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Cards with a Twist

****( )

Each of the 51, standard-sized cards is illustrated in colour. In the style of most CCGs, the top half of each card is a piece of artwork, with text on the lower half. Along with a title, the centre of every card has one or two lines of writing. This central text provides a direct mechanical effect for the card.

However, it is the bullet points below this rules text which offer the most potential for adding a twist to your game. Here are four possible ways to have the theme of the card impact the plot at your table. As to be expected from Paizo, these suggestions have a loose fantasy feel, but are generic enough to be applied to almost any setting. This is not always true of the art, where a few modern images appear.

From a storytelling perspective, it is these plot suggestions that hold the most potential. When a Player uses one of these cards, they have the opportunity to add a twist of their own to the current plot. This serves to empower the Players in your game, and thereby increase their engagement.

Furthermore, this plot twist will be equally surprising to the GM. This is a perfect way to keep the game interesting for the GM, when you can never be certain where the Players are going to take your game.

Plot Twist Rules
Four cards with rules and OGL text are included in the pack. According to these rules, the Plot Twist cards should be handed out during character creation, and whenever a Hero gains a level. A Player may play a Plot Twist card at any time, choosing either the mechanical benefit, or the alteration to the story based around one of the prompts on the cards.

There is also advice to the GM here about how to implement the cards. Essentially, the GM is left in charge of their game, and may interpret any alterations to the plot according to the broader needs of their game.

Happy Storytelling
Phil

For a longer review, see my blog Tales of a GM:
Tales of a GM, Plot Twist Cards: Flashbacks Review


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Chase Cards 2; the Ideal Gaming Accessory

*****

Chase Cards 2: Hot Pursuit is the latest release by Paizo in their Pathfinder Cards line.

The pack contains 51 unique cards depicting an obstacle, 17 each for urban, forest and dungeon environments. In addition, there are two cards of rules, a copyright card and an advert card. These Pathfinder Chase Cards are also billed as 3.5/OGL compatible. The rules that come with the cards are flexible enough to be used with just about any roleplaying game.

Chase Cards 2 feature full-colour art. The obstacle is depicted in the top half of each card. Each card also offers two possible ways to avoid or overcome the obstacle on the lower half. These options are accompanied by the name of a relevant Pathfinder skill, and the Difficulty Check value that needs to be overcome.

The cards are colour-coded for the three categories of chase, but the backs are all the same so they could be intermixed if desired. Overall the art is good, if a little stylized in places. These are simple images, but convey a good sense of the obstacle being described.

As to be expected from the title, these cards enable the GM to run chase sequences. The chase can be set up with the pursued a number of cards ahead. Essentially, participants need to overcome the obstacle shown on the card to progress with their pursuit, or flight. If the pursued can achieve a large enough lead, then they escape. Or the pursuers can catch their quarry by closing the starting gap, and thus end the chase.

Chase Cards 2 adds two special rules. Some cards offer the possibility of a short cut, enabling the participant to skip ahead 1d4 cards. Another additional rule is the chance to escape the chase, available on a few cards. Both of these rules add more variety to the chases.

The Chase Cards are such a simple, yet effective accessory. They are the perfect tool to add an exciting, cinematic contest to a game that does not focus upon killing. I have found them easy to use and the Players love taking part in a chase sequence.

Chase Cards 2: Hot Pursuit is highly recommended.

Happy Chasing
Phil

For a longer review, see my Tales of a GM blog;
Tales of a GM, Chase Cards 2 Review



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