Sunday, 19 August 2012

ATZ Event Cards: Finally!

Introduction

Some of you may remember that I started a project to create a set of random events for All Thing Zombie (ATZ).  I initially announced this to the world at the start of June this year, some 2.5 months ago: atz-event-cards.html .  My intention was to generate 54 different events, turn them into designs for cards and then have them made into a deck of cards by one of the "print your own" shops that have sprung up on the internet over the last few years.

Original design for ATZ random event card

Well, the time has now come to announce a successful conclusion: they're here!

I will describe how I designed these cards in another article some time (if there's enough interest), but for now I just want to show you the finished result.  Update: article on card design is here.

The Event Deck

Soon after my return from holiday at the end of July, I uploaded my designs to and placed an order with Artscow.  I could have done this a little earlier, but that company has periodic discounts which are well worth waiting for, at least in my opinion.  Artscow are also very quick to fulfill orders.  Despite being on the other side of the world, I received my cards within a week or so!

The deck comes in a fairly plain, green box.  That's OK; I could have paid extra to design my own box, but I didn't wish to do so.  Indeed, I might even use a plastic deck box for them; I've not really decided yet.

Inside the box are 54 cards.  These all have the same back (of course) and I'm slightly annoyed to notice a stray, dark rectangle near the "EVENT!" text.  I've gone back to my original source files and corrected this, but it's irritating to see it on the printed version.  It's entirely my fault for not proof-reading the card back as carefully as the fronts and I won't let it stop me from enjoying them during games of ATZ!

Here's how the front of the cards look.  I'm not going to display every one (it would take far too much time and space!), but this should give an idea.  The cards are printed on thinnish material, but not unusually so.  Unlike regular playing cards, they won't be repeatedly dealt and held in hands, so I don't expect any problems with durability.

This is a closer view of 3 of the random events.  The resolution of the text and the colour depth is excellent; I'm very pleased indeed with the result.

Using Event Cards

How to use random events in ATZ is described in ATZ:BDTZ, though for simplicity I'll repeat it here.  Each time the initiative dice come up as double-6, choose and apply an event.  If I'm playing with more than 2 factions then for this purpose I use only the initiative dice for the first 2 factions (typically player characters and zombies).  If using the deck, choose an event by drawing a card rather than by rolling on the table in ATZ:BDTZ.  Don't worry; the original events from the rulebook (or adapted versions of them) have all been included in this deck.

The random events themselves are intended to add colour to the story, rather than to penalise one side exclusively.  As such, some events favour the zombie side, some favour humans and some are strictly neutral.  Anything could happen!

Obtaining the Deck

If I've understood correctly then anyone who desires can order my deck from Artscow by following this link: http://www.artscow.com/gallery/playing-cards/atz-event-cards-dfkuuc7ri4ha .  You'll have to open an account with them first, of course!

[Edit: alternatively, the source PowerPoint file for the deck can be downloaded for free, ==> Here <==]

Finally...

With modern computers and do-it-yourself publishers, it's quite easy to create your own game aids.  It's also cheap; this project may have taken quite a bit of my time but has cost very little money.  The sense of satisfaction that I feel when I hold the almost-professional result in my hand is hard to describe.

I'd like to say a word or two about those who showed an interest in this project, especially during the early days when it all looked fairly crude and amateurish.  The encouragement I received has really spurred me on to do the best I could.  Thank you!

Making custom card decks for your games is simple; if I can do it then so can you!

40 comments:

  1. That looks pretty good mate!

    Though I seem to recall that it is when ANY double in the initiative is rolled. Or have I been playing it wrong?

    I am sorely tempted to get me one of these decks!

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    1. Thanks, I'm exceptionally pleased with the result.

      Obviously you can play it any way you like, but my copy of ATZ:BDTZ says that a random event occurs on "double 'six' or 'boxcars'". 'Boxcars' is American slang for double-6, so the rule is just saying the same thing in two different ways.

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    2. Page 52 ATZ BDTZ 'Random Events':
      'whenever the activation dice come up double "six" or "box cars" there may occur a random event'

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  2. As a recipient of a free pack of these cards from Colgar6, I must say that they are excellent. I was struck by how professional they looked when I first saw them. I'd have very happily paid money for them, so once again, thank you for your very kind gift.

