Basic Mechanics for Work the Line

Here's some basic ideas for Work the Line.

Play should be relatively simple and hopefully portable. No dice. Two decks of Game Cards and a deck of regular playing cards, and a few coins. Easily remembered rules, perhaps with a reminder card or two.

So people can play whenever or wherever, even in (say) a restaurant.

What do you think?


Clubs: +Prestige -Exhaustion

Diamonds: +Money -Respect

Hearts: +Respect -Prestige

Spades: +Exhaustion -Money

Each player draws 10 cards.

Flip a card off the deck face up.

Each player must play a card of the same suit or a cards totaling a higher amount (aces equal 1).

The player that plays the last card (or the first king played) gains and loses Stats as shown above. Exhaustion and Respect affect only the player, while Money and Prestige affect the whole Restaurant.

A player who ends the hand with a face card or ace gains the benefit but takes no penalty from the hand.

Each player who has cards left in his or her hand must reveal that hand and determine which suit he has the most of. He flips a coin. On a result of tails, he loses a point from that suit.

The rank of the top card at the end of a hand must equal or exceed the difficulty of the meal. On a success the restaurant gains Money, but on failure they lose Prestige.

Players get game cards (not playing cards, special cards yet to be designed for the game) to create events and change things in a hand. They also get abilities to use during a hand. In addition, each position in the Kitchen has a

different special ability.

If Prestige gets too low, the PCs get "visits" from musclemen to "encourage" them to work harder.

At the end of each session, subtract (undetermined) Money from the Restaurant's pool of Money. This is the Family's cut. The rest (if any) is split by the PCs. This is used to pay off debt or otherwise work towards the Character's goals.

If Respect gets too low, there might be an argument or fight. If Exhaustion gets too low, the PC either Faints, Gets Sick, or Snaps. If Respect gets high enough he can gain more abilities. If Prestige gets high enough, all the players get more Game Cards.

The "GM-Figure" is The Don. He gets his own deck of Game Cards.

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