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Encounter Building Cards: Decisions

Encounter Building Cards: Decisions

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Use to Play RPG Solo or as GM Inspiration

The Encounter Building Decks are meant to replace (or at least help) the Game Master in any medieval fantasy-based role-playing game by providing locations, traps, combatants, and decision making in any adventure you can imagine.  The system-less design of these decks allow them to be used with your RPG of choice and let the cards be idea generators rather than specific rules of play.  The decks came about from my desire to play an RPG solo while still having a sense of discovery and unknown.  I got tired of “exploring” maps that I had set-up ahead of time because I always knew what was in the next room!  While these cards won’t replace all the planning completely, the GM (or players who want to play without a GM) only need come up with the general story of the session, have level-appropriate stat blocks in mind, and bring the player characters.  These cards will do the rest!  This means the GM can play as a PC, the group can play without a GM after agreeing upon the general storyline, or you could solo-play your favorite RPG.

There are currently four specific decks you can use with 60 cards each.  They are:

  1. Decisions Deck– These cards act as the stand-in GM by giving answers to yes/no questions, random die rolls, random events, details about an event, and even a simple quest generator.  This deck is the barebones necessity if you want to try playing without a GM.
  2. Locations Deck – These cards describe a location within four different types of environments.  They also give information about the number of exits (doors) within each room location, whether those doors are locked or not, and if there are secret doors to find.  While this doesn’t give you an exact map of each location, it does give you enough description and randomness to truly explore a dungeon or castle never knowing what the next room will bring.
  3. Traps Deck – These cards contain 120 possibilities for traps such pitfalls, crushing walls, magical auras to defeat, and more.
  4. Combat Deck – Come to a room filled with bad guys?  Who are they?  How do they fight?  These cards detail combat encounters you may have.  They give you the general type of enemy, how they attack, what their intentions are, difficulty level, special equipment or tactics, and more.

Use as many or as few of the decks as you would like.  If you’re solo playing an RPG, you might want all four decks.  If you’re a dedicated GM with a group of players, you may find the Locations, Combats, and Traps most useful for generating ideas or to use directly during gameplay.  Alternately, a group could play without a GM by giving more control over to the cards and seeing where they story takes you.

Before you purchase any deck, you can check out this 18 page PDF rulebook detailing how to use this deck and the other three decks in the series.  It's free!  Download it and see if it will work for you!

You might also find it helpful to check out my website with the "Publisher Website" link on the right where I have everything loaded into a web app that you can use for free.  Try it out!  If you like it, come back and purchase the cards!

What do I get with a purchase?

You can purchase the "Multiple File Formats" option and receive:

  • A print-n-play version of all 60 card Encounter Building Cards for this specific deck
  • A single page PDF with Javascript enabled buttons that will randomly generate the values, and
  • A ZIP folder of individual card PNG files.

You can purchase the "Cards" option and receive:

  • The physical 60 card deck.  NOTE: The deck does not come with a box, so you may want to add a box to your purchase during checkout.

You can also purchase both the "Multiple File Formats" and "Cards" to receive all the digital files and the physical card deck as well.

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Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
KEVIN G January 31, 2020 11:21 am UTC
Are these available in individual image files for each card?
Customer avatar
Eric B February 01, 2020 2:14 pm UTC
No, I've got them set-up as nine cards to a page to save on paper. I do have another PDF I could get you with three cards per page with both the fronts and backs on the page so that you can cut and fold the card together if that would work better for you. Do you need individuals? It may be my PNP unsaviness, but how would you use individuals? If it's important, I can look into it, but the individuals files are much larger.
Customer avatar
KEVIN G February 04, 2020 10:01 am UTC
Thanks for the response. Individual card files can be shuffled around with a shortcut key in an image viewer like InfraViewer. They can also be used in virtual tabletop software like Tabletop Simulator. I have both. If you can provide individual files it would be great (even if the file size is a bit large).
Customer avatar
Eric B February 04, 2020 11:15 pm UTC
I had not heard of InfraViewer and didn't think of using a Tabletop Simulator. Give through the weekend to get the individual files uploaded to DTRPG (hopefully in a ZIP folder if DTRPG will take that?), and I'll let you know when it's done. Thanks!
Customer avatar
KEVIN G February 05, 2020 12:19 am UTC
Customer avatar
Eric B February 08, 2020 2:26 am UTC
Kevin, I've got the individual images uploaded to the Digital version of each of these decks. You now get Print-N-Play cards at higher resolution, the Javascript enabled PDF with push button random generation, and a ZIP folder with the individual images. Just order the Digital Version (links in the product description above) of whichever deck you want, and you should be good to go. Thanks for the suggestion! Anything else you can think of that would useful?
Customer avatar
KEVIN G February 08, 2020 4:43 pm UTC
Awesome! I like the PDF with random elements too. Maybe make the link to the digital version slightly easier to find in your product description (a quibble, I know). Thanks for this. I bought the decision deck.
Customer avatar
Mike C November 18, 2019 3:50 pm UTC
I haven't purchased yet (I'm the GM, we don't play GM-less) but I had a couple comments:

* The "odds of yes" part of the card is inspired and your instructions would be a worthy "How to GM negotiations" guide.
* The advice your father gave you... Man, that was brilliant!
* I wish the cards had a d8. You could have 4 cards with "Draw again". (In case you do another edition.)
* The loot section is also great advice for GMs, perfectly distilled.

Anyway, a stumbled on this while looking for those plastic boxes to hold cards. Good luck!
Customer avatar
Eric B November 20, 2019 12:42 am UTC
Thanks so much for your comments! I will definitely consider squeezing in the d8 if I do another edition of these. Thanks again!
Customer avatar
Kevin P December 20, 2016 3:57 pm UTC
There is no contact publisher link to the right. Just reviews and product searches. No PDF on RPGNow or DriveThroughRPG. Have the cards, watched the video, works OK, but I am sure the PDF has more to cover some of the little things I am not understanding. Any assistance from DriveThroughRPG or the publisher would be appreciated.
Customer avatar
Eric B December 21, 2016 12:15 am UTC
Sorry about that! I worked with a DriveThru rep before I posted these cards for sale who assured me that I had the PDF in the correct spot. Apparently we were wrong. I'm working with another rep right now to get it up correctly.
Customer avatar
Eric B December 22, 2016 12:12 am UTC
The tech department at DriveThru is stymied as well since I have the rulebook uploaded to the correct spot. While they sort that out on their end, I've listed the rulebook as a separate free download. The link is in the product description above. Hope that helps! If you have any other issues, please let me know!
Customer avatar
Kevin P December 28, 2016 2:50 am UTC
Thank you very much. That worked out just fine. While most of the information on the cards is quite self-explanatory and the video helps alot, there are a few nuances that needed clarification. The PDF answered those questions. Again, Thank you very much for working on get a link to the pdf.
Customer avatar
Eric B December 28, 2016 3:57 am UTC
Happy to help, and thanks for trying out my product!
Customer avatar
Dominique M August 25, 2016 7:47 pm UTC
How to receive the PDF to use the cards?
Customer avatar
Dominique M September 01, 2016 11:39 am UTC
I received cards, great. But how to get the PDF rulebook for using these cards ?
Customer avatar
Dominique M September 01, 2016 7:06 pm UTC
RPGNow thank you, I received very quickly the PDF rulebook. Excellent !
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on July 21, 2016.