The Undiscovered Wilderness
Plot Aid Card Deck:
For Pulp or Victorian Style Gaming

Once every in-game week (or every couple of days if you prefer a faster pace of campaign with rapidly unfolding events) shuffle and pull three cards. Or if you simply want scenario ideas, use the cards in the same way to generate a set of random event ideas to spice up your one off scenarios.

The first card drawn is called "Self", and is always drawn for the good guys... the solo gamer's personal favourite 'side'.

The second card drawn is "Influence" goes to the left of the "Self" Card already Drawn, and represents recent events (leading up to the present), and indicates the activities of relevant enemies and creatures.

The third card "Manoeuvres" represents the growing threats; goes to the right of the central "Self" card and indicates current or very near future events. Combined with "Influence" and "Self", the three cards should suggest a current viable plot for the solo gamer to play out, either in his/her ongoing campaign or on the games table.


  • Ace: An important card, whose in game meaning is often greatly affected by the environment of the previous or following Influence and Manoeuvres card. With another hearts card it implies new or rekindled love, friendship, and affection (maybe even the return of an absent character); with diamonds, money and news of distant friends; with clubs, festivities, and social or domestic rejoicing; with, spades, disagreements, misunderstandings, contention, or misfortune; individually, the card stands for the home, safe camp, sojourn at a peaceful settlement, etc.
  • King: The game is currently dominated by a (intrinsically) good-hearted man, with strong affections, possibly an emotional man, and given to rash judgments, great bravery, occasional cruelty due to lack of understanding or stubborn denial to face the truth, possessing more zeal than discretion.
  • Queen: The game sees a woman take centre stage: fair, loving and lovable, domesticated, prudent, and faithful.
  • Jack: Represents information and good judgement from a best friend, or as a fair person's thoughts. The enemy cards placed previously and directly after this card are indicative of the good or bad nature of the Jack's interpretation.
  • Ten: A sign of good fortune. It implies a good heart, happiness, and the prospect of temporary security. It counteracts bad cards and confirms things in the vicinity.
  • Nine: Earth-quake, volcano eruption, flash flood, land slide, animal stampede, or some other natural disaster.
  • Eight: The pleasures of the table, a pleasant social encounter. An important gathering. Another meaning implies love and the prospect of relationship or marriage between game characters.
  • Seven: A faithless, inconstant friend who may one day prove to be an enemy.
  • Six: A friend with a confiding nature, liberal, open-handed, and quite possibly easy prey for stronger minded people to exploit; courtship, and being approached by devious enemies.
  • Five: Causeless jealousy in a person of weak, unsettled character, possible dangerous twist.
  • Four: Lack of trust. due to being in the wrong place and the wrong time. Possibly a set up.
  • Three: A dire warning card (perhaps a warning in a mysterious message), or a second hand witness to an overheard conversation. Dangerous beast rumoured to be roaming close by.
  • Two: Unlooked for (short term) success... maybe a new venture, a lucrative pay packet, the discovery of an ancient and previously unknown site.


  • Ace: Treasure. Missing item. A clue.
  • King: Fresh reliable news. Possibly a sigh of being on the right path.
  • Queen: Flirtatious woman... one used to having admirers. A loved one may wander in this direction.
  • Jack: A near friend or associate will put his/her own interests first.
  • Ten: The potential threat of kidnap, possibly innocent victims known to the card drawer.
  • Nine: Lack of strength, loss of faith, loss of belief in self. Low ebb. Disappointment.
  • Eight: Chequered Past surfacing. The past surfacing, potentially able to cause harm.
  • Seven: Bad Gossip and slander. Ambush. Fierce encounter in the wilds.
  • Six: Former Lover or partner suddenly surfacing, making things uncomfortable.
  • Five: Unexpected news, a lucky break.
  • Four: Breach of confidence. Troubles caused by inconstant friends. Vexations and disagreements.
  • Three: Legal and domestic quarrels. Temper, fight, or unexpected wilderness skirmish.
  • Two: An unsatisfactory love affair, awakening opposition from relatives, friends, or jealous loved ones.


  • Ace: Ignorant and with wealth and power and enters the game, causing disharmony and needless suffering.
  • King: A dark, shadowy, mysterious new enemy of enters play. Possible archaeological dig involved, or search for something ancient and lost.
  • Queen: A dark minded, exotically beautiful and mysterious woman enters play. A sadistic beauty who is utterly ruthless; possibly with a soft spot (weakness) for one of the good guys or girls.
  • Jack: A New friend or ally.
  • Ten: Stolen Riches. Beaten to the post by an enemy. Dangerous lurking beasts.
  • Nine: Friction through opposition to the wishes of friends, colleagues, or associates. Dire warning and threat of curse.
  • Eight: Love of money, weakness surfacing. Cowardice in the face of adversity.
  • Seven: Encounter with vengeful beast... enraged mother or carnivorous bull.
  • Six: Snake in the grass. Blackmail. Betrayal with devastating consequences.
  • Five: A secret path or trail, possibly guarded by ancient evil or wild beasts/creatures; often accompanied by native superstition and vague rumour.
  • Four: Falsehood and double-dealing. Deception and deliberate false lead.
  • Three: Real trust. Leap of faith. Or surprising animal friendship.
  • Two: Care is needed to avert opposition and disappointment from close friend or loved one.


  • Ace: Ill-chosen friend(s). Smiling fair, but foul intent barely concealed. Often the target of such a person's dangerous desires is blind to the true extent of their danger or the masked intent of the bad person influence.
  • King: A dangerous motive driven attack against a friend, friends, or self.
  • Queen: Ancient Evil surfacing unexpectedly, having been disturbed, summoned, or ritually risen from the grave/tomb.
  • Jack: Weak from Military allies, and general unwillingness to help do the right thing.
  • Ten: Cursed Tomb or Burial Site.
  • Nine: An ill-fated card, meaning sickness, losses, troubles, dissension, plague, famine, etc.
  • Eight: A warning with regard to any enterprise in hand; this card implies evil: also opposition from friends. Bad choices; walking into a trap.
  • Seven: Sorrow caused by the loss of a dear friend.
  • Six: Rest after toil. Safe House. Going into hiding. Maybe accompanied by monsoon weather, sand/dust storm, or flooding.
  • Five: Temporary happiness, and a choice between personal desire and doing what's right.
  • Four: Illness, recovering from a wound. Temporarily out of action.
  • Three: A journey. New adventure.
  • Two: A removal, or possibly even death, accidental or otherwise.

© 2008, Stephen A Gilbert