The best laid plans of mice and GMs oft go awry.
It's never possible to plan for every player choice. If you plan for every possible outcome, they'll come up with something impossible to try.
Concept Cards are a compact, concise and creative solution to that problem, allowing you to instantly bring in new elements to your game when you plan for options A, B and C and your players choose 7.
With a full set of Concept Cards, you'll be able to fill out your game with interesting NPCs, describe the exotic locations your players visit, challenge them with surprising plot hooks, attack them with strange monsters, and reward them with unusual treasures, without ever needing to pull out a book.
How Do Concept Cards Work?
Concept Cards come in two varieties. Each standard deck contain 56 playing cards (the normal 52, 2 jokers, and 2 oddities), each of which describes a concept with a thematic tie to their suit. The Epic decks are still 56 cards, but contain more high-fantasy concepts, and are thematically tied to the Major Arcana and Norse Runes.
For a full list of the past decks, and the details of how each works, check out this update
Mixing It Up
If you find that the 112 cards within a Concept aren't enough for you, you can create new combinations with ease. Simply draw 5 cards, and take the Clubs value from the first, the Diamonds value from the second, the Hearts from the third, the Spades from the fourth and the Secret from the fifth.
These combinations often take a little thought to put together, but the combination will produce something truly unique.
Each of the Concept Cards decks comes with a game that makes use of the four-suited nature of the cards. Thus far each deck has had a unique game, and the Treasure and Creature cards will each have their own unique game too.
If we reach £12,000 we'll create a 10th and 11th unique game, for the Epic Creature and Epic Treasure decks.
The rules sheets for all the current games are available to read for free
For a review of City Builder, the Urban Locations game click here
This kickstarter introduces Creatures (as seen above) and Treasures (below). We're also making a special box to hold all the decks in one place; which may come with extra documentation depending on what stretch goals we reach.
Each of the new deck themes also comes with a new set of suit symbols, created by our favourite Spaniard, Marcos Hidalgo:
We are currently still discussing with the manufacturer the cost of decorations for the box, but the main structure is a wooden container with a sliding lid, and an internal divider, so that all 11 decks can be placed upright side by side without knocking around.
If we don't have a backer level that suits you, you can add extras to any of the physical pledge levels.
- +£2 - Digital Deck - You receive PDFs for an additional deck, not just the new ones and those you have physical copies of. (See the FAQ for a full list)
- +£9 - Extra Deck - Add one additional Concept Cards deck of your choice to your pledge. This includes the PDF version.
- +£10 - Box It Up - Add the box and any extras it contains to your pledge. If pledging for less than four decks there's an extra £4 surcharge to cover the cost of shipping.
- +£X - Double Trouble - Add the base cost of your pledge level again to get double that pledge levels goodies.
The £2000 goal for this project is only the beginning. At that level we will making two new decks, and a 9-deck box, but we intend to expand our offering as funds allow, eventually reaching four decks and expanding the box to match. The stretch goals include:
- £2500: All boxes include an extra booklet explaining some ways to combine the different decks - Reached
- £3500: Another new deck "Epic Creatures and Treasures", containing a Major Arcana for each of those decks - Reached
- £5000: T-shirts! We'll design Concept Cards T-shirts that you can pledge for as an add-on. - Reached
- £7000: Who Needs a Roleplaying System Anyway?! We'll add a rules-light system to every box-set, and make the PDF available to all backers - Reached
- £9000: Instead of "Epic Creatures and Treasures" in a single deck, we will have two separate decks, "Epic Creatures" and "Epic Treasures" - Reached
- £12000: We'll develop and playtest separate games for the Epic Creatures and Epic Treasures decks, in addition to the new games for Creatures and Treasures.
Who Are We?
We're just two guys trying to make it as game designers*: Loz Hensel and Ste Coffey.
*With a lot of assistance from our friends and partners.
We started with "Character Cards" as an experiment in using Kickstarter, but it succeeded far beyond our expectations, and received highly positive reviews, so we've been following our backer's feedback and making a complete set of Fantasy Concept Cards. This kickstarter will mark the end of that project, but we'll be back with something else next year.
Risks and challenges
A recent change in EU VAT regulation has stopped some small UK businesses delivering digital goods to non-UK EU citizens, but we have been able to determine that by delivering digital goods through DriveThruRPG we won't be impacted by this new regulation.
We have three lots of experience with Kickstarter, and each time something new has gone wrong. We've solved it, we've kept backers informed, and we've learnt from the experience. We fully expect the unexpected to happen this time too, which is why we've budgeted a lot of time for dealing with such things.
On our last Kickstarter the two biggest problems we learnt from were:
1) We launched too early. We didn't spend enough time preparing ideas for the Kickstarter, and that meant that we didn't know how long each Plot Hooks card would take. We've worked hard on Creatures and Treasures over the past several months, and we know how long each card will take us to make.
2) We make a large shipment to the US each Kickstarter, in order to cut down on postage costs. One of the boxes shipped got torn in transit, meaning we had to resend many of the decks it had contained. In future we're going to splash out on the sturdiest shipping boxes we can to avoid any similar problems.
- (27 days)