NPC Cards: An Interview With Andreas Walters

Andreas Walters is running a Kickstarter for a unique style of NPC Card generation that offers a thought provoking and beautiful art style for GM’s to use.  He is in the last days of the Kickstarter and the project is getting a good deal of attention from industry names like Fred Hicks who shared it out yesterday.

I sat down to speak with Andreas who lives in San Francisco currently.  He has been into RPG’s since elementary school and was exposed largely to D&D as well as Pathfinder for much of his gaming career and it was around college that his eyes were opened to the breadth and style of other games.  Rather than rest idly though Andreas got heavily involved in Numenera and has started his own RPG publishing enterprise.  He has written two Numenera books that are available on DriveThru called Ninth World Assassins and Mechanical Bard: Ninth World Tales with more books on the way.  His main focus now though is to get the NPC Cards project to its funding goal and have the art for the cards underway.

The reason for the Kickstarter is to largely fund the artwork and also the delivery of fulfillment for Kickstarters rewards has also been closely considered and factored for.  There is 300 pieces of art to be comissioned from Eren Arik who is a traditional painter that now works in the digital realm.  The Kickstarter page has concept art from this artist in a mock up form so you can see, right off the bat, what you can be expecting to be holding in your hand in November of 2015.

man smoking pipe with interesting smoke shapes
A piece of beautiful art from the artist who will be decorating the cards


That time scale is extremely feasible to me and it sounds good.  I am amazed that there are 300 individual pieces of art to be created and I am glad that the delivery date did not state something toward the end of this year because it just would not happen!

The NPC Card system is broken up into eight categories and they combine well to make an NPC with a range of draws from all or some of the categories.  Those categories are;

  1. Names
  2. Professions
  3. Relationships
  4. Personality
  5. Traits
  6. Quirks
  7. Secrets
  8. Goals

The beauty of these cards from the mock ups is they do not just specify a word for each of these but they give some insight in a small piece of text to really give the NPC some depth after drawing from the NPC Card decks.

card face of goal card
A mock up of one of the Goals NPC Cards

Of course there will be a great deal of other use that could be made from the NPC Card concept.  I would use the NPC Card deck as a teaching aide for creative writing and game concepts.  A group of theatre performers could use the NPC Card decks for warm ups.  Players could reach for the NPC Card decks to flesh out their characters in a much grander style.  The options are amazing.

They are also including a pair of books in some of the reward levels for the NPC Cards.  So if you are a GM who prefers a random table over a card then your needs are going to be catered for.  The second book is going to house the art and with the images that Eren seems capable of making that is going to be one great book to flip through and gather inspiration from.

In the future the NPC Card deck may even see an application for tablets, phones and computers available as well and Andreas discussed that they are already talking about the concepts for the presentation of this.

I really hope that Andreas gets over the line in this regard because tools like this are absolutely awesome and I love the way they are becoming more sophisticated.  I would be a backer but my money is spent for the month on the move to the new domain so I will be one of those that has to buy the final product.  Make no mistake though, if this product makes it over the line I will be getting it.

I hope this post at least makes you go and have a look at the site and look over the details.  The artwork looks like it is going to be incredible and well worth the wait.  Join up on this Kickstarter now to get some of the great NPC Cards that are on offer!  Until next time, keep rolling!

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