Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 24.

Update #8

Campaigning - Hexcrawls and Major Arcana

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Using the cards for hex crawls  

Hex crawling can be a fun way to run a campaign - it's very open and freeform, without being totally devoid of structure. It often involves a lot of up-front work for the GM though, in drawing maps and working out what is where in directions the PCs may not even bother to go - you can guarantee that if you plan for your players to choose a, b, or c, they will instead pick 7! This is where our cards come in - they can simplify lot of the work of planning.  

The Simple Way  

You could draw a card whenever the characters enter a new hex and play with practically no preparation (assuming you can build any encounters on the fly, of course - otherwise you would do well to pre-prepare a few of those.) In this case you could just copy the card value in question into the hex (e.g. 4 of clubs ot 7 of spades), or you could try to draw a little map of it, thus creating a map of the region being explored on the fly. When you reach a foreign town or city you simply switch to the urban deck and a hex- (or maybe square-) grid that represents the city rather than the landscape in general.

This would work, but may become a little disjointed when you try to figure out why no-one knows what's right next to them. It may be worth having a reason for that. Perhaps the worlds have recently been shattered and rejoined in a random order. What was once a single landscape is a mishmash of many slammed together by magic so powerful none could weild it and live. The king could ask a band of brave adventurers to trek through the wilderness and map the land that is now his kingdom, and to determine who his new neighbours are. Maybe he gives them writ to contact neighbouring kings and negotiate with them. It may be good to determine who the various key NPCs (possibly using the Character Cards deck) are and which nations are in which directions, for example, but other than that and character creation, next to no pre-planning would be required.

The Middle Ground  

We could take a slightly more structured approach, where before each session you draw a few cards and figure out which cards apply to which nearby hexes. This is similar to the above, but you have more time to rationalise what is happening. and why. Maybe you can draw a few cards for each hex and combine them to create a unique landcape that is truly your own - if you draw five cards and select one suit from each and a secret from the remaining one you can create literally hundreds of millions of viable locations from each deck - more than enough for all but the longest campaigns!

Perhaps in this case the characters have been thrust into a foreign land, not to merely map the world, but to find the source of the magic and make sure it cannot be used again (or maybe to use it themselves, I don't know what kind of games you play - in fact I once played in a game [run by Ste] in which we opted to combine three worlds together to stop some other people doing a worse job of it!). In this case I would work out who used the magic in the first place and why. I imagine they are probably a lich or powerful vampire if they are still active. Maybe their magic didn't shatter the worlds, maybe it just changed them, or it released an army of dameons, or maybe it was even worse, threatenng to destroy the entire universe only to be stopped at the last minuite by a brave hero and his noble sacrifice! Will the PCs have to make the same sacrifice, and will they want to?

The Most Spadework 

 Then we come to the most pre-planned version - you use the cards to help you design the entire map up front. This will take a while, but will allow you to build a coherent structure to the world relatively easily. It allows you to hand the players a map and let them decide which way to explore. There could be all sorts of points of interest and plot hooks scattered across the map and connections between them pre-determined. This does have the benefit that very little work is needed once the campaign is underway, but it will take more work up front. 

The map could be a treasure map, showing the location of untold riches, Or maybe it's handed to them by the king and they are told to seek a route for his invasion of a foreign power. Perhaps it shows the location of the five mcguffins needed to save the world (or destroy it. Either to prevent someone else doing so or because the players want to do so themselves). There are so many posibilities here, I'd need another entire deck of adventure seeds to list them all! [hmmm, a possible future project... :-)] 

Spreading the word - The Major Arcana 

We have been trying to work out how to create the major arcana. On the one hand for the last deck they increased the costs dramatically, and we can't really afford to do that again, but on ther other it opens up large amounts of design space and we have some really interesting ideas. The concept we are currently working with is to creat a seperate, smaller set of cards (26 in total) that would contain the major arcana and the four knights, These cards would fit into either deck and would represent features which could define a city or an entire region. We would have to charge for these, but it would be less than another full deck, and neither of the decks would presuppose their exitence. Here is an example - The Tower:

 Note: The card has been made up using the Urban background simply because we haven't finalised the Major Arcana background yet. They will be getting a unique one.

