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The Story Engine: Lore Master's Deck

The Story Engine: Lore Master's Deck

Lore Master's Deck is the ultimate creative jumpstarter for writers, game masters, and worldbuilders who want to fill their stories with rich, interconnected lore.
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Introduction

The Story Engine: Lore Master's Deck is the ultimate creative jumpstarter for writers, GMs, Dungeon Masters, and worldbuilders who want to fill their stories with rich, interconnected lore. It was created by award-winning author, game writer, and designer Peter Chiykowski, who has successfully delivered 7 crowdfunding projects, including The Story Engine Deck and Deck of Worlds.

Check out our many livestreams through the campaign to learn more about the deck, and how to unleash your wildest ideas using Lore Master's Deck!
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Lore Master's Deck



Lore Master's Deck
uses 8 interlinking card types to generate customizable and interconnected prompts for factions, notable figures, world events, locations, artifacts, materials, creatures, and more.

The system is powered by your imagination, providing a simple, fluid framework for you to generate lore ideas by creating clusters of related cues. Each new piece of lore connects to the others you've already created, helping you build a web of intrigue that binds your world together and make your setting and story rich, complex, and immersive.



Lore Master's Deck is a standalone system that can enhance projects in various stages of development, from brand-new worlds to established settings. It can also be paired with The Story Engine Deck or The Story Engine Deck: Deck of Worlds to render your stories, settings, D&D campaigns, and tabletop roleplaying games in greater depth and detail.


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Achievements & Stretch Goals

Special Goals: We've added two bonus goals for the final 5 days!


1) If 500 backers share the project during the final week, we'll release a free PDF "Master of Lost Lore" Outtakes Expansion. Click here to participate.




2) If we reach $500,000, we'll release a free PDF Deck of Quickstart Prompts. Make or upgrade your pledge to contribute.


Regular Stretch Goals







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Why This Deck Is Special

Lore Master's Deck helps writers, GMs, Dungeon Masters, tabletop RPG creators, and worldbuilders with a variety of creative goals:



  • It jumpstarts the creative process, allowing you to overcome anxiety and mental blocks so you can dive right into the creation of awesome ideas for stories and worlds.
  • It sparks rapid idea generation, using a fast, intuitive system to help you create a web of ideas to explore in your writing or roleplay.
  • It lets you map lore connections so you can see the relationships that shape your world and ensure that every element of lore contributes in a meaningful way.
  • It challenges you to try new things, with occasional curveball cues and surprising suggestions to help you expand your creative range.
  • It helps you draw a world timeline, using a special mode focused on Event cards to create a satisfying sequence of historical events.
  • It facilitates "worldbreaking," where you throw a series of catastrophes and crises to stress-test your world and figure out how your story and characters might adapt.
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How Does It Work?

Lore Master’s Deck has 8 types of double-sided cards: Factions, Figures, Events, Locations, Objects, Materials, Creatures, and Wildcards. The front side of each card features 4 primary cues, while 4 secondary cues appear on the reverse. 

You can watch a demo of the deck, or read a step-by-step guide on The Story Engine Blog.

Primary cues are short, one-word suggestions that establish a new lore element, such as a faction, notable figure, event, location, object, material, or species.


The secondary cues printed on the reverse side of each card provide complex suggestions to flesh out the primary cues. Secondary cues take the form of backgrounds, traits, agendas, catalysts, and effects, and many of these cues forge links that connect to other primary cues.



For example, the founder of a new faction may be an apostate from another faction. Their original faction may use a secret headquarters as their base of operations. Those headquarters may house the last population of a sacred species. That species may be the only source of a rare material used in crafting weapons. Those weapons may be crucial to the military strategies of the leader's new faction.

The more cards you add to your web of lore, the more the relationships between story elements develop and create a living ecosystem of creative connections.



The deck comes in the same multi-tray treasure-chest-style box as our previous decks, only BIGGER!

