Short Order Heroes is a rules-light role-playing game or a tool for spontaneous character generation.
Short Order Heroes
Short Order Heroes is a rules light game designed for easy role-playing. It is a deck of 54 cards that can also be used for spontaneous NPC generation in any RPG. All card art by Eleanor Ferron.
How it Works
In a word: fast. Each card has a picture, an adjective, and a number.
To create a new character, draw some cards from the deck, depending on how fleshed-out you want the character to be -- we recommend 3 for PCs, down to 1 for throw-away NPCs. The adjectives describe what makes your character unusual. Fill in the details and off you go.
To resolve a conflict, first set a target number or draw one randomly from the deck -- higher is harder. Then draw a card. The number on the card tells you whether the action succeeded, the adjective gives some color to how, and the picture provides added inspiration.
To enhance other games, the cards can quickly add personality to otherwise bland encounters -- "Thug #2" is now "The unnerving thug", the barmaid is complicated, and more. Great for tavern trawling or adding a bit of local color.
With Short Order Heroes, you spend less time fiddling with the rules and more time telling the story. Character creation and conflict resolution take seconds, and instantly fill your game world with color and flair. Short Order Heroes is an entire role-playing game in a pack of cards. It's perfect for one-shot adventures where you don't want to spend all night making characters and miss playing the game.
A small number of advance decks have been sent out for review. Here's what people have said about Short Order Heroes.
"I dig the idea of pulling three cards to make a character, or help flesh out a character, and to make NPCs. I could use this as another spur for NPCs in Apocalypse World, or for the Chasers in PsiRun, or as a way to read the Sultan's mood in 1,001 Nights." -Meguey Baker
"Whenever I GM a game I will use these." -Todd Nicholas
"There are really a ton of different ways you could use this deck." -Michael Hansen
"I can definitely see using this as a part of my next Fudge-based or PDQ-based game. It is a very cool tool, and GMs can always use a new tool in their toolboxes." -Christopher Helton
"I dig Short Order Heroes. It’s a neat product and a deck of cards is an easy addition to most GMs’ toolkits." -Martin Ralya
$2,000 - Base goal. Achieved! A 54 card deck of Short Order Heroes.
$3,000 - Bigger deck! Achieved! Short Order Heroes expands to 72 cards. The extra cards will be sent to everyone who receives a deck, at no extra charge.
$4,000 - Even bigger! Achieved! Short Order Heroes expands again to 90 cards. The extra cards will be sent to everyone who receives a deck, at no extra charge.
$6,000 - 1st Expansion. Achieved! A 36 card Goals and Motivations expansion, available as an $10 add-on to your pledge.
$8,000 - 2nd Expansion. Achieved! A 36 card Plot Twists and Events expansion, available as another $10 add-on.
$10,000 - 3rd Expansion. Achieved! A 36 card expansion selected by the backers, available as a $10 add-on. As a bonus, anyone buying two expansions will get the third free!
$11,000 - Two Shipping Waves. Before adding anything else to the project, I want to be able to ship the main deck when it is done to all backers. With this stretch goal I can also send the expansions in a second shipment without asking for extra shipping from backers.
$13,000 - Expanded Print Run. We'll add 18 more cards to the core deck, bringing the total to 108 cards. We'll also be printing through a traditional printer (instead of print on demand) so Short Order Heroes can be sold to retailers too.
$18,000 - Expanded Expansions. All three expansions get 18 more cards added to them, bringing them up to 54 cards each.
$20,000 - Mobile App. We'll develop an Android/iOS app. Any backer will get the app and expansion decks they've purchased at no additional cost.
What are the expansions? Backers will help determine how we develop the game. We already have several ideas, but we'd love to hear your feedback. We can do theme packs, adding genre specific cards for fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and more. We can do item, location, or plot decks. As each expansion is unlocked we will poll the backers about what they want to see.
If you would like to add more to your pledge, simply increase pledge by the following amounts.
- Magnet - $5
- Button - $2
- 3 Buttons - $5
- Blank Pack - $5
- Kickstarter Pack - $5
- 5'x7' Print - $5
- Expansion - $10
- 3 Expansions - $20
- Short Order Heroes - $20
- T-Shirt - $20
Shipping to Canada isn't quite as bad anywhere else in the world. So to encourage our friends from up north to join, we will credit $5 of the extra shipping charge toward Add-Ons. So Canadians at the Hero Level can pick up the Kickstarter Exclusive pack or another Add-On of their choice.
Where is the money going? Primarily to pay for artwork and printing. The rest goes to shipping, additional rewards, and miscellaneous expenses. The more we get, the more we put toward making the product better for everyone.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
If we only reach the base goal, there is little risk. All of the art assets for the 54 card deck of Short Order Heroes are complete and ready to print. We aim to deliver the base game in two months if we don't reach any stretch goals. The major risk for stretch goals is the added time to commission additional artwork. Once the final scope of the project is determined, through your support as backers, we will try to give a better estimate of the delivery timeframe. Our artist has already proven her reliability by delivering art for 54 cards before the Kickstarter launch. The current estimate of 6 months assumes we reach the stretch goal for the 1st expansion.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.