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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy DeckClick to magnify

The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck

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Adventure Awaits!

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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy is a system-neutral (compatible with any edition of any game!) deck of cards that can be used as either a supplement for traditional tabletop RPGs or as a complete game engine for GM-free solo or group RPGs.

You can view the cards' complete instructions for free by clicking the preview link beneath the thumbnail above, or view the Quickstart Guide and a set of quick-reference PnP/PoD Instruction Cards here on DriveThru if you prefer (if you wish to purchase the Print on Demand instruction cards to keep with your deck, be sure to combine the order with the deck itself! They are only six cards, and DriveThru will not print orders that small). You can also scroll down to view the card overview image and watch a video of the cards in use! 

On each card is a set of fifteen individual randomizers; with 60 double-sided cards, you can generate literally millions of possible adventures, all without having to hunt through a book or PDF for a single table!

With these cards, you can:

  • Instantly generate NPCs with randomized names, motivations, and backgrounds.

  • Create random events or story seeds.

  • Provide sensory details or random loot for characters searching or stealing.

  • Run games without a human GameMaster!

And more--they even work brilliantly as creative writing prompt generators, and have been playtested by 9th-12th grade students of both English and Game Design.

For more ideas and helpful videos, you can check out our website, www.LarcenousDesigns.com, and follow the links under Publications!

Card Overview

These cards exist thanks to the backers of both the original and the fantasy-deck Kickstarters! Thank you!

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Reviews (15)
Discussions (16)
Customer avatar
Dave C September 26, 2022 8:59 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I bought this deck back in the spring and broke it out to use and there were no instruction cards at all, disappointed as i think this would be crucial to make sure one uses the correctly.
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 26, 2022 9:26 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Sorry about that! The instruction cards were a more-lately-developed add-on, and since many of the backers/customers purchase multiple decks, they asked I make the instruction cards optional and separate, since they would increase costs and mostly be extra. If you ever order another deck, before you do, email me at LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com and I can send you a coupon for a discount to reduce the cost and compensate you for the inconvenience.
Customer avatar
Craig W September 23, 2022 2:41 am UTC
Any news on an updated version of the Fantasy Deck? Something had been mentioned a little while ago about releasing new versions of the decks.
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 23, 2022 3:11 am UTC
PUBLISHER
We are currently starting up the Beta of the Cyberpunk Deck, which is how we’ll be making decisions about what to change; once that is wrapped up next spring or summer, we’ll be moving on to upgrading the Fantasy, Base, etc decks! The timeline on that is, however, far enough out that I can’t commit to specifics for other releases.
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Customer avatar
Craig W September 23, 2022 5:00 pm UTC
Bah! I am too impatient for that!
Guess I have to get the original and then get the update down the road. Ha ha ha
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 25, 2022 2:11 am UTC
PUBLISHER
I really appreciate the support, and I hope you have fun with them!
Customer avatar
Sean H September 21, 2022 7:28 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is this deck different than this one: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/125685/The-GameMasters-Apprentice-Base-Deck ?

I bought the base deck hoping it would be black like this because that's what I saw in all the videos but it wasn't :(

How does the Fantasy Deck differ from the Base Deck other than color?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 21, 2022 9:46 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Hello!
I’m sorry for any confusion. We use the Fantasy deck for the demo video because it was the most recent deck, with the best quality video.
The differences between the decks are many, but you can certainly use the Base Deck for any genre and have it function well. When writing the Base Deck, I made sure every card had at least a few details that fit Fantasy, Modern, and SciFi settings. Then, to make the genre decks like Fantasy, I go through the text and replace everything that doesn’t work in the new genre (so removing references to cars and most other technology, for example, and adding in more magic). Some fields remain the same, like Virtues and Vices, while others get completely replaced, like Names. I’d say it’s about 30-40% by volume of text that is different.
The Fantasy Deck also has one new field of 120 random icons, which is something we’re probably adding to all new decks going forward; we just wrapped up the Kickstarter for the Cyberpunk deck, and if you want to see...See more
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Customer avatar
Sean H September 21, 2022 9:21 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Looks like I made a mistake then! Thank you for the clarification - it seems I need to get the Fantasy Deck as well, when finances permit ...
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 21, 2022 10:13 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
If you meant to buy the Fantasy Deck, I’m happy to help out! Email me at the address in the previous comment and include the order number from your purchase of the Base Deck, and I’ll send you a complimentary copy of the Fantasy Deck.
Reply
Customer avatar
Sean H September 22, 2022 3:07 am UTC
PURCHASER
Email sent; thank you so much!
Customer avatar
Charles B September 09, 2022 7:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Where are the GMA Adventure Guides mentioned in the instructions?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R September 09, 2022 7:31 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
If you look either in your library or here on the product page below the thumbnail image (if logged in, you’ll see “You have purchased this product” and a number of file links), it should be called “GMA Fantasy Adventure Guide.PDF.”

