Firestarters: First Prototype

Blog   Garrison Benson   Thursday, September 15, 2016   Firestarters, random generators, tabletop RPGs   Comments

Firestarters prototypes

A few weeks ago I printed my first prototypes for Firestarters, card decks I'm designing to help game masters, writers, and other creative nerds come up with ideas through random inspiration. I have three themed decks: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Modern. Each card lists words and phrases in various categories hand-picked to be evocative, synergistically flexible, or convenient for filling in quick details. You can use them to generate character names, traits, and relationships ("clean-cut", "rancher", "great grandchild", "Todartheus Drobis"); monsters ("hedgehog", "troglodyte" "buzzing", "talon", "ambush", "vanish"); location details ("bare", "hillside", "fern", "whirlpool", "bridge"); treasure ("cursed", "stardust", "locket"); and more.

My goal is to create the Swiss army knife of random inspiration--like random tables, but with a more compact form factor and broader use cases. Firestarters won't provide the razor-specific details you'd get in the random tables from, say, The Dungeon Dozen or DCC RPG. Instead you'll get near unlimited possibilities for recombination.

When you need a detail about some element of your story, draw a few cards. Pick a word or phrase that jumps out at you and start connecting it with others that seem interesting. (What's at the intersection of "zombie", "ointment", and "thief"? Must be something interesting!) Form questions based on what blanks need filling, and draw more cards or use whatever answers come naturally.

After I wrap up the "playtest" and do the graphic design I'll sell these decks from DriveThruCards. Keep an eye out!