Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Review: Path of Horror Cards

I am a sucker for anything to add to my games. Cards. Stange dice to use only special occasions (not required to use like a d7), board games, props.  I know I don't *need* any of those things, but I like them and they are fun.  I'm going to spend some time talking about some of these items and how I am using them in the next couple of months.  

Up first is something I grabbed at the recent Free RPG Day.  

Path of Horror is a Story Path Card collection From Nocturnal Media.  

They retail for $11.99. DriveThruRPG also has them as PDFs you can print or POD for $3.99 and $11.99 respectively.

These cards in particular have a horror theme. 

The Game Master keeps the "Theme" cards and then deals out 2-3 cards to each player. The play can then play their cards at appropriate times.   In the end the Game Master can play the Climax cards.

The theme cards include things like "Lost Cause" or "Hint of Madness."  Other cards are "Remembered Dream" or "Found Item" or "Lurker."  The cards are all numbered, so lower number cards are played before higher ones.   They add a bit of color to your game and a bit more roleplaying and input from the players.  They also require the Game Master to think a little more on their feet than usual since not everything can be planned out.

Currently, my son is using them in his "Curse of Strahd" D&D 5 game and I am planning on using them in my "Ordinary World" for Night Shift and "War of the Witch Queens" for Basic-era D&D. 

There is quite a lot that can be done with these cards and since they rely on player input they can also be reused a lot. 

What attracted me to them originally was the cover of course.  The art reminded me of this card deck I had as a kid.  

Certainly worth giving them a try in your games.


Keith Davies said...

I have all the StoryPath cards that are available. There is one more set, I believe, but they're being held up as part of a project that stalled when Stewart Wieck died.

grodog said...

They grew out of the old Whimsy Cards from Lion Rampant, which were then repurposed and tweaked in WW's two decks of Storypath Cards: the Path of Horror and the Path of Intrigue, both of which were available in the early 1990s. Nocturnal reprinted and updated them again, and expanded the series to include several additional deck types, all of which have been pretty cool and interesting.


Brian I said...

Nice - I'll have to check them out. I think I have the more Arthurian sets.