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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck $9.99 $7.49
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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The GameMaster\'s Apprentice: Base Deck
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The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Aaron [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/13/2024 14:16:38

While the concept behind this is good, it does not work well for replacing dice rolls though if using percentile dice. The deck has a system for representing d100 rolls, but statistically is flawed, as the 5 for the single digit and the 50 for the tens digit both only occur 11 times instead of 12 like they should, while the 6 for the single digit and the 60 for the tens digit both appear 13 times.

Not sure if there is a flaw in the deck that I received, or if all of the decks have this flaw (suspect it is all of them and that maybe they were hoping no one would notice. So be warned that if you plan to use them for d100 alternative, that statistically it will not give evenly distributed random results. I did not investigate the other die types, as I generally only use d%.

[2 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello! Your comment is well-timed, because I just today received in the mail the first test-print of the new version of the Base Deck, wherein those two typos are fixed, along with a few others! I only discovered the errors thanks to another user taking a close look at the cards and reaching out to me during the Cyberpunk deck development (I'm a one-person company, and most of my time is devoted to my day job as a teacher), and now I am moving along to updating the others to 'second edition' and fixing these issues. As I finalize a list of such errata, it will also be included in the files for the original, so users like yourself know what potential errors exist. If you discover any more, please feel free to email them to me at so I can change them! Also, because the d100 is causing you problems and you are very observant about such things, if you would like to see the new deck's current draft state when I share the preview with my backers in a week or so, I would be happy to send you a free PDF/discounted PoD link for it, in exchange for hearing any feedback you have on the new features and the hopefully-fixed issues with the dice! Best, ~Nathan Rockwood
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Christopher L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/31/2024 10:57:14

So excited to receive my deck of cards the other day! They are awesome. However, my deck came printed on both sides. I'm cool with it because I basically got a deck for free, but I did want to let you know. Thanks again!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Thanks for the kind words; I hope the cards serve you well! The double-sided printing is intentional; it is a 120-card-face-deck in 60 cards, so every face is unique :-) I made them this way because 60 cards is much easier to shuffle and draw from than a 120-card stack, especially if you sleeve them and they get slippery. And while there's no wrong way to draw and shuffle, I do it this way myself: To draw, I like to cut the deck and reveal the top or bottom card as I go, picking at random. To shuffle, I cut the deck and flip half of it over before shuffling, so even if I always use the 'top' or 'bottom' card, I still keep every face in play over time. If you have any questions about all that, feel free to email me at! I love chatting about them.
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Andrew E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/19/2023 10:52:30

This series of decks is, by far, the most used and most useful accessory I use in my games. When I run a game I lay out 4 or 5 so i can reference them discreetly (for example, when i need an NPC name or a location description). When I play solo games this is a fantastic all-in-one tool. I definitely recommend getting all of the themed decks, but starting with this basic set will give you a lot of mileage.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Stacey R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/11/2023 08:24:26

I love this deck and it is very useful, especially as a solo tabletop player. However, I mainly use it for the dice rolls on the cards and for ease of use it would have been better to have used d4, d6 etc instead of pictures of the dice. If you are not familiar with the shapes of polyhedral dice it can be difficult to find which ones you want. I find it best to count in a clockwise directiin from the d4 dice.

These cards are great for playing on the go as they have most things you will need for GM inspiration while playing.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Davis S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/28/2022 19:57:55

I use this deck each time I play! Always handy for generating an NPC, or deciding some flavor! Excited to use the other decks as well when I play campaigns in those settings.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Daniel D. C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/30/2022 10:00:23

If the author reads this: please correct filenames to fit the actual ID number of the card. This issue affects ALL decks of "The Game Master's Apprentice".

I don't know why anyone else hasn't stumbled across this, but the filenames include the number of the card. And those filenames do NOT match the actual number ID printed on the card. That just means confusion when I use them in Fantasy Grounds. Now I roll for a random card, the number was 14 out of 120 possible cards. So I pick up the card with filename GMA Base VTT_Part14.jpg, but if you look at the card, the ID printed in the bottom right hand corner is 110/120. That is definately wrong. To remedy this, I now need to open all image files, look at their printed number on the lower right hand corner and change the corresponding filename. First off, we will see, if any cards are missing and therefore used double. And second of all, I have purchased ALL decks of The Game Master's Apprentice.

The reason for naming the filenames wrongly is quite simple: all cards should use 3 digits for their numbers. E.g.: GMA Base VTT_Part001.jpg instead of GMA Base VTT_Part1.jpg This causes the explorer to sort them wrongly, hence the mess at naming them correctly. Additionally, some operating systems or programs behave weirdly when using blanks/spaces in filenames. Therefore I would try to avoid using blanks/spaces within them and instead use CamelCase, hyphons or underscores. A good example for a filename would be: GMA_Base_VTT_Card001.jpg GMA_Base_VTT_Card089.jpg

You get the picture.

