Friday, June 15, 2012

Using Inspiration Cards to Create Realms

You can use Inspiration Cards to help create new Realms on the fly.

Here's the steps, followed by an example:

  1. Draw three Fortune Cards for the Virtue, Fault, and Fate of the Realm.
  2. Draw four Inspiration Cards to provide some images/flavor for the realm.
  3. Consider what each of these draws could mean for the nature of the realm. Write a paragraph summarizing the nature of the Realm.
  4. Place the four Inspiration Cards into a square. Use the terrain types on the four Inspiration Cards to determine the geography of the realm. Identify at least one key location for each card-quadrant of the realm.
  5. Give the Realm a name. You may want to select that name from the words on the respective Inspiration Cards.

Example of Realm Creation:

1) The Realm's Fortune Cards are:
  • Virtue: The Dragon - Cunning
  • Fault:The Creator - Nurture
  • Fate: Knowledge - Truth vs. Falsehood
2) The Titles and Archetypes for the four Inspiration Cards I drew were: 
  • Mask - Mystery
  • Tomb - Memory
  • Virgin - Purity
  • Temple - Virtue
3) The conjunction of Fortune Cards was peculiar. The Dragon, which symbolizes Cunning and looks like a half-skeletal dragon, as a Virtue. The Creator, which symbolizes Nurture and depicts a woman holding a baby, as a Fault. Quetzalcoatl - another draconic figure, albeit a positive figure - representing the Realm's Fate: the dialectic of Truth vs.Falsehood. So here's my narrative:

In the last days of their War against the Gods, a Dragon Army went to ground in an abundant land. This fertile land was tended by innumerable peasants and fed a complex set of temples and gods. The Dragons took on human form and hid here; over time temple warred with temple. Eventually, one set of priests prevailed: those who worshiped Dragons. They suppressed other religious knowledge, and took charge of almost every aspect of the people's lives, controlling marriage lines and producing generation after generation of clawed Dragon priests. Unless the secrets of the Dragon Temple are revealed, this Realm will give birth to a new Dragon army, unleashing the Dragon's bitter vengeance across the spheres.

4) Geography and Key Locations:

Northwest: Virgin card - Marsh
  • The first new Dragon, The Dragon Mother, hides in the marsh and awaits her children
Southwest: Mask card - Forest
  • Small tribes descended from the priests of the old gods, and former peasants who were loyal to the temples,  band together for self-defense in jungle that was once farmland
Northeast: Tomb card - Forest
  • An ancient temple of Quetzalcoatl, covered in jungle vines, is guarded against all outsiders by Feathered Lizard Folk. This temple holds the only remaining knowledge of the time before the Dragons. Secrets and powers to defeat the Dragons and their Dragon priests might be hidden here.
Southeast: Temple card - Plains
  • Opulent, hierarchical, and regimented, Dragon Temple City is surrounded by lush, vast agricultural areas 
5) The Realm's name is Temple Mask

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