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INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E $16.50
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INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
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INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Brian R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/02/2021 10:12:21

There's not enough good things to say about this book. The cost is low. The book is intuative. Most of all, the author is an amazing teacher. He's summarized everything about gaming into one book. Must have for any library, no matter what system you play.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Vicky R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/06/2020 23:09:30

This is a must buy for any RPG enthusiast. It has been said before in the previous reviews but this book is worth its weight in gold!. So concise and directly to the point. This book is jam packed full of solid advice and inspiration. If you are on the fence about purchasing this product, allow me to shove you over to the "BUY IT" side.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/01/2020 00:19:08

This book is awesome. It really gives a fresh perspective on DND with fast moving rules and advice on how to run games



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/22/2020 19:06:02

The book is excellent. I bought the print and pdf of this and both ICRPG Worlds and Magic. However I never got the physical book of the ICRPG Core. I ordered it on May 19 and just got the box today. It was empty. Great book but I don't know if I'll buy from drivethru again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Brian R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/12/2020 14:29:19

This is a shortened version of a review from my website "Welcome to the Deathtrap." Read a more detailed edit here: https://deathtrap-games.blogspot.com/2020/06/game-review-index-card-rpg-core-2e.html

Index Card RPG Core 2e (ICRPG) is the brainchild of Hankerin Ferinale of RUNEHAMMER, 5e Hardcore Mode. I am currently about 30 adventures into a home ICRPG campaign that has spanned everything from dungeon crawling to adventures inspired by Heart of Darkness to Game of Thrones style intrigue. It is one of my two go-to games.

What I Loved

Pirates from All the Best ICRPG is effectively a massive conglomeration of many of the most interesting ideas from the DIY RPG, GLOG, and Indie developer communities, with a heavy dose of ideas pillaged from video games crammed into one D&D game to create something slick, streamlined and fun to play. The most audacious thing ICRPG does is to take D&D5e and just keep throwing ideas at it until it is something totally unique.

Some of my favourite features include: Set target numbers by room or encounter. Expressing Attributes as bonuses, rather than the 3-18 stat. Compressing hit points and hit dice into easily tracked "Hearts". Using Zone Distances for both Theatre of the Mind and Minis. Let the Shield be Shattered. Slotted Encumbrance. Spellcasting Rolls. Universal Weapon Damage Dice. A Hero Point System. Using a single, universal EASY or HARD task modifier. Levelless one-line spells. No Skill System *Keeping in a turn structure even during downtime.

And that is just a surface list.

Easy Adaptation In many ways, ICRPG is its own thing. It has been hacked and modified to the point of being unrecognizable as D&D… at least to the point that the OGL is concerned. But it still has d20 at the core of its DNA. Adapting existing D&D material is as easy as using a monster's AC for a room's target and giving it a HEART of health for every Hit Die for older editions of D&D or every 50 hit points it has for 3rd edition or later versions. Saving Throws are just attribute tests agsinst the target, and all distances can be rendered as CLOSE, NEAR, or FAR.

Characters in ICRPG feel about as tough as a 3rd to 6th level D&D characters once they have collected some loot, and can handle most low-to-mid-level adventures designed for a D&D compatible game.

Future-Proof Hankerin Ferinale has made a commitment to ensuring that ICRPG is future-proofed for his buyers. Any time a revision of the ICRPG Core book is made, it is put up online at DrivethruRPG for download for anyone who has purchased it. When 2e was released, digital copies were sent to all purchasers of The original ICRPG Core. Hankerin has committed to following this pattern should an ICRPG Core 3e be issued, he will made available for free to current purchasers.

Setting Agnostic ICRPG Core 2e provides two detailed settings: Alfheim, a very Appendix-N influenced Sword and Sorcery setting; and Warp Shell, a space opera setting that reminds me a great deal of the TV series Andromeda.

However, the manual also includes adventures in the vein of Call of Cthulhu and Mechwarrior for use with the system. Stone Age and Weird West settings are available in sourcebooks as well.

Given the simplicity of the character class and "bioform" (race) mechanics, creating a new setting for ICRPG can take very little effort.