Other than that: GREAT resource! Cudos!

Other findings

  • I fixed the filenames for the Base deck. All cards are there. Don't know, if I will invest the time for the other decks. I also bought the printed cards. You won't notice the problem there ;-P
  • Age of Sail - All ID numbers seem to be cropped. Example: the ID 103 is not clear if it is 103 or 102. The last digit probably uses a wrong font size. It seemed to be ok for some id number, but not for all. E.g. 101 and 102 are correct font size, whereas 103-109 seem too big.

Filename | Actual Printed ID

  • 1 | 1
  • 2 | 10
  • 3 | 100
  • 4 | 101
  • 5 | 102
  • 6 | 103
  • 7 | 104
  • 8 | 105
  • 9 | 106
  • 10 | 107
  • 11 | 108
  • 12 | 109
  • 13 | 11
  • 14 | 110
  • 15 | 111
  • 16 | 112
  • 17 | 113
  • 18 | 114
  • 19 | 115
  • 20 | 116
  • 21 | 117
  • 22 | 118
  • 23 | 119
  • 24 | 12
  • 25 | 120
  • 26 | 13
  • 27 | 14
  • 28 | 15
  • 29 | 16
  • 30 | 17
  • 31 | 18
  • 32 | 19
  • 33 | 2
  • 34 | 20
  • 35 | 21
  • 36 | 22
  • 37 | 23
  • 38 | 24
  • 39 | 25
  • 40 | 26
  • 41 | 27
  • 42 | 28
  • 43 | 29
  • 44 | 3
  • 45 | 30
  • 46 | 31
  • 47 | 32
  • 48 | 33
  • 49 | 34
  • 50 | 35
  • 51 | 36
  • 52 | 37
  • 53 | 38
  • 54 | 39
  • 55 | 4
  • 56 | 40
  • 57 | 41
  • 58 | 42
  • 59 | 43
  • 60 | 44
  • 61 | 45
  • 62 | 46
  • 63 | 47
  • 64 | 48
  • 65 | 49
  • 66 | 5
  • 67 | 50
  • 68 | 51
  • 69 | 52
  • 70 | 53
  • 71 | 54
  • 72 | 55
  • 73 | 56
  • 74 | 57
  • 75 | 58
  • 76 | 59
  • 77 | 6
  • 78 | 60
  • 79 | 61
  • 80 | 62
  • 81 | 63
  • 82 | 64
  • 83 | 65
  • 84 | 66
  • 85 | 67
  • 86 | 68
  • 87 | 69
  • 88 | 7
  • 89 | 70
  • 90 | 71
  • 91 | 72
  • 92 | 73
  • 93 | 74
  • 94 | 75
  • 95 | 76
  • 96 | 77
  • 97 | 78
  • 98 | 79
  • 99 | 8
  • 100 | 80
  • 101 | 81
  • 102 | 82
  • 103 | 83
  • 104 | 84
  • 105 | 85
  • 106 | 86
  • 107 | 87
  • 108 | 88
  • 109 | 89
  • 110 | 9
  • 111 | 90
  • 112 | 91
  • 113 | 92
  • 114 | 93
  • 115 | 94
  • 116 | 95
  • 117 | 96
  • 118 | 97
  • 119 | 98
  • 120 | 99

[3 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hello! I did see this earlier, but I was stuck in a teacher-training seminar all day, so I'm sorry I couldn't get back to you earlier. The numbering errors you point out are an artifact of how we made the first decks. I'm just a one-person shop working with a single graphic artist contractor, and I couldn't actually afford an Adobe subscription when we were building the first decks; as a result, I used a hacky solution that would take my spreadsheets of text, build a single card, and output it as a PDF document, and repeat that 120 times before then taking all 120 PDFs and merging them--and it sorted them in the order you find here, going 1, 10, 100, 101, etc. The actual print decks reflect that, with the combinations of front and back seeming fairly random if you don't know the grimy origin story. And when a user eventually asked for VTT files, I just printed the PDF out as image files, which Adobe automatically named in the order they existed as pages. I've been so accustomed to the embedded weirdness that in never occurred to me as an issue, though I can certainly see why it would be confusing, and I apologize for that. However, I actually have some good news for you--now that I can afford Adobe, we have solved the problem; I've literally got a deck of beta Cyberpunk themed cards sitting here that are numbered in order from 1-120, and which should be simple to output properly ordered VTT images from! And since I'm on summer break (except for the whole training, curriculum prep, and parenting side of things... pandemic adulting is THE WORST), I will be finally booting up that Kickstarter soon. Part of what we're going to do is (hopefully, depending on funding) update all the old decks to fix errors like this, as well as to add new content. And the older PDFs will be updated to the new versions, so since you already own them, you'll get those as soon as they're finished, whether you support the Kickstarter or not! In the meantime, if there's anything in particular you need help with, please feel free to reach out to me at Thanks, ~Nathan Rockwood
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Christopher H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/17/2021 16:32:53

I picked up the PDF versions a while ago - printed and played. I enjoyed them so much I came back for a POD version.

