

These rules were not used by anyone as of the original time of writing, but they were created by surveying all the Dvorak CCG rulesets on the site which had more than 10 cards defined, and attempting to abstract out the common themes. Hopefully they should provide some common terminology for a subset of Dvorak games.

Using the rules with your game

To use these in your game:

  • Add the "additionalruleset = Physical Challenge" entry to your Infobox
  • It is assumed that you take one of the following two approaches:
    • By default, it is assumed that you accept all rules except those which you mention as exceptions in your rules
    • Alternatively, you can state at the top that you only accept certain parts of the rules, and the rest are irrelevant


Some of the actions and things below specify using an attribute. They will specify possible values (or just "numeric") for these attributes, and the default, which is what will be assumed if the attribute is omitted. Attributes will most likely appear something like:

Unique: Yes

Most games will define their own additional attributes.


There are multiple subtypes of "Thing".

  • Unit
  • Equipment
  • Location
  • Resource
  • Effect
  • Goal

Any more specific subtypes than these should either be expressed as subtypes (eg. "Thing - Unit - Hero"), or attributes, such as "Alignment" (covers holy/unholy, good/evil, benificial/malignant/neutral), "Natural terrain" (covers Aquatic/Aerial/External), Level (a numeric value), and the like.

Attributes for Things

  • Unique: This attribute means that only one of this type of card can be in play within the defined area at any given time. Possible values include:
    • No (this is the default, and means it's not unique)
    • All Zones (anywhere that is visible to all players)
    • All Player Zones (see "Zones", below)
    • Player Zone
    • Common Zone
    • Deck (there should only be one in the deck)
    • Hand (if you have multiples, discard -- this is not a recommended option, as it makes it easy for players to cheat)


Units generally represent self-aware entities, often with offensive and defensive capabilities. Subtypes might include Character, Hero, Animal, Vehicle, Plant, and the like.


Location has its own subtypes:

  • Terrain
  • Site
  • Construct (ie. Building, Mine, Ship)

In some games, Sites could be played on Terrain, and Constructs on Sites.


Equipment is generally played on a Unit or Terrain.

Equipment Attributes

  • Plays on: This attribute determines what other cards the equipment can be played on. Possible values include:
    • Unit (default) -- specific subtypes can be mentioned
    • Location -- specific subtypes can be mentioned

If you had other subtypes of "Thing", you could mention them here.


Depending on the game, these could be anything from gems/gold/silver/copper to flax/bricks/ore/lumber.


This is a thing that creates an effect. Some effects only become active when certain conditions are met.

Attributes for Effect

  • Aspect: this attribute determines whether an effect is ongoing, or requires some further player action. Possible values include:
    • Continual (default -- active until that card is taken out of play)
    • Action (requires use of an action to make the effect happen)

The "Aspect: Action" attribute on a "Thing - Effect" is the same as what the basic rules describe as an "Action: Effect" card.


When the goal conditions are met, the player wins the benefits stated on the card (point, money, the game, etc)


There are also multiple types of actions.

Attributes on Actions

Play time: This attribute determines when a card can be played. It may have multiple values, including:

  • In-turn (default): this is how one would normally expect an action to behave
  • Response: in response to another player playing another action or thing; the card should say which
  • Contingent: can be played without spending an action when the conditions are met. And example is the "Loot" card in the Chronogeddon CCG card set.


Play time: In-turn

This is a challenge from one player to another. This also has subtypes:

  • Test: a player would normally play these on himself, because successfully completing the Test will gain him additional cards
  • Trial: a player would normally play these on his opponent, because it delays the other player and could cause him to lose cards
  • Contest: a player would normally play this on his opponent, but there is risk involved for the player too -- one player wins, and one loses


Play time: In-turn


Play time: Response


Definition of Terms

These are hopefully in an order that will help make things make sense

Zone: The whole playing surface can be called the Zone.

Player Zone: The area specific to each player

Common Zone: The area common to all players

Possible elements of zones include:

  • Play area: This is where the cards that are currently "in play" are placed. These can be called "Player Play Area", and "Common Play Area", depending on which zone they're in
  • Pile: A pile of cards that is not part of the play area
    • Discard Pile: Where discarded cards are placed
    • Draw Pile: Where cards are to be drawn from
    • Stock Pile: There are often multiple piles. These could include the piles that you would buy cards from in a CCG-style game

Common Arrangements

  • Standard Dvorak game:
    • Player Zone
      • A play area
    • Common Zone
      • A draw pile
      • A discard pile which rolls over into the draw pile
  • Typical CCG-style:
    • Player Zone:
      • Draw pile
      • Discard pile which rolls over into the draw pile
    • Common Zone:
      • Stock piles

Some games have a common play area, either in addition to or instead of the individual player areas.

It can be useful to separate your play area into "Action" and "Thing" areas, so that at the end of your turn, you know which cards to discard (actions) and which to keep (things).