The thing is we don't know if this is the best way to go about doing this, or whether we should look to do something else. So we decided to let you decide - if enough people like this this idea enough to post about it here and on social media (facebook, twitter) then we will do it. If not then we will reconsider and try to work out another way to do this, or perhaps hold off entirely and fold some of those ideas into a later deck. Posting about it on social media also has the added bonus of hopefully geting us more backers and thus reaching stretch goals quicker! 

 How many is enough people? Well... we currently have 206 hundred backers as I write this, and there are 26 cards being proposed, so lets say 26 people - that's one in eight of you. Does that sound reasonable? Is the proposed idea a good one? Let us know what you think.

-Loz

Comments

    1. Missing_small

      Creator wrincewind on November 18

      Is it too late to say i really like the arcana idea?

    2. Zaphod_beebledoc_400-400.small

      Creator Antony Tyler on November 8

      And... if you did two majors, they could go in the same box...

    3. Zaphod_beebledoc_400-400.small

      Creator Antony Tyler on November 8

      Personally, I would prefer major arcana for both decks, though that shouldn't compromise quality!

      If you did two sets of majors, if they were swappable from deck to deck that would lead to even more combinations of locations.

    4. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 6

      Sorry for the slow response, I was simultaneously GMing and not eating anything last night, followed by a two hour walk home and a (fasting) blood test this morning. I have now eaten, and therefore once again find myself in possession of a human brain :-D

      Loz has said most of what I wanted to say. I'll look into whether a better thickness for the larger size is possible. If it is, it may mean actual 3.5"x5" rather than the 3.5"x5.5" we did for Character Cards, as it will likely mean using a different printer (I'm discussing a custom card size with the printer doing the regular decks. If they're willing to implement it without a massive extra fee, it will make things much easier for us :-D)

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Laurence Jonathan Hensel on November 6

      @tim:

      1) we are talking about doing a single set of major arcana (26 cards) that could fit into either deck. However you are not the only person to question that descision, so we are going to brainstorm and see if we could do a set of major arcana for each deck and offer a single 52 card upgrade containing both sets. We are not promising anything yet though, we want to make sure we can keep quality high!

      2) we are hoping the basic cost of the major arcana expansion would be £5 or £6, but we are waiting on quotes from printers and trying to determine how much it would affect postage before finalising that. Unfortunately it would have to be slightly more than half the cost of another deck because the printing and postage costs will likely be a bit higher

      3) Again, hopefully around half the cost of upgrading a standard deck.

      4) I'm sorry they were't up to scratch. We will talk to the printers and see if we can improve them. I have never managed to get a riffle shuffle to work so I didn't consider that!

      5) Thank you for backing! We think they're prety cool and it's nice to have that confirmed!

      @Ralph: I can see both reasons for box sizes, hence asking! The most popular option so far seems to be to make it a larger box, but we will see what is possible. We are brainstorming ideas to see if we could do a full set of major arcana for each deck but we aren't promising anything as of yet.

      As to the kinghts - they will most likely be a bit different or have some kind of common theme that makes them stand out, but will not be on the same level as the major arcana. The idea of having a set of knights for each deck if we can't do a whole major arcana is a good one though.

      @Kyle: I'm not sure a free car would fit the genre. Possibly a free coach and horses or flying carpet... I'm not sure we could cover the postage on the horses though :p

    6. Kyle_posing_(avatar).small

      Creator Kyle Gagnon on November 5

      I of course am in favor of the option that gives me the most stuff for the least cost, make all the decks 120 cards each! And have it shipped to us in a free car!

      But considering you're trying to run a business you've got to do what's best for you. And keeping that in mind... Ralph pretty much said what I was going to. (and I get the impression that more people said that sort of stuff too, but I'm too lazy to read all the comments)

    7. Ralph.small

      Creator Ralph on November 5

      I love the idea. I was personally hoping for a 52 card deck to bring them both up, but if you're going for this world-shaking, I can see it dropping down. I very much support the idea. Personally, I'm on the fence about the size of the deck boxes. On the one hand, I do like the idea of keeping them all together, on the other hand, having one major arcana for two decks might make keeping them separate more useful. . .

      Although, are the Knights that same major plot significance? That seems somewhat odd to me, to have the Knights, technically lower in value then the King and Queen, have more plot support. Would you think about maybe boosting it from 26 to 30, and having a set of Knights for both decks more in line with the other cards? Mmm, but that would make them have to have different styles and, gah, I don't know how you all wrap your heads around logistics.

