Frequently Asked Questions
Shipping and delivery FAQ
How and when will my preorder or order ship?
See the shipping page for the latest shipping information on both preorders and general orders.
How do PDFs work during preorders?
PDFs are delivered instantly upon checkout, even during the preorder period.
Do you accept PayPal?
Why am I getting a checkout error message about availability of products in my region?
If you're getting an error message at checkout, please contact us.
Our fulfillment partners can ship to most (but not all) countries.
Specific products (such as The Story Engine Anthology) may not be available in your region.
Do you charge VAT to EU customers?
We collect VAT/duty for all EU orders in our online store and ship from an experienced fulfillment partner in the UK using customs-friendly methods.
For EU orders up to €150, we ship using the IOSS method.
For EU orders over €150, we ship using DDP methods with all costs paid up front.
How and when will my PDF be delivered?
If you check out with a PDF product, you will receive an immediate email notification with your download links, even if your order also includes preorder items scheduled to ship later in the year.
If you do not see this email, search your inbox and check your spam for emails from hello (AT) storyenginedeck (DOT) com.
If you still can't find your downoad email, please contact us and we'll help you out ASAP!
How many pages do I need to print out the PDF deck?
We send all PDF decks in two formats: high-quality cards (3" square at 6 per sheet) and eco cards (2.75" square at 12 per sheet).
The Story Engine Deck is 30 double-sided pages in high-quality or 15 double-sided pages in eco.
Deck of Worlds is 40 double-sided pages in high-quality or 20 double-sided pages in eco.
Expansions are 10 double-sided pages in high-quality or 5 double-sided pages in eco.
How long does it take to learn?
The deck works on a very simple, easy-to-learn system that takes a few minutes to learn.
Once you're comfortable with the basics, you can create advanced prompts with more complex story structures, and even invent your own prompt formats.
How long does it take to create a prompt?
Creating a prompt can take just a few seconds.
If you like using the prompting system to map your story structure and character relationships, it's also possible to spend longer periods deep-diving into your narrative and developing your story in detail.
Will the deck help me write more?
No creative tool can replace the precious time that a writer spends writing, but we've seen time and time again that The Story Engine Deck helps remove barriers that stop writers from creating.
The deck helps you create your own answer to "what should I write?" In less than a minute, you can create and customize a compelling story idea with themes, characters, settings, conflicts, and motivations that speak to you. Whether you just need a quick story seed or writing exercise to get you started, or you want an epic plot for your next book, the cards are there to give you a running start.
The deck relieves writer's block/anxiety. Sometimes it feels like the less creative time or energy we have, the greater burden we put on ourselves to use that time "efficiently." That pressure can lock us up creatively when we're most eager to hit our stride. The cards introduce an element of play to story creation, and they help you test story ideas without having to commit to specific elements. You're always able to adjust your creative choices, swap out cards, and change your story as you go.
The deck can help you fix "stuck" stories. If you've hit a dead-end in your story, you can map your story with the cards and look for avenues to refresh conflict and motivation. More on that in this blog!
The deck is fun and pretty. Yes, this sounds silly, but we'll toot our own horn for a moment and share something that a lot of customers have told us: the deck is fun to use and pretty to look at. The ritual of opening the deck at the start of a writing session brings a lot of people joy, motivation, and positive reinforcement for writing, the same way that brewing tea or choosing a new notebook can help kick off some quality creative time.
The potential story ideas are endless. We did the math and the simplest prompt format using just the main deck includes 30 billion possible combinations. However, the deck is powered by YOUR creativity—the way you combine the cards and the choices you make in interpreting them. You can create the same prompt four times and come away with a different story each time. That's where the endless creativity comes in.
Who is the deck for?
Anyone who wants to tell a story. Our deck has been used by everyone from aspiring writers, tabletop RPG players, artists, parents looking for a fun creative activity to do with their kids, teachers, award-winning authors, critically acclaimed comic artists, best-selling novelists, and more!
What does "Atlanta" mean as an Agent cue in the Fantasy Story Prompts Expansion?
"Atlanta" isn't a word, but it's a term that comes from EMBERWIND, the tabletop RPGthat we paired up with for the artwork for the fantasy cards. It's the name of a hero class inspired by Greek/Roman/Scandanavian mythology.
Because the deck doubles as an accessory for Storytellers in EMBERWIND, we wanted to include at least one instance of each of their hero classes, which is why it's the one less-familiar term in the expansion.
You can learn more about the Atlanta on the EMBERWIND site.
If I write a story using the deck, do I own the rights?
Yes. Anything you create with prompts from the deck is completely your own!
How many cards are there?
You can calculate the size of your collection using our handy card calculator!
How big are the cards? Where can I find sleeves?
The cards are 3" x 3" or 78 mm x 78mm. We now sell special sleeves for the deck in our accessories section.
How many cards can fit in the main deck box?
The Story Engine Deck's box has a bit of extra room: enough to fit the whole deck sleeved, or three extra expansions and a couple of boosters unsleeved.
The Deck of Worlds box can also hold the main deck sleeved, or two to three extra expansions unsleeved.