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Storytelling through random cards: On an idea I had...

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I've already been looking through everything (and I mean everything) in my Terrinoth games to inspire the stories of my campaign. Which led to another thought: One idea I had (not tried yet) for the Terrinoth setting was to experiment with using card decks from the Terrinoth set games as a springboard for where the story goes (these could be split anyway you want, players and gm or just players, certain cards for either or......)

 

Similarly using the adversary decks in some random draw fashion (again for just players, players and gm, split how you wish, maybe first draw is an associate, next is a stranger, next is a key adversary....)

 

I then realised this could work with any game you own where the cards are interesting enough (even abstract story card / picture card games, which could be a lot of fun, and maybe even an educational approach for younger players to develop creative, interpretational and abstract thinking skills), you could even base everything from setting to characters/entities, maybe other things like vehicles in some cases on the card decks of some games- then both players and gm have this random, maybe never repeated for big deck games, combination of starting points to build the story of the game from on the fly.

 

I love making structured story encounters (and playing them) in RPG's but thought this random direction story prompt could be fun too.

 

If any of you want to try it out share your experiences here and it may inspire others.

 

And then I saw this article (plus I think Matt Newman's now on my 'who would you invite to an imagined social gathering if you could invite anyone' hypothetical question guestlist- quote " I’m a writer and a roleplayer at heart. I like to forge worlds, create characters, and then weave a narrative wherein those characters are placed in that world and tested. " - this is completely me also- the love of storytelling's what got me into RPG and more recently Descent and Genesys (which of course got me into the other Terrinoth games):

https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/news/2019/1/4/the-story-is-woven/

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I did something similar with Talisman. I basically ran a game where all the players got sucked into a game of Talisman as the characters they picked (Jumanji style).

To add authenticity to the game I randomly selected cards from the adventure deck and crafted the adventure around that.

Not sure if that's exactly the same thing you are talking about but I had a lot of fun trying it out.

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13 hours ago, Suneisha said:

I did something similar with Talisman. I basically ran a game where all the players got sucked into a game of Talisman as the characters they picked (Jumanji style).

To add authenticity to the game I randomly selected cards from the adventure deck and crafted the adventure around that.

Not sure if that's exactly the same thing you are talking about but I had a lot of fun trying it out.

Sounds good - and yes, similar to my thinking. I'm looking at using Drakon to do an RPG-specific Trials of Frostgate optional adventure to run alongside the 'bleakest winter' module I'm working on- the plan is that there will be various Trials adventures players can play as optional side quest style sessions, with some different themes to those in the RTL app so they're something new, may also do my own take on the animal themed trials in the app.

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I was thinking in something like this these weeks. My first thought was about create a system for players who want to play without a GM.

Then I realized that there are a lot of boardgames with similar systems, with a deck of cards providing random things to the players. And the boardgame itself is a good example of a tabletop game without a GM.

My mind went to understand better about the structure of a narrative and an adventure, something that would be universal enough to work in any kind of RPG.

I finished my idea thinking about a net with some key elements, like the hook, the plot twist, the relevant NPCs, the big challenge, places, random events, etc.

The cards could have more than one level of information (2, 3 or 4), that would be check based on pre-recommendations (other cards).

My first thought wasn't about cards, but tables (random numbers to check the options). But in the practical aspect, both work in the same way.

I didn't anything at the moment, but I'm happy with my ideas so far.

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I was thinking the same thing for a Pokemon hack. My thought was using a deck of standard playing cards to represent random 'mons found in the world. The higher the card the better/more powerful/evolved it would have been. Keeping things simple, each suite would represent a type that would have a weakness and strength against another suite with the 4th being a wild card allowing the player to choose.

 

The cards from Hero's of Terrinoth could make a very interesting random final encounter if needed too.

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