Backstory Cards, Volume 2

Created by Tim Rodriguez

Backstory Cards blend your characters and setting concept into an intriguing set of relationships and history. It’s tailor-made for games where the player-characters already know each other—from fantasy adventurers to star marines, from supernatural beings who share the same city to global-hopping troubleshooters.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Fulfillment, and the coming wrap up.
about 1 month ago – Fri, May 24, 2019 at 11:47:51 PM


We're nearly at the end here. The warehouse has received the shipment of Backstory Cards, I've completed processing the spreadsheet of the fulfillment and shipments to ~350 backers, and I've sent out the DriveThruRPG codes for all of the digital backers.

There are a few final small delays for a couple of items. The warehouse did not have some of the add-ons immediately available, so copies of OmegaZone are being transferred and will hopefully ship within the week. We've made the decision to fulfill the Bulldogs! book Ports of Call separately so as not to unreasonably delay the rest of the shipment.

After that, we're going to work on getting Backstory Cards (back) into distribution. This campaign has made a reprint possible, and as it's been a pretty popular item, we're very happy to have it available again. We've got a few more projects actively in the pipeline -- Thousand Arrows, is kind of the big one. As I mentioned in the comments a while back, we're also hoping to get the Techniques Guide in this year. After these big projects, we're likely to turn to some smaller games. Brennan and I both have smaller projects that we've been working on for a while that we'd like to finish up.

On the side, I'm currently working on the Sentinels Comics RPG Urban Settings Guide, and have also agreed to volunteer some time and work as part of community outreach on a short film called Danse Macabre, which I'm really excited about. I'll say more about that later, as we'll be bringing it to Kickstarter soon.

Thank you, yet again for all of your support, and enthusiasm over this project and others. That, more than anything else, is life.


Backstory Cards have landed!
2 months ago – Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 08:59:46 PM

I just got an email regarding logistics.

The shipment has arrived in California and currently is making its way to the warehouse, which means it’s time to charge credit cards for shipping and finalize addresses. We’ll take a little bit of time to let cards charge and addresses to update and then I have to segment out and handoff a final spreadsheet to tell the warehouse what to ship, and to where.


Final Countdown!
3 months ago – Wed, Apr 03, 2019 at 02:34:48 AM

We're in the final stages now. Here's what today looks like for me...

  • I'm expecting to get freight logistics details in from the print management partner
  • I've notified the warehouse to expect a shipment, and will follow up with better details when I have them
  • I'm prepping the final DriveThru files for distribution
  • I'm working on assembling the packing/shipping lists for the warehouse

I'd love to get your feedback on something, too.

For Backstory v1, we packaged the individual genre sets separately. This had some advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side, people were able to get exactly the kinds of things they definitely wanted. On the minus side, it kind sets up a sort of weird experience. It's definitely not an analog of the finished/packaged deck of cards. Now we have the Even More / Setting Elements to consider. As a finished/packaged deck of cards, they come bundled together as a 108 card deck.

Does this make sense to post on DriveThru that way? Or should we split them out into the "Even More" portion and a "Setting Elements" portion?

We'd love to hear your feedback!


Post Production Stage
4 months ago – Fri, Mar 01, 2019 at 11:33:28 PM

Hello friends!

I've just gotten word that the final final post-production sample is enroute. I made a small error in the last update, saying that was the final proofing stage. oops. This next one is the final one. I'll be posting photos when I get it in the mail,  and once *that* one is approved, we'll enter the final printing/shipping/distributing stage. Thanks again for all your patience, we'll be done with this soon.

In other news, Ryan and I are working on another game together. It's working title is "This Storm Will Pass" and we've been posting about it some on twitter. As a reminder, you can follow me @dicefoodlodging and Ryan @ryanmacklin for a much broader set of updates and interactions.

It's a cold grey day out today here, and I've got work to do for a competitive winter picnic this weekend, so back to it for me.


P.S. My delete key decided to quit working intermittently. Please forgive any typos.

Backstory Sheet Proofs!
5 months ago – Mon, Jan 28, 2019 at 11:15:54 PM


I have gotten sheet proofs back from the printer! 

Sheet Proofs, with the assistance of my cat Sigrid.
Sheet Proofs, with the assistance of my cat Sigrid.

These are six (stapled to be three double-sided) sheets sized for 56 cards, plus a smaller one for the boxes.

Sheet proofs are a physical, printed version that illustrates precisely what is to be printed, and where the lines are to be cut. These are otherwise identical to the digital proofs, but with the added benefit of being able to see precisely the size and impact that each graphical and textual element has when printed as the final version.

Depending on the printer and necessity, it may or may not be a color-true version. In this case, these is not. These are run on a digital printer that is not the same model that will print the final cards and additionally the paper stock is not the same. However, the sheet size is accurate, and the print quality is sufficient to aid in a final inspection, check for correct card orientation, etc.

This is the final approval step before the printing process. In the past, I've found my orders usually take about 2-3 weeks to turn around and get to the warehouse. This depends on a variety of factors. Larger order sizes will get shipped by boat; smaller ones often go by air. We’re probably on the small side, i.e. roughly one-two pallets, but much less than a container.

Finally, I'm going to go ahead and charge cards on BackerKit tomorrow and start preparing the oodles of spreadsheets that will be used to ship everything out.

Thanks again for joining us in making this happen!