"You have to play with the hand life deals you." Yes, but also no. You can always call a mulligan and ask for another hand (ok, not -always-, but sometimes). And that's what Smoke & Mirrors Games is doing with their card-based, fantasy RPG, Cartomancy. They've relaunched their Kickstarter campaign and hoping that this second deal is the one that scores for them.
From the campaign:
This is a little game that brings big action using cards. Traditional RPGs are concerned with simulation - whole pages devoted to variations on polearms or travel distances for unladen dwarves in swamps. Cartomancy doesn’t care about that. A halberd and a disintegrator beam can use the same rules as long as they play the same part in the story. Indi RPGs are often concerned with putting rules to narrative. Cartomancy knows that sort of design can trap you into playing one type of story. The system cares about making a fun game that can represent whatever story you want to tell.
Cartomancy will be a digest-sized black and white book accompanied by playing cards. The game can be played using any poker deck but these cards are designed to set your imagination free from whatever preconceived worlds you may have had in mind. If you want to play in a fairly standard fantasy or science fiction setting you can--but you can also play through political conflict in the heart of an ant colony or travel with psychic velociraptor pilgrims (and without much more GM work than modifying hit dice and special templates in rules-heavy systems).
The campaign's a bit more than halfway to their goal with 19 days left to go.