The cards are really easy to use - for each piece of information, flip a new card and take the corresponding value.

I got this originally to use to help plan my 1shots and online campaign. I've since incorporated them into some solo play, and even have played just using the cards to resolve everything. I've found them useful as a supplement to my dice and oracle and inspiration charts, and I've found them useful to drive everything off the cards. Very handy - very flexible, and neither way feels like it is too litte/too much. This is very much a flexible tool that can fill different niches for different games/sessions/playstyles.

The base deck is an easy recommend and will fit in to a large variety of games. Also check out the ALONe rules for more ideas on how to use the cards, and look at ways to graft it to your other tools or ruleset.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Chad B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/03/2021 18:50:26

There's an impressive amount of utility contained within these cards (absolutely crazy for a buck!) - next time I place a physical order I'll probably pick up the Space and Fantacy sets.

A nice bonus with the PDF is that it's got both black & white and color versions, and if you just print them on cardstock and cut them out, you have 120 cards to draw from, no flipping! ;)

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Sandor A. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/25/2020 10:54:55

If you spend hours browsing writing prompts and imagining all the scenarios in which they would make sense or you got into solo role-playing because playing online doesn't cut it for you and you're not allowed to hang out with your friends because of some virus, you'll appreciate this product. Heck, they're great if you just want to unplug and cruise your imagination for a while too.

The quality of the physical cards is on par with a standard deck of playing cards but since there are 60 of them it's a bit of a fight to get them into a standard-sized box; it works, but it's kind of like your dad trying to wear skinny jeans.

Anyway, these are a good buy.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Geoffrey F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/18/2020 16:31:07

Very cool. These cards are perfect tools for inspiration. I bought these to use for both writing prompts as well as playing some tabletop RPGs solo to learn the rules of different systems and these cards fit the bill perfectly. Well worth the price. The print quality on these cards is great too. I'm going to sleeve mine, but even without sleeving, they feel like they'll last a really long time with regular use. I picked up several different genres and I look forward to playing with every one of them.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Helen M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/16/2020 07:17:04

A beautiful set of cards. This was my first p.o.d purchase from DriveThru and I'm not disappointed (I also bought the Fantasy and Steampunk decks at the same time). The quality of the cards is great, and there are just so many options for new characters, I can't imagine ever running out of ideas. The cards were well packed and shipped quickly, arriving surprisingly quickly to Australia (shipped 30/8 and arrived 16/9). I definitely recommend going for the printed cards!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Chris P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2020 14:19:55

I think the Gamemaster's Apprentice is one of the coolest GMing tools I've ever seen.

When I first got it, I thought it was an interesting device, but now that I've had some time with it, I have come to use it for so much more than I had initially thought I would.

I use it not only for random die rolls and names, which is plenty useful, but for sensory, directional, environmental, and story-telling inspiration, both in-game and during the planning phase. The information on the cards are game- and genre-agnostic, which allows the GM to take whatever the Gamemaster's Apprentice gives them and fit it neatly into their story.

The card stock is very nice and great for fidgety card shuffling.

The layout of the information on the base deck is nicely organized and very easy to read because of the fonts used and color scheme.

I can't say enough about the Gamemaster's Apprentice. I recommend it highly.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by James B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/25/2020 03:24:19

Really useful randomizers. They take some getting used to, but if you use them enough and figure out how they work and how to use them in your games, you could show up to a game session with nothing but a page of notes, this deck and maybe some monster/NPC stats and you can run a dynamic, unpredictable game.

The Genre suppliments, alone solo engine, and universal instructions are well written and thoughtful, although I wish they were a little prettier and more distinctive than just simple black text on white fields. Having each page have a unique look would help with quickly flipping through to find what you're looking for.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
by Ryan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/08/2020 14:44:48

Hands down the best purchase I ever made on here. I play solo and with my kids a lot and these decks (I also bought Sci-Fi and Fantasy) allow me to enjoy myself to an extent that escaped me before. They are so versatile and useful, easy to use and hack. I use them to help generate loot, create NPCs, answer questions, and so much more. It keeps me feeling honest and prevents that feeling of cheating you can sometimes feel when using a GM-simulator system. I tired Mythic and it is fine, really good actually, but this has all I want and more. Just get them!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
The GameMaster's Apprentice: Base Deck
Publisher: Larcenous Designs, LLC
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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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