Got it under the wire, but I finished! It has been playtested in its rough form and hopefully I'll be able to squeeze out a quick hand or two before Sat. PDF to follow.
How to Play
Once the first Dealer has been determined, she then deals out 5 cards to each player and one for herself. She then sets the deck down and turns over one card. This is the Monster Card.
The Monster Card’s Suit determines its type, and the card’s value determines its HP and its final XP total. (Ace is one, all Face Cards are 11).
The first person to act is the player sitting immediately to the Dealer’s right. To hit the monster and reduce its HP by one, the player must play a card of the same suit of the Monster, but of Greater Value, OR any card of their Class Suit.
For Example: The Dealer draws a Monster Card of 8 Clubs. The first player to act is
John, who is a Thief. In his hand he has a 10 of Clubs and the 3 of Spades. He can play either to reduce the Monster’s HP from 8 to 7.
The next player to act is Susan, a Cleric. She can now defeat the Monster by playing a Heart, or any Club 7 or higher.
Players MUST play a card on their turn, and the play goes around until either the Monster’s XP is reduced to 0 (Players’ win), or all the players run out of cards (Monster wins).
Dealers may play Saving Cards at any time, but they are not forced to ‘act’.
If the Monster is defeated, the player who took the Monster’s final HP gets XP equal to the Monster’s original HP total. If the Monster wins, the Dealer get the XP.
Once the battle is done, the Monster card is placed in the Dungeon Discard pile. All other cards are collected by the next dealer, shuffled and dealt out for the next round. The Dungeon Discard pile represents the gradual attrition of resources suffered by all dungeon delvers.
The Monsters get Tougher, the Deeper you Delve
Once around the table, giving all players a chance to be dealer is called a ‘Level’. The first level, all monsters are dealt one Saving Card. On the second Level (when the player who was first Dealer is Dealer again), the Monster is dealt two Saving Cards. On the third Level they gain a third Saving Card, and so on. Saving Cards are not put on the Dungeon Discard pile.
Once a player has collected 20 or more XP, they gain an extra starting card in their Hand. You do not get to keep extra points, if you defeated/played a 10 XP monster and an 11XP monster (for a total of 21), the extra point is discarded.
Aces beat Face Cards, but do not beat number cards. This applies in all cases.
While Face cards all have an XP total of 11; Aces, Queens and Kings beat Jacks; Queens are beaten by Kings and Aces; and Kings are only beaten by Aces.
Ties go to the player acting that turn. When the player is ‘attacking’, they would win a tie, but if a Monster then plays a tied Saving Card that would then win.
So Who Won?
Games can continue as long as the players wish (eg, limits of 2 hours or up to six Levels, etc). Keep track of the players’ points collected through the game. The player with the highest point total wins.