    8. 410.small

      Creator tim smith on November 5

      I am all for this. But I have some questions. Sorry if I missed any answers in already posted text. My eyes are bleeding from work today.

      1) Is there an extra half deck for EACH Urban and Rural?
      2) What would the total cost be for one Urban deck, one Rural deck and all available half deck(s)?
      3) What is the cost of resizing the decks I detailed in #2 to be the Tarot Size you used in the Character Cards?
      4) I love my Character Cards, but I got the Tarot size and it seemed as if they were not as thick as I anticipated. I think that riffle shuffling them would leave me with a lot of bent cards. Are there any planned changes in that regard for the upsized Location Cards?
      5) THANK YOU for being so responsive AND for offering these really cool Location Cards. They are a perfect addition to Character Cards!

    9. Missing_small

      Creator Christopher Lewis on November 5

      Hi there,
      One post done to RPG Kickstarter News Facebook page so only 25 others needed ;-)

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Laurence Jonathan Hensel on November 5

      It looks like we are getting fairly consistent answers to what poeople want. We will talk to the printers about the various options regarding deck boxes and whatnot, and investigate postage. We're also going to brainstorm and see if we could produce a full set of major arcana for each deck, but that would be a larger undertaking and in order to maintain quality I'm not going to promise anything yet.

      But please - keep posting and letting us know what you think. More ideas and opinions are always good and everything will definitely be read!

    11. Curt.small

      Creator Alarian DarkWind on November 5

      I would definitely be in for the expanded deck. I would vote for the larger tuck box as well. Otherwise your going to have to sort the deck out every time you go to put them away. Perhaps an option as well for two expansion decks.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator Frédéri POCHARD on November 5

      Same as Mike as for the box size

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Mike Marshall on November 5

      I'd prefer the Arcana box was large enough to host it + a regular deck ideally, but that's just me.

    14. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      Oops, I mean 78 cards

    15. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      Basically the Larger Character Cards box has two open ports one for the 72 cards and one empty space for another set of cards that's filled with a cut out you can remove.

    16. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      US backer here, the larger Character Cards box had space for another set of 72 cards. So, both location decks and the expansion would fit all in one box. Heck it'll fit both decks and two expansions.

    17. Shadowrun_backer_badge_small.small

      Creator Mike Maxson on November 5

      I would certianly pay for the Major Arcana. I'm always looking for ways to spice up my game.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Laurence Jonathan Hensel on November 5

      Ouch! Thanks for spotting that John!

    19. Esteren_backer6_jpg_640x860_q85.small

      Creator John Kidby on November 5

      I'd certainly be willing to spring for the extra half-deck. Provided it's properly proofed, of course - you'll be wanting "seamless", not "seemless". ;P

    20. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      The Arcana expansion will come with its own box. Would people prefer that it came with a box large enough to also hold one of the regular decks, or that it came in a box sized to hold the expansion on its own?

    21. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Mike Marshall on November 5

      The major arcana would be cool. If we're going for both location decks with an arcana expansion, will the box for one or both of the decks be larger to accomodate the extra cards, or will it come it its own box?

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Christopher Lewis on November 5

      When doing all your number crunching could you see:
      price for two rural, urban and regional decks in normal size (six decks in total)
      the same in tarot size
      (hey I haven't caused you any headaches on this project yet)

    23. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Neil Smith on November 5

      I'm craven and self-centred enough to spam my Twitter followers, so I've just tweeted about this update. Only another what, 25 to go?

    24. Missing_small

      Creator Laurence Jonathan Hensel on November 5

      The severed heads I'm not so sure about though - the blood tends to leak out of the package...

    25. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      *Doing the happy dance*

    26. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      :-D

      Don't worry, we'll have them available in large size. Will have to work out pricing for that, but it shouldn't be as expensive as increasing the size of the full decks :-)

    27. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      Pretty please....with severed heads in top.

    28. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      Please, please, please do the larger size for the extras.

    29. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      Yep, they'll all have the four traits+secret. We're currently planning to mix and match the suit symbols (urban and rural) as appropriate to each of the cards.

    30. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      Ah, thanks Pochard! :D

      Okay, will finish reading about the Major Arcana tomorrow P: it's already interesting, the history of it.

    31. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      Will they all have the 'four traits plus secret' details like the Urban/Rural cards?

