Friday, May 4, 2012
Deal a Plot
A couple days ago, Risus Monkey posted a link to the Story Forge Kickstarter project. One of the bonuses posted was a recreation of the old Deal-a-Plot from The Author & Journalist magazine in pdf. You can find the link to the pdf on Update 23 of the project.
I downloaded the pdf, changed a few pages around with one of my pdf utilities, and sent it off to a printer. I had them print the cards and the box template on 110# white cardstock and the instructions on 20# standard. I brought all the prints home, cut them out, assembled the box, folded the instruction sheet, and added another tool to my regular game box.
The set contains 36 cards. Each card has a number and a good writing tip on the back. The front of each card is divided in half. Each half has six male and six female characters, six adjectives, six complications, six settings, a plot problem, and a climax. If you want to, you can use the cards to produce entire plots. I like them as a prompt for developing my own ideas or for creating random elements to throw into a game.
Because it was designed in 1936, some of the entries may not be politically correct today, but they are an excellent resource nonetheless. As far as I'm concerned, if the standard way of using the cards doesn't yield something useful, I either redraw or try to create a reason that the entry could work. After all, part of the point of being creative is making seemingly disparate elements work together in the flow of the story.
And if you haven't already guessed, the gunman was generated by a couple draws from the deck.