These cards were created for an original board game titled Provenance. The basic concept of the game involved a group of players working together to build a map by flipping over land feature tiles as they played, essentially creating the game board as part of the gameplay. We were inspired by the roleplaying board game Betrayal at House on the Hill as well as the classic fantasy aspects of traditional roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. We wanted to create a roleplaying experience where the game would act in place of a traditional Game Master.
The quest cards I created were essential to this goal. The quest system I came up with uses “red reveal,” a method of hiding secret messages, to keep players from discovering information that should remain hidden. The players would draw a card, read the information on the front, and then make a decision and/or roll dice to determine the outcome of their quest. Depending on the result, they would use the provided laser-cut screen to reveal a specific half of the information on the back of the card.
This method keeps the players from finding out what could have happened had their fate been different, which creates an aura of mystery and allows for increased replayability. To enhance this feature, I wrote the quests specifically to encourage players to play to their character’s strengths. In addition, the rewards at the end of each quest are hinted at on the front of the cards, but the players don’t get to know what they stand to win until they’ve already made a decision.
For the sake of readability, I have edited these cards so that the red reveal is diminished and the text underneath is visible. However, the first example shows what the cards looked like without editing, as well as with the screen overtop.