I have to agree with Pandora. If you want to encourage public RP you also have to have good place code to make it manageable.
Players will zerg rush any public scene that get above 3 people so you have to have the ability to handle that expansion of people that allows the scene to incorporate the new people without totally crushing the scene the initial folks were having. Plus places cuts down on the spam from large scenes which is a lot of the issue with large scenes to begin with.
Current plan is still to do cards. I'm trying to use Scrivner to organize everything. Turns out when you're trying to organize a shit-ton of fucking decks, combined with hundreds of cards, Google Docs isn't adequate.
But I've thought of ways to simplify card making, since I'm no longer doing a distribution model.
I have, however, decided that I'm most likely doing to use something similar to the +cookie system that people are familiar with, to chart progress in a fair way. Which means that everyone gets cards and such when they hit a particular milestone, and it's not just staff arbitrarily deciding when you can have something.
Which means that despite not really doing a traditional progression system, Krillin can still end up the savior of the universe, which is the most important part of my vision.
Addendum: I intend to make my card thing open source, just as an FYI, so that people can do whatever with it.
I have thought about trying to use something similar to Mystic Empyrean as a system in a MU*. It uses 7 elements as skills - fire, light, lightning, water, earth, shadow, and air in a wheel. Characters are ranked in each element and has a deck of cards consisting of these skills, so if you have a fire of 4, your deck will have four fire cards. When you want to perform an action you draw a card from the deck. If the element drawn matches the element of the action (fighting physically requires fire, for instance), it succeeds better than expected. If the element drawn is one step away, it succeeds normally. If it's two steps away, it succeeds but only if it's not being opposed or difficult. If it's three steps away, it's a failure.
I want to use the system in a game where the PCs are spirits and gods. It encourages specialization in certain areas, so a spirits of fire and war is going to have a bunch of fire cards and some light and air cards, while trying to minimize other cards.
I like the mechanic to this system that Combat Skill determines dodge, and it's at a hard statistic. The author is right, this is very 'cinematic'. What could be interesting is reducing the Combat Skill by some increment when a certain 'fatigue' factor sets in, perhaps from repeatedly spreading out multiple attacks. Or, alternately, from taking damage - unless you want to use damage for another concept I dreamed up some time ago, a 'Danger' statistic, that increases a skill/etc. for the amount of health you've lost. If you use the Danger factor to counteract fatigue (with a non-positive, only counter-negative effect) you could actually weight the system properly.
My model I'm planning right now is have an entire theme type of NPCs controlled by administration to check the players and IC leadership. My example is a cops and robbers thing; the legitimate government is controlled by staff, and everyone else is involved in a criminal sphere. If I ever need to mitigate politics, one of my select few TP admins runs a cop plot to equalize play and return the ecosystem to harmony.
I'm still working out how many TP staffers I need (it'll be a slim couple), but I plan on recruiting them from a pool of players that manage to necessitate the TP admin drastically, and are willing OOC to take a graceful fall to return things to normalcy. Naturally, it'll be a rolodex, not an immediate recruitment, and there will be limitations to player bits once you've become a staffer.
So, for a vampire sphere game, maybe your political admin counterbalance could control Hunters?
Bloodshadows was the fantasy/horror/noir setting for West End Games' Masterbook system, created from the Torg system. Looks like they're not using the cards, but the basic game system was fast and simple to learn, and the Bloodshadows lore itself was fantastic.
Settles of Catan is showing its age. It's like craps only without the fun of the casino.
And, no, my friends and I don't fight when we play strategy games. We play every Thursday evening and one Saturday a month, playing Empires: Age of Discovery, Twilight Imperium 3, Power Grid, Dead of Winter, Eclipse, Caverna, etc. Everyone still seems to be going strong.
@SG While you just need a base skill as @faraday mentioned, 'command', you can add a modifier to the npc or player rolling for the duration of the combat when prepping combat to represent things like better training (or just higher morale for good rp/William Wallace speech pre-engagement). Glad it's working for you.