    Just to clarify one point, events in ATZ occur if you roll double six OR double one. Also, when the new ATZ rulebook, Final Fade Out comes out, this rule will remain in place, so these cards will be equally valid in FFO. I bet that's a relief to you, Hugh!

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    1. I'm thrilled that you like the deck, really!

      See my reply to Lord Siwoc above about probabilities of generating events. I'm beginning to wonder if there are several versions of ATZ in circulation, though: there seem to be so many different interpretations.

      I should probably have pointed out that a few of my random events affect PEFs ("possible enemy forces"). These cards won't work with the basic ATZ:BDTZ though they'll be just fine if you're playing with the expansion "I, Zombie". I believe that "Final Fade Out" will use PEFs.

      The rest of the cards should work with any version of the rules, I hope.

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    1. Thanks. Mind you, it's a lot easier than you might expect to do this kind of printing.

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  4. Cards look great! I think it would be enlightening if you shared the process of how you made them. And I know how you feel about the proof reading. It always pays to do a sample print at home to try and catch things like that. But the cards look great anyway.

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    1. OK, I'll look at writing an article on the design process. Not sure when. Thanks for the kind words about my efforts.

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  5. Is there a link where I can purchase the entire deck? I went to artscow but there I can't figure out where to make the purchase.

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    1. Firstly, I'd like to say that I have no association with artscow.com, other than being a satisfied customer.

      Did you follow the link I gave in the "Obtaining the deck" section: http://www.artscow.com/gallery/playing-cards/atz-event-cards-dfkuuc7ri4ha ? If so then I believe that you should see a button entitled "Add to Cart". On my view it's near the top, above the pictures or the cards, just right of centre. It's possible that you need to create an account before you'll see this; I'm not sure.

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  6. I too can attest at the quality of these cards, being a lucky recipient of a deck. They are very professional looking and would make a worthy addition to anyone's table. I think that they're also Poker sized cards (slightly wider)than normal playing cards (Bridge cards).

    Now how about that encounter deck you hinted at a while ago ?

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    1. Yes, I believe they are officially poker cards, though until reading your comment I didn't even know that there was a difference! Anyway, the slightly wider size suits this purpose better!

      As for the encounter cards: yes, I do have a prototype (home-made) deck. However they haven't been through the same design upgrade process as the event cards. I'm also wary that "ATZ:Final Fade Out" may change how this might work.

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  7. Hello!

    The cards look amazing!! Just one question. ¿Is there any way to get a PDF of the cards? In my office we have a very good printer and I can print them in a minute. I can print over surfaces like plastic and cardstock.

    I live in Spain and it will be very difficult (and expensive) for me to get the cards from artscow.

    Thank you very much in advance!!!

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    1. Well, Artscow do have periodic discounts - I've certainly seen them offer free shipping worldwide on occasion :-) .

      My original source files are in PowerPoint; I don't know how easy it would be to generate a decent PDF document from that.

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    2. May you please upload your PowerPoint source files from which your artscow.com cards are based off of?

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    3. Cesar, I've uploaded my PowerPoint source file here: http://205.196.122.208/nfb45a4xeoag/9cku5925nb58kun/atz-new-event-cards.pptx . If you have any problems with this link then please let me know.

      Hugh

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    4. Hugh,
      Thank you so much for uploading your file!
      They look great!

      -hopefully I can make one of my own on Artscow soon

      Cesar

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    5. Cesar,

      You're welcome :-) .

      Hugh

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    6. Thank you very much also! :D

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  8. Hello Colgar6, My name is Cesar. I play ATZ: The Board game, and I came up with some event cards for that game, though I am pretty sure one can use these cards for any of the ATZ books as well. I thought that maybe, even though I am pretty late into this, these card ideas might come up useful for you in the future (as your cards will surely do for mine).

    Along with these event cards are some 'Goal' cards that are more difficult event cards to complete because they usually give an objective to do. By completing 3 'Goal' event cards, one will win the game (we got bored of coming up with random goals on the fly, we didn't like having one of us in our group knowing what to do next because they happened to be the GM for that session, and we played the goals that come with this game's instruction booklet too many times)

    So without further blabbering, here are my cards:

    1. 'Fighting Amongst' -- 2D6 are rolled, out of the rolls, the two players with the highest number(s) lose one turn movement (they can still fight).

