Sizzle Cards: A fun way to add excitement to a campaign!
Over the weekend one of our frequent commentors and all-round good guy, Todd Bradley, invited us to a D&D game that he is running. This marks the first time that Stupid Ranger and I have played D&D with a group comprised entirely of people we’ve never met before, so it was pretty exciting. They have been running through a D&D 3.5 module named The Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde, and it seems to be fun so far!
Adding a little spice
Todd has employed a very fun method of adding a little flair to his already fun campaign: sizzle cards. Each player gets to draw a slip of paper at the beginning of each session that contains a special action that the player can invoke to affect the game in some way. I haven’t seen the majority of them yet, but I got one that said “That’s no monster, that’s a guy in a costume!” which I assume means I could’ve turned a monster into a costumed person. Another player invoked a random rockslide. Someone else in our group told me they had one before that caused a successful hit to cause arterial spray to blind the attacker for the rest of the battle.
The players informed me that this wasn’t all fun and games, and that the Dungeon Master had the option to interpret the card creatively. My old DM used to do this same thing with any of the Wish spells, but it was certainly always fun to try!
There’s a lot of things that I like about this approach to adding some random behavior and fun to a campaign. It gives the players a little irreverent control over their surroundings, and the element of surprise is there since nobody else knows what Sizzle Card you have but you. I like that it keeps the DM on his toes too, I’m sure a lot of thought goes into the Sizzle Cards and how they can impact the planned portion of the module/campaign. Finally, it allows the DM to use some of those random content ideas that invariably pop into mind when you have to run the game instead of play.
Todd informed me that this idea wasn’t originally his, so thanks to whoever originated this idea! Also, thanks to Todd and his group of players for inviting us into their group. I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of new post ideas originated from such a great group of people and much fun to be had as a result!