I agree with DeReel that the general flow of the document is pretty good. The complexity of the rules is also pretty solid (i.e. not too complex and not too light to be of any help) and most of the comments I have are nitpicks, really. I hope they are of som use despite that. Here’s what bugs me.
In Static Play you state first that “GM sets aside their hand, shuffles the deck and draws a number of cards equal to the value of the hazard”, which seems to indicate that GM’s 5+1 hand is put aside (deferred) and he constructs a new hand with N cards where N is the hazard level. But then your example states that “GM has set the Hazard (…) at a 4. The GM draws 5 cards from the GM deck and places them face down on the table”.
Why did he draw 5 cards if HL was 4? Where did the HL come from? The first part is probably a matter of a typo but the second one is something that should be explained before you get into the Static Play, right before the “Each type of Play represents a different type of situation” part. Some general guide for selecting the HL would make sense there (e.g.: Hazard is represented by a Hazard Level and Hazard Category. Selecting category is up to GMs discretion and Level depends on the Play resolution. For Static Play GM selects HL from X to Y based on ABC. For Contested Play HL is determined by the characteristics of the opposing NPC and his hand, and so on…).
Another part that’s missing from the description is that other than HL, GM sets the hazard type (or action type) upfront (at least for some types of the challenges). This can be drawn from examples and earlier suit description but I feel like this should be spelled out explicitly.
I’d also tighten up some of the terminology: there’s no need to talk about actions and Plays is you could establish early on that actions are known as Plays and that there are four categories of Plays that can be resolved in three ways. I know that this may be tricky and wording will have to be really carefully crafted so that you don’t use generic terms like “type” to denote both category and resolution, but it could be worth it. Alternatively you could make Action into a proper term that denotes the Category (suit). But either way explicit, unambiguous terms always help.
Another thing that’s not worded very well, IMO, is the fact that for Static Play, all of the cards drawn by GM count. You’re saying “cards spent by the GM need not be of the same house” but stronger wording would probably work better here: all of the cards revealed by the GM count, regardless of their suit. I would avoid using “cards spent” phrase here too, GM isn’t spending anything, the cards were drawn for this conflict alone.
In Contested Play “GM shuffles the GM deck and draws cards until their hand is full” and it’s not clear what this means. Earlier on you’ve stated that “GM draws 5 cards plus 1 (…) referred to as the GM hand” but not only is this “plus 1” not clear (why not just state that he draws 6?) but this Play description comes after Static Play where cards were drawn exclusively to resolve the conflict. So… is this the generic hand that he draws for until it’s full or is this something else? So far I’m not sure if there’s a need for persistent GM hand to be honest. Not from the statistics POV at least, there may be an emotional component that’s not clear until the game is played though.
The description of the Unopposed Play makes it sound pretty much like it’s a Static Play without consequences. Which is fine, but example given (stand on a horse) isn’t really something that has no consequences. If you wall, there’s damage to be had. How is this different from the disarm example from Static Play (other than damage done by an explosion is probably greater than falling face first from a horse)?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that Unopposed Play could be represented as a low HL Static Play and I don’t think that would be that big of a change.
I should also mention that the part where “player places their hand down in front of them” is once again confusing. Is this just a matter of setting permanent hand aside like what GM does in Static Play? Or am I reading this wrong?
I’ve also noticed that it’s not clear whether I can indefinitely draw and burn during Play. Your state that “At any point a player can choose to burn cards from their hand” which I would exploit to that end. I’d clarify on the matter to close this loophole.
Also it’s probably good to stick to either Hazard Value or Hazard Level and not mix them in the text.
I only skimmed through the rest of the document but I’ll make sure to get back to it tomorrow. HTH!