Example of the treasure-chest style box Lore Master's Deck will come in. Lore Master's Deck will be wider with 8 trays.
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Expansions

This campaign introduces 5 expansions for Lore Master's Deck, each of which can be unlocked through Community Achievements (aka Stretch Goals).

Lore Mastery Expansions

Master of Gods: Deities Expansion features 60 cards for building a pantheon of gods, spirits, and supernatural entities.



Master of Symbols: Emblems Expansion features 60 cards for adding iconography, sigils, runes, and symbols to your world.


These card types operate in the same way Wildcards from the main Lore Master's Deck do, but instead introduce an icon that could be used as the banner of a Faction, the personal sigil of a Figure, the symbol of an historical Event, a visual feature of a Location, the engaving on of an Object, the pattern on a material, marking on a Creature, or any other visual element in your world.
Example: the disruptor Figure on the left uses the boar as their personal sigil. You can use it as inspiration for their backstory (a former poacher?) or appearance (stout and strong?) or personality (determined or aggressive?). The temple Faction on the right uses a volcano as their banner. Perhaps it represents what they worship, where their headquarters are, or the concepts behind their philosophy.

Master of Names: Namesakes Expansion features 60 cards for giving unique and evocative nicknames to your factions, figures, events, locations, objects, materials, creatures, and deities.

 
These card types operate in the same way Wildcards from the main Lore Master's Deck do, but instead are paired with the primary cue to create a unique nickname.

Example: The Faction on the left is named the Chantry of the Sheathed Blade. Perhaps they are pacifists or mages who only resort to steel as a last resort? The creature on the right is named the Frost Raptor. Perhaps it is an arctic hawk or a dinosaur capable of surviving cold climates or ice ages.

We want to say a special thank you to the Nomnivore Games art team for allowing us to license box art for Lore Master's Deck and Lore Mastery Expansions. You can learn more about the award-winning EMBERWIND roleplaying game (and see more amazing art) at www.emberwindgame.com

Bridge Expansions

We are also releasing two 60-card expansions that will connect Lore Master's Deck to our other standalone deck systems and exponentially increase the number of potential card combinations and creative options.

Story & Lore Bridge Expansion includes 60 cards for integrating Lore Master's Deck with The Story Engine Deck of story prompts, and vice versa. Learn more about The Story Engine Deck on our website.



Worlds & Lore Bridge Expansion includes 60 cards for integrating Deck of Worlds worldbuilding prompts with Lore Master's Deck, and vice versa, offering a wider range of creative options and combinations. Learn more about Deck of Worlds on our website.

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Add-Ons

NOTE: All prices in US dollars. Digital rewards are scheduled to deliver in Jan-Mar, 2024. Physical rewards are scheduled to deliver in Oct-Dec, 2024.





All returning backers who pledge a physical reward level (i.e., anyone who pledged our previous Story Engine or Deck of Worlds campaign) will receive The Story Engine Logo Mini-Pin for free. BackerKit will automatically match this pin to backers whose emails appear in our previous backer pledge lists.


All backers who pledged a physical tier before 10:30am ET on June 23 will receive the campaign-exclusive Promo Card Pack as a free bonus. Any backer can add-on the Promo Card pack for $5 during or after the campaign. Digital early bird backers will receive a PDF copy. See our FAQ for details.



Need to know how many storage boxes you need?
  • Click here to calculate how many cards you have.
  • Click here to calculate how many cards your storage boxes can hold.
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Pledge Levels

You can see our full listing of pledge levels here!

To help break down our biggest pledge levels, we've created a special graphic to show which items are included with which bundles.

Any items not included in your bundle can be added to your pledge separately via the add-ons as you are completing your pledge.

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Shipping

Shipping for rewards + add-ons will be assessed and charged in US dollars through the pledge manager after the campaign is completed to ensure the most accurate shipping rates. Shipping is expected to take place between October and November, 2024.

We offer tracked, customs-friendly shipping to Canada, the US, the EU*, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. For backers in other regions, we provide estimates for non-tracked shipping (and customs may be due upon arrival).