    2. "Shit, They've Taken Over the..." -- Roll a random building and place a token/marker over it. No player may enter/search this building.

    3. "We're Getting Surrounded!" -- Roll D6 dice doubling the amount of players in session. the total amount will equal the amount of zombies one has to place around the edge of the board.

    4. 'Heavy Rain'-- All players, except zombies, subtract 1 hex of movement for 4 rounds of play.

    5. "I'm Feeling Kinda Strange..." -- Goal card - A random player will turn into a zombie in 5 rounds unless:
    1. Players find and use a "serum" card
    2. All players from that party lose life points (HP), rolling 1D6 and diving the result by 2
    *a separate container will have to be made using, for example, 10 grey chips and 1 red chip, the red chip being the 'serum'. these chips are pulled out when one is also searching through buildings to find loot.

    6. "Help!!!" - Goal card -- A missing child must be found.
    *a separate container will have to be made using, for example, 10 grey chips and 1 red chip, the red chip being the 'serum'. these chips are pulled out when one is also searching through buildings to find loot.

    7. "I've Got to go Back!" - Goal Card -- All players roll 3D6. The player with the lowest number has to go back to the first searched building.

    8. 'Decomposing Flesh' -- Roll 1D6 and remove that many amount of zombie(s) from anywhere off the board.

    9. "Are You Serious!?!" -- Replay the previously played event card (except Goal cards).

    10. 'Prophetic Dream' -- A random player is able to show everyone the next event card in this same turn(if they wish to do so). Afterwards, that player can choose to accept that event or shuffle that card with the rest and play the top card as normal.

    11. "They're Coming From the..." -- Roll a random building and place a token/marker over it. This building will now spawn 1D6 zombie(s) per turn.

    12. 'Power Outage' -- Roll a random building and place a token/marker over it. To search this building you need to make 2 search attempts to equal 1.

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    1. *Correction:

      6. "Help!!!" - Goal card -- A missing child must be found.
      *a separate container will have to be made using, for example, 10 grey chips and 1 red chip, the red chip being the 'missing child'. these chips are pulled out when one is also searching through buildings to find loot.

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  9. 13. "No, We're on Your Side!!!" - *Goal card-- Remove 6 zombies from anywhere. Draw a new character sheet (unused or make a new one) and place him/her in a random building. That character is hostile to anything, player or zombie, and is given unlimited ammo and random weapons are rolled for him/her to equip and use.
    *Zombies can kill this character, but if killed by a player, this character becomes a completed Goal card.

    14. 'Fatal Attraction' - Goal card -- A random player becomes wounded (but does not lose Health). All other zombies within 10 hexes will go after this player until:
    1. 3 Med kits are used.
    2. After 6 rounds.

    15. 'Sprained Ankle' -- A random player will have their movement subtracted by one until after 5 rounds.

    16. 'Hopeless' -- A random player must immediately discard/lose one of the following:
    1. An Item.
    2. Lose 1 Health.
    3. Lose their next turn.

    17. 'Stockpile: Armory' -- Roll a random building and place a token/marker over it. Any gun or ammo can be picked up from here, though after picking up, roll 1D6. If a '1' or '2' is rolled, the stockpile is considered emptied (if emptied, remove token/marker).

    18. 'Stockpile: First Aid' -- Roll a random building and place a token/marker over it. Any Med kit can be picked up from here, though after picking up, roll 1D6. If a '1' or '2' is rolled, the stockpile is considered emptied (if emptied, remove token/marker).

    19. "I Know Where That is!" -- Play this card on a random building. Then roll for a random player. That player then can go to that building and then search through the loot cards to find what they are looking for. The loot pile is then shuffled.

    20. 'Sewer Rat Outbreak' -- No zombies attack/move for a full round.

    21. 'Helicopter' - Goal card -- A random building will be assigned as the spot to where a helicopter awaits rescuing the players
    -This card will be in two parts, so in order to have access to this helicopter, one will need card '1 of 2', and '2 of 2'.

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  10. 22. "I Don't Know why, but you Must Trust me for now!" -- A random player is able to show everyone the top 3 event cards (if they choose to do so), and then place them back onto the event card stack at any order of their choosing.

