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The Arcane Compendium: the ultimate TTRPG character deck for Game Masters and players!

by Eren Angiolini

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Eren's Arcane Compendium of Characters is the ultimate card deck of fantasy characters for TTRPGs: an indispensable resource for both Game Masters and players!
The Compendium features 100+ high quality and diverse characters to be used in fantasy TTRPGs, either as player characters, NPCs or anything else TTRPG enthusiasts might need.
The deck is the perfect resource to help Game Masters plan NPCs for the a new campaign, or to give players a solid but flexible base to create their new character, or even a fun way to select random ideas for a crazy one-shot!

Fully illustrated, written and designed by Eren Angiolini, professional TTRPG illustrator and comic colourist (Critical Role, Justice League, Doctor Who), developed through 2 years of hard work with the support of their Patreon community: the ArtVenturing Guild.

The deck features 135 character cards, divided in three main categories:

The front of the card only features the portrait, without any information on the character. This is to ensure that the GM, or the player, has full control on what type of information they want to share about the character they're introducing. No spoilers here! ;D

The back of the card displays a set of flexible background details, providing useful inputs and plot hooks to seamlessly integrate the figure in any game, without limiting the GM’s or player’s creativity.

The information provided include:
  • Character’s name and suggested pronouns: including nicknames or titles, when applicable.
  • Profession and specialisation: a more targeted and a more generic option are provided for each character, to make them as versatile as possible.
  • Background: a brief description of the character, their origin or any other relevant information for a first encounter.
  • Personality: attitude, approachability or the way in which the character is usually perceived or how they present themselves.
  • Flaw: everyone has a weakness, a fear or an unpleasant trait to avoid or exploit.
  • Goal: the thing that the character is openly working towards, be it an adventurous mission, a career or life aspiration or a short-term objective.
  • Secret: a personal piece of information kept hidden by the character: could be about a dark past, a lost love or the true objective of their mission.
  • Fun Fact: from a favourite dish, to the reason why they chose their career and much more! These facts are meant to give more dimension to the character, without being necessarily connected to their plot.

The frames on the back of the cards have specific colours to quickly differentiate the character categories, but without making the graphics too cluttered or less readable.

The card format will be similar to that of a tarot card (or exactly the same as the Dixit cards, for those who know the game): 80 x 120 mm (approximately 3.1 x 4.7 inches), and will be printed on high quality matte paper stock (300-350 gsm).

The Compendium is fully system agnostic, so it can be used with any fantasy setting of your choice. With no mention of specific races or classes, each character can be personalised, expanded and connected within an existing IP or can merge seamlessly with your homebrew creations!
Creative freedom is at the core of this project and making sure GMs and players can adapt each portrait to their own needs and interpretations is one of the main principles of the deck.

The Compendium helps GMs, Dungeons Masters and players alike to build characters in a variety of scenarios. Here are just a few ways to implement the deck in your stories:
  • Fast player character creation: need a quick idea for a new character? Fish a random card from the deck or choose the one that visually appeals to you the most! The background will provide enough information to jumpstart the character creation process and help drive the character forwards in both long-term or short-term format games.
  • DM, who do I find at the tavern’s counter? suddenly need to populate the tavern with NPCs? Need a merchant for an unexpected shopping session? No problem, the deck has got you covered! With plenty of options for artisans, villagers and experts to give life to any location.
  • Campaign preparation: are you planning your new campaign and want to fill it with interesting characters for your party to meet or fight? The goals and secrets of each character will help you build plots and subplots, connect storylines and give your players hundreds of awesome allies, opponents, loved ones and arch-nemesis!
  • The more, the merrier!: bring variety into your games, with an impressive selection of diverse character options. Different cultures, ages, body shapes and identities at your disposal to make your world come to life in the most vibrant and interesting way! 
  • Surprise! Here’s your character: spice things up and organise a one-shot with randomly selected characters! A fun way to push you and your party to try new things, without the pressure of having to build everything on your own.
  • Any way YOU want! Or you can simply integrate the characters in your world building or character ideation process in the way that best suits your needs and desires! Have fun!

A professional Cultural Consultant has been hired to check both the artworks and the character bios and make sure the contents of the deck are respectful and appropriate.
The design (still in the works) is also being created consulting dyslexic folks, to make sure the cards are as accessible as possible.

*The project is set to launch on July 11th 2023 and is still in development. Project details may change before launch.

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