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 . . .


  1. This is damn smart. I get that it was a simple example, and it works well as that, but...

    The way I'd use it:

    Suit determines encounter type.
    Clubs: no encounter
    Spades: combat
    Diamonds: exploration (puzzles/traps)
    Hearts: social (negotiation, politics, riddles, etc.)

    Pip card values indicate encounter chart to roll on, with each chart being keyed to a CR around the pip value. (Non encounters have charts of cosmetic events, like dust falling from the ceiling, bats flying in your face, etc.)

    Face cards represent narrative events, with their nature again determined by suit. Just slot events into locations as they appear and keep building the dungeon until you've covered all the events you need in this site.
    Jacks: Side Quest
    Queens: Main Quest
    Kings: Campaign Narrative

    Jokers are dead ends or staircases.