How It Works
JON’S COMMENTS/ MODIFICATIONS ARE IN ALL CAPS
players get a to draw a random plot card each session. If they play it there is a reward.
Monster XP will instead be rewarded with a draw from a player advantage deck, at the beginning of the following session.
Minion XP may be a smaller reward, or none at all.
The plot cards should not create an advantage, but should change or modify the scene / story / world.
See Bottom of page for details of drawing an playing cards.
Age of Fire
play to introduce a strange, irrational, random, or wild magical effect — warning the god of fire may chose a side in the encounter, although more often he his neutral) It is the age of fire after all. Or You could add strange unnatural features to a creature. (example the guard captain is a fire Genasi)
Gain minion XP for if the effect benefits the PCs, or random detail. Monster XP for a disadvantage to PCS.
Reveal this card instead of making a Religion skill check to learn background information. Rather than roll and hear the DM’s take, make it up yourself. At least some of the information you impart will be true.
Gain Minion XP for a tidbit, or Monster XP for a fleshed-out tale.
…And thus it was written
Reveal this card to declare that two extant factions are embroiled in a bitter feud.
Gain Minion XP; +Minion XP if you elaborate on the source of the feud; +Minion XP per involved faction with whom the party has built 5 or more influence successes.
A Plague O’ Both Your Houses
Bring Down the Chandelier
Reveal this card in combat. You introduce a Physical Skill Challenge that, if completed, will gain the party some advantage (such as a one-off blast attack, creating or clearing a hazard, etc.).
Gain Minion XP.
But Soft! What Light from Yonder Barstool Breaks
Reveal this card to fall in love with another character (PC or NPC).
Can’t We Talk About This?/ I Have A Plan.
SPEND 1-2 ACTION POINTS, THE ENCOUNTER DOES NOT COUNT TOWARDS MILESTONES.
Reveal this card when a combat encounter is laid out or initiative is rolled. The party may attempt a Social OR MENTAL Skill Challenge to try to avoid the combat.
Gain Minion XP if the NPC’s new faction is an existing one, or Monster XP if you invent a new faction for the purpose.
Didn’t You Notice the Tattoo on His Arm?
Reveal this card to declare that an extant NPC is a representative of a faction. If the NPC is already a known faction member, this can make them a representative of both factions, possibly as a double agent.
Gain Minion XP if you leave the connection to the DM to define, or Monster XP if you explain how you know him/her.
Don’t I Know You from Somewhere?
Reveal this card when you meet a new NPC. That character becomes part of your backstory—you’ve been friends, or comrades in arms, or enemies, or the like at some point in the past.
Gain Minion XP if you just define what the place is, or Monster XP if you give it a name, and the name and some detail about its proprietor/proprietress.
Don’t Worry, I Know Just the Place
Reveal this card when your party needs/wants to go to an establishment of some kind—tavern, weapons shop, brothel, guildhall, etc. That location now exists.
Gain Minion XP, or Monster XP if what you do brings additional trouble down upon the party (describe how).
Graceful as a Moose
Reveal this card when you fail a skill check, or to turn a successful skill check into a failure. Provide a colorful description of what happens instead of your character’s intent.
Gain Minion XP for a tidbit, or Monster XP for juicy gossip rich with potential.
Here’s the Catch
Reveal this card when fulfilling or turning in a quest. Narrate a complication or reversal that leaves the business of the quest not fully resolved.
Gain Minion XP if this merely delays your reward, or Monster XP if it chains the quest into a new one as a result of the plot twist.
I Am the Rumor Mill
Reveal this card instead of making a Streetwise roll to investigate the local talk. Rather than roll and hear the DM’s take, make it up yourself. At least some of what you “hear” will be true.
Gain Minion XP, or Monster XP if the NPC is an ally critical to the party’s success in some way.
I Don’t Like Your Tone, Drifter
Reveal this card when interacting with an NPC. That NPC takes an intense, personal dislike of you. You can at any time undertake a Minor Personal Quest to regain the NPC’s good opinion, ending this effect when fulfilled… or just live with it!
Gain Minion XP, or Monster XP if the NPC is hostile to the party (you can’t fulfill the above quest if you kill him/her).
