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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Universal Instruction Cards
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 16:25:07

NOTE: I bought the Base Deck, Fantasy Deck, and Universal Instruction Cards, so this review is for each.

I debated whether to buy these or story dice, and I don't regret going with these. If you get them, I highly recommend buying the protective case as well. Also, you don't need a printed copy of the Universal Instruction Cards, but it's worth it if you like having the instructions with the decks.

Some things I like: --They're printed on paper that feels like regular Poker cards, none are off-center, and the ink quality is very good. --They have just about everything you need to get a story going on the fly. --There is some overlap between the Base and Fantasy Decks, but the differences are enough to justify buying both. --I received them a day earlier than expected.

Some things I would change: --As others have noted, there are only a few Vices and Virtues. More would be better. --The Universal Instruction Cards include one card that can be used as cover art, and I wish every set included one of these. --The GMA Key card (included with the Universal Instruction Cards) is printed on both sides so that I had to keep flipping it over to learn how the cards work. It would be better if these were separated.

Overall, my gripes are minor, and these cards are easily worth the purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Universal Instruction Cards
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 16:24:44

NOTE: I bought the Base Deck, Fantasy Deck, and Universal Instruction Cards, so this review is for each.

I debated whether to buy these or story dice, and I don't regret going with these. If you get them, I highly recommend buying the protective case as well. Also, you don't need a printed copy of the Universal Instruction Cards, but it's worth it if you like having the instructions with the decks.

Some things I like: --They're printed on paper that feels like regular Poker cards, none are off-center, and the ink quality is very good. --They have just about everything you need to get a story going on the fly. --There is some overlap between the Base and Fantasy Decks, but the differences are enough to justify buying both. --I received them a day earlier than expected.

Some things I would change: --As others have noted, there are only a few Vices and Virtues. More would be better. --The Universal Instruction Cards include one card that can be used as cover art, and I wish every set included one of these. --The GMA Key card (included with the Universal Instruction Cards) is printed on both sides so that I had to keep flipping it over to learn how the cards work. It would be better if these were separated.

Overall, my gripes are minor, and these cards are easily worth the purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
by John S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/29/2019 16:24:27

NOTE: I bought the Base Deck, Fantasy Deck, and Universal Instruction Cards, so this review is for each.

I debated whether to buy these or story dice, and I don't regret going with these. If you get them, I highly recommend buying the protective case as well. Also, you don't need a printed copy of the Universal Instruction Cards, but it's worth it if you like having the instructions with the decks.

Some things I like: --They're printed on paper that feels like regular Poker cards, none are off-center, and the ink quality is very good. --They have just about everything you need to get a story going on the fly. --There is some overlap between the Base and Fantasy Decks, but the differences are enough to justify buying both. --I received them a day earlier than expected.

Some things I would change: --As others have noted, there are only a few Vices and Virtues. More would be better. --The Universal Instruction Cards include one card that can be used as cover art, and I wish every set included one of these. --The GMA Key card (included with the Universal Instruction Cards) is printed on both sides so that I had to keep flipping it over to learn how the cards work. It would be better if these were separated.

Overall, my gripes are minor, and these cards are easily worth the purchase.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by Robert J W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/18/2019 10:06:35

I use my deck very regularly to get prompts and ideas for solo RPG play, and enjoy the huge variety of tools and generators on each card.

I do have one suggestion for improvement: This version of the deck (Fantasy) has the noisiest background elements of all of the decks so far. It creates a great fantasy atmosphere, but at times all that atmosphere slows down interpretation of results.

If there are more decks to come, I'd love to see a version that makes layout and quick interpretation a top priority, or allows me to reorient and stagger stacks of cards to get several of one kind of prompt, while covering the info I'm not using at the time.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
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The Portal Tarot: The Apprentice
by Ava J. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2019 18:06:26

I was surprised at how well the Portal Deck works together with the GMA deck!

The other day a friend of mine who DMs a homebrew campaign was trying to think of ideas for small arc intrigue plots centered around a prince the PCs were going to encounter and attempt to win the confidence of. I mentioned to them that I had the GMA cards and Portal Tarot and they asked if I could draw some cards to help inspire ideas.

