I'm cross-posting this from Geek-Do (with a few edits):
Some people like GM's screens, but I find them obstructive. Cards are a much better way for me to find what I need and still be able to see my players.
So what has my GM's screen become now that it's on cards? Am I playing a card game yet? Maybe. But I'm still just roleplaying. The cards aren't forcing me to change anything about the story.
What if I want to use both sides of the cards? It seems like an awful lot of wasted space to just use one side. What can I put on the back sides?
Well, the problem is that if I put information on the back of a card I'm using the front of, it's not very convenient at all. So I kinda need to put something on the back that I'm only going to use once in a while -- or when I'm not using whatever's on the front of the card.
Hey, you know what would be a cool way to make use of both sides? You could have two different 'modes' to be in -- like, you could be aggressive, or you could be more laid back. When you want to change your mode, you just flip the card over.
It's a little card-game mechanic (flip a card over) used for roleplaying. Do you think that makes it a card game, or a board game? Is it a hybrid?
I'm still just roleplaying. The cards don't dictate my actions to me -- I use them as I would use any skill or talent. Except now I have two ways to use each of my abilities.
Once you've got this cards-helping-the-game idea in mind, you're going to look for ways to expand on it. Using larger cards to place your little cards on might be a neat way to organize things, so that all of your fighty actions are over in one corner and your social actions are in another. Just for convenience. (And maybe we can come up with some interesting ways to make use of where we place our cards. That gives us a third function from the cards, if we want it.)
So what's happened to my GM's screen? Heck, I've got half a new game worked out just because I decided to put things on cards. And it's still just an RPG. The cards aren't telling me what to do; I'm the one choosing how to use the abilites described on them.
Comments most welcome.