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Writing Tools: Reckless Deck Worlds

I’ve accumulated a large collection of card-based writing tools, each of which is useful to different parts of my writing process. So I’ve decided to do a series of posts about the various decks I own and how I use them in my writing.

I’ve talked previously about the core Reckless Deck, but today, I’m looking at Reckless Deck Worlds, which is designed, like the core deck, to be a tool to inspire artists. But it’s another deck that can absolutely be used for worldbuilding, much like World Roulette.

Reckless Deck Worlds has eight categories of cards: Biome, Weather, Features, Materials, Time of Day, Advancement, Society, and Catalyst (the last two are part of the Civilizations Expansion, not the core Reckless Deck Worlds). Much like the core deck, you can pick and choose which categories of cards you draw from. Some categories, like “Time of Day,” are generally much more useful for artwork, but sometimes they can find their way into writing projects as well.

When I use this deck for writing, it’s typically to put together the details of the world my piece will be set in, though I did use it to put together a story about an alien world. The Catalyst cards, in particular, can be useful for finding a plot element to work into either the backstory or the story itself, as they suggest events in the history of the world you’re building.

The cards in this deck don’t have genres, but they are marked with icons for seasons. However, all of the cards I have in this deck are marked with all four seasons. (It’s possible that future expansions might have seasonal cards.) There’s also a suggestion on the different creation systems for this deck that recommends removing Materials, Advancement, and manmade elements from Features to make world in which only natural, minimally processed materials are used for construction. So there is some tweaking that can be done to make the world work for a specific genre.

The cards themselves, as pictured above, are fairly simple while still being pretty. The triangle on the right tells you what type of card it is, but the color and background art also indicates the type of card (though in some cases, you may have to look closely at that). They’re standard playing card sizes, and the full deck with the expansion is still a manageable deck size for shuffling. The individual categories separated out make quite slim decks. Unlike the core Reckless Deck, Reckless Deck Worlds and the Civilizations Expansion are available to purchase currently.

In summary, use Reckless Deck Worlds for: world building, backstory elements, and story seeds.

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