Sunday, February 26, 2017

Cardtography 2: A Simple Dungeon

The second installment of Cardtography is up at Kobold Press.

We didn’t choose cards as our randomizers because they’re somewhat room-shaped. That’s a happy coincidence. The real reason is because they have information embedded on them, and we can use that information in all sorts of useful ways.

A playing card has two obvious bits of information: suit (clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades) and value (1-13). Those aren’t, however, the only way to classify their information. Suits can be reduced to red or black, and value can be looked at as 1-10 plus face cards. With so much encoded information to play with, we can combine bits to derive other values and create further groupings: odd black cards, for example, or red face cards.

Read the rest at Kobold Press . . .

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cardtography 1: The Basics

I have a new series of articles starting up over at Kobold Press this week. It's all about using a standard deck of playing cards to generate dungeon layouts and, in a larger sense, adventures. I'm pretty excited about it, because it's a topic and a system I've been playing with for years. Here's a taste:

My goal in this series of articles isn’t to put forward the ideal dungeon generator, whatever that might be. It’s not to put forward the most comprehensive, the most flexible, or the one that’s most likely to please everyone. It’s to put forward a generator that’s easy and FAST to use. One that doesn’t require a lot of materials, cross-checking pages of tables, or even drawing a map. Instead of using tables and dice, it uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards (54 when the jokers are included, which they sometimes are) and plenty of six-sided dice. One of those plastic boxes of 36 12mm dice is perfect, but any d6s will do.

This system is fast enough to use on the fly in the middle of a game session. It could be used by a solo player or by a group without a GM. When a GM is involved, it still pays to create the dungeon ahead of time and do some critical thinking about how it can be improved and made more logical (not necessarily the same thing). But if you need a dungeon NOW for a no-prep game session or to kill some time in solo exploration, this will do the trick.

Read the rest at Kobold Press . . .