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The Deck of Tales
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The Deck of Tales

Suggested Price $0.00

Due to a government-mandated closure of non-essential businesses, our card printing facility has been forced to suspend printing operations. As a result, the print version of this title will not be available for purchase until April 20. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Stay Home and Game--and Help Save the World! Free PDFs March 16-27th!

Because I (Nathan Rockwood/Larcenous Designs) am a high school teacher by day, I'm very much aware of the need to practice social distancing in order to 'flatten the curve' of demand on hospitals right now. For at least the first two weeks of school closure in my area, March 16-27, I am making my GMA (and Deck of Tales) PDFs free. Please, please, PLEASE take this opportunity to stay home and game solo, or use my cards to prepare awesome stories for remote-play sessions for your friends!

If you like the cards and can afford the cash, you can use my Pay What You Want products to tip me--or just enjoy them, and encourage your fellow gamers to stay home!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words...

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The Deck of Tales is a set of 120 card faces (not counting the instructions) that provide images as inspiration for story telling. Roleplayers, solo gamers, and authors can take advantage of 360 pictures, 240 unique combinations of symbols, and more!

Those numbers may sound relatively small, but consider this: Relying solely on the primary pictures, drawing three cards and using one image from each offers a possible set of more than 46 million random results, even before you apply your own interpretation to them! Whether you need to invent a unique backstory for an NPC, create a set of superpowers for the heroes of your world, or even just want some ideas for an interesting random encounter, the Deck of Tales offers sparks to set your imagination firing.

See below for images that demonstrate and explain what is on each card. Also, please note that the design philosophy here is the same as it is for The GameMaster's Apprentice: if you order a printed deck, the cards will be printed back-to-back, making them convenient to hold and shuffle, and also reducing the printing cost significantly. Of course, if you prefer single-sided cards, you can print your own from the PDF, in either full-color or low-ink.

DoT Key Cards

These cards were inspired by feedback on Larcenous Designs' first set of GM-assistant cards, The GameMaster's Apprentice, which are extremely information-dense by virtue of much text. Now, for those who prefer iconography for generating random events, creating multi-faceted NPCs, and even answering questions normally directed to a GM, The Deck of Tales offers a visual alternative!

Also, if you like the art of The Deck of Tales, you should know that the vast majority of it is available, for you, for free, from the amazing folks at! Creators Delapouite, Lorc, Carl Olsen, sbed, and Lord Berandas (along with others who contributed even more icons--far more than could fit on these cards!) create thousands of game icons, all available under the CC BY 3.0 license (links to both the site and license are available in the instructions for The Deck of Tales). Even if you don't purchase this deck of cards, you should go and check out their work, especially if you, too, are an independent game designer!

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 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (0)
Discussions (4)
Customer avatar
Andy B July 08, 2019 11:06 pm UTC
Hey, I have to say... I love your deck. Its versatile and very interesting. I use the Encounter Decks for generating most plot stuff. But for dramatic tension, random inspirations, yes/no questions, NPC personalities out of thin air, lots of stuff really, I use the Deck of Tales. I have to ask a very big request.

