We have gotten a review copy of The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck, created by James D'Amato (author of The Ultimate RPG series). Here's what we think about it!

As a Game Master, I have found oftentimes that my players’ characters are not as fleshed-out as I’d like them to be. This is sometimes also true of my non-player characters. Fortunately, The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck, a role-playing accessory of a very high caliber, remedies this. We have gotten a review copy of the deck, created by James D’Amato (author of The Ultimate RPG series). Here’s what we think about it!

The box lid for The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck, created by James D’Amato and published by Adams Media and Simon & Schuster. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck‘s Gameplay

The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck features six different types of card, each with distinct categories of questions a character might be asked. Each category, ranging from backstory questions to those about hypotheticals, helps sculpt the world around the characters. The deck comes with a brief guide on how to use these cards, but as a GM, I may honestly not 100% adhere to this in play. There are many ways to make this deck work.

I originally meant to review this deck of questions with a review team in mind, comprised of my players. However, in true RPG fashion, we had to postpone for a couple of days and I could not leave this unreviewed. Thus, I cannot provide you with any examples from real-life gameplay. However, I wish to use this tool in my campaigns.

The way this deck works is as such:

  • Each player draws two cards from a shuffled deck, save for the “X” card (which we will bring up later).
  • In clockwise order, each player chooses a card from their hand to answer the questions from. They then ask another player the questions from the other card.
  • This continues until every player has been able to answer questions. The game is then repeated with new cards if players so choose to.
The back face of The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

This deck also not only helps players, but Game Masters as well. By allowing players the freedom to improvise answers to questions about the world they are playing in, GMs get a chance to “yes, and” and formulate new ideas from the experiences of the player characters. It’s pretty great to be able to even tie loose ends to story threads, and even shore up holes in plotlines that GMs may not even have considered.

In a fashion of truly good form, The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck contains one other card which is pivotal for gameplay. This is the “X” card and its purpose is to weed out questions that are uncomfortable for players. You use it as a veto to certain questions you take issue with, but you don’t have to explain yourself as to why you’re vetoing something. Consent is key in role-playing games, as with life overall, so this is a vital tool within this deck.

ultimate rpg campfire
The inside of the box for The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck, wherein the “X” card is shown along with one other, and the manual. Photo credit: Josh Nelson

So, with all of these factors in mind, what is our verdict on this role-playing tool? In the end, it looks to use that The Ultimate RPG Campfire Card Deck is a really nifty accessory for game masters of any RPG background. The deck has questions at the ready, able to enhance not just player characters but the world the GM builds overall. And with the “X” card, players don’t have to feel pressured into engaging with anty questions they do not wish to (though, truth be told, this should always be true even without one). So, we have high marks for this deck. If you feel so inclined, pick up a copy!

Leave a Reply