Shipping is not expected to exceed the upper estimate for the pledge levels shown (with possible exceptions in the event of carrier availability changes or major unforeseen fluctuations in currency conversion). Note that add-ons added to your pledge will proportionately increase shipping costs based on weight and destination.

Backers in the UK, EU, and Canada will also be charged VAT or GST/HST on their pledges.

Read here for our crowdfunding shipping policy.

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Our Team

Project Team




Contributors





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Livestream Archive

Live-Drawing Lore Prompts (ft. Megan McKay of Doodle for Food & Good Boye Guild)

LIVE: July 19th, 2023


World Building & Breaking (ft. Jordan Shiveley)

LIVE: July 18th, 2023

How to create a GREAT tabletop RPG setting (ft. Connor Alexander & Eren Angiolini)

LIVE: July 17th, 2023

Bridging Lore, Story & World (ft. Bridge Expansions for Lore Master's Deck) w/ Eric Weiss

LIVE: July 14th, 2023

Worldbuilding Nicknames & Titles (ft. Namesakes Expansion Lore Master's Deck) w/ Jordan Shiveley

LIVE: July 12th, 2023

Creating Gods & Spirits (ft. Deities Expansion for Lore Master's Deck) with Brandon Crilly

LIVE: July 11th, 2023

Worldbuilding Icons & Symbols (ft. Emblems Expansion for Lore Master's Deck)

LIVE: July 7th, 2023

THE HEART OF SKYCROWN GLACIER 🏔️⚔️ D&D Live Actual Play 1-Shot created w/ LORE MASTER'S DECK

LIVE: July 5th, 2023

Create a D&D Setting with the Lore Master's Deck

LIVE: June 30h, 2023

Deep Dive Into Creature Cards w/ Lore Master's Deck

LIVE: June 28th, 2023


Lore Master's Deck 1,000 Pledge Train Live-Prompting Wine-Pairing Stream

LIVE: June 20th, 2023


Lore Master's Deck Launch Party

LIVE: June 20th, 2023
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Risks and Challenges

The deck is fully designed and has been play-tested using a high-quality prototype, so the project development is at a stable point. 

The stretch goal expansions have all been written and many have been designed, although a few are not yet in final layout.

This is Peter's 8th crowdfunding campaign, and over the past decade of designing and delivering successful crowdfunding projects, we've learned many lessons about how to deliver a project despite any obstacle that might come up—and how to keep backers in the loop every step of the way.

Peter's first project in this series, The Story Engine Deck, overfunded 1430% and ran into unprecedented challenges like national manufacturing shutdowns in China, the COVID-19 pandemic, one nearly-shipwrecked cargo vessel, Europe snap-shutting the border mid-fulfilment, and the UK leaving the EU in the final weeks of delivery.

We communicated with backers throughout the process and we always make sure every backer gets what they pay for. We encourage you to check out the unprompted backer comments on previous campaigns as proof of the level of communication, transparency, and backer satisfaction.
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Sustainability Commitments

Long-lasting design

The durable reinforced box has lifelong utility and all cards have already been upgraded to 350gsm cardstock through the previous campaign stretch goals for longer-lasting cards.

Reusability and recyclability

The deck and box are 100% recyclable, but the deck is designed for endless reusability, so it's my goal to make sure you never need to dispose of them.

Sustainable distribution

We use local fulfilment partners to minimize carbon footprint when distributing decks. Most packaging supplies are recycled and/or recyclable, with the exception of shrink wrap used around cards to keep them dry and undamaged in transit.

Tree planting

We will be planting trees through Eden Reforestation Projects as a way of off-setting the environmental impact of our projects. See our blog about Eden Reforestation from a previous fundraiser to learn more about how their methods and impacts differ from other tree-planting charities.
If you believe that this project is not in compliance with BackerKit’s Community Guidelines or Terms of Service, you can file a report by sending a message via this link: Report this project