Ur-story Gaming

Ur-story Gaming

Oh man, who else remembers Whimsy Cards? They’re re-releasing them as a Kickstarter. I’m probably not in, but I do have fond memories. They claim a 30 year history but I don’t think I saw them until the early ’90s. IIRC they were Lion Rampant’s first thing, pre-Ars Magica.

Given how cooperative narrative tools have evolved in the past 15ish years, I’m not sure I have much use for such technology today. They are, basically, random fictional inputs — not really any different than, say, the Emotional Matrix in Tenra Bansho Zero or the nudges you get in Archipelago. I do remember, though, the nearly irresistible draw of converting these fun little fictional prods into tactical assets. As in, “oh hey, this would be a good time to see a Horrible Failure.” Ugh, gamers, amirite?

I’m pretty sure, based on memory alone, that adding Whimsy/Storypath cards to, say, your 5E game won’t make that 5E game feel or act like a story-dash-game. No worries, should be cootie-free.

Anyway, check it out. It’s a nostalgia money grab but we’re going to have years of those, so strap in and enjoy/brace yourself.

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0 thoughts on “Ur-story Gaming”

  1. How weird that it’s Stewart reviving the property. I guess he got them in the various WWGS evolutions but it’s not exactly something I associate with his era. Still, neat little product, let’s see what it does!

  2. I”m way more interested backing this just for a deck of Whimsy Cards than I am for the actual Storypath product; the latter seems really uninteresting to me. But the Whimsy Cards are a piece of gaming history, so I’d be in for that.

  3. (Aside: And then there’s the whole issue of the basic concept of these cards, which seem to imply that, by default, players have no input.)

  4. I think I still have a deck of the original ones around, with a ghosts and haunting themes. Never felt compelled to use them at the table, since the stark abruptness (and lack of connection to whatever path the characters were already following) of the incidents seemed like they would come off more silly than dramatic

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