So I DM a home game where my Players routinely forget things cause they were never big gamers in the first place, traditional or computer. No biggie, so I ventured forth and looked at a bunch of spell cards, printed them out. But they looked boring as well.
Then today I looked at some Baldur’s Gate magic cards and remembered how a friend (who has no gaming background at all) said she really liked how Magic the Gathering art was really good at communicating the fantasy of the setting and spellcasting. So it came to me (after a quick google search, also to a lot of other people) today, hey why don’t you just combine the two?
So I fired up mtgcardsmith.com, pulled some high quality art crops from scryfall.com and went to town.
Looks really good for 2-3 minutes of work if I might say so.
- Gives non-gamers a good reference point what Spells could entail
- 30 years of pretty high quality dnd adjacent art to pull from, to match any tone of game.
You could probably do this for Monster Statblocks, NPC guidance for DM or One-Shot specific mechanics as well I guess. BR
Can also use cutouts as monsters
mtgcardsmith lets you generate tokens as well if the textbox is not Needed. You can then print these out, cut into the black border and glue/paste it onto a real card as well.
that’s a really cool idea! as someone who makes their own reference cards, i can add some experiences i made
- if you include the time for selecting images, printing them out, cutting out, etc it’s probably more than 2-3 minutes per card, just a heads up. at least i spend a lot of time on this hahah.
- if you print a lot of cards, a simple cutting machine costs like 10 bucks and is a timesaver as well as a way to make them look better.
- it’s worth checking out what the maximum thickness that your printer can handle is, mine can print 200g/m² paper, which is already close to normal cards (220 - 300 g/m²). might need some playing around with the printer settings though.
- printing at normal card sizes means you can use normal card sleeves, which is nice (a non issue here, but something to think about when making your own stuff)
- and a d&d specific thing, a few spells need like 3 pages to fit the full text, even without a picture, so if you want cards that fit together, cards without images should probably be possible (i don’t know the card generator, so it might be a non-issue here too). i numbered my spellcards with more than 1 page. generally you’ll have a lot of at least doublesided cards, with pictures taking up half the card.
and a d&d specific thing, a few spells need like 3 pages to fit the full text, even without a picture, so if you want cards that fit together, cards without images should probably be possible (i don’t know the card generator, so it might be a non-issue here too). i numbered my spellcards with more than 1 page. generally you’ll have a lot of at least doublesided cards, with pictures taking up half the card.
Regarding the longer spells, yeah I don’t see a workaround either. Maybe it is better to still give them a booklet handout and have the card text just be an extremely abbreviated version that just tells them the basic outline and conditions.
The cards then would just act as a visual reminder of what options the PC has to themselves and other players on the table.
problem with abbreviating is that it takes a lot of time to write and will probably cause confusion at some point. and it stops people from properly knowing the rules. if there is a booklet involved i’d rather assign little fitting icons to each spell, instead of going for cards at all.
what might be relevant is that longer text spells tend to start at level 3 spells. at this point players are probably already more experienced or want to start tracking spells digitally due to the sheer number they have anyways. 9 out of 10 times i use my spell cards it’s low level spells for new players.
This reminds me of my MTG days, long, long ago… Uhm, may I suggest an improvement to style and a bit of uniformity for design? Let me demonstrate:
A couple of examples:
While this may not take care of ALL aspects a spell might have it’s good enough for simpler spells and spells with little text. I’m afraid it wouldn’t work for spells with long text like Detect Thoughts. On the plus side, a similar approach could be used for special abilites, like Action Surge, Rage, ect…
Actually there are spell cards for DND, officially released by wizards afaik. But that’s not the point here is it
Edit: P.S.: I used MSE (Magic Set Editor) for creating those cards.
Ohhhh, I think you nailed it! These are so clean to look at!
The only thing missing, is range, but I think it would fit neatly next to Duration