Got pitched a project where we need to make a trading card game to promote a clients project. I don't have any brilliant ideas for rules, but was pondering if any "open-source" rulesets existed, or if its possible to purchase a licence to use some ruleset somewhere.

I noticed that Shadow Era are using the exact same rules and card structure as the World of Warcraft TCG, and was wondering if that was open, or just a "ballsey move" from Shadow Era's side.

It's gonna be a duelling TCG, but we are throwing a steampunk setting in the mix, to seperate it from the fantasy brands.

It's ofcourse sad that we don't have the time to come up with our own original and thrilling card game structure, but the hours we would have to put into making such a system is simply way out of our budget.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Making up your own rules is less difficult than testing the balance of the cards themselves. If you don't have the time to make up a game framework, do you really have the time to balance the game? If not, you will be releasing a broken game. And TCGs/CCGs are expensive to produce. My advice would be to nix the trading aspect. Stick with standardized decks that can't have cards traded between them. These kinds of card games are easier and cheaper. \$\endgroup\$
    – DampeS8N
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might be right... Do you know of any open card duel rulesets then ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Nils Munch
    Commented Mar 7, 2012 at 13:46

1 Answer 1


Using another card games rules is kind of a tricky thing to do as you may have the rules but since you would be using your own info/stats/etc on the cards, the rules or cards would have to be adjusted (over and over) to fit your needs. Which could go waay beyond your projects scope. Some searching online doesn't really offer much in terms of public domain or open tcg rules so your best bet would be to spend some time learning multiple card games rules and taking notes from them. There are a good handful of rules that pretty much span across all card games that you could use as a 'skeleton' for yours.

Licensing the rules from another company could be an option but to find the right company for the right price would probably take a long time and could turn out to be a problem down the road when you want to change things.


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