Would it be possible to stack all 120 cards six per page on their own pages. The instructions, as well as some of the tables and such included in the GameMasters Apprentice freebie/introduction... such as the tag symbol table, even one for the style pairs... on their own pages. Otherwise you dont have a 60 card compact deck... you have randomly presented instructions on the back of several cards. It would be a lot easier to keep what you want where you want. The instruction cards... hopefully with the tables as well... could be set aside or referenced easier. I tried making my own six card combination of the cards stranded on the instruction carded pages with the VTTs, but I couldnt...See more
Customer avatar
Nathan R July 08, 2019 11:28 pm UTC
Hi, Andy! To make a quick fix, I've uploaded both the original and low-ink PDFs for two-sided printing, without the instruction cards! It isn't completely ideal, but I hope it solves the biggest part of the problem! They should be in your library now.
Customer avatar
Andy B July 09, 2019 10:29 am UTC
Thank you. I appreciate the swiftness in your response.
Customer avatar
christopher L January 07, 2019 4:36 am UTC
I cannot get the VTT .jpg files to load in Deck Builder on Tabletop Simulator. Any advice?
Customer avatar
Nathan R January 07, 2019 5:00 am UTC
I’m afraid I haven’t used that platform; I have added the VTT files because of user requests, but I can’t offer skilled support. However, if you contact their customer service and discover a problem with the card images I provided, let me know! I could covert to another format if need be.
Customer avatar
christopher L January 07, 2019 10:04 am UTC
Do you know what other VTTs people are using? I can use another easily enough.
Customer avatar
Nathan R January 07, 2019 10:37 am UTC
It looks like users of another of my decks are workin with Roll20 and Tabletop Simulator, though they aren’t very specific about what they do to get TS working. I suggest reading the thread at the following link, on the GMA: Base Deck page, and you can post there asking for more info and see if they can help?
Customer avatar
christopher L January 07, 2019 4:34 pm UTC
Thanks! Follow up. The tag symbols are mentioned in Alone, but I only see what they mean for chargen. Did you make any other lists?
Customer avatar
Nathan R January 07, 2019 4:46 pm UTC
I use them for a lot of different things in the next version of ALONe that will be updated sometime this year, but for now the fastest way to find more of that info would probably be to look at the (free) instructions for the GMA decks. The GMA’s free QuickStart, the Universal Instruction Cards, include that pdf.

The short version is, I make tables of 10 things for almost anything in a setting: loot, random encounters, possible suspects in a murder mystery, etc. Then you can use a normal d10 to select randomly, the difficulty selector to select one that is weighted towards the middle categories, or the Tag Symbols to select a unique combination.
Customer avatar
KEVIN G December 08, 2018 11:52 pm UTC
I like these cards. It would be handy to have these cards put into individual jpeg or png files so they can be shuffled around with a program like InfraView.
Customer avatar
Nathan R December 09, 2018 12:04 am UTC
Thank you, and good point! Since I did that with the GMA decks, I should've done it here. I've uploaded a .ZIP of the Deck of Tales as 124 .JPGs; enjoy!
(And if you can't see them, try refreshing/hitting your library, or check back soon; I don't know how quickly the uploaded files will make it to you!)
Customer avatar
KEVIN G December 09, 2018 9:22 am UTC
Great. Thanks for being so helpful and responsive.
Customer avatar
christopher L January 07, 2019 4:37 am UTC
I cannot get the .JPGs to load on Deck Builder for Tabletop Sim.
Customer avatar
Rachael S July 30, 2017 7:01 pm UTC
I would love to get a deck of cards to use for a "deck of many things" kind of use. A deck of single images that can be made into custom DoMT... is this something you have plans to make?
Customer avatar
Nathan R July 30, 2017 8:43 pm UTC
I suppose I might! However, I already use the decks I make (this, the GameMaster's Apprentice, and the CyForge Cypher Creator cards) for that sort of thing. Can you tell me what you'd like that isn't on one of those three products? They are all on DriveThru, but the CyForge is in the Cypher System Creator by Monte Cook Games.
Customer avatar
Rachael S July 30, 2017 9:10 pm UTC
these have multiple images per card and i'm looking for cards with a single image. Things like "knight" "Gems" "and any other such 'idea' that can be done in one image. Kinda like tarot cards.
Customer avatar
Nathan R July 31, 2017 12:20 pm UTC
Gotcha. The closest I have right now, if you want one simple image, is but those also have a two tiny pieces of text on them.

If I do create a new deck that is more like the classic DoMT, I'll definitely reply here and let you know!
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Product Information
Silver seller
File Size:
62.25 MB
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File Last Updated:
July 08, 2019
This title was added to our catalog on March 19, 2016.