Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Choose Your Fate

It's almost New Years, and with it, something a bit different!

Wyrd is hosting a contest for a new Fate deck, and with that meaning restrictions are lifted, it's time to resurrect my deck design! Aside from some cleaning up, it's mostly the same deck you've seen before, but I've made sure to revise the face cards to suit the Malifaux world a bit more.

The explanation of the deck is this:

Many of the Fate decks already in existence are what I'd call "out of world" decks - The Puppet Wars deck, the very snazzy decks including artwork from concept sketches of various characters, etc.

There's only one "In-world" deck I know of, and that's Xander's Retro deck. It's a beautifully designed deck, and it very much 'fits' the word. The only problem I have is that it's old, beaten up, and made to look (I think) like they found it when they reopened the breach, sitting on a table somewhere, and thought no ill of picking it up and starting to use it. What I'm going for is different. I want to make the "Modern Malifaux" deck. I want one where any random trader, card shark, or bored kid could go into a shop in Malifaux (or Earthside - currently the city of origin is listed as my own, Toronto!) and pick up a deck much like this and play with it.

Many of the designs are held over from the previous two posts (linked above) so in this entry I'll mostly focus on the differences.

First, the jokers are mostly the same, but they're the least "busy", so they'll show off the background well. Whereas the old one was whatever I could find from the internet to convey the feeling, it was too yellow, and too 'not mine'. I have since revised it with a texture pulled from paper I purchased, photographed, and edited.

More importantly you'll notice a refined and cleaned up back. These are far closer to the fancy designs so often found and admired on poker decks, and the prominent, not-too-fancy M in the middle is a strong reminder of what game it is!

And now the big change: face cards! You can see the damage indicators still in the corner, the large symbols for each suit on the aces, and most importantly, customized designs! The Aces are all going to have large symbols in the middle, to keep Crows from being too fancy, and the biggest modification to this set of royals is the Queen; While I did try to limit the number of in-world characters, I figure someone like Lady Justice is both well-liked and well-known enough to gain card immortalization. The cards feature very bright red cloth, as red is considered the faction colour of the Guild.

Next up are the Tomes. Tomes represent Arcanists, and while they may make a sneaky deck with hidden clues to them, this is not that deck. They were chosen of the face cards because they have large discs, coloured in this to represent soulstones. They have less gold than their Guild counterparts (except the king) but they are coloured varying shades of blue. From the bright cyan in their eyes and the soulstones, to the more muted cyan and royal blue of their cloth, they hold to the Arcanist blue.

The Masks (or Masques) represent the Neverborn. Their colour scheme is made to echo that of the Guild, with a colder, more sinister set of purples (Neverborn's colour) trying to keep somewhat the feel of the Guild reds. The masks on each are made to look both like the suit icon, and also the one worn by the Guild's Secretary, who many suspect to be a Neverborn!

If I do win the contest, and am asked to, I considered snaking some subtle colour inflection through their robes to look like tentacles, but the darts on the King's sleeves kind of work that effect, and keeps the overall look subtle.

Finally, the Crows. This was a difficult one. Traditionally, Spades are the 'highest' suit, but in the world of Malifaux, it represents the Resurrectionists, who are perhaps the most hated faction in the game. As a result, I had to juggle the primacy of one with the hatred of the other, and so decided to go subtle. The ace, as mentioned, keeps the 'tariff has been payed' look, and each of the royals is made to be subtly creepy and undead. All three have sunken cheeks. The Jack has blank eyes, the Queen empty pits, and the King small eerie dots as though the irises have blanched. Their clothes are primarily green (the Resurrectionist colour) and brown (for the earth), with a minimum of gold effects.

It was nice to go through and clean up the royals, since it let me really think on the designs overall. I hope you like them!


  1. They look great. I really like the deck. I'm excited to see all of the entrants.

  2. Love these! Only suggestion is make the crow queen's flower dead (or even have one side alive and the other dead to represent the duality of undeath)

  3. Love these! Only suggestion is make the crow queen's flower dead (or even have one side alive and the other dead to represent the duality of undeath)

    1. Ah the delays induced by work: it's a neat idea with the flower, I may try revising it and see how it looks. For the time it was to mimic the Diamonds and Hearts lively flowers (even in undeath kinda thing). I may have to tinker with that!

  4. These are awesome! They look really clean. For my taste the weak/moderate/severe may be a little bit more clear, but the bulbs work as well.
    Love it, and would like to have this deck printed! If not through Wyrd, it would be cool to use as a giveaway at a tournament over here. No idea if you have plans of sharing it.

    1. There was another Wyrd forum member who was going to use them for a tourney, but I never heard if it went anywhere. I'm certainly going to try to get this printed at least for myself and my brother, with the nice satin-finish look! I've seen a number of people comment on that during the contest, so I may find a way to subtly enhance them. It may just be a matter of making them bigger.

  5. hey man! there is any way i can contact you in private?

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  7. Christopher I'd like to make a transfer sheet out of these cards for a diorama I am doing. Do you have vector images of these, preferably with the black and red only? I want to attempt to use the cards at scale and would need a clear background. I can do it myself, but the quality will be impacted and the work less clearly visible.