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What are the ShadowMyths Decks?  Are they just cards with my art on them?  Is that all?  The answer is yes... and no..

If I ask you for a story or an idea out of your head, you're going to use the same ideas that you've always done or use some idea that everybody else knows.  We all do it... even me.

However, if you lay down the ShadowMyths cards in random order, you can start seeing new stories and ideas that you haven't thought of.  Your brain starts connecting the images into something different.  In school, this was called "story prompt".  I like to call it "reverse-story boarding".  

The point of the ShadowMyths decks is to get yourself out of your own head and come up with something uniquely you.  It's about being able to express yourself.

How do you use the ShadowMyths Deck?

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All you have to do is select some of the cards from the deck and lay them down.  For example, let's take the the series of cards shown above.  What story could you come up with?  Here's the story that my mind brought up:

As I slowly studied the sword at my feet, I knew what had to be done. It's not something that I thought that I would ever need to do.  I packed up my belongings and said goodbye to the only friend that I ever knew and started the road to my end of days.  It had been long time coming since the time that I failed my family but the dragon and his friend will pay for their acts.  I'm ready for the end.  I don't really care if they are or not.

Now, this simple start of a story was all based on what I saw in the cards.  It took me about 5 minutes to come up with it.  I never would have thought of that idea without seeing those cards in that order.  If the cards were in a different order, I would have come up with a different idea.

Is this only for writers?

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Not at all!  As you can see from the list, many people use them for different reasons.  In Dungeons and Dragons, they are mainly used as a Deck of Many things but some of the GM's use them as props in the game or as new ideas for adventures for their players.  Other gamers use them as token in Magic the Gathering or to create their own version of Mysterium or Dixit.  Elementary schools are using them in the creative writing classes.  In reality, the cards can be used as anything where you need inspiration to come up with something that is not normally done or seen.

contact info: doug@hoppesstudio.com