I've done a few tests of the mano a mano system, and it looks too quick for me. I do like the basic system. It is pretty easy to follow. I think the trick is to allow some means of overcoming the instant loss. One option is to use bonus draws as a mechanism. Now either the player already has some bonus draws (in which case that needs to be explained) or the player can purchase them somehow. One thought is to allow the PC to use a bonus draw, but suffer some sort of penalty later; for example a persistent wound. A wound would cause a disadvantage in future draws (either granting two draws to an opponent, or two draws and take low card to player in challenges). One interesting option would be to make the new draw give the PC a disadvantage related to the card. So a Club draw is a physical wound, a Diamond Draw is a mental disadvantage (due to a concussion?), A Heart draw (some kind of emotional disadvantage... fear/anger?) and a Spade draw some kind of background disadvantage (perhaps an inability to recall things - concussion?). So a LOSS need not be a loss of the fight, but a loss of something. Of course, with a redraw one still might not win, but the odds go up considerably. With the Fray rules, from a story standpoint I am not worried, but from a game play standpoint I am. Players may not be thrilled that their characters have no impact during the combat round. One possibility would be that unopposed actions can happen. So if your plan doesn't get stopped you can do it... I need to think about this. On one hand the system should be very quick so we don't have a lot of waiting around to then be ineffective. On the other hand,it is possible that some players may not have any impact on a scene at all. Perhaps again, the buying into a scene with a disadvantage is the way to do this.