If you have not yet realised, Lords of Gossamer and Shadow (LoGaS) is the dice-less role playing game from Rite Publishing that just keeps pumping out those supplements. It is also one of my favourite games of the past twelve months. It uses the Amber system but applies a much more fluid and interesting setting to it. The Icon Deck is a set of cards full of images of Lords and Ladies (and Dwimmerlaik) of the Grand Stair.
The reason that we have the Icon Deck is that one of the powers in LoGaS that a player can use is called Wrighting and it involves the ability to contact a being through the use of an Icon. An image that represents the being through which this power allows for contact to them. Icons are sold on the Grand Stair to the most open beings (or in the black market for the most private) or a being with the power can create their own Icons by making an image that is representative of the being they wish to contact.
So this deck of cards, 52 in total, each represent an Icon for the GM or player to use as a prop in game. None of the cards have a name to it so the players or the GM can assign those Icon’s to any named NPC or player that they wish to use. The images on the cards are the result of a long campaign of gathering art after LoGaS was funded through the Kickstarter and so some of the images were released as teaser art over the past year by Steve Russell of Rite Publishing. Each piece of art was a beautiful creation and I had to grab them!
You can obtain the cards in a PDF format from DriveThruRPG or as a set of actual cards. I have both versions and I have to say that while I may one day turn my PDF into a digital set of cards for Roll 20 there is nothing like actually holding the cards in your hand. The cards are beautiful, full colour affairs that just look absolutely beautiful and I would not give them up for a month of Sundays. It would have been nice if they had their own box, but they do come with a simple plastic band holding them all together (though very well packed).
The Icons are created by a coalition of fantastic artists. My favourite series of cards are probably those created by Jason Rainville but there are in total 12 artists involved in the creation of these cards. Apart from Jason Rainville the artists are (in no particular order) Jack Holliday, Tommy Arnold, Keith Seymour, Joe Shawcross, Ian Greenlee, Gordon Napier, Juan Diego Dianderas, Jacob Blackmon, Dennis Darmody, Dallas Williams and Joshua Calloway. Some of these artists did quite a few of the cards while a couple did only one. The common thing is that they are all great images.
Sure, there are some cards that I like less than others but that is the case with all art. You will find your favourites and others will not look as good to you. In the long run it is all about your personal taste. There are none there that look like they were made by a 10 year old and a bucket of crayons. They all fit and feel part of a beautiful set of cards that are brilliant.
I love props in my games. Some GM’s don’t but I love giving the players over something and having them look it over and treat it with some reverence. These cards are going to provide that for me when I get an in person game of this running. On the flip side of the coin is the fact that these cards are versatile and while I am coming at this review from a LoGaS perspective, there is absolutely nothing stopping using these cards in Shadowrun or Pathfinder or Traveller or… I think you get my point. There are images that would fit any genre game in there.
The only real problem that I have with these cards is I now want to stat up 52 new Lords of Gossamer and Shadow NPC’s! I once did a run of 30 characters (you will find these on this blog in the archives around late 2013) and now I have 52 new images to inspire me. Perhaps I will do those for my own amusement though!
The images that I have interspersed through this review are my favourites of the cards currently. My favourites change every single time I look at them though the red head with the soviet flare below has remained my absolute fave for a long while now.
I really love these cards. I think they are a great addition to LoGaS and any other game they are employed in. Take a look at them and then go grab them. Keep an artist fed! 5 out of 5 gorgeously decorated cards!