They had to make dinner, so I spent a while coming up with scenario possibilities: for each scenario, I drew 3 GMA cards and 3 Portal Tarot cards with no particular role envisioned for any of the cards except maybe "adjective / verb / noun". I started from picking three words and then looking at the GMA cards to figure out situational aspects and the tarot cards to figure out the people involved.

Very quickly I came up with several scenarios that were extremely intriguing and unusual. At least one will be used nearly as-is---all will be modified, of course, because as a DM myself I'm only able to run the equivalent of Golden Sky Stories. I'm too cinnamon...

Amusing quick summaries for some of them:

  1. Helping a local temple deal with harassment centered around cultural prejudice. The three tarot cards became three NPCs associated with the temple with very different temperaments and ages.

  2. Investigating the claims of a scholar/architect who wants to improve the water safety around canals but who has been held back by some third party and a really bad grudge has developed between the two. The scholar has been bugging the prince every week so dealing with this matter would be Good.

  3. Investigating a potential contributor to a project to help war veterans find therapeutic help, whose altruistic demeanor is weirdly suspicious for some reason.

  4. Fighting the forces of gentrification where a bunch of rich folks are trying to tear down tenements that are housing poor folks. But in Ancient Rome.

  5. A letter to the prince from a previous war companion that basically reads "halp I did a dumb thing and now there are lawyers, I am sorry and ashamed but at least it was for Justice?"

This is the kind of idea generation I've never been able to do in my life before.

Thank you so much for these decks! I'm looking into maybe using them for art inspiration as well, and not just writing/rpgs.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Portal Tarot: The Apprentice
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
by Billy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2019 22:08:42

These are pretty awesome! My only complaint really is that I kinda wish that Virtue and Vice had more than just the 7 deadly sins/7 heavenly virtues. Maybe possitve or negative personality traits.

Maybe having some more neuanced odds than just good/even/bad, though that is a minor quibble that would require redesiging the card.

Still these are great, and the creator was able to help me out with getting the bundle for these after I had already bought one.

I highly recommend getting these, they work both as a general GM tool as well as a gm emulator.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by Billy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2019 22:07:22

These are pretty awesome! My only complaint really is that I kinda wish that Virtue and Vice had more than just the 7 deadly sins/7 heavenly virtues. Maybe possitve or negative personality traits.

Maybe having some more neuanced odds than just good/even/bad, though that is a minor quibble that would require redesiging the card.

Still other than that these are great, and the creator was able to help me out with getting the bundle for these after I had already bought one.

I highly recommend getting these, they work both as a general GM tool as well as a gm emulator.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by Rudy C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/19/2019 11:49:24

Brought my GM Apprentice deck to a game that my friend is running, used the cards in lieu of dice (didn't use them for anything else as I obviously wasn't playing a solo game). Had an epic moment where we were fighting the Big Bad Evil Guy and I stood up and said "I believe in the heart of the cards!" and legit drew a natural 20 on my attack roll. Scored a critical hit and sent the BBEG's soul to the Shadow Realm. Lookout Seto Kaiba, here I come! 10/10 would draw another crit again.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by Paul M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/14/2019 08:51:22

After purchasing and using the basic, scifi, and horror decks for some time now, it was a no-brainer to back the fantasy deck on Kickstarter. I use these decks in every game I run. I've always used the basic deck when running fantasy games, but now I have a dedicated deck for such occasions. There is so much information on each card, it's ridiculous. Especially if you are a GM who likes to wing things and improv a lot, these are the fastest way I have found to gain a bit of inspiration at the table. I highly recommend them.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
by Kevin M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/22/2019 15:09:45

As an owner and user of nearly all the GameMaster’s Apprentice decks, I wanted to express how incredibly effective these cards are for not only generating story seeds and NPCs, but also for playing solo or with a small group without a GM. Over this past weekend, I used the sci-fi deck in combination with the (currently still beta) rules for ALONe to play Numenera co-op for myself and my girlfriend. The deck acted as the GM and not only kept the suspense and interest continuous and free-flowing, but brought the story to a satisfying conclusion as well (exactly as if we played using a traditional module with a human gamemaster). It does take some creativity when using the cards when trying to interpret the results but the more you use them, the more intuitive they become.

