Wyrd Cards: Whimsy Cards for Vikings

         For two years, I ran a role-playing campaign dubbed Vikings & Skraelings. It used a simplified variant of the RuneQuest rules, with the addition of home-made version of the Whimsy Cards from Lion Rampant. Since the game was about fatalistic Norsemen, they were dubbed the "Wyrd Cards" by the players. I made several changes to the deck to fit with the feel of the game. As part of analysis, I also grouped the cards into five categories:

Positive Influence

First Impressions (new)
Someone is impressed by a first meeting with a character or group. It may be their appearance, or auspicious events, or just a quirk of mood. You may define what the impression is.
Second Chance
Spectacular Success
Unexpected Aid
Insight (new)
Circumstances give someone new insight into a character or a situation, revealing depths not previously understood. This may be a public display or it may be a personal brainstorm.
Popular Recognition (new)
Some action or speech attracts the attention of many people, either directly or by rumor. A heroic act may become reknown, an idea may become the talk of the town, or a dishonorable act may become infamous.

Negative Influence

Added Animosity
Bad Tidings
Double Jeopardy
Error of Judgment
Horrible Failure
Inopportune Arrival
Misguided Love
Misplaced Trust
Ominous Omen
Painful Injury (new)
Something results in a painful injury. This may be a blow in combat, or a wound-causing accident, or perhaps psychological trauma from some remark or circumstance.
Turn for the Worse


Acceptance (new)
A character comes to accept things as they are for some reason. This may be fatalistic resigning to one's fate, or the character may have new feelings on the subject.
Bravery (new)
[to be written]
Change of Heart
Emotional Release
Extreme Caution
Rash Impulse (new)
Someone springs into action without thought or perhaps without care of the consequences.
Romantic Development (new)
The romance of two characters has a chance to develop. It may be the start of affection, or a twist in an existing relationship, or just reaffirming and deepening of feelings.

Plot Twist

Internal Conflict
Lasting Impression
Moral Dilemma
New Role
Parting of Ways
Personality Clash
Pivotal Decision
Sacrifice (new)
A great gain is made, but at the cost of a great sacrifice. It may be giving up something cherished, or it may be that a character gives up life for loved ones or for a cause.
Sudden Reversion
Tables Turn
Things Are Not As They Seem
Trade Places
Ulterior Motive


Abrupt Change of Events
Bizarre Coincidence
Draw a Blank
Erratic Behavior
Silver Lining (new)
There is some positive gain that comes with a failure. The failure still occurs, but something good happens as well.
Something Missing
Special Circumstances
Unexplained Consequence
Unexplained Event
Vivid Detail
Wormy Apple (new)
There is a negative consequence to a success. The action still succeeds, but something bad happens as well. An enemy is slain but the sword stuck in the body; a target is convinced too well and becomes overly helpful; etc.

John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Jan 23 00:53:11 2005