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We're creating RPG card decks: one with a mini-adventure on each card, a deck of NPCs & a deck of ecology info creature cards.
131 backers pledged $4,508 to help bring this project to life.

About

$4,508

131

This project will augment our line of ENnie Nominated* System Neutral RPG card decks with three new decks:

  • Another Creature Deck (54 cards, one card per creature) focusing on more Dragons, Outsiders & Undead with system neutral ecology information on each; great for knowledge checks, showing the players the creature and planning adventures. 
  • Another Deck of Adventures (54 mini adventure outlines & a map, each on a trading card) Each card has an adventure outline on one side and the primary map for the adventure on the other side. Each adventure has either a science fantasy or swords & sorcery theme, but they are easy to convert to regular fantasy.
  • An NPC Portraits Deck of 54 fantasy characters where each card has a portrait on one side and the back has minimal system neutral style stats, personality and background for the character.

In the past we did 5 Creature Decks (each deck focused on a couple of different creature types) and 2 Encounter Decks (the new Deck of Adventures is a similar concept). For this Kickstarter you can pledge for up to 10 card decks.  The 3 new decks, the 5 previous Creature Decks, and the 2 prior Encounter Decks.  (More details on the prior decks are given below.) Just pledge for the total number of decks you want.  We'll get the list of specific decks you want during the Kickstarter survey.

In this project, you'll get both a PDF of any card deck you choose as well as a code to get the deck printed at cost through DriveThruRPG/RPGNow.  (The exact printing cost varies by the number of cards, but expect to pay about $4.50 for printing a deck.)   DriveThruRPG/RPGNow also has a shipping fee (currently $3.99) for first class US mail. Or, you can pledge for the PDF and to have your physical card decks included at the $15 pledge level for the first deck (including US shipping) and $10 for each additional deck.

The PDF allows you to use the cards when playing on-line. You can share the images, make tokens, etc. for personal use.

*Last year our "Creature Decks: Creature Information Cards; 54 Aberrations & Magical Beasts" was nominated for an ENnie in the "Best Monster/Adversary" category. Inkwell Ideas has had four ENnie nominations or honorable mentions over the past four years!

Our Role-Playing Game Card Decks help make your adventures more creative, interesting, and dynamic!

  • Are the players going off in an unplanned direction?  The Deck of Adventures lets you quickly find a related mini-adventure outline.
  • Do the players want a picture of the creature, but you don't want to show them the one they've seen in the bestiary/manual?  Get the creature's card from our system neutral creature ecologies Creature Deck.
  • Need a quick Non-Player Character picture & background & personality because the players want to interact more with a character? Our NPC Portraits Deck will have over 50 characters. Of course you're free to adjust the NPC's info to fit the situation.
  • Do you want some quest ideas for your campaign?  Or perhaps seed a hex crawl area? Use our Deck of Adventures to find a related mini-adventure outline.
  • Do you want to tell your players what their characters know about a monster without using game stats?  (Perhaps for a knowledge check.)  Show them the creature's card from our Creature Deck, or read a few facts from it.
  • Doing a one-shot and don't want to take time to generate characters?  Use the NPC Portraits Deck and adjust levels, abilities and equipment.
  • Need a map for another adventure?  Shuffle through the Deck of Adventures to find a map that fits your needs.

See 4 cards from each deck now! 

Note: Currently the NPC Portraits Deck is nearly done, and the new Creature Deck and Deck of Adventures are already each half complete. 

More Dragons, Outsiders & Undead Creature List: Achaierai, Agathions (6: Avoral, Cetaceal, Draconal, Leonal, Silvanshee, Vulpinal), Animal Lord, Azer, Bebelith, Berbalang, Bodak, Crypt Thing, Crysmal, Demilich, Dragon, Imperial (5: Forest, Sea, Sky, Sovereign, Underworld), Draugr, Gloomwing, Huecuva, Invisible Stalker, Kami (5: Jinushigami, Kodama, Shikigami, Toshigami, Zuishin), Lammasu, Magmin, Oni (7: Ogre mage, Fire Yai, Ice Yai, Kuwa, Spirit, Void Yai, Water Yai), Penanggalan, Quasi-Elemental (4: Ice, Lightning, Magma, Mud), Revenant, Salamander (frost), Sandman, Sylph, Thoggua, Tenenbrous worms, Titan, Vargouille, Xorn, Yeth Hound, Zombie Ju-Ju.

About half of the creature art is complete:

Creature Card Thumbnails
Creature Card Thumbnails

Creature Artists: Neil Anderson, Nicholas Cato, David Loebman, Eric Quigley, Vito Raffiie, Adam Schmidt, Phill Simpson, Luis Valente, Nika Wong

NPC Portraits Deck: This deck has over 50 characters for your role-playing game. The character name is followed by some basic information easily converted across systems by most GMs (race, class, level, strength, dexterity, constitution, intelligence, wisdom, charisma, armor class and hit points.) Each character then has some combination of other details: personality, strengths, quirks, possessions of note, background and possibly a quote. Plot hooks are scattered throughout these descriptions.

NPC Artists: Tamas Baranya, Andres Canals, Jeffrey Koch, Rick Hershey, Sade, Carlos Torreblanco

Deck of Adventures: Each card in this deck has the outline and an important map for a mini-adventure. Each adventure has either a science fantasy or swords & sorcery theme, but they are easy to convert to regular fantasy. (Make a long forgotten robot a golem, etc.) The adventure outlines give you a couple of ways to get the party involved, a list of key encounters to include (which you can add to or drop depending on your party's actions) and a couple of ideas for follow-on adventures or loose ends to tie up.