DM Advice Possibly the best part of the ICRPG Core 2e book is the GM Section. It includes hands-down some of the best tools for adventure and encounter design I have ever had the pleasure of reading.

The GM section starts with a pledge that describes the sort of mindset that makes for a fun and engaging game. From there, Hankerin shows off his astounding gift for systematizing the best practices into step-by-step tools. These tools include:

Techniques for creating clear and simple adventure structure. The Three T's of designing exciting encounters. The three D's of creating and adjusting encounter difficulty. Setting priorities when planning a session. When and how to end sessions. Dealing with players getting frustrated over bad dice rolls. The DEW system for making locations memorable. The 10 Archetypal dungeon rooms used in most D&D adventures with tips. *A simple card-based adventure design tool.

(Nearly) Levelless Beyond the standard six ability scores, four effort scores, and an unarmoured AC, characters each have one Heart (10) of Hit Points. All other character abilities are defined by the loot they equip in their 10 active item slots. Spells come from spellbooks, archetypal feats like picking locks or sneaking can be done by anyone, but gear like high-quality lockpicks or a thief's cloak make your character better at it.

This means that characters don't level up in a meaningful way, but rather find or create equipment that enhances the abilities they want to use. A character who wants to be a master swordsman might receive a belt symbolizing their years of training that gives a high bonus on sword attacks. A character that wants to get tougher might make a suit of survival gear that grants a bonus on Constitution-based checks. This system encourages PCs to evolve by customizing and caring for gear that symbolizes their profession.

It encourages a radical shift in play style from level-obsessed D&D.

Lots of Extras ICRPG Core 2e comes with a hell of a lot more than a book. It includes several variant character sheets, templates for papercraft minis, zip files full of assets to upload to a virtual tabletop, and a mobile-friendly version of the rulebook. The manual itself includes two settings and six fully developed adventures.

The Art Hankerin Ferinale's art has become iconic in papercraft and DIY D&D communities. His black and-white and two-tone art style had a sketchy, comic-bookish style that makes it clear it is a one man DIY project, and conveys incredible imaginative energy at the same time.

Growth Points

Almost Classless ICRPG manages to effectively do away with level, but holds on to classes in a very strange manner. Classes in ICRPG are defined by one starting piece of loot, a list of recommended gear, and then a series of six "Milestones." The milestones are a list of gear that should be rewarded to a character as they attain goals and that will complement the role they have chosen. They are in no particular order, and only have a little synergy with one another. Many are single- or limited- use items. Building a custom class is as simple as making a list of seven magic items and deciding which one a PC gets first.

Given the simplicity of the system, and how little impact it has, I wonder why it is even in the game. It would have been just as easy to include a set of recommended granted rewards for each character archetype in the GM section, and added an "ideal for…" description in each starting loot entry. Certain Important Rules are Hidden There are a few absolutely critical rules… like how many Equipped treasures a PC may have at once, and how Wisdom Powers break that rule, is listed in obscure, skippable places in the book. Vehicle rules show up in an adventure, as another example. Making sure every major rule is overt and indexed would be a massive improvement.

Gaminess ICRPG deploys a lot of video game tropes as part of its design: random loot boxes dropped by enemies, tracking health with hearts, foid-as-healing, and a constant game of comparing gear and selecting the right combos. These can draw attention to the fact that you are playing a game, and have an effect on immersion and the intensity of the simulated experience. I find myself frequently re-rolling loot rolls because I cannot bring myself to have my PCs find edible magic food in ancient ruins,

Confusion in Product Names Index Card RPG Core 2e is a completely self-contained game that evolved put of Hanketin Furnale's attempts to hack and simplify the DMing process. This started in part with creating a system of dungeon design using illustrated index cards, also called "Index Card RPG:" If you want this game, be sure you are buying the right product.

Conclusion

Index Card RPG Core 2e is a fast, innovative, and incredibly fun take on Dungeons and Dragons with so many clever rules hacks that you can no longer see D&D5e under all of the mods. It is faster, lighter, and often more engaging than vanilla D&D.