    23. "Orders to Clear the Ground" - Goal card -- A carpet bomb is launched at the ground between two buildings that are chosen at random via dice rolls. These bombs are able to destroy both zombies and survivors, and demolish buildings to the point that they are will be inoperable (unless this building is detrimental to finishing a goal card).
    -This card will be in two parts, so one will need card '1 of 2', and '2 of 2'. Once both cards are collected, the players will be given 3 turns to run away from the blast area.

    24. "Hell's Zombies" -- A random hostile motorcycle gang consisting of 5 riders (5 tokens) will ride between two buildings that are chosen at random via dice rolls. These riders are hostile to both zombies and survivors, and will shoot at anything within range of their shotguns. Because of their loud motorcycles and their guns, they will attract zombies along their route.

    ----These are all the ideas that I have been able to come up with so far. These event cards need a bit more polish so that they'll work well with the game (for example I would like to make more 'Goal cards'), and so if anyone can make some corrections or give critiques, that would be great!

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    1. Wow, Cesar - that's a great collection of ideas! I wish I'd been able to create a deck of more than 54 cards, just to have some of these as well.

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    2. Thanks Colgar6, I have you to thank for as well because your cards really inspired me to do my own set.

      -Thank you also for letting us print out your awesome cards!

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    3. These are great ideas for cards, both event and encounter types too.

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    4. Thank you Zabadak, I really appreciate your opinion :)

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  11. Colgar6 awesome cards, glad the idea became a reality, I saw your post back in June and knew I had to get it! Thanks for adding to my Zed game.

    Vampifan are adding this to your next battle report?

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    1. Thanks, glad you like it. Back in June I had no idea that the project would blossom like this!

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  12. Colgar- Even though this is about 3 1/3 months after the initial post, I just ordered a set of these. If I like them will probably order an additional set or two for gifts to a couple of people I know who are interested in ATZ, one of which I am trying to put together an "ATZ Starter Set" of the rules, dice, ruler, miniatures (4 Civilians/Survivors, a handful of Zombies [most likely will be Wargames Factory], movement/status tokens, and maybe even these event cards).

    I do know the thumbnails over on artscow.com look good. Hoping that they look as good in person.

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    1. Doug, I expect you will like them - I know that others who have received such sets have been very pleased with them. It's very gratifying to have such a vote of confidence in my work!

      Hugh

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    2. Hugh- Got the cards today. They look good. Will definitely be using them. Will more then likely be getting that second set for the ATZ Starter Set that I am planning on assembling for a gift, after the holidays when I will have the extra money.

      Still trying to decide on what figures to use for the civilians/survivors, right now leaning towards either a mix of eM4 and Victory Force or the Flying Frog Last Night on Earth heroes (since they can be ordered separately from the games, may even order a set or two of the Zombies and leave them unpainted for the recipient of the Starter set to paint).

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    3. I'm pleased that you like the cards. For survivors in 28mm, there are many choices; it depends on what level of quality you seek and whether you want them armed or not. Here are some of the companies I've used, in rough order of price (high to low, though obviously shipping will alter this order if you are on a different continent from me). This is not an exhaustive list; there are plenty of other alternatives out there:

      - Hasslefree
      - Studio Miniatures
      - Copplestone
      - Crooked Dice
      - Victory Force
      - Foundry
      - Killer B Games
      - Black Cat Bases
      - Golgo Island
      - EM4

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    4. For my figure collection I have some from Reaper. Hasslefree, Copplestone, eM4, Hero/Horrorclix, and one or two other manufacturers that I can think of right now. I am thinking of starting out as I said with the Flying Frog Last Night on Earth heroes for the ATZ Starter set I am putting together, with maybe one Metal Mini for use as the Star, your event cards will also be making it into the set.

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  13. Great post...it's really amazing idea related to card..keep it up.!!!!!!

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    1. Thanks. I'm assuming that alltimeprint.com is another place which can produce custom cards?

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  14. Just picked up a set of these - great stuff!

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    1. I'm delighted that you like them, thanks! It was 2.5 years since I published this set, so I have wondered whether most people have forgotten about these cards...

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    2. I am a late-comer to ATZ but hoping to start playing next year (new project!), Really enjoy your blog btw :-)

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