Cartography: Tony Brotherton, Matt Jackson, Dyson Logos, Joe Wetzel

Writing & Editing (All Decks): Chad Mercer, Daniel Shaefer, Andrew Shields, Joe Wetzel

This Kickstarter is a sequel to an earlier Kickstarter that created many more Creature & Encounter Decks. 

That project did 5 System Neutral Creature Decks that are identical in concept to the new Creature Deck offered here.  The key difference is each Creature Deck has different creatures. The prior 5 decks were:

  • Aberrations & Magical Beasts
  • Dragons, Outsiders & Undead
  • Fey, Constructs & Wildlife
  • Humanoids & Monstrous Humanoids
  • Animals & Vermin

The Project also did 2 Encounter Decks, which are similar in concept to the new Adventure Deck offered in this project.  (The primary difference is the Encounter Decks were designed so you would draw a card for an adventure outline, then different card(s) when you needed maps while the new Adventure Deck is designed to have Adventures self-contained on a card.) Deck 1 had black & white maps, while deck 2 had color maps.  However, the adventures and maps were all different--the decks weren't different versions of the same content.

You can add any or all of those decks to your pledge.  Simply pledge for the total number of decks you want.

We're continuing to offer our creature art as stock art to other publishers!  The collection will include over 45 creatures (most of those listed above).  Get it through the Kickstarter as a collection for an amazing price.

Below is the license for use of the stock art in plain English:

  • The art may not be sold as part of a stock art or clip art product. Further, the pieces from this collection may not make up over 25% of any product where it is used.  (So if you want to do your own bestiary using a 1/4 page image of each monster, you're at the limit, but that's OK.)
  • The licensee may modify the image as he sees fit as long as it does not affect the artist's moral rights. (Purposely make the art look bad.)
  • The image can appear in advertisements for products which use the image.
  • The artist’s name must appear in the product’s credits.
  • The art may not be used as part of a product cover. (This is a new requirement for this art vs. our prior stock art. Using the art as a cover seems to lower the value to others.)
  • If your desired use doesn't fit all of these rules, contact support@inkwellideas.com to discuss an alternate license.

As mentioned above, we've self-funded all of the work to date. But we still have half to be done.  If we don't use Kickstarter, it would take us several months to self-fund the rest.  So the funds will be used to pay for more art, cartography, and writing.

Just as importantly, using Kickstarter for these projects gives the backers a chance to express support, confirming that gamers are interested in these decks.

Risks and challenges

We've done this before and learned a lot. Previously, we did 5 versions of each of 5 creature decks (25 in all) for different game systems. It took over a year to fulfill. We kept updating regularly, showed each deck being completed and all rewards were fulfilled. This time we're only doing just one System neutral ecology info creature deck, one encounter deck, and one NPC deck. As stated above, the NPC deck is already nearly done and the other two decks are half-way complete.

We're also going to use DriveThruRPG/RPGNow to fulfill our card orders directly. This will save us hours of work. You'll just click a link to get the PDF free & the cards at cost (if you wish); pay about $4.50/deck for the cost of printing the cards and a little more for shipping.

As for the art, cartography, writing and editing: We can distribute the art and cartography among our many artists as needed. If one artist gets busy, a couple others will be able to pick up the slack. Writing and editing is also now shared between 3-4 people. These tasks can also be re-divided as needed.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    1 Deck - ANY ONE DECK: Get a PDF version & get a DriveThruRPG/RPGNow code to have it printed-at-cost (about $4.50) and shipping.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    2 Decks - ANY TWO DECKS: Get a PDF version of each & get a DriveThruRPG/RPGNow code to have them printed-at-cost (about $4.50 each) and shipping.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    3 Decks - ANY THREE DECKS: Get a PDF version of each & get a DriveThruRPG/RPGNow code to have them printed-at-cost (about $4.50 each) and shipping.

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    26 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    1 (or more) Deck, printed and delivered. While the other rewards include the PDF and let you have the decks printed at cost, this reward will have the decks printed and delivered to your mailbox with no extra payment. Note that shipping the deck by us won't happen until all 3 decks are complete. The PDF of each deck you select is also included. The first deck is $15. Add $10 to your pledge for each extra deck you want. (The non-US shipping rates don't go up for extra card decks. Some shipping is factored in to each deck's cost.)

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    Pledge $18 or more About $18

    4 Decks - ANY FOUR DECKS: Get a PDF version of each & get a DriveThruRPG/RPGNow code to have them printed-at-cost (about $4.50 each) and shipping. For over 4 decks, add $4 for each deck after the 4th.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    10 Decks: Our original 5 System Neutral (Creature Ecology) Decks, our original 2 Encounter Decks, plus the new "Deck of Adventures" Encounter Deck, NPC Deck - "NPC Portraits (Fantasy)" & the new Creature Ecologies Deck - "More Dragons, Outsiders & Undead." Get a PDF version of each & get a DriveThruRPG/RPGNow code to have them printed-at-cost (about $4.50 each) and shipping.

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    40 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Pick your favorite 12 stock art pieces from the new "More Dragons, Outsiders & Undead" card deck. Or get just the line art for all of them. (Does not include card decks. Add $4 per card deck PDF/print at cost code)

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    45+ New stock art pieces from the new "More Dragons, Outsiders & Undead" card deck. (Does not include card decks. Add $4 per card deck PDF/print at cost code.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)