Framing scenes with the deck

Though the tested procedure (the one explained in the previous post) is functional, I’m trying to make a procedure that helps build more complex scenes and situations. So far I’ve got this one:

1) We determine the Place drawing 2 cards for descriptors and one for element. That could get us for example: empty, inaccesible, nature. So I went up for “The trail ends in a deep part of the jungle, where trees and bushes grow too thick for us to keep going. We may need to find some other way to cross this part of the jungle.” – Notice that I’m not stating any inmediate danger or challenge yet, not because of the “empty” card, but to prepare the scene better.

2) Then all players take a round stating “observations” This means they select one skill from their characters, roll Fudge dice, and add one element to the scene according to the roll and skill selected. A “+” means their character spots something that could be useful, related with the skill they choosed. A “-” means they just found out one clue of something dangerous in the place, again, only related to the chosen skill. Still, since they spot it they can actually avoid it. And for each empty face they get to add1 to the CR of the next challenge, but what’s the challenge about is defined in the next step.

3) Draw 3 more cards. The red letters on the first one indicate what’s the danger here: a monster, an object (either there or brought by the PCs) an NPC or the place itself. The other two help to describe it. You can instead use the same descriptors you got on the first set of cards, to keep the challenge on the same theme with the place created.

4) If the challenge is an NPC (or a group of them) one more card is drawn to set an emotion for these characters, if needed. Of course, there are more emotions than angry or hate among the deck, so the problem isn’t always a fight; the group might find a tribe mourning one of their own so now the challenge may become a social one.

5) Players can always add elements of their own background into the scene when they add their observations: their nemesis could be involved in this situation, one of their relatives could be in danger, etc, etc.

This procedure helps players get a bit more in character. A fighter sees things as a fighter, hence he will notice things based on his experience, like which things in the place he can use to his advantage when fighting. A rogue will notice good places to hide or possible traps. A wizard could notice if the place is cursed, etc. You can also rely on a roll to spot and make a table to list what kind of things players can incorporate to the fiction according to the roll.

Of course, it’s usually the work of the GM to come up with these things, but isn’t it better to have more that one head adding details to the fiction in an organized way? The philosophy behind this is that also the GM plays to find out what happens. The players get nothing but good things into the scene? Let them rest there and prepare for the next scene. Or just drop the next challenge on them! They got nothing but bad omens? Surprise them by letting the night pass peacefully… and drop the challenge on them the next morning! Even with this procedures there’s nothing the players can give for granted.

Got better ideas? Don’t hesitate to send them up, when I have a good bunch of them I’ll compile them on another PDF. Best luck with your games!

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Download the ResourceFULL deck.

Finally, the first version of the deck is here!:

resourceFullDeck

This deck features 64 cards like these:

As you will find out when you print the deck, the words in red at the top of the image are the subject of the challenge. There are but 4 choices: an Object, a Place, a Monster and a Person. Whenever you want to frame a scene using this cards, the default way is to pick up three cards. Check the red word from the first card you draw: that’s the subject of the challenge.

Then, look at the other two cards and select one word from each of them. You may want to use the words on the sides of the image to desribe the monster, use the words on blue at the bottom of the image to add an emotion to the subject or scene, use the image to add elemental magic in the scene or describe natural elements in it, or use the words in the coloured triangle to give tactical advantages to either the subject of the challenge or to give tactical disadvantages to the players.

The phrases in the diagonal are twists. Use them when you want to add a twist to the situation or when you want to tell an epilogue to your story.

And of course, since this is supposed to be a tool for helping the players and GMs go wild on improvisation at the table or even when doing prep for the game, you can just follow your instincts, draw but one card and start from it, or draw as much as you want and alow them to tell you a story.

I’ve got to thank Joseph LeMay for helping me with the translation into english and everybody at Story Games for their ideas and support. Many, many thanks!

These cards are of course the first version of it. I’m already working in adaptations to specific games so if you have any idea that might help improve this system for one use or another, you’re welcome to comment here, look up for me at the Story Games forum (I’m there as Warriormonk) or write me at paulorivas100@hotmail.com

Have Fun!

Paulo Rivas

Ok so I went on and made a blog…

… and here we are. Welcome.

This blog will feature all the tools I’m preparing for playing RPGs. They are suppose to be part of a single game, but they are totally modular and some even can be used with any other RPG you own. English is not my native language so let me apologize in advance for all the mistakes you’ll find here.

Right now I’m still making the layout of the ResouceFULL deck, the first of the tools I’m working on. This deck is a nice tool for improvising random scenes and adding twists to the story. Though is designed for the use of GMs, cards can also be given to players as rewards.

Next on the schedule will be the translation of the game that makes full use of this deck, basically adjusted for fantasy, like the deck itself. Some pals and I have also been working in a horror game with a deck that is still in development. This game focuses on the creation of urban myths, while players first try to find a logical answer to the strange situations that arise on they otherwise common lives, and then try to outrun the nightmare they have created, before it destroys their lives.

Well, I guess that’s it so far. I’ll post next some pics and further details about the deck. See ya!