Even if you did not want to play ICRPG itself, the DM advice and tools are so helpful it is worth every penny. And because these rules are all hacks originally applied to D&D almost any of them can be pulled out again and applied to the RPG of your choice.

I personally put my money where my mouth was with this game: I bought a copy for every member of my gaming group.

Special Thanks to J. Henning for pointing out my typos.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Vincent H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/11/2020 23:13:53

The Game itself and the pdfs are fantastic, but sadly the pod was not put together well. I ordered the softcover version but they clearly used the hardcover template for it, making the cover image uncentered and cut through at the border. I also had a random page in the book for which the border was white rather than black. I had to color it myself. All in all, fantastic product by Runehammer but very disappointing product by drive thru considering it cost me around 60 CAD. I'm now uncertain as if I will order the ICRPG worlds and magic expasnsions because I'm afraid the POD will be overpriced and not put together well.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Clint H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/10/2020 18:01:17

I purchased this a year ago as a graduation gift to myself, and this book is literally worth its weight in gold (I mean it. I purchased the hard copy). I originally found out about this system when I was watching Professor Dungeon Master on his Youtube channel Dungeon Craft and he mentioned something out of this book, like the target numbers or other (eventually the Professor started to have multiple videos where ICRPG was referenced). The more I found out about this system and the author's philosophies on RPG's the more I gravitated towards Runehammer's systems. I, like many others, got an actual introduction to D&D through 5e (prior I was a plebe who grew up thinking D&D was a social suicide device; what can I say it was the 90's and 2000's), and quickly landed the role of DM amongst my friends. I found that too much time was being wasted in combat that was bloated and that could slog on for hours, rulebook lawyering, and trying to create challenging scenarios for suped-up PC's under vanilla 5e. I just felt like there was something out there that could bring the joy of playing and make life easier for the DM (which helps keep the game going), while still giving the players that challenge and great excitement of playing (which is also necessary to keep the game going). I found that missing something in Runehammer's Index Card RPG.

Essentially this book, whether you use its systems or not, breaks the shackles of what is possible when DM'ing. The GM section alone is worth the price of admission, yet it comes back at you with an overwhelming wealth of content, especially with the added digital art work of the index cards themselves that you can print (which his method of using those cards to create stories is ingenious and works very well win my games). The lighthearted tone and pure love for the hobby felt in the writing makes this an excellent read that is full of vibrance.

Do yourself a favor and purchase this book. Even if you can't ditch your 5e or Pathfinder game (by your choice or your players), this book will make your life easier and fill you with vigor to go out there and "be a beacon of camaraderie" and "a terror to behold" as your players laugh and quiver with the experiences this book will help you create, as it sharpens and hones your skills as a game master.

P.S.- Runehammer's online community is great for generating/borrowing ideas from like-minded DM's and players. The one negative I need to address in this book, is the fact that the hardcover for Core 2e does not come in white and red like Core 1e. Obviously personal preference with how the book looks on the shelf. I just think it stands out more and looks cooler than the black. Yeah, that is my only problem with this book. I hope this helps convince at least one person to make a great decision and throw your wallet at this guy.

P.P.S- Why did it take me over a year to think of coming on here and writing this? So ungrateful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Nicolas L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/03/2020 11:57:34

Excellent condition, although I have yet to actually read it, I look forward to doing so--given how much I am impressed with its presentation and format. With just the basic review of it, it is quickly apparent that it's worth having for any DM/GM's or RPG collector's library.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Heart o. t. G. V. H. C. P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/09/2020 15:55:06

I got into this game about a year ago because it seemed really cool and after watching the author's youtube channel I was sold that this would be a great source for making some of my own modifications to how I run my D&D fifth edtion games. I was right, this book is packed full of inspiration, the art work is wonderful, the loot tables are all easily transferable to D&D fifth edition and if nothing else run this as is. Its such an easy system to get someone who is new to role playing games in.

I feel like what I have used the most is no matter what type of time, exploraton, role play or combat the group is in at a given moment I alway just go around the table and ask each player what they are doing giving them all time to shine but always keeping the game moving. The other thing is the tables for loot have been very inspiring in creating my own going forward.

