Tavern Cards is a random tavern generator in the form of a fully playable normal card deck. What's a random tavern generator? They look a little like this, or, if you're oldschool, something more like this.
I had a lot of fun making both of those, and now I want to make something that I can physically put in people's hands. Something with fun, full-color art. Something like Tavern Cards.
You can play any normal card game with these cards. Or, you can draw a handful and use those to randomly generate a tavern.
All 54 cards have original full-color art. You can use the pictures as inspiration for your tavern, or just hand them to your players and say, "This is what you see." Many of the cards feature characters which you can use as NPC portraits.
The cards also have some cool features like tarot-style numbering. See the four diamonds on the Burly Bouncers up top? What about the seven clubs in the Gambling Game card? Each card will have some representation of the number and the suit hidden in the art.
Each card also had an adjective on one side and a noun on the other. Combine any adjective with any noun on the cards you draw for a tavern name like the Prancing Pony, Drunken Goblin, Daring Hostler or Crimson Duchess.
Each suit represents something different about the tavern.
For example, you might draw Four of Diamonds - Burly Bouncers, Ten of Spades - Lavish Dinner, Four of Spades - Cheap Dinner, Ten of Diamonds - Very Crowded, Two of Clubs - Minor Brawl, and Eight of Hearts - Champagne. What does this tell us?
Well, this is probably a classy place since they have lavish dinners and champagne. But they also have cheap dinners, so it caters to all types. That's likely why they have the burly bouncers - to keep the rougher types in line. That minor brawl that just broke out isn't going to last long. I hope none of the protagonists got caught up in it, or they're likely to be thrown out along with the brawlers and not welcomed back in any time soon.
New add-on reward! In the final day of the project, I've decided to throw in something special: custom-designed chain mail dice bags. Add $45 to any pledge (plus $15 shipping if international) and I'll make you a dice bag in any colors you want. Take a look at the latest update to learn more.
- 100% funded: Tavern Cards are printed!
- 120% funded: Mystery reward unlocked
- 150% funded: Pirate booster pack including rum, wenches, monkeys and scurvy buccaneers. Anyone who pledged $35 or more will get the booster pack free with each deck.
- 200% funded: Mystery stretch goal. Could be a new reward, a new card, or something entirely different.
- 250% funded: We create a High Fantasy version of the Tavern Cards, with elves, orcs, goblins, wizards and mysterious potions. If we get it done in time, it will be available as a reward option for anyone who ordered two or more decks. If not, we'll let you know as soon as it's available on DriveThruCards.
The cards will be printed on high-quality Tango 12-point stock. For those of you who don't know what that is, it has a similar look and feel to the stock used for Magic: the Gathering cards. The decks will not have a tuck box because DriveThruCards doesn't offer that (yet!) and you probably would rather have a deck that is more likely to succeed than a hypothetical deck with a spiffy tuck box.
The deck will feature, at minimum, 54 original pieces of full-color art - a normal deck with two jokers. Some rewards and stretch goals add even more gorgeous, original cards.
We have two border ideas so far. Want to have a voice in which direction the final cards will go? Comment on the third update. After all, you're the ones who will be using these cards! You should have a say in how they look.
The inspiration for the Tavern Deck comes from Hannah Lipsky, the mind behind Chaotic Shiny. Chaotic Shiny is a generator site aimed at people who write, game, or live in fantasy worlds of their own creation. Chaotic Shiny Productions is the side of the site that makes the things people want to buy: ebooks and generator packs.
Chaotic Shiny is home to over 100 random generators, of which the Tavern Generator is one of the oldest and most popular. I've spent thousands of hours coming up with data and turning it into random generators that make everything from alphabets to zoomorphs. People have used the generators for inspiration in everything from novels to RPG campaigns to Minecraft servers to My Little Pony fan fiction, and I am looking forward to seeing what adventures these Tavern Cards get up to.
The artist is 27 year old Kayden Raab, who lives in Michigan with his wife and isn't sure about this whole "writing a bio" thing.
Why is our goal $5000? Why are the decks $13 instead of some other price?
I'm so glad you asked! Because I did extensive math to determine the price of each rewards level and the goal we need to hit. If you don't care about extensive math or transparency, feel free to ignore this. But if you're interested, the first update lays it all out.
I'm also a proud participant in Kicking It Forward. 5% of all profits - that's things after all the fixed and variable costs are paid for - are going right back into cool KickStarter projects like this one.
Risks and challenges
The greatest risk is for delays - if we get funded, this deck is almost certainly going to happen. I'm reasonably confident we can deliver in April 2013 (May for those rewards that require signing) or possibly even earlier, but there are some potential roadblocks:
* Art. Art takes time and inspiration, and life is full of unexpected roadblocks. While our artist is committed to getting all of the cards done on time, it is possible something could come up.
* Printing and fulfillment. We are using DriveThruCards, which is only just getting up and running, and we'll probably be one of the first KickStarters they've had to deal with. It's foreseeable that there might be kinks in the process. However, DriveThruCards is a part of OneBookShelf (you might know them through DriveThruRPG or RPGNow), a well established online retailer who also has experience with physical products via their successful print program. The chances of them screwing this up are low.
* Money. It is possible that expenses will come up that I am not currently aware of. However, I have done EXTENSIVE MATH to try and make this project as accurate and transparent as possible. Even if there are unexpected expenses, they should be manageable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! And that email nearly gave me a heart attack, and delayed the launch of the project by a day. Fortunately, further emails clarified that this is only few new KickStarters. Since I'd already discussed Tavern Cards with DriveThruCards weeks in advance, we're in the clear.
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