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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Icon Deck $4.99
Average Rating:5.0 / 5
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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Icon Deck
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Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Icon Deck
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Thilo G. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/25/2016 11:32:36

An Endzeitgeict.com combo-review of this deck and the NPC Icon Deck

And now for something complete different!

This was moved up my review-queue due to me receiving a physical copy of the product in question.

From the get-go, I was positively surprised - not sure if it's due to a change in policy on behalf of OBS or not, but the cards I received arrived in absolutely pristine condition, contained in hard-shell plastic cases, which prevented any creases or other unpleasant surprises.

Beyond that, this deck of cards is massive and contains a selection of US Poker-Size 2.5'' x 3.5 '' cards with round corners. The card-stock paper is high-quality and employs a 305 gsm matte and the cards are UV coated. The cards are sturdy enough to deal well with shuffling, bending them, etc.

Beyond these technical details, there may be a freak accident...there may be something wrong with me...but unless I've begun sucking harder at basic counting of cards than an amnesiac, the description of this product undersells this deck HARD. EDIT: So, I totally blundered and didn't get that there were two decks - one for the NPCs and one for the Icons. I basically took a look at both and the artwork quality for either is SUPERB. Still, even taking this into account, I counted more cards than 104, so this does overdeliver, even when looked at individually!

That is NOT a complaint or a bad thing, though it is something that you should definitely bear in mind - as far as I'm concerned, these decks overdeliver pretty hardcore. And yes, I've checked the cards more than once - no doubles, at least in the deck(s) I received -there is zero overlap between the two decks...so yes, bang-for-buck-wise, I'm really surprised at the quality! Kudos!

The back of the cards sports the "Icon Deck" logo employed in the review/product description and there is another thing I really appreciate - each of the artworks is credited on the card at the central bottom of the card, giving credit where credit is due to the hard-working artists. Better yet, in spite of being easily readable, said credits do not intrude unduly upon the gorgeous images depicted on the cards, which similarly is a huge thing for me: When I get gorgeous color cards, I damn well want them to look the way and this delivers.

Now, regarding themes, this deck covers a ton of ground: Within these cards, you can see a gorgeously-rendered Mulan-style warrior-queen in front of a Chinese dragon; you can see a horrific, cthulhoid, yet humanoid entity that has a horrid, resin-like textures. The dwimmerlaik, both warriors, philosophers and more are depicted in absolutely stunning pieces on the cards...and then there would be the awesome and weird: Like the walrus-headed huamnoid in Imperial Cuirass, the guy that looks like a winged, badass tattooed survivalist with Jesus-hair, the lich-like undead bathed in green fire...and, for those who know where to look, there is also the tribute to Owen K.C. Stephens, immortalized in one of the cards as a kind of Patrician-looking mastermind.

The planes/world-hopping diversity of focus and themes is eclectic and befitting of the central virtues of LoGaS, with e.g. an admiral who sports a rifle that obviously can fire radioactive grenades, alien plant-beings, Tokyo-school-girl lookalike mistresses of arcane might (or rather, eidolon/umbra), dazzling ladies in Flamenco-aesthetic with pet-dragons, tattooed Yakuza, grizzled post-apocalypse survivors or people that may well have been famous planeswalkers like Urza is the aesthetics of their depiction. The styles of the various artists never clash unduly and, while distinct, there is a unifying theme that ties the artworks together - that being quality - LoGaS has been excellent regarding the consistency of the amazing artworks routinely employed and this can be pictured as an excellent showcase.

In fact, it is my contention that the usefulness of this deck transcends LoGaS - this is just as amazing when used for The Strange, a full-blown planes-walking campaign or similar environments that thrive on receiving an array of eclectic and stunning artworks.

In short, being an icon deck, this excels in pretty much all the ways I could ask from it: The material is excellent, the artworks are superb, the artists are properly credited...there is nothing to dislike about this deck and thus, it receives 5 stars + seal of approval.

Endzeitgeist out.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Icon Deck
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Mark K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2014 22:40:32

If you have not yet realised, Lords of Gossamer and Shadow (LoGaS) is the dice-less role playing game from Rite Publishing that just keeps pumping out those supplements. It is also one of my favourite games of the past twelve months. It uses the Amber system but applies a much more fluid and interesting setting to it. The Icon Deck is a set of cards full of images of Lords and Ladies (and Dwimmerlaik) of the Grand Stair.

The reason that we have the Icon Deck is that one of the powers in LoGaS that a player can use is called Wrighting and it involves the ability to contact a being through the use of an Icon. An image that represents the being through which this power allows for contact to them. Icons are sold on the Grand Stair to the most open beings (or in the black market for the most private) or a being with the power can create their own Icons by making an image that is representative of the being they wish to contact.

So this deck of cards, 52 in total, each represent an Icon for the GM or player to use as a prop in game. None of the cards have a name to it so the players or the GM can assign those Icon’s to any named NPC or player that they wish to use. The images on the cards are the result of a long campaign of gathering art after LoGaS was funded through the Kickstarter and so some of the images were released as teaser art over the past year by Steve Russell of Rite Publishing. Each piece of art was a beautiful creation and I had to grab them!

You can obtain the cards in a PDF format from DriveThruRPG or as a set of actual cards. I have both versions and I have to say that while I may one day turn my PDF into a digital set of cards for Roll 20 there is nothing like actually holding the cards in your hand. The cards are beautiful, full colour affairs that just look absolutely beautiful and I would not give them up for a month of Sundays. It would have been nice if they had their own box, but they do come with a simple plastic band holding them all together (though very well packed).

The Icons are created by a coalition of fantastic artists. My favourite series of cards are probably those created by Jason Rainville but there are in total 12 artists involved in the creation of these cards. Apart from Jason Rainville the artists are (in no particular order) Jack Holliday, Tommy Arnold, Keith Seymour, Joe Shawcross, Ian Greenlee, Gordon Napier, Juan Diego Dianderas, Jacob Blackmon, Dennis Darmody, Dallas Williams and Joshua Calloway. Some of these artists did quite a few of the cards while a couple did only one. The common thing is that they are all great images.

Sure, there are some cards that I like less than others but that is the case with all art. You will find your favourites and others will not look as good to you. In the long run it is all about your personal taste. There are none there that look like they were made by a 10 year old and a bucket of crayons. They all fit and feel part of a beautiful set of cards that are brilliant.

I love props in my games. Some GM’s don’t but I love giving the players over something and having them look it over and treat it with some reverence. These cards are going to provide that for me when I get an in person game of this running. On the flip side of the coin is the fact that these cards are versatile and while I am coming at this review from a LoGaS perspective, there is absolutely nothing stopping using these cards in Shadowrun or Pathfinder or Traveller or… I think you get my point. There are images that would fit any genre game in there.

The only real problem that I have with these cards is I now want to stat up 52 new Lords of Gossamer and Shadow NPC’s! I once did a run of 30 characters (you will find these on this blog in the archives around late 2013) and now I have 52 new images to inspire me. Perhaps I will do those for my own amusement though!

The images that I have interspersed through this review are my favourites of the cards currently. My favourites change every single time I look at them though the red head with the soviet flare below has remained my absolute fave for a long while now.

I really love these cards. I think they are a great addition to LoGaS and any other game they are employed in. Take a look at them and then go grab them. Keep an artist fed!

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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