We get a lot of questions about how we come up with the ideas for the fun Cast of Cards decks. I think most of us here at Warning Label come to the ideas from a different place, too. Sometimes, though, the deck you started making isn’t the one you end up finishing.
Geoff came up with an awesome set of Extras and Wild Cards with the Ancient Ruins deck. The characters are interesting, the stats are fairly accessible, and the adventure ideas dribbled throughout the text on the back are one-after-the-other.
I’ll admit I stopped reading when I got to the tomb reaver:
A hideous and wretched creature, the undead Reaver patrols the ruins. It somehow senses mystically when anyone disturbs one of the graves it is charged with protecting.
Now, that’s fun enough to someone like me whose brain is wired to immediately start throwing characters against a creature like that. But there’s more: it’s weapon is a mystic shovel.
A. Mystic. Shovel.
The very next thing I worked on was an idea for a deck of angry villagers, the kind of people who’d overreact and treat someone so badly their soul would be trapped as a tomb reaver. So I start writing the descriptions.
Four cards in, I got to a character I had penciled in as “scheming second daughter.” The younger girl, who wouldn’t get to marry the prince. Maybe not the stepsister, but still an evil sister. And then my brain went “blink,” (yes, my brain blinks—deal with it, let’s go) and I knew I had to start writing a deck of “spurned suitors” who’ve all been passed over by the elder daughter and are stuck with the evil second daughter.
You see how these things sometimes work? I started with a monster, went to villagers, then to a pair of sisters, and then to a group of spurned suitors. That’s easily 3-4 decks of characters, and I’m not done with any of them.
Because the idea—and the next idea, and the one after that—all came *after* the plan to start writing.
What do you guys do when you get into traps like this? How do you keep your own Extras and Wild Cards under control? Let us know—we obviously need the advice!