I’ve used the cards before on many occasions and it always amazes me how well the cards handle the story and keep things moving smoothly. My girlfriend, who only occasionally plays RPGs, was pleasantly surprised by how well they worked, and enjoyed it so much that she wants to continue the story where we left off. So this weekend we will continue with our characters and we are both looking forward to the twists and turns the deck has in store for us!

If you haven’t tried them yet, I give them my highest recommendation. Each deck comes with an “adventure guide” for each genre that help support your use of the cards. Also recommended are the ALONe rules (mentioned earlier), that will assist with guiding your story along. A+++



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
by Todd S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/04/2019 21:51:51

I got both the PDF's and the physical cards. It was a nice surprise when I went through the online material and found quite a lot of usefull information. There's a guidebook on using the deck for generating quests ideas, NPC's personalities (and names) and other elements.

The cards have a lot of elements on them (see the sample image) so I was happy there was a quickstart guide that does a good job of detailing each field and adding some potential uses for it all.

I've found most of it very helpful already in generating ideas, generating quick names on the fly, providing some color to descriptions and as a good generic answer oracle.

Since I said most I'll point out one area I think may not have a long term use for me - the dice wheel. For some it may be useful, and it can be used for getting die rolls without telegraphing to your players that you are rolling. But for me, I just prefer rolling dice (honestly it's one of the things I really enjoy about gaming) and would have prefered something else use up that corner real estate. Also, I'm rolling so often about so much I don't think hiding rolls is that big an issue. YMMV.

Honesetly though this is a quibble and for some that may be a killer feature. There is so much on these cards, and with everything else so helpful I know I'll have them with me for a while.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Fantasy Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
by Ian Z. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2019 15:02:53

Came from Rolegate, looking forward to using these.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
by Robert S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/18/2019 15:01:56

Learned about this from RoleGate and had to get it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
by Darrell C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/16/2019 10:33:11

This is exactly what I was looking for in order to play Classic Traveller/Cepheus Engine solitaire. I purchased the printed cards as well as the pdf. The printed cards are printed just like playing cards, and the print quality is excellent. Each card is double-sided and easy to read. The color scheme used for the SciFi cards works well for me. The included SciFi Adventure Guide is also very helpful with ideas on how to use the various elements of the card. The examples included in the adventure guide work well on their own, but can be easily modified to fit your needs.

The pdf quality is also good; however, I did not want to print and cut out the cards. Self-printing can be done if a person does not want to purchase the printed cards, but I prefer commercially printed cards to doing it myself on cardstock.

I'm using the SciFi cards in conjunction with Paul Elliott's SOLO for Cepheus Engine. The combination of the cards with Paul Elliott's SOLO has created an exceptional experience with my Classic Traveller and Cepheus Engine solitaire role-playing game. The narrative of the story has been enhanced with the use of these cards. They have certainly helped my imagination with creating an interesting storyline for my campaign.

I can see this as a useful tool for science fiction writers, as well as GMs who need ideas on the fly.

Tom



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Sci Fi
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ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA
by Devon P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/15/2018 15:29:40

I have a setting I've developed for tabletopping that I love but none of my players ever seem interested in, so I decided to use ALONe to play a solo game in it. The first proper session I played (just one Beat), was fantastic. The story immediately kicked off in high gear, and the rising tension system created a perfect little arc to the scene, culminating in a 2-on-2 battle that ended up destroying an underwater base. My heart was pounding by the end, and I can't wait to get back to it.

The cards become pretty intuitive to use pretty quickly, and really keep the story moving. The only sticky point was that character creation felt pretty open-ended, and it took longer than I expected to finally get my character in shape (backstory etc.) and start playing. I think that'll get easier with experience, but it does create a small barrier to getting into play for the first time, and the play was really awesome.

Even as a BETA this is a very playable system, and I'm looking forward to getting some more of the genre-specific GMA decks to enrich the experience even more. Really fun!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
ALONe: A Solo Game Engine BETA
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