Lore Master's Development Journal Sidequest: The Outtakes Expansion

by Eric Weiss

We just released the PDFs for Master of Lost Lore: Outtakes Expansion, the final expansion for Lore Master’s Deck. Peter usually writes these development blogs, but I’m writing this one because I took the lead on this particular project.

Does that mean I wrote every cue? Of course not. I wrote some, Peter wrote others, and the rest were written by our amazing team of writers. Most were written during production of Lore Master’s Deck. I simply sifted through the material that was left on the cutting room floor to bring you 60 cards filled with the best of the rest – stuff we really wanted to include that got cut for whatever reason.

Mockup of the box for the Master of Lost Lore: Outtakes Expansion

With that in mind, I thought I’d take some time to explain the thought process and the design philosophy that I used to put this deck together!

Our first outtakes deck was released following the release of Deck of Worlds, and was known as the Oddballs & Outtakes expansion.

We adapted the concept to suit Lore Master's Deck, but I still wanted the outtakes expansion to be a little, well, odd. Most of the material in it was written for Lore Master’s Deck or one of its expansions, and it didn’t get left out because it was bad. (If anything, these are some of our favorite prompts.) It got left out because it didn’t serve the design of the deck as a whole. 

As Peter explained in previous updates/posts, balance was paramount in the core deck. Every card has at least two link cues because we wanted to make sure people would have options when choosing the path to their next cluster. There needed to be a certain volume of Event cards that could lead to Creatures (and vice versa), and we had to make sure users would find enough Materials while exploring new Locations.

We relaxed those rules for the outtakes expansion. We still followed some self-imposed guidelines – for instance, cards have the same breakdown of Agendas, Backgrounds, Traits, etc. – but we weren’t as meticulous about the direction of the connections, and we prioritized impact over utility when selecting the cues themselves. We wanted cues that made us react. If a card only ends up with a single link cue (or if there are more cues leading to Figures than Events), then so be it. It’s worth it to have “be the very best” as a Figure’s Agenda or “the floor is literally or metaphorically lava” as a Trait for a Location.

Of course, we wanted evocative cards in the core deck, too. The problem is that the thing that makes a cue memorable is often the same thing that prevents us from including it. An Agenda like “collects teeth, skin, or hair” stands out because it describes something very specific. However, Lore Master’s Deck is supposed to encourage your creativity, and a cue with too much detail is more likely to limit your options. Cues that can be interpreted in more than one way usually get priority because they allow for different perspectives to come to the fore. 

The outtakes expansion gives us more room for cues that are just for us. That makes it one of the most fun decks to work on, since we can do things we want to do instead of things we have to do. This deck has Deities because our writers gave us so much good material and it would have been a shame to leave it out. We cut down on the number of Modifiers because the Deities were more fun, and we hope that philosophy resonates throughout the deck!

We hope the Master of Lost Lore: Outtakes Expansion puts a smile on your face. This is the blooper reel at the end of our movie – takes that weren’t quite polished enough for the final cut that still have something compelling in them (or undeniable entertainment value). We had a blast putting Lore Master’s Deck together, and we’re excited to share some of our creative process with this last expansion!

The expansion PDF is free for every backer who pledged Lore Master's Deck during our BackerKit campaign last year – it’s our way of saying thanks for the support – or you can purchase the PDF on our BackerKit preorder page.

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