Introducing the Lore Master's Deck

By Peter Chiykowski

I'm excited to introduce you to upcoming Lore Master's Deckwhich launches on BackerKit Crowdfunding on June 20!

With a fresh copy of the alpha deck in hand, I decided to record a quick demo prompt this morning and break down the process behind creating a web of lore using the deck.

In 15 minutes I ended up with a lore map connecting a circle of desert leopard druids seeking to reclaim their lost oasis as they prepare to confront their former allies: a cloister of cultists seeking to release a colossal burrowing scorpion-beetle on the world.

Here’s a sped-up teaser of me drawing the prompt:

Now let’s break down how this prompt came together, starting with an introduction to the deck and its 8 card types.

Lore Master’s Deck is a new standalone deck of creative prompts for developing webs of lore. It has 8 types of double-sided cards: Factions, Figures, Events, Locations, Objects, Materials, Creatures, and Wildcards.

The front of each card has 4 primary cues to choose from. Primary cues establish the basics of what kind of lore element you’re dealing with and form the fore of each prompt in your web. For example, for our first, we pulled a Faction card with 4 primary cues to choose from: CIRCLE, COMMAND, ENTOURAGE, and SYNDICATE.

I went with CIRCLE, rotating the card so the active primary cue faces me. For my first draw, I often like to go with the most open-ended prompt so I can slowly narrow in on how I want to interpret it.

Next, I draw more Faction cards, using the backside of the cards to apply secondary cues to my prompt. Secondary cues are things like traits, agendas, backgrounds, and properties that describe primary cues.

Some secondary cues have an icon depicting a card type. These are link cues are that connect your primary card to another element in your web of lore. When this happens, you immediately draw a card of the indicated type and tuck one of its primary cue under the link cue.

I drew four cards and picked four secondary cues to flesh out my circle. I ended up picking 3 link cues, so I drew and tucked 3 primary cues.

I ended up with my faction as a circle that’s trying to connect with nature, perhaps a circle of druids. They have an entry ritual involving a leopard, close ties to a cloister Faction, and they’re trying to reclaim a lost oasis. I’m already really enjoying the vibes of this group.

From here, I can expand my web of lore using any of the link cues. I decided to expand on the OASIS Location cue to learn more about it.

When you expand a link cue out like this, you pull out the matching primary cue and rotate it so the cue you want active is facing you. Then, you pull a Wildcard and choose of the cues on either side of the card to describe your newly expanded primary cue. Wildcards provided short, simple descriptions for fleshing out your new prompt, and can be tucked so the arrows printed on them show you how each card in your web connects.

Once you have the Wildcard, you draw cards of the primary card's type until every side of the primary card has a secondary cue tucked under it. As with our original see prompt, we can fill out any link cues with additional card draws.

I ended up with a timeless oasis, hidden by rocky outcroppings, decorated with a mosaic of clay bricks, and protecting a “celebrity” cactus. Two of these cues were link cues offering opportunities for further expansion.

A circle of leopard druids hunting for an oasis untouched by time with some kind of mystical cactus? Now we’re cooking.

From there I continued to expand whichever link cues tickled my fancy. After 15 minutes, here’s what I had.

  • A circle of leopard druids trying to reclaim their lost oasis.
  • A hidden oasis lost to time with a clay brick mosaic and mystical cactus.
  • An allied cloister of nepotistic cultists linked to a conspiracy of ruin and seeking to unleash a monstrous arachnid on the world.
  • A colossal tunneling scorpion-beetle that the cloister wants to lure from its deep burrow to enact clicking, buzzing ruin upon the world.
  • An industrialized heavy clay that can hold and transport water like a sponge. (This was the clay used in the oasis’ mosaic!)
  • A gritty polearm-shaped cactus with an unusual hide of spikes that inject electro-chemicals transmitting memories of those who have found or tended to the oasis.
  • A species of horned, trainable desert leopards deployed during a clash initiated by the druid circle.
  • A special material of ethereal, volcanic horn capable of piercing protective visors. (I didn’t expand the link to the VISOR Object cue because I’d already decided the visor is a piece of protective equipment worn by the druid circle’s enemies.
  • An historic clash between the druids and an enemy faction precipitated by fear and broken promises, which led to the coronation of a new leader. Given the fear and broken promises, I’m wondering if this clash could represent a falling out between the leopard druids and the arachnid cloister?
  • More potential links to expand and threads to explore!

Especially cool is the fact that if I ever need to remember how these links fit together, I can just find my original seed prompt (CIRCLE) and follow the Wildcard arrows outward to map the connections.

Now that I have a shiny new alpha copy in hand from my local print shop, I'm really excited to start showing you more of the deck!

If you'd like to follow along, please visit our pre-launch page and click "Sign Up" with your email.

If you'd like to make sure your BackerKit account is set up so you can pledge on Day 1, you can go to and complete the checklist on the page to make sure everything is set up for when the project goes live. If you do not have an account, you can follow that same link and click "Sign Up here" or continue with Google or Facebook.

Thanks so much, and please feel free to drop any questions you may have on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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