Andreas Walters and Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell have launched a Kickstarter campaign for a product called Non-Player Cards. Andreas is someone who has been an indispensable help in my own publishing ventures. He’s a class act and 100% professional. He was also gracious enough to grant an interview for his new project.
LTB: Who is Andreas Walters? So are you doing this project all by yourself?
ASW: Always a good start I am Andreas Walters (ASW) and I am the founder of Non-Player Cards, but I can’t take all of the credit. Also with me is my co-creator Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell who will also answer some of the questions you have for me.
Who am I? well I am nothing more than a mere gamer and tabletop enthusiast who started publishing his own supplements when Monte Cook Games released their Numenera Limited License for small 3rd party publishers. As so far, I have had two successful commercial publications, with a few more to come
Editor’s Note: The two publications in question are Ninth World Assassins and The Mechanical Bard.
AMH: Turns out, he isn’t alone! I’m Andrew Montgomery-Hurrell, the co-creator of Non-Player Cards. Andreas and I have worked together before on a number of projects, mostly with me acting in a writing and editing capacity and I’m excited to be working with him again on this. I’ve been lurking behind the curtain, busy knocking together our website and doing work as the lead writer on the project to put together all the textual content for our cards. The most fun part so far has been writing some interesting code for helping build our Names cards.
LTB: Can you describe Non-Player Cards for us? What makes this product distinct from other NPC generators?
ASW: Well, NPC deck is a deck of 300 cards broken out into 8 categories.
Each card is a unique aspect regarding that category featuring a unique piece of art in addition to having a short description. These are both intended to give the reader some inspiration on how to use that facet.
Well, when you look at an NPC generator, what you’ll find is that they tend to be very setting specific, stat-block generators, or just pictures (which tend to be of recycled art). We are doing what all of them are not doing. Which is to give the reader inspirations to build from.
AMH: For me, a lot of the appeal is the tactile feedback you get from holding the cards in your hands. I’ve written a bunch of web-based generators for Numenera, and while those are useful and helpful, when you are writing or running a roleplaying game and need to find some inspiration, having something you can feel and hold in your hands, without the hassle of lugging around a computer or tablet or waiting for an app or page to load, is really useful and physically satisfying to use.
LTB: Do you plan on releasing NPC expansions for specific games or intellectual properties?
AMH: Definitely, if we can get the licenses. In the early stages of this project, we had the Numenera franchise by Monte Cook Games (MCG) in mind when designing it. Since then we’ve changed tact towards a more generic, generally useful deck for the base pack, but I know I’d love to be able to embrace the Numenera setting fully with a complete set of booster packs if MCG was interested.
ASW: Correct, as Andrew said, we would love to embrace and do setting specific booster, Imagine it, having professions, secrets and goals (and more) all tied to your specific setting? That would be awesome, and we probably won’t have any negotiation leverage until we get closer to our funding goal, but its definitely on our radar.
LTB: Are you going to create companion products that generate scenes, stories, locations and the like?
ASW: Its definitely within the realm of possibility for us to do that, we’re gonna get this project done first before taking on the rest of campaign development, but I can’t say we haven’t discussed it
AMH: I’ve got a whole bunch of ideas bubbling away in the back my brain, but it’s a bit early days to confirm anything yet. I’d highly recommend checking out the BackStoryCards Kickstarter – it’s a product that helps create inter-character connections and back-stories, which overlaps a little with the NPC Deck but also compliments it quite nicely.
LTB: What has been the most rewarding part of your experience producing these cards?
ASW: Seeing them come to life, finally being able to hold and feel them. Its weird to know that these products are coming alive. I’ve planned out a few Kickstarter projects, and this is the first one where I have had the support and resources actually go out and do it.
AMH: Being a whole continent away, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of holding some physical cards in my hands, but so far just seeing what was just a seed on an idea in my head coming into full bloom has been really exciting. At least as much though is the gorgeous artwork by our artist, Eren Arik. It’s absolutely beautiful and I can’t help but smile every time I browse through the artwork we’ve got so far.
LTB: What’s the $150,000 Stretch Goal? Pretty please?
ASW: Well, isnt that the $150,000 question If we can get that far in the KS I’ll have my socks blown off (literally), but what we’re planning will be fun and, ‘its a secret’ ;)
AMH: Oh man, I will be absolutely over the moon if we achieve that. But for now, it’s a secret – maybe we’ll make a special Secrets card to announce it if we reach that goal
LTB: In one sentence, what do you want each person who uses NPC to get out of them?
ASW: I could say it in one word “inspiration”
We want those who use our products to be inspired, no matter what system, setting or game.
AMH: I think Andreas has hit it on the nose. Inspiration is the heart and soul of this project. It’s not just a product for other people, this is something I’ve always wanted to be able to use myself, something where I can inject my brain with a hard dose of inspiration, right when I need it, without needing to distract myself with complicated tools or technology.