Let me know if you have any further issues locating it!
Customer avatar
William C January 01, 2022 2:25 am UTC
PURCHASER
Is there a GMA Fantasy Adventure Guide like the one that came with the Sci-Fi deck? I found that to be really useful to creating a background campaign world with plot seeds. It would be really great to have one for this deck which I just purchased.
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Customer avatar
Nathan R January 01, 2022 2:58 am UTC
PUBLISHER
There is! It should be in your downloads already; if you scroll up to look at the listing, it should appear as '(GMA Fantasy Adventure Guide).' If you don't see it there, email me at LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com!

Happy new year!
Customer avatar
Ernest C December 06, 2021 7:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi! are there any Virtual Card Shuffler Programs that don't have to use Roll20 or Tabletop Simulator? Amazing product btw!! Keeps my imagination going :)
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Customer avatar
Nathan R December 06, 2021 9:27 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks!
The best solution I’ve seen uses an Android app called Custom Image Dice, which lets you upload card or images of any kind to ‘roll.’ Personally, I don’t have a phone that works for it, so I just open a pdf in a reader app and scroll through it randomly (this is NOT a method I can strongly recommend; it’s a bit tedious and very far from truly random, it just happens to be the most convenient way I’ve found for myself).
Customer avatar
Craig W October 03, 2021 5:18 pm UTC
Question: if I pick up multiple decks, can they fit in one deckbox, or does each deck need a box of its own?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R October 03, 2021 5:31 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
The plastic deck boxes you can have automatically included only fit one deck of about 60 cards (I find up to about 72 fit, actually), but if you want, you can search DriveThru for their separate, stand-alone deck boxes and order the 120-card box size! If two decks isn’t enough, I would say check out your local or online gaming retailer for magic-card deck boxes designed for multiples, since the cards are the same size. I hope that all helps!
Customer avatar
Mike M February 11, 2021 6:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I'm trying to understand if there's a reason the cards have the dice values that they do. Specifically the D%. I understand that with 120 cards it's not possible to have an even spread of the numbers from 1 to 100, but I was looking to see which ones were duplicated and I discovered that some cards were duplicated more than once, and some weren't present at all. For instance, in the cards with D% values between 00 and 09 there were two 02s, two 04s, three 06s, two 07s, and no 01s or 08s. Is there a particular methodology behind this, or is it just an oversight?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R February 11, 2021 6:37 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Heya!
All the dice are randomized individually--so the d00 and 10 next to it are essentially both just d10s, and you need to draw one card for each. This keeps the maximum randomness for the d100, and also lets each card technically have 3d10 on it if you want to use the cards for Storyteller/d10 dice pool games (with suboptimal randomness, though).
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Customer avatar
Mike M February 12, 2021 12:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That's actually a pretty elegant solution to the problem of how to get an even distribution for D100 on 120 cards. And now that you point it out, I feel like I read it somewhere I had just forgotten. Thanks for the reply and the great product.
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Customer avatar
Nathan R February 12, 2021 12:48 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Thanks! I really appreciate the kind words, and I hope the cards serve you well!
Customer avatar
Malcolm R January 01, 2021 4:45 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi. This looks great. Are the theme decks standalone or do they require the base deck?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R January 01, 2021 5:52 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Heya! Thanks for the kind words :-)

The theme decks are all standalone. The Base Deck really can work for pretty much anything, but the themes change up text and results so none of it is counter to the chosen genre--and I think the art helps set the tone pretty well for each!
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Customer avatar
Malcolm R January 03, 2021 12:01 am UTC
PURCHASER
Thanks. I've bought the Fantasy, SF and Base deck PDFs and now wondering if the B/W versions of the Fantasy and SF cards could be updated with border lines and/or crop marks to make it easier to cut them to a consistent size, as it is quite hard to determine the edges when printed. The SF ones, at least, have a nice crisp inner border but this has overlapping objects, so may not be the best place to cut. Or is that meant to be the edge, as none of the overlaps seems critical?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R January 03, 2021 1:34 am UTC
PUBLISHER
That's a good point! Sorry; the inconsistency is due to the BW/low ink versions being sort of a 'fun add on' rather than something we originally planned for, so they didn't really get the attention they deserved. I am planning some updates to various documents at the moment, so I'll add that to the list, but I'm afraid I can't give you a timeline (my day job is teaching, and right now that's eating more time even than usual). I'm sorry not to be of more immediate help!
Customer avatar
Michael F November 12, 2020 7:06 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hi, is there a back to these cards? Useful for printing or imported into games where the whole thing is a deck
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Customer avatar
Nathan R November 13, 2020 3:08 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Heya!
We don’t currently have a formal back for them, as they were designed to be printed back to back. I’ve got a very basic back we slapped together for the Base Deck, which I am happy to send you if you email me at LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com, and we are considering making a basic back for each deck at some point! Sorry for the inconvenience.
Customer avatar
Olga O October 01, 2020 11:32 am UTC
PURCHASER
I didn't expect that will include a b/w print version of the deck and I'm incredibly happy right now!
Customer avatar
Kris S September 12, 2020 5:34 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I've recently used this fantasy set to help write a series of novellas, with some of the events determined by this deck plus a mix of other RPG rules. It's been a fun project of over 100K words in the last few months!

