50 Patrons of the Market, a set of systemless fantasy RPG cards, is now on Kickstarter. With a goal of just US$ 250, the project has already amassed an impressive US$ 3,273 thanks to its 489 backers. The campaign, which runs only until August 17, offers gamemasters an intriguing and versatile tool with just 27 hours left.
Crafted by designer Philip Reed, 50 Patrons of the Market answers the perennial gamemaster question: “Who do the adventurers bump into while wandering the market?” By shuffling and drawing a card from this deck, gamemasters can seamlessly introduce a new encounter.
This collection, rather than bogging down in game statistics or intricate rules, prioritizes inspiration. Each card showcases a distinct NPC illustration, paired with a concise description to stimulate the gamemaster’s creativity. These NPCs can be anything – allies, adversaries, or mere contacts – and their roles are bound only by the gamemaster’s ingenuity and the players’ decisions.
The kit consists of 50 diverse NPC cards, ranging from the everyday city dwellers to peculiar adventurers and potential antagonists. Each card aims to furnish the gamemaster with a fresh idea, either as a detour from the current quest or, occasionally, as the catalyst for an entirely new journey.
Emphasizing its adaptability, 50 Patrons of the Market is unequivocally systemless. It excludes specific game stats, abilities, or items. Instead, the details on each card are presented in lucid prose, empowering the GM to weave them into any game mechanics they prefer.
Beyond mere character descriptions, each card effectively serves as an encounter seed, equipping the gamemaster with a kernel of a concept. For those times when a gamemaster feels creatively drained, a random card draw can be the spark they need.
Taking onboard feedback from fans, there’s an update to the basic edition that once had a uniform card back. Now, there’s an alternate edition where both card sides feature the character, with the reverse side solely showcasing the artwork. Backers can expect codes for both versions, each housed in its distinct tuckbox, enabling them to select the design that aligns with their gamemaster style.
With a medley of spellcasters, warriors, rogues, dragonfolk, undead, and several others, 50 Patrons of the Market promises to be a treasure trove of ideas that can be tweaked and tailored for any campaign.