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Frédéri POCHARD on November 5

      There are 22 Major Arcana.
      Plus 4 Knights cards.
      Which make this add-on a 26-card set.

      A "normal" set of cards is 52 card (13 clubs, 13 diamonds, 13 spades and 13 hearts).
      A tarot set of cards is 78 cards (14 clubs, 14 diamonds, 14 spades, 14 hearts which are the same as the former plus 1 knight per kind and the 22 Major Arcana)

    33. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      =D Ohhh, that sounds really cool! Count me in!

      n____n; Thanks for explaining it for me~ :'D I'm gonna go to bed now.

    34. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      @Orson: Extra cards on top of the Jack/Queen/King/Ace. We won't be replacing the cards that come with the Urban and Rural decks, just throwing more on top.

      There are four extra suited cards (Knights of Diamonds, Clubs, Spades and Hearts) and 22 "Major Arcana" which are a suit to themselves: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/major_arcana

      As for what makes them region-defining: We're going more Epic for them. The Tower is an example of something that might shake up a regular campaign too much for some people, but others will find it more exciting to have stuff on that level.

      In the regular decks we have casino's, taverns, temples, travelling circus's etc. In this expansion it'll be The Endless Tower, a never-ending battle between an Archangel and a Demon, a place where every child is born with a twin who is psychically linked to them, stuff that will always twist a campaigns trajectory at least slightly, rather than being usable just as background flavour.

    35. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      ... Wait, that's not right either... X___X

    36. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      ... Oh, I forgot the secret! So it's 5x5 instead. So there is ONE extra card?

    37. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      And four suits of five card types is 20, so there are six additional cards on top of the Major Arcana here? Can you give us any details about it?

    38. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      I'm still confused as to how these cards are different? What is it that makes them region-defining? :0c

    39. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      We expect the half deck to be £5 or £6 each, depending on the price we can get from the printer. Hopefully £5

      The main reason we're not proposing the 52 card set of two expansions (much as I'd love to do so) is that I'm not 100% certain we could fill it with good cards. We can do Rural, Urban, and the 26 extras for region-defining cards, but an extra 52 is pushing our limits more than we want to risk.

    40. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      So, the Major Arcana... *replaces* the Jack/Queen/King/Ace set, but also has a Knight for each suit? Or are they extra cards on top of Jack/Queen/King/Ace?

    41. Missing_small

      Creator Christopher Lewis on November 5

      Hi - I say go for it sounds rather good to me (I'll probably end up getting two one for each location set)

    42. Toffee%20king.small

      Creator pj_brady on November 5

      Depending on the cost of the half-deck, I might be more interested in a single 52 card "expansion" deck that has 26 tarot urban and 26 tarot rural. However, I expect I'll go for whatever solution you propose. :)

    43. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Pep on November 5

      I would love to see both decks with the knights and major arcana. I would love it even more if they were the larger size like the Character Cards I have. And yes, I would be more than happy to pay extra.

    44. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      Tarot Decks are the same as regular playing cards, except they have an extra suit (The Trumps, or Major Arcana) and they have five face cards (Jack, *Knight*, Queen, King, Ace) rather than the standard four.

    45. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      The two current decks are both Ace to King, standard playing card decks.

      We've had a few people saying they wish we were doing, as we did for the Characters, the Major Arcana and 4 Knights that are added for a Tarot deck. So, we want to see whether or not there's enough support to do that.

      It's a third deck, but a somewhat different one: designed to be used as an extension to either of the other two.

    46. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      I think it must be my lack of Tarot knowledge tripping me up here...

    47. Orson_bunny_b.small

      Creator Orson Cream on November 5

      I'm a bit confused... We're getting two location decks, and this idea is for... another location deck? :0c

    48. Missing_small

      Creator Frédéri POCHARD on November 5

      I'm ok with the Major Arcana thing the way you put it.
      In fact, if you go for it and if they are compatible with both the urban and the rural sets, I'll be ready to buy (as an add-on?) two Major Arcana sets.

    49. Avyme.small

      Creator Stephen Coffey on November 5

      In case you were wondering, when they rebuilt the world I was expecting

      A) Them to fight to stop the worlds being combined.

      B) Them to persuade the people doing it that they were misguided.

      or

      C) Them to realise that their presence was actually necessary for the process, and that their powers were being drained, and try to flee the area.

      And this is why I generally try to improvise :-)

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