The other hight points are the removal of the larger numbers only focusing on the modifers, the tips on using timers, setting a flat DC for an encounter and the inspiration that can be drawn from the setting previews in this book. Not to mention that this game system has material for a Sci fi game and Fantasy game.

In short if this becomes something that we can sell in our store I would stock this product in a Heart beat, until then I'll just continue to speak the world of it and direct players and GM's alike to grab it here on Drive Thru RPG.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Erik S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/22/2019 02:12:32

I had high hopes for this game, but the rulebook surpassed my expectations by miles! The style of writing is brilliant! It invoces a real kick-in-the-dooor and "let's play this mess" feel! The rules are simple but feel complete, the examples in the book are clearly illustrated with extremely colourful black-and-white drawings and so far I have loved reading every sentence. It's a stand alone game, but so many of it's rules can be used and integrated into other RPG's that I have no other choice but to recommend this product to every GM. 10/10 chocolate chip cookies from me!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Gregory L J. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/25/2019 00:48:06

What a breath of fresh air...great system! It takes five to ten minutes for players to create a character with....well...character!! Games all of a sudden became more descriptive and roleplaying increased, along with a sense of danger. The reduction in complexity somehow allowed us all, DM and players, to free up from mechanics and PLAY!

Two sessions played so far, with four 40+ year DnD Veterans, and two less than a year experience, and ALL loved the sessions and are asking for more.

Simple and public target numbers really do catch players attention when they enter a new area and the target goes up. They know it just got tougher and more dangerous. Creative timers, interspersed with effort, made our table more exciting and no one has needed to look up a rule for eight hours of play. Prep time is more creative and ideas flow because there is less restriction. I could go on and on...

Simply put, this system makes it fun to ROLEPLAY with excitement, danger, drama, and also story. GET THIS GAME!

Thanks, Hankerin!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2019 00:58:59

I really did love this book, the system, and the art used. It is the best system for pick up games, bar none, in my oppinion. I have had a lot of great experiances with it as one shots, and it has some of the best advice for writting scenatios and adventures of any book I have read.

It doesn't hold your hand and talk down to you as a GM, but at the same time it does a good job of making sure no one is left behind. I love the use of timers in order to up tennsion of the game, and I think more games should include that.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Nicholas E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/01/2019 11:44:39

Ol' Hankerin has created a masterpiece. The rules are simple to grasp, and very clearly state that if a situation isn't covered by the rules, the best thing you can do is be honest with the players and do whatever comes across as the most fun for the table. The system of a class being based of loot instead of inane abilities means that you can drastically change your play style on the fly with the right gear, or really terrify those players as a DM when they get captured and their stuff is taken. The challenge rating applying to a room as a whole allows the DM more freedom to think on the fly and run a fluid game, rather than suddenly having to pull an arbitrary difficulty number for an unexpected challenge.

I also own the Worlds book, as well as the cards volumes 1-3. The art style is both wonderful and whimsical, and comes across as nothing short of unique and fun. No other RPG to my knowledge is going to have an art style that feels as aesthetically pleasing as an inked noir comic. The worlds book is filled with interesting content, campaigns and ideas. There are also classes specifically tailored to those worlds! (Looking at you Ghost Mountain!)

In short, I cannot recommend this system enough. If you feel bogged down by prior systems being too heavy on specific rules for situations that may never happen (GURPS 4e), or feel that your combat system doesn't strike the fear of death into the hearts of your players (D&D 5e), then ICRPG 2nd edition will be a breath of fresh air into you. No longer will you need to sit there wondering if it really matters that Orc #4 has 18 hit points as opposed to the others at 15. When your players are fighting 1 heart monsters, and that bad mamma-jamma shows up with 2 hearts, your players will know things just got real.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Matt Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/24/2019 19:11:11

All-around excellence! A clever and streamlined system that manages to be rules-lite without sacrificing important fundamental concepts. Great fun. Thank you!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
INDEX CARD RPG Core 2E
Publisher: RUNEHAMMER GAMES
by Mark E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/17/2019 14:56:44

This is the system that truly made RPGs fun and exciting again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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