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:

Post Production Stage
20 days 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!
about 2 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!


Proofing and approval
2 months ago – Wed, Jan 16, 2019 at 01:46:10 PM

This is a quick one.

Why we proof.

The files were submitted a few days ago and after a few back-and-forth with preflight* edits we sent the files on and very quickly got a proof file back.

My habit is to skim very quickly and look for anything obvious, then wait a while and check again. And a good thing, too! In part of those preflight edits, I’d accidentally deleted all of the box branding along the right side of one of the boxes!

Now, this would not have ruined anything logistically, but it’s a substantial error to go into a final product and I’m VERY glad I caught it.

So right now, I’m guessing that production will go about a week or two now that I’ve passed in approval, and then stuff will be shipped before Chinese New Year. So, best guess right now is that we’ll be packing items for a February delivery.(unconfirmed)

More as it comes in!


* preflight refers to a checklist of items that help ensure that the printed result properly matches the digital files. Most commonly this 1. Checks that colors are specified in CMYK, 2. that images are embedded in the document (not just linked), and 3. that type has been converted to vector outlines so that it doesn’t rely on having the exact copy of the font file.

January Update!
2 months ago – Tue, Jan 08, 2019 at 09:18:28 PM

Happy New Year!

We’ve had a busy holiday season full of prepping and planning for the new year and it’s good and time to give y’all an update on the state of things!

We’ve been working out some production/budget issues and I’m happy to report that we’ve resolved them with packaging techniques. The short version is that running two separate SKUs was going to cost more for an equivalent run than a single, larger SKU. Like nearly twice as much, which started stretching the money a lot thinner than we’d like. So we’ve combined BCV2 into a single thicker box.

BCV2 Package Layout
BCV2 Package Layout

There are upsides and downsides to this decision, that mostly have to do with retail marketing, but especially with card count. When we got to the first step of assembling all the files, we realized that the move to the 108 card box would leave us far more shy on cards than we were comfortable with. (Figuring this out was a major part of the December delay). So we hired out another small stack of cards and while they were turned around quickly, U.S. holidays, business closures, and the like all contributed to a certain amount of stacked inability to get things done. And now as of today they have been shipped to the manufacturer, and the payment for manufacturing has been sent!

All in all, the initial expected date of September was not so much a bad guess as to fulfillment timing, as it was a bit of a victim of assumption of ease of finishing. We didn’t have to do very much new writing, but we did end up with a lot of smaller, difficult to predict elements that stacked up.

Thanks for riding along, we’ll have more information for you soon!


Production work Continues…
4 months ago – Thu, Dec 06, 2018 at 12:25:59 AM

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