An example of what I did with it: The magic-user heroine was in a seedy bar, where she was planning to draw out some kidnappers, but I didn't know exactly how it'd happen. The cards suggested: "Beverages. Magic amplifies. Injure distant food. Strengthen brazen rage. Fix disappointing foreigner." So she was practicing magic with her drink, and accidentally flung it all over the food and person of an angry gangster! Soon she was in the villains' lair, where another system ("Godbound") told me they had "defensive relics" "sealing away a terrible power". The cards then told me what a few of the evil cultists were doing: "Confuse diabolical defense. Alter gaudy container. Defeat arcane trap." So, surprisingly, these guys were betraying the...See more
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Customer avatar
Kevin M September 12, 2020 9:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
That's so awesome Kris! I also use the cards to help my novel writing and to create unexpected twists and turns. Just goes to show how incredibly versatile these cards are! Keep at it!
Reply
Customer avatar
Nathan R September 12, 2020 10:49 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
It's really awesome to see stuff like this! Thanks for sharing--I'm glad the cards have been useful to you, and I think your advice is excellent :-)
Customer avatar
Myron M May 03, 2020 5:27 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I would love to buy this deck to play a solo game of Pathfinder, D&D, and World of Darkness. My only fear is I wonder how much input is needed from me before I end up spoiling the game for myself. I can get creative and have stories in mind for my character in those game systems, but if I know all the items, monsters, etc that I will encounter before hand, it sort of ruins the wonder to me.
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Customer avatar
Nathan R May 03, 2020 6:21 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
I definitely understand that concern, and I think the cards can help you avoid that kind of problem in solo-games, especially since they can produce literally millions of random suggestions to tweak your story in unexpected directions!

Specifically, I have a few suggestions I give about running solo games with some mystery preserved. You can read them in more detail (including how to use the deck to run a game in another system) in my free beta of ALONe: A Solo Game Engine, and in the Adventure Guide for the Horror Deck (which is included in that Deck, and also in the Adventure Guide Pack I sell with all of them for 0.99), but some examples:

-Using the Tag Symbols on the cards, you can select a twist that applies to your game at a critical moment.

-Also using the Tag Symbols or the Difficulty Generator fields, you can build a list of your knowledge and assumptions as you go: There were claw marks at the scene; The witness says they saw a man with red hair; etc. Then, whenever...See more
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Customer avatar
Myron M May 03, 2020 8:09 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Thank you for the suggestions.
Customer avatar
Jason W May 02, 2020 4:53 am UTC
PURCHASER
I picked up the cards (both printed and pdf) and they came in the mail today. They look great and I can't wait to use them. I have a question though. In the Form Fillable Instruction Cards I don't seem to be able to actually add any text to the card. Is there a trick to adding text? I can see looking at the security of the deck I should be able to, but when I click on one of the blank lines it puts the text cursor there but I can't actually type anything. I don't know a ton about pdf's, so how do I go about adding my own text?
Reply
Customer avatar
Nathan R May 02, 2020 12:47 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
Hi, Jason;
I’m not immediately familiar with that problem and this document, but I’ve run into issues with Adobe Reader not letting me fill in forms before. My first thoughts are Reader vs Acrobat (though Reader should work, as far as I’m aware), and if the installation is completely up to date? Or if, for some reason, the individual fields have been locked even though the security on the document should let you change that? I don’t know if I can be of more help, but I’ll do a quick google when I get a chance and reply here if I come across anything! Sorry about the hassle.
Customer avatar
Darin W April 27, 2020 8:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Nathan, Thanks for making such cool tools! I bought the PDF of both the base and fantasy decks, but want a physical deck to work with. I'm debating whether to print them on card stock or to just order your "real" deck. Are they printed on thick card stock?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R April 27, 2020 9:54 pm UTC
PUBLISHER
You’re welcome! The card stock used is DriveThru’s Premium, which is (according to their website) “11.4-pt. thickness, 310 gsm black core card stock from German paper manufacturer Koehler.” In my experience, it is slightly snappier and sturdier than Magic the Gathering cards.

I am definitely slightly biased, but I personally prefer the print on demand version to any of the card stocks I’ve ever hand printed and cut! That said, that is because I love having them double-sided, which is the official way to do it—if you prefer 120 single sided cards, you have to home print.
Customer avatar
Kris S July 30, 2019 12:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi! I accidentally bought the print edition without the PDF version, which would've cost $0 extra. I already bought the Age of Sail deck... and lost it... in print+PDF form, so I've got everything except the "Adventure Guide" file. Could I please get a copy of the fantasy deck's Adventure Guide?
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Customer avatar
Nathan R July 30, 2019 1:07 am UTC
PUBLISHER
Definitely! However, just for the sake of completeness, I'm also happy to send you a code to add-on the full PDF set as if you'd purchased it, so you have it all available in your library. Just send me an email containing the order number for your print-only purchase, to LarcenousDesigns@gmail.com, and I'll get you sorted! (That way, you'll also get the d1000 table of random magical chaos!)
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