I Find Bloodspattered Armor Sexy
Reveal this card when interacting with an NPC. That NPC falls in love with your character. You may at any time undertake a Minor Personal Quest to break the NPC’s heart, ending the attraction when fulfilled… or just go with it!
Gain Minion XP for a tidbit, or Monster XP for an elaborate, DM-useful description.
I Know These Woods Like the Back of Your Ass
Reveal this card instead of making a Nature skill check to gather information about a wilderness location. Rather than roll and hear the DM’s take on the result, describe the wild area yourself. At least some of the information you impart will be true.
I Meant To Do That
play on a miss, narrate a strange or lucky event that happens as a result of a big wiff on an attack or skill roll.
Gain Minion XP for an alternate attack (damage up to 3d8 +1/2 level) or imposing a condition on your target. Monster XP for humor, or neutral or an effect with that creates more problems.
I Minored in Kuo-Toa Cultural Studies
Reveal this card instead of making a History skill check to learn background information. Rather than roll and hear the DM’s take on the result, make it up yourself. At least some of the information you impart will be true.
Gain Minion XP for a tidbit, or Monster XP for a lengthy and entertaining tale.
Reveal this card instead of making an Arcana skill check to learn background information. Rather than roll and hear the DM’s take on the result, make it up yourself. At least some of the information you impart will be true.
Gain Minion XP for a tidbit, or Monster XP for a full and entertaining lecture.
In the Third Chapter of the Necronomicon…
Reveal this card in combat to introduce a new environmental hazard (trap, threatening terrain such as a fire or rockfall, dangerous weather, etc.). The DM assigns its stats based on your description.
Gain Minion XP if it is placed/acts to the party’s advantage, or Monster XP if it endangers them.
My Gods, Look Out Behind You!
Oh Yeah, They Totally Are
Reveal this card to declare that two extant NPCs are lovers. (They totally are.)
Gain Minion XP, +Minion XP per PC who is in love with or romantically involved with either NPC, +Minion XP per active quest involving either NPC.
Reveal this card when a skill check to search an area (usually Perception) fails to turn up anything interesting.
Gain Minion XP and find a treasure parcel anyway.
Out With It, Already!
Reveal this card instead of making a social skill check (Bluff/Diplomacy/Intimidate) to get an NPC to divulge information. Take control of the NPC and spill the beans however you see fit. At least some of the NPC’s information will be true.
Gain Minion XP for a brief utterance or two, or Monster XP for elaborate plots and revelations.
Saved by Kitty Litter
Reveal this card when a new map is drawn or laid out. Add new terrain features (difficult terrain, blocking terrain, concealing terrain, elevation changes, interactable objects like barrels…) to up to 10 squares.
Gain Minion XP.
Reveal this card in combat. You introduce an in-combat Mental Skill Challenge that, if completed, will gain the party some advantage (such as warding an area, banishing or damaging a monster, or providing an attack boost).
Gain Minion XP.
We Must Not Let Them Interrupt the Ritual!
Reveal this card to declare that an NPC in the scene is in fact someone else, in disguise. The revealed identity can be an existing character or a new one.
Gain Minion XP for naming the person, or Monster XP if you then explain the reason behind the impersonation.
You Fools! It Was I, All Along!
At the start of the session, players are dealt two cards each from the main deck. They choose one to keep for the session, and return the other to the deck. If they don’t use their card before the next deal, they can choose to hang on to it and forego drawing any new cards, or return their current card to the deck and draw as usual.
Players can choose to use a card in hand at any appropriate moment, following the card text. Any player can choose to score the visible Achievement when its conditions are met, or hold out for a better score on it.
“Minion XP” means experience equal to a minion of the party’s current level, and “Monster XP” means experience equal to a standard monster of the party’s current level. This experience is shared among the party as normal. REPLACE – POSSIBLY WITH RANDOM DRAW FROM PLAYER ADVANTAGE DECK, DO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FOLLOWING SESSION.
Skill Challenge-related cards are meant to work with Stalker0’s “Obsidian” houseruled skill challenge system; the “in-combat skill challenge” cards will probably need adaptation to work with core skill challenge rules. Similarly, some references to “factions” are meant to dovetail with a system in which the party works on long-term Skill Challenges with groups in the setting, trying to win them over to the PCs’ cause.