Sunday, July 18, 2010

GM Helper Cards

A few weeks ago, I posted my Polyhedral Adventure Cards.  You can find that post here and you can find the cards on the side of this page if you'd like to download them.

At that time, a poster named "user@example.com" made a few suggestions and they got me thinking.  This new deck of cards is the result of that post.

Here are the cards:

They print four per Letter page, so they are a bit bigger than standard cards.  Some of the graphics got a little pixelated during the pdf render -- I'm sorry -- I can't figure out why that happens.  :(

Here's what all the areas are for:
  1. Random names -- as I said before, I know they are funky, but you can use them to give you ideas for NPC names and such.
  2. Last names -- I've always been fond of the "compound word" last name.  There are many on these cards.
  3. A place, An archetype and an NPC characteristic.
  4. A sound and a smell
  5. A geomorph.  Special thanks to RisusMonkey for giving me permission to use his geomorphs.  I also used a few from Dyson Logos.  He hasn't given me explicit permission (yet -- I sent him a note).  If he objects, I'll take this deck down and re-tool it.  
  6. A trap/trick and a "combat tactic" for NPCs or monsters to use.
  7. A magic item.  Here's a neat trick -- draw three cards and combine the three parts -- or use the item as written.  
  8. An "atmospheric suggestion" to add to your descriptions of places and events
  9. My adaption of Moldvay's "Monster Reactions" table (B24)
  10. Three pictures, so there's 3000 more words...
  11. A plot suggestion and a plot twist
  12. A magic spell or effect -- draw more cards to mix and match!
  13. The card number in case you want to note what card has what info...  There are 81 different cards.   You may want to only print the first 80, cuz that last one is on a page all alone.  (There are 81 because I use a version of this deck for FUDGE and that's the correct number for 4dF probabilities.)
Enjoy!

7 comments:

bliss_infinte said...

Somehow I missed that first set of cards. These are great ideas! I'll definitely be using one of these decks. Good job!

Risus Monkey said...

Nifty! I can totally see how these would be really useful. Now, if only I can rustle up some card-stock in my office supply closet...

xwd said...

I'm pretty sure "banging acid" is a kind of techno. Maybe I should write a script of some kind to spit out random genres of music at me. "You walk past a club. From the open windows you can hear... *click* funky drum & bass playing." Questionably useful for you, endlessly amusing for me.

Also these look like fun and I will create opportunities to use them. Even if I can't get at a printer I'm sure I can figure something out. I'm always at arm's reach from a computer anyway.

David said...

That's very cool.

Yoo-Hoo Tom said...

Jim, these cards are awesome. When I first saw them though I was struck by an idea. If you had a deck of these cards and 2 or 3 players you wouldn't need a DM. Now, that sounds crazy, but let it sink in. I enjoy DM'ing, but I enjoy playing too. Let's say you have 3 players with 3 characters. Pull a card, you have a section of a dungeon, a wondering monster, a treasure item, etc. Thus you have a pick-up Dungeon Delve. Players could run the monsters when it's not thier turn. Obviously this isn't as much fun as a long term campaign, but it might be fun. If you decide to tweek them, let me know and I will playtest them for you.

Jim said...

@Yoo-Hoo Tom -- I love that idea. I think that the role of DM might rotate around the table as new cards are drawn. I'll have to chew on that for awhile. Thanks for the idea!

Yoo-Hoo Tom said...

You're